December 15, 2014

Christmas cookies

We baked, iced, boxed and hand delivered Christmas cookies to our friends.
One of our favorite activities this time of the year.

Stacks of sugar and chocolate cookies

Five icing colors

Little helping hands

Boxed and ready to give as gifts!

December 5, 2014

radicchio & arugula salad

Made for lunch today.
Have a wonderful weekend!!

December 3, 2014

Pumpkin & pine nut ravioli

A classic from the city of Ferrara. The perfect way to use those pumpkins that are still hanging around the kitchen after the Thanksgiving celebration.

What you'll need:

For the Pasta
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 large whole eggs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. salt

For the Ravioli Filling
500g pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and roughly chopped
½ cup pine nuts
1 clove garlic minced
2 tsps. ground cumin
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

For the Burnt Sage Butter Sauce
200g butter
⅓ cup fresh sage leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice


    Place flour in a bowl and make a well in the center
    Beat eggs and olive oil in a small bowl and pour into the flour well.
Using your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time until combined.
Knead together and continue to knead until the dough comes together into a sticky ball.
Transfer to your kitchen counter and continue to knead until the dough feels smooth and silky.
    Cut into three pieces and wrap in cling film, then and refrigerate for two hours.
    Dust the work surface with flour and take a piece of dough and flatten it with your fingers.
    Roll the dough very thin with a rolling pin or a pasta machine.

    Steam pumpkin until soft and then puree with a hand blender or a fork.
    Heat a skillet until medium high and place pine nuts and swirl around until they begin to turn brown. Add the cumin and garlic and continue stirring for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Remove from heat, chop in a food processor and add to the pumpkin puree.
    Add the parmesan and combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sage Butter Sauce
    Melt in a small skillet and heat to medium.
    Add sage leaves and cook until crispy.
Remove from heat and add the lemon juice.

served sage butter sauce

December 2, 2014

Chocolate ganache cake

We have a love affair with this cake!
Dense and moist chocolate cake layered with silky ganache.

Ingredients you'll need for the cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 

Ingredients you'll need for the ganache

16 ounces good semisweet chocolate
2 1/2 cups heavy cream


Cook the chocolate pieces and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Let cool until it has spreading consistency.

December 1, 2014

El Rastrillo {Bogota, Colombia}

Last Saturday I visited the El Rastrillo fair at El Chico Museum in Bogota. The main purpose of the fair is to raise funds for the protection of about 80 children and homeless adolescents.

There were more than one hundred booths with works of art, decoration, jewelry, skill games, clothing for children and adults, plants, and Christmas decorations.

handmade Christmas decorations

cookie mix jars

sauces & jellies made with local fruits

eating area 

fresh fruit and juices

beautiful orchids

amazing "paletas" 

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