Hey Guys!

Look what this lucky gal got in the mail yesterday:

Yes, 6 jars of pure awesomeness!

Peanut Butter isn’t very common in Italy, and The only kind you can find in normal supermarkets has hydrogenated vegetable oil in it….nooooo thanks.

Of course there always are little shops that sell international food, but lets just say they’re not exactly cheap :D.

As a consequence, I’ve been making my own peanut butter lately, but it’s quite a long process. Sometimes the process of shelling peanuts takes longer than one movie…not too fun.

Thankfully, amazon.co.uk decided it was about time they could ship food to Italy, so I am now a happy camper with 6 jars of peanut butter!

In honor of such an occasion, here is a special Peanut Butter-y recipe:

Chickpea Peanut Stew

serves 4-5

1 onion

1 celery stalk

1 carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp olive oil

3-4 medium sized potatoes

1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup peanuts

1/2 – 1 cup water

1 tsp salt

dash of pepper

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp ginger


Dice the onion, celery stalk and carrot, sauté with minced garlic and olive oil for 5-10 minutes on medium, until tender.

Chop the potatoes, add to the sautèd veggies, then add can of tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, chickpeas, water and spices.

Cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Adjust spices as needed.

I actually love the combination of peanut butter and potatoes, and I think this stew goes perfectly well with rice.


I am a bad blogger.

Really, really, bad blogger.

But in my defense, I’ve been studying for a tought exam…Which I ended up not taking, but that is a whole different story 😀

You know how sometimes a certain song reminds us of something?A place, a feeling, a person. I don’t have a straight association to a precise moment or person in my life for most foods, but for a few I do: I will always remember the first time I had lasagne, I thought they looked horrible and was sure I wouldn’t like them, but one bite was all it took for me to fall in love with them. Baked pasta will always be associated to my father, because he made the best. And this particular dish, pasta e fagioli ( Pasta and beans) will always remind me of my grandmother and our weekly dinners at my grandparents’ complete with manners–school.

Yup, and we were graded 😀

It was actually fun, although I don’t know if I would pass now!

Anyhow, this dish is a typical italian one ( I think from Milan, but am not sure) and a favourite of mine.

I had actually forgotten of it until my sister made it a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be selfish of me not to spread the love for it!

Pasta e Fagioli

Serves 4-5

1 onion

1 carrot

2 celery stalks

2 tsp olive oil

5 cups vegetable broth*

3 cups soaked borlotti beans, but not cooked

ca. 300 grams pasta of your choice

Vegetable broth


*The amount of broth used depends on whether you prefer a thicker or soup-like consistency. I made a thicker version, so if you prefer it liquid-y add more broth

Finely dice onion, carrot and celery, sauté for 5-10 minutes on medium–low, until tender.

Add the vegetable broth and beans, salt the water, turn the flame up a bit.

Cook for approximately an hour, or until the beans are almost ready, adding broth if necessary.

Some 10 minutes before the beans are ready add the pasta, salt and broth if needed. The pasta should at least be covered by broth, or if you want it more like a soup add the desired amount of water.

As the pasta absorbs the water make sure to turn it often to insure no parts remain uncooked.


I really wanted to have a recipe for you guys today, but lately cakes aren’t my thing.

Don’t worry though, this one I’m pretty sure I can fix and post in the future, it is mainly a problem of cooking time and finding the right topping.

This is actually the first time the toothpick method for checking if the cake is ready failed…miserably.

Even though that was not my intention, I ended up with something like this


Except it wasn’t that pretty…neither intentional =D

On to the better things:

Amanda over at Pickels & Honey recently nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award!  The Liebster Award can be given to any blog that you’re loving that has less than 200 followers. To accept the award, you have to thank the person who nominated you on your blog and . . . .

–Link back to the blog who nominated you
–Nominate 5 other blogs for the award
–Inform those 5 blogs by leaving them a comment on their blog
–Post the award on your blog

Thank you so much Amanda, I love reading your blog with all the drool-worthy recipes and beautiful pictures, and to know that you enjoy my blog really made my day!

I don’t really know how many followers these blogs have, but this is who I’d like to nominate:


Itty Bits of Balance

My Daily Joy 

I only have three because most of the blogs I read are big and definitely have more than 200 followers =D

I hope you all have a great Sunday!

Sorry if I haven’t posted anything in a long time, but I’ve been crammed with studying and exams and haven’t really had time to experiment in the kitchen. And the one time I did try a new recipe, it failed miserably.

Yes, Caprese cake, I’m looking at you.

Today, though, I had enough time to spare and BBQ sauce in mind, which I hope to use in an up-coming recipe.

The sauce is a bit spicier than the usual bbq sauce, but I think it suits it perfectly. I’m no fan of Ketchup ( weird, I know) so there isn’t any and it doesn’t remind me of it.

Homemade BBQ sauce

Adapted from OhSheGlows

The recipe makes for 2 e 1/4 cups

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp red pepper powder

1/4 tsp hot paprika

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/3 cup blackstrap molasses

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp mustard

Chop onion and sauté in a skillet with the olive oil on medium low flame for a few minutes. Mince garlic and add it to the onion, sautéing for a few more minutes. Add the spices and salt and mix well.

Add the crushed tomatoes, molasses, vinegar and sugar and stir well until well combined.

Cook on medium for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring.

Add the mustard, mix well and adjust seasoning to taste.

