Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall is coming...let's welcome it with Aubergine meatballs

Sigh...Fall is quickly coming in southern Spain as well!

We can already feel chill mornings and evenings, although we are still blessed by warm days!

Did you start decorating your house with fall themes? I might use the same table decoration I used last year :) it's been a success on Pinterest!! {do you use Pinterest? Why don't you follow me there? I also opened a twitter account! make sure you follow me :) }

Last week my company organised a treasure hunt around Gibraltar! We had so much fun - my company is quite big and this was a nice opportunity to know people from other depts in a friendly environment!

People in Gib also had lots of fun when they saw all these people walking around with GPS tablets and taking weird pictures...
I got the best team number......

The trolley-dollyes! This is how we went around in Main Street :)

my blonde self at the company afternoon BBQ --I look good right?--

my office team :) I'm glad they didn't make weird faces at me


and the winner is......Not us! but we are happy with our wooden spoon prize!
These pictures are courtesy of FotoPedroCano - Pedro is a good friend of mine; check out his website, he is a very good photographer :) {you can also find him on Facebook!}

..I also won a bottle of Prosecco!


As some of you may know, I absolutely love aubergines - they are my favourite vegetable!

After all the activities of the treasure hunt, I felt I could find an excuse indulge myself in some tasty aubergine meatballs and I am very proud of the outcome:



Very easy to make!

::Ingredients and Proceedings::

350gr of minced meat
1 medium aubergine
2 eggs
2cups of bread crumbs
2 spoons of parmesan cheese
marjoram
salt
sunflower oil (for cooking purposes only)

Slice the aubergine and cook it on each side in a pan with a teaspoon of oil. Once all the slices are cooked, mince them in a small kitchen robot (or cut them in tiny pieces).

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together (except for the oil!) until you get a soft mixture that can easily be manipulated into a ball. If the mixture is too liquid, just add a bit of bread crumbs.

Heat the sunflower oil in a pan and gently place the meatballs in the pan. Let them cook on all sides for a few minutes: the meatballs are ready when they are golden/brownish.




NOM NOM


Enjoy!

Until next time,
Daniela

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

GMF 2014 & Poached Salmon with Lemon and Parsley

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take part at the Gibraltar Music festival as a VIP {woo-ooh} and enjoy a nice afternoon/night with my partner and free food & free drinks {I admit the free drinks literally got to my head}!

I had the chance to see Tony Hadley and Roger Hodgson play Live -- it was fantastic! 

I wanted to share some of the pictures with you, before I get on with the recipe of the day {Yes, it's fish again - next time I'll post about DIY, if I manage to finish the tray I'm painting without messing it up.....}:
























We are thinking about joining next year as well - we particularly liked the nice athmosphere and everything was so well organised!

In order to clean my conscience, I decided to cook something low calories and even though I'm not a big fan of fish (sea food doesn't count) I went for Salmon...

We had some salmon fillets in the fridge and I didn't have much time considering I have been working until midnight this week, so I decided to make a simil poached salmon in the oven that doesn't take much of your time!



::Ingredients and Proceedings::

4 Salmon fillets
1/2 cup white wine
1 lemon, cut in slices
2/3 sprigs of fresh parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh choppes parsley
2 tablespoon of olive oil (EVO) (1 for the salmon seasoning and 1 for the baking pan)
Salt and Black pepper


Pre heat the oven at 200°.
Rub both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil, salt and pepper and place the lemon slices in a baking pan with some sprigs of parsley and olive oil. 








































Now arrange the fillets in the pan and scatter some chopped parsley on top and add the white wine. Cover the pan with foil and let it bake for 20 minutes.







































The salmon is ready when you can flake the salmon with a fork - it has to be very tender.




Enjoy!

Untile next time,
Daniela


Thursday, September 4, 2014

"Hot" weathers & Cod fish with tomato sauce and black olives

It's September!

Seriously, where have the months gone? I will soon need to swap all my clothes and shoes...and that is going to take a whole day! I am really NOT looking forward to it, but I'll do it and I'll make sure I write about it here :)

In the meantime, the weather here is still scorching hot and we have experienced some restless nights last week - my dog and cat slept on the balcony getting all the fresh air {lucky them}! If I wasn't so scared of mosquitos (and people watching me), I would have slept in the garden...

Taking advantage of the good weather, I started cycling to work which is way quicker and healthier - if cycling 18 km per day doesn't help me lose few pounds I will give up!(and Stefano, don't you dare say I only cycled 2 times because that's not true and you know it!! :P)

Healthy benefits apart, cycling in the morning suits me pretty well - the air is chill and fresh {except when I cross the fishing port -meh!-}, everything is quite and calm, the scenary is gorgeous!

I have taken the below pictures with my mobile:

Playa de Sobrevela


Playa de Levante - Atunara


Eating healthy instead, is proving to be hard when Stefano doesn't stop buying Nutella and I don't stop eating it, but I am trying to focus my energy in healthy lunch and dinner plates.

Yesterday I have prepared Cod fish with tomato sauce and olives - it's very easy to make and a delicious plate that will make you forget you're on a diet.




:: Recipe and Proceeding::

4 Cod fish fillets
300 gr tomato sauce (passata)
1 garlic clove
Capers
Black olives
Oregano
EVO oil
Salt

Add some olive oil in a pan let the garlic clove golden for a minute. Add the tomato sauce, salt, the capers and the black olives previously cut in half. Stir for a few minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, cover the cod fillets in flour and place them in the pan with the tomato sauce. Make sure to turn the cod fillet so it is well cooked on both sides.

