martes, 31 de diciembre de 2013


I was reading last year´s post in some free time I had between our comings and goings, the shopping, the lists....If you don´t know by now, I´m a list person, I don´t like to forget anything so I wrote a list with my resolutions for 2013. It´s now when I´ve realised I have just accomplished three of them.....I don´t know why did I write the rest.

This new year, I´ve decided to call things with their proper name, so diet will be "diet", not "healthy eating or alternative food".

I must focus on my pictures. I need to improve my pictures!!, this is a must!.

And I haven´t got rid of my sentimental stuff, I still keep my things in safety places.

And I still need to go to bed early.

Well, at least I´ve read the books I wanted to read.

And I´ve learnt to say NO (in some occasions).

And it´s been three years without smoking already!!.

And you know what, I´m not going to quit cooking.

And this is why I´m here today, before the hazzle of New Year´s Eve dinner begins, to wish you the best for 2014.


domingo, 29 de diciembre de 2013


It´s been ages since I cooked pasta, but I have to tell, pasta is one of the best options when you´re in a hurry, specially at Christmas time with all the comings and goings. Let´s say this is maximun flavour with minimun effort.

Once againg I found myself browsing through my pasta book, "Tuttopasta", and of course my  italian dictionary which I think it´s very useful because the book is in italian. For us, spoken italian is really easy to understand, but written is another story.


400grs pasta (I´ve chosen this eliche shape one)
200grs smoked cheese, the recipe says scamorza cheese, but I´ve used one from the basque country, smoked as well (Idiazabal)
60grs funghi
60grs butter
Some white wine, dry
Salt and pepper to season
Grated parmesan
A small onion chopped
Some parsley to decorate (optional)

Chop the funghi. Have you realised I´ve got some help today?. My daughter has come back home for Christmas and she loves cooking so she´s quite a help.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir fry the onion a little bit and add the funghi. Combine well and pour the white wine, stirring constantly. Grate the smoked cheese.

Boil the pasta now.

Combine it well with the rest ingredients.

Grate the parmesan before serving and decorate with a bit of parsley.


lunes, 23 de diciembre de 2013


I´d love to bring you happiness...I´d love to bring you health.
But I´ll dedicate you some nice words from my heart, with a poem written by T. Ch.)

Christmas is here
Christmas is here
Christmas we waited
all this year.

Christmas is joy
Christmas is joy
Under the tree
is an all new toy.

Christmas is hope
Christmas is hope
Let us all skip
the spinning rope

Christmas is peace
Christmas is peace
it always come
with amazing grace.

Christmas is light
Christmas is light
Street and homes are
shiny and bright

Christmas is here
Christmas is here
Bringing everybody
near and dear

(By Thirupati Chandrupatla)


domingo, 22 de diciembre de 2013


Before I start posting the recipe, I have to tell you that my L. (a friend of mine), came home for lunch, with a beautiful present. This time she gave me a gorgeous tureen. So it´s obvious I had to use it so that´s basically the reason I´m making this pea cream soup with some pancetta. I must tell you it´s  a really yummy starter for six.


4 pancetta slices
2tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2 spring onions or shallots, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
500grs frozen peas
Small handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish (optional)

Cut the pancetta in small pieces. Heat a large pot over medium heat and fry the pancetta slices until golden and crispy. Lift out and set aside in kitchen paper.

In the same pot, gently fry the onions for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in potatoes and cook for a further 5 min, until potatoes are softening. Add a splash of water if the ingredients look dry.

Add the stock, bring up to the boil and simmer for 15min or until potatoes are tender. Add the peas and bring back up to the boil. Cook for 1 min.

Then, add the mint leaves and some seasoning. In the recipe it says: "a small handful of fresh mint leaves". Well I´ve only used three leaves because this mint I still have in my terrace, is very fragant, it smells incredible.

Carefully blend the soup until completely smooth, (do this in batches if necessary, be careful if you process it when it´s still very hot, the cream will spill all over). Then I´ve strained the cream through a sieve.

Check the seasoning and I will brag again about my tureen. I can´t help it, I love it.


domingo, 15 de diciembre de 2013


We are but a few days away from Christmas day. I´m back to my decorations, I love the ornaments. Did you know I started to write this entry on a date we will never see again. Before I forget, thanks to Aisha, she knows why.

I always start decorating the first week of December. I look inside the containers, chose a colour..

Funny I always break big deal.

I got up very early this morning, outside it´s freezing cold.

My cousin who lives across the Atlantic, sends me this picture of her christmas tree, it´s beautiful.

And my tree is filled with ornaments.

I stopped for a couple of hours, baked the cake that I´m going to share today. It will be perfect with a cuppa.


200grs unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
200grs soft sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
2 ripe bananas, broken into chunks
75grs of walnuts, sliced
200grs self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180º. Grease and line a 20cm deep cake tin with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and suggar with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy..about 5 minutes.

Gradually beat in the eggs, mash the bananas with a fork, (this brought me back to those years I made the afternoon snack for my babies, with fruit and biscuits).

Fold the flour and bananas into the mixture. It may look a little curdled, but don´t worry. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the walnuts too. Spoon into the tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. 

Leave to cool in the tin for 5min, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I´m going back to my decorations now. My L. has given me a handmade sculpted goose egg that I love for two reasons. One is because it´s beautiful, I love it! and the other is because it has a light inside you can turn on/off. It´s gorgeous!!.

And she gave me pine cones too. I love pine cones.

I´ll have many people over for dinner, so I need to find out more napkin rings. 

By the end of the evening, I´m about to finish. I´ll put the stars I made with clothepins in the fireplace, and I´ll put candles inside too. I´ve got some Christmas cards already.