THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: CUPCAKES WITH DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS

Hello, dear friends, how are you? I’ve been too busy in the last two weeks, so I’ve neglected the blog again, and I’m so sorry for this. But last Friday I had a brand new “kitchen toy” to improve: an electric oven for cupcakes! Davide’s aunt gave it to me as a gift, and I non ho potuto fare a meno but to try it immediately!

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This little oven is just ideal for small quantities of cupcakes, and it’s really funny to use. You can find my recipe of cupcakes here: just be careful at the temperature of the butter (it must be soft and creamy) and add chocolate chips in the end, after putting the mixture in the mixer. Sometimes I add some chocolate chips before, and some also at the end, after mixing. Afterall, chocolate is perfect with any ingredient.

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This time I’ve also used some “moulds”: I use several moulds with different decoration to apply on the top of the cupcakes and fill with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. The effect is simple and guaranteed. Even for a starter decorator.

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This is the final result. The smaller ones are with nutella cream and coconut powder. Please enjoy them! And Happy Fiesta Friday! (always in late)

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NEW AWARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN!

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It’s almost 11 months that I opened the blog and it seems almost incredible that in such a short time I have been able to receive many bonuses. I’ve also someone who follow me every day and write me a lot of compliments for my good job…. when I start this blog, I was not sure to be able to develop it in the right way, but now I can say that I like it and the result is quite fine. Thank you to you all ’cause I’m feeling really appreciated. A special thanks goes to Simonetta, from the blog A Casa di Simi: we don’t know each other from so long, but I can say that she’s a really busy woman, with many passion like me, and I’m really inspired every day by her recipe!I have many usefull advices following her blog.

RULES OF THE AWARD:

– Thank those who have nominated and link to their blog
– Write ten things about you, and challenge who read to understand which are true and which not.
– Nominate 10 bloggers that you wish to know more, and leave a message on their blogs about your nomination.
– Publish all the right answers in the following days.

10 THINGS ABOUT ME: TRUE OR FALSE? (very easy)

– I’ve blond hair (sono bionda); FALSE – I’ve brown hair
– I made linguistic studies in high school
(ho frequentato un liceo linguistico); TRUE
– I’ve green eyes (ho gli occhi verdi); FALSE – I’ve brown eyes
– I’ve a dog (ho un cane); FALSE – I’ve a cat
– I live in the countryside (abito in campagna); FALSE
– I’m 1,60 m tall (sono alta 1,60 m); FALSE – I’m 1,70 cm
– I’m married (sono sposata); FALSE – I live together with Davide, but we’re not married … for now!
– I’ve a smaller brother and sister
(ho un fratello e una sorella più piccoli); TRUE
– I love reading (mi piace leggere); TRUE
– I’m no good at sewing (non so cucire)  TRUE

I’ll update the answers in a few days: who’ll guess all the right ones?

AND THE WINNERS ARE …

And finally, the list of my nominees. I tried to avoid the blogs that already received the award. Let me say: Congrats to you all!If you want to accept the award and join, you’re welcome! I really enjoy vey much reading your beautiful blogs!Keep up the good work! Cristina

FoodForMood
– Shot Just Right Photography
Travel Moments
BasBlonde
– Le Ricette di Baccos
Single Gourmet&Traveler
FoodBod
Schelley Cassidy Photography
Selma’s Table
Soup Opera

DISCOVERING FUERTEVENTURA

Hello to you all! We’re in the middle of summer right now, and the time to travel is finally arriving, of course! I was looking at my album about our last summer trip to Fuerteventura, Canary Island. What a beautiful place!

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Fuerteventura is the second largest island of the Canaries after Tenerife and the closest to the African Coast (distance 97 km). At north-east,  6 km distance, lies the small island of Lobos, which depends on Fuerteventura. Together with Lanzarote is an arid and sparsely populated island. Fuerteventura, from the geological point of view, is considered the oldest of the Canary. Its strange shape was created by a series of volcanic eruptions many thousands of years ago. It is believed that the first settlers have arrived from North Africa – the term Mahorero’ or Maho is still used today to describe the people of Fuerteventura, and comes from the ancient word ‘mahos‘ that is related to a type of goat leather shoes worn by the original inhabitants. In 1405, the French conqueror Jean de Bethencourt occupied the island and gave his name to the former capital,Betancuria. (Puerto del Rosario took its place as capital 1835)
The geographical location of the island  has allowed the sands of the Sahara to settle on the coasts, creating numerous beaches. In my opinion, the greatest and pristine beaches are located in the south of the island.

SOUTH ITINERARY

Our starting point was Morro del Jable, the most famous tourist resort in the south of the island, with a beautiful white sand neverending beach, that you could walk up to the lighthouse.

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Here we hired a car (we choose Cicar local company and we were really satisfied), and we started exploring the surroundings: we went to the very southern tip of the island, were Jandia Lighthouse stands: the landscape all around the lighthouse becames little by little more deserted, and barren; the road was no more paved, with many panoramic curves.

