Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cotton Candy Coloured Bling

Hello everyone! Last week, Liberty and I took a different route on our daily afternoon walk after spotting this beautiful almond tree in the distance. After a giddy decent downhill, we soon were standing before it. Stopping to take a photo, I cannot express to you how peaceful I felt, the cool breeze brushing my hair back, to focus on the serene scene before me: a pure, pastoral paradise 

A wide variety of fruit bearing trees, among them, cherry, peach, plum, pear, walnut and chestnut, each taking turns to be in the limelight, thrive in the area. But presently, it is the soft and delicate beauty of the almond blossom that captures everyone's attention, just as this puff of pink petals did ours! It is the reason we detoured from our usual path and well worth the challenging climb uphill, back towards the village,    

where we were welcomed by fluffy, fragrant, vanilla flowers

belonging to one of many almond trees that 
decorate the village skies at this time of year.


This branch, part of a bouquet that sits on my
  kitchen window sill, is bursting with new buds,

   and from a bird's eye view, an abundance of blossoms.

But, aside from all the cotton candy coloured bling,
the frilly almond blossoms promise Spring,
my favourite season since my Autumn fling,
for the rays of light and hope that it will bring.

What's sprouting in your surroundings?

Thanks for visiting
and happy weekend!


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Glazed Orange Scones

Ever since our return to Crete, Liberty and I have been cooking up some of our favourite recipes. I love getting up extra early to bake something hot and fresh from the oven, especially when it's windy and rainy and cold outside, which isn't often, here, so we jump at the opportunity when we can (not that we need one, of course!)
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While in Toronto, we lived across the street from a Panera Bread Bakery Cafe, and it wasn't that long before we were addicted to many of their wonderful sweets and one in particular: their orange scones.

A younger, prettier, slimmer version of me, with blue eyes, but never mind!

So, naturally, when Crete feels like Canada on those windy and rainy and cold days, we seriously CRAVE these citrus goodies! In fact, I've been dreaming about them from the time we got here. And let's be honest, when a girl's craving orange scones, oranges, (of which I have plenty) just don't do the trick, although they do do wonders for the scones named after them.


With no Panera Bread on the island, (or in the whole of Europe, for that matter), I still needed access to their scones, so I googled 'copycat Panera Bread orange scones recipe'. I clicked onto the first result that came up, a blog called My Baking Addiction. After reading the recipe, the comments/reviews, and customizing it, I quickly got to work.




For the Scones

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • zest of two medium oranges
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used 2% Greek yoghurt)*
  • 1 large egg

For the Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted (I used 1 tbsp)*
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • (I also added 1/2 tsp orange zest)* 



  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and orange zest; mix with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
  3. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and egg until smooth.
  5. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. The dough will be sticky first, but as you press, the dough will come together.
  6. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and prepare the glaze.
  7. In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and orange juice. Whisk until smooth. Dip the top of the scones into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. 
  8. (I halved the ingredients for the glaze, as I found them sweet enough).*


  • Scones store well in an airtight container for up to two days.
*My alterations

While they were baking, Liberty was pleasantly awakened by their appetizing buttery/orange-y aroma, and soon she was floating down the staircase, in a dreamlike state. She couldn't believe that I had successfully replicated our favourite scones  These, my friends, are even BETTER than the product they were inspired by. Please try them; you will not be disappointed. What are you baking these days?

Thanks for visiting
and happy weekend!


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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Credenza Extravaganza

Hello, all!
Well, after a month of cleaning and clearing, I was getting dangerously rather cranky and then, well, I completely conked out! I must say, multi-tasking is one of my fortes - isn't it every woman's (?) - you know what I mean: simultaneously delegating the dirty stuff to the washing machine and dishwasher, dinner doing its thing, simmering on the stove, thus, leaving me hands free to mop the freshly vacuumed floors, while I get the latest deets on all the drama in Canada during a conference call with my mom and sister!


