New cuties

 

In these days I have been very busy with end of school events, learning how to dye with natural colors, helping a friend with her restaurant and finishing these new pendant necklaces… I have so many projects and ideas, but as you all know too well, days are not long enough! Anyway, on the bright side, I’m happy with how things are going. I didn’t sell anything yet, but I realize that i’m defining my style and try to focus on what I love most. Yesterday I talked to a store owner here and they are looking for someone who can hold a jewelry making class, that would be amazing! I’m learning a lot, studying tutorials for new techniques and it all is exciting! And I make food also! New recipes are coming soon! For now, enjoy these little critters, they’re vintage, hand painted and adorable. And it was fun learning some facts about all of them!

 

Collage cute animals

 

http://www.etsy.com/no-en/shop/SummerNightinDrobak

Summer night in Drøbak

So I did it. I’ve opened a shop on Etsy. Or better, HP did it for me, because I can’t stop making things and i dream about living of that, so I needed to start…I’ve been very busy lately crafting, taking pictures, and taking more pictures because they’re never good enough, and learning how to sell there…I’ve finally decided my shop name. Monday night we always do something together as a couple and as a family, and this week we had the opportunity to spend it with HP’s parents eating dinner in an ancient fortress. Drøbak is one of my favourit places here in Norway, a beach small town with a southern charme, old wooden houses and gentle evening breeze. We took a ferry to the island were the fortresse of Oscarsborg is, in a warm and lovely summer night…and so I felt that yes, that was the name for my shop. Here’s some pictures from Drøbak.

 

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And this is my shop! http://https://www.etsy.com/no-en/shop/SummerNightinDrobak?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Please, go and visit!

 

Piadina & Cassoni, vegan


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Today I’ll write about my favourit confort food. The smell of this piadina means childhood, grandmother, family, friends, in a word, it means home. Last year I was in my home town, Rimini, for summer holiday. I was riding my bike home from the beach, in a late afternoon, in the small streets were people started making dinner, and that familiar smell pervaded the air, and my heart. Pure joy. We think it’s heavenly food, and wonder how the rest of the world can survive without it. Of course, they do. They have their own. But if you want to try the taste of Italy, declinated in a beach lazy holiday, and imagine of grandmothers making it for you and eating all together in a garden, give it a try.

The original recipe calls for lard in the dough, but it’s not so popular to use it anymore. I’ve always used oil and it comes great. And, you can decide how much oil you want. The more you put, the better it tastes, putting too little makes it taste like a tortilla (wich is good, but another thing), and it dries very fast. So, I’ll give a basic recipe, but feel free to try different, it will be good anyway.

Ingredients for the piadina:

  • 1 Kg flour (normal wheat bread flour, but you can play with it: wholemeal, different grains, even glutenfree)
  • 3,5 dl vegetable oil (you know the best ones)
  • 1 Tsp soda
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • warm water

Filling for cassoni:

  • tomato sauce (I use Mutti)
  • origano
  • salt and pepper
  • vegan-mozzarella
  • spinach / chard / wild spontaneous herbs

Mix flour and soda, then add oil. Warm the water, just so that you feel it a little warmer than your hands. Add the water little by little, it will be around 6 dl but it depends much on the flour you use. The dough must be soft but not sticky, thanks to the oil, and easy to roll. better to use a little oil on the surface or the rolling pinthan flour, because that would make it too dry. 1 kg flous makes about 10 piadine or cassoni. Divide the dough in 10, make small balls and start rolling. If you want a piadina, just pierce it with a fork and cook on a warm pan. We use a ghisa one, but a ceramic or nonstick pan can be used. What is important, is that it’s big enough for the piadina not to fold on itself.

If you want to make cassoni, a classic is with herbs (chard, spinach or wild herbs we gather) or mazzarella and tomato sauce. For the “green” version,, chop the herbs and dress with salt, pepper, oil and little garlic. let them rest the time you make and roll the piadina, then fill it. Remember that they will take much less volume when you cook your cassone, so put more than you would think.

 

For the “red” version, prepare your tomato sauce with salt, pepper and origano, put 3-4 table spoon on the half piadina and add the mozzarella.

Put the filling on half a piadina, then top with the other half and seal the borders well, with your fingers and then with a fork.  Warm the pan and cook them, one side, then the other side, then the folded side (you’ll need to hold it with a knife for the last one). If you don’t eat all of them right away, just pre-cook them, and finish when you want to warm them up next time. Never use the microwave to warm piadina and cassoni, it will ruine them! The dough keeps in the fridge for a week.

Other suggestions for the filling: potatoes and cheese, cheese and vegan sausage, herbes and vegan cheese, ricotta and nettle (yes, I eat it), what you like the most! Even chocolate or jam, if you want it for breakfast.

 

PicMonkey Collage cassoni

PicMonkey Collage cassoni 2

PicMonkey Collage cassoni 3

 

Buon appetito!

PS That’s my cute husband happy with his piadina in Gradara, Italy…

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Lavoro…sono adulto

This post is in italian 🙂 I couldn’t help sharing something good that happens in my country. It’s about a project that supports people with special needs to become adult and indipendent. Having worked with so many, and having a (great) boy with Asperger syndrome in my family, I understand how important that goal is and how much parents think about the future of theirs loved ones.

Alice Imola

lavoro sono adulto“Lavoro …. sono adulto!” è un progetto rivolto ai ragazzi maggiorenni e prevede uno stage lavorativo in uno stabilimento balneare di Rimini insieme al proprio operatore e l’alloggio in appartamento.

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Vegan light eggplant parmesan with vegan mozzarella

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Eggplants are my favorite vegetable, I think. Hard choice, though! But eggplants parmesan has always been one of my favorite dishes while growing up and it still is, so I simply needed to veganize it! Here’s my version, that HP liked so much that asked me to pack some leftovers in his lunch bag…that made me happy. It’s not always easy to make food everyone likes, especially vegan food, but when it happens it’s all worth it! I have to spoil them not to realize they’re eating healthy, but that’s my pleasure.

Ingredients (serves about 6):

  • 3 eggplants
  • 1 bottle tomato sauce (I use Mutti)
  • 100 g vegan parmesan (nutritional yeast + almond flour)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • garlic
  • red hot pepper
  • fresh basil and thyme
  • 2 vegan mozzarella
  • 100 ml vegetable cooking cream
  • breadcrumbs, gluten free if needed

 

 

Vegan mozzarella

Feel free to use a store bought one, or follow a recipe of your choice. I share here a recipe that comes from Veganblog.it. Here’s the link, but since it’s in italian, I thought I might translate it. http://www.veganblog.it/2009/05/03/mozzarella-vegana/ It’s soy based, it melts and stretches and works fine especially to make pizza 🙂

  • 2 full tsp potato starch
  • 6 Tsp soy milk
  • 1 full Tsp soy cream
  • 1 tsp soy butter (I use oil instead)
  • 3 full tsp soy yogurt
  • salt

In a nonstick saucepan, melt the potato starch with the milk, then add the cream, butter and salt. Put on a low heat and keep stirring, so that it won’t form lumps. When you see that the mixture is about to become creamy, take a moment from the fire and add the 3 tablespoons of yogurt, put on the fire and stir vigorously, again to avoid lumps. Cook 10-15 minutes over a low flame. The dough will become stringy, and above all it will shrink away from the sides and a bit from the bottom of the pan. Then it will be ready. Transferred to a previously oiled bowl, let it cool a bit and put in the fridge. It will be ready after 6-8 hours.

First, choose good eggplants! They need to have green stem, be shiny and not too hard, because ahen they’re hard, it means they are full of seeds. Cut eggplants about half cm thick and place on a baking plate. Sparkle with salt, pepper and oil, like this.

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Bake for about 20 minutes in warm oven without fan, that’s important because you don’t want your eggplant to became too dry. They’ll be like this:

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While they cook, you can mix the tomato sauce with little garlic powder (just a little, little bit), hot pepper, chopped basil and thyme. Mutti tomato sauce doesn’t contains seeds or peel, it’s only tomatoes and little salt. It makes it super creamy and smooth, with no weird flavours. Please, don’t trust any italian seasoned store bought tomato sauce, all you need is this 🙂

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Now, start composing the layers. Start with little oil and tomato sauce, then eggplants, mozzarella and vegan parmesan.

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I usually make three layers. For the topping, mix the rest of the tomato sauce with cream and cover the eggplants. Spread vegan parmesan and breadcrumbs and little oil, oregano if you like.

