Sunday, 28 February 2010

Azuki salad with green sellery, mozzarella and parmigiano

azuki salad with fresh green sellery, mozzarella and parmigiano cheese

we have always loved legumes in our family,
the only one that eat them because I has to

is Erik (son n°1) :))

but, since Sofia (doughter n°4) has become vegetarian (almost 1 and a half year now)
I'm trying to do them very often,
they are a very very valid substitute to meat and that
is good for all of us!

i didn't know the azuki beans,
but since I have found them it was love at first taste :))).

they are quick to cook (mine are hulled),
and are good in soups as in salads.

this is very quick and tasty and usualy you have all the ingredients at home.

Azuki salad with green sellery, mozzarella and parmigiano

for 2 persons or for 4 persons as antipasto (like in the photo)

100gr of green azukis
fresh green sellery leaves
2 mozzarellas
60gr of parmigiano cut in thin slices

for the vinaigrette:
extravergine olive oil
pressed lemon juice
salt, pepper and paprica
majoran or/and thyme

steam the azuki beans fo 25mins and let cool a little
cut the sellery leaves
cut the mozzarellas in small cubes
cut the parmigiano in thin slices (I use the cheese slicer from IKEA)
prepare the vinaigrette:
put all ingredients in a glass jar. close the lid and shake well.

mix all ingredients and season with the vinaigrette.
serve and enjoy.

thisare some photos from my trekking yesterday on Monte Baldo.
we (simoo and I)
took our argentine friend marina all the way up
to the mountain dew of Chierego (1916mt)

she was wornout but very very happy..
and the view from up there,
makes you forget all the effort, the strain.

the view from the Rif. Chierego

malga pre del beccoCentra

the view from beneath,
the construction on the edge of the mountain,
is the mountain dew Chierego

cima costabella - rif. chierego

marina and simooo struggling up :)

simo e marina

the 3 of us with the Garda lake beneath

brii simoo e marina

this recipe goes to my dear friend Rachel from the Chrispy Cook
this months host of MLLA # 20 - Susan and the well seasoned cook

Friday, 26 February 2010

WHB # 222 - crunchy homemade müsli

this week we are hosted by Dhanggit from Dhanggit's Kitchen
Thank you Dhanggit for hosting!

more information about the WHB here:
who's hosting
Kalyn created this great event and
Haalo is now helping her keeping it together :)

this morning the rain poured down, no walking, no working in the garden.
I didn't have much feeling doing housework so I decided to try a recipe in
doing homemade müsli.
usually I do it tender,
leaving the oat flakes soaking in milk and grated apples over the night

(jamie oliver recipe)
but my kids asked me if it was possible to make a crunchy müsli,
like the Vitalis

hmmmmm....why not!

this is a mix of two recipes
one from the book
ed. Gribaudo - Parragon
and the other from the book
Bonniers Kokbok
ed. Albert Bonniers Förlag

Crunchy Homemade Müsli


yuo need:

250gr of rolled oats
100ml water
2 apples
2 tbsp of clear honey, corn or maple sirup
1 tsp of ground cinammon

to add:
dry coco flakes
grated nuts of all kinds

turn the oven at 160°C.
in a mix the oat flakes together with the apples (peeled and cut in small cubes)
put the water to boil, adding the honey/sirup and the cinnamon.
when the honey/sirup is melted pour the boiling mixture over the flakes/apples cubes.
mix well.

spread the flakes in a tin layer on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
the thinner the layer is the quicker and more even it dries.
let dry for ca 40min.
the take out the try and and raisins, dry coco flakes and grated nuts.
mix and put back in the oven for another 10min.
let cool compleately and put in a tight glass jar.



I don't know how long this will conserve, mine lasted fot 2 days :)
then I had to do redo it, dobbling the dose and hoping it will last a little longer.
you can also add chopped prunes, figs, apricots.
my suggestion is allways to add the fruit at the end.
if you put it in the oven from the beginning it can get to dry and very hard.

