Around Origlio Lake

 

This year I’ve spent my Easter holidays in Ticino (Italian speaking part of Switzerland) where we enjoyed lukewarm days with the family and with friends.

After lunch we decided to have a walk, not hiking, but simply a few enjoyable hours in the nature around the protected area of the lake of Origlio.

No camera, this time, but my smartphone with one of my favorite apps “Wikiloc” to record the trail. So we are, I hope some of you will enjoy the photos and perhaps once the walk!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Barraquito 3 Ways – Wonder Coffee from Tenerife

The first time I saw this coffee at the table of neighbors in a restaurant I wondered what kind of dessert it was but I did not ask for this. We had a great meal and I really did not need more food or sweets.

A few days later we tried the “café leche leche” witch is a simpler version of coffee with milk and condensed milk without the liquor. But we still did not try the barraquito.

As I wanted to replicate the “café leche leche” I came across the barraquito.

The photos were spectacular and I found that we need to try this and see how it works.

Looking at the pictures in the web I realized that the layers were quite different, mostly 5 different layers but even more.

The density and viscosity of the ingredients are the key of this impressive coffee, but also the technique is very important as pouring the ingredients quickly would. The chronological sequence of pouring the ingredients is also very important and the results may very different.

In some of the descriptions steps 4 and 5 (foamy milk and espresso) are inverted!

Sometimes some of the ingredients are mixed first (coffee + liquor or milk +coffee).

Well, I decide to try as I described but as well as inverting steps 4 and 5. The results?

Guess, look at the pictures? Which one got the espresso first?

Finally I changed the experiment adding in this sequence: condensed milk, liquor, half of the coffee, hot milk, second part of the coffee and foam of the milk (with little milk). I got 6 layers!

There was another problem to solve: I missed Licor 43 or Tía María. I replaced this an orange-liquor. The result? WOW this was so good! Probably the liquor should be think and “heavy” enough. Psst: in my next experiment I combined the orange liquor with agave syrup for less alcohol, this worked perfectly as well!

A barraquito is something between a coffee and a delicious dessert! Next time in Tenerife I try this and I will bring home a bottle of Licor 43 or/and Tía María!

Solution of the question: the glass with high white level just after the liquor got the milk first.

Barraquito Two Ways – Wonder Coffee from Tenerife

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

You need

  • 1small cup of espresso
  • Hot milk, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons liquor (Licor 43 or Tía María)
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon zest

Procedure:

  1. First of all you need to have all your ingredients ready, including the hot espresso and the milk. Foam the milk with the shaker or the special blender (I did not foam this enough, next time I will foam this better).
  2. In a small glass pour the condensed milk on the bottom first.
  3. Now fill the liquor letting it flowing from the wall of the glass or using the back of a spoon.
  4. In the same way pour the hot foamy milk.
  5. Now pour the espresso looking not to mix the levels. (optional: 5a. some more milk and foam)
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add the lemon zest.

Author: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a great cake with great results adapted from Lynette’s apple cake recipe.
I substituted the butter with 1/2 cup of sunflowers oil (only for personal preference) and I did not use butter in the frosting, Walnuts were my alternative to pecan (local product in Europe). I also made a bigger portion as a used a big mold.
I prepared this for a party, so that I made this a little bit more flat and I cut this in small pieces (finger food!). It was a great hit and it was very much appreciated!

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Servings: 15-25
  • Time: 1 h + cooling time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 6 large apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped or coarsely grated
  • 250 g sugar
  • 100 ml vegetal oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400 g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 100 g walnuts, chopped

Frosting:

  • 200 g cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or grated lemon zest, optional to taste
  • 200 g powdered sugar, sifted

Topping

  • Walnuts (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the apples and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. In a big bowl combine apples, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir to combine.
  4. Fold under the walnuts.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased baking mold (mine was 45 to 30 cm big) and spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 45 at 180°C/350°F until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean (tooth stick test).
  7. Let cool down completely.
  8. Combine the ingredients fort the frosting stirring well until smooth.
  9. Spread the frosting with a spatula over the cake and top with some walnuts.
  10. I made the cake in the evening and I cut it into pieces in the morning. The frosting was not hard still creamy but not “floating”.

Author: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Beauty Products

It’s very use to produce some homemade cosmetics and it’s a lot of fun.

Make your cosmetic products simply with the culinary ingredients and bee products as well as herbs from the garden.

Last week I prepared a great set as gift for birthday and it was funny way for myself to discover some new interesting ingredients.

