Tuesday, April 25, 2017

La La Land ~ movie review


"City of Stars...are you shining just for me?..."
I don't know about you but this is my favorite song from the big time Oscar winner musical "La La Land". Whenever I hear that song it takes me back to Valentine's Day when my husband took me on a date to watch it. I didn't know what to expect as I hadn't yet read any review, I didn't know anything about the plot, I just knew it was a musical.
I love musicals, I have acted in some when I was younger {yes, I love to act and sing}. Not many musicals have touched my heart as much as this one. I love the story, the slow and calm flow of the plot, as if it were an old movie from the 50's. It really seems that it was performed in that era, for the way the characters were dressed and also how "clean" and non-provocative the romance is portrayed. Instead there are some elements such as cellphones, remote controls and electrical keyboards that show the times of today. Was it the intention of the director to combine the two different eras? I don't know, but it's a detail that I really liked.
I don't want to give any spoilers, so I won't speak about the story, the only thing I want to say in particular is that the end left me with some bitterness...maybe because I'm very romantic and I was hoping for a different, maybe more cliche' ending, but it was not the case. Would I change the end? Probably not, because that's one of the elements that makes this movie so unique.
My absolute favorite thing about this musical is of course...the music!! I listen to the songs almost everyday. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have amazing voices and great talent, even at dancing! The tap-dancing scene is my favorite..I wish I could dance like that. Also the scenery, the amazing views and panoramas, the whole thing just makes you dream. It really depicts well a "la la land", so far from reality, where all of us like to escape when life becomes heavy. I think it's okay every now and then to dream, the important thing is to know how to wake-up.

xoxo,
Picture is from this website

You can purchase the movie soundtrack clicking on my amazon affiliate link:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Madeleines Cookie Recipe

Bonjour!!!
Yes, this is the proper way to start this blog-post as today I'm going to share with you one of my signature recipes.... the Madeleines Cookies, those delicious French little pastries, or soft cookies; I love them so much and they are a big success every time I have guests.
I made them this morning and I took pictures to give you a step-by-step photo-recipe. Are you ready?

Here it is!


Recipe for 12 cookies

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 EGGS
  • 2 tbsp SUGAR
  • 2 tbsp POWDER SUGAR
  • 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
  • 1 tsp ALMOND EXTRACT
  • 1/4 cup SELF-RAISING FLOUR
  • 1/4 cup regular FLOUR
  • 6 tbsp BUTTER
  • 1 tbsp HOT WATER
  • extra powder sugar for dusting


 
Mix eggs, both sugars and extracts until smooth.

 
Add both flours, sifted together, and keep mixing.

 Melt the butter and slowly add it to the batter, also the water.

 
Pour the batter into a Madeleines` pan. After having carefully buttered and floured it.

 
Cook in preheated oven at 400 F degrees for 10 minutes.



You will see that a little dome will form on top of the cookie...that's a perfect result! They are so good with a cup of tea or coffee. The only indispensable tool is the Madeleines' pan, if you don't have one you can find it here:



Let me know how they come out!!!

xoxo,


This recipe is my own and as an amazon affiliate, I will receive a small commission if you click and buy from my links. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Ricotta Cake

Goodmorning!!
it's Spring Break and my children are all home. They are still all asleep, I was able to wake-up early to sip my big cup of caffe'-latte while reading the news and catching-up on my instagram feed, I love checking everybody's pictures and new posts, it gives me a lot of inspiration.
So, in this time of peace and calm I'll take advantage to share with you a delicious cake I made a few days ago. In Italy it's a classic: the Ricotta Cake. I used to make it all the time, then somehow I forgot about it, maybe because here in the States I never eat ricotta, as it's very different from the one I was used to eat. I saw a recipe online and I suddenly remembered the taste and how soft and tender that cake was. I had to make it!! I adapted the recipe to my taste and memories.
Here it is.

MY RICOTTA CAKE


Ingredients:

  • 3 EGGS (whites and yolks separated)
  • 1 cup of SUGAR
  • 7 tbsp of BUTTER (melted)
  • 1 cup of RICOTTA
  • 1 cup of FLOUR
  • 1 tsp of BAKING POWDER
  • LEMON ZEST (1 lemon)
  • 1 cup of CHOCOLATE CHIPS (semi-sweet)
  • POWDER SUGAR for dusting
  1. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy and pale yellow. 
  2. Add the ricotta and keep mixing until smooth and the melted butter.
  3. Sift-in the flour together with the baking powder.
  4. Beat the egg whites until firm and gently add them to the batter, mixing softly, making sure they don't get flat.
  5. Gently mix-in also the lemon zest and at last the chocolate chips.
  6. Grease and flour dust a cake pan (9 inches), add the batter and put in preheated oven at 350 F degrees for 30-35 minutes. (Always insert a tooth-pick in the cake to check if it's well cooked. If it comes out clean, it means the cake is done). 
  7. Dust your cake with powder sugar and serve.
It's a very simple recipe and you'll see how good it is!! Everyone will love it! My children were a little skeptical at first but they ate it all! I hope you'll enjoy it as well.

xoxo,






Friday, March 31, 2017

Lemon Bundt Cake Recipe ~ Ciambellone recipe

Hello Everyone!!!

