Flowers…

Photography

Colors…wishing everyone a wonderful week!

Rose “Cocktail” – this climbing classic rose is easy to grow, the color is yellow and red, the red intensifying with age.

Aster – this plant gives a lot of color to my garden during the month of September. In Italy it is also called “settembrini” because the plant blooms in the month of September.

Nasturtium- I attended once a course about comestible flowers and from that time I use the flowers and some young leaves in my vegetable salads. Of course, no one in the family is allergic to it so…for those who want to eat it, better check.

Pansies – in Italy they call it “Viola cornuta”. An easy to grow plant and it gives flowers that blooms from autumn to spring.

Oxalis articulata- ” acetosella articolata”

But what really amazed me today is the sight of a friend’s patio full of walnuts…

Happy Saturday!

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The good thing about having the Four Seasons is…. it brings with it something new and something old.

Winter for me means the sight of Robins (my favorite bird) and Christmas

Spring means awakening . A season of roses and the beginning of the gardening season.

Summer is the sunny part of the year. Outings with family or with friends.

Autumn…together with Spring, is one of my favorite season of the year. Pansies, pumpkins, chestnuts, mushrooms and the sight of gold brown, red and yellow leaves.

Doge’s Palace “Palazzo Ducale”, Venice, Italy

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I have visited a lot of historical buildings in my life but this…is not only historical, it is…at least for me, AMAZING! If you really want to know something about the reason why Venice is a fabulous city, a guided tour about the history of “Palazzo Ducale” and its secret places would be a good place to start.

A view from a gondola of the Doge’s Palace “Palazzo Ducale, Venezia, Italy”

View from one of the rooms of the Armory, Doge’s Palace, Venice, Italy

To the Secret Passages …

View from the Bridge of Sighs “Ponte dei sospiri”, Doge’s Palace, Venice, Italy

There is so much to see and a lot to learn.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

Dark chocolate muffins

My recipes, Photography

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I was looking for a recipe for a cake without having to use butter or eggs and…

a friend gave me this recipe.. I changed the rice flour with an organic all purpose flour and spelt flour and the muffins came out even better than I thought it would!

This is the recipe:

70 grams grams dark chocolate

150 grams organic all purpose flour

50 grams organic spelt flour

170 grams sugar

8 grams baking powder

30 grams cacao powder

250 grams milk

60 grams corn oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

10 grams confectionary sugar

24 cm round baking tin

Parchment paper

Preheat oven at 180°C/15 minutes

Chop the dark chocolate. Set aside

Mix together the remaining ingredients + add the chopped chocolates

Pour batter into a 24 cm round baking tin (or in my case, I used 2 muffin tins good for 12 muffins for this cake recipe)

bake for 30 – 35 minutes at 180°C

Cool. Sprinkle with confectionary sugar before serving.

I tasted the muffin without sprinkling confectionary sugar on top and it tasted good!

7D62FD88-26B9-4324-96AB-81358FBA25FENow I know that it is possible to prepare muffins or a cake without using eggs.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Sunday!

 

 

 

Villa Lattes, Istrana, Province of Treviso

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Autumn is the season of the year (for me) where the colors of the leaves, the taste of chestnuts and new wine “vin novo” and pumpkins have the power to ease the gloomy feeling that I feel during the cold and rainy days that marks the end of summer.

“Festa della Zucca” which means pumpkin festival outside Villa Lattes in the town of Istrana in the Province of Treviso.

Villa Lattes, Istrana

Another jewel in the Province of Treviso.

Inside the Villa is a collection of musical boxes and automatons which the former owner of the Villa, a Lawyer, Bruno Lattes, has left to the city of Treviso but now owned by the municipality of Istrana in the province of Treviso, Italy.

“Il Tamburino” the drummer

” La scimmia con il banjo” The monkey with the Banjo

“Il pagliaccio che suona l’Arpa”

Can you believe that this is a Music box chair?

Above are only some of the interesting things that you can see by visiting the villa and it’s museum.

Thank you to great men like Bruno Lattes, I can again say…life is indeed a very interesting journey.

Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend!

