Sunday, 25 October 2009

WHB# 206 - rucola pesto

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging!

we are hosted by Yasmeen from Healthnut

thank's for hosting Yasmeen :)

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ahhhhhh...finally, finally....after almost 10 days of realy cold weather...
the sun is back!!! :))
makes us all feel happy...we can lunch outside again..and even drink coffee in terrace in the morning! was over 20°!
this morning I walked out in the my pyjamas..and took some photos..
the sun warmed my face, the yellow leaves of our black mulberry was shining against the cloudy sky and glittery lake was twinkling my eye
morus nigra on Sunday 25 october 2009

san vigilio - Bardolino 25 october 2009

it was practially impossible stay inside!

soo, simoo and I went in Prada collect chestnuts...

it was so fun, so beautiful, we decided we just have to come back! :))

for me it was the first I made more photos than collected chestnuts :))

can't wait till getting back!

Rucola Pesto, with Asiago cheese and nuts

pesto di rucola, asiago e noci

unusal in taste, as both the rucola and the seasoned Asiago cheese are rather bitter.

I was thrilled about the idea, so I tried!

well, alone it is rather strong and bitter in taste, but try in a simply fennelrisotto..

or just steamed fennels..

you will be surprised of the perfect mix of the two tastes.

you need:


seasoned Asiago cheese*


1 clove garlic

extravergin olive oil

risotto finocchio

in a blender put all solid ingredients, and while the blender works add the olive oil

pouring it very very slowly.

you should obtain more or less (dipends on how you want it) smooth cream.

put in a glass jar, cover with olive oil and close the lid.

conserve in the fridge.

will conserve for ca 2months, rememerb allways to cover with olive oil after use.

this prevent it from coming acid.

risotto finoccchio


* the asiago cheese is tipical in this area, coming from Altopiano di Asiago (vi)

you can use any seasoned hard cheese, I should not use Parmesan cheese, as

it is much more "sweet", even the one seasoned 36months ;)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Foodie Friday - Soup "2 of a kind"

I have 4 kids, 2 boys (24 and 23 years) and 2 girls (21 and 17 years)
every friday the boys go paly soccer with their father..
and we women left at home, enjoy our ladies night all by our self.
usually we are all three, but Helena (kid n°3) is studying in Milan, so lately we
are just two..
sofi and me.

last Friday, it was the first evening we eat inside.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, what difficult it is to make good photos inside! :))
while I tried to do the best of the dark situation, Sofi made the dinner
"soup 2 of a kind" and grated fennel and endives


"soup 2 of a kind"

it simply means 2 sorts of all ingredients :)

this soup has a bitter taste, due to the

radicchio and the field herbs.

you need:
serving 4.

2 small radicchio lettuce
2 small bunch of fresh herbs (like spinach or other local field herbs)
2 small onions
2 carrots
1 liter of waters
some olive oil (extravergin would by nice)
1 tbs
vegetable stock cube

chop the onion and let gently fry in some oil together with the vegetable stock cube, in you pressure cooker
when the onion is trasparent,

add all the other vegetables peeled, cleaned and cut in pieces.

mix and let flavor.

add all the water, close the lid.

when you hear the whistle, lower the heat and let cook for 35min.

serve with some parmesan cheese if you like, it will "sweeten" up the bitter taste.
I'm sending this over to Michael
thank's michael for hosting
don't miss the other entries!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

61st Tablescape Thursday - Curry Orange - Creamed Lentils with curry and cumin

Soo, it is Thursday again...and let's go over to
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch who's hosting another Tablescape Thursday.!!
remember to stay at here place to check out all the other great tablescapers!

