Marta shares her family recipe for meringue cheesecake

When I was a kid, Sundays always seemed like a special day. My dad would wake up early to prepare an extraordinary lunch (I’m taking 5 types of vegetables, roasts, potatoes, salads) and he made sure it was ready by 12. There was no excuse to miss the lunch (not even when as a teenager I was so hangover I could sleep the whole day, nope)! We’re very serious about our food, you see!

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My mom, on the other hand, would bake a cake on a Sunday morning. She might not be the best cook in the world but her cakes! Oh her cakes are to die for. My absolute favourite till this day is the meringue cheesecake with peaches. She would always bake a giant tray of it (because sharing is caring - in Poland you don’t just bake cake for your kids, you bake it for the cousins and aunts and neighbours). When it was ready and cooling off, I would quietly sneak into the kitchen to eat a bit of the meringue that was on top of it. I always said to myself I’d take a piece and leave, but I could never stop on just one piece. I tried to carefully and strategically take out the pieces of meringue so no one would notice. Tried and miserably fail since I ended up eating out 1/3 of the topping. EVERYONE noticed. EVERY time. Don’t be fooled, the other layers of the cake are just as delicious and the best is the combination of all of them: the unsweetened dough, the peachy cheesecake and then the crunchy meringue. It might not be a cake that is made in 10 minutes but it is just the best (it might be gone in 10 minutes thought, a fair warning!)

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MERINGUE CHEESECAKE

Dough layer:

220 g flour

90 g butter

3 egg yolks

1 el baking powder

Cheesecake layer:

250 g cream cheese (Philadelphia type) of cheese

1 egg

60 g sugar

6 peach halves (canned)

Meringue layer:

3 egg whites

40 g powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Put the dough ingredients in a Kitchenaid mixer and combine well on a low speed. Spray a baking tray with baking spray and make a layer from the dough. Put a small piece of the dough aside in a foil and put in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the cake.

Mix the cheesecake ingredients (except for peaches) in a bowl. Pour over the dough layer. Arrange the peach halves on the cheese layer.

Put egg whites into the Kitchenaid and mix on the highest stand. When the eggs are stiff, gradually add powdered sugar till a meringue forms. Scoop out the meringue on top of the cake.


Take out the small piece of dough from the freezer and grate in on top of the meringue.

Bake for 1 hour.

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Marta tries the new fresh Dr Oetker pizza

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Dr Oetker pizza has always been my favourite supermarket pizza. It has been there with me for years now. Through celebrations and heart breaks and moves and renovations and those nights where I was too knackered to cook. Me and Dr Oetker just go way back you see.

Ok here is something you may not know about me. I am super weird about my pizza. I am very adventurous when it comes to food in general (duuh!) but not pizza. I’m super specific to what I like and there are just a few pizza’s that I really truly enjoy. So at restaurants I only order Margherita. Yes there are days I’ll go crazy and add some corn to it haha but with normal circumstances you will not see me having another pizza when I’m out. Then the supermarket pizza - the only pizza that I’ve been loyal too for what feels like million years is the Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Mozzarella. 

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Therefore, when I found out that Dr Oetker now offers pizza in the fresh section, I thought that’s all great BUT THE QUESTION IS : IS THERE MOZZARELLA PIZZA??? And there is. There is and it’s my favourite Dr Oetker pizza but in a Rolls Royce version! Pizza Fresca Mozzarella. It’s so cheesy, so full of flavour, just soooo soooo good. For loved the Verdura pizza because he loves his veggies bu you, of course, should definitely try the other flavours that are now available in the fresh section of Carrefour, Cora, Spar, Match and Colruyt and let me know what you thought! Around here, we are big fans! 

MARTA MAKES PETER RABBIT INSPIRED SCHOOL LUNCH BOXES

Somebunny is starting school on September 3 and with that comes a whole new habit that we will have to introduce to our lives: the school lunch boxes! 

You guys know I love cooking but lunch boxes are a new thing for me and I really take this new task seriously :) Lunch accounts for 1/3 of food that your child eats during the day so I want to make sure it is nutritious and delicious but also fun. 

