Thursday, 27 November 2014

Moroccan Dining Experience

My short stay in Casablanca, Morocco was quite packed. Visiting Moroccan market and the Mosque (see my two posts Outside of the Mosque and on the Inside) during the day, having lunches outside of the hotel and then going out at night.

The gourmet experience was that I have eaten the nicest fresh fruit and fish. My other (more funky)

experience was visiting the largest restaurant restroom (ever) in Le Cabestan - Ocean View where

each loo has its own incredible beach view. :-D And I thought the Japanese toilets were marvelous!

I have stayed in hotel Hyatt Regency Casablanca. The hotel's interior is beautifully designed in

Oriental style. Furnished with dark wooden furniture complemented with red and cream tones of

sofas and Moroccan curtains. My only complaint is the cigarette smoke, but in Morocco, they smoke

everywhere even indoors. :-/

For the lunch, I have tried some Moroccan dishes: a chicken Tajin prepared in this special dish with

lid, fish and chicken kebab with rice.

For the first night dinner at Le Cabestan - Ocean View I have tried a massive fish roasted in a thick

salt crumb layer. It is meant to preserve the flavor and juiciness of the flesh. IT SO DID. It was

definitely one of the best fish dishes I have tried.

For the dessert I had sorbet with fresh fruit. Let me try enhance the word fresh. It tasted as if the

kiwis, mango and strawberries were hand picked 5 minutes ago. It must be the Moroccan sun

One more special remark to add on review of Le Cabestan - Ocean View . It is famous for its

location on the beach. Even their restrooms offer the beach view and the boudoir loos are size of a

flat studio. Everyone who goes there takes a picture of themselves. Yes, in the toilet room. :-)

The next dinner out was at Churrascaria Marius. This restaurant is brazilian style and very busy and

much louder, with live music and Venezuelan belly dancer. The meat was delicious and I believe I

ate one cow, one chicken and whatever else they were serving.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

No Waste Festive Season

With Christmas closer day by day, I have been thinking about what can I do to not fall into the consumerism trap.

I love Christmas and all but I do not enjoy the pushy advertising and the peer pressure that if I won't buy something, Christmas won't happen. And then 1 Million Women popped up on my feed again and I remembered that I wanted to share their campaign.

I like the idea of exchanging gifts. It is up to us how meaningful these are. I do like to buy a special present for someone that I know they wouldn't buy otherwise for whatever reason.

Growing up in a communist and post communist country, the gifts we were given for Christmas were all the toys and clothing we needed or wanted. There simply either wasn't enough money to buy toys and other things on random occasion or there were none to buy.

Comparing it to time before globalization took over the world, what do we really need these days?

Everyone HAS EVERYTHING. We are not hungry, we have ALL WE NEED.

What we do NOT HAVE enough of is SUSTAINABILITY.

I have been following 1 Million Women for over two years. It is an Australian organisation that I have come across while living in Australia. (I have signed their petition to Save the Great Barrier Reef and sent a letter to current Prime Minister.)

Their Christmas campaign is about No Waste Festive Season Campaign.

It is quite simple.

Think twice about what you are buying and how much you really need to buy so there is no waste of any kind.

Please share this idea.

Just something to think about. :-)

LINKED WIT: Wow Us Wednesdays #197

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Visiting Moroccan Market

Every time I go to exotic country (meaning a country located on a different continent at least) the

one thing that is a must see for me is the market. The most shocking market to see was the one in

Bali Indonesia (I haven't posted any photos yet). I wasn't really sure what to expect from Moroccan

market (or Morocco to be honest).

There were two Medinas (markets) I have seen during my short stay in Casablanca. The Old Medina 

of Casablanca was, well old and dirty, lots of people and stray dogs. Crossing the street from our

hotel ( I stayed in Hyatt Regency Casablanca) which was few minutes away was an adventure. No

traffic lights at all to regulate the traffic and the cars were barely stopping for you.