Thank's Susan, I'm havinh great fun, and I come to know a lot of new bloggers!!
I was looking in Phyllis's very very nice blog, Around the House
when I saw here seasonal mantle makeover..
well, I tought it is time to do mine as well.
I went for a walk in my garden, a cut brances of my Black Mulberry tree
it gets more yellow every day.
other branches of my Service berry or Juneberry
(here we call it wild pear tree)
then I took a walk in my neighbor's garden.
they are Germans and just come for the summer.
now and then I take a walk, checking everything is allright.
they have a beautiful Persimonn tree (Diospyros digyna),
now full of almost riped fruit.
I come back, with persimmon fruit,
Scarlet Firethorn berries (Pyrachanta coccinea) and
Howthorn berries (Crataegus monogyna).
some red apples and pomegrantes also added colour to the composition.
it came out rather nice, didn't it? :).
Thank's Pyllis so much for the idea!!
fireplace 1
I tried to use the some colours on the table,
with a pumpkin tablecloth, and curry coloured napkins :)
to give some colour to the flatware and bowls, so I put a slice of
pumpkin between plate and bowl.
as table decoration I used a basket filled with brances of my Serviceberry/Juneberry
and used to Persimmon fruits as candle holders.
(just excavate a hole a large as the candle)
then I needed a soup to match this colours :))

creamed curry lentils

Creamed Lentils with Curry

creamed curry lentils
you need:
serves 4
250gr of orange lentils
1 onion
1 big potato
1/4 of a small pumpkin
2 carrots
1 liter of water
curry (a lot)
paprica (a lot)
cumin (a lot)
extra vergin olive oil
sale and pepper
chop the onion and let gently fry together with all the spices in some olive oil.
add the lentils washed under cold runing water, and all the vegetables peeled, cleaned
and cut in small pieces.
mix and let the perfumes mingle.
add the water, close the lid and when the cooker whistle, lower the heat
and let cook for 25min.
when finished, whisk with a immersion blender, season with salt and pepper
serve with some cumin seeds on top.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Pear and Apple Compote with vodka

yes, even on this charming lake, the most beautiful in Italy :)))
it is getting cold!
brrr, from one day to another, the temperature sank with 20°C.
it is ok realy, I like the different seasons, but I wish it would have
changes more softly. not so drastic.

I look at my Black Mulberry tree (Morus Nigra) , it gets more yellow each day
and against the grey sky that looks absolut magnificient,
but it also ooks great against a clear blue sky, or when the sun is going down.
san vigilio, morus nigra quercus rubra
good moning, Monday! :)
morus nigrait
is time to cut some branches and take them inside to
decorate the fireplace. together it will look nice with
the yellow leaves of False locust tree or false acacia tree (robinia pseudoacacia)
if you find some branches of Boston Ivy, (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)
(even if it tends to loose it's leaves very quickly)
and some pomegranate apples it could look really nice :)
I usually leave this decoration for all October, and in the beginning of November
I begin decorate for Christmas.

it is so nice to light the fireplace and see the fire give a romantic glow to everything.
and, after dinner just sit in front of the fire, talking and perhaps eating this dessert.
very quick, very easy, very perfumed!

Pear and Apple Compote with vodka

pear and apple compote

you need:
700gr of pears (peeled and without seeds)
650gr of apples (peeled and without seeds)
150ml vodka*
450gr of sugar
juice of one lemon

put the chopped fruit in a pot together with the vodka, sugar and the lemon juice.
let cook softly for one hour.
take of the fireplace and let rest over the night.

the next day give an other boil for an hour or so
at this point you can serve as dessert or pour in clean glasses
and put away as jam.
store in a cool, dark and dry place as jam
serve with whipped cream or some biscuits if serves as dessert.

* I added 200ml as I like it more strong :)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Foodie Friday -strawberry grape liquor

yesterday strolling around some of the very very interesting and beautiful
tablescapers who where linked at Susan's place..
(you are all soooo amazing and creative!!!)
I come around something new...
the foodie friday!

why not try :)))

do you know strawberry grapes? (
vitis vinifera "fragola")they are sooooo perfumed and so sweet.
last year we (
tatiana and I) made a lot of strawberry grape jam..
but this year I tried the liquor.
wow!! it is fantastic! of course, having a base of grappa it is not
sweet, it is actually very dry.
but the perfum!!! incredible!
strawberry grape liquor

strawberry grape liqueurs
you need:
1 cluster of vitis vinifera "fragola" strawberry grape
1 liter of grappa
wash the grape berries quickly under runing water.
detach the berries and put them on a piece of baking paper on a tray to dry in the sun.
withdraw in the evening if you have humid nights.
this will take 20-40days depending on the weather (mine took 50 days drying!!)
pour all the berries in a big glass jar and pour whole the bottle of grappa over them-
close the lid, and let marinate in a shadow place.
after 20 days filter and...taste!!!
pour in bottles and let rest for other 6 months.
yes, it will take a lot of time.
but I promise it will be worth it! :)))

strawberry grape liquor
I'm sending this recipe over to Michael at Designs by Gollum
brigidaa_te: can't find the grappa or you just can't stand the smell :)))
you can use vodka! some procedure...;)
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :))))

