November 29, 2009

caramel and chocolate bites - my memories from scotland



i discovered this lovely (and very dangerous - you just can't stop eating it until it's not finished!) speciality during my honey moon in scotland. it was a rainy day in the heart of highlands, more precisly in glencoe that is probably the most beautiful place i've ever seen (more pictures and info here). we arrived late and had some troubles with finding a b&b to stay for the night. at the end of the day we did't manage to have a regular diner so i bought some shortbreads and some caramel shortbreads (that were called the shortbread of the millionaire ;) i would dream about scotland the whole day but let's go back to the recipe (this is donna's hay version with the coconut pastry that i modified a bit).


to make this delicious caramel and cholate bites (as in the picture above) you will need:

- 70g (2,5 oz.) of flour
- 25g (3 tablespoons) of coconut (dry and grated)
- 50g (1/5 cup) of brown sugar
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) of melted butter - half for the pastry and half for the caramel filling
- 400g (14 oz.) of sweet condensed milk
- 100 g (3,5 oz.) of bitter chocolate
- 3 tablespoons of sour cream

preheat the oven to 180°C (360F). mix the melted butter with flour, coconut and sugar. when the mixture is well consistent spread it on a rectangular baking pan coverd with baking paper or well buttered. bake for 20 minutes. in the meantime put the condensed milk, melted butter and cook on a small fire for ca. 10 minutes mixing all the time. put the filling on the baked pastry and bake angain for ca. 20 minutes. after baking leave for cooling and cover with chocolate melted with sour cream. leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.  
now you only need a cup of tea and a comfortable sofa close to a fireplace. you can eaily find it in one of the glencoe's b&bs ;)

November 25, 2009

end of november in milan


november in milan this year is dark and rainy. i love autumn atmosphere and find my city very charming in this season. last sunday i walked a lot in the park and along lovely streets close to my house. i'm lucky to live in one of the most beautiful districts of milan - porta venezia - a few steps from the park and just beside the beautiful corso venezia and its cross streets. i took some pictures of lovely buldings and evocative autumn scenery. i hope you will enjoy this virtual walk with me.

what you can see in the picture above are some examples of beautiful bulidings close to corso venezia. two pictures on the left represent probably the most charming buildings in the whole city: above the magnificent (and a little bit "dark" and gotham city style) palazzo berri meregalli (more pictures here), below my favourite and somehow new york style (at least to me) palazzo fidia (more pictures here). on the right two pictures of a beautiful villa mozart (presently for rent, if you are interested and if you can afford it ;).
***

novembre a milano è quest'anno scuro e piovoso. io adoro l'atmosfera autumnale e trovo la mia città particolarmente affascinante in questa stagione. domenica ho fatto una lunga passeggiata nel parco e lungo le bellissime vie vicino a casa mia. ho la fortuna di abitare in uno dei quartieri più belli di milano - porta venezia - a pochi passi dal parco e vicino al bellissimo corso venezia e alle sue splendide traverse. ho scattato alcune foto di magnifici edifici e del suggestivo paesaggio autumnale. spero che vi piacerà questa virtuale passeggiata con me.

quello che potete vedere nella foto sopra sono gli esempi di alcuni bellissimi edifici vicino al corso venezia. le due foto a sinistra rappresentano probabilmente degli edifici più belli di tutta la città: nella foto sopra il magnifico (e un po' "dark" e stile gotham city) palazzo berri meregalli (più foto qui), sotto il mio preferito e, al mio avviso un po' stile newyorkese, palazzo fidia (più foto qui). sulla destra due foto della bellissima villa mozart (attualmente in affitto se vi interessa e se potete permettervela ;).

