Sunday, 31 May 2009

WHB# 185 - Simo's pasta with tapenade

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
we are hosted by susan The Well-Seasoned Cook
thank's susan for hosting.

this herbal idea is kalyn's,
and now kept by haalo.
thank's both of you :)
if you would like to join, please read the rules
to know the order of hosting please read here

the weather on the most beautiful lake of Italy is driving us all crazy!
last Monday we had 37° and this evening it is more or less, 10°! can't do anything about it...
just smile, thighten you teeth and go on :))
at the moment it is perfect to go trekking...
that is what I do most of the days..
as work, as passion, as hobby :))
the cold pasta is an Italian speciality,
you can use any short pasta,
you can add almost anything you want.
this is my friend Simo's version, I just added the tapenade sauce
it tastes delicious
simo' s pasta with tapenade
short pasta
tomatoes cut in small pieces
mozzarella cut in small pieces
olives (green or black, or both) (without stones)
canned tuna
fresh basil leaves
for the tapenade.
serves 6
30gr of anchovies
1 clove of garlic
20gr of capers
100gr of black or green olives (without stones)
30gr of canned tuna in olive oil
juice from a half lemon
50gr of extravergin olive oil
cook the pasta, but keep it very "al dente".
remember that the past keep on cooking also after it has been
whitdrawn from the water.
you can pour cold water over, to stop the cooking process
mix with some oil to keep the pasta separated.
misx with all the ingredients and let rest.
in the meanwhile mix the tapenade.
pour all the ingredients, less the olive oil in a foodprocessor and mix
until it becomes smooth and creamy,
you can eventually add some olive oil to
blend until creamy. (like a maionaise)
add the tapenade to the pasta and mix well.
keep cool until served.
this is even better the day after.
you can also serve this on a pic nic in paperglasses
more comfortable, than plates moving and bending,
try also using a very small pasta type,
that looks even moore appetizing
just pay attention to the cooking, leave the pasta almost raw..
then it will be perfect, even the day after.
see you next week at haalo's :)

Sunday, 17 May 2009

WHB# 183 - Blossom Sugar

ciaoo and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
we are hosted by Marija at
thank's for hosting, Marija! :)

this herbal idea is kalyn's,
and now kept by haalo.
thank's both of you :)
if you would like to join, please read the rules
to know the order of hosting please read here

this has been a very warm and sunny week.
perfect to prepare this perfumed recipe.
try it in a simple green tea, it is delicious :)
Blossom Sugar
250gr of edible flower petals
I used roses,
elder (sambucus nigra)
poppies (for the colour)
some salvia flowers
750gr of icing sugar*
gentle clean the flowers and then pestle(crush) them
in a mortar together with
250gr of icing sugar.
it will become as a sticky paste.
then add the rest of the sugar and mix well.
put in small clean jars, and press well.
close the lids and keep the jars in a cool place.
if you want to give the blossom sugar, I suggest to dry it.
just spread it on a tray and let dry in the sunshine.
place it inside at nights.
it will take 2 o 3 days, depending on the sun.
watch out for ants..the just love it!!! :)))
then you can store it for months...
(in a dry place, of course)
could be a perfect Christmas gift, or not? :)
the icing sugar che be made by yourself:
but maximum 300gr of caster sugar (at a time) in your kitchen robot
together with one teaspoon of Maizena (corn starch)
give it some 30sec, and your icing sugar is ready :)
of course you can flavor it with vanilla or orange/lemon peel
I leave you with this photo of the hill behind our house,
which now is filling with poppies

have a nice week
se you at susan's :)

Friday, 15 May 2009

apple cake

this week has just run past so quickly..

the days slippering away so fast, almost like melting in the sun.

finally the spring is here!!

with it's sunny days, mixed with rain and grey clouds.

we have high humidity so the lake is wrapped up with mist most of the days.

that is a pity, specially those days when I'm around guiding turists :)

this is Torri on Wendsday.

and this is Monte Baldo today, coming back from Verona.

I mist Ivy's special Mother's Day Celebration...

but I would like to show you what I found coming back from guiding on Sunday..

a very simple apple cake, made by my two doughters :)

apple cake

600gr of sweet apples

200gr of caster sugar (they used 70gr)

50gr of nuts

1 lemon

125gr of natural white yogurt

70gr of soft butter

200gr of plain flour

2 tsp of baking powder of cream tartar

some salt if you it.

peel and cut the apples in slices, wet them with the lemon juice.

grate the sugar together with the nuts, and the lemon zest.

add the eggs, the yogurt, the soft butter, the flour and last the

baking powder/cream tartar.

mix well and pour a third of the mixture in a mold,

(put wet and squeezed baking paper in the mold, to not use any grease)

add half of the apples, cover with other mixture, apples and finsh with

the mixture.

bake in preheated oven at 180° for 40min.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

WHB# 182 - Savory and sweet crepes

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
we are hosted by chris from mele cotte
thank's for hosting chris!

this herbal and very interesting idea is kalyn's,
and now kept by haalo.
thank's both of you :)
if you would like to join, please read the rules
to know the order of hosting please read here

this crepes are vegan. I found the recipe in my dear friend stellas blog,
and she had copied it from maggie vegan.

