Almond Paste

Christmas time is approaching the inspiration to decorate is growing.

Looking at beautiful cakes and sweet I found I need almond paste to make my experiments.  The almond paste from the shop near my house sells delicious almond paste which is perfect for baking but not really for modeling. New project: an almond paste deer!

The easiest and best solution was preparing this myself: no oil adding better only egg white as this will dry and my creations will keep their shape easily and it’s not sticky to our hands!

 

Almond Paste

  • Servings: 400 g
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need

  • 200 g almonds, unpeeled
  • 200-250 g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • A few drops bitter almond aroma (optional)

Procedure

  1. Bring 500 ml water to boil add your almonds and wait 2 minutes.
  2. Remove 3/4 of the hot water and cover the almond with cold water.
  3. Remove the skin of the almonds squeezing the almond out of the peel.
  4. Place the almonds on a towel and rub until dry.
  5. Place almonds in a food processor grinding them very fine.
  6. Add 200 sugar and grind again until well combined
  7. Add egg white and bitter almond aroma.
  8. Pulse until assembled, check if it is not sticky. If needed add more powdered sugar and pulse again.
  9. Remover from the food processor, form a ball and wrap in plastic foil.
  10. Your almond paste is ready to be used.

 

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Pudla – Chickpea Flour Pancake

This is a very tasty gluten free and egg less wrap made with chickpea flour. The mixture thickens to a spreadable consistency which I cooked thinly in my non-sticky frying pan with only little oil.

If you have problems flipping these, prepare smaller ones until you know the cooking point the right moment to flip them; they stick less then egg pancakes.

The addition of a few tablespoons finely grated carrots is another option.

We enjoyed them with a potatoes curry and some Greek yogurt.

The quantity of spices and herbs is up to you, you may also omit them in order to make eggless/gluten-free “Western”-pancakes.

 

Pudla – Chickpea Flour Pancake

  • Servings: 4-6
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You need

  • 500 g chickpea flour
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped (alternative: chives)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed, crushed with the mortar
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder ( or 1 finely chopped green chili)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala or pinch asafetida powder (your choice)
  • 700 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients, then add water to make a batter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Let sit for one hour
  3. Heat a non-sticky frying pan to medium heat; spread a little oil on it.
  4. Pour in a little of the mixture and spread it out with a wooden spatula so it thinly covers the pan.
  5. Cook for about one minute or until set, then turn over.
  6. Finish to cook and transfer the pancake on a plate. Repeat until all the batter is used.
  7. Serve with dry curries, yogurt, pickles or chutneys.

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

Nachos de Camarones – Nachos with Shrimps

 

Nachos are a quite trendy food in USA, but here in Europe they don’t appear very often on our tables. It is said that “Europeans don’t know what nachos are”!

That’s may be possible, I only had nachos as I visited Mexico (Baja California Sur)!  What are nachos?

You many look at the history of them here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOj8oTF54Vs

My personal interpretation of nachos: tortilla chips (tostadas) from the oven topped with different ingredients and a melted cheese-sauce. From this point of view we may experiment on this theme and we can add the ingredients we love.

This was my spontaneous recipe, enjoy and try your variation!

Nachos de Camarones – Nachos with Shrimps

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

You need: 

  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I use olive oil)
  • 250 g shrimps, deveined and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican spice mix
  • Smoked paprika to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (quantity to taste)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream or sour cream
  • 1 small jalapeño chili, sliced (quanity to taste!) or chili flakes
  • 3 cups tortilla chips
  • 100 g shredded Cheddar cheese (much more if you want or like!)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped

Procedure:

  1. Place the cherry tomatoes into an oven safe mold, toss with 1 teaspoon oil and place under the broiler until the skin of the tomatoes begins to take a few darker places. Check from time to time. Remove from the oven and transfer the tomatoes into a small bowl or dish.
  2. Set the oven to 180°C
  3. Toss shrimps with Mexican spice mix and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a non-sticky skillet and fry the onion with the red pepper and the garlic for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the seasoned shrimps, the cream and fry for about 1-2 minutes to heat them up. Set aside and keep warm.
  6. Season with the jalapeño.
  7. Adjust tortillas chips in an oven and microwave save mold and top with broiled tomatoes, shrimps and pepper mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Place in the oven until cheese is melted and the borders of the tortillas begins to turn dark. If necessary place the dish into the microwave until cheese is completely molted.
  10. Top with fresh cilantro and if needed with more fresh onion and serve immediately

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

Basil Flower Salt

 

This is more a suggestion than a recipe. Before temperature goes below zero, I use to collect all basil flowers. After drying I mix them with salt and I use this in for cooking and directly on the table.

I started this using the violet flower of the African basil and it was real great success!  I prepared this to be used for cute gifts, so I mixed the violet flowers and pink salt.

This was so delicious that I shared this in the family and I had no leftovers for other gifts!

I bought cheap transparent salt mills that I refilled with my mixture!

This is salt is fantastic over grilled meat (I love this with beef most), for salad dressings and many other uses. Fresh milled over the meal is the best!

Norway: Norway: Lofoten Islands (once more on Moskenesøya – Flakstadøya)

 

This additional day in the southern part of Lofoten had been so amazing that I could prepare many single post with single photos to bring them to the public and show the stunning landscape of Lofoten; an almost surreal beauty!

