giovedì 30 settembre 2010

Sourdough pets

Why didn't I call this blog "Julie, Julia and Juliette"?
I was watching a video of Julia Child on YouTube, and first of all I thought Meryl Streep plays her role superbly and then I thought "Hey wait, just a moment..Are we sure I am not realted in any way to her?" She reminds me sooo much of my grandma, and actually also of my mum. I think I might become like her one day. A crazy, maybe irritating, lovely woman.

Isn't he lovely? Should I give him a name?

I have been planning of making sourdough bread for a while now. I ate it many many times when I was little at a friend's house.
I looked up on the Internet how to prepare a Sourdough Starter, and I found this article by John Ross. His explanation is very simple and straightforward and sometimes makes me smile =).
He talks as if it were a pet to take care of. Actually, it is. I am feeding him (or them) and I hope I will be able to make my long-awaited bread soon.

Furthermore, I have been drawing pretty much lately. It's a way of keeping me busier than I already am. Classes will start tomorrow and I think the lasts days of "freedom" are to be enjoyed, right? I made this drawing for Roberto, who I miss so much! He's learning Dutch and this is a way to learn some words. All the words (or almost) are related to something we did, had or met during our trip to the Netherlands. I hope he'll like it, and you too.

Soon I will update you about my little pets!


martedì 28 settembre 2010

A "new" chair.

I'm trying to do as much funny things at possible while here in Turin.
This morning I went for a walk and bought some incredibly cheap watercolours and some crayons.
I cleaned the whole house, every edge, and then started to draw. Every now and then I look at blogs and write comments, and then I go back at drawing.

When I was still at home (my parents') I "restyled" an old brown chair I had in my room since we moved there. I always hated that colour and the chair itself. I decided to paint it in two of my favourite colors. It as funny and even if the result may not have been perfect I was very satisfied with it.

After having sandpapered (is that a verb?) it, I painted it white so that the colours I chose would stick better. And then I painted it in these wonderful colours.

Have a nice day!

domenica 26 settembre 2010

Blackberry Tart

I'm back in the big city.
Classes will begin on the first of October, today I have an exam and then I have to arrange oh so many things before everything starts.

The day before yesterday Roberto and I went for a walk. I remembered that some years ago I had found a lot of blackberries and I thought that it would be useful to bring a little bag.
Result: we picked 950 gr (2.09 pounds) blackberries!

We decided to make a pie, had a lot of fun and had such a nice afternoon.

Pie Crust

2 cups flour (We used whole wheat)
230 gr (8 oz) cold (!) unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
5 TBS water

  • Mix the flour and the salt in a bowl.
  • Add the butter and mix until crumbly.
  • Add the water one TBS at a time until you can work the dough with your hands like a bread dough.
  • Place the dough on a work surface and divide it into two balls.
  • Work one dough ball at a time, roll it out until the circumference will be 3-4 cm bigger than the baking pan.
  • When you'll have two discs wrap them into plastic and place in the refrigerator for 45-50 minutes.

You can now place the first disc in the baking pan. Leave the edges of the dough outside the baking pan.


500 gr (1,2 pound) blackberries
70 gr (2 1/4 oz) cornstarch
1 cup sugar
the juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsb salt
50 gr butter

  • Mix the blackberries with the lemon juice and add the cornstarch, the sugar and the salt.
  • Place the mixture in the folded baking pan, then add the butter cut into cubes.
  • Cover with the second disc of dough
  • Fold the edges of the two discs together
  • Cut some vents
  • Cover with a beaten egg yolk
  • Place in the oven at 190 °C (375 F) for 45 minutes
  • Lower at 160 °C (325 F) and let bake for other 25 minutes.
Allow to cool befor serving.

I liked the fact that it wasn't too sweet, you tasted the backberries, not only the sugar.

giovedì 23 settembre 2010

Recipe Box

I have been so crafty today.
I decided to take one day free, without studying and thinking only of things I actually like and want to do.I painted, cooked, restyled my room and made this recipe-box.

So colorful! Now I'll have to write all my recipes down, that will be a looong work.


mercoledì 22 settembre 2010

Almond Raisin Bread

Immediately after having baked the cookies I decided to bake something else. It's an addiction!

When Roberto and I were in the Netherlands I let him try and taste every single thing that sounded strange and new to him. In 3 days he ate like 10 new things: stroopwafels, stamppot, kaascorissant, mueslibolletje and other specialities. He enjoyed everything and didn't complain =)
Coming back in Italy has been a shock for him, probably, because he continues talking about "kroket", "stroopwafel" with his cute accent at least once a day.

In the Netherlands we stayed at a friend's, she has been so kind and nice! I enjoyed every second I was there (except for when I was ill, but that's another story), it felt like being home, being myself and having a lot of colors and nice people surrounding me.
Every morning she brought her daughter to school and then, coming back home, she bought bread for breakfast.
The bread she brought is something Roberto cannot and will not ever forget.
It's a normal simple but delicious bread, but here in Italy it's impossible to find. We even went to some bakeries to look for it, but nowhere to be found.
Therefore I decide to try to bake it on my own (*fail* it was not soft enough).

I went for this Almond Raisin Bread, for which I made up the recipe.

It was nice, sweet and disappeared after a few hours, but it was nowhere near the original one I wanted to imitate.



venerdì 17 settembre 2010

The great comeback, for now.

"Hi, I am a

and I mark the comeback of the princess of baking."

I haven't blogged for more than two months. It's been two busy, confusing, stupid months. Actually the whole year hasn't been my luckiest one, I can say it is being the worst one actually (one of my friend would say "until now!", ahah).

I stopped baking and cooking, crafting and taking nice pics. Then I made a trip around Europe with Roberto, and opened my eyes to the world. I just have to go on with my hobbies, even if I am not feeling great, or not 100% happy, because those things keep me alive.
Even if someone says "You will not become a baker" that does not mean that I cannot have a passion for baking. And if I want to become I baker, I will succeed. Full stop.

At the moment I don't really know what I want (translate, travel, bake, take pictures, have a family, be happy..that are all big dreams of mine), but while I am figuring out, I can just go on with some of my passions, right?

Therefore today I woke up and decided it would have been the day to make my comeback in the Baking World.
Why? Because my daddy is ill and he's complaining a lot. My mum hates this. They both need something sugary in their day.
My dad loves cookies. My mum loves sugar.
I had a "To bake" list, and the weather is being rainy.
All those ingredients combined means only one thing: "Gingerbread Cookies"!

I am so happy to have baked something, and I think my father was too. Fall brings us cozy clothing, warm cups of tea, oranges and mandarins, and..Gingerbread Cookies! Right?

I'll stop for now otherwise I won't have anything to write next time I will pop onto my blog.

Have a nice day!