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A Premier League Superstar stops by

John Arne Riise dropped by a couple of weeks ago.  He chatted about his career, how he planned to fill his free time in Malta and about what he could bring to Maltese football.  His tenure as Birkirkara Football Club’s Sporting Director was short lived as three days after our chat his resignation was announced.

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Very endearing – his kids are with him always, tattooed over his arms

John mentioned that his stay at Birkirkara was a ‘stepping stone’ and his target is to become manager at a big club.

 

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A likeable man - complex and thoughtful.  All the very best for many good things in his career and for the birth of his new baby in the summer, something he is very much looking forward to.  Here is a clip with is interview.  Music by Ramona Zammit Formosa [pianist] and Ruth Sammut Casingena [soprano]

 

And the fans ! waited to meet him and get his autograph.  He was extremely polite and patient, posing for endless photos which they will no doubt treasure for many years.

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Kindly observe copyright law and simple etiquette with regards to photos.  Credit for photos: Sean Azzopardi  If you wish to use any of the photos on this blog, kindly ask Lea Hogg for permission :)

 

 

 

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Feta Cheese Dip

To watch this week’s show click here

straciatella dip goodfoodeveryday

Feta Cheese Dip

‘Feta with fresh herbs, lots of mint and tomatoes is always one of the most favourite dips’

 

You will need:

300g Feta Cheese
150g tomatoes
2 spring onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
4 sundried tomatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple vinegar
a pinch of stevia
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Chop finely the tomatoes and spring onions. Prepare all the ingredients and mix them together just before serving.

Amazing flavors and a colourful centrepiece.

You will find more perfect dips for the summer by clicking here

Trade Enquiries: 

Feta Cheese by Fior di Vita and apple vinegar by Kuhne from Quality Foods

 

 

Subscribe to Lea Hogg’s youtube recipes

Fruit, vegetables and  fresh herbs by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [organic]

 

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Cinnamon Apple, Walnut and Blackberry Overnight Oats

Overnight oats make the most brilliant breakfast and I also like them as a dessert or light lunch.  They are also ideal for a light take-to-work packed lunch.

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The apples in these oats are lightly stewed.  Sweetener is optional depending on how sweet you like .  A bigger quantity of the apples can be prepared and kept in the fridge for a week and added to the oats when required.

OVERNIGHT OATS APPLE WALNUT

Today's quick Breakfast:  Cinnamon Apple, Walnut and Blackberry Overnight Oats is diabetic friendly, vegan, wheat free and gluten free

For 2 portions of overnight oats will need:

1 cup oats
1 cup almond milk or water [or half and half]
a few drops of vanilla
1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup or stevia [optional]
a pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the lightly stewed apples:
1 large apple [peeled, chopped and diced]
a cinnamon stick
juice of 1/4 lemon

1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup or stevia [optional]

Top with:
150g blackberries
70g walnuts
some mint leaves

Overnight oats with cinnamon apples, blackberries, walnuts and mint

Overnight oats with cinnamon apples, blackberries, walnuts and mint

My star ingredient - Walnuts - rich in antioxidants,  contain more Omega 3 fats than any other common nuts

3 walnuts = 75 calories
Rich source of Vitamin E
High in Magnesium

To make the overnight oats, place them in a bowl.  Add the almond milk or water [or combination of the 2], vanilla, cinnamon and  a pinch of salt.  Stir, cover and place the the fridge overnight.

Stew the apples by placing the diced fruit, cinnamon, lemon juice and enough water to immerse them in a saucepan.  Bring it to boil and allow to cook on medium to high heat for 7 minutes until they water reduces.  Do not overcook.  I left mine with a bit of a bite.

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To serve: Spoon the oat mixture into glasses or bowls of your choice.  top with the lightly stewed apples, blackberries and walnuts.  Garnish with some fresh mint.

