Hiking to Monte Bar from Corticiasca (Switzerland)

 

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to make an excursion in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. We arrived in the morning and after the lunch we decided to make a few steps in the mountains around Lugano.

Friend of us suggested to visit the villages around Mt. Bar and I could not wait to go there. Since I was child I looked at these Mountains especially if covered with snow and I dreamed to go there once. In some way this never happened.

I had a look to my beloved app “wikiloc” looking for some way in order to approach the peak until I found that from the village of Corticiasca we could at least walk few hundred meters in the direction of the peak. We arrived in Corticiasca after 3 pm, quite late for this project and we started to look for a parking place: not so easy!

I started the app, and on the way I stopped for a few pictures. The village was really cute, facing the sun and looking in the direction of Lugano.

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After passing the village we reached a field with wild narcissus flowers (Narcissus poeticus), sheep at this point we saw the “Denti della Vecchia” (“old ladies teeth)

Mount was just in front of us.  A few hundred meters up adorable highland cattles! We had  spent quite a long time taking picture of those shire animals with the long horns, until one of them became quite friendly with us and we could take photos with it. We had a short rest and we filled up our bottles of water.

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My family asked me how much I planned to walk, I could not give an exactly answer I did not know how much we would walk/hike but I my mind I knew I would love to got as far as possible; the view more and more superb! We continued our walk, trees became rare and finally we reached the alpine zone. In front of us we saw the gravel road zigzagging up on the mountain in the direction of the refuge. The peak of the mount w

as covered by fog but the refuge was in front of us!

I was not prepared to find such a modern and beautiful refuge, the architecture was perfect as the combination of the wood and the wide window to view could not be more scenic!

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I run behind the refuge for a few photos and I saw that the sky cleared up and peak was in front of me! It seemed so near, but still 200 meter elevations until the peak. It was quite late, we knew that we had the way back, but the peak was irresistible. On the way we had the luck to find some gentian flowers where a fantastic highlight for us! Finally we reached the peak, some snow  here and there.

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On the way back we stopped in the hut for a coffee. We will come here again for sure!

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Wiloc trail: https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=17723005

Cannelloni al Salmone con Giardiniera di Verdure

A volte non ci vuole tanto tempo per un delizioso pasto saporito e attraente per l’occhio.

L’ispirazione mi è venuta semplicemente dagli ingredienti disponiboli in casa e come al solito suggerisco di adattare la ricetta a ciò di che avete e alla stagione.

Il salmone naturalment ce l’avevo, ma la  ricotta no, in compenso una bella porzione di formaggio fresco in un imballaggio già aperto faceva proprio a mio caso.  La scorza di limone l’avevo già pronta in congelatore dal momento che prima di usare il succo di limone, sempre salvo la scorza grattugiandola in anticipo e ponendola nel freezer.  Ah si, i cannelloni! Quelli li avevo in cantina, mezza confezione (equivale a circa otto pezzi ovvero 120 grammi) sono bastati ed avanzati per due porzioni. Vedure semplicemente zucchine e carote, ma spinaci, funghetti (an

 

che se di scatola) o altre verdure come fagiolini mangiatutto potroebbero andare benissimo.

A tasty and an attractive meal does not necessary require a lot of time! As usually my recipes are based on the ingredients available and an improvisation according to vegetables of the season.

In the fridge I had the smoked salmon, the veggies an open packages of cream cheese (no ricotta, sorry), in the freezer the grated lemon zest and in the pantry a package of cannelloni (I used only half of the package, corresponding to 120 g or 8 cannelloni). This was more than enough for 2 portions.

Other veggies as spinach, mushrooms (as well from the tin), bean, peas or what you like would be great alternative as well.

Cannelloni al Salmone con Giardiniera di Verdure

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 60 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

You need:

Pasta

 

  • 120 cannelloni from the package (8 pieces) or 8 lasagna sheets

Filling

  • 100-120 g smoked salmon, chopped
  • 150-200 g ricotta or cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Red chili flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Veggies (about 2 cups, choice to taste). My choice:

  • 1 cup carrots, peeled diced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced

Béchamel

  • 2 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2-4 tablespoons white wine, to taste
  • Red chili flakes to taste
  • 1 dash nutmeg or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Bring water to boil in a pot, add salt and boil the pasta until it begins to soften but it keeps the shape. Take out of the water and place them on an oiled working surface.
  2. While water is heating combine with the ingredients of the filling in bowl.
  3. Fill the cannelloni (one by one) using the spoon holding them vertically with the hand. Place them in the mold. If you have leftovers of the filling, don’t worry, you can add this to the finished béchamel.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  5. Arrange vegetables around the cannelloni. If necessary (depend on the kind of veggies) cook the veggies a few minutes in the hot water of the pasta.
  6. Prepare the béchamel melting the margarine in the pot and adding the flour. Stir constantly until the flour begins to take color. Remove from the heat and add liquids at once; stir immediately until combined. Bring to boil and season to taste.
  7. Pour the sauce over the cannelloni and the veggies (take care to cover all the cannelloni as they require the liquid to finish cooking).
  8. Bake at 200°C/400°F for about 20-30 minutes until the cannelloni begins to brown.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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

Lemon Marmalade

 

Recently I got a batch of fresh organic lemons from the garden of friends and I really could not resist trying the preparation of a refreshing marmalade.

I googled here and there to get enough knowledge in order to prepare something I knew everybody would love and something I could prepare as a gift for friends especially for my Christmas baskets.

My Greek lemons were quite huge, around 250-300 each, thick zest and not so many seeds. The smell was so intense and delicate at the same time that I had to try to preserve it in a jar for next months!