Sunday

Food for thoughts, Photography

A day = 24 hours

A day = 1440 minutes

A day = 86400 seconds

If I spend 44 hours/week at work this would mean:

44 hours = 2640 minutes

44 hours = 158400 seconds

I have 168 hours a week so:

168 hours – 44 (work) = 124 hours

124 hours – 49 (sleep) = 75 hours

75 hours – 65 (family and friends) = 10 hours

10 hours … Physical activity + Read a book + Meditation

Thinking about the value of every day, every minute and every second of my life in a week helps me to understand that if I organize my time I could really do a lot of things. Life is a journey and time is a precious and vital component to make it worthwhile.

“Limonsito” Calamondin – Citrofortunella microcarpa

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After 27 years, in a Villa found in the Province of Treviso, I finally found someone who has this plant in his garden. I was really surprised to know that this plant can also be grown here in Italy. So, I decided to go and look for it in one of the plant nurseries here in the Province of Treviso and I was lucky to find it. And the plant nursery owner was so surprised that I wanted to buy this lemon shrub. So I told her that in the Philippines, we use to make a drink called “calamansi juice” which is the Filipino version of Italy’s “limonata”. I was really amused to see that on the plant’s tag, aside from the plant’s scientific name another indication was added ” limone da bellezza”…without knowing that this plant is not only ornamental but it’s fruits can also be used to prepare excellent lemonades, the extract can be used to treat itching and insect bites and I remember that when I was still living in the Philippines, my mom used to let me drink “calamansi juice” to loosen the phlegm during times when I had cough. This is how to prepare Calamansi Juice:

8 green Calamondin fruits, cut in half
Sugar to taste. I usually drink this juice adding 1 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup of cold or hot water. Hot during the cold season and cold during summer

To separate the seeds from the juice, use a strainer or sieve
Add strained juice to the cup of water and then add sugar

Happy drinking!!!

* Some say that it is better to drink this juice before breakfast but I think that this juice is good any time of the day.

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After 5 years….

Enough to make 2 to 3 glasses of “Kalamansi” juice.

It’s not easy to grow this citrus tree in Italy. Unfortunately I cannot plant this tree on the ground but in a clay pot and keep it protected during winter. I am really happy that after all these years, with a climate such as what we have here in Italy, it is still alive and this year, it really gave me enough fruits so I could make this special drink which really evokes in me a lot of beautiful memories with friends and family in the Philippines.

Wishing everyone a pleasant weekend!

Mirabilis Jalapa

Photography

“Four O’clock flower”, “Belle de Nuit”, in Italy this flower is called “Bella di notte ” – one of the best things about having and loving flowers is the joy of planting them and the privilege to see something which only nature can bring. An amazing sight of natural colors which can really make a hard day seem a memory.

It’s already Autumn in Italy. I miss the colors of spring flowers, the warmth of the summer sun, now I see the falling leaves of autumn… the red/brown and golden colors that can brighten a gloomy Autumn day. Today, I saw the vibrant colors of the “Bella di notte” and it swept away the troubled thoughts and it brought me back to reality.

Wishing everyone a pleasant day!

Scrovegni Chapel – Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padua, Veneto, Italy

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Hello everyone! The experience that I had in visiting this 13th century Chapel in the Veneto region left me in awe that 3 days after visiting it, I am still here wondering what it was like to live in the Renaissance era. It must have been a promising period – a period of political, economic and social transformation. The visit to this historical jewel was even more interesting because we (it was a guided group tour of 25 persons – only 25 persons were allowed to visit the Scrovegni Chapel at a time after passing 20 minutes inside a decontamination room) started this tour with a theatrical representation about life in that period and it gave us too, a glimpse of the history of this Chapel (frescoed by the great painter GIOTTO) and who commissioned it, the Scrovegni family – Enrico Scrovegni and Jacopina d’Este.

The visit to this amazing Chapel really made me feel so fortunate to see how a work of art, so profound and so beautiful that after so many centuries it has the power to evoke joy, awe and sense of gratitude for such a priceless legacy to a lot of persons, including me. I think that the city of Padua (Padova in italian), famous for its University, the Botanical garden, the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, Pedrocchi Cafè still has a lot of treasures to be seen.

Last Judgement, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Veneto, Italy

Kiss of Judas, fresco by Giotto

Giotto’s interpretation of one of the three theological Virtues “La Carità – Charity”

“Envy – L’Invidia”, Giotto, Cappella degli Scrovegni

A part of the city of Padua by night

Life is a journey…