Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baci di Dama (Lady's kisses)

Baci di Dama are irresistible, nutty, buttery cookies with a little bit of crunch. My kids love them. Usually I buy them in the bakery, but today I decided to prepare my own batch using this recipe.

200 gr Flour
100 gr Almonds (Toasted and skinned)
100 gr Hazelnuts (Toasted and skinned)
200 gr Unsalted butter
140 gr Sugar
Vanilla and orange zest
150 gr Chocolate
(You can use also only Almonds or Hazelnuts, in the second version the cookies will take a nuttier taste)

1. Put the hazelnuts and almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse them until very fine.
2. Transfer the ground nuts to a bowl and add the flour. Cut the butter into pieces then add the butter, sugar, and salt to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until the butter is dispersed and completely incorporated. The dough should be very smooth and hold together. If not, knead it until it does. Put the dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
3. Divide the chilled dough into three equal pieces and roll each piece until it’s 3/4-inch (2cm) round. Try to get them as smooth as possible, with no cracks. If the dough is too long to work with as you roll them out, you can cut the dough at the midway point and work with it in batches.
4. Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
5. Working with one length of dough at a time, keeping the others in the refrigerator or freezer, cut off equal-sized pieces using a knife or pastry cutter. The ideal is 7 grams each, if working with a scale. The fastest way to do it is to cut one to the right weight, then hold that one alongside the logs and use it as a template to cut the others. Once you’ve cut a length of dough, roll the pieces into nice little balls and place them on the baking sheet, slightly spaced apart.
6. Continue cutting the dough and rolling it into little balls. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the backing sheet.

7. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Put a chocolate chip-sized dollop of chocolate on the bottom of one cookie and take another cookie, and sandwich the two halves together. 

Once filled, set the Baci di Dama sideways on a wire cooling rack until the chocolate is firm.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I Wish I Was...

I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off
I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on
I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on
The Christmas tree, I wish I was the star that went on top
I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds
For 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky

I wish I was a sailor with someone who waited for me
I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me
I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
I wish I was the full moon shining off a Camaro's hood

I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun
I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on
I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
I wish I was the verb 'to trust' and never let you down

I wish I was a radio song, the one that you turned up
I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish
I guess it never stops... 

That's one of my favorite song. 
But I've tons of favorite songs. This is one from my twenties. Yeah. Better said this way. At that time I was always stressed for my exams and I used to relax listening Pearl Jam, Blur and Alanis Morissette.
Today? Today I'm worried for the bad economy, for my children's future and the infamous people that are ruling our World. I'm trying to cheer my up with some actual pop or rock music, but they didn't work. I have to come back to my old favorites to find something meaningful. 
Today is Eddie Vedder, tomorrow I'll let you know. Enjoy it.

Friday, April 12, 2013


This morning I received a gift from my friend Chiara, she gave me the LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD :-)
Chiara and I met on a social forum years ago and managed to see each other in person only one time, three and a half years ago when we visited Holland. We share a lot in common and I consider her one of the best person I met through the web.

What's the award?
I found a nice definition in an other blog "Liebster Award is no real award. There are no judges, no special rules. No website with an official team to congratulate you and hold your hand. It's mostly what you want it to be. If you receive the award, you can 1) accept it and 2) pass it along. It's that easy"

How does it work?
 According to the rules of the Liebster Award, I am to answer 11 questions posed at Chiara website, choose 11 people to whom I will pass on this honor, and then make up 11 more questions which the new recipients must then in turn answer. I've  clearly thanks Chiara for the nominee and tell her I wrote this post. Piece of cake, eh?
So, her we go...

My answers to Chiara's questions
  1. Pane integrale o bianco? / White or Whole bread?  --> Integrale/Whole
  2. Pasta o riso? / Pasta or rice? --> Pasta
  3. Per cosa patiresti la fame piuttosto che mangiarla? / What are you never gonna eat (better starving)?  --> Escargot
  4. Cosa ti piace di piu' cucinare? / What's your favorite things to cook?  --> Adoro usare il forno / I love baking.
  5. Quale ingrediente vorresti usare di piu' in cucina? / Which ingredient would you like to you use more in your cooking?  Spezie, con due bimbi devo usarle con moderazione / Spices, because with two kids I've to be cautious
  6. E l'ingrediente di cui non potresti fare a meno? / The ingredient you will never be able to renounce --> Non so / Dunno o_O
  7. Cosa non manca mai nel tuo frigo? / What's the ingredient always present in your fridge? Uova, latte, yogurt / Eggs, milk, yogurt
  8. E nella dispensa? / And in the pantry? Caffé, zucchero e farina / Coffee, sugar, Flour
  9. Caffe' o the'? Che domanda Chiara! Assolutamente Caffè ;-) / COFFEE!
  10. Cosa metti nel panino per un pranzo al volo? What do you choose for a last minute sandwich? Quel che c'è in frigo / whatever I found in the fridge.
  11. E il tuo dolce preferito?/ your favorite dessert? Himbeertorte
 Now, eleven things you don't know about me.
  1. As a very little child I would like to be a firefighter (Grisù pensaci tu!)
  2. My favorite flower is the violet.
  3. I read a lot of romantic books, but my husband says I'm not a romantic person. Maybe.
  4. I wear always flats, but I would like to be able to walk with very high heels.
  5. I love swimming.
  6. I can drive a car with a stick and I'm pretty good at it.
  7. I love breakfast (More likely drinking my long, dark, hot coffee) in bed, but with two little kids it's a very dangerous activity :-S
  8. I love wearing my glasses.
  9. I hate lenses.
  10. I can't drink milk.
  11. That's my secret... I crave for COMMENTS to my posts :-) Pleeeeeeeeeeese, leave a comment sometimes. Even a Hello :-)
And now,  my eleven question for the next receiver
  1. What's your favorite moment connected with your blog?
  2. What inspires you writing posts?
  3. The three adjectives your partner uses the most to describe you?
  4. White wine or  red wine?
  5. Keanu Reaves or Bred Pitt? 
  6. If you have to choose a completely different theme for a post (In your blog), what would you like to talk about?
  7. Pick a movie. Can you describe the story in ten words?
  8. What's your favorite street food?
  9. Do you have a goal for your blog?
  10. Did you ever pick a book ONLY for its cover?
  11. I wish I was... What?
Last but not least the new winners!

