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When You Know, You Know

Header via unsplash.com

Today I’m mixing it up, breaking away from the typical culture or recipe posts here on From Dill To Dracula, though I promise Romania is still the thread that ties it all together.

I never made the official announcement here (though, if you follow my personal Twitter or Facebook, you’ve likely seen the postings): one month ago—today!—I signed with my lovely, dream-come-true agent, Mandy Hubbard (Emerald City Literary Agency), for my debut novel One Thousand Stars That Bind. As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts (like herehere and here), One Thousand Stars That Bind is set in Romania, and I’ve tried my hardest to feature the magic beauty and food (so much food!) the country has to offer. My book was one of the big inspirations for starting this blog, too. Now, I have multiple outlets where I’m able to share my culture with those who aren’t familiar with our little Eastern European country.

In celebration of being with my agent for one month, I wanted to share a blog post I had written soon after hitting send on the email that made our partnership official. I plan on an exclusive first look at One Thousand Stars That Bind right here on From Dill To Dracula soon (with Mandy’s blessing, of course). Promise 🙂

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Bucharest Off The Beaten Path

Image via My Wanderlust

Bucharest holds a special place in my heart, even though I may not remember my time visiting as a child. It’s the capitol city of Romania, featuring the second largest (but heaviest and most expensive) administrative building in the world and is steeped in culture. That’s one of the reasons it’s the setting for my new novel One Thousand Stars That Bind (currently seeking representation). Sure, I may have taken some creative steampunk liberties with the location, but there are parts of Bucharest that stray from what’s expected of Romania—off the beaten path, if you will. Since I won’t be visiting the city for a while I’m lucky to have found Kami at My Wanderlust‘s blog post showcasing this side to Bucharest, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

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{Entertainment} They’re Watching Review

I’m adding a new feature to From Dill To Dracula, which is reviewing forms of entertainment that have been created by or set in Romania. Interestingly enough, so far these tend to be movies of the horror variety, so they may not be everyone’s cup o’ tea. The first one I’m reviewing, in particular, They’re Watching, is more of a campy thriller, which is exactly my kind of horror movie. Think The Evil Dead meets Tucker & Dale vs Evil (also two fantastic movies if you have time).

Before I get into my thoughts, here’s the trailer to get you into the right mindset:

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{Feature} Double Fox Studio – Cluj-Napoca, Romania

via Double Fox Studio

Here’s a fun fact about me: I’m addicted to Etsy. I used to spend way too much at all the pretty shops, but now I tend to “window shop,” if you will, and save things to my never-ending favorites. During one of these bouts of window shopping, I stumbled upon Double Fox Studio, and just had to reach out to its owners Orka and Flavia to see if they’d let me feature their amazing artwork/pottery/jewelry on From Dill To Dracula. Thankfully, they said yes!

↓ Check out their interview and some of my favorite pieces below! ↓

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From The Archives // Mărțișor {Welcoming In Spring}

Martisor / Martisoare | From Dill To Dracula www.FromDillToDracula.com

Hello, and welcome to my first From The Archives post! And it’s a timely one. Last year—not around March, mind you—I couldn’t resist sharing one of my favorite Romanian traditions: the mărțișor. Since we’re now days away from March, I’m excited to re-share this post, and re-introduce this tradition to those who hadn’t seen in the first time.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoy this sweet spring activity 🙂

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Salam de Biscuiti {No-Bake Chocolate Salami Roll}

Salam de Biscuiti {No-Bake Chocolate Salami Roll} | From Dill To Dracula www.FromDillToDracula.com

I know what you’re thinking; chocolate salami?!? Ashley, there are some sweet and savory things that just aren’t meant to be mixed!

Yes and yes. You read that right: this is a chocolate salami dessert, formally called Salam de Biscuiti (and pronounced sah-lah-mm day bis-coo-eat-ee). And, you’re right that chocolate and cured meats stuffed into intestine casing shouldn’t be mixed. But that’s not what this is.

My favorite dessert growing up, only made for special occasions, since it isn’t the healthiest of Romanian recipes in my repertoire. I hope it becomes your favorite, too. I mean, how can it not? Butter, chocolate, rum. Captain Jack Sparrow would be proud, I can assure you. Bonus: it’s a no-bake recipe! Quick and easy to make, then try to forget about it while it’s in the refrigerator!

Yes please. Let’s do this.

↓ Recipe below ↓

—But first, some pretty pictures—

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What’s Happening in Romania?

What's Happening in Romania? | From Dill to Dracula www.FromDillToDracula.com

Header via Alexandru Hariga

Note: At the scheduling of this post, Saturday, February 4, 2017, the Romanian government has decided to repeal the ordinance which caused massive protests through the streets. If you’re curious about what the ordinance was, and how Romanians responded, please continue reading.



Since I usually do Romanian to English translations, here’s the English to Romanian translation of this blog post’s title:

Ce se întâmplă în România?

(Pronounced ch-eh ss-eh in-tomb-pluh un rome-ah-knee-uh)

Whew. That’s a mouthful.

Anyway…

If you follow the From Dill to Dracula Twitter feed (@DillToDracula) you’ve been seeing quite a few of my RTs regarding mass protests currently going on in Romania’s big cities—Bucharest, Timisoara, Cluj, etc… It’s not unlike all the protests we’ve been having across the pond, here in the good ol’ US of A. (Though, now-a-days, how good ol’ really are we?) Romanians have taken to the streets in defense of their hard-earned democracy, and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned of the situation, drawing comparisons with our current political climate. My, what a small world it is. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the positive similarities :/

They’re claiming these protests are the largest since the fall of communism of 1989. If you’ve been following the blog, and my venture with my book One Thousand Stars That Bind, I have a special interest in that period of time, and to see it repeated—in my lifetime, no less—is both heartbreaking and fascinating. I stand with my fellow Romanians. #resist

Let’s see what’s happening

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A Behind The Scenes Look at Romania

An Inside Look At Romania | From Dill To Dracula www.FromDillToDracula.com

Image via unsplash.com

This week, I want to share with you an inside look at Romania presented by the one and only Rick Steves. There’s so much beauty and history to this country, sometimes words just don’t cut it. But pictures do. Videos even more so. It may be less than a half hour long, but this is an in-depth look at the country, the culture, and the outside influences that helped shape it into the country I know and love today. And I’m not the only one.

Looking for more? Though it’s not Romania specific, Rick Steves does have an Eastern European Travel Guide you can pick up to assist your next trip to Romania.

Looking for something a bit more specific to the country? You can one of the many travel guides focused on Romania here, here and here.

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Jumări {Pork Graves}

Jumari {Pork Greaves} | From Dill To Dracula www.FromDillToDracula.com

Some of my favorite Romanian delicacies are things I know I’d never be able to make (or even attempt to make) on my own. And, ironic enough, they all tend to be pork products. Go figure. The previously featured Clisa {Smoked Bacon} is one of those; a great addition to eggs, soups, campfires, or as a midnight snack on its own. This next recipe-less feature is called

This next recipe-less feature is called Jumări (pronounced jew-mair-ee) is a true treat in my household. Up until Thanksgiving 2016, I hadn’t had a piece of these golden nuggets for years, and that’s simply because they’re literally fat, fried in more fat, and sprinkled with salt. A.K.A. You can’t eat too many at once, and you most definitely shouldn’t eat it without bread to sop up all the grease swimming around in your stomach.

I’m doing a great job selling these, aren’t I?

↓ How about some pretty pictures?

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