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We moved!!

Hello everyone!!

I know it’s been a veery long time since I last posted on the blog, but life has been incredibly hectic and I did not have any time!

Anyways, I decided this was a good time to get back in the blogging world, and have decided to do so from my own website!

If you’d like to check it out it would mean the world to me =)

Cheers to all!

Giulia

Let me start by saying that this doesn’t actually taste like sour cream…but don’t run away just yet! It may not taste exactly like the real deal when on its own, but I think it serves pretty well as a substitute!

After all, I don’t know about you, but some of the vegan substitutes you find in stores scare me: I recently came across a fake mozzarella cheese made from rice that actually resembled mozzarella in taste and looks (obviously ;)), and that kind of scared me; I didn’t read the ingredient’s list, but I’m sure I would have found some weird ones.

Anyway! back to the recipe.

This is one of the few recipes I make that has Elisa’s (my youngest sister) stamp of approval, and she is no fan of vegan cuisine. She actually went as far as to say she likes it better than the real deal…so it can’t be that bad, right?

Vegan “Sour Cream” 

makes approximately 1, 1-1/2 cups

175 g. (circa 6 oz) silken tofu (soft if you want it creamier, but firm works too)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp sunflower oil ( or other light oil)

1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp rice syrup (or other mild-tasting sweetener)

1/4 tsp salt

1/16 – 1/8 tsp paprika 

1/16 – 1/8 tsp black pepper

Singing, although optional, is highly advisable: it just makes everything better!

The process? just put everything in a food processor and whirl away!

Chill in the fridge before serving.

With taco-chips:

On some stir-fried veggies and lentils:

 

Hello to all!

For a few days this week I had to take Daigo out in the morning before class, which meant getting up at 6.20 to do an hour long walk from 6.30 to 7.30. I did not expect it, but I actually enjoyed getting up so early to walk the dog before starting my day, especially now that there is light. On Thursday morning I decided to take my camera with me to snap a few pictures of the park: this is probably its finest time, with all the flowers in bloom.

Also, I’ve been taking pictures of some small-scale car models for my father (he’s an editor) and learned a few new functions of my camera, so I was eager to test them out.

  

   

  

  

  

  

  

Daigo was interested in other things…

Do not be fooled by his apparent attentiveness: I’m holding a cookie in my hand😀

The only down-side of spring?

This lovely plant:

I’m highly allergic to Common Ragweed ( and mildly to a few more) and have already started sneezing and itching. Thankfully it is not one of the most wide spread plants in Italy!

I never know what kind of title to give to a recipe that has many “important” ingredients…In the end I always end up listing mentioned ingredients😀

Thus I present to you Asparagus Potato Chickpeas Salad, quite the mouthful name, I know…I’m open for suggestions!

I don’t even have much to say about this recipe, no special story of childhood, forbidden love or anything else, it’s just a combination of foods I decided would go good together!

Asparagus Potato Chickpeas Salad 

Inspired by OhSheGlows

5-6 medium sized potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

dash pepper

a dozen asparagus spears, cut in 1″ bits

1 14-oz can chickpeas

1 tbsp olive oil

dash of salt

DRESSING

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp mustard

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 pinches salt

dash of black pepper

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Dice potatoes, place in a pan on a baking sheet with the oil, salt and pepper.

Cook per approximately 30-40 minutes, stirring them halfway through.

Cook the asparagus in a skillet in half a cup of water and some salt on medium flame for 10-15 minutes until tender. Add water if needed.

Meanwhile in a pan place the chickpeas, oil and salt and cook on medium-high for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. If the flame is to high, they’ll pop and jump at the beginning, so don’t stay too close!

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Now that you have all your ingredients, mix and enjoy!

Tromso

Be in the Arctic Circle?  Check!

Go Snowboarding with Mattia?  Check!

Go on a cruise, even if just for 4 hours?  Check!

See the Northern Lights?  Check, check, and check!

Mattia and I have been back for a while but I only now got around to write this post.

Our trip was wonderful, Norway is beautiful, with incredible scenery, and the Northern Lights are breathtaking. Although the weather was terrible for the first half of our vacation (think snow, freezing cold wind, some rain at night, never ending clouds and fog and some more snow), the second half was beautiful and lived to its fullest. We got to see the northern lights for 3 nights in row, we went snowboarding and on our last day we went on a round trip Tromsø – Skjervøy – Tromsø: a 4 hour bus drive to Skjervøy through mountains and fjords ( I wish I had pictures of this trip because it was truly breathtaking, but it isn’t easy to take good pictures form a moving bus!) and a 4 hour trip back to Tromsø at night-time on a cruise ship through utter darkness, so the possibility of seeing the northern lights is higher. lets just say we had quite the show that night!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few pictures of our trip!

 

And a very Happy Birthday goes to one lucky person…

Vienna 2008, first trip together!

Happy 24th Birthday Mattia!

Since we are still in Norway and I couldn’t really make him a cake for his birthday I made one in advance, for the weekend we spent together before leaving for Tromso.

As you know, I love the combination of orange and chocolate together and thought of making a chocolate – orange cake.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be making my favourite cake on someone else’s birthday…

…but it did come out awesome, so that makes up for it, right?😀

Chocolate Orange Cake

CAKE:

2 cups orange juice

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup oil

2 1/2 cups spelt flour

1 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

FILLING*

3 – 4 oranges

1 tbsp brown sugar

I only cut the cake in two layers, because I wasn’t expecting it to rise so much while cooking. Next time I will probably cut it in three layers and double the filling, to have a stronger orange taste.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine together in a bowl juice, sugar and oil and whisk well.

In a different bowl mix all dry ingredients, then add the dry to the wet, stirring well.

Place in a oiled pan and cook for 40 minutes, until the toothpick comes out dry.

Allow cake to cool down.

Meanwhile prepare the filling; peel and chop the oranges and put them along with the sugar in a sauce pan. Cook for 20-30 minutes on medium low, stirring often. If you prefer, you can skip this part and simply use orange marmalade.

Once the cake has cooled down, cut it in 2-3 layers and cover with the orange filling.

Finish the cake off with a awesome yet weird ganasche

CHOCOLATE GANASCHE

1 1/2 avocado flesh

150 g. chocolate, melted.

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Puree the avocado, add the melted chocolate and cocoa powder, stir well. cover the cake with the ganasche.

Although I thought I could taste the avocado Mattia couldn’t guess it was the secret ingredient and couldn’t detect it after I told him what it was. It may seem a bit weird to use avocado, but the result is really good. Just make sure to keep the cake refrigerated at all times  to avoid spoiling of the avocado and finish it as quickly as possible…not that I think that could be a problem!😉

Norway!

Guess where Mattia and I are?

Yess, our trip to see the Northern Lights has finally arrived!

We’ll be staying for a week or so in Tromso, and hope to spot the Aurora at least once!

But do not worry, I have a post scheduled for this week, so I won’t be abandoning you completely!

I hope to come back with plenty of pictures to share with you🙂

 

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