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Mornflake Oats by Rimus Group
Walnuts, cinnamon, vanilla and salt  by Lamb Brand
Fresh Fruit and mint by Big Fresh

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The statues of Good Friday

Good Friday  is a very important day on the island and in every parish throughout the afternoon, processions take over most villages and towns.  This tradition is wonderful and very vibrant.

Excitement fills the air as the adored statues decorated with fresh flowers emerge into the crowded streets.  Participants dress as Pontus Pilate, soldiers and other characters as they remember the last few hours before Jesus was crucified.

The floats with these enormous statutes need to be balanced by the carriers dressed in white robes as they walk with pride through their hometowns and villages.

 

 

The statues are escorted adoringly along the streets and then make their way back to the church.  The float of Jesus taken down from the cross is the most dramatic and it is decorated with red roses symbolising the blood Jesus shed.

 

Candles sway, people are filled with emotion and Jesus is thanked for his unconditional love and ultimate sacrifice.  Holy Week in Malta is special with the Good Friday procession being the highlight of a memorable week, a glorious spectacle not to be missed.

The voice of Ruth Sammut Casingena during Holy Week

 

 

 

Photography:  George Aquilina

+ Avocado Tuna Feta Salad by Lea Hogg

Today’s Quick Salad: Tuna Feta Avocado

I love salads and most people do. Although this cannot be simpler I am asked a lot why I add certain ingredients. First of all flavour and texture is important as is healthy and filling.

Avocado Tuna Feta Salad by Lea Hogg

Avocado Tuna Feta Salad

When I use tuna chunks I expect chunks as it makes a big different to the taste. I like authentic feta, the real Greek one and seeds and nuts not only make the salad tastier and add a bit of crunch but they are high in protein and fibre and turn a simple salad into a complete meal and a most attractive dish.

Avocado tuna feta salad 1

Today's quick salad: Tuna Avocado Feta is gluten free and diabetic friendly

For 2 servings you will need:

50g mixed salad leaves
200g tuna [drain the oil or brine]
75g feta cheese
1 avocado
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds [dry roasted]
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

My star ingredient - Sunflower Seeds - rich in nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, vitamins.

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds = 50 calories
High in Vitamins E and B Complex
Rich source of Folic Acid
Good source of Protein

Arrange the salad leaves on a dish of your choice and top with tuna chunks and sliced avocado. Crumble up the feta cheese and add it to the salad.

Sprinkle the sunflower seeds on the top and add the lemon juice and olive oil. Finish off with a touch of salt and lots of fresh ground black pepper.

Avocado Tuna Feta Salad by Lea Hogg

Avocado Tuna Feta Salad

Filippo Berio Olive Oil by Rimus Group
Fior di Vita Feta Cheese and Redelmar Tuna Fish by Quality Foods
Sunflower Seeds by Lamb Brand
Fresh Organic Vegetables by Barbuto
Plate by Manor House

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‘No-make-up’ make up look

When Analise started doing my make up this year, preparing me for tv, she explained, much to my dismay at that time, that she will be opting for a ‘no-make up’ or ‘little-make up’ make up look.

I always felt comfortable with the heavy contoured-look which is very popular here especially for tv.

Analise told me all about the newer trend of blending and highlighting the best features without the heavy dramatic look.

lea make up analise

I realised what she meant when I see my finished look each time.  The skin appears moist and bright,  no dryness is evident and I can also say that it is a full make up process with the same amount of make up, magically applied, to appear like it is nearly not here.

Analise  explains that prepping the skin is important and apart from cleansing and moisturising she uses a seaweed oil by Repechage to give that dewy fresh look before she starts to apply the make up.

 

 

Apart from foundation, she also uses  liquid illuminator by Flormar which leaves a wonderful finish on the face as though it  has been really well moisturised – a more youthful and fresh appearance.

Flormar liquid illuminator

When I apply my daily make up I mix with my foundation an equal amount of Liquid Illuminator by Flormar [it comes in three different shades] and it is perfect for that fresh glow achieved in seconds.