When is ready, add the oregano and serve :)




Enjoy!

Until next time,
Daniela

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back on track...with a tasty Focaccia Barese

Hello everybody,

I am aware that I haven't been posting at all since beginning of the year.

I had somehow lost the energy I wanted to put in this blog and since I always give my best in the things I do, I didn't want to write a blog without putting my 100% energy in it.

Since then, my friends, family and partner have encouraged me to keep my posts up and after a long time I feel I want to start blogging again, and keep sharing a piece of my life with you.

Let's start with the past weekend (the weekend of "Ferragosto").... The 15 of August is a big Bank Holiday in Spain and in Italy, and many people have been organising their weekend out and enjoy few days at the beach or countryside. We have rented a nice place in Costa de la Luz and planned to spend the weekend on the beach with few of our friends....

Everything we've done that week end hasn't happened the way we planned it!

Thw wind was so strong we almost got blown away from the beach...

From Pinterest
But we had so much fun! We couldn't play beach volley {and almost lost the ball} since the wind wouldn't allow it, but we ate tons of food and I had the chance to take many beautiful pictures.

playa de los alemanes - Zahara de los Atunes
We all cooked something to bring with us on the beach. We had pasta salad, sausage rolls and my tasty Focaccia Barese!

The Focaccia Barese is the best Focaccia you will ever taste in Puglia, my hometown region - people from Bari also cut the focaccia bread in half and eat it with mortadella and cheese: the result is spectacular!



::Recipe and Proceedings::

Focaccia
500 gr Flour 00
200 gr Strong Flour
500 gr Water
40 gr EVO oil
1 tea spoon of Sugar
30 gr of salt
100 gr boiled potato
1 cube of Yeast

Topping
15 cherry tomatoes
oregano
EVO oil
Salt
black olives


We need to mix the "liquid" ingredients first and then add the "solid" ones.

In a bowl, pour  the water, the yeast (previously melted in some water), the boiled potato and the olive oil. In order to melt the yeast just pour some warm water on it in a glass and mix it with a spoon (1). The potato has to be smashed before pouring it in the bowl (2).

melting the yeast

smashing the boiled potato
After you've mixed the liquid ingredients you can pour the flour, sugar and salt. Mix everything together until the compost has blended together perfectly. Please note that the texture of the focaccia dough is different from the pizza one. The focaccia dough contains more water and therefore the dough is not solid - it should be watery, but it shouldn't form a proper ball (3).

ready to rest for 2 hours
Let the dough rest for 2 hours - cover it with a tea towel and a heavy blanket ( I used a beach towel) (4 -5) to keep it warm!

tea towel
beach towel
Spread olive oil in a baking pan - loooots of olive oil! - pour the dough in the pan and spread it with your hands (6 - 7). Add the condiments: cherry tomatos cut in half, oregan, salt, olives and a bit of olive oil (8).

olive oil in the pan
waiting for its topping
almost ready for the oven
Suggestion: you can mix the cherry tomatoes in olive oil already and then place them on the focaccia. This will make a good mixture of olive oil and tomato sauce to put on top of the focaccia before it goes in the oven(9).
suggestion for topping
Let the focaccia rest for 45 minutes (so it can rise a bit more) and switch the oven at 200°.

Put the baking pan in the oven for 30 minutes.

Let the Focaccia cool down and cut a slice....ENJOY!




Special thank's to my friend Barbara for the tips she has given me :)

Until next time,
Daniela





Friday, January 10, 2014

Ham & Cheese Muffins

Happy New Year everybody!

I can't believe my favourite holiday season is over already! My house is back to normal and all the Christmas decoration are safely stored in their boxes ( it took me an entire day to put everything back to its place though!).

I wanted to share with you the roasted loin pork I have prepared for Christmas Eve...but my laptop broke down and I am still waiting to see if my documents (and pictures) can be saved :( Such a shame!!!!

Instead, I will have to jump straight to one of the dishes I prepared the night before the 6th of January.. Who celebrates this day? If you are in Italy the "Befana" (a good old witch) will be flying over your housewith her broom to leave you sweets or, in Spain, the Three Kings will bring you many presents. I wonder if there are any other traditions for this day!

Unfortunately, I have been working on the 6th of January but I managed to prepare a cozy "welcome back" dinner since we were back from Italy ( booooh) and what's better than these salty cheese and ham muffins?
 -SLURP-



They were delicious and very easy to make, I really suggest you to try this recipe, everybody will enjoy them!


::ingredients::

130 gr of ham (4oz) (cut into small pieces)
3 spoons of natural yoghurt
2 eggs
100gr grated cheese (3.5oz)
250gr all purpose flour (9oz)
1 spoon of butter
1 slice of cheddar or provola (cut into small pieces)
1 1/2 tea spoon of baking powder
salt

::proceedings::

Heat the butter in the microwave until liquid. In a bowl, mix all the liquid ingredients: eggs, butter and yoghurt. In a second bowl, mix the flour, salt, cheese and baking powder.

Now, combine the liquid mix with the content of the second bowl and add ham and cheese.

Mix everything together and fill the muffin cases accordingly (I only had cupcake ones, but I managed well..I think).


I wasn't able to find my muffin tray! I have no idea where I stored it before leaving for holidays...will find it one day :) for these ham&cheese muffins I used 2 cases each, to make them more resistent.

Bake the muffins in a pre-heated oven at 180C/356F for 25/30 minutes..




Let them cool down before you peel the case off..and ENJOY!


Have a great weekend!

Until next time,
Daniela