June 19, 2012 by Giulietta
It's no mystery: to me breakfast is sacred. I hardly skip it (because then I'd end up eating anything in sight, 'cause otherwise I'd have one of those fin de siècle fainting, from which one could recover only with salt and a fanning – with a handkerchief decorated with lace, of course) and, if I was forced to choose a meal in which I could go on and on eating until the bursting point, I'd choose breakfast (needless to tell you, how much I can eat in one of those beautiful hotels with rich breakfast buffet – and no, I'm not ashamed of that!).
So, for me everything that has to do with breakfast food is surrounded by an aura of sacredness: in fact, I love preparing for the every day breakfast (even though I have it in 5 minutes, more or less ), mine or others, cookies, cakes and sweets that make you start the day in a sweeter way and, for me, without the desire to kill anyone who dares speak to me. But, even more, I love being able to have a breakfast worthy of its name, having it calmly, at the bar or, even better, at home, with something specifically prepared, maybe with a nice home-made cappuccino (I make it with a pot like this one, bought in a supermarket for a pittance) or a glass of cold milk (cold milk is one of those "small but great" pleasures in life) on the side. And so, for a nice Sunday breakfast, I was able to enjoy these wonderful buttermilk pancakes, topped with maple syrup and fresh blueberries: a real treat, a cuddle, which I strongly suggest you to start a relaxing day (or to brighten up a bad day … different points of view) .. 'cause breakfast is sacred, but the relaxing one it's even more sacred!
Category Breakfast, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Fruits of the forest, Pancakes, USA Cuisine | Tags: blueberries,breakfast,buttermilk,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,fruits of the forest,maple syrup,pancakes,usa cuisine,yogurt | 19 Comments
March 31, 2012 by Giulietta
The title of this post and what you see and read in the picture above speak for themselves ..
Bye, bye, ciambella (Italian for ring shaped cake), goodbye to you who begin to die as soon as you leave the oven (as soon as you lose the twelfth-degree burn effect, just like Fantozzi's wake – see here, from 00:40 onwards), adios to you, ciambella, hoping that sooner or later I'll manage to photograph the whole you. No kidding, this is the third ciambella I made in the last two weeks, and none of the three, although for different reasons, arrived wholly for photographic evidence. But I wanted at all costs this cake on my blog, so I settled for a C (as for "ciambella" and "ciao ciao") and I'll give you the recipe anyway, hoping it will suffice you and hoping that this cake's short life will convince you it's delicious.
I started to know Juls (here's the link to her blog, which I suggest you to visit, but you can find the link to her recipe below) with this recipe, there I wrote my first comment to her blog and, in that comment, I said a sacred truth… I said that this cake, with its softness, would become my must for breakfast, outperforming my traditional yogurt cake. And so it was (I'm more prophetic than Nostradamus and the Mayans together). In fact I often make this cake, 'cause it contains no butter, 'cause it's simple and fast, 'cause it can be flavored with anything that you want and 'cause its softness is incredible.
Try the cake, test its (short) life and then tell me if it's not highly addictive …
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Pantry cakes | Tags: breakfast,cakes and pies,dessert and sweets,pantry cakes | 15 Comments
March 17, 2012 by Giulietta
For some time now, my days literally run away, in a vortex of commitments that I can hardly count: there's work, of course, but then there's the photography class, the Arabic cuisine class, tutoring, and then there's my private life, going out with friends, phone calls, e-mail and SMS. Then there's the blog, and I don't have to tell you how my presence here decreased a lot: now I have a weekly "appointment" with you, but its importance for me stays always the same.
And yet I feel like I'm forgetting something that contributes to fill my days … ah, yes, then there are my dreams, the ones that make me sigh as a hero of some Nineteenth century novel thinking about Paris in spring, the ones that had me convinced that I have to join a singing or a professional cooking class… these dreams (and many others, but I won't make a list) are some sort of a background, and they're ready to creep into my thoughts while I wait for a green light or while I'm in line to pay in a supermarket. And they make me realize that, despite my current frenzy, but I could call it chaos (and I don't know if it actually gives birth to a dancing star, like Nietzsche said), I still have so much to do, places to see and people worth knowing. We must "only" channel our forces better, chasing the right dreams, big or small ones.
