August 10, 2009

quick ideas - summer bruschetta

no time for cooking? no problem at all. take some fresh tomatoes, few twigs of fresh oregano, garlic, olive oil and slices of bread. your light summer supper is ready!

crispy and fragrant, fresh and tasty bruschetta is an easy and quick solution even if you are particularly demanding in the matter of food.

you will need (for 2-3 portions):

- 1 big or 10 small (cocktail size) tomatoes

- 1 clove of garlic (cut in very small pieces)

- 2 table spoons of olive oli (best quality extra vergine of course)

- 2 twigs of oregano (cut in pieces)

- 8 - 10 slices of bread (better if not very fresh)

- salt

heat the oven to 150°C. spread some baking paper inside the baking pan and put slices of bread over it. mix the garlic with olive oil and spread it on the bread. put in the oven for 10-15 minutes. in the meantime cut the tomatatoes into small pieces, mix with origano leaves and salt.

take the bread out of the oven and when still very hot put the tomatoes (together with their juice) on each slice of the bread.

what else.. your bruschetta is ready. enjoy!

August 06, 2009

happy birthday cake

the summer is still here and the fruity season continous! let's take advantage of that and prepare something delicious.
the cake in the picture is a birthday present for laura (who loves cakes and sweets), made of sponge cake, confectioner's custard, chocolate topping and plenty of raspberries and blackberries.
maybe it's not the easiest cake in the world but it's certainly worth of some effort!

you will need:

- for the sponge cake:
6 eggs
100g of sugar
100g of pastry flour
juice from 1 medium size lemon
grated lemon rind

pre-heat the oven to 150°C. separate the whites and yolks of the eggs. beat the yolks adding the sugar gradually. add the lemon juice and rind. at the end add the flour and mix together very gently. bake in an ungreased pan in a very moderate oven. bake until the cake is puffed and becomes light-brown (about 40 minutes). don't ever open the oven while baking, otherwise the cake may not "grow" in a correct way. leave aside when ready and let it chill completely.

- for the confectioner's custard:
3 yolks
100g of sugar
2 table spoons of flour
250 ml of milk

boil the milk. separately mix the yolks with sugar until the mixture is soft and much lighter than at the beginning. add the flour very gently and dilute with some milk (about 1/3 of all the boiled milk). add the mixture to the rest of the milk and boil for about 1 minute mixing all the time.

- for the fruity taste:
50g of fresh raspberries
50g of fresh blackberries
(you can also use strawberries or blueberries, as well as other soft summer fruits)

cut the sponge cake in two identical parts horizontally. cut the fruits in small pieces (leave some for garnish) and mix with the custard (that must be still quite hot, otherwise it will become too thick). spread the fruity custard on one of the two parts of the sponge cake and close it with the second part.

- for the chocolate topping:
100g dark chocolate
30g of butter
3 table spoons of icing sugar

melt the chocolate with butter (in water bath or on a very gentle fire) and mix with sugar. spread on the cake when and garnish with the fruits. leave in the frige for at least 3 hours before serving, in order to make the sponge cake become softer.

the sumer birthday cake is ready and happy birthday laura!!

August 05, 2009

city gardens in competition

this time love lives in the kitchen is visiting two new "city gardens" and admiring their lovely benches and colorfull flowers.

these two urban oasis are placed in a big and crowded city and in the summer time transform from simple balconies into additional life spaces, kind of green rooms on the open air.

the nice thing is that both gardens are big enought to be used as dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as for after-dinner cocktail.

sorrounded by beautiful flowers and colours, in the summer sun rays, it's lovely to take a rest from a busy city life, read a book or play with the cat. another pleasant but also necessary pastime in these oasis is gardening, as to keep the flowers so beautiful the whole summer an intervention of a practiced gardener is needed!

so among these two lovely city gardens which one would you vote for?


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