Day 32 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Four-Leaf Clovers

Today I would like to explain you how to find 4 leaf clovers!

Since I was a child, I was used to find 4-leaf clovers again and again! My method was to spot the angles between the leaves (120 degrees for 3-leaf clovers and 90 degrees for 4 leaf clovers).  Most 3/4 leaf clovers have a light part in the leaves; in these case the 3-leave clovers show triangles and 4-leaf clovers a square!

For the other ones (plain green leaves) I see a cross into the 4-leaf clovers and in this way I saw the difference.

Another tip is: if you find one, look near to this, very ofter the genetic mistake produce more of them so that the probability to find more is much higher! You may also make yourself a note of the place and after one week or so, check again the same place!

More and more you look after 4-leaf clovers, more and more you will be able to find some in a few minutes!

According to tradition, finding a four-leaf clover brings luck to the person who discovers it, in my case it’s only fun, but I love to dry from time to time some of them for making good wishes cards.

I’m lucky, very lucky to have a garden, if you don’t have this possibility now, you may exercise virtually and have fun with these links:

Find the 4 Leaf Clover 🍀

Can you find the four leaf clover? Good luck

How to find a 4-leaf clover

Find A Four Leaf Clover

Two 4-leaf clovers in the picture

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Day 31 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Busy Bees

It’s high season now for our bees! Plenty of flowers around and a lot of sunshine.

It’s almost one month we did not have a real rain, therefore we were afraid that the nectar production of the blooming fruit trees, could be too slow.

We are lucky, now our little bees have enough to do!

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Day 21 Stay at Home or In the Garden: Bread and Honey

Best way to start the morning: a delicious homemade bread, with homemade honey and fabulous coffee.

The recipes:

Sourdough Bread Baked in Wooden Oven

Hot Golden Spiced Frappuccino

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Day 4: Stay at Home or In the Garden; Poached Pears with Saffron and Chocolate Sauce

It’s very quite around us, not so much noise as usual. The sun is warm and  we are lucky we have a garden where we can sit outide and enjoy the day with homemade preserved products.

Pears are an excellent canning fruit because they keep their shape (let simmer only gently) and if places in nice jar, they make wonderful presents.

For this process, it’s necessary to use firm maybe lithely unripe pears. Peel them using a potatoes peeler taking care, not to remove the stem.

I used small pears from the Turkish shop (the same pears I am used to fin on Crete in October), but if you have big pears, suggest to peel them and cut them into big slices.

I prepared this jars in December just before Christmas and today we decided to enjoy them in the garden because we got another warm early spring (or better late winter) day.

Poached Pears with Saffron and Chocolate Sauce

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

Poached pears

  • 12 small or 6 medium firm pears, whole and peeled
  • 200 ml water
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 big pinch (about ½ tsp) saffron stems
  • 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Chocolate sauce ( for 2-4 persons)

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2-4 tablespoons brandy
  • 50 g bittersweet chocolate, diced

Procedure

  1. Mix water, wine, sugar, and spices into a saucepot and bring to simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add pears and poach covered. For this procedure do not bring to boil. Cook, partially covered, turning occasionally, for20 to 30 minutes or until pears are just tender.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears and arrange the, upright into jars. Try to place them quite tightly.
  4. Cover the pears with the hot syrup leaving 1/2-inch headspace in each jar. Secure canning lids.​
  5. Process in a boiling water bath (80-85°C), 20 minutes for 500 ml jars or 25 minutes for 1000 ml jars. Store them in a chilly place.
  6. For the chocolate sauce: heat heavy cream with brandy in the microwave (about 30 seconds) until hot but not boiling. Add chocolate and stir to dissolve. If necessary place a few more seconds in the microwave.
  7. Place pears into single serving plates, add some syrup (optional), top with warm chocolate sauce and serve immediately.

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

Day 3: Stay at Home or In the Garden; the Smoorbetto

Start your day in a delicious way with a lot of vitamins and a Smoorbetto! In alternative have a break and make yourself a nice present! That’s exactly what our body and our soul need! If possible, add a few edible flowers for a better presentation!

What is a Smoorbetto it’s smoothie prepared with frozen fruit, the result is very similar to a sorbetto but it is lightly frozen.

For this recipe, we used fruits form the past year, which I still have in our freezer. It’s almost spring now, but we still have a lot of them and now, as we will stay mostly at home this is best opportunity to reduce the overflow and make something good for yourself and the family.

Smoorbetto

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups of chopped or diced frozen fruits of your choice (I used apricot and Indian blood peach)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste

Procedure

  1. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a strong mixer and pulse until smooth.
  2. Note: if the fruits are too hard (frozen), wait a few minutes and pulse again.
  3. If you like top with fresh edible fruits or other suitable decorative goods.
  4. Serve immediately!

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

Homemade Basler Leckerli – Swiss Gingerbread from Basel

This year I did not prepare Christmas cookies, but know I really wished to prepare something special, something from my town (Basel, Switzerland) where it is popular in bakeries and even grocery stores.

