Jan 28, 2013

Apple crumble


Sunday, Jan. 27. 4 pm. Kids, husbands and cats went for a drive. I have a Sunday afternoon to myself. I'm not on the phone, not on FB, not writing e-mails. I'm baking.

Jan 23, 2013

Sunny apple cake

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Tuesday, Jan. 22. It's -6 C (20 F) outside. We went to the market, but with -6C...there was no market. Just some old pots and underwear in peculiar colors and shapes. I passed on the pots and undies.

Jan 18, 2013

Zebra cake

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I usually have a very definitive and egotistical idea about my next recipe. I only sometimes feel generous and ask others what they feel like.  I asked Hania, my 10 year old.  She wanted a zebra cake this time.

Jan 17, 2013

Chocolate cream cake

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Winter is the season for chocolate, just like summer is the season for peaches. A piece of home made chocolate cake is a lot more satisfying then a cold, hard bar of chocolate for 1.99$. I tend to overeat chocolate without thinking...200....400...600 calories...bam, bam, bam! Is it all gone?! My own chocolate delicacy, I enjoy slowly and I don't have a nutrition table in front of me taking down the joy of eating to some numbers.

Jan 15, 2013

Chocolate tortino

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Finally a chocolate dessert. A "tortino", it's kind of like a muffin but with a chocolate heart. Creamy, rich chocolate on the inside with a delicate crust on the outside. Nothing like I've ever made before. Very easy and fast but requires some attention to the timing. Otherwise, you'll just get a chocolate muffin all the way through.

Jan 12, 2013

Mandarin-lemon cake

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A very pleasant, seasonal cake. It only called for mandarins but I had to use lemons as well.
Mandarins have a tendency to go bad before I know it. They are in season, so they are ripe when picked and good to eat when bought. I can take them or leave them. Every time I eat one, I think: what can I eat next? They make me cold. Maybe if I lived in Napoli, things would be different. But for baking, they are perfect. I have a taste of the season and a satisfying snack.

Jan 10, 2013

Almond brittle

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This time it worked. And I gave up on the idea after my last experience on Sunday. I wasted over 2 cups of almonds and I didn't learn anything. I still didn't know how to make caramel or how to toast almonds to the perfection. Even Julia Child didn't come to rescue. Her caramel recipe just said to add "some water". Not good enough for me.

Jan 8, 2013

7 jar cake

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Baking has switched to an evening activity lately. I like it. I have less energy but that works to my advantage. I don't have "simple life"/"easy living". Life is full of stress and nonsense. I do get nicer though when the sun goes down, when I have exhausted most of my batteries. Everybody is home, the oven is on and I'm doing something nice.

Jan 4, 2013


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...or "Hugs" in English. I prefer "Abbracci". Cream dough "abbracia" chocolate dough. Hania had the idea. I made these cookies some time ago and we always buy them when in Italy. Italians make the best cookies. They are often considered part of breakfast. They are made of simple ingredients, the taste is pleasant and delicate, perfect to dip in milk or coffee. They are never too sweet, crunchy just enough, for everybody in your family to enjoy.