I noticed it has been a while since I have shared a recipe on this blog. I cook a lot everyday, of course I need to feed my five children and husband, but I mostly do it because I love it. Yes, I cook lunch and dinner....and "merenda" everyday. Merenda is the Italian word for "snack-time", you know, the little snack children need after school. I usually bake a cake. The one I want to share with you is from a recipe I learned last year from a very good friend. It's called "ciambellone" {pron. CHAM-BELL-OH-NAY}...meaning "big donut". It's absolutely not a donut, it just has the same shape. :) Here it is:



CIAMBELLONE recipe {or LEMON BUNDT CAKE}

Ingredients:
  • 1 -1/4 cup of SUGAR
  • 3 EGGS
  • 1/2 cup of VEGETABLE OIL
  • 1 cup MILK
  • 1-1/4 cup of  FLOUR
  • 1 LEMON (zest + juice)
  • 1 tsp BAKING POWDER

  1. Mix well the eggs with the sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add slowly the oil, the flour, baking powder and milk.
  3. Grate the zest of the lemon, then add its juice.
  4. Pour the batter in a greased bundt cake mold.
  5. Cook in oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Please enjoy!!! My family loves it, it's usually all gone quickly. Let me know if you make it and how it comes out!! 


xoxo,




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Ideas


Hi!!
I know we are not that close to Mother's Day yet, but it's already almost Easter and it will be shortly after that! Sunday May 14th to be exact.
I was surfing around the internet and I found this quote:

Image result for mother quotes

To all the mamas out there....don't you agree?? :)) It's true that some days I have barely enough energy to do the work of one...but most of the days this is the reality! I don't know about you, but I don't remember ever seen my mom just sitting down doing nothing. It must be in our veins, stuff needs to be done! For the love of our husbands and children... and our sanity. ;)
So, I decided to make a list of things that our Moms {or yourself, if you are a mom} would love as a present for Mother's Day. These are things that I would be happy to receive...

{a click on the images will take you to its link}


FOR THE COOKING MOM:

          

FOR THE TEA LOVER:


FOR THE COFFEE MOM:



FOR THE CRAFTY MOM:



FOR THE GLAM MOM:



As I said, these are just ideas... I had fun looking for different gifts. In the end, Mom would be probably happy even with just a hug and "I love you". 


xoxo,

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

~But first Coffee...

Buongiorno!!
I was reflecting on traditions and the importance to pass it on to your children. Last Sunday was the feast of St. Joseph (father of Jesus), in Italy is a big deal because that's when Father's Day is celebrated. I have to explain it to my children every year, as in the United States Father's Day is celebrated sometimes in June, I think, and for sure not on the feast of a saint, as it's not a catholic country. 
One tradition that for sure I will never change is the way I make coffee! There's million of coffee drinkers around the world and I think Italians are the most picky. I know because I'm one of them.
This is the way I make coffee:

video
 As you can see I used a specific machine (mine is electric), it's called MOKA. Yes, that's what you're going to get if you order a "mocha" in an Italian cafe. :)
The result is a thick, extremely dark, luscious coffee. You can mix it with milk (= Caffelatte) or with a foamy milk (=Cappuccino) or just drink it as it is. 


I don't use any type of coffee for my Moka machine, it has to be Italian, because of the way it's grounded and the flavor. My favorite brand is Lavazza {pron. LAH-VAH-TSA}.


If you are interested in authentic Italian coffee and you would like to use my Moka machine you can order yours here:


Once you'll start to make this type of coffee you won't like it any other way!! Trust me.

Now excuse me if I go drink some...

xoxo,

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

~ Are Unicorns real?

Ciao everyone!

As a unicorn fan, I'm wondering if also you have ever pondered the existence of unicorns. I've always been fascinated by their beauty and graceful look as it's shown in medieval pictures. I was reading about how they liked to rest on the lap of virgin maidens, and when they would fall asleep that's when the hunters would catch them! Also, there's a song I knew when I was little that was speaking about how Noah was gathering all the animals on his ark and the unicorns didn't make it and died in the flood... kind of sad, but who knows....

I recently embroidered a pretty unicorn in a small oval hoop. It would be perfect as a wall decoration in a baby nursery or a girl's room. I'm happy with how it turned out.


You can find all kinds of things about unicorns on the internet. These are some of my favorite:

Gold Unicorn Candle Holder, Gold Unicorn Party Decor, Kids Party Decor, Bridal Shower Decor, Unicorn Themed Party, Unicorn Wedding Topper

33" unicorn balloon, birthday decoration, photo prop, first birthday, unicorn decoration, Huge balloon, Rainbow balloon 36"

Have a magical birthday, Unicorn Birthday  card, funny birthday card, best friend birthday card, birthday card for girl

R&M Unicorn 4.5" Cookie Cutter in Durable, Economical, Tinplated Steel


Too Faced La Creme Lipstick 'Unicorn Tears' 0.11oz/3.0g New In Box

I think I could go on and on and on, but I'll stop here!!! Now I'll go dream about this beautiful, colorful, glittery and magnificent horse! ;)

Love to all.

xoxo,