As I live in a very charming place it never rains for to long :)
in the afternoon, the rains stopped, coloured the lake and the sky in wonderful grey tones
rocca di manerba - isola del garda  after the rain 26 february  2010

dalla rocca di manerba a san vigilio, monte pomo, monte bre, monte  luppia 26 february 2010

and then offered us a wonderful sunset!

sunset 26 february 2010

have a nice week end!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Salame di cioccolato

This morning the wather was very grey and rainy, fortunately it is not cold..
that helps working in the garden outside :)

it is time to make some order, not to much as I don't know if it will stay so,
or get colder again.
it is a pity because my Scheffleree and Ficus inside,
where all looking out at the sweet, docile rain falling today.
they would have loved to stay outside
feeling the drops bathing and curing the dry leaves.
even if the temperature in this room never goes above 15°C
it is not very healthy for them.

well, to make joy and give some colours to these grey days,
you can cut some twigs of Forsizia
in 4-5days (dipending how warm you have inside) they will bloom

forsizia contro cielo grigio

(Forsythia, I have these at lot of them..the are very "chock-yellow",
if you have the possibility plant Forsythia suspensa,
that will give you flowers in a more deep yellow colour),


if you have a bush or a tree of Calicantus - Winter sweet
(Chimonanthus praecox), use twigs of them.
you will have beautiful flowers and perfum as well.

so, what is the best to do when it is grey outside?
bake of course! :)))

and this "salami", is quick, easy, also vegan if you wish!
no oven required!

Salame di cioccolato - chocolate "salami"

the recipe comes from my dear friend Alice and her fabulous blog
"kitchen bloody kitchen"

salame di cioccolato 3

you need:

110gr of milk (soy or cow)
150gr dark chocolate max 50% *
40gr of rice oil or maize oil
150gr of light cookies ( dry cookies without eggs and butter)**

melt the chocolate in the milk.
when complytely melted, add the oil and whisk well.
add the crushed cookies.
mix and let cool to room temperature.
then form a "salami"
(if you put the chocolate/cookie mass on a bakeing paper,
and the form the "salami" it will be easier and you won't soil youself)
let the "salami" rest a couple of hours in the fridge.
enjoy! :))


I used cow milk, but Alice who is vegan suggests soy milk (unsugared)
* you can use also darked chocolate,
I used Perugina 85% but then added 30gr of sugar
to sweeten up a little.
** use dry cookies, like them you soak in tea or milk in the morning.
mine are "più leggeri così" from Galbusera. Without eggs or butter.

salame di cioccolato2

aaaaaaaah, I live on the most charming lake in Italy..
the Garda Lake...this was the sunset on Saturday 20 February.
fortelling that Sunday would be a lovely day

sunset 20 february 2010 1

and as a matter of a was! :)
this is Malcesine where I was doing trekking yesterday

malcesine da prea

and a little bit higher :)

navene-fine del lago - riva

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Loving Green Soup- 78th Tablescape Thursday

So it is Thursday again and we are all looking in susan from Between Naps on the Porch blog!
some many beautiful tablesettings!!
be sure you drop by to amire them all.
tablescape thursday's

in one of her earlier posts, Susan suggest us to use all of our tablewares.
well, I have this "soupware" (can you call it so?) since 25years..
a weeding gift from dear friends.
during the years 2 of the 6 soup plate has broken and as we are 6 or 8 at dinner
I actually never used them!
it is a pity, specially because of the round soup tureen.that contains a lot! :))

the other day we were only 4.. so why not make a soup, why not use it!

78th tablescape 1

78th tablescape 2

Table cloth with pomegranates: a piece of fabric coming from Erbisti (verona)
green soup plates and soup tureen: weeding gift
napkins: inheritance form my mother-in-laws mother
salt and pepper: the same as above
beige waterjug: the same as above
plate with grissini: gift from my father-in-law (with Verona designed in the same colours of the tablecloth)


soup plate decoration:
berries and leaf from English Ivy (hedera helix)
sprigs of St. John's Wort (hypericum hidcote)
some red leaves from a bush I don't recognazie

Green Soup

crema verde2

you need:

the green parto of one leek
1 potato (200gr)
1 small cauliflower (ca 400gr)
1 root celery (or celeriac) (sedano rapa)
1 onion
4 small zucchinis
only the foliage of a tuft of Catalogna lettuce
1 piece of green celery
1 l of water
2 tbsp of vegetable stock cube
extravergin olive oil
some milk to thin

chop the onion and let gently fry in some extravergin olive oil.
add all the other vegetables, brushed, peeled, cleaned and cut in pieces.
add the veg stock cube and let flavour.
pour the water over and let gently cook for aprx 40min (with lid)
whisk till you have a smooth cream.
add some milk to diluite and adjust with salt and pepper.
enjoy :)

crema verde1

and this was the view from my sunday walk near the Garda Lake :)
you see Assenza village and the Isle of Trimelone in front.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

paccheri with mushrooms, radicchio and almonds

the other day I had little time to make lunch..
I was In Prada - Costabella (Monte Baldo Mountain) doing trekking
with my new snowshoes :)))
the weather was perfect.