I've made them in 3 different versions.

here is the original vegan recipe:
maggie's vegan crepes

1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of buckwheat floor
1 cup of water
1 cup of soya milk
some vegetable oil to grease the crepes pan.

my way:

150gr of whole wheat flour
150gr of buckwheat floor
350gr of water
350gr of cowmilk

some olive oil to grease the crepes pan.

mix all the ingredients, till a smooth not to thick batter.
pour some batter in a greased pan and cook the crepes some minutes on each side.
try to make them as thiny as possible. not easy at all! :))

I divided the batter in three parts.

with one part I made crepes with herbs from my garden.
like this I used in the ministrudels
I added some buttermilk to mix the stuffed herbs.
and poured some buttermilch perfumed by dry dill over
(mine's is just sowed)

in the second part I added 100gr of soft cheese (crescenza,
read the explanation of this cheese :))) )
and mixed stufed vegetables.
I also spread some crescenza on each crepes before filling with vegetables.

in the third part I add some maple syrup (ca 30gr)
and filled the crepes with buttermilch and strawberries.

I leave you with a photo of the place I live..the Garda lake..
this is made from the hills over Torri...
and the village you see on the other side in the haze is Toscolano-Maderno.
I've been working hard this week, walking almost 80km in 5 days :)))
but with a view like this all the way, it is not that hard
and my turists are pleased too :)

have a nice week, and see you at marija's next sunday :)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

WHB# 181 - Mini strudel with herbs

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
this week we are hosted by Maninas at Maninas food matter
thank you for hosting!

this affascinating and very interesting idea is kalyn's,
and now kept by haalo.
thank's both of you :)
if you would like to join, please read the rules
to know the order of hosting please read here

I've allways loved Sundays, it is the only day we all can sleep, the only day everybody's home, the only day we can brunch together, sitting and eating and talking for hours.
I'm not allways present, beacuse of my job as a guide, but when I can...I enjoy it even more!

today the sun is shining, the lake is dizzly and foggy in the sun, there is a warm and perfumed wind is really perfect!
I would like to sit here, in my favorite place...reading, thinking and contemplating the lake...
well..usually I fell asleep as the silence and the tranqulity fills me, and makes me relax completaly... :))))
but not today!!! today is the last day I can study...tomorrow I have another exame to do.
of course I'm not ready, of course I'm anxious, of course I will not make it...
but it doesn't matter...the important thing for me, is trying, learning..
and doing the best I can :)
and...there is allways an other opportunity to try! :))

as it finally stopped raining on Thursday...
I took a walk in my garden and picked some herbes.
these are all common herbs you can find in fields and along roads.
please remember not to pick herbs along trafficed roads, all herbs are very good on absorbing
pollution so be carful were you pick them.

for the filling I used:
old man's beard(clematis vitalba)
nettles (ortica dioica)
sald burnet (pimpinella o sanguisorba minor)
wall pellitory (parietaria diffusa)
200gr of ricotta or other soft cheese
peel of half a grapfruit or other citrus fruit.

use the tiny, new leaves. the tiny sprouts of the vitalba.
you need a handfull of each sort.
you can also use some flowers of the salad burnet, put they have to cook a little longer in the pan.
so, put some few drops of olive oil in a pan and add the flowers.
let gently fry for a couple of minutes then add the rest of the herbs and let fade.
let cool a little and add to the soft cheese, perfume with the grated peel of the citrus fruit.

mix well and let rest.

now prepare the dough:

300gr of ap flour
50gr of butter
50gr of water
1 egg
salt if you use it

wisk the butter in the water on gently heat.
add the flour and the egg and work the dough quickly.

roll out the dough in small strudels or one big one.
spread out the filling and close, first the short ends
(just fold the short ends to the middle)
and then roll it together from the long end.

put the studel with the opening under and if you wish,
brush with some milk to get a little more shining surface.

bake in oven: 200° for ca 25min (the small ones)
for ca 35-40min (the big one.)


usually you make sweet strudels, but with the same dough you can prepare savory strudels.

I've used the latin names when I looked up the names of the herbs,
so I hope that the English names I've found are right.
please correct me if they are wrong :)

somebody doesn't care much for herbs! :))
this is Prince, sleeping all through the photo session!
I actually had to move around him..
he didn't even open his eyes to check out what I was doing.
he is one of our 8 cats.

aaaaaaaaah..and I wish to show you something!
this is a sprout of a canna indica we planted last year...
I didn't really think they should grow..our winter temperature is a little too low for
their standards... did!
this is real gardening satisfaction! :))
have a nice week
see you at chris's next weekend

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