Thursday, 15 October 2009

tablescape thursday - Autumn reds - Tomato soup with 5 cereals, ginger and fresh herbs

Thanks to Susan at
Between Naps on the Porch for hosting another Tablescape Thursday.!!
the 60th this week!!
happy Anniversay Susan! :)
Please go over to her site and check out the other great tablescapes.

autumn red and orange 1

it is getting the last few days we have hade a very chilly wind.
today the temperature touched 16-17° I think.
probably this is one of our last lunch outside this year :(

it is soo beautiful though, the colours are very strong and the sun is shining so bright.
many trees have all the leaves on, and they are so green!
look at the wineyard behind our house, in the vally of Valquarole.
isn't it a beautiful green view?


anyway...a prepared the table on the terrace, with a decoration of leaves and seeds
from our Sycamore Maple (
acer pseduoplatanus) it makes beautiful green leaves looking as hands, very particolar flowers (green-yellow panicles) in spring, and now it has seeds or samars that are very decorative too. together with some orange coloured chilis and some strange berries from my Schefflera Actinophylla or Umbrella tree or Australian Ivy-palm.
it is a very easy growing plant, I have 3 of them with variegated leaves.

schefflera actinophylla
tablecloth is a piece of tissue, the napkins come from Coin
soup bowls and glasses, and the mini glass bowls are from Ikea
the small square sallad bowls are from Orvea supermarkets
autumn red and orange2
to warm us up, what's better than a soup??? :)
Tomato soup with 5 cereals, ginger and fresh herbs

recipe from

Suppen und Eintöpfen

ed. Gräfe und Unyer GmbH
crema di pomodoro

you need:

150gr of 5 cereals (mine were: oats, barley, spelt, whole wheat, buckwheat)

2 cm of fresh ginger

2 shallots

4 tbsp of extravergin olive oil

1 tbsp of vegetable stock cube

1,200gr of tomatoe sauce (4 cans of 400gr each , home made would be perfect)

fresh herbs (majoran, thymian, basil, chives)

1 clove of garlic

chop the shallots and let genlty fry in the olive oil, together with the garlic clove.

add the cereals and toast for 5 minutes, mixing all the time.

add the vegetable stock cube, the grated ginger and the tomatoe sauce and let cook for ca 15min.

it depends on what cereal you use and if they are organic or precooked or not.

adjust the time according to the cereals you use.

before serving, add the fresh choped herbes.

it is realy delicious. :)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

WHB# 204 - pickled bellpeppers and onions

peperoni e cipolla alda1

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging!
this week we are hosted by
thank's for hosting Susan! :-**
Weekend Herb Blogging Information

WHB Rules

4 years Archives

Who's Hosting

this morning I woke up feeling a little sad..
today it was the last day "my" Swedish group were here.
we've been together since friday, almost 10-12 hours a day.
aaaaaaaaaaah, I did feel sad when a winked them goodbay this afternoon.

good morning bardolino! :) 11 october 2009
this was the view from our windows this morning...

it really made as feel good! :))

and all the group, 30 persons were so happy to finally SEE the lake,

(it has been raining for the past 2 days),

they jumped up on their bikes and made a biketour around the Rocca! :)

I met them there with the 3 persons that dind't want to bike, they rather made a walk.

look, what colour the lake had! incredibile.

my Suedes just stood there, looking down on the glittery water, feeling good.

I told them some things about the place, but not many listened ;)

even worse than the German pupils I usually take around :)))

paying no attention at all, just enjoying standing in the warm sun..feeling happy!

it was hard to leave the Rocca,

but our lunch was waiting and also their Italian time was running out.

after lunch, it was time to leave.