As all skin products, some people may be allergic to this or to that, you have to adjust the recapture to your needs!

Tip: combine beeswax and oil by melting them in a small pot to about 80°C or better in a small bowl over a pot of boiling water.

Note: the Beeswax Skin Balsam is not in the photo.

Beeswax Skin Balm

  • Ingredients: Beeswax (20%), Baby oil (80%)
  • Properties: Protecting and nourishing

The all-purpose balm described below, is the balm I use for my skin since ages and I’m very happy with this. Perfect to protect you skin against the cold weather and to take care of your hands before and after gardening! If you need a sun protection I use a sun protection cream before and then our beeswax cream.

Tiger Balm Lip Balm

  • Ingredients: Beeswax (20%), Baby oil 79%) and Tiger Balm (1%)
  • Properties: protecting and anti-inflammatory

The second version is very similar, the only difference is the addition of Tiger Balm. Tiger balm isn’t designed for use on lips, but I discovered that in small amounts it works well against irritated lips or nose; but be careful, maximum 1% Tiger balm content in you mix and only for one or two days! If it is too much this will either irritate you skin!

Rosemary and Lemon Scented Salt Bath

  • Ingredients: Sea salt, dried rosemary powder and grated lemon zest (Quantities to taste, no rules)
  • Properties: relieves fatigue and tonic for the skin

Salt Bath make you feel the water smooth and sea salt is a natural ally to balance, protect, and restore the body and skin. This also can help balance and improve hydration, strengthen the protective barrier of our skin.

Rosemary and lemon scent together give us a lot energy and they work as mood enhancer.

Turmeric Mask for the Face

  • Ingredients: Turmeric powder and flour (flour is only a carrier and it is optional)
  • Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidants, smoothing, tonic, and anti-bacterial
  • Use: Combine 1 teaspoons powder with 1 teaspoons plain Greek yogurt. Apply for 10-15 min and then wash nicely

This is an old very powerful method to improve the texture of your skin. It can also help to fight acne!

Lavender Scrub for Hands

  • Ingredients: brown sugar (80%), olive oil (18%), beeswax (2%), and dried lavender powder (ta taste)
  • Properties: smoothing and nourishing
  • Use: Rub well 1 teaspoon scrub on wet hands, rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry

Crystals of sugar work a natural scrub, the oil and beeswax are a great carrier and help you skin to smooth the skin while you are scrubbing with the crystal. Lavender texture works as scrub but also gives to the mixture a great scent!

Foot Bath with Mint

  • Ingredients: Salt 80 %, baking soda (“0%), fresh mint leaves (mint processed with salt in the food processor, quantity to taste)
  • Properties: refreshing and smoothing

Foot soaks are very effective against tiresome of feet, dry and damaged skin of feet, cracked heels, stinky feet and many others. Take a foot basin large enough to hold both of your feet in it, add 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Then soak your feet for about 30 minutes and keep rubbing your feet gently using your fingertips or a sponge. In this way you will remove a lot dead cells and exfoliate the skin. Rinse well with water and apply any of good hand and body lotion to keep your feet moisturized.  Best if you use the Beeswax balm I’ve suggested

Avocado Pit and Honey Facial Scrub

  • Ingredients: avocado pit powder, honey, olive oil, lemon juice and cornstarch
  • Properties: scrub, cleansing, nourishing and anti-oxidants

The use of the avocado pit was the most surprising discovery of this beauty set! I would have never thought that this could be used and in the internet I saw that this can be used as additive to food!

The procedure of preparing the pit was easy: wash, remove the dark skin, grate and let it dry overnight or more if necessary. Then process it to get the powder! The colors changes form light to dark orange in only a few minutes, that’s OK, no worry! Here a few more suggestion how to use this seed: https://toughnickel.com/frugal-living/avocado-seed

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

No Way! Walk in the Black Forest

schwarzwald-2017-3-of-28

Since I discovered “Wikiloc” at the moment my favorite App, I’m looking around for small excursions and opportunities to enjoy the nature, take pictures and to do something for our health.

Last weekend the weather was great, warm down here in the town, but the same time I saw that in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) everything was covered with fresh coat of snow!

schwarzwald-2017-1-of-28

We decided to try and we followed a trail around a small lake which I discovered in the map.

