ZZAFF! Gazosa casalinga

Summer time has finally arrived! For the fourth episode of ZZAFF! I decided to try out a classic drink which is very commonly drunk during the warm season: gazosa. It’s sort of a homemade version of Sprite, and it is usally mixed with red wine or beer (this version is called panaché) but flavoured versions of the drink can be found in shops. One of the most common, and my favourite, is tangerine. This has been the first time I tried to make gazosa and I was very pleased about the result. Next time I will try and flavour it with other blends of herbs. Why don’t you try it out too?

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Annunci

MTChallenge: Rolls! / MTChallenge: Paracul Rock’n’Rolls!

As I write it is my birthday. I woke up at 6.30 to prepare everything, both the rolls for the challenge and a sweet dessert to celebrate. So forgive me for cutting short, time is short and I even have to pack for tomorrow since I’m going to fly to the UK for a family reunion.

MTChallenge keeps lifting the stalk and I admit, I am struggling. It’s a lot to deal with, the degree of complexity, not to mention the degree of sophistication required…imagine what happened in my mind when I saw these beautiful rolls with which Giovanna challenged us. I quite not fit in. I’m rough and tough. Im not good with sophisticated things, at least not in the kitchen. These kind of challenges always make me quite anxious. On top of it the UK trip and a fridge to empty rather than to fill. So no coup de theatre, just two little recipe in order to participate. I hope Ale and Giovanna will forgive me but after all, the most important thing is to participate, isn’t it?

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Rice flour, Matcha and Lemon Cookies / Biscotti di farina di riso, matcha e limone

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Tea time with a friend. Rice flour which has been sitting in the pantry for too long, as well as a jar of matcha powder which might as well be a find from an archaeological site. Consider lemons are never missing in my fridge. Put all of that above together and what you are left with is a batch of sensational cookies. And here’s the recipe!

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Liquorice and Beetroot Babka / Babka alla barbabietola e liquirizia

For those who know me well this recipe does not come as a surprise… you know ho much I love beetroot and licorice don’t you? I tried this babka for breakfast and it is simply delicious, pillowy soft and just slightly sweet, want a slice? Well, roll up your sleeves and get started baking!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Tortelli di San Giuseppe / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Tortelli di San Giuseppe

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And its Carnival time again at Maroggia’s Mill! Last year for this occasion for the Cookbook I prepared some tortelli who believed themselves to be chiacchiere, while today I present the classic recipe for round tortelli di San Giuseppe, which are made with a batter reminiscent of pâte a choux that is used to make cream puffs and éclair. A quick and easy recipe to celebrate Carnival in sweetness.
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Stale Bread and Fennel Seeds Brittle Biscuits / Biscotti al croccante di pane raffermo e semi di finocchio

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A couple of months ago I was interviewed by a young local journalist, Ivan Campari, for a series of articles he is publishing on the newspaper LaRegione featuring young people from the Mendrisiotto area. For this I have to thank my friend Alan Alpenfelt, the mind behind the independent Radio Gwen and the acting company V XX Zweetz who was interviewed too and gave my name amongst others. To greet both the photographer and the journalist I decided to bake a batch of biscuits, which proved providential as the only good picture of me is one I am transferring them from the baking tray to the rack! I am such a terrible photography subject as I always feel very embarrassed and pull faces and eventually end up throw evil glances at the camera.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Black Sesame Seeds, Lemon and Black Pepper Madeleines / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Madeleines al sesamo nero, limone e pepe nero

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From the beginning of the year, ie since I started following more or less religiously a macrobiotic diet, I was forced to cut out on all that is sweet or contains sugars and most of the sweeteners on the market. I had to adapt, and started juggling myself between bread sticks, buns, loaves and pizzas recipes to add to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook trying to keep up both quality and variety. Detox, health, balance of body and mind. All of this is fair, but sometimes a little indulgence is necessary, isn’t it? So I looked back to a recipe for madeleines which I posted long time ago for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As I child I remember my mother buying those sweet treats from time to time, a very much appreciated concession for our mid day snack. She would buy the classic lemon scented ones which I ate usually in a series of three (I’ve always had a soft spot for odd numbers), religiously dunking them in a large cup of cold milk until they were next to falling apart. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Merry Belated Christmas and a latecomer recipe: My Mum’s Mincepies / Tardivi Auguri di Natale e una ricetta in differita: I Mincepies di mia Mamma

mincepies2Merry Belated Christmas! Working in a shop around this time of the year means no time to blog around and unfortunately little baking and cooking too. But I am back, and cannot exempt from leaving one little traditional recipe even though it’s a latecomer.

Christmas is nothing without traditions. I grew up with a weird mix of Father Christmas meets Joan Baez in front of the manger scene. But I guess that’s our tradition. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

What a Daring Challenge! Sfogliatelle ricce / Che sfida ardita, le Sfogliatelle ricce per Daring Bakers!

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Sandie of the lovely blog, Crumbs of Love, was our November hostess. Sandie challenged us to make a traditional Italian dessert, along with its American version – Sfogliatelle (or better known in the US – lobster tails!) The flakey, 1000 layers of super thin dough, shaped into a horn and filled with a scrumptious filling. Così buono!

Sfogliatelle ricce has always been one of my favourite sweet treats. Anything made out of layers, especially food, fascinates me. Like a surgeon I dissect mozzarella layer by layer, and do the same thing with Msemen, a moroccan bread a friend taught me to bake recently that will be surely included in the blog. Savouring sfogliatelle I’m used to gently pull one end to see at which extent the spiral will unravel before breaking. It’s a childish but irresistible way of savouring food. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Dried wild fennel leaves, Lemon and Pepper crackers / Sfogliate di pane al finocchietto, limone e pepe

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Lately baking disasters have been the norm, the uneasy feeling of not doing it right, of not being focused. Yet another batch of grissinis gets burnt, the ciabatte do not rise as expected and every single recipe and experiments turns into drama. Not good. To get back on the track and to push myself I turn to the easiest solution to soothe the wounds to my confidence: online challenges and contests. When improvising too much I often lose concentration, having to participate to contests is another thing…there are deadlines and a recipe can turn out bad once, maybe twice. I started with a quick and easy recipe, because as always I put myself in the position of squeezing my urge of baking between chores and appointments. Renouncing is not an option. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…