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While going to the south, it’s impossible to take the wrong road, because there is only one path: you are catapulted suddenly into an almost lunar landscape. The last tiny group of houses you’ll meet is a place called “El Puertito”: here the locals welcome the few tourists who come here.

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From the lighthouse, the seascape is breathtaking: alternating red and black rocks are washed by the waves of the ocean. Anciently, Jandia was a separate island and only later joined to the island by deposits of sand.

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Following the main road for the up-country, you’ll find indications for Cofete beach, on the opposite side of the island. (in its lower part Fuerteventura is only 7 km width). Same here the roads are not all paved, but the landscape all around will surprise you and truly deserve a visit. You first see Cofete and Barlovento beaches from the high-road: then you will come down by a winding road till you reach the ocean.

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Before reaching the beach, you’ll find on the left the small Cemetery of Cofete, on the south west side of Fuerteventura. It’s located directly on the lonely, but very beautiful beach.

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We strolled along the beach for a whole saturday afternoon, only us and the nature all around. Just fantastic. Returning to Morro Jable, don’t miss the chance to relax a bit in one of the beautiful beaches all around -they’re called generally beaches of Sotavento- like Risco El Paso, a beach (with lot of wind, often, it’s ideal for surf and kite) where the ocean creates many natural lagoon, for the effect of high/low tides. In these natural “swimming pool” is not rare to walk in only 40 cm of water.

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To end the touristic itinerary you can go to La Pared, a small black rocks beach, which is quite deserted in the evening and where you could admire the beautiful sunset on the island. The village is so tiny that it has only a restaurant in front of the ocean. Pretty romantic, isn’t it?

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: A PARMA STYLE DINNER

Hello! I was impatient to start with this new topic on my blog, and it’s with great pleasure that today I start talking to you about some fine restaurant of my surroundings: this time I’ll bring you in the heart of Parma, from Sorelle Picchi, a fine restaurant-salumeria in the city center.

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As you can see, it’s not only a restaurant, but also a shop of typical products like Prosciutto Crudo di Parma and Salame Strolghino. I must say that worth a try also the Parmigiano Cheese: we saw many Spanish and English people literally devour it, and going also for seconds.

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We stay there for dinner, choosing a classic appetizer and two different main dish. We eat outside, in the fresh air of the evening. The restaurant is in the city center, in a tranquil street, and you can reach it at the end of a pleasant stroll. The appetizer was a typical selection of cold cuts: Culatello, Prosciutto Crudo, Salame Strolghino, Coppa e Pancetta – they call it “Oro di Parma” -, served with Torta Fritta, small pieces of salted fried pasta. Just heavenly!

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For the main dish we choosed a Risotto alla Giuseppe Verdi and a dish of Cappelletti Pasticciati. Ill try to explain you the two dishes-both delicious-; Cappelletti are similar to tortellini, it’s a different kind of stuffed pasta. The filling is really rich: it contains basically a mix of whipped pork loin, turkey and parmigiano reggiano. Cappelletti are served with a classic ragù (meat and tomatoes sauce).

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The Risotto Giuseppe Verdi is as rich of ingredients as well: it’s a creamy risotto prepared with fresh ingredients like asparagus, and sometimes chopped mushrooms and carrots, like in this case; the final touch are the slices of Culatello of Parma, a fine cold cut obtained by the back thigh of the pork.

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What can I say? It was a great culinary experience. It’s great to appreciate such delicacies of our surroundings. Tasting these flavours made me feel “at home”. If you could visit Parma, give it a try! Buon Appetito!

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: BRUSCHETTE&PAN-FRIED VEGETABLES

Oh my! In this period I have really few time to cook and post right away on the blog…i miss your impressions and advices. Anyway, summer is a great season for texting finger foods and appetizers during dinners with friends!

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Last time I prepared a classic italian appetizer: the famous “bruschetta”. Everyone in the world knows it. I love simple and genuine food, and bruschetta is one of my favourite appetizers, i never get tired of this. To prepare it, I put some slices of bread in a fry-pan with a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil, and garlic, if you like the flavour. I made the bread golden, then I chopped the tomatoes in tiny pieces, flavouring them with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano.

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In the meanwhile, i put some cannellini white beans in a fry-pan, and i let them cook over low flame; they will became creamy and perfect to spread on the bread. I suggest to prepare some fried pancetta slices (or bacon) to chop into small pieces and add to the cannellini beans: a tasty and tempting duo, isn’t it? I completed the appetizer with a pair of breadsticks rolled in a pancetta slice. For the quantities: I used two big tomatoes and two cannellini can with 5-6 slices of pancetta, for 4 persons.

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I served the appetizer with a simply side-dish: pan-fried zucchini and potatoes slices. I sliced them finely to let them became crunchy. Easy way to cook in the hot summer evenings, isn’t it? Buon Appetito!

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