We continued the trip of two days before, we visited Ramberg and we continued in direction of Fredvang with the view of the bridge and the mountain on the back. A group of lady stopped at the parking and in a few minutes they were ready to start to hike. The morning had started with unpredictable weather, but at this moment is was fine and sunny and we decided to follow this group of ladies. The hike over the hill was amazing and the view from the mount Heia.

You can find this trail in my wikiloc post: Heia, View over Fredvang

Not far away from Fredvang beach we found the iconic photography spot of the meander of a small river.

We finished this day going back to Reine and surrounding again, for a few photos during sunset, then we headed home.

Just before going be we decided to place most of the luggage in the car to be ready to leave early in the morning to catch the ferry. Outside we saw the stars and the begin of the mystic green light: the aurora! What for a big gift just before living theses islands!

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Click on the map for full view in https://foto.akut.zone/tour/lofoten-2013/attachment/lofoten-map-moskenesoeya-2013/

 

Bee and Basil Flowers

Days are much shorter now, but we are still enjoying mild autumn temperature.

My African basil has plenty of flowers and the bees are avid guest!

Fly dear bee to the flowers enjoy the warm rays before the winter comes!

Norway: Norway: Lofoten Islands (Vestvågøy– Austvågøya)

 

Lofoten is huge and in 3 days we cannot visit everything! From now on the weather was fantastic and the second day had been dedicated first to Vestvågøy and then Austvågøya. The first day had been dedicated to the southern part and the next day to the north.

The main attraction of this day was Henningsvær, but first we visited the fjord by Tangstad, the beach by Unstad and the lake near Holdal.

Heading north we had a stop at Torvdalshalsen picnic place where we enjoyed the splendid view in direction of Leknes.

On Austvågøy we stopped many times for a few pictures until fimnally we arrived at Henningsvær just in time for our picnic near the sea.

On Wikiloc we saw that we could have a short hike over this place , temperature and weather were perfect. This was our trail with a few more photos:

View over Henningsvær

For the return trip we opted not to follow the main road, but to take the road by the coast by Valberg.

The places, the nature (with all the berries and mushrooms), the view, the lakes, the sea, the mountains, the villages, the sunset filled our intensive day but we know we still missed a lot this day. These places are so beautiful and magic;  will come back for sure!

 

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Click on the map for more suggestions:

 

Norway: Norway: Lofoten Islands (Moskenesøya – Flakstadøya)

As the most travelers we reached Lofoten Islands with the ferry to Moskenes.

The day of arrival we did not have a lot of time to stop for sightseeing, but after a good sleep in our apartment in Leknes, we were ready to start or northern adventure.

The idyllic location of our apartment near directly in front of the sea was more than amazing.

The day started with clouds and little sun and finished with storm and rain.

After taking a few picture of our location we started discovering the islands driving back to Moskenesøya by the underwater tunnel.

The main places we got to reach and visit before the torrential rain forced us to rest in a restaurant and later going back home were:

Myrland, Nusfjord, Vikten, Reine and Hamnøy.

 

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Click on the map for full view in https://foto.akut.zone/tour/lofoten-2013/attachment/lofoten-map-moskenesoeya-2013/

 

Switzerland: Tremola – Old Road over the St. Gotthard Pass

Yesterday we had the chance to see the Tremola road in half embedded from clouds while a few sun-rays highlighted this extremely beautiful landscape.

Since a few year the traffic jam for the Gotthard tunnel let tourist wait a long time (even hours) to pass the tunnel and reach the other side of the alps. In winter we don’t have many other chances if we don’t want to surround the place and take another way, but during summer times, after the snow disappeared there is another option: the highway over the the Gotthard pass or even the Tremola.  The Tremola is most beautiful of all Alpine roads. From Airolo, the historic pass road snakes around hairpin bends up to the Gotthard.  In our case we were on the highway, we planned to be at home before dinner and so we escaped the traffic jam and we headed up to the mountains.

I still can remember as a long long time ago, as I was a child we drove over the Tremola and how seasick I felt! Well, yesterday noticed the road in a different coat, the soft cloud framed it so beautifully that I had to try to take a few snapshot from the driving car (I was not driving myself!  🙂 ).

So beautiful!

 

Some random links concerming the Tremola:

https://www.alptransit-portal.ch/en/events/ereignis/the-first-paved-road-through-the-mountains/

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/scenic-route-airolo-gletsch.html

http://www.ticino.ch/en/commons/details/Gotthard-Pass-and-Tremola/111976.html

http://www.newlyswissed.com/trailing-ticino-tremola/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotthard_Pass

 

 

 

Norway: Bodø to Lofoten (Moskenes)

We left the mainland, the busy town, the harbor and quite waters. The dark clouds in the blue sky gave the landscape a surreal dramatic look.

Sunshine rays though the cloud highlighted small island and the always bigger waves. A few drops, more and more drops. Wind like a storm. A rainbow and a short quite intermezzo; we fall asleep for awhile.

The captain compensated the waves and we drove to south-west. An announcement told us we would have delay because of the bad sea conditions; now the ship had to turn straight in the direction of Moskenes and we released how big and how deep the wave are!

The cars, will they be safe, will the hand brake be enough strong? From this moment we did not fell well, I’ve forgot to take some medicine with be against seasickness.

Well this will finish, we tried to breath slowly, look at the horizon straight away and look at the huge huge waves across the sea.

The beautiful silhouette of the islands came nearer and finally we saw the lighthouse of the harbor.  So happy to be there!

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