Saturday, July 31, 2010

Turning ten

I just can't believe: that small baby that was falling asleep only if I hold her hand has turned into a smart girl. I'm feeling somehow older too and I think that many of my gray hair comes from kids feeling sick in the middle of the night or falling from the stairs or entering home yelling "MUM, I NEED A DOCTOR".

This afternoon came H's sister and we looked at old pictures, were D was just a little baby to cuddle and we wore funny dresses. No need to say that the kids were laughing at us.

As usual I asked D which cake she preferred for her birthday, but I should have been wiser and offer just two or three different kinds. She came up with a super-special-four-layer-birthday-cake, so that, to keep my promise, I made this.

I baked two sponge cake, one diameter 24 cm and one 20 cm, and I sliced in two the smaller, cutting from one slice a circle diameter 15 cm. I sliced the larger and put a layer of custard. Then I covered everything with my


350 g white chocolate

480 g Philadelphia-like cheese

230 g butter (softened)

melt the chocolate in the microwave and stir together with cheese and butter.

For her "real" birthday she asked for a cake that It comes from a book she received last year, "Disney recipes: from animation to inspiration", were it is called "the mad hatter and march hare's cheesecake".

I didn't follow exactly the recipe, because I have to cook gluten free, so I made my personal version


200 g chocolate wafer

60 g butter softened

250 g mascarpone cheese

100 g strawberry jam

Crumble the wafer and mix with butter, put in a round mold and cook for 10 minutes in the oven (180°C). While it is cooling mix mascarpone and strawberry jam, then put on the pie crust and you are done.

Both recipes are simple, but high in fat, so now I think I'm going to eat only vegetables for some day.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blossom for dinner

Mr P is one of our neighbors, he is in his seventies and has a wonderful garden. Our kids are fond of him and sometimes help him to look after his hen. Last evening D1 run home and asked if I would like some zucchini blossom from mr P. I was really glad and looking forward to have for dinner those wonderful fried blossom, may be stuffed with some ricotta cheese, parmesan, nutmeg and an egg.
Then the kids run in the kitchen with a bucket full, I mean FULL, of zucchini blossom. They were more than an hundred!
I love them, I love cooking for my family, but I didn't intend spend 2 hours fring all those blossom. What else could I do? I ended up with this


40 zucchini blossom
4 or 5 eggs
3 + 1 tablespoon of parmesan
some millk

First of all lightly wash the blossoms, trim the stems and remove the pistils
Beat everything together, sprinkle with a spoon of parmesan and put in the oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes, till it has a golden surface.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

bags bags bags

Before our holidays I had great fun sewing some bags for friends, but I had so many things to prepare, that I took almost no picture. I regret, because they were beautiful and some people asked one.

I made two Estelle bag, but I have pictures ony of this one.

Than I made a mother-and-daughter duo, two totes for summer. In both cases I used Ikea fabric and I lined them with a cotton ecru fabric. Handles are in grosgrain.

I'm planning to do some more sewing in the future, maybe some summer dress for the kids or other bags. H set up a sewing place for me, so that I don't have to put away everything when it's dinner time. I have even a radio. It has been a great gift!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer time : France

We have never been to Aix-en-Provence before. I was impressed by the bright colors of nature and houses. Lilac as lavander, gold and brown as sunflowers, green as grass, red, blue. No wonder that Cezanne, who was born here, decided to be a painter

The center of Aix is the old town (vieille ville), it's a small-enough area to explore by foot, but there's way too much to see: Cezanne lived and worked here, sometimes it seems you can even see him in one of those cafe or old-looking shops.

We have been at the flower market that is held at the Place de l'Hotel de Ville and had a walk in this town full of fountains. We visited also the Muséum d'Histoire Naturel (Museum of Natural History). It has a collection of dinosaur bones and dinosaur eggs which were the joy of the kids.

The next day we went to Roussilon, a small village located in the heart of the Massif des ochres. We visited the Conservatoire des ocres, the old Mathieu factory. The 5-hectare site washing ochres have kept the character of this industry and it's a beautiful trip to do with kids, but only if you can stand the color of their clothes at the end...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer time : Italy

There's a really hot weather this summer, but luckily we spent a few days in Liguria with friends. I felt really rich, because I got up early as usual and by 7.30 am I was enjoying a walk alone in the brisk morning.

No shouting, no loud music, just a few people walking by the sea.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Since last time...

... we had some good time. I spent some time sewing, some time looking after my old mother, some time cooking and driving kids to volley and swimming and lots of small things that piled up to my cheek.

In brief ...

there came Easter and spring and mother's day;
(my easter cake from Good Housekeeping, wild cyclamen, kids' artwork with lego, coloring eggs, our neighbor cherry)

we went to Rome, Orvieto and Marmore's fall;
(duomo di Orvieto column, villa Borghese park, fontana di Trevi, H blowing an ancient horn at the Colosseo, Orvieto house, mosaic at the Colosseo, H at piazza di Spagna, Marmore falls, San Pietro, mosaic in duomo di Orvieto, kids at the fontana di Trevi, inside Colosseo, fontana dei satiri in Rome)

there had been some volley matches and school end play;
(school end play at the kindergarten and at the primary school, mini volley)

we worked and H had a small injury;
(S and H with peas from our garden, pieces from the brushcutter H is trying to fix, H tuning our piano, H's aching ankle)

and finally the reason of my sewing, the first holy communion of our daughters. They chose the model and I made the dresses; they are completely different and show their personality. The first is in white satin with lilac tulle ans ribbon, ankle long: I found some difficulties in cutting and sewing satin because of its slippery. The second has a wide skirt with eight sunray pleats (spicchi soleil in italian) and has no sleeves, that's why D wears a shrug.
In the picture you can see also the other kids, two teachers and the priest, on the left can you guess who is the little boy who wants to be "as sleek as daddy"? He asked even for a striped tie!