Flowers by Brian Camilleri at Il-Warda Flower Shop

Flowers by Brian Camilleri at         Il-Warda Flower Shop

 

 

 

 

 

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Utter devotion – Marija Addolorata at San Gorg in Qormi

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I was so impressed when I first saw the pure devotion and adoration of Marija Addolorata during Holy Week and in the parish of San Gorg in Qormi, old traditions are very much alive.

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It would be nearly impossible to find a community more united.

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Heritage and traditions are here to stay

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Sacrifices, devotion and repentance of sins

 

 

 

Daily village life transforms into a pilgrimage

 

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Photography:  George Aquilina

 

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Chocolate Raspberry Yoghurt Desserts – so quick

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This is one of the easiest desserts I can think of and it is based on my grandmother’s bonito which was made with evaporated milk in stead of greek yoghurt.

You will need:

500g Novibloc
1 packet of jelly, no added sugar
100ml hot water
grated zest of 1 lime
4 x 200ml tubs low fat raspberry greek yoghurts
200g fresh raspberries
fresh mint leaves  to garnish

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  1. Place the jelly crystals in a large bowl & add some boiling water. Mix & then add the raspberry greek yoghurt & chopped raspberries. Mix again & add the grated lime zest.
  2. Mix & then pour into a measuring cup & mix enough water as necessary to make up the required liquid listed on the jelly packet. Stir & pour into individual glasses.
  3. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours until the content firms up.
  4. Melt the Novibloc in the microwave. Pour over the top of the greek yoghurt pudding. Place in the fridge again & allow to solidify.
  5. Garnish with the rest of the raspberries & fresh mint leaves just before serving.

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Maltese Figolli covered in dark chocolate

For a chance to win this Easter Novi Chocolate hamper SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below. The winner will be notified on 26 April 2019
Easter novi hamper
Novi Chocolate is imported, distributed and marketed by M & Z Marketing Ltd and is available in all leading supermarkets and stores.

 

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Novi Easter Eggs encrusted with hazelnuts are must-have this Easter, photo George Aquilina

 

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Getting to know Dr. Reuben Pace

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One thing that stands out in your work is your interest in the history, language and culture of Malta.  Was City of Humanity your initial idea or a collaboration of ideas ?

 

City of Humanity was my initial idea born out of the love for my country's heritage, history and language. Eventually when i met Ġorġ Peresso during my search for a librettist the idea was developed more since i found a soul mate in Gorg.  
Reuben Pace 2

City of Humanity

What does the recent review in OPERA magazine mean to you?
The Opera magazine is undoubtedly the most respected periodical publication about Opera in the world. Just the fact that a review of one's work appears in this magazine is already prestigious . This is due to the fact that, on any magazine,  there is limited  and Opera magazine receives opera reviews fro Cities all around the world they are very specific as what to  include and not what to. To me ,the fact that a very positive review about Swar  was published in this magazine and also the fact that it is the very first time in the 60 years that this magazine has been in publication that Malta featured in it is something astounding. 




I am very happy not just for myself but particularly for the Maltese opera soloist whose names were not only mentioned in the article but also that praise was heaped upon them. This is fully compliant with my goal of not elevating myself only in the international sphere but also other fellow Maltese artists since they deserve this and more. 
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What do you think are the most important thing that will make a success of the second opera.
The second opera will have a musical style which is quite different from the first one . 




This is because the libretto takes place nearly 400 years after the first one, in World War II and therefore will have influences of music of the period (20's till 40's) For the second opera to be successful from my point of view it has to bring new audiences to the local opera scene by making the idiom of the work more accessible and break the myth that Opera is for the elite only.




I would wish to communicate clearly to the non-Maltese the little known stories of massive suffering that our grandfathers had to endure during WW2. We have seen countless films, operas, dramas about WW2 but Malta's crucial role is rarely, if ever mentioned. 