-9°C and no wind, some sunshine and nobody around.

verso il lago

I just love that!
together with Monica talking, walking and loughing
I proposed a new way going up, I said..."it look easier"
well...with the snow fresh and deep it was harder.
but we had a lot of fun...also doing some sunbathing
when we got to Malga Mondini :)))
da sole al sole

So I was in a hurry when I got home...not much time to cook special dishes
and when that happens I usually make a Pasta!! :)
this is very simple to do.
I used a special pasta called
Paccheri, given me by my dear friend Simoo.
but you can also use maccaroni or spaghetti or any other kind of pasta type.
Paccheri with mushrooms, radicchio and almonds

paccheri con funghi, radicchio e mandorle3

you need:

1 small
(I used the Verona type, little more bitter, but cheaper)
450gr of mushroom (champignons would do)
1 red onion (the are sweeter)
150ml of fresh cream
1 hand full of almonds
1/2 of a glass of white wine
500gr of pasta
extravergin olive oil
fresh milled pepper
some fresh parsly leaves to serve

chop the onion and let
add the mushrooms cut in slices let cook slowly for ca 10min.
ad the wine and let evaporate.
add the sliced radicchio and cook for another 2-3min.
add the cream and the roughly chopped almonds
let bubble while you finish cooking the pasta.
keep the pasta very "al dente", that is important
beacuse when it is ready you put together with the sauce in the pan.
increase the heat and while mixing all together
the pasta will finish cooking and get very tasty. :)

paccheri con funghi, radicchio e mandorle2

Sunday, 14 February 2010

WHB# 220 - Sweet Pumpkin cubes

This week we are hosted by Chris from Mele Cotte thank you Chris for hosting! :)

more information about the WHB here:

who's hosting
Kalyn created this great event and
Haalo is now helping her keeping it together :)

one of my favorite task with my guiding-job is looking for new paths to accompagnion my turists. first I study my maps, then I discuss with Roberto or Andrea (my bosses)
but even if they don't agree or are not enthusiastic I usually go and try anyway :)

like today, Roberto couldn't come (problems with his knee), Andrea had else to do,
nor Simoo(away skiing) or Monica (doing Sunday housekeeping)
soooo, I went alone!

beautiful trekking way! I'm so happy I did it..
and I'll certanly bring my Germans around
this summer.
I'm sure they will love it too! :))

here is some viewsalonthe way...

in a olive field (a lot of them)
oliveto cassone

panorama and pic nic place ;)

vista da perotti

Lake Garda with Isola di Trimelone (the village is Assenza)

assenza, isola di trimelone lago

where we end up, Porto (very very nice)


Sweet Pumpkin cubes
this recipe comes from a very dear friend of mine Nilla Bertani

sweet pumpkin cubes3
you need:
300gr of pumpkin (peeled)
100gr of sugar
100gr of almonds
100gr of amaretti biscuits
150gr of flour
3 eggs
70g of butter
100gr of raisins
peel f 1 lemon
a pinch of salt
1/2 tps of ground cinnamon
18gr of baking soda(1 cachet)
put the pumpkin (cut in pices) in a pot with 20gr of the butter, let cook slowly for 10min.
let cool.
but the raisins in some water to soften up
chop the amaretti and put aside (I use a meat mallet, amaretti in a cloth)
put sugar, almonds and the lemon peel in a mixer and chop.
add the flour, cinnamon and the amaretti and mix well.
now, add the coolen smashed pumpkin, mix and the the baking soda.
pour the compound in a greased retangular mould (or put baking paper)
season the raisins over the cake and bake 150° C for 30min and the 170° for 15min
let cool completaly and the cut in cubes.

sweet pumpkin cubes2
have a nice week :)

Sunday, 7 February 2010

WHB# 219 - homemade lavender bodytalc

this weekend herbal blog host is Simona from
thank you Simona for hosting.