Yet multi-tasking isn't all it's cracked up to be. In fact, I recently read that in the workplace, it actually leads to more mistakes! Since I was desperately craving some creativity, I devoted all my concentration on decorating the credenza  and found it was the perfect pick-me-up perk!  Excited about restyling it with a few new cuties from Canada, like the cool, cow creamer, above, I made sure not to even think about focusing on anything else (like back breaking bath tub scrubbing, for example!) until my project was completed.

For the most part, I worked with what I had, like the 
sweet, butterfly candy dish that sat in the sun room 
for a long time, and the dainty, floral teapot,

which used to be displayed in the 
glass cabinet in the kitchen, above.

The same goes for the white, scalloped edge, French 
dishes, setting a foundation on the bottom shelf. 


They were stacked on the kitchen's open shelving for years.

This latest arrangement, to me, is fresh, light and cheery. It screams sings 'spring' to me. Those of you who have been following Poppy View for a while know that the credenza usually changes with the seasons. 

Case in point #1: Christmas!


Case in point #2: bursting with summer blooms.

So, until spring actually does arrive, at which point I will joyfully pick narcissus, geraniums and freesia from our garden, to fill empty creamers with splashes of floral fragrance, the breakfast nook credenza will be on stand by, unlike me, who's already got a lot on her plate!

Thanks for visiting!

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Searching for Shepherds in the Snow

The Tavern 'Aetos' (Eagle), with its beautiful wall mural and traditional Cretan decor

Every New Year's Day, we always drive up to the village of Anogeia, to see the snow and enjoy a traditional Cretan meal. Anogeia, (Greek: Ανώγεια, 'high ground'), at an altitude of 738 metres or 2,421 ft,

The Psiloritis Mountains, Rethymno, Crete

sits at the base of the highest mountains on Crete, namely, Psiloritis (Greek: Ψηλορείτης, 'high mountain'), which measure 2,456 metres or 8,057 feet above sea level.  Covered in a smooth blanket of  snowy white, they are a stunning sight in contrast with the shades of the rugged green and brown landscape below.

The Psiloritis Massif, a reservoir supplying several springs and ponds

We couldn't wait to get there, not for the snow, for we had had our fill of that in Canada, but for the scenic drive, which actually feels more like an airplane ride. Travelling through this rough terrain, a myriad of spectacular caves, deep gorges, small plateaus, oak and pine forests exist in and around tiny villages that are characteristically built on cliffs.  The area is home to rare birds of prey, such as bearded vultures, common vultures, golden eagles and red-tailed hawks.

Psiloritis' highest peaks boast snow until late June

With every twist and turn in the road, the ground became 
whiter and whiter, and then, as we reached a plateau, 

we caught sight of a mitato, (Greek: Μιτάτο, 'shelter or 'lodging') or shepherd's hut. These unique dwellings are constructed solely from local limestone, in this case, the earthy shades of olive green, slate grey, and honey brown stone indigenous to the Psiloriti Mountain region.

Entryway of a mitato or shepherd's hut

Providing shepherds with protection against the elements, mitata also serve as corrals when tending to the sheep. They also function as mini cheese making factories, complete with copper cauldrons, clay pots, wooden utensils, table and chairs, stone beds and stools made out of old tree roots!

An opening at the top of the dome acts as a skylight, air duct and chimney. These conical structures are, indeed, quite impressive in their innovation. All that talk about cheese production, though, was making us hungry.


It was, after all, time for lunch!

An eagle's stern expression covers the menu of the tavern that bears its name

A few minutes later we arrived at the popular Taverna Aetos, our go-to haunt  in the village of Anogeia. Decorated in a rustic, mountain style, old farming tools, Cretan crockery, vintage furniture and clothing furnish the large restaurant's space, bestowing extra traditional charm to its patrons.

Fresh, Cretan greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, lentils, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese are tossed
together in an olive oil/honey, balsamic dressing to create the tavern's trademark salad.

Specializing in traditional, Cretan cuisine, the tavern's tasty dishes and breathtaking views of the Psiloritis Mountains were the perfect ending to our adventure in search of snow.

Thanks so much for visiting!
Wishing you a lovely week,