As we did not get early in the morning and lunch time was approaching my family decided to stop in a restaurant we got a great colored meal and a some Black Forest cake! We eat with the eyes as well, don’t we?

schwarzwald-2017-9-of-28 schwarzwald-2017-10-of-28

Well after the lunch we tried to take a trail in the forest which was marked in the map, but almost invisible in the nature (see the title!)! Trees over the trail and about 40 cm snow. We tried to follow the trail, as least we knew where we were and we could not get lost. It was fantastic, away from everybody else, an incredible light; a dream landscape!

schwarzwald-2017-2-of-28

 

With the snow we spent much more time as expected, we reached the summit as the skiing area was empty and we enjoyed the sunset walking back to the starting point.

schwarzwald-2017-20-of-28

What a great day!

Note: Photos by my daughter and myself

Trail link with more photos:

https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=16466959

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Apple Cake with Rosemary

apple-cake-with-rosemary-4

Only one month and the spring will be here! Last year in September we harvested our apples and since now we have some in our not heated cellar. Our old apple trees gave us a lot these delicious fruits which I learnt to appreciate during the last years.

Apple is not equal to apple, we have old kinds of them, but I don’t know how they are called. Anyway I experimented with many recipes and so we never get bored from them.

Today I would like to present you a soft juicy apple cake with a special touch! It’s a special version of the famous Thurgauer (from Thurgau, Switzerland) apple cake: the addition of rosemary.

Today, herbs are not only used for savory recipes, the taste of sweets can be enhanced and the result will be upgraded with such a single step.

Note: the recipe fits for a baking mold of 26 cm (about 10 inches), but I made a cake of 14 cm (about 9 inches) plus a mini one for give away with some almonds for decoration! I also used small apples from the garden as they fit in both cake molds.

Apple Cake with Rosemary

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 1h 15 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
apple-cake-with-rosemary-5

You need:

  • 150 g butter or margarine
  • 150 g brown sugar (if possible finely grinded)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla aroma
  • 4 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 50 ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, sieved
  • 600 g apples
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons quince jelly (you may add one more brandy tablespoon)
  • 2 springs rosemary

additional to coat butter and ground almonds

Procedure:

  1. Beat butter until soft and add gradually sugar, salt and eggs (one by one). Beat until it becomes clear.
  2. Add vanilla, yogurt, brandy and rosemary; mix well.
  3. In a big bowl combine flour, almonds ground and baking powder. Add this to the batter.
  4. Coat your baking mold of about 26 cm (10 inches) with butter and flour or better with almonds ground.
  5. Pour the batter in the baking mold and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  6. Peel (if needed) the apples, remove the core and arrange them over the batter; if you want prevent browning dip the slices in a big bowl with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange slices over the batter.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes at 180°C/350°F until golden brown.
  8. In the meantime melt the quince jelly in a small saucepot, switch off the heat and place the rosemary springs to infuse.
  9. When the cake is ready, brush the surface with the rosemary infused quince jelly!
  10. Let cool down on a grid before serving.

Author: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

apple-cake-with-rosemary-2

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ravioli ai Porcini – Ravioli with Mushrooms

ravioli-ai-porcini-1

Crazy for ravioli? How many times we bought from the store „Ravioli ai Porcini“ and how many times we realize that they are not really tasty as they should be.

Here is the alternative: prepare these yourself for special events it’s fun, economic and the result is much better that whatever you can buy!

Don’t wait and try this recipe:

Ravioli ai Porcini – Ravioli with Mushrooms

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 60 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

You need:ravioli-ai-porcini-1

Dough:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • About 3-4 tablespoon water

Filling

  • 2-4 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup broth, warm
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 150 g canned mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons ricotta (alternative cream cheese or cottage cheese)
  • Dried rosemary powder, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, dark or light soy sauce, to taste

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon cream cheese with black pepper, more if desired
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • Salt if needed

For cooking

  • 3 liters salted water, boiling
  • 2 tablespoons vegetal

Procedure

  1. Combine the ingredients for the dough in the food processor with half of the water. Pulse and more water an elastic and not to wet dough is formed. Remove from the food processor and wrap in foil.
  2. Place the porcini in the broth to rehydrate (soak).
  3. In a skillet fry the onion in the oil until soft and translucent.
  4. Add canned mushrooms and fry until the borders of the mushrooms turn light brown. Reserve a few beautiful pieces for decoration.
  5. Remove the porcini form the broth and chop them. Now add them with the soaking broth to the skillet. Cook until liquid is adsorbed.
  6. Place to cool down
  7. In the meantime roll out the dough on a floured to a thin sheet and cut out the shapes you with. For Valentine’s Day hearths are cute!
  8. Add cream cheese to the filling and season with rosemary, pepper and salt to taste.
  9. Place the filling over the first shape, Place some filling over this and cover with another shape and press well the borders. Transfer the ravioli to a towel dusted with flour.
  10. Proceed until all the ingredients are finished. Remaining filling or dough can be frozen and used for example for a soup.
  11. Heat salted water, add some oil sot that the ravioli don’t stick while cooking.
  12. Place the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and heat this in the microwave, stir and the sauce is ready! J (or perform this in a small saucepan).
  13. Cook ravioli in the salted water with oil. This will require only a few minutes!
  14. Serve this with the sauce and reserved mushrooms!

