Looking Back to Stay at Home or In the Garden: Safety Net

After 6 Weeks of “stay at home” the life is slowly changing and the rules are less strict.

Compared to other countries we (in Switzerland) cannot complain: we were allowed to go out for walking, for shopping and to meet people (maximum group of 5 items).

We have to be careful and we will change the recommendation of “stay at home” to “stay safe”, this will be our safety net.

“Stay save” and “stay positive”!

Spider Net with sunlight and dark background:

Stay at home posts: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/category/nature/stayhome/

Stay at Home = Stay in the Kitchen

Stay in the Garden = Enjoy the Nature

Day 43 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Purple Allium and Large Bee-Fly

Purple llium with Bombylius major (commonly named the large bee-fly or the dark-edged bee-fly).

In the garden you can let you mind stopping from the busy routine, realise that a few square meter are an entire world, discover new plants and animals, listen the song of the birds, be amazed by the beauties, understand how fast everything is developing and finally you find rest and relief.

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Day 42 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Yellow Roses

Yellow scented roses on the wall of our garden for our eyes, for our nose and for our hearth!  🙂

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Day 41 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Deaf Adder

Even a small pond of little more than a square meter is like a small universum. We discovered an unexpected guest in our mini-paradise. the deaf adder (Anguis fragilis).

Every year we saw a few deaf adder here or there, but we never saw them disappearing under the roots of our yellow iris around the pond.

These legless lizards (no snake or worm, please) are also sometimes called common slowworms,  blindworm, or regionally, a long-cripple.

These reptiles are mostly active during the twilight and occasionally bask in the sun, but are more often found hiding beneath rocks and logs. They are carnivorous and, because they feed on slugs and worms, they can often be found in long grass and other damp environments (in our case near the pond).

Useful links:



Day 40 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Vegetable Tart with Seeds

Parwin suggested this versatile recipe for a “Stay at Home recipe exchange” game. This came out so delicious, that I thought it would be a good idea to share this for our friends.

As the recipe does not specify the ingredients, your are really free to use what you have on hand and make a delicious meal for you family.

Below I will give you the recipe and here my choices.

  • Dough: home made with sourdough
  • Pesto: red and green pesto Genovese
  • Vegetables: red peppers and defrosted green tomatoes form the garden (picked in fall as we removed the plants form the vegetable garden), sliced red onion
  • Seeds: pine nuts, pumpkin, chopped roasted pistachio
  • Herbs: parsley, basil and oregano
  • Salt: Basil salt

Vegetable Tart with Seeds

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Dough: readymade or self-made (any kind, but not sweet)
  • Pesto (any kind)
  • Vegetables, sliced or in small pieces, fresh or defrosted
  • Seeds as pumpkin, sesame, almonds, pine nuts (any kid)
  • Fresh herbs as parsley, oregano, thyme or basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the dough on you baking try.
  2. Spread the pesto over the dough.
  3. Add vegetables.
  4. Top with seed.
  5. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bake about 25 min at 180°C or as needed (time depends on the dough and the toppings); you may also bake it at higher temperatures, but simply check when the bottom is ready
  7. Remove from the oven and serve with fresh herbs.
  8. Place salt and pepper on the table.


Day 39 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Green Bean Terrine

Make a surprise to your family serving a slice of this vegetable terrine with some spiced sauce as the Canary mojo rojo. This served with a hunk of crusty bread, any salad greens, cheese, cured meat, smoked salmon or what you like, makes an elegant brunch or a light meal for warmer days.

Green Bean Terrine

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Salted water
  • 400 g grean beans (I used the flat ones), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 small tin of mushrooms (200 g drained)
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 ml heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons cooking liquid from the beans
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C-
  2. Boil the beans in salted water add the green beans and cook for 10 minutes, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the beans.
  3. In the meantime fry onion and garlic with the oil until just tender, then add the drained mushrooms. After one minute, remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the eggs with the cream and with the cooking water. Season with the ginger, salt and pepper.
  5. Line a terrine with aluminum foil and coat it with oil.
  6. Pour a few spoons of egg mixture, arrange over this first half of the beans, then the mushrooms mixture, after this the second half of the beans and finally pour gently the remaining egg mixture.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until firm and until the tip of a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the foil Serve warm or cold.

 Note: Traditionally this kind of preparations should be cooked placing mold of the terrine into a bigger mold (roasting pan) with boiling water. I did not do it in this way and the simple baking in the oven worked well for me.

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

Day 38 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Iris


Gardening is wonderful relaxing way especially when you find your way to keep it easy.