***

listopad w mediolanie jest w tym roku ciemny i deszczowy. uwielbiam jesienna atosfere i uwazam, ze moje miasto jest w tym sezonie bardzo czarujace. w niedziele bylam na dlugim spacerze w parku i wsrod pieknych ulic niedaleko mojego domu. mam zaszczyt mieszkac w jednej z najpiekniejszych dzielnic mediolanu - porta venezia - zaledwie kilka krokow od parku i w poblizu przepieknej ulicy corso venezia i jej pieknych przecznic. zrobilam kilka zdjec wspanialych budynkow i  jesiennego pejzarzu. mam nadzieje, ze spodoba wam sie ta wirtualna przechadzka po mediolanie ze mna.

na zdjeciu powyzej kilka przykladow architektury z okolic corso venezia. dwa zdjecia po lewo przedstawaja parwdopodobnie najpiekniejsze budynki w calym miescie: na gornym zdjeciu wspanialy (i troche "dark" w stylu godham city) palazzo berri meregalli (wiecej zdjeci tutaj), ponizej moj ulubiony i, moim zdaniem trioche w stylu new york, palazzo fidia (wiecej zdjec tutaj). po prawo dwa zdjecia wspanialej willi mozart (obecnie do wynajecia jesli was interesuje i jesli mozecie sobie na to pozwolic ;).



above my favourite path - the entrance to villa necchi campiglio (do you remeber my post the beauty of  autumn?) in november its dress. below a detail from the villa necchi campiglio garden.

***

sopra il mio sentiero preferito - entrata della villa necchi campiglio (ricordate il mio post the beauty of autumn?) nella sua veste di novembre. sotto un dettaglio del giardino di questa villa.

***

powyzej moja ulubiona sciezka - przy wejsciu do willi necchi campiglio (pamietacie moj post the beauty of autumn?) w listopadowym stroju. ponizej detal z ogrodu tej willi.


and finally here we are in the beautiful park giardini pubblici di porta venezia (more picrures here). it was almost completely empty on sunday afternoon, full of warm autumn colours and falling leafs. well, even if november is considered one of the most melancholy and gloomy months i find it very inspiring and i love my long walks during the weekend and love my city in this season.

***

e finalmente eccoci nel bellissimo parco - i giardini pubblici di porta venezia (più foto qui). domenica pomeriggio era quasi completamente vuoto, pieno solo di caldi colori autumnali e le foglie cadenti. anche se novembre è considerato uno dei mesi più malinconici e tristi io lo trovo molto suggestivo e adoro le mie lunge passeggiate durante il weekend e amo la mia città in questa stagione.

***

a to park - i giardini pubblici di porta venezia (wiecej zdjec tutaj). w niedziele popoludniu byl prawie calkowicie pusty, przepelniony tylko cieplymi jesiennymi kolorami e opadlymi liscmi. chociaz listopad jest uwazany za jeden z najbardziej melancholijnych i smutnych miesiecy ja uwazam, ze jest niezwykle inspirujacy i uwielbiam moje dlugie spacery podczas weekendow i moje miasto w tym sezonie.



November 23, 2009

quick ideas - sweet milk



i hope that you had a great weekend ;) my brother and his girlfriend were here with me and i prepared this sweet dessert for sunday lunch -  the cake i baked on saturday finished very quickly so i needed some quick idea to preare the dessert...

what i did was:
i mixed 70 g (1/3 cup) of sugar 250ml (1 cup) of cream and 250ml (1cup) of milk and boiled it all together. i left it for cooling for a while (in order to take off the dense "peel" that appears always on the boiled milk). i put the mixture in the pans and left in the fridge for 20 minutes. at the end i served it with some fresh raspberries. it was just yummy! you should try it too!

i wish you all a very sweet monday!