But when your forces aren't enough, when we would like a word of comfort and there is no one who can give us that, no one who can give us his/her shoulder to lean on?
Well, there are motivational cookies, then. These cookies can say everything we would love to hear … a simple "Good morning" (Buongiorno) when you wake up alone in the morning and you would like someone at your side, a "Come on" ("Daje", in roman dialect) to give yourself a shake (a everything that I love hate Roman), an "alegher" (something Piedmontese that means "stay happy") to remember yourself that everything will be okay, a "hold on" (Resisti) for the darkest moments.
Category Breakfast, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Egg yolks only, Extra-virgin olive oil, Thoughts and words | Tags: breakfast,cookies,dessert and sweets,egg yolks,extra-virgin olive oil,short pastry,thoughts and words | 18 Comments
February 7, 2012 by Giulietta
Some scents inevitably bring me back to certain seasons, certain places or specific moments in the past. They say that smell is a very powerful sense, able to activate memory quicker than the other senses.
I can't call myself a "smell fetishistic", but I can't deny that the scent of a person, the comforting aroma of freshly baked bread or the smell of certain herbs are "odorous sensations" that remain dormant in the brain, ready to wake up at the first opportunity.
Maybe it's because I took the "nose" from my father, not esthetically (I got the shape but not the size .. I don't mean to be rude, but I got lucky), but on a sensory level .. maybe I owe him my sense of smell to him not only for the genes, but for the "training" .. in many pictures of me as a child with my father, he is making me smell some lavender, some rosemary or who knows what other herb.
May this have influenced my smell development? I don't know, but I like to think so.
And, if some smells bring back autumn (roasted chestnuts or the smell or underwood, mushrooms), summer (the smell of salt or sun cream) or spring atmospheres (the spring has its own characteristic smell, and I believe it comes from the life that springs up again after the winter lethargy), there are some smells that come along the winter .. in these days we are surrounded by the smell of snow ("What does snow smell like?" you'd ask … I think it has a smell, but I can't describe it or define it), but there are some smells and combination of smells that they "scent" like winter, warm house, steaming tea.
In my opinion the scent of cinnamon, honey and baked apples are among winter scents.. so why don't combine them in a muffin?
Category Breakfast, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Fresh fruit, Muffins cupcakes and little cakes, Spices | Tags: apple,breakfast,cinnamon,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,fresh fruit,honey,muffins cupcakes and little cakes,pecan nuts,yogurt | 20 Comments
December 24, 2011 by Giulietta
Here we are, today is the beloved or dreaded Christmas Eve, a day about preparations: clean up house, cooking (I have to make coniglio al civet -a rabbit stew- and bread for tomorrow's lunch), wrap the last gifts and, in my case, pack the edible gifts (so that they don't lose their fragrance, hopefully). I know that I skimped on: I didn't write about a lot of recipes for home-made gifts, but I didn't want to ruin the surprise to my closest friends.
But today I can at least reveal the first secret of Fatima, about my sweet and cute Gingerbread men, that remind me of the one from the movie Shrek. Of course, this isn't an Italian sweet, but I like these spicy cookies so much, and I find that they smell like winter, like homely warmth, like Christmas. Also, once you've decorated them (although I did a very simple decoration) with glaze, they'll become very cute and nice: they can almost talk!
Category Breakfast, Christmas, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Glaze, Holidays, Home-made is better, North Europe cuisine, Spices | Tags: breakfast,Christmas,cinnamon,clove,cookies,dessert and sweets,ginger,glaze,holidays,home-made is better,honey,North Europe cuisine,nutmeg,spices | 9 Comments
December 10, 2011 by Giulietta
While you're reading this post, I will be in Rome for a book exhibition, an "excuse" to finally see again many friends who come from all over Italy. Take a school trip, add a food and wine tour, add a package tour with thousand forced stops, add a shopaholic meeting and you still can't fully grasp the spirit of this reunion. And then I'll take some food tour (I have to), and I'll finally meet some fellow food bloggers live, but I'll tell you everything when I'll come back.
But, since "we're not here to comb the dolls" (a roman saying that means "we're not here to bake cookies"… even if we're here to bake cookies), in this post I try to satisfy with a single recipe those who are looking for simple and light breakfast cookies and those who are looking for a gourmet cookie gift for Christmas (and you can give them even to your lactose intolerant friends. Home-made really is better), perhaps along with a nice bottle of passito wine. I guarantee you, these cookies are fantastic dunked in milk and in wine … a miracle!
It's not a miracle, it's a Juls' (from Juls' Kitchen) recipe!
Category Breakfast, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Home-made is better, Wine | Tags: breakfast,cookies,dairy products free,dessert and sweets,extra-virgin olive oil,home-made is better,white wine,wine | 18 Comments
November 20, 2011 by Giulietta
After different themed-posts, I'll go back to breakfast .. not that in the meantime I stopped making sweet treats for breakfast (never), but simply because I dusted the great breakfast classics, and maybe you'll see those, too, sooner or later.
Sometimes, however, I must (it's a real need) try something new, possibly to use all the delicacies that I have at home, some of those hand-made, some won in contests and some courtesy of some companies, from my region or not.
For this plum cake I put together a basic recipe (taken from the blog La farfalla di cioccolato) and an incredible delicacy, a cherry jam that I'll never use again for a cake … don't get me wrong, the cake was delicious, but this jam is so delicious that it required to be eaten by spoonfuls or to be used to garnish a panna cotta… and I usually hate cherry jam. I took these two elements and I adapted them so I could use a cake mix I won in a contest (actually, I won a giant pack of flours that now fills up a great part of my wardrobe .. no comment) … I usually don't use cake mix, but I don't like wasting food, so I used it (but I'll leave the necessary replacements in the recipe) and I like it a lot!
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Jam, Pantry cakes | Tags: breakfast,cakes and pies,cherry,dessert and sweets,jam,pantry cakes,plum cake | 22 Comments
November 5, 2011 by Giulietta
Today it's raining… well, saying that it's raining it's reductive, 'cause it's pouring from yesterday, without interruption. Now Turin and the entire Piedmont are on the highest alert, 'cause the Po river could overflow, or it could appen to of the many other rivers of this region (and some river already overflowed in the area of Alessandria). We are hoping that this is not another 1994 or 2000 (years of two big floods), that this time water would spare these areas.
But my thought inevitably goes to the Region nearby, Liguria, where Cinque Terre and then Genoa went through an inundation (and unfortunately it's not finished yet), the same or maybe worse (but looking for the worst it's a reallysick exercise) than the one we have seen here.. we would like that such facts don't happen anymore, not in 2011, not in the "civilized" world, not in historical cities survived for centuries and suddenly at risk, and all for negligence leading to disasters that on the lips of politicians are always unpredictable (and I wonder who still believes them).
In short, who now is in the North West of Italy, but not only there, please stay at home, don't go in the streets unless it's absolutely necessary, avoid unnecessary risks. Even if it's Saturday, and we would like to go out, to distract ourselves from a work week made more intense for having seen or experienced tragedies too close to our front door, make the effort to stay at home, watch a movie, read a book, follow the weather news and ask ourselves, really, if we can do something to help our neighbors in need. The only concession allowed to this plan is a hot tea and an apple square, to comfort ourselves.
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Marinade, Pantry cakes | Tags: apple,brandy,breakfast,cakes and pies,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,liqueur,marinade,pantry cakes,renette apples,soft cakes | 38 Comments
September 19, 2011 by Giulietta
Now that the weather starts to be cooler and consequently turning on the oven is more appealing (I don't know about you, but here in Turin Friday I was wearing shorts and sandals, while yesterday I wore jeans, sweatshirt and shoes… sudden changes, uh. Let me say it: there are no more middle seasons!), I can finally start the endless series of breakfast sweets.
Oh, yeah, I'm a strenuous supporter of the do-it-yourself breakfast, which doesn't include silicone and wooden planks, but a series of delicacies, from cookies to muffins, from tarts to mini pies, passing through plum cakes and pantry cakes. Well, cold and dark times have some advantages, too!
So, to start a series of breakfast-friendly recipes, here it is: a simple apple and yogurt cake, an almost banal recipe (as in "recipes you could find on the back of flour packages"), but its result is rustic to the right point and everyone would agree with it, at breakfast or not.
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Cooking for dummies, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Pantry cakes | Tags: apple,breakfast,cakes and pies,cooking for dummies,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,lemon,pantry cakes,yogurt | 113 Comments