As we started with the garden, we did not really know which plants are best suitable for the soil and which one would grow and bring us the best without spending a lot of time and money in order to have a nice garden.

In our case in spring, iris flowers make our garden beautiful with almost no work and we know that next year they will be here again!

In the photos: Iris Pseudacorus (Yellow Water Iris) and  Bearded Iris (Iris germanica).


Day 37 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Pulpo a la Mugardesa – Octopus Stew with Potatoes

Mugardos is a small fishing borough and municipality in the Comarca of Ferrol, located in the province of A Coruña in the autonomous community of Galicia, north-western Spain.

It’s here that you can find this delicious octopus stew, but now, as we are not allowed to travel, you can prepare it yourself and create a small vacation at home.

This recipe is calculated for 2 people, but you may boil more octopus and use only the quantity you need (you may also use more) and reserve the remaining for another preparation. 

Note: this recipe is perfect if you have some octopus leftovers and you wish to serve more people! I our case I doubled the quantity of potatoes for a full dinner; for this reason this is a variation of the original dish.

Pulpo alla Mugardesa - Octopus and Potatoes Stew from Galicia

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 300 g octopus, cleaned and well washed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper (I used another red pepper as did not have the green one), diced
  • 250 g potatoes, peeled and diced (I doubled the quantity of potatoes to 500 g)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 200 ml reserved liquid from the boiled octopus
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
  • Some smoked paprika (pimienton de la Vera)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a pinch of salt, when the water begins to boil you need to grab the octopus from the head and ‘scare it’ by dipping it in the water 3 times and pulling it out. This makes the octopus stiffen, so the skin does not fall during the cooking process and makes the tips of the tentacles curl. Cook your octopus between 20 and 25 minutes on a medium heat. Make sure the octopus is covered with water throughout the cooking. Towards the end of the cooking process, you can check if the octopus is ready by piercing the thicker tentacles with a wooden skewer to check if they are tender enough. Octopus should be al dente, just like pasta. You should feel the same resistance as a cooked potato. Once the cooking time is complete, allow the octopus to rest in the cooking liquid before you drain it and use it for this recipe. I prefer to drain the octopus and let it cool down before slicing. Do not discard the water!
  2. Fry onion and garlic in a non-sticky skillet at low temperature until translucent.
  3. Add peppers and fry a few more minutes.
  4. At this point, add potatoes, bay leaf, and fry for other 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Now add the cooking water from the octopus, the paprika (as well as the smoked one if you like). Add little salt.
  7. Let simmer covered slowly until potatoes are almost done. Add some more cooking liquid form the octopus if needed. The sauce should be liquid but thick enough to bind a little bit.
  8. In the meanwhile, slice the octopus.
  9. Add octopus and adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Stir only gently and let simmer for 2 more minutes.
  10. For the best taste, keep warm (do not boil it again) for about 10 minutes before serving.

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

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Day 36 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Quick Salmorejo

Salmorejo is a fresh, thick, pink-orange soup consisting of tomatoes, bread and garlic witch is topped with hard boiled eggs and diced jamon serrano (serrano ham). A few days ago I posted the original recipe; now it’s time to post my super quick version for the days you may not have time to wait, but you wish this something fresh and tasty. In these days we try to avoid going out (Coronavirus lockout) and going shopping, we use what we have in the pantry and we adapt the recipes to the ingredients we have on hand.

Salmorejo Cordobés

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 tins canned crushed tomatoes (400 g)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 100 ml oilve oil
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomatoes paste, to taste
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small white bread, diced of about 150 g
  • More water or ice cubes, as necessary
  • 10 g salt, or to taste
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and diced
  • 100 g ham or bacon, diced
  • Olive oil to drizzle


  1. Place all the content of the tin in the stand mixer, add the ice cubes, the oil, the vinegar, the tomatoes paste and the garlic; pulse until smooth.
  2. Add the bread piece by piece and pulse until smooth. During this step add more water or ice cubes if necessary.
  3. Add salt and more tomatoes to taste if necessary.
  4. In a frying skillet roast the ham or the bacon to taste.
  5. Season with salt and vinegar to taste. Pulse shortly.
  6. Pour the salmorejo in bowl, top with egg and ham or bacon and drizzle a few drops of olive oil.

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

Day 35 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Alpine Newts


In my privious post Day 30 Stay at Home or In the Garden: On and in the Water

we could present you the fist pics of the life in our garden.

This post is for our fist video of newts underwater, it’s not the best video, but when we will have the opportunity, we will add more photos or videos. It’s really amazing and it makes me happy to seat near the water and discover what’s going on…