November 18, 2009

cat sharing



did you know about car sharing? here in milan some people share cars with others. this way one can save money and environment. cute idea, don't you think? i'm not sharing a car with anybody in this moment but i'm doing something even more innovative: i'm sharing a cat with my neighbour! this lovely kitty in the picture above is my neighbour's but she stays with us during the weekends and visits us very often during the week ;) my neighbour julie, the cat owner, stays in milan only during the week and goes back home for the weekends. to make the life less stresfull to her cat we decided, with my enormous pleasure, that i will keep the cat when she is away ;) i just love cats and i'm very happy with this solution. it seams that also the kitty is happy with that!

sapevate di car sharing? qui a milano alcune persone condividono la macchina con gli altri, in questo modo possono risparmiare soldi e aiutare l'ambiente. un'idea carina, non credete? io non condivido la macchina con nessuno in questo momento però faccio una cosa acora più innovativa: condivido il gatto con la mia vicina! questa bellissima micia sulla foto sopra è della mia vicina ma sta con noi durante il weekend e ci viene a trovare spesso anche in settimana ;) la mia vicina julie, la proprietaria della micia, sta a milano solamente durante la settimana e torna a casa ogni weekend. per rendere la vita della micia meno stressante abbiamo deciso, con il mio enorme piacere, che sarò io a prendermi cura della micia quando julie è via ;) amo i gatti e sono molto felice di questa soluzione. pare che anche la micia ne sia soddisfatta!

slyszeliscie o car sharing? tu w mediolanie niektorzy dziela sie samochodem z innymi osobami oszczedzajac w ten sposob pieniadze i dbajac o srodowisko. dobry pomysl, nie sadzicie? ja obecnie nie dziele sie z nikim samochodem ale robie cos jeszcze bardziej innowacyjnego: dziele sie kotem z moja sasiadka! ten sliczny kotek ze zdjecia powyzej nalezy do mojej sasiadki ale spedza z nami weekendy i odwiedza nas czesto w ciagu tygodnia ;) moja sasiadka julie, wlascicielka kota, jest w mediolanie tylko w ciagu tygodnia na weekendy natomiast wraca do domu. zadecydowalysmy, w trosce o kota i z wieka przyjemnoscia z mojej strony, ze ja bede sie zajmowac koteczkiem kiedy julie jest poza miastem ;) uwielbiam koty i jestem bardzo szczesliwa z tego rozwiazania. wyglada na to, ze kotek tez jest zadowolony!




November 13, 2009

a great book of recipes to test this weekend



dear friends, i just wanted to wish you a happy weekend (on sunday i will meet for lunch my dear friend monika who is in milan in these days, i just cant't wait to see her!) and show you a small treasure i keep in my hands... my american friend heather lent me her amazing recipe book. it's full of traditional american recipes for gorgeous meals and desserts, writen with love and in many cases inherited from her loved ones.

cari amici, volevo solo augurarvi buon weekend (domenica a pranzo incontro la mia carissima amica monika che si trova a milano in questi giorni, non vedo l'ora!) e farvi vedere questo piccolo tesoro che ho in mano... heater, la mia amica americana mi ha prestato questo suo bellissimo libro di ricette. è pieno di tradizionali ricette americane per fantastici piatti e desser, ricette scritte con amore e in molti casi ereditate dalle persone che le sono care.

drodzy przyjaciele, chcialam tylko zyczyc wam udanego weekendu (w niedziele bedzie u mnie na obiedzie moja przyjaciolka monika, ktora jest w tych dniach w mediolanie, juz nie moge sie doczekac!) i pokazac wam ten maly skarb, ktory znajduje sie obecnie w moich rekach... moja amerykanskia przyjaciolka heather pozyczyla mi swoja ksiazke kucharska. jest w niej pelno wspanialych tradycyjnych amerykanskich przepisow na pyszne dania i desery, napisanych z miloscia i w wielu przypadkach odziedziczonych po bliskich jej osobach.

  

of course i'm going to try some of her gorgeous recipes - they are all so inspiring - and i will share my experience with you. i just can't wait to go cooking! the blueberry muffins is the first recipe i'm going to test :) that's a pity that the weekend is always so short... i would spend a whole month in my kitchen with this recipe book and maybe even a month wouldn't be enought to try them all!

wish you all a great and sweet weekend!

ovviamente proverò alcune di queste splendide ricette - mi ispirano tantissimo - e condividerò la mia esperienza con voi. non vedo l'ora di iniziare a cucinare! muffin ai mirtilli è la prima ricetta che voglio testare:) è un peccato che i weekend durano sempre così poco... ci passerei un mese chiusa in cucina con questo libro di ricette e forse un mese intero non basterebbe neanche per testarle tutte!