When we get asked to come up with Peter Rabbit inspired lunch boxes to celebrate the release of the Peter Rabbit movie, I was super excited for several reasons: 
- Fer loves Peter Rabbit
- I get to practice school lunches and get more comfortable with the whole idea
- Fer loves Peter Rabbit ;) 

We first got to know Peter Rabbit when we were visiting my sister in the UK and Fer became a big fan of the books and later the animated stories. He has called him “blue rabbit” till about a month ago and I had to play the “mommy I am Blue Rabbit and you are Lily Bobtail” pretend game for months now. Now the new Peter Rabbit comedy film is out on Video on demand & Digital Download, we were not only super excited about the rabbit lunches but we are even more excited we get to give away the movies to you guys on Instagram

But before you head over there, check out the three lunch boxes I came out with! They got the stamp of approval from Fer (they were eaten within minutes) so I hope to get you inspired! 

Lunch box #1: PETER THE rabbit crackers, carrot sticks, cucumber and hummus 

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How to make rabbit crackers: use a cookie cutter in the shape of a rabbit to cut the shapes out of 2 wholewheat tortillas. Brush the rabbits with olive oil and put them on a baking tray lined up with baking paper. Bake in a pre-heated oven for about ten minutes on 180°C. 

Want to make homemade hummus too? Put 300 g canned chickpeas, 100 ml of the liquid from the can, 1 tbsp tahini, 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp olive oil into a mixer and mix everything till smooth hummus. Season with cumin and salt. 

Lunch box #2: PETER RABBIT’S FAVOURITE CARROT AND ZUCCHINI MUFFINS with greek YOGHURT and Fruit

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Needed for 12 muffins: 
200 g grated carrots
100 g grated zucchini
1 apple, grated
1 egg
60 g fine oats
100 g spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
100 g rozijnen
5 tbsp honey
250 ml milk

Preheat oven to 180°C. In a bowl, mix spelt flour, fine oats, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, beat egg with honey and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently. Add carrots, zucchini and raisins.

Line 12 hole muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Sprinkle each muffin with oats. Bake 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from tin and let cool off. Enjoy!

Lunch box #2: PETER RABBIT’s ears sandwiches and radishes with yoghurt dip

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This is one to make when you only have a few minutes to make your kid’s lunch. It’s a brown bread sandwiches with cashew pasta and banana and radishes with yoghurt dip!
For the ear sandwiches: ok I’m not gonna teach you how to make a sandwich hehe but just make brown bread sandwich with organic cashew nut pasta and bananas and use a big cookie cutter to cut out the ears or just cut it with a knife. 

GOOD LUCK WITH THE BACK TO SCHOOL PERIOD AND RUN TO MY INSTAGRAM TO CHECK OUT THE GIVEAWAY! 

FER GOES TO SCHOOL

So before I even start, can someone tell me where did the last 3 years go? It's like I just literally got this baby out of me and he is starting school in September? Say whaaat??? I am not ready to do the whole 'let go' thing and I really am gonna miss spending so much time with him so I'm focusing on the school preparation part of it all instead of my own emotions. 

The preparation part is heaps of fun actually, I always loved it when I used to go to school and so this takes me back in time a little bit and hey, makes me feel young again. And look at this cheeky munchkin! He is so excited to go to school (let's hope he will be as excited once it starts hehe). 

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I honestly had not much of an idea of what Fer needs for school except you know, the backpack hehe so we teamed up with Veritas and we got a little bit of help in the whole putting together the school essentials thing. I am sharing my absolute favourites but you can check out their entire BACK TO SCHOOL collection here. The backpack you can see above fits Fer perfectly and he can't stop giggling at his monster socks and rain boots and I honestly love them too! 

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I also adore the ironing applications so I let Fer choose the ones he likes most and added them to some of his plain t-shirts. They are an inexpensive way to add a little bit of fun to kids clothing without it being 'too much' if you know what I mean. The fox is our absolute favourite! What do you think? 

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MARTA IS A HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST (FOR A DAY, AND THANKS TO HELLOFRESH PREMIUM)

In between living a busy (and a bit crazy) life and being a mommy, I barely get to invite people for a meal that makes some sense. When friends come over, most of the time they get served ‘photoshoot leftovers’ with a side of ‘whatever is hanging in the fridge’, you get what I'm saying. I don't think they really mind but when I send them an invite for a full blown festive three course meal that I promised to serve warm haha, they said yes right away. 

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I don’t consider myself as a real chef (or even close) but I did feel a little bit like one on the day itself. HelloFresh offered me dinner with a new formula of a Premium dish added to your box - basically a restaurant worthy, excellent looking dish that you can make without having to slave away in the kitchen and (miss the dinner table gossip). And you guys, the dinner was seriously restaurant worthy! 

As a starter I served  coconut soup with haddock followed by tenderloin with veggies and seed-rice as main dish and ended with an apple and pear crumble *excuse me while I drool a little*. 