Just a fun fact: did any of you know that by removing the central part of garlic you make it easier to digest and remove some of the bad breath? It’s a pretty common thing to do in Italy, to remove its so-called “soul” especially when using it raw, but I haven’t found out anything about it in the USA when I googled it.

Do you know any of these old schooled cooking tips?


Happy National Peanut Butter day!

Just looking at that picture makes me drool 😀

I only discovered today’s PB day at 4 pm, otherwise I would of planned a day full of peanut butter-y meals; I did get my fair share, though: I tried a recipe for chickpeas peanut stew last night and loved it and had leftovers for today. I hope to post the recipe soon because I loved it!

Today though, I wanted to post a recipe for a soup; I made this recipe last week on a cold night because in need of some serious comfort food and was lucky enough to be rewarded with this awesome soup.

I’m not the biggest fan of soup: the idea of basing my whole meal on liquids doesn’t appeal too much to me, even if I’ve already tried the soup and know I like it…I just can’t fully appreciate it until I’m actually eating it.

Does that make any sense? 😀

Lentil Potato Soup

This makes for aprox. 5 servings

3 carrots

3 small onions

1 cup chopped celery stalk and leaves (mine were frozen)

8 cups water

2 garlic cloves, cut in half

3/4 cup red lentils, dried

5-6 medium potatoes

1 tsp dried parsley

1/8-1/4 tsp pepper, according to taste

salt, to taste

1 tsp thickening agent (optional)

drizzle of olive oil for serving

Finely chop the onions and carrots, place on a stove top pot with the water, celery and garlic. Allow to boil for 25-30 minutes.

Add the dried lentils and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Dice the potatoes, add to the soup and stir well. Add the salt to taste, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Add seasonings and, optionally, thickening agent, adjusting to taste if needed. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, remove from stove top and drizzle with some oil.

One delicious iron and protein rich bowl of comfort food!

It’s no secret I love hummus: I eat it with bread, veggies, sun-dried tomatoes, potatoes…everything really. I could easily make a whole meal out of it.

Oh, wait.

I have.

I’m the first one to admit though that eating only hummus doesn’t exactly scream fancy meal; so I set out to find a decent substitute for my hummus-y cravings and came across many chickpea burgers. I was immediately appealed by them, and decided to try making my own, because, really, where’s the fun in following a recipe step-by-step? 😉 You wouldn’t discover the magical land of burning coconut oil, paper-thin cookies, cake-y cookies, bitter hummus….the list could go on and on!

But let’s get back on track.

Chickpea Burgers

makes 3 patties

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/8 cup sunflower seeds

1 15 oz chickpea can

1 carrot

1 onion 

1 garlic cloves

1/4 cup parsley packed ( I used frozen parsley)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

dash of pepper and paprika


Grate the carrot, dice onion and mince garlic.

Add all the ingredients in a food processor and process. If you prefer a chunkier texture process only half of the oats and sunflower seeds and add the rest whole.

Form patties with your hands. The mixture is a bit sticky, so using a bit of flour to coat the patties is a good idea.

Cook on medium for 5 minutes circa on each side until golden brown.

It tastes awesome with mustard, I think.

Nothing beats a burger on home-made bread!


And the cold weather has hit Milan!

These last few days the temperatures have been around 0 celsius day and night, so you can only imagine my joy in taking the dog out at 7 am in a freezing -4 celsius 😀 I bundled up nicely, and kinda felt like a sausage with all those layers, but at least I was worm!

Since the cross-country ski world cup has moved to another city, no one was on the snow this morning so Daigo and I took advantage of it en route to the dog area.

Daigo absolutely loves the snow, and started running like crazy as soon as we got on it!

I spent haf of my day studying and the other half cooking a few things that will soon be posted online.

Then, before I could actually think about it, I got in sweaty dirty freshly washed running clothes and set out for a run; I knew that if I stopped to think about it even for a moment I would skip it because the idea of running in 0 °C wasn’t exactly appealing to me 😀

I ran for 7.60 Km (4.70 Mi) in 45.45 (ah!) minutes. It’s a lot, but actually I had to stop for a few of those minutes because I had a bad case of belly ache… I’m sure other lady runners will understand what I mean 🙂

I thought running in cold weather I wouldn’t sweat a lot…silly me. Siiiilly meee. My body has the tendency to sweat a lot, and especially on my head underneath my hair, and, apparently, no matter what the temperature is, I end a run with hair literally dripping. I’m sure you’re all happy I shared this with you 😀

once I got home I saw there were two packages for me, an Amazon one and a IHerb one, and obviously couldn’t wait to open them, so I sat on the floor in my sweaty clothes and un-stretched muscles (I eventually did stretch them) and opened them. I don’t know about you, but I love to receive packages!

This is what they contained:

From the amazon order: it’s huge and it cost me a bit, but it was still a sweet deal and it will last me a life time, hopefully!


Neither chia seeds or stevia can be sold in Italy, so I had to buy them online. If anyone has a good use for chia seeds, please link up! I only know of a few ways to use them.

These I obviously used imediately.What can I say? I almost screeched of joy when I noticed the shampoo lathers. None of the natural shampoos I’ve tried up to now lather; I’d almost given up hope! Plus they smell like coconut heaven! (Mattia, you’ll be happy :D).

In my IHerb order I also found a little gift:

Do they give these at every order? Because I kinda like it 🙂

Are you a online shopper? If so, do you get excited when you receive something? 

I’m quite the online shopper: it’s so much easier ( and lazier) and there is so much more choice! As for getting excited..well yes, I most certainly do 😉

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