I must admit, I felt a little bite sorry, well, a lot sorry seeing them leave.

we had a great time together, and I do hope they will be back!

gruppo sulla rocca

pickled bell pepper and onion

this recipe was given me by Alda,

we (Marta-blogger friend) and I

made a "homemade" preserving course in

Alda's kitchen.

we exchanged recipes, making ours, sharing with the other two

try one and others, and in the end divided our jars equally between us!

we had a lot of fun, in November we will meet again..doing marinades! :))

just in time for Christmas! :))
peperoni e cipolla alda2

you need:

1,250gr of onions cut in slices

2 red bell peppers cut in tiny slices

2 yellow bell peppers in tiny slices

4 tbps of coarse salt

1 liter of vinegar of white wine

100gr of sugar

1 tsp of fresh mint

1tsp of paprica (sweet)

1 tsp of dill seeds (Anethum graveolens)

1 tsp salt

put the cut onions and peppers in a big bowl.

cover with the coras salt,

mix with your hands and cover with a cloth for a couple of hours.

drain and wash quickly under runing water.

put the vegetables in clean jars.

in a pot but the vinegar together with the salt and the spices.

let boil for 5 min and the pour over the vegetables.

close lid and let rest for 2 weeks in a cool, dark and dry place.

serve with chicken, ham, sausages and cheese.

it is delicious!!

thank's Alda! :_***

sunset dal rif. chierego 11 october 2009


today, I didn't feel stying home. yes, I'm very very tired, but I felt a little sad...

so I needed to do some trekking.

together with Simoo and Laura we went Refuge Chierego

to have a cup of hot cinnamon tea and a piece of apple pie

(must give you the recipe ;) )

I'm very lucky having friends so available,

leaving everything and coming with me! :)

but, it was worth it..

the clouds, the sun, the mountain...made us feel good, all three of us!

have a nice week :)

pozza d'argento


Thursday, 8 October 2009

tabelscape thursday - Rays of Yellow - Vegetable soup with Pesto

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting another Tablescape Thursday. Please go over to her site and check out the other great tablescapes.

it is still very warm here, today we touched 28° at noon, and that doesn't make it easy
trekking :))
anyway, my guests were happy, the walk relaxing and interesting.
we start as strangers, and we part as friends. :))
exchanging emails and promises we'll see again.
I do love this job as a trekking guide! :)))

my bushes of Chrysanthemum coronarium L. are in full bloom, and sprinkle rays of yellow
in my garden.
they are blooming virtually from March to November. of course, in July and August they don't catch your eye like they do now, when mostly else are fading away.
so, why not pick a bunch of them and make a table decoration? :)
when they're withered, cut away the last piece of the branch, take away some leaves at the end and plant in a pot. it is a very easy way to get plants from these cuttings.

rays of yellow

these did brightnen up our simple soup the other day :)

vegetable soup with Pesto

minestrone con pesto

you need:
1 onion
1 piece of leek
1 piece of sellery
2 carrots
1 clove of garlic
2 zucchini
150gr of grean beans (spring beans)
1 potato
extravergin olive oil
6 cups of water
con pesto
for the pesto:
1 garlic clove
15gr of fresh basil leaves
80gr of parmigiano reggiano cheese
4 tblsp extravergin olive oil.
put some oil in a big pot, add the chopped onion and leek .
the add the garlic clove, and the carrots cut in slices.
let cook for 5 min, stirring all the time.
add the rest of the vegetabels and the water.
close with a pot cover and let cook gently for 25min ca.
in the meanwhile prepare the pesto:
put the basil, the garlic clove and the parmigiano in a mixer
and while mixing add a oil, until you have a fine cream.
usually the pesto contains also pines, but in this case we do without.
when the soup is ready, pour in bowls and add the pesto and serve immediately.


chrysantheum coronarium

I found this common names of the Chrysantheum:
crown daisy
garland chrysanthemum

Sunday, 4 October 2009

WHB# 203 - Potato Sallad Mediterranée

potatis sallad m2
ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging!
this week we are hosted by:
Marija from Palachinka
thank's for hosting Marija! :)