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Valentine’s Day Crackers

 

valentine-s-day-crackersDo you need a special touch for your Valentine’s Day dinner?

These very versatile crackers, can be used as decoration for your tables, can make a great addition to soups, as base for appetizers and are great if served with a red spread or tempting salsa!

The great thing is this recipe is that you don’t need a lot of ingredients, and you can adjust it to taste!

Suggestions: add other spices/herbs/garlic powder or other additions to the dough, top with seeds, brush with oil.

Valentine’s Day Crackers

  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

You need (for about a dozen of 3 cm wide pieces):valentine-s-day-crackers

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • Water (about 2 tablespoons)

Procedure

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowls and stir to combine with a fork or even simply with a spoon.
  2. Add water spoon by spoon until the dough comes together but it is not to wet. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Knead shortly with your hands and transfer it to a floured surface.
  4. Roll out the dough to 2 mm thick and cut out the hearts and place them on a baking sheet (I use foil). Assemble the rest of the dough and repeat until dough is finished.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F.
  6. Pinch the crackers with a fork and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Bake at 220°C / 425°F for about 15-20 minutes until the borders begin to turn golden brown.
  8. Transfer immediately on a wire rack to dry and cool down.
  9. If they are not dry enough place them shortly in the still lukewarm oven.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Tenerife: La Cueva del Viento

 

cueva-del-viento-13

The “Cueva del Viento” is a cave in municipality of Icod de los Vinos in the north east of Tenerife. This is Europe’s largest lava tube and is considered to be the 5th largest in the world after four of Hawaii’s volcanic wonders. Its underground passageways form tunnels spanning over 17 Km (10 miles). 

The cave (or better the caves) had been formed by the hot lava from the Pico Viejo volcano eruption about 27.000 years ago. As the lava flows and comes into contact with the air, the surface of the flow cools and hardens, forming an outer layer while the lava continues to flow through it until the flow stops, thereby forming the volcanic tube.

To visit this place you have to join an organised tour which will bring you to the place and you will have a chance to explore a small part of the tunnel. The tunnel itself remains closed and to preserve the delicate ecosysteme only a small part is open to the public. All reservations are made online!

We tried to capture some impressions of this place with the camera and with lightroom presets I’ve made the dark parts of the picture become more visible. I hope you will enjoy them!

After the the transfer by minibus and parking we enjoyed a short walk along old trays. Our guide (we got a great French speeking guide) explained us the difference between the different lave surfaces: the smooth one  pahoehoe and the rough (painful to walk on) A’a lava.  Places with A’a lava are known as “malpais”  (for example the Malpais de Güimar) as this places cannot be used for agriculture.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The tunnels of the Cueva del Viento

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here an official video of the cave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW2anlp3ASU

lava-tube

Source : Information brochure from the website http://www.cuevadelviento.net/

More about the “Cueva del Viento”:

https://laciudaddeldrago.wordpress.com/httpwww-cuevadelviento-org/  (español)

http://www.todotenerife.es/en/article/show/4846/04-cueva-del-viento

http://www.cavepics.com/IVS17/REIN.pdf

http://www.atlantic-island.eu/documentos/MartinOromiHernandez1986.pdf

Tenerife: Los Reyes Magos at Los Cristianos (Adeje)

 

los-reyes-en-los-cristianos-de-tenerife-3

 

Christmas time does not finish on the 25th of December! For the Spanish and in general the Latin tradition the “3 Kings Day” is very much celebrated and it’s a day filled with joy!

This day is celebrated on the eve of 5h of January (not the 6th) and we were very lucky to assist at this festival in the South of Tenerife, in Los Cristianos! While in Santa Cruz de Tenerife the Kings arrives by air (elicopter) in the big stadium, in Los Cristianos they arrive with the ship!

Everybody, especially the children is highly excited and all way at the port and along the streets. Music and a lot of people actin follow the Kings. A real feast of Joy!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: