Sunday, June 30, 2013

La noche de San Juan + Gató di Patate

The 24th of June is Saint John day, a celebration for the solstice of June/midsummer. Here in Spain we celebrate this with fires on the beach and we call it "La noche de San Juan" (Saint John's night).

This year we celebrated it in a small town near our place, Sabinillas.

We arrived and found this huge statue on the beach:




It represents the current crisis situation Spain is living. A banker is smoking on a sofa, while on the bottom you see citizen claiming they have "no money" " no house" " no study" and one is saying " no shame!" referring to the banker (unfortunately this last one doesn't show up in the picture..)

Each town has his own statue or structure to light up, but I assume this year the argument was more or less the same in the whole Country.

We took the opportunity to arrive earlier (the fire starts at midnight) and had a pic nic on the beach
























Few shots of the fire!











This weekend was not only the weekend of San Juan, but we also had the big moon remember? It was 4 times bigger than usual!

I am glad I managed to take few shots, like the following two:




PD: I have prepared a Gató di patate  (potatos cake) for the pic nic:



Click on the following image and print your recipe :)


Until next time,
Daniela

Friday, June 21, 2013

30 days fitness challenge : Super delicious healthy snacks

Day 5 is now over and although there is still a long way to go (25 days...ouch!) I do feel better and still motivated!!!

How do I feel better? Well, the first 3 days I used to crush on the sofa right after the shower while now I still have a bit of energy to spend around the house :)

via Pinterest

Today I share with you 2 healthy snacks! Usually I have been given fruit as snack in the afternoon, but sometimes I crave salty snack and not sweet  - so this is the perfect option!

1. Turkey Salad roll


Serving 1 person

2 leaves of lattuce
3 onces thinly sliced steamed turkey
1 table spoon of feta cheese
1/2 chopped tomato
1/2 yellow pepper
salt and black pepper

Place the two lattuce leaves on a plate and cover with a layer of turkey. Cover the turkey with smashed feta cheese and top with tomato, yellow pepper, salt and black pepper. Roll tightly and enjoy!

2. Veggies Dip - with Honey and Cherry Vinagre dip sauce



Dip

2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons of honey
juice of 1 lemon
chopped basil leaves
fresh cracked pepper

Veggies

Carrots
celery
Pepper

Mix the sherry vinegar with honey, lemon juice, basil and pepper. Serve with the vegetables chopped in sticks. Enjoy!


Do you have other healthy snacks recipe to share? Leave the recipe in the comments - I would love to try them :)

Until next time,
Daniela

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

30 Days Fitness Challenge + Chicken & Asparagus

As I announced on my Facebook page, I started a 30 days fitness challenge - 2 days down / 28 to go!!


via Pinterest  

I want to finally lose those few overweight pounds I seem to never manage to get rid of!

I have never loved sports very much although I used to go to the gym (now and then) or play other sports, but I always wanted to follow an healthy routine with exercises.

I like this combination of cardio and exercises I am following, I feel they are working on me already! Hopefully I will maintain a nice routine after the challenge is over - so far so good ;)

The challenge focuses as well on food and I am trying to be a good girl and am not drinking alcohol or any coke/soda (chocolate will be hard to eliminate tho)...Tonight I have prepared an healthy and delicious plate: chicken with asparagus!







I don't want to be starving during this 30 days so I will simply stick with healthy food and normal portions!

What you need

Serving 2 people

500 gr Asparagus
250 gr Chicken breasts (sliced)
1/2 small onion
1 table spoon olive oil
1 table spoon lemon juice
1 tea spoon light soy sauce
almonds
salt, black and white pepper

Proceedings

Cut the asparagus and boil them for 10 minutes (if you don't like tender asparagus 7 minutes is enough).  In a pan, add the olive oil and, when it is heating, the sliced 1/2 onion.

When you see that the onion is golden, add the chicken slices and cook until they are almost done.

Add the cooked asparagus and stir everything together with salt, lemon juice and light soy sauce. 

Finally, add a handful of almonds ( fyi: I have small hands) and season with white and black pepper.


..Like a Rolling Stone..
Enjoy!

Until next time,
Daniela

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Food to crave for: Spinach & CousCous bites

Stefano and I are supposed to be on "1 week vegetable diet", but yesterday night I have decided to prepare something new that hopefully wasn't too unhealthy.. Do you think I've succeded?



..at least they're oven baked!


What you need

500gr /17oz Couscous 
500gr  /17oz Spinach
1/2 Onion
1 table spoon parmesan cheese
2 eggs
Salt,olive oil
2 stock (or bouillon) cubes

Proceedings

Boil some water and pour it in a bowl over the couscous and 2 stock cubes. The water should cover the cous cous completely (if it is not enough, then you can add it later but remember: if you pour too much water, it won't be absorbed by the couscous). Mix everything together until the cubes have melt and combined with the couscous.

In the meantime, pour some olive oil in a pan and mix cooked spinach with onion and parmesan cheese-- pre-heat the oven at 350F/200C.

Mix the couscous with the spinach and 2 eggs. Now you can start preparing your bites. You can decide how big you want them, mine were big enough and I came up with 20/25 of them. (suggestion: if the mixture is too watery, squeeze the ball in your hands in order to take out the liquid in excess).

Place the spinach and couscous bites in a baking tray and bake them for 15/20 minutes.

I have served my bites with indian style yoghurt -  it's very easy to make:

Combine 1 cup of greek yoghurt (light!) with 1 spoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and chopped mint leaves.

Enjoy!



Until next time,
Daniela

Monday, June 10, 2013

5 Pretty Elements: Books

One of my favorite activities is..reading! I love books!

I am an only child and used to entertain myself with books, that's probably why I love reading so much.

I am not affectionate to one category in particular, and in my collection you can find romance, thriller, horror and drama ;)

I am going to list 5 books I have recently read, maybe they will inspire you too.

1. The secret keeper - Kate Morton
 
I've recently discovered Kate Morton and I really like her style! So far, I've read The secret keeper, The distant hour and I am now reading The forgotten garden.

This book has got me engaged from the first moment! It contains flashback to London City during II World War, the London Blitz and the life of Dorothy,Vivien and Jimmy during those turbulent times. Back in 2011, Laurel (Dorothy´s daughter) is trying to discover a secret about her mum's life during war time and a mysterious crime committed in their home when Laurel was only 16.




I love mysteries , especially if they're set in the past! If you like mysteries  and feel like a Cold Case detective, this book will hook you and,  rest assured, you won't be able to stop reading!


2. Maya's notebook - Isabel Allende

The good thing about speaking 3 languages is that I get the chance to read Spanish and English authors in their native language.

I have always been a big fan of Isabel Allende and I am sure many people loved her  house of spirits - I am one of them.

In the past few weeks I have been reading Maya's notebook and it confirms Isabel Allende is a great writer. Maya is a neglected teenager, who gets into some serious troubles (drugs, prostitution and crime) and when her grandmother is able to find her, Maya is sent in a remote island of Chile. There, she starts writing a notebook telling her story from the early years in California to her troubled years in Las Vegas and finally her life in Chile.



I liked to imagine the exotic places Maya's describes in her notebook and also the stories of her trouble that do not bring us far away from the reality we face nowadays.

3. Moonlight Shadow - Banana Yoshimoto

This is a short book, and takes some influence from Kitchen , an old book of the same author Banana Yoshimoto.

This story talks about Satsuki, a girl who lost her boyfriend - Hitoshi - in a car crash. She is still grieving about her loss and get close to Hitoshi's brother who also lost her girlfriend in the same crash. This story gets magical when she meets a strange girl named Urara, who hopes to help her with a mystical experience.

It is a sad story but Banana makes you reflect on many aspects of life and loss - that's why I like her.

4. Detrás del cristal - Mayte Esteban

I'm afraid this book has not been translated in any other language, but if you can read in Spanish do not hesitate to buy it ( the ebook costs 0.99€!!).

The book tells about several people that, willing or not, end up having a link between them. A young business man is trapped babysitting a baby he doesn't know because Ana, the baby´s mother, has found a job and needs the money so much, she has to make this extreme act or she will lose her job. There are other lives involved in this novel and it is quite interesting (and shocking) to learn how those lives will change in the end.



Mayte Esteban is a new writer and I wish her the best!

5. Toilets of the world - Morna E. Gregory; Sian James

This is a fun and interesting book. I saw it for the first time in some friends' place and couldn't resist from buying it myself!

The book contains pictures and short descriptions of the most strange, eclectic and rudimental toilets you can find in the entire world. It also makes you see how things we give for granted (the toilet) is a real luxury for other countries!



They also have a website http://toiletsoftheworldbook.com/ : have a look, you might have a laugh ;)

This book has a special place in my house...the bathroom! where else?? :)





What about you? Have you been reading anything interesting lately?

Until next time,
Daniela

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Food to crave for: Rainbow cake

I have been absent for a while but for a good reason: my family was visiting and I spent all my time with them.

Unfortunately the week is over and they are back in Italy now :(

I am really close to my family and I would love to have many Sundays lunch with them, shopping trips or simply see them more often...
This is something I don't see happening in the near future so I have to make these few weeks I have with them as special as possible.

 Mum and I in Marbella



We spent a relaxing time, went mostly shopping and visited Marbella and Gibraltar. We had a BBQ last Sunday and I prepared a nice and colorful cake :)


My uncle Tom came up with the name of the cake :)


What you need



















Proceeding:

This is very similar to my Chocolate and Walnut cake! Only you have to use less sugar since the cake contains apples and sugary decorations (like the m&m's).

Break the chocolate bar in pieces and melt it with butter in a small sauce pan over a low flame. 
Separate the yolk from the egg whites, and beat the egg whites until stiff. 
In a separate bowl, mix the three egg yolks with sugar and, when the texture is creamy, add the stiffen egg whites and mix everything together.
Mix the baking powder with the flour and add the mixture to the egg yolk composed on small doses.

Add the apples slices, the chocolate cream and mix together.

Pour everything in a cake pan and in the oven at 180C/350F for 30 minutes.

I covered the cake with whipped cream and Nutella mixture, and added the m&m's I previously divided in colours :)


I love it!!



Do you like my rainbow cake? 

Until next time,
Daniela