Suffice it to say that if the British Empire did not have their Nautical presence in Malta , Rommel would probably have succeeded in his invasion of Africa. 




I would also wish to continue to try to place Maltese opera and the Maltese language on the International Opera scene.
Composer Dr Reuben Pace with Soprano Nicola Said

Composer Dr Reuben Pace with Soprano Nicola Said

You are in the process of composing the second opera?  Will it be written for the voice of Nicola Said again?
The main soprano part will again be written for Nicola Said but the second opera will also hold some surprises in this aspect including the debut of a brand new voice. I would also like to say that I write specifically not only for the soprano I choose but also for all the other voices, the mezzo soprano, tenors, baritones I choose to work with.
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Photos: Sean Azzopardi
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Making high protein healthy sandwiches

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Travis used a variety of breads to make high protein sandwiches with some delicious fillings.

Fibre Bread with Pesto, cottage cheese,  avocado, tomatoes and fresh basil .




Multigrain Bread   with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, red peppers,  spring onions, cinnamon and cream cheese  





Multiseed Bread with smoked salmon, mayonnaise, cucumber and rucola




Wholemeal Bread with turkey breast, hummus, pesto and lettuce

 

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Fresh ingredients make wonderful meals without much effort

You can find out more about the healthy bread variety by Jespers Danish Bakery

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Our doctors enjoying some healthy sandwiches

 

Photos: Sean Azzopardi

Orange and yellow plate:  Mdina Glass

 

 

 

 

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Don’t miss out on Lord of the Flies at Teatru Manoel this weekend!

To book your tickets for Lord of the Flies this weekend, click here

 

 

 

 

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Photos: Sean Azzopardi/Mark Zammit Cordina

 

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Gluten Free Easter Nests

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These easy easter treats are ideal to make with kids during the Easter break.  No baking required and they set very quickly and can be decorated with mini easter eggs

 

Prep Time 10mins

Makes 12 nests

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150g Novibloc


50g unsalted butter

1 tbsp honey or agave

150g gluten free cornflakes

mini Novi Easter eggs


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Method
Break up the chocolate & place it in a large bowl with the butter & honey.
Place the bowl on a simmering pot of water (bain marie) making sure it does not touch the water. Stir the ingredients until the chocolate & butter melt & it appears consistent.
Remove the bowl from the heat & add the cornflakes. Mix until the cornflakes are all coated with the chocolate mix.
Prepare a muffin tin with muffin cases.
Divide the mixture in the muffin cases & use a spoon to press down & make an indentation in the middle of each chocolate nest.
Put them in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight OR if you are making these last minute place them in the freezer for an hour.
Arrange the nests on a decorative plate & place the mini Novi Easter eggs in each nest.
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For more Easter chocolate recipes see:

Chocolate Coconut Slice, vegan and gluten free

Maltese Figolli covered in dark chocolate

For a chance to win this Easter Novi Chocolate hamper SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below. The winner will be notified on 26 April 2019Easter novi hamper.jpg

 


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Novi Chocolate is imported, distributed and marketed by M&Z (Marketing) Ltd 
and is available in all leading supermarkets and stores.

steffi de martino photo

Photgraphy by Steffi de Martino

 

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Treating hair with argan oil

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A couple of weeks ago Geraldine at Screen Hair Salon Fgura treated me to an amazing treatment which left my hair soft and silky.  The effect of the treatment lasts about 4 weeks depending how often you wash it.

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Geraldine says

We washed your hair with the Argan oil treatment shampoo.Step

We towel dried and applied the Argan oil treatment which helps to repair and smoothen damaged hair.

We left you 20mins.Then after we rinsed and styled.

Argan oil is one of the best oils in the world.
D'Argan Oil by Screen 

Geraldine Agius at Screen Hair Fgura can be contacted on 356-2767 4362

www.leahogg.com