Bake for half an hour. It can be served alone or with spaghetti (tomato and basil)  and little green salad to make a meal.

 

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Vegan “Torta della nonna” (Grandmother’s pie)

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Last weekend, HP and I went to a little cruise to Denmark. He won it, so why not? Norway and Denmark were one kingdom before and the Oslo-Copenaghen route is a very old route (maybe already from the vikings? Not so expert in scandinavian history yet 😉 )

We had a great time, very relaxing, wonderful weather, walking around in Copenaghen which is so beautiful and stylish (and with many vegan/raw restaurants), we enjoyed everything. Well, except the dessert. On the boat we could chose where to eat, and one night we went to “Little Italy”. Their pizza was good, but when Hp tried the dessert…hmm, no. Their “Torta della nonna” was dry and tasteless. I was so sorry that HP’s first time with a famous italian cake had been ruined, that I came home and made it. Vegan version, of course. First trying, score! Definately good, soft, creamy, as it should be.

 

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Ingredients:

Pie crust:

  • 300 gr flour
  • 3 Tsp cornstarch
  • 100 gr organic not refined sugar
  • 100 gr vegetable oil (I use extra virgin olive oil for everything, but for cakes I prefer vegetable because it tastes less)
  • 1/2 glass almond milk
  • 1 Tsp baking powder

 

 

Mix flour, cornstarch, sugar and baking powder, then add the liquids. Mix well, you need to get a soft but not sticky dough. Not all the flours are the same, so add almond milk little by little. You might need more, just make sure you can easily roll the dough. Divide it in two, roll the first part and place in the pan. Pour the cream. Roll the second dough and place on top, making sure to close it well, because the cream tends to come out from the borders (that happened to me 😉 ). Put pine nuts or almond on top. If using almonds, chop them a bit. Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes. It’s good both warm and cold!

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Whoops, Sofia liked that too! And I couldn’t help not to share some pictures I’ve taken from the boat…

 

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Warm spring salad with flat green beans and thyme

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The last few days we had a wonderful taste of summer, with the trees blossoming overnight, all becoming green and all of us enjoying the lovely temperature and being out in the sun. But today, while I was waiting the bus with the kids out of the school, I was freezing. So, when I came home, my plan to make a salad for lunch changed and I made a warm salad instead. It turned out good, so I decided to share.

The quantity is free, it depends on what you like the most, what you have in the fridge and the herbs you have at hands. I had just bought a thyme plant, so I used it and it gave the right aroma to the whole thing.

 

Ingredients:

  • Flat green beans (or green beans)
  • Carrots
  • Spring onions
  • Chickpeas
  • Salt, pepper
  • Extravirgin olive oil
  • Thyme

Wash and cut the green beans and boil them. Saute’  carrots and onions. When the vegetables are soft, put them together and add the chickpeas. Dress with salt and pepper, oil and thyme.

Enjoy!

 

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Placemats tassels bag tutorial

A few days ago I went to the local shopping center, and in a interior store I found these placemats. They don’t match the rest of my table things, but they were only 19 kr, so I had to bring them home. I kept looking at the pattern and  the fabric (100% cotton) is very thick and therefore suitable for a bag…so they soon became a tassel bag, perfect for summer. 20140426_112934

 

 

A few days ago I went to the local shopping center, and in a interior store I found these placemats. They don’t match the rest of my table things, but they were only 19 kr, so I had to bring them home. I kept looking at the pattern and  the fabric (100% cotton) is very thick and therefore suitable for a bag…so they soon became a tassel bag, perfect for summer.

Here’s a photo tutorial, it’s a very easy project!

You need:

  • 2 placemats (mine were 35×50 cm)
  • lining: 82×35 cm fabric, or two pieces 41×35 cm
  • strap: 12×130 cm imitation leather
  • Cotton and gold/silver balls
  • studs, strass

 

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Happy Easter!

I had a very busy week, visiting family in Belgium, making food, cleaning and having guests! I didn’t even had time to take pictures and post here, but I am also glad to have had the opportunity to think about the real meaning of Easter. No matter where we live, what we do, what challenges we are facing now, we have reasons to rejoice! I want to share a video well worth a watch, even if you’re not christian.

 

Happy Easter everyone!