vi auguro uno splendido e dolce weekend!

oczywiscie przetestuje niektore z tych przepisow - bardzo mnie inspiruja - i podziele sie z wami moimi doswiadczeniami. nie moge sie doczekac kiedy zaczne gotowac! muffiny z jagodami to pierwszy przepis ktory przetestuje :) szkoda, ze weekendy sa zawsze takie krotkie... spedzialbym caly miesiac w kuchni z ta ksiazka kucharska choc moze miesiac to za malo, zeby je wszystkie wyprobowac!

zycze wam wszystkim udanego i slodkiego weekendu!




November 10, 2009

home made madeleines


i did it! my first home made madeleines came out very delicious! i'm so happy about that! i've always thought (and i've always been told) that baking madeleines by yourself must be a diffcult task but it wasn't (or maybe i was lucky this time;). the only problem is that i still don't have a professional madeleines pan... i just can't find it anywhere here in italy... i used disposable pans and they are ok, but the form is a little bit different from vrai madeleines... i need to go to paris to get the pan - now i have another good reason to go!

madeleine is a cake with a history according to this website "some sources, including the New Oxford American Dictionary, say madeleines may have been named for a 19th century pastry cook, Madeleine Paulmier, but other sources have it that Madeleine Paulmier was a cook in the 18th century for Stanisław Leszczyński, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them for her. The Larousse Gastronomique offers two conflicting versions of the Madeleine's history. Madeleines were chosen to represent France in the Café Europe initiative of the Austrian presidency of the European Union, on Europe Day 2006." wow, stanislaw leszczynski was polish! is there something about us polish that makes us love madeleines??

anyways, let's go to work! if you hurry up you can have your madeleines ready for breakfast...yummy with honey or orange marmelade...

you will need (for 20 madeleines):
-4 eggs
-170 g (6 oz.) of sugar
-170 g (6 oz.) of flour
-2 teaspoons of baking soda
-180g (6,3 oz.) of butter

preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). melt the butter on a small fire and leave for cooling. mix the egs with sugar with the electric mixer for about 8-10 minutes. add slowly flour and baking soda and mix well again. add melted (and cool) butter and mix again. according to some recipes it's better to put the mixter in the fridge for at least 2 hours before baking - to be honest i didn't do that (because i was hurry and... hungry). butter well your madeleines pans (if you use silicon or disposable pans butter is not needed) and fill them with the mixture up to the edges. put in the hot oven (the temperature is very important in order to make the madeleines grow fastly) for 10 minutes. take away from the oven and pull out of shapes immediately. leave for cooling and enjoy, enjoy!
 

November 09, 2009

last flowers in my garden


november is cold and rainy this year. last flowers and plants in my graden are still beautiful... this is the last good moment to enjoy their disapperaring beauty...

novembre è freddo e piovoso quest'anno. gli ultimi fiori e piante nel mio giardino sono ancora bellissimi ...adesso è l'ultima occassione di  ammirare la loro bellezza destinata a sparire presto...

listopad jest zimny i deszczowy w tym roku. ostanie kwiaty w moim ogrodzie sa nadal piekne... to ostatnia okazja by cieszyc sie ich pieknem, ktore nie potrwa juz dlugo...


November 06, 2009

simple panna cotta


panna cotta is one of my favourite desserts. the best thing of this extremely simple and lovely looking delights is the fact that usualy everybody likes it (i did it last saturday for my halloween party and everybody appreciated it very much!). there are many very different variants of this lovely dessert (you can find one of it looking at one of my posts from september or cliccking here). today i'm sharing with you the simplest recipe for panna cotta. it will only take you few minutes to make this delicious dessert and, i ensure you, the result will be fabulous!
you will need (for 4 or 6 panna cottas - depending on the size of your pans):

