Dinners at Home in the Beautiful Hills of Zagreb

Monday, September 7, 2015


About thirty years ago, many of the homes in this valley weren't here. The land was covered in vineyards with little villages dotting the hills. Today, those villages have grown, including the one we live in, but you can still see how many of the vineyards there are. Almost all of our neighbors have a small vineyard in their backyard! Before we moved here, and before Cam took his trip to Zagreb to house hunt, I was hoping we'd find a house really close to the city center so that we could walk everywhere. We are not close enough to walk, but after moving here, we are so glad about it. It's quiet where we live. There's a beautiful old village church that rings it's bells throughout the day, encouraging you to stop, slow down, and listen, we can walk to our neighborhood cafe that just happens to have the best kava in Zagreb, and to hiking trails, we're getting to know our neighbors, getting to know our (still empty) house, and we're in the middle of this beautiful little valley covered in grape vines. How perfect for us! I couldn't have imagined a better place. The Lord always, always answers better. 


Can you spot our little bunny rabbit John Shea in the meadow?

We've been traveling and exploring a lot, mostly in the regions around Zagreb (and southern Slovenia) that I think many tourists who come to Croatia unfortunately don't get the chance to see. The castle built into the cave is Predjama Castle in Slovenia, said to have once been the residence of the robin hood of Slovenia.


Each time we leave Zagreb on a daytrip, we're excited by the end of the day to get back. It feels even more like home, empty as our house is. My kitchen is empty too, minus a few dishes and silverware, a small pot and a pan. So our dinners have been as simple as it gets, but isn't that the beauty of summertime cooking anyway!?  We've been cooking every variation of eggs I can think of, all too often, hah, salads (the one below with figs from our neighbor!), grilled sausages, breaded chicken, roasted chicken on the few rainy nights we've had, and fresh pasta with veggies. There is so much inspiration at the markets and from the wonderful Croatian food we've tried, so...  Recipes are coming. As soon as my kitchen makes it over the Atlantic :)


32 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place you get to live in! I don't find it hard to believe at all that you and your family are really savoring this time and place in your life! :) I am really eager to visit Slovenia one day soon (but there are just so many beautiful places in Europe that it's always so hard to choose where to go next!), but until then I love seeing your pictures and read what you have to say about the lesser known places in this part of the world. The castle looks so unique and interesting!

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    1. Thanks, Melanie. I hope you get to visit it too, along with the different regions of Croatia! But I know exactly what you mean - there's SO many wonderful places to see it's hard to choose. We're having the exact same dilemma as we plan trips while over here.

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  2. you guys always seem to find amazing places to live!! The view from your home is amazing!

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    1. Cam found this house!!! Along with months of prayer :)

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  3. So beautiful, Amanda! It looks like such a charming and historic area; what fun to explore. Also, John Shea is looking so grown up these days!!

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    1. Thanks, Candice. I know... tear.
      Hope you're doing well!!!

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  4. I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT!! That all looks amazing and I can't wait to see how you make your house a home!
    love -- lanneybear

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    1. Oh I cannot wait to start on that! Come on stuff, make it over the Atlantic already!! Love you, Lanney

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  5. Hoping you get all your stuff soon! Loving all the pictures and missing Croatia. Hope you're ready for a house guest at some point soon ;)

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    1. Thanks, Jordan! Haha, of course we are!

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  6. This is just beyond gorgeous!! Wow, what a place to live.

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    1. I know, right?! What the heck...

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  7. Ahhh I absolutely LOVE these!!!! Keep the pics coming. And thanks for your email! Relished every word, and will respond soon. Love ya! xoxo

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    1. Take your time - I know you're busy!! Tell Kev we say hi! Miss you!

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  10. How magical! I love that you always make the absolute best of your situation, which can sometimes be a stumbling block in military families. You are my inspiration!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Kait. That's really generous of you to say... I am a beast too, trust me.

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  11. I'm green with envy!! What a wonderful place to live!! Now I'll have to figure out how to get the Navy to move us to Croatia!!

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    1. Haha, well when you figure it out, let me know, so we can get back here with the USMC since we're here with a program outside of normal duty stations! :)

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  12. This is beautiful!! Sent you an email!! :) Hugs!
    :) Rebecca

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    1. You're so sweet. Will write back soon!

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  13. This made me tear up a little bit because I so desperately miss that slow, peaceful, small-town, church-bell-ringing European life. I'm so happy you're sharing your time over there.

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    1. I know I'll miss that aspect too after our time is up here. Hope you guys are all adjusting really well being back in the States and getting to see all of your loved ones.

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  14. Oh I am loving this! How beautiful

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    1. Thank you! Was thinking of you tonight - we've read through the prayer book you sent John Shea so many times it's unraveling.. a sign of a truly well-loved book :)

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  15. Your pictures make me want to travel so badly. Someday. Someday. Thank you for sharing your adventures. I can not wait to read about how you continue to make this cute little town your own. Hope your kitchen arrives soon!

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    1. Thank you, Colleen! I hope you do, too. Especially over here.
      It finally just arrived, hooray!!

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  16. Like other commenters have noted, you guys have such a knack for finding stunning homes. What are your go-to home finding resources? What are your tips?!

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    1. Thanks, Kaysie. Like our apartment in Okinawa and our house here, it came down to telling the realtor just what we were looking for after doing some research and talking to others who have lived there about the best areas... and prayer. I think the second part of that is the key :)

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