.: Happy New Year, world

you know what I like ? People are watching my little kitchen mess from many countries: Italy and United States of course, but even Rwanda, India, Spain, Philippines and Lithuania, together with Australia, United Kingdom and France.
Thank you all of you for visiting and I wish you all a better new year.
May your days be merry and bright
and may all your future days be… colorful !

.: Sweet surrender

Everyone has some pandoro left from Christmas these days… and still want to prepare something special for the last night of the year. Ok. We can do it!
Semplicissimo tiramisù con un po’ di pandoro a fare da morbido cuscino.

Mettete un po’ di pandoro sul fondo delle coppette e bagnatelo con un po’ di liquore per dolci. E sopra mettete una morbida crema: [dose per 1] sbattete un uovo con un cucchiaio di zucchero, mescolate con 1/3 di 250 gr di mascarpone, poi unite gli albumi montati a neve. Decorate con cacao amaro. Se volete, potete anche mescolare gocce di cioccolato… insomma sbizzarritevi ! E poi mettete in freezer.

For 3 cups:
250 gr mascarpone