I’ve already prepared Leckerli, or better in Swiss German “Läckerli” or “Läggerli”, several times, but it was long time ago as I prepared them. Once I also used this recipe to build a cute gingerbread house.

This year I’ve revised my old recipe and I’ve decided to propose these cookies into small bites for longer pleasure.  I love to take one, let turn soft in the mouth and then melt!

These cookies are dense, quite dry and wonderfully flavored with honey (I used the honey of our bees!), spices, citrus and almonds. They are something like “hard gingerbread” combined with candied fruits; no candied ginger is included in this traditional recipe. You are free to add some if you wish!

Basler Läckerli date back to the 15th century as they were created at the time of the Basel Council (1431 to 1449) to sustain the assembled church dignitaries. The word “Läkerli” comes from “lecker” ant it meas “delicious” in German and “-li” is a diminutive suffix in the Swiss-German language.

See also the other Leckerli recipe.

Homemade Basler Leckerli - Swiss Gingerbread from Basel

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: medium
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You need:

Dough

  • 500 g honey
  • 300 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom ground
  • 3 cloves, grounded with the mortar
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg ground
  • 100 g candied lemon zest
  • 100 g candied orange zest
  • 200 g almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon zest, grated
  • 2 tablespoon “Kirsch”
  • 600 g flour + about 100 g more if necessary
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

Glaze

  • 150 g sugar
  • 100 ml water

Procedure:

  1. In a heavy pot, bring honey with sugar to boil. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add all the other ingredients except flour and baking powder. Mix well.
  3. Add half of the flour and stir to combine the hand mixer provided with dough hooks. Now add the rest of the flour and the baking powder, work with the hooks until well combined and the dough does not stick to the finger (be careful, it is hot). If necessary, add more flour.
  4. Turn the dough on a well-floured working surface and knead well.
  5. Sprinkle the dough with flour (in this way the dough will not stick on the rolling pin) and roll it out the dough out on parchment foil placed directly in the baking try. It should be about 6 mm thick. As the dough is very hard, it is easier if somebody helps you to hold the tray and the parchment foil.
  6. Let sit for at least one hour or best overnight.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 220°C in a preheated oven (or 200°C if using a convection oven).
  8. In the meanwhile, prepare the glaze: heat sugar with water until the sugar is melt, let simmer until the syrup turns thick and you see that at the borders of the pot the first crystals begins to form (this takes about five minutes).
  9. Remove from the oven and immediately cut the dough (I used the pizza cutter) rectangular pieces of about 3,5X5 cm (for the standard size) or, as in my case if you prefer into 1,5X1,5cm bites.
  10. Brush the still warm Läckerli with the hot glaze. At this point, the syrup should built crystals and a wonderful white shining cover will glaze the Läckerli.
  11. As soon as the glaze is turning white, separate the Läckerli again, let cool down and dry out completely.
  12. Store in airtight container up to 6 month.
Glaze (Modern variation): this replace the step “7” above!
  • 250 g powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons “Kirsch”
  1. In while the cookies are in the oven, combine powdered sugar with water and Kirsch. If necessary, add one more tablespoon Kirsch (or water). Stir until well-combined and very thick.

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

Specialties from Basel:

Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas

A tagine is such a wonderful way to prepare and serve a complete meal at once.

The combination of meat, vegetable and carbs makes this possible and super easy!

The special spice mix, which I call “Moroccan Spice Mix”, is a wonderful very versatile balanced combination of flavours; I use this in many different ways, mostly spontaneously according to the ingredients I have on hand at home.

In the recipe below, I added some honey from our own production; this made the plate really really delicious!

Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Moroccan Spice Mix:

  • 2 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix, if available, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Tagine:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500 g chicken skinned, cut into big pieces (if you prefer deboned)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters (wedges)
  • 1/2 lemon with peel, cut vertically in wedges (skin on)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 6 teaspoons Moroccan Spices Mix (see above)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetal broth
  • 1 can chickpeas, about 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoon raisins (+ some for decoration)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for decoration

Prcedure

  1. Prepare in advance the ingredients taking care to prepare the tomatoes. To peel the tomatoes dip them in boiling water for two minutes, place in cold water and remove the skin. Cut into half and with your fingers remove the seed, cut into 1-2 cm pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet (provided of lid) and fry chicken for 2 minutes, add onion and lemon wedges and fry for other 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, ginger and spices. Stir fry shortly until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes and sauté for 1-2 more minutes. Set aside a few pieces tomatoes, one lemon and one onion wedge for decoration.
  5. Add the broth and stir well-
  6. Add chickpeas, lemon juice, honey and raisins.
  7. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cover and let simmer covered for about 30 minutes or better one until the chicken results tender. Stir and add little water from time to time as it should not result dry.
  9. Just before serving top with the reserved lemon and onion wedges, the pieces of tomatoes, a few raisins. Cover for a few seconds.
  10. Top with parsley and serve with a smile!

 

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