Lucia  - Look at her amazing pictures. I'm fascinated with her work.
Samantha Stroh Bailey - I first read her book and loved it. Then I contacted her for my *very secret project* and found out she's lovely as well.
Jul's kitchen - Take your time to visit this wonderful blog. I'm enchanted by her pictures. (PS: she has also the English version look on the top-right corner)

Melody Simmons - I don't know her, but her home page is amazing, but wait to see her works.
Nancy Scanlon  - A new blogger with a nice touch of delicacy in her post.
Debs brand new blog. Best wishes!
 I don't know how many followers they have but I like to pin also two of my favorite blogs:
The Food Dept  - I love how they present food.
Home Sick Texan - Texmex food

I think it's all for the moment :-)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My culinary McGiver moments

 Today I found a  couple of old photography film rolls that I've never developed. I forgot about them, but I still remember what I've inside. Pink flamingos :-)

 Many years ago, during one of our trip to Barcelona, my husband and I decided to visit Saintes Maries de la Mer, in the coeur de la Camargue (Provance, France). We went in summer to do a little birdwatching. We wanted to admire the pink Flamingos that spent the warm months there. 
We decided to give the trip and adventurous touch sleeping in my brother igloo tent. We went to a camping site near the beach. Don't worry. We didn't anything crazy as place the tent in the middle of the swamp. Anyway, we had toilets (public) and  electricity, but we didn't brought so much tableware, because were going enjoy the local cuisine.
We explored also the nearest supermarket and we couldn't resist to the call of the wonderful cheeses and pates. So we bought a baguette, a bottle of red wine and some green salad to complete our picnic.
Unfortunately in shops you can't find mono dose bags of salt-and-pepper and olive oil (We hate bottled dressing). Since we didn't want to travel with an open bottle of oil and a salt package in the trunk, I solved the salad dressing problem buying a lemon and a little anchovies (In olive oil) tin.
I prepared the dressing squeezing the lemon, smashing some anchovies and adding some of their olive oil. I put everything on top and used the bag as a mixing bowl. Then I closed the bag and shook well. Et voilà, the McGiver salad was ready.
My husband swore it was one of my best salads, but I think the good wine, cheese and paté did the trick ;-)

Monday, April 8, 2013


Somewhere in my granny warehouse there's a big box filled with my postcards' collection. I can't remember their exact number. There are hundreds of them. Italians and internationals,  posted or simply bought during my journeys, regular or fancy, and so on. But in the last decade I stopped collecting them. 
First, because they're getting old. Do you notice that the few available have the same pictures taken in the last century? Look at the cars, people clothes or the flower beds. Sometimes they are even printed in the XX sec. o_O  
Second, the new mobile-phones had killed the spirit of a postcard. Now you can take a picture, live, add your own line and press the sent button. In few seconds the *addressee* would be able to look, read and even answer the message.  
So, this evening I did  my own postcard with a picture taken yesterday  afternoon during a walk by the see... I send it to everybody is passing through this space.         
XOXOXO  Silvia

Friday, April 5, 2013

Goldrake, 35 years ago...

Today in the newspaper website I read an article that at first made me think "Crap. I'm old. 35 years ago?" Then evoked a lot of good feelings, because it was about my favorite cartoon, evah :-)
Tell me which is your favorite cartoon and I'll tell you who you are...

Mine is this

As a child I was totally in love with Goldrake. Not the robot per se. I was in love with his pilot, Actarus (So tormented and beautiful. *Sigh*), the family drama (i.e. The arrival of the lost sister), the love stories, the epic battles (Good vs Evil, in alien form) and the song. So catchy that became an evergreen. One of those songs that DJs choose to warm a party's atmosphere, just after Y.M.C.A., and before Mamma Mia :-)
I saw a couple of episodes with kid1 once, but he wasn't impressed. The graphic is poor (It's a 35 years cartoon, after all) and he didn't appreciate the drama. But I felt the same pang in the chest I  experienced as a kid, when I run home from the  kindergarten to watch my favorite show on the second channel.

Goldrake, 35 anni a difesa della Terra - Video - Corriere TV