This recipe does not need additional pectin as the seed and the filaments are the source of the jelly. Well, as I supposed,  my lemons did not have a lot seeds, so I needed to cook the marmalade a bit longer (not 20 minutes as “usually”), but it worked and the result is amazing. With 4 lemons I got 4 small jars of about 200 ml.

The quantity is easy: same amount in weight of lemons, water and sugar. Be aware that the amount of water will be reduced while cooking and I did not add more water.

You don’t need to use exactly 1000 g lemons and so on, adjust the quantities of water and sugar according the weight of the lemons.

Lemon marmalade

  • Servings: about 10 of 200 ml per 1ooo g lemons
  • Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

You need

  • 1000 g organic lemons
  • 1000 ml water
  • 1000 g sugar

Procedure

  1. Wash well your lemons and scrub to remove the impurities if any.
  2. Place some metal spoon into the freezer for the jelly test.
  3. Measure the weight of the lemons and place them into a pot with the same amount of water. Bring to boil.
  4. Boil until you feel that the zest is soft. This takes about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Remove the lemons from the water to cool down for about 15 minutes or until they are not too hot for you. Don’t discard the water. If necessary sieve the water and clean up the borders of the pot.
  6. Halve the lemons with a knife and with a spoon out the flesh with the seed and give this over a sieve placed over a bowl. Remove also the stem and filaments; place them into the sieve as well.
  7. Cut the zest into strips and slice it. Put the sliced zest back into the water as well as liquid dropped from the sieve and the sugar.
  8. Bring slowly to boil, in the meantime work the remaining into the sieve with the back of the spoon in order to press out as much as possible. Place the leftovers into a small cheese cloth and hang it into the pot. Note: I used a stainless steel tea ball.
  9. While boiling you will see that the zest will turn translucent and the liquid clearer. When you feel that the jelly begins to form, drop a few drops into a frozen spoon and you will see if turn hard enough: push your finger through the drops and you will see the marmalade’s surface will wrinkle if it is set. My lemon did not have a lot of seeds which are the source of pectin so I had to boil for about 40 minutes!
  10. Fill your sterilized jars if possible with a jar funnel close them immediately and place them upside down on a safe working place. After 10 minutes invert them again and let them cool down completely to set.

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

Vegetables Potpourri with Preserved Lemon Dressing

It’s always a big advantage havening at home many delicious ingredients ready to be used for surprising good preparation as this salad or side dish with a preserved lemon dressing. I know that this can be hardly be found in your shop, but you can easily prepare some or better than nothing for this recipe use simply a mixture of lemon juice, lemon zest and salt.

For the preparation I used the ingredients listed below, but you can use any vegetables who would fit to be roasted in the oven. I served the dish warmfebeta from the oven, but it can be served lukewarm or cold as salad as well.

Suggestion: prepare more dressing and serve it with grilled chicken breasts.

For the recipe for preserved lemons click HERE

Vegetables Potpourri with Preserved Lemon Dressing

  • Servings: 3-6
  • Time: 45 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

You need

Vegetables

  • 1000 small potatoes, peeled (I used yellow and purple ones)
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, seed and stem removed, sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Dressing

  • 1 small preserved lemon (about 80 g)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons chopped coriander or parsley
  • Pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Combine all the vegetables and oil in a big bowl, toss to coat with the oil well.
  3. Arrange vegetables in an oven proof mold.
  4. Bake at 200°C/400°F for about 30 minutes until all vegetables are done.
  5. While the vegetables are in the oven combine all the ingredients for dressing in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Serve the vegetables warm, lukewarm or cold with the dressing.

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

Merguez with Lentils and Yogurt Sauce

 

 

Lentils with tomatoes sauce and smoked speck or “zampone” (Pork sausage foot) are a very traditional North Italian dish. Try this Moroccan recipe very similar to the Italian one but enriched with a lot of spices and a delicious yogurt sauce.

The quantity of spices can be adapted to your taste; I know, I tend to use a lot of them!

This serves 4-6 persons, but if you have leftovers, you will see that the lentils are even better the day after.

The cooking time depends on the lentils, mines needed about 40 minutes.

Merguez with Lentils and Yogurt Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Your need

  • 500 g Merguez
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Vegetables

  • 1 big onion peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled finely diced

Spices

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
  • Chili flakes, to taste

Other ingredients

  • 500 g brown or green lentils
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (400 g)
  • 2 cans water (1200 ml), to be adapted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh chopped

Yogurt sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander ground
  • Lemon zest or preserved lemon to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To garnish (optional to taste)

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Chili flakes
  • Lemon zest

Procedure:

  1. In a wide pot (about 4 liters size) roast the merguez with the oil on oil sides until lightly browned. Pinch them while cooking to that they will release the fat and liquid. If you like add little water to help releasing the fat. Continue to cook until water is evaporated. At this point you will see the released fat which will be needed to fry the vegetables. If you want you may reduce the fat by discarding part of the fat.
  2. Set merguez aside in a warm place (wrapped with foil) and fry the vegetables in the oil until onion are translucent.
  3. Add spices and fry for a few more minutes.
  4. Add lentils, canned tomatoes and the first “can” of water, season with salt and pepper. Let simmer until water is almost adsorbed. Add gradually more water until lentil are soft but not mush. Season again and stir in the fresh coriander.
  5. While the lentils are cooking prepare the yogurt sauce combining the ingredients best do this just after adding the lentils to the pot so that the yogurt sauce will have time to rest and develop the flavors.
  6. The merguez may be cooked with the lentils, or reheated by placing them over the ready lentils before serving.
  7. Serve merguez and lentils with the yogurt sauce.

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

31.03.2017 Castle of Rheinfelden (Feldschlösschen) form the Train

10.02.2017

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!

 

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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/

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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/

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