Buon San Martino

Hobbies, Photography

One of the things that I learned from living in one of the towns here in Italy is that sometimes they prepare a particular cake to celebrate the feast day of the Saint. Today, is the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours and it has been and still is a family tradition to prepare this special sweet. It is called “il Dolce di San Martino”. I use a shortbread “pasta frolla” recipe given to me by an officemate while the decoration of the pastry varies every year. All you need is a good shortbread recipe, dark chocolate for glazing and a handful of “smarties or M&M’s” and candies to decorate the sweet and of course, the special mold “St. Martin of Tours”.

Oh! Saint Martin of Tours is remembered as the Saint who cut his red cloak in two with his sword to give half of it to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter.

And I thought, this is the essence of compassion, generosity, peace and love. An act of kindness, even a smile can do miracles.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Sunday!

Gardening…

Hobbies, Photography

Thanks to some YouTubers who found time to share their knowledge to someone like me who is interested in cultivating vegetables, this is my third year of what I can say, a successful and satisfying way of growing vegetables using a way which is nature friendly. Companion planting. I just hope that this year’s harvest will be as satisfying as it was in these last two years! By planting together plants who benefit each other I can harvest fresh vegetables for the whole summer. Oh! Suddenly a thought came to me, it seems like even in the plant world the theory of having a group of plants that benefit each other means a good harvest and this, I believe, is also true in our world as individuals. If we are circled with the right/positive persons we can create good things. We can have access to true happiness.

I planted marigolds, zinnias and calendulas. In the end, I think I have a vegetable-flower garden!

Seeing different plants growing together in perfect harmony gives me that profound joy, it’s like seeing and touching the essence of life. After all, for me, true happiness is often found in simple things.

Oh! What about these fairy gardens? They also attract bees, butterflies and useful insects

The joy of harvesting vegetables from my vegetable garden and realizing that companion planting is an effective way of growing vegetables. Who really needs pesticides?

Brownies – M&M’s with peanut butter

Hobbies, My recipes, Photography

During my trip to America, I bought a pack of M&M with peanut butter and at the back of the pack there was a recipe for Brownies with M&M with peanut butter. I was really curious to try the recipe since it is a family tradition to prepare brownies during the Christmas season at home. I thought, I like this new version of M&M’s with peanut butter so I decided to try this recipe for this holiday season…

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So…

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And finally…

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Very delicious and as for calories …πŸ™€ but what counts is the fact that I was able to prepare this recipe and learned that I could adapt it to my needs like: put 1/3 less sugar, 1 egg less, 1 cup less of M&M’s with peanut butter and 50 grams more of melted dark chocolate. πŸ€”

Happy holidays everyone!!!

New Basil plants out of ….

Food for thoughts, Hobbies, Photography

I thought it was easier to buy Basil plants rather than reproducing new plants out of a mother plant…

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A mother Basil plant – I cut the top part (10 cm) – put them in a transparent glass jar for a week and….Voila! New Basil plants!

I was able to reproduce new plants + saved money and I was able to share/give Basil plants to my friends

La marmellata di mandariniΒ 

Hobbies, My recipes, Photography

I thought this jam was difficult to prepare… I was wrong! All you need are fresh mandarins, sugar, some water and most of all a lot of patience…😊

  
Ingredients:

1 chilo and 350 grams of peeled and seeded mandarins. 

1 cup of water

600 grams sugar

150 grams of Mandarin peels

Bring to a boil above ingredients. Continue stirring until thick or when it sets when you put a small amount of jam in a plate. It took me 1 and 1/2 hr but it was worth the wait!

Let cool.

In the meanwhile, clean the jars that you would be using for preserving the Mandarin jam. 

Pour the cooled jam into the jars, close the jars tigthly.

If you want to preserve this jam for a longer period of time, sterilize jars for 30 minutes.