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The sweet and tangy sauce from the Premium dish was one of the best sauces I have ever eaten so it would be a crime not to share with you. Here’s how you do it: 

For 4 persons
1 chilli pepper
2 cloves of garlic
4 cm fresh ginger, grated
2 press oranges
40 ml of soy sauce
1 star anise
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
100 ml of orange juice
1/2 bouillon cube 

In a saucepan, put the ginger, red pepper, garlic, soy sauce, star anise, brown sugar and 100 ml orange juice. Bring to boil and wait till the sugar has melted. Add 150 ml boiling water, bouillon cube and mix. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Keep warm on very low heat.

This sauce goes with, well euh... basically everything. Yes, even eaten cold with a spoon when all you guests have left. But if you want to be a little bit extra, serve it with bimi, paksoi and pork tenderloin.
Want to release your inner host(ess) god(des)? Add a Premium meal to your HelloFresh box, you won't regret it, I promise! 

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Marta bakes a quiche! Bon appétit!

Bonjour! There is nothing better in French cuisine than a good quiche (ok maybe except buckwheat crepes, and chocolate souffle, and onion soup....ah, you get me, French food is just so good). I discovered Comté cheese earlier this year and I've been using it in everything (yep, even on pizza, yuuuum). It has this nutty, earthy flavour and fits perfectly in this mushroom & asparagus quiche! Recipe below (for Dutch recipe click here and watch me cook this on camera, no worries I tried to behave this time).   

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For the crust: 
230 g flour
8 tbsp cold butter (in cubes) 
1 egg yolk 

Filling: 
15 champignons (sliced) 
6 white asparagus, (sliced)   
2 shallots (chopped) 
fresh thyme
3 eggs
250 ml cream (can be soy) 
150 shredded Comté cheese
Nutmeg, salt & pepper 

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Sift the flour into a large bowl, and add the butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add the egg yolk and mix with a until the dough just starts to come together. Put in a fresh foil and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
 
Roll out the dough and put it in a lined pie shell. Put baking paper over it and fill in with rice or beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove paper and rice and set aside.

Put mushrooms, shallot and asparagus pieces in a lined baking tray. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 20 minutes at 220°C.

Mix eggs, cream in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Fill the quiche crust with Comté cheese, roasted vegetables and the egg mix. Finish with some extra Comté cheese and bake 30-40 minutes.  

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Bon appétit! 

MARTA MAKES A 7 MINUTE LUNCH IN A BOWL

It's Monday and this is my new go-to dish when I need a super quick lunch fix. It's done in 7 minutes, it's nutritious but most of all it's freaking delicious (tip: you can also use the coconut & lemongrass Bosto rice and if you want to make it at the office, take a soft boiled egg with you). 

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Needed for 1 person: 
1 pack Bosto Coriander & Ginger rice for the microwave
1/2 avocado
1 egg
salt & pepper
fresh herbs 

That's how you make it: 
Prepare the Bosto Coriander & Ginger rice in the microwave (as per instructions on the package). 

Bring a pan of water to boil. Put a cling wrap in a espresso cup, oil it with oil or baking spray and break the egg into it. Use another piece of foil to close the foil wrap. Put in the boiling water and cook for 3 1/2 - 4 minutes. 

Put the rice in a bowl, add the egg, scoop out the avocado and season with herbs, salt & pepper. 

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MARTA DRESSES UP HER WINDOWS WITH SQUID FABRIC

My bathroom has been ready for a while now except that I have been hanging towels in front of my windows to make sure that a view of me taking a shower will not end up on any 'interesting' website, if you know what I mean. My current bathroom was originally a shed above the garage so the windows are not your regular windows. They are small and low and not a standard size and I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with them. Curtains would look too heavy and window foil would look too cheap. Not that towels were a better choice but I put my whole heart into making this bathroom so I was not going to compromise till I found something that works. And so I found Squid (nope, nothing to do with the squid you once had for dinner;). 

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Squid is basically a self-adhesive transparent fabric that you stick on your windows. It covers the glass and it allows you to see the outside, but makes sure no once can see you from the outside. It lets this soft, dimmed light inside so I have a feeling that the world is covered in snow when I'm in my bathroom. It's qualitative, looks absolutely gorgeous and it has such a natural feel to it - I could not be happier with the result. It's also 100% Belgian which makes me extra happy (because YAY for local products). 