Weekend Herb Blogging Information
WHB Rules
4 years Archives
Who's Hosting

luna piena 4 ottobre 2009

this morning I woke up early, the moon was shining through our open window..
it was so, beautiful!
the first thing I did, was send a sms to my friend Simoo...
"this evening...fullmoon trekking!! :))
then I put on the coffee, fed all my cats..and made a photo of the moon.

very satisfied, very happy...I got on my Sunday trekking.
today I had English guest, and we had a great time.
Karen explained a lot of interesting cooking things, telling my one of her
sons works with Jamie Oliver! wow!!!
for this evening's trekking I made some filled paninis.
bute they has nothing to do with todays recipe :)
Potato sallad Mediterranèe

potatis sallad m
beeing a Suede married to a German makes me cook potatoes very often.
probably you think I'm silly, living in Italy :))
but, when you out of ideas, people coming at any hour, in a hurry
they can be very comfortable.
this sallad is superquick and very tasty
you need:
cold boild potatoes
feta cheese
dried tomatoes
red onion
extravergine olive oil
sale and pepper
in a pan gently fry the chili, the anchovies, the chipped onion and the capers in olive oil.
let cook for some minutes.
add the aubergine cut in cubes and keep cooking.
add the cold potatoes cut in cubes, mix increasing the heat.
when the aubergine are cooked(not mashed, they still should remain crunchy)
take of the heat.
add crumbled feta a nd some fresh basil.
mmmmmmmmmmmm...feels like beeing in Italy! :)))
have a nice week!

Friday, 2 October 2009

pasta with zucchini and curcuma (turmeric)

zucchini con gurkmeja

this is actually not my idea, I went to a cooking course the other night.
the recipes were very interesting, but the cook was nasty.
kept hacking on us when evere she notice we didn't know, what was for
elementary things.
well, if I already know everything I wouldn't come to a cooking course, would I
anyway..this recipe was introduced as a tasty way of conserving zucchinis.
you cut them julienne and heat a pan were you put olive oil and curcuma.
add the zucchini and cook a few minutes.
put them in glass jars, cover with other oil.
close lid and sterilize for 20min in boiling water.
I found them very tasty so I decide to use the idea to make a pasta sauce.
pasta with zucchini and curcuma.
zucchini con curcuma
you need:
short pasta
extravergine olive oil
(curcuma longa)
cut the zucchini in very tiny slices.
heat some oil in a pan.
add the curcuma and let melt.
add the zucchini, and while continouosly tossing them, let them cook for a few minutes.
in the meanwhile cook the pasta.
when the pasta is ready..rembember "al dente" :)
drain and and it in the pan.
heat up, mix well and servi immediately.
it is very nice seasoned with fresh grinded green pepper.
the moon is almost full, the weather forcast promises us that this month's fullmoon trekking
will be very nice :)
this is the sunset of this evening. :)

sunset 2 october 2009

Thursday, 1 October 2009

tabelscape thursday - lilac nuances - Spaghetti with cauliflower and bacon

hmm, it is some time I'm thinking of trying to attend Susan's event of tabelscaping.
it is not easy...seeing what she and the others come up with...
but the event is to affascinating not to try ! :)

a bunch of aster ammellus gave me the idea of this "tablescape!
the asters are very easy growing plant giving you pastel colours in early autumn.
from light pink, to lilac colours.
the aster needs to be cut twice in summer, this prevent it to become to high and
blom to early.

pranzo 26 settembre 2009
the photos were made in a rush, having little time at disposal.

runner, glasses and selfcoloured pot comes from IKEA
the napkin is an inheritance from my husbands grandmother.
simple supermarket plates

pasta with cauliflower and pancetta (bacon)
you need:
pasta (I adore spaghetti, but this will be perfect also with a short pasta)
extravergin olive oil.
one (or two) small dry chilis
cut the bacon in small cubes, add the chili and gently fry in little oil.
in the meanwhile put water to boil in a big pot.
when the water is boiling add some salt, the pasta and the cauliflower cut in small equal pieces.
when the pasta is ready, drain it together with the cauliflower.
put all in the pan together with the bacon, heat up and mix well.
other tablescapers
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