Qumran & Dead Sea, Israel

Qumran and the Dead Sea​ - Alberto Peral

Not far from the Dead Sea is the West Bank archaeological site of Qumran.

Here, the arid earth and sky tell a story thousands of years old—of occupation, settlement and, more recently, as the vicinity of the discovery site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Visitors typically explore the rugged landscape by jeep though the adventurous may choose a more plodding type of transportation and set out on camelback.

Bedouin Camels in the Southern Israel Desert

BELOW: The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth—a characteristic which lends the water its famous buoyancy.

Dead Sea Salt - Itamar Grinberg

Hanging Gardens of Haifa

Photography by Itamar Grinberg

Photography by Itamar Grinberg


With a vantage that rests above the Mediterranean Sea, the terraced gardens of the Baha’i faith are a popular attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

Formed into 9 concentric circles, there are 18 lush terraces and a few water features to explore in the tranquil setting.

Visitors can tour the gardens for free via the Bahai community. You’ll learn about the history of the religion and gain insight into the extensive work that happens in the gardens.

At home with Dabble: Bedside Manner

Which do you prefer?

Night tables matched in perfect symmetry? Or, mismatched for individualism and a punch of eclectic?

small eclectic bedroom, eclectic bedroom, bedroom

MATCHED

Images from Remodelista, Apartment Therapy

 

The 80/20 Design Rule

Have you heard of the 80/20 design rule when it comes to home décor?

Kimberley Seldon made it up! Basically it’s this: if 80% of your space is one style, for instance, contemporary, then the rest of your space can be another style, perhaps antique.

Kimberley explains more about her design rule, as well as how to successfully incorporate it in your home, in this clip!

Originally aired on Cityline.ca on April 10, 2014.

Characters Welcome

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Why limit yourself to one chair style when a mélange enlivens the dining party atmosphere?

Give your dinner guests an invitation to choose which of the mix and match seats is most appealing.

And don’t worry. Adding character to the dining table won’t compete with the characters invited to dine.

 

Shakin’ Shakshuka

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When I booked my fare to Israel the very last thing I envisioned was cooking a meal or funnier still, finding myself in front of a hot stove!  But Tel Aviv is full of surprises. Dr. Shakshuka is a culinary treasure in a country where there are so many fabulous meals to be sampled. This was my first taste of the classic egg-based dish and certainly, my first time cooking it – although I had some help from the doctor himself.

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If you’re planning a trip to Israel then this has to be a stop. Travel plans or not, the recipe is simple and satisfying:

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Shakshuka Recipe
Courtesy Shai Deluca

INGREDIENTS
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
• 4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp chili powder (mild)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp paprika
• Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
• Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 5-6 eggs
• 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.

2. Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.

3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka (be careful with the cayenne… it is extremely spicy!).

4. Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook “over easy” style on top of the tomato sauce.

5. Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which can lead to burning.

6. Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired. Shakshuka can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, serve with warm crusty bread or pita that can be dipped into the sauce (if you’re gluten-intolerant or celebrating Passover, skip the bread). For dinner, serve with a green side salad for a light, easy meal.

Try this at Home

Personality Walls

We love the personality big scale ideas inject into small spaces. Tiny nooks or gathering areas—even the smallest niche can have high impact with embellished walls and creative treatments. 

Time to give your walls personality? 

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Design credit: Kimberley Seldon Design Group

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Design Credit: leclairdecor.com

 

Pom Pom Pomegranates

Lucky for us, it was pomegranate season when we touched down in Jerusalem.

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The ruby red orbs were everywhere – sold in restaurants and on street corners. We sampled our first taste (though it wasn’t the last) from this jovial man in the Jerusalem market. He made swift work of the juicing, adding the contents of two full fruits to each glass.

The taste. Just as sweet and “puckery” as you’d imagine.

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How many things can you say “puckery” about??

Bare Windows

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Who wouldn’t want to luxuriate in this gorgeous bathroom designed by Calgary interior designer, Nyla Free?

Wait a minute? There’s no window covering!

Can you go bare in the bathroom? How much privacy do you need? Let us know!

PS. Nyla, we think the green chair is a touch of genius.

Minimize your Storage, Minimize your Space

Regardless of whether your kitchen is small or large, space always seems to be at a premium. Get organized with these great kitchen accessories!

Originially aired on Cityline.ca on February 18, 2014.

Snow White Kitchen

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We love this all white kitchen designed by LA’s Erinn Valencich. The curvy counter and mirrored mosaics are a playful counterpoint to the handsome lines of the cabinetry and sliding doors.

Question: Does an all-white kitchen work in climates where there’s snow on the ground for 4-6 months of the year?

#JustCurious

Less is More? Which way do you Dabble?

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Sure. We can appreciate the purity of a room with no visual distractions. But we can also appreciate a room that’s actually decorated.

Who’s having more fun? The spare and disciplined? Or those who surrender to colour,  pattern and accessories?

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Which way do you Dabble?