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Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Bodyrock challenge

Hello to everyone, and Happy New Year!

I spent New Year’s at Mattia’s house, but now I’m back in Milan getting ready for an exam session.

And Getting back on the study track reminded my I should also get back on the fitness track, and abandon the chocolate track; our house is invaded in sweets and chocolate, you see: of the 772 chocolates my sister and I made, quite a few weren’t used for presents and, well, found a home in my stomach :D. Then we had some of this

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Some of this at Mattia’s house

 

I mean…How could I resist?

And Breakfast was more similar to desert than a normal breakfast…here’s a hint:

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Ad to all these sweets the cold air that doesn’t quite invite you out for a run…and you’ve got a recipe for perfect laziness 😉

So when I saw on itty bits of balance that Bodyrock was making a 30-day challenge, I jumped at the opportunity to workout without having to go out in the cold.

And since I have some sort of mental problem for which if I tell myself I’ll do something, I’ll most probably end up disobeying my own orders just to prove I can…

I’m not joking, I really do that 😀

Anyways, there’s a higher probability I’ll do this challenge if I tell someone else, so here I am!!

Today I started with the fit test, and here are my results:

50/10 interval workout

Squat jumps: 30

Push ups (girl style): 18

Burpees: 14

High knees: 53 for each leg

Switch lunges: 21 on each side

Tuck jumps: 13

Straight Abs: 18

I didn’t think I would be, but I was exhausted after all of that, much more tired that I usually am after my normal run. Which probably says a lot about me not pushing my runs to my limits 😀

I’m kind of excited though, and can’t wait to see what’s next!!

 

 

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Chocolate Boxes

In case you ever wondered what 772 chocolate truffles look like… wonder no more 🙂

As I told you in my previous post, my sister and I were pretty busy last week making these as Christmas Gifts for all our relatives. Every year we do something (usually some kind of cookie) to bring to family gatherings, but this year we decided to step it up a notch and, well, the result was awesome!

My sister, Cristina, spent her whole summer at a pastry campus at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie in France, and is now working as an apprentice in a Pastry shop in Milan, so most of the recipes we used (and some equipment) were kindly borrowed. We had a few hectic days, but I had tons of fun: I learned how to temper chocolate, fill the moulds, cover coconut in chocolate…I had a blast, and am kind of sad it’s all over! But I did take a few pictures for you to enjoy 🙂

        

  

We put 2 of each truffles in cardboard boxes with a note on each and an “instruction sheet”, explaining what was in each truffle, and this was the final look

  

I’m happy to say they were a success!

On a different note, I would like to thank Kristina, editor at Be @ Home, for giving me a “Creative Chef Award”; I never thought someone would appreciate my blog so much, and this award made for one happy girl!

 

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Chocolate Spread

Nutella has nothing on me.

You wanna know why? because my chocolate spread is easy to make, and has only 2 ingredients: hazelnuts and chocolate.

Okay, technically it has more than two, because chocolate is make of cocoa paste, cocoa butter and etcetera, but we’ll simplify and say chocolate is one ingredient 😉

My chocolate spread has no sugar, no added soy, no milk. Just pure chocolate and hazelnut goodness.

Chocolate Spread

145 g (5.1 oz) bittersweet chocolate

2 cups hazelnuts

Melt the chocolate. Meanwhile with a food processor process the nuts for 5-10 minutes until you obtain a nut butter, stopping every now and then to scrape down the edges. Combine and mix well!

Voilà, done! serve on toast, pancakes, oatmeal…I’m salivating just thinking about it! Guess what this gal is having for breakfast 😉

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Dinner and swimming

Hey guys!

I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA these last two days, but I haven’t had time to post! I wanted last night but was babysitting and couldn’t. So here I am!

 

This weekend Mattia came to Milan (yay!:D) and tonight we went out for pizza! Mattia and I are famous for the amount of pizza we can eat: when he lived here we only had time to see each other during the evening so we often had dinner together; when we weren’t eating at my house we ate out and almost always chose pizza. I would sometimes eat pizza twice a week!

Ever since he went back home, I’ve been eating pizza less often, and it was a 3-week span this time!! quite shocking, I know.

Our choice for tonight was Rossopomodoro, a restaurant where they make pizza the way it should truly be: high crust, not a lot of mozzarella cheese, basil and olive oil.

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Clearly, this isn’t my picture 🙂 I’m still not super comfortable with taking pictures when out and about…how do you do it?

Anyways, the pizza was good, but not my all-time favourite: I’m more of a cheesy pizza, while Mattia loves this pizza.

Being the foodie I am, I couldn’t leave the restaurant without dessert 🙂 I had a almond-chocolate cake that was awesome and will try to re-create it as soon as possible, while Mattia had a babà filled with whipped cream.

Quite the satisfying dinner!

So how was my swimming session? Quite fun I must say, even though I swallowed a lot of water! I was a bit rusty: haven’t been in a pool or in the ocean for over a year! I stayed in the water for 50 minutes, but didn’t swim in a non-stop way: the pools lanes were full of people, so I often had to stop and wait, which suited me perfectly. The only down side of swimming in a pool is….

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Men in speedos.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m no fan.

No matter how hot a guy you are, I’m sorry but I can’t take you seriously in a speedo!

I guess if I want to make swimming a weekly thing I’ll have to learn not to care…or at least to turn my head the other way 😉

So I have two questions for you:

– Do you take pictures of what you eat in restaurants? do you get weird looks or comments?

 – Men in speedo: yay or nay?

 

 

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I don’t know about you guys, but my older sister and I loved to play with mr. Potato Head.

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What was especially fun was trying to place everyone of his body parts in his…back compartment?

That and misplacing is body parts…don’t try and tell me you never put an arm where is nose goes 😉

Unfortunately, Mr. Potato, tired of being mistreated, moved on to a better home, but today my sister was able to find a decent substitute:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s not as versatile as Mr. Potato Head was, but he’s still a charmer 🙂

So cute in fact that he was rescued from becoming our dinner, which consisted of this

Which, my dear friends, is how true pesto pasta should be! Pasta with boiled potatoes, string-beans and, obviously, pesto! It’s really good, you should try it!

Dessert was what my mom called “wacky cupcakes”, vegan! My sister made them, and they weren’t bad!

What was left of them 😀

 Tonight I had ballet lessons but i skipped again – sort of bugs me – because my tailbone has been aching. Thank’s to it my activity levels have been extreemely low, so I’ve decided that, starting tomorrow, I’ll start swimming once a week! I love swimming but am terrible at it, which is the main reason I never go; I’m a bit afraid of judgement, you see :). But I was once terrible at running and afraid of exposing myself and feared what other runners might have thought about me; but I conquered my fear and now love it and am not that terrible anymore…or was, at least, thanks to you tailbone! Plus actually writing on my blog that I’ll be swimming tomorrow and every following wednesday…I can’t back out now!

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This to me is as close as you can get to an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (or so my testers tell me ;)). It took me a few failed trials (cake-y cookies are not what I think about when I want some oatmeal cookies), but this version is perfect! They are super crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, just be careful not to over cook them as I did with one batch…ups 😀 They’ll still be super good, just a bit too crunchy.

So without further ado, I present to you the recipe!

Simply because I have nothing else to say 😀

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from OhSheGlows. Makes aprox. 38-40 medium-sized cookies.

1/2 cup homemade vegan butter ( any vegan butter should do)

1 tbsp olive oil*

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup oats

1/2 cup chocolate chips

*note: if you want your cookies to be more on the chewy side, sub with a tbsp of butter. The oil makes the cookie crispier.

Note number 2: I refrigerated the dough for a few hours before cooking it. This allowed me to form balls with my hand and ensured the perfect roundness of the cookie (I’ll call them Giotto’s cookies). Otherwise you can just scoop the batter out with a spoon.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and  line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the butter with sugar and beat until creamy. In a separate bowl combine the ground flax with the water, then add them to the butter-sugar mixture. Add the vanilla.

Combine together the flour, baking soda, salt and oats and then add them to the bowl. Finally, add the chocolate chips.

Scoop the batter on to the baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes.

Voilà! Chocolate chip goodness. I can assure you these didn’t last for long in my house, and I should probably held responsible for eating most of them; my cookie cravings have been growing with every failed attempt, so i was finally able to subside them…for the short time being :).

Now onto a food-unrelated matter, I recently came across this music video of a duet of Adele’s Someone Like You and have fallen in love with it! I’ve been listening to it non-stop for the last 2 days and am still not sick of it!

And continuing in my support of smaller bands and artists, here’s another song I love that needs some attention 😉

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A failed WIAW

Yesterday I had planned to write a WIAW post, but, for more than one reason, that wasn’t possible: first of all, I forgot to take a picture of my breakfast ( shame on me, I know :D)

Don't you just love Dodos?

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Second of all, I was babysitting last night and, because I thought I would be back home by 9 pm, I didn’t bring my lil’ mac with me: I ended up coming home at 11.30 pm, so I had no time by then to write something. Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring a book with me! Plus I didn’t even have a proper dinner: whenever I go at the kids’ house early in the afternoon ( to help with homework) I always have dinner with them but, thanks to Murphy’s Law, they had fish sticks for dinner. That never happened before I became vegetarian! So my dinner consisted of some bread at their house and then bread + hummus plus some bell pepper once I got home.

And an ice-cream at their house  and absolutely nothing else! 😀

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Dare I say this is the best packaged ice-cream?! There’s just something about ice-cream and cookies together that give you that warm fuzzy feeling of comfort.

Now I’m off to start a long weekend! Tuesday is a holiday in Italy, but no lessons on Monday! I just loove vacations 😀 Unfortunately, I can’t dedicate all of my time to the things I love but I must also study for an upcoming exam; I’ll try anyhow to tackle a few of the recipes I have on my to-do list, and hopefully some of them will turn out to be succesful :D. I inform you in advance none of them will be Halloween related: it’s not a holiday here in Italy, so I grew up without celebrating it. But no worries, we still had the chance to dress up on Carnevale (Carnival); the best costume I ever wore? A playing card!

Are you dressing up for Halloween?

Which was the best costume you ever wore?

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