more information about the WHB here:
who's hosting
Kalyn created this great event and
Haalo is now helping her keeping it together :)

during our many many trekkings, it can happen to sweat.
(well, let's say it happens always :)))
even today..
with -2°C, going upwards with snowshoes it got very very warm
(900mt of dislivel in 3km)

brii & simoo

malga ortigaretta

sometimes during my guiding it can be rather imbarressant.
people mostly don't mind but I don't feel comfortable.
(usually we all stink! :))))

so, when my friend Luciana told me to try using plain bicarbonate
yes, the one you use in cooking!
I said why not try it!!!
it works! also in extreme cases,
like a very very important appointment with
majors, actually the whole town council :))
that happend this Saturday..
and I was extremely nervous...
my intention was to get them interested in my project.
I'm trying to get people around here interested in
promote our charming lake
in a new way, by trekking.
using old mule ways and even older paths.
there is so many of these,
but in very bad conditions.
often dirty and unusable.
well, both worked!
the bicarbonate and my talking :)))
this will be a very good summer :)

you can of course use just the plain bicarbonate...
but why not try perfum it?

Homemade lavender bodytalc

you need:
150gr of sodium bicarbonate (plain cooking bicarbonate)
20gr of coars salt
30gr of dry lavender flowers
homemade lavender bathsalt*
but all ingredients in a mixer and mix to powder.
keep in a hermetic glass jar.
how to use:
after your shower, dry yourself very wel..
then take a small quantity of
lavender talc and massage yourself.
neck, armpits, dècolletè.
don't but on your legs, it gives very dry skin.
if you have problems with dry skin try this:
it is fantastic! :)
*I used my lavender bathsalt.
proceed like this:
cut lavender flowers in bloom
( noon is best, so they are at their maximum of perfum)

alternate layers of coars salt and lavender flowers.

let dry in the sun for 4-5 days,

remember to take inside if you have humid nights.

no and then, mix with your hands to crush big clumps.

put in a glass jar..or give away. :)

I leave you with this view from Costabella (monte Baldo) this morning..

in memory of Luca and Matteo.

nuvole sul lago

have a nice week.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Alice's simil risini - Happy birthday Maura!

today it is Maura's birthday!!!

when we saw each other last Wendesday she made three wishes:
1) a pastry
2) no butter
3) something with rice, as she adores rice.

maura is the one sitting in front

and here she is in the middle

marina, maura & brii took me no time at all figure something out :)))
I just went to Alice's site...Kitchen Bloody Kitchen ;)
and there I found a pastry tipical for Verona.

it is made with a kind of rice growing in this area "riso Vialone Nano"
(in Isola della Scala, and where they make a
special Risotto Festival each year)
for me Isola is special for an other reason...
here pasted the famos roman way "
via claudio-augusta"
(that connected Po to Donau)
the romans called Isola della Scala "Insula Cenensis" more or less
muddy ground, beacuse of the waterintrised ground where the village raised.
ok..I'll stop boring you with my historical interest :))

Alice's Simil Risini

simil risini1

you need:

For the pastry:
380 gr of flour
40 gr of potato starch
200 gr of rice oil
70 gr of soy milk
100 gr icing sugar
2 ge salt
8 gr of lemon juice
zests of 1 / 2 lemon
1 pinch of ground vanilla

For the cream:
15 gr potato starch
45 gr of rice oil
35 gr of sugar
200 gr soy milk (not sweetned)**

For the sweet rice:

75 gr of rice Vialone Nano*
500 gr soy milk (not sweetned) **
75 gr sugar
a pinch of salt.
peel of 1/2 lemon
a pinch of ground vanilla

Prepare the pastry:

whisk the soy milk, adding the oil little at a time

Sift flour and starch, add the milk and oil emulsion work slowly and then increase the speed (with the Kenwood with the K whip speed '4).

Add sugar, lemon zests, vanilla, the salt dissolved in the lemon juice, and work rapidly until 'the dough begins to clump together (with the Ken, slowly bring up to speed' 3).

Gather the dough quickly and let it rest in the fridge.

in the meanwhile, put to cook the rice with milk, sugar and salt until the liquid is completely absorbed, 30-40 minutes are needed.

Put the rice aside and let cool.

in the meantime prepare the cream:

Mix the starch with oil, add sugar and milk then bring to boil, stirring constantly.

Turn off the heat and let cool.

When they are both cold add the cream to the rice, add the lemon zest and vanilla.

Roll out the dough to a height of 5mm and line the molds.

(the real ones are ovale, but you can use muffins molds also)

Fill with the cream of rice and bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes.

cuori di risini2

I made three heartshaped for Maura

risini per amiche

and these 4 I brought to my friends Simoo and Monica for breafast :)
* use any kind of "risotto" rice
if you can't find the Vialone nano
paraboild or thai won't do.
**if you use sweetned soy milk,
don't add any extra sugar.
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