-250 ml (1 cup) of heavy sweet cream (no creme fraiche this time!)
-250 ml (1 cup) of milk (fresh milk would be the best!)
-70g (2,5 oz.) of sugar
-1 vanilia stick (or few drops of vanilia aroma) - optional
-10g (0,4 oz.) - usually 2 leafs of gelatine

put the gelatine leafs in a bowl full of cold water and leave until the gelatine becomes soft. put cream and milk in a pot on a medium fire. add sugar and mix well until the sugar melts. make the mixture boil for 15-30 seconds and take away from fire. if you use vanilia stick add it to the mixture, cover the pot and leave for 10 minutes. then take a stick away. if you use vanilia aroma add it to the mixture. add the gelatine to the still hot mixture and mix wery well - the gelatine will melt very quickly. put the mixture in aluminium pans (special for panna cotta and creme caramel, if you don't have special pans you can use glasses as well), cover with plastic wrap and leave for cooling. then transport the pans in the fridge and leave for at least 3-4 hours (the best would be the whole night). before serving take away from pans (with use of a knife - cut delicately the edges) and put upside down on small plates.
you will love it!

November 04, 2009

my favourites kitchen tools and accessories


among my kitchen tools there are some pieces that are really precious to me. of course i don't mean their tangible value but the fact that in many cases these objects are gifts from my loved ones or souvenirs. let me show you some of my treasures. in this picture the hand made bowl/butter dish is a gift from my mom that she brought me from florence.

a volte gli accessori che uso in cucina sono dei pezzi che ritengo davvero preziosi. ovviamnete non parlo del loro valore tangibile ma del fatto che in molti casi questi oggetti sono regali da persone care o souvenir. vi faccio vedere alcuni dei miei tesori. in questa foto la ciotolina/burriera e' un ragalo di mia mamma, portato da firenze.

niektore przybory kuchenne sa dla mnie bardzo cenne. oczywiscie nie mam na mysli ich prawdziwej wartosci ale fakt, ze wiekszosc z nich to prezenty od bliskich mi osob lub pamiatki. chcialam wam pokazac kilka moich skarbow. na tym zdjeciu miseczka/maselniczka to prezent od mojej mamy, ktory przywiozla mi z florencji.


the story of the china set in the picture above is quite funny. i found it at a flea market in monza (a beautiful small town close to milan) and i discovered that it was made in poland! of course i bought it immediately!

la storia del set di porcellana nella foto sopra è divertente. l'ho trovato in un mercatino dell'usato a monza (una bellissima cittadina vicino a milano) e ho scoperto che era made in poland! ovviamnete l'ho comprato subito!

historia zestawu porcelany na zdjeciu powyzej jest dosc smieszna. znalazlam go na pchlim targu w monzy (malym miasteczku niedaleko mediolanu) i odkrylam, ze jest made in poland! oczywiscie od razu go kupilam!


old england brekfast set (one of my best ebay finds!) and, in the background, my favourite toile de jouy wallpaper by nap atelier.

set da colazione old england (una delle mie migliori trovate sull'ebay) e sullo sfondo la mia tapezzeria toile de jouy preferita da nap atelier.

komplet sniadaniowy old england (jedno z moich najlepszych zakupow na ebay) na tle mojej ulubionej tapety toile de jouy z nap atelier.

November 02, 2009

quick ideas - valeria's patè

my friend valeria made this fantastic tuna patè for our halloween party. it's really delicious and extremely delicate. it's perfect for a party or as a qucik snack when you are not in a mood for cooking. the best way to serve it is to spread it on toasts or crackers. valeria uses for this recipe mascarpone cheese but you can change it with a similar (and maybe less fat ;) creamy cheese.


you will need:

- 100g (3,5 oz.) of tuna fish (tin tuna in oil)
- 100g (3,5 oz.) of mascarpone cheese (or similar creamy cheese)
- toasted slices of bread or crackers

drip well the tuna and mince it with a blender. add the cheese and mix well until the patè becomes homogeneous. spread on hot toasted bread or on crackers. that's all? yes, your toasts with tuna patè are ready to eat now!

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