The New Medina of Casablanca was much nicer experience. I have enjoyed browsing through the

little alleys and streets of the Medina. As in every market, the sellers will try anything to sell you

something. Some can be pushy but I didn't feel harassed by them. Don't forget to negotiate the price!

There were lots of shops with Moroccan lamps (also Alladin's lamps) pottery, jewelry, craftsmen

with woodworks, furniture, oriental clothing, carpets, shoes and souvenirs. If I wasn't travelling

home by plane, I would buy a flying carpet, Morrocan lamp and stand and a giant metal platter tray. I

so need to go back to Morocco just for shopping.


I have tried olives from the Olives market and bought some Moroccan Argan Oil. They also sell

honey with bees in the jar with honey and pickled preserves. Not only gherkins but lemons as well.

On the way out I have stopped in a market bakery called Patisserie Bennis Habous and I have tried

sweet pastry and cookies with traditional Moroccan mint tea served in traditional metal tea pots and

lots of sugar. (I wrote about it MOROCCAN ALMOND AND HONEY SWEET TREATS).

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sydney Jacarandas in Bloom

Have you ever seen the Jacaranda trees? They grow in Southern Hemisphere and can be found in 

Australia, Africa, especially in Pretoria and even in California. My first time to see these amazing 

trees was couple of days after landing in Sydney in October. 

I was lucky to discover these trees as they were on my daily route to college. I don't think I have ever 

seen a purple tree apart from lilacs. The difference is that the Lilacs are fragrant, these aren't. 

Jacarandas blossom in Spring which in Australia happens at the end of October. The streets aligned 

with these trees are covered with little purple blossoms. Some of the trees have magnificent crowns. 

Before the Jacarandas blossom, they seem not to have any leaves at all. 

Jacarandas are quite simple looking trees before the Spring but then they turn into beauties for few 

weeks. With purple crowns that have various shades of purple from light to dark ones. There are 

also white species even though I haven't see any in Sydney.

There are lots of suburbs with lovely Jacarandas. My photos are from Sydney Eastern suburbs like 

Rose Bay, Edgecliff, Double Bay, Bondi and Inner West Erskineville and Newtown. I have walked 

through many streets and parks in hunt for Jacaranda photos. 


Now I have my special list of  Jacaranda streets and parks I know of. There are lots of hidden trees I 

have discovered in the valley parks of Eastern suburbs. I have always envied (a little bit) the houses 

with their own Jacaranda tree in the front yard. I just find them so beautiful!


If you ever get to go to Sydney in October, do not miss these. I will give you a tip - go see the Opera 

House at the Circular Quay. There are some Jacarandas planted in the park of Museum of 

Contemporary Art opposite to the Opera. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Inspire Yourself {2}

With the special time of the year approaching I always like to do lots of little Christmas projects

before the festivities can start. I like to bake the cookies and cakes, prepare the ornaments, make the

Christmas wreath, decorate the windows and make table centre pieces on the Christmas day.

To me, the Christmas is represented by the gingerbread spices and cinnamon, sounds of a crackling

fireplace, lots of lit (real) wax candles, cherry tree branches in the vase called Barborky picked on

Barbora's name day 4th of December (these then blossom on Christmas day). I like to use lots of

evergreens from the garden that make the house smell like Christmas even more.

Unfortunately, I am sick right now and all I can do is to click and save the pictures for inspiration.

So if I could, I might have been cutting out the paper trees out of old books or magazines, I might

have baked some ginger breads. That dome looks really nice, I might try this with the one for the

cake stand I got from IKEA. (The bulbs should be kept in cold dark room as they blossom very fast

and taken out shortly before Christmas). We have baked similar macaroons last year with raspberry

butter-cream and they were the best. When I'll be up and running, me and my chocolate darling will

go to the forest for sure to find some pine cones.

{1} paper houses with printable stencils {2} winter cake with recipe tutorial {3} Winter bulbs
{4} pinecones {5} ginger bread dome {6}{9} paper trees, candles {7} Ginger houses {8} branches in vase {10} winter macaroons recipe {11} fairy led lights

Have a cozy and inspired weekend!

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