Saturday, 27 March 2010

Max Mara Discount Store, Nicosia

I recently discovered the Max Mara discount store in Nicosia. It is amazing! Like most people with an average job, I never thought Max Mara would be in my price-range, then I discovered this mecca of discount fashion.

The shop is hidden away above Marella on Mnasiadou street, just off Makarios Avenue. You have to go down the alleyway on the righthand side of Marella and you will see a small door to your left. Go up the stairs and there it is.

The shop stocks discount clothes from the whole Max Mara group:

Max Mara is the most expensive line with grown up tailored clothes and evening dresses.

Sportsmax is the slightly cheaper line with weekend casual clothes.

Marella is also slightly cheaper and is less high fashion than Max Mara.

Max & Co is aimed at young women and is a bit more hip than the rest of the clothes.
Marina Rinaldi is plus-sized clothes.

The Max Mara discount store in Nicosia contains some amazing bargains - such as a range of shoes reduced from hundreds to 40 euros. I got a gorgeous coat for only 50 euros reduced from hundreds. There are suits, knitwear, bags, jewellery and perfume.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies

I recently made cookies for the first time; I usually make biscuits and a rather leaden shortbread. Anyway, I amalgamated a number of recipes in order to bake some peanut butter and nutella cookies. They worked out so well that when I offered them to my colleagues at work, they were all begging for the recipe. The best thing about this recipe for peanut butter and nutella cookies is that you don’t need a weighing scale. Also, don’t be put off by the name; the resulting cookies have a subtle flavour which tastes more of orange, nuts and caramel. Here it is in all its glory. It’s a rough recipe so don’t feel that you have to stick with it exactly and if you discover any ways to improve it then please leave a comment!

You will need:
Approximately 100g of butter – I didn’t have weighing scales so I used just under half of a 225g pack of butter
One cup of caster sugar – a small coffee cup should do (not a mug)
3 tablespoons of nutella
One orange with the skin on
2 tablespoons of peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, you’re call)
One egg
At least half a pack of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder

• Mix together in a large bowl the caster sugar, butter, nutella and peanut butter. You can use a wooden spoon and your muscles or a whisk. I just used a spoon and it was fine (and I’m a small woman).
• Once you have a smooth mixture, grate in the skin of the orange. Mix some more.
• Whisk the whole egg.
• Add half the egg to the main mixture. Add about one cup of plain flour (sieved) with one teaspoon of baking powder.
• Mix until smooth.
• Add the rest of the egg and more sieved flour as necessary. The flour doesn’t have to be measured exactly. Just keep adding small amounts of flour until you have a firm, smooth dough which isn’t too sticky.
• Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
• Take out the mixture and shape into 1 inch dough balls. Place them on a plate. Put topping on them. I put half an almond on some and a lump of chocolate on some (just normal Cadburys chocolate).
• Refrigerate the uncooked cookies for another 15 minutes. You don’t have to put the dough in the fridge but if you want soft, chewy cookies; I’d advise doing it. If you don’t refrigerate them then you will get a more crisp biscuit.
• Preheat the oven to 180C.
• Place the cookies on baking paper – do not grease it.
• Put them in the over for about 15 minutes but check them regularly. You are aiming for them to be gently baked on the outside and slightly soft inside.
• Let them cool and store them in an airtight container.

This is a great recipe because you can play with it. I am adding nutmeg to my next batch!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Cypriot Jewellery

One of the things that one notices in Cyprus, is how much the women love jewelry. Obviously, women everywhere love jewellery but Cypriot women really love it. With their warm colouring, they are also able to wear pretty much any kind of metal.

It therefore comes as no surprise to learn that there have been many unearthings of ancient jewellery in Cyprus.

Around 750-500 B.C. the most popular form Cypriot jewellery was spiral earings of solid metal, which were worn by both men and women. These spirals are found in varying sizes and metals, and some have elaborate ornaments.
The spirals rings tended to be made of bronze, silver or gold-plated bronze. The combination of bronze and gold in jewellery was a Cypriot speciality.

It is interesting that both men and women wore jewellery in Cyprus at this time.

Another popular style of jewelry at this time in Cyprus was these sort of strange elongated hoops.

During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Cypriot jewellery lost its distinctiveness and is often mistaken for Greek and Roman jewellery. The increased levels of trading meant that more gemstones and pearls were incorporated into pieces. The levels of craftsmanship increased hugely and the number of different styles grew.