Friday, July 22, 2011


I must say the expectations I had on this game were not met whatsoever.
I thought it would have been a strange card game, with no big depth.
Instead, it turned out to be a quite interesting strategy game, not trivial at all and unexpected outcome.
Yes, if for good part of the game it seems the winner will be one, then at the end, with some good maneuver it could be somebody else.
It is a lot about guessing, intuition and also a bit of luck.

One can be a different character at each turn (a bit like in Puerto Rico), each character giving a special ability that can help out performing the action of the turn. The aim is to build eight districts: that will conclude the game, but the player with the highest amount of points will of course win.

I found the game quite well balanced and simple to learn. Not that fast, after all, since the strongest player changes quite often and the others try to compromise his actions.
A great game to play if one doesn't have too much time to dig into a booklet of rules, but still want to use the brain (or what is left of it ;D) and keep the mind well awake!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The smallest tomato in the world

One is always surprised to find new (exotic!??!) products at the supermarket. From yellow squashes, white pale bell peppers, aubergines and tomatoes that have gone through some interesting african trip meeting a zebra....

This time it is the turn of the size of the tomatoes. Are these the smallest tomatoes in the world?
Wonder how do they taste...

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

War of the Ring

Tolkien's fan? Finally a board game that is not heavily influenced by the movies :-)
After a bit disappointing Lord of the Rings Risk, we have tried this game, which, in its collector edition, is just majestic.

When Mattias P described the game and said that the box was in wood and the game 8kg heavy, I needed to see it to believe it!
He then came and took out the game and we were all astonished and exclaimed "woow" in unison.

We didn't fully play the game, we started a bit slow digging into some rules details, but the first taste was quite nice. The battle between evil and good is not as trivial and one requires a good strategy to survive.
Of course, good part of fascination of the game is due to the hand painted figures and the reminiscences from the books (not the movies!!!), but it was quite fun as well to roll the dice, and use the cards for performing new actions.

I look forward to actually see Galadriel in game, considering her funny expression!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

A different juice

We really love juices and smoothies. We also experiment create some smoothies ourselves, but it is always more convenient to just open a bottle than wash, peel, cut and slice and mix and so on...

Recently, we have discovered a new type of juice (or at least, I believe I have never seen this type before) which is cold pasteurized. Normally, the procedure requires certain temperatures, but that, not only kills some bacteria, it also removes some of the taste.

No conservants, no added sugar, made in Sweden (although, of course, the fruit comes from other parts of the world). A very very genuine taste. When drinking the mango-apple version, one can really feel the different from similar products.
post signatureYummi!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vanilla Rhubarb & Blackberries jam

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We have got rhubarb and berries in huge quantity for a while, and the first thought has always been: the best way to use them is doing a jam. However, we have always been saying it and never actually DOING it!
This year, I decided to put myself in action, especially after tasting a fantastic jam made by our friend Ullis. Inspired by that jam, with rhubarb as well, I improvised this other jam.
According to the our guinea pigs, this turned out to be a success - with the exception that for cooking a jam you need to wear a protective overall and "plastify" the whole kitchen, or one will have just stains of jam everywhere (and the ones produced by berries are very very very evil indeed :-) )

Ingredients for about 1,5 kg of jam:

  • 1kg of rhubarb
  • 500 gr of blackberries
  • 1 kg of jam sugar
  • one vanilla rod
  • the juice of one lemon
I mainly followed the instructions on the jam sugar package. One can use also standard sugar, but this was my first attempt to cook a jam, so I didn't want to risk. With standard sugar one needs a thermometer since you need to reach a specific temperature (104°C if I remember right).

One thing I did before following the instructions was to warm the frozen rhubarb and the berries in the same big pot that I used for cooking the jam.
Once the fruit was all warmed, I blended the fruit and then I added the juice of the lemon and the vanilla rod, previously cut opened.
I mixed everything carefully and then I added the sugar and cooked it for the time written on the package of the sugar.

I did 1,5kg of jam, but the original was for 1 kg and was supposed to have 700gr of rhubarb (300gr of berries, in that case red currants) and 1 kg of jam sugar. In this way, my result was less sweet than the original one, but I think it worked for this combination.

Before putting it in the sterilized jars (one can both boil them in water for 5 minutes or put them in the oven for 30 minutes at 100°C), I let it cool down a bit. 
Once the jars are filled, I put them in a dark, dry place to cool completely and rest.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Salty plumcake

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I am still very unsure about the summer style of the blog, but I think I will prioritize posting this recipe instead than perform more adjustments.
I have not experimented in the kitchen in a while, since Isabella came (Mattias has been the masterchef since), but now it is time to put myself back "behind the stove" (as we would say in italian, "dietro i fornelli").
I have therefore started with this recipe, which turned out to be very tasty and very simple.

Ingredients (for 6 people)

  • 200 gr of flour
  • 100 gr of grated gruyere
  • 100 gr of grated parmesan
  • 100 ml of milk
  • 100 ml of fresh cream
  • 150 gr of bacon
  • 60 ml of olive oil
  • one bag of powder yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • salt & pepper
Start mixing the flour with the yeast in a quite big bowl and turn on the oven to be 180° (150° with a convection oven)

Add first the parmesan and the gruyere and mix everything.

Slice the bacon in small pieces.

Finally, add the bacon and after having mixed, add the olive oil.

In another bowl, mix the eggs with the milk and the cream. Blend them carefully.
Season the mix and add it to the flour and cheeses and, again, mix everything with a wooden spoon.

Take a mold for plumcake (or, if you don't have it, a whatever you use for baking cakes ;) ) and fill it with the mix.

Put the mold in the oven, leave it for 40-50 minutes (40 for a convection oven). Let it cool down and serve!!!

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