This is how it works: You order the Squid fabric based on the size of your windows which means you can use it on ANY window, no matter how unique. What you will receive is a piece of Squid self-adhesive fabric in your chosen colour (I just loved the white) that's a bit bigger than the size of your window. Yes, you'll get the instructions but it's pretty straight forward. You clean your window with ammoniac, stick the fabric and cut it at the edges with a cutter knife. Voila, done! Bonus: you will never have to clean your windows again (I mean, who likes to clean windows right, not me, for sure not me). 

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I'm seriously obsessed with this product so go check it out, go go go! 

MARTA MAKES AN AWESOME bulgur SALAD (and awesome salads are seriously not easy to make).

Okay so this is basically the best salad in the history of salads. Okay okay, maybe just the best salad I have ever made but it is amazeballs and I ate it 5 times in the last 3 weeks. And that says something as I barely ever make the same thing more than twice. Bulgur is such a cool grain by the way, it doesn't have a very distinctive taste so you can easily incorporate it within other stronger tastes. Like goat cheese. Or pesto. It's high in minerals, a good source of plant-based protein and provides a good dose of the dietary fiber. Like I said, it's pretty fly. So here you go, without further ado, the bulgur - goat cheese - pesto salad, my ladies and gentlemen.  

bosto bulgur salad

Needed for 2 portions: 
1 bag of Bosto bulgur
100 g rocket salad
4 tbsp cashew nuts
1 big goat cheese (not the fresh type but the one with the yielding rind)  
20 half-dried tomatoes (dried tomatoes are good too but the half-dried ones are just softer) 
20 olives (black and green) 
100 g grilled red bell pepper  
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh thyme 

Needed for green pesto: 
75 g basil leaves
60 g pine nuts
50 ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper 

How to make it: 
Cook the bulgur for 10 minutes in a boiling water. Drain and let cool off. 

Put basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic cloves and lemon juice in a blender and mix till it’s smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the cheese in half and put it in a baking tray. Drizzle the honey over it and sprinkle with thyme. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Arrange the rocket salad on the plates. Divide the bulgur in between the plates. Arrange the half-dried tomatoes, olives and red bell pepper and cashew nuts between the plates. Spoon the pesto over the salad and finish off with one piece of hot cheese on each plate. 

Enjoy! I know you will ;)

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MARTA MAKES APPLE & CINNAMON ICE CREAM WITH CARAMELIZED APPLE

Beautiful weather is finally here, time to eat ice cream with every meal! Ice cream with  breakfast, lunch and dinner? Oh yes you know it, I'm a bit of a sinner. But hey, you know what they say? Apple a day keeps the doctor away! So if ice cream has apples it's TOTALLY OKAY! I got a box of Marlene apples and I saw sun was out. I was not gonna make apple pie, oh no I had no doubt. Nothing against apple pie, but I'm not gonna lie, ice cream wins any day, because it is my bae! Ok, I'm gonna stop rhyming and share the recipe! ENJOY! 

apple ice cream recipe

You will need: 
500 g greek yoghurt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, not peeled but cored and chopped in smal pieces
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp sweetener (I used sucralose) 
4 tbsp agave sirup 

For the apple sauce: 
600g red Marlene apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice from one lemon
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp honey 

How to make it: 
Make the apple sauce. Put the apples in a saucepan with the lemon juice and water. Cover and cook over a low heat until they are soft and mushy.Take off the heat and mix the honey. Cool.

In a pan, heat up the butter. Add apple pieces and the sweetener. Stir often and bake till the pieces of apple caramelize. 

In a bowl, mix Greek yoghurt, apple sauce, cinnamon, agave sirup and pieces of caramelized apple. Put it in a ice cream maker and freeze till they are gorgeously smooth and delicious. 

***If you don't have an ice cream maker, use the freeze and stir method: put the ice cream mixture in a baking dish and put it in the freezer. Remove it after 45 minute and stir vigorously with a spatula. Return to freezer but continue to check and stir well ever 30 minutes. Keep doing that till the ice cream is frozen, it usually takes about 3 hours. 
 

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MARTA TOPS HER TUC (WITH A CASHEW GARLIC & LEMON SPREAD).

I like spreads and crackers. I like them a lot. Too much maybe. As if in someone told me I can only eat crackers with a spread for the rest of my life, I'd be like 'well, sure, yeah'. Like yes, I'd miss a lot of other foods but I would be totally okay with it. Yep, I think I would not cry over it at all.

I've been totally into cashew spread lately so I was super excited to make a new cashew spread for the #topyourtuc campaign. Cheese flavour is my favourite TUC flavour and I promise you that my spread makes it just effin amazing. Cashews, roasted garlic, lemon and a pinch of salt - that's all you need for the "OMG THIS IS SO GOOD" result. 

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RECIPE: 
TUC cheese crackers
150 g cashews, raw and unsalted
1 heads of garlic
1 el fresh lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
1 el red beet puree
microgreens and/or sprouts 

Soak the cashews in water for at least 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel away all the loose outer layers around the head of garlic. Trim the top off the head of garlic. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Peel outside off of bulb of garlic, then gently squeeze each clove out.

Drain the cashews and put them in a blender. Add garlic, lemon and salt and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix till the spread is smooth. If your spread is too thick, add a little bit of water to it. 

Spread it on the cheese TUC cracker. Add a bit of a red beet puree and sprinkle with the sprouts and microgreens. 

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MARTA AND FER VISIT FLEMISH ARDENNES

Honestly, I have not been aware of the existence of Flemish Ardennes before last Saturday. Even though the invitation did say that that is where I was going to spend my weekend, in my head, I was going to Ardennes. Which is not the same as Flemish Ardennes you guys. And that’s more than OK. Because I ended up having one of the best weekends in a long time. And so did little Fer. Such a treat! 

What a charming, peaceful, wonderful region for a relaxing getaway! The Flemish Ardennes are home to beautiful nature, calming views and what feels the never-ending walking routes (actually it's 850km and it's fudging a lot in a small ass country like Belgium). 

We started the weekend with a small hike in the nature before we settled into our logies Sentoo Relax. Hotel meets B&B is the best way I can describe and it has the best of both worlds, the service of the hotel with the ‘comfy home like’ feeling of the B&B. When I picked the place, I thought the best part will be the swimming pool and spa facilities but surprisingly, there was something EVEN better: a burger bus! A burger bus!!! You have to understand, Fer’s favourite things in life at the moment are cars, trucks & busses AND food (he is my son after all). The bus was standing in the backyard of our room and that was already extremely impressive to my little monkey. Imagine the excitement when were able to get on the bus and have dinner there! It was like Christmas and Easter and birthday combined! THAT level of excitement. Let's not forget the burgers which were artisanal and delicious and yeah, they were served in a bus. Come on! 

Next morning, before heading for our hike, we had breakfast that, oh my, you don’t eat every day: eggs, yoghurt, fresh bread, fresh juice, cheese, meat, mini pancakes … you name it, it was pure food porn. Thank god we planned a long walk to burn some of those scrumptious calories. 

We picked a route that was long enough to enjoy the nature and beautiful views of the region but short enough for my little munchkin to enjoy it as well (hey, you know, the attention span of a 2 year old). We parked the car on the Paddestraat in Velzeke (around Zottegem) and followed a few km route that took us through open fields and little woods and where, next to the landscapes and cows (called by Fer moo’s), we also got to enjoy quite a few old-timers passing by (you can guess who was most excited about that). Fer took a 4 hour nap afterwards which is unusual, so thank you calming nature of Flemish Ardennes - this mama could cook us some dinner and take a nap herself. 

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I already marked a number of routes I want to do next so I honestly can't wait to go back. More info on the waling routes of Flemish Ardennes can be found on the site of Wandelwalhalla.be

MARTA GETS A SAMSUNG POWERBOT VR7000

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I am as interested in cleaning as I am in filling in tax-returns. Or waiting in lines. Or Kim Kardashian’s butt. I am not. I honestly get the urge to clean as often as I get the urge to, I dunno, relive high school. The problem though is that I don’t like to have a messy house (ok, a little bit of an organised mess is all good but I’m just saying, I’m not a slob). Since I was a kid and started getting pocket money, I would give half of it to my sister so I wouldn't have to clean. Or do house chores. Don't get me wrong, I am not a lazy person. I just think there are one million more interesting things I can do with my time than clean. Once I moved out of the house, I tried to get into this whole cleaning thing but I just suck at it. It also takes me forever. I don't know how I do it but what takes other people 1 hour it takes me 4! When I got a job, I also got a cleaning lady and my life has been much better since. 

Till I got a kid. I love my kid. More than anything. But it’s a messy business, being a mom. A cleaning lady once a week, no matter how wonderful she is, is not enough to keep my space mess free. And my floor crumble free. And you know what happens when you get a kid? You suddenly start living on your floor. I think it's the matter of being on similar level. And I refuse to hang out on a messy floor. But it’s almost impossible to keep it free of crumbs or those tiny dried pieces of play-doh! So when I got an email asking if I would be interested in trying out a robot hoover that vacuums my floor while I’m playing with the little one, or edit photos, or cook or chill on the couch (hahha nah that doesn't really happen around here) I was like OH YES, BABY! I don't say no to free help around the house and the Samsung POWERbot VR7000 was exactly the help I needed. Look at this handsome fella! 

As you can tell from this post, I do not know much about cleaning. So I could write a whole paragraph about how the POWERbot is smarter than other hoovers, or that it has an amazing suction power, or that it can detect and work around even tiny obstacles (and all other technical features that guys, are true and really do sound great) but instead I am going to say one thing: IT WORKS! It bloody works. It even gets all the dust and crumbles out from the edges of the floors. And it goes under my sofa and my tv table and Fer’s little table (but luckily avoids his duplo blocks, these things are like gold around here). It follows the dust and gets everywhere it needs to. So I don't have to. Ever. And it works on all different type of floors too, zero problems dealing with hardwood flooring, laminate flooring or even the tile flooring! Halle-freaking-lujah. 

Maybe you won't be as excited as me about the fact that IT JUST WORKS but here is a thing. I have tried other robot hoovers before. I have a simba and samba and rumba robots hanging out together in the attic because THEY JUST SUCKED! Or actually they didn't (YES, pun intended!) or they stopped working and I wasn't bothered to send them back. So a robot hoover that really does its job super well IS a new concept for me! And it has WI-FI too, so you can put it to work with your phone. Oh and it also has the self-cleaning system for the brushes, so I don't have to do that neither MUAHAHAHA (that's my evil laugh). Now I bought a house, I’m extra psyched I can leave the floors to my new handsome robot friend (Fer calls him Ronnie). I have much better things to do after all.  

If you're not impressed by my technical knowledge (sorry not sorry) and want to know more about the Samsung POWERbot, click right here to visit the Samsung website! 

MARTA MAKES PORN. FOOD PORN.

Ok, it's just a layered smoothie, but it's my kind of food porn. 

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This is how to make it: 

Purple layer: 125 g coconut yoghurt + 2 tbsp frozen blueberries + 1 tsp honey 

White layer: 125 g coconut yoghurt

Green layer: 1/2 avocado + 1/2 kiwi + 1 handful of spinach + 1 tsp honey + 50 ml almond milk

Topping: Organic peanut butter + blueberries + granola 

Put kiwi slices around the glass so this shizzle looks even more like food porn. 

Voila, go shine on Instagram now. 

MARTA CELEBRATES EASTER WITH HEMA

I am humming coz Easter is coming! Just look at my hunny, dressed as a bunny, isn't he funny? Sorry, I'm being a goof. Spring vibes get to me and I rhyme like a bee. OK OK, I'm gonna stop now. 

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Fer and I are going to celebrate the heck out of Easter at the seaside next weekend and HEMA is the reason we're all ready and freaking adorable. OK, the later only goes for Fer but he is cute for the two of us. I mean, isn't this bunny outfit EVERYTHING?! My only questions is WHY DOES IT NOT COME IN MY SIZE?! Coz you know, I would totally wear it. While rhyming about bunnies, why they're worth all the moneys hehe. Talking sizes, it might say the outfit is meant for 3-6 year olds but don't let it stop you, oversize is in and as you can see, Fer pulls it off like a pro. It is now officially my favourite piece of Fer's wardrobe and I might get questions when he's older about the number of times he was on a picture in it in random settings. But that's ok. 

This is officially the first time I am organising (or participating) in an Easter egg hunt! Being an egg hunt virgin, I surely do appreciate the HEMA egg hunt kit. It has bunnies, it has eggs, it has chickens and it has sweet little clues to leave around too. I am no expert in the field, but for me it has all I need to make this egg hunt super duper fun! 

With this child of mine getting bored with everything after a few minutes, we never leave for the weekend away without a decent amount of toys but HEMA has us covered as well. Colouring pad, stickers, pluche toys, and even a cute wooden set, all Easter themed! I know who is going to enjoy himself during the weekend! 

easter celebration with hema

And here is the reason my friends even invite me to ever stay at their holiday home for a weekend. THE FOOD! And this time, THE CAKE. Coz there ain't no Easter brunch without the cake. And not just any cake, this year it's time for Easter's most adorable specked egg cake. Here is how to make your own!  

SPECKLED EGG CAKE RECIPE

NEEDED
Cake of choice (I made a basic 4 layer sponge cake filled with whipped cream and berries, I used a small 12cm spring form. You can of course make a regular size 2 layer sponge cake instead). 
1 pack of HEMA Specked Eggs
375 g unsalted butter, softened
500 g powdered sugar
Liquid blue food color
1,5 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
+ clean paint brush

HOW TO MAKE IT:
To make mint-coloured buttercream, beat butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer until incorporated. Add one drop of blue food color at a time, beating until a light blue color is achieved. I only needed 2 small drops so be greedy on the food color if you want a nice mint-coloured and not blue buttercream. 

We will put 2 layers of buttercream on the cake. The first layer is applied to seal in any crumbs and to help smooth the surface of the cake. The second layer is our actual 'finish'.  
Dollop a large spoonful of buttercream onto the cake and then smooth it over the top of the cake to create a flat surface. Spread the icing around the sides of the cake and use a cake scraper or palette knife to make sure it is smooth. Chill in the fridge for two hours.

Put the finish layer of buttercream but this time do not smooth it too much, we are going for a rough effect on the cake. 

In small bowl, mix cocoa and vanilla. Load a paint brush with cocoa mixture. Holding the brush 15 cm away from the cake, gently spatter the mixture onto iced cake (practice first on a piece of paper). Cover entire cake with chocolate speckles. Finish off with specked eggs on the top of the cake. 
 

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HAPPY EASTER Y'ALL! 

MARTA GOES ON A FIRST DATE.

I don't mean my first Tinder date. I'm talking my first date. EVER. Not counting kissing boys behind school walls kind of 'dates'. This is my first 'let's go to movies and I want you to romantically kiss me goodbye' kind of a date. Courtesy of my diary that I rediscovered after million years. 

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I'm 14. First year of high school. There is this boy. He is 2 years older. He has long, blond hair. Not the 'hard rock' kind of long hair. More like those Hanson boys from the MMMbop song kind of long hair. 

It's Valentines Day. I make 14 cards (Yes. 14. I always was a 'go big or go home' kind of a girl.), I put them one into another. Like the Russian babushka doll. I write one word on each card. When you read them all together, I pretty much ask him to go out with me. Yeah, I know. 
 
I ask my dad to bring me to school early. I sit on the stairs of the main entrance. I know he has to use this entrance to get to his first class. It's not the first time I sit there just to see him. He arrives. I gather all the courage I have and approach him. I give him the cards. I say Happy Valentines Day. 

It takes him forever to open all the cards. I didn't really think this one through. He reads the cards. He looks at me and smiles. I smile back. He says "are these from Wanda?". 

Wanda is my classmate. Wanda is skinny and has beautiful blond locks. I'm chubby and if my hair looks good, it's by accident. I must look really confused. I mumble sth that it's not, that it's from me. I ask him again if he wants to go out. He hesitates but says yes. I'm too happy to think about his hesitation. Or about Wanda. 

He cancels twice. When we finally go on the date, it's April. I love American rom coms but I pick an intellectual movie. I might not be Wanda but I'm smart. I should be able to impress him with my wits. We're at the cinema. He doesn't stretch his arm and put it around me like I hoped. Maybe it's just not that kind of a movie. We leave the cinema, I ask how he liked the movie. He has nothing to say about the movie. 

We are having ice creams. Conversation is not flowing. To say it mildly. To say it less mildly, it's awkward AF. I remember I asked my mom to check his birthday. There is no internet to find out but she works at the town hall and has access to it. I tell him I can feel people's zodiac signs. He looks up. I say I feel he's a Leo. He nods but looks more scared than impressed.  I change the subject. 

We're walking back home. It's chilly and I didn't bring a jacket. I make a 'brrrrr I'm so cold' sound. He looks at me and asks if I'm cold. I smile and nod. I can already see the 'every romantic comedy scenario where he takes off his jacket and puts it over my shoulders'. He says I should have brought a jacket . There is no kiss goodbye. He never talks to me again. I guess he did like Wanda after all. 

MARTA MAKES LOADED SWEET POTATO FRIES. DOES NOT EAT THEM.

I have been wanting to make loaded sweet potato fries for weeks. I found no time to make loaded sweet potato fries. Crafternoon with girls was coming, I figured instead of crafting I will make loaded sweet potato fries. 

I make loaded sweet potato fries. I take a picture of them for this blog. I let girls take pictures of loaded sweet potato fries. I take another one or two for my IG stories. I put loaded sweet potato fries on the table. I pick a photo for my IG story. I pick a filter. I post the picture in a story. I want to eat loaded sweet potato fries. I put my hand towards the bowl. There are NO LOADED SWEET POTATO FRIES! There are 3 pomegranate seeds and a leaf of coriander. Sneaky bitches ate the fries first and posted their pictures later. FML. 

*Although I cannot guarantee first hand that the fries were tasty, looking at the time in which they disappeared and my friends' instagram posts, they were fucking heaven. 

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YOU WILL NEED (makes 2 portions if you eat it as a meal or a nice snack for 4-5): 
5 sweet potatoes
1/2 avocado, sliced
100 g feta cheese
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1/2 lime, into wedges  
fresh coriander
olive oil
salt and pepper

TO MAKE: 
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut each sweet potato into fries. Put in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 3 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss everything together to coat. Spread out into a single layer in a large baking tray (use two trays if necessary, when your sweet potato fries are too crowded, they will not become crunchy). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. 

Put the sweet potato fries in a bowl. Crumble feta cheese over it. Put the slices of avocado and the lime wedges on the cheese. Finish off with pomegranate seeds and coriander. EAT AND BE QUICK! 

MARTA GOES ON CAMERA.

In my job I stand in front of the camera sometimes. Sometimes I do well. Sometimes I embarrass the shit out of myself. Here are three separate times I embarrassed the shit out of myself. If you feel awkward reading it, imagine being me. 

Situation 1: HOLA. 
First time filming live. I'm stressed AF. I don't know why I said yes. But I'm here. So let's just suck it up and do it. They get me ready. "We start in 10. You have to start by introducing yourself." Ok. 10 minutes left. I want to fix my make up. Find bathroom: check. Fix make-up: check. I look in the mirror. Let's practice that introduction. 'Hi, I'm Marta!' 'Helloooow, I'm Marta'. 'Holaaaa! Soy Marta. Ok, no that's just too much.' 'Hey there, my name is Marta'. 'Hellowkes, I'm Marta.' And 10 other ways to introduce myself. I go back. "We go live in 5!". "Cameras check, microphone on...." I'm sorry what??? Microphone on what??? Nooooo. No no no. 'Excuse me! Excuse me? Was my microphone on all this time?' "Yes. Or si si." Great. Just great. I knew hola was just too much. 

Situation 2: DO HIM.
I'm filming again. Day is going great. It's busy, it's chaotic, I love it. Crew is awesome and I mute my microphone when I talk to myself in the mirror. Well done, me. We have a break. My phone rings. It's Monika. I take the call in the toilet. She asks how it's going. I tell her how it's going. It's going really well. She asks if there are hot men. "Yeaaah' I say. 'The cameran is SOOW HOT.' Yes SOOW HOT coz I now apparently use Australian accent to describe hot man. "Do him!" she says. 'Naaah, I'm not gonna do him!! He doesn't seem like fun enough for me!'. I pee. I come out. Cameraman looks at me. Cameraman does not look impressed. Cameraman says "you know your microphone is on right." NOT. THIS. AGAIN. No cameraman, I did not know. I just called you hot but not fun enough. And I peed in your ear. I did NOT know. We go back to filming. Cameraman is 50cm away from my face for the next 2 hours. Because being on camera is just not awkward enough.

Situation 3: Shoot me now. 
We're making a video about my work. I do what I usually do when I style and shoot. I unpack my props. Arrange them on a table.... We stop filming for a moment. I take a photo of my props and put it on IG stories. Production manager thinks it looks cool. He wants to film that too. I take a few pictures with my phone. He now wants me to browse them on camera. 

Camera is filming my phone screen. Camera is connected to a monitor. Production team is sitting at the monitor. 

I start browsing. Swipe, swipe, swipe... 'Keep on browsing Marta!' 'Ok'. Swipe, swipe, SHIT swipe DID swipe I swipe DELETE swipe THE swipe PHOTO swipe FROM swipe LAST .... OMFG!!!!!!! I did NOT delete the photo from last night. Shoot me now. 

You see, the night before I sexted. And the night before I was feeling brave. So I did not take the one boob half a nipple pic. No. The night before I took a selfie stick. And I took a full on nude in a bath. Full on. In a bath. And now my full on nude was not only to be admired by the cameraman. My full on nude was also to be admired by the production team. They say it's all good. They say they will cut it out. That's really great. Thanks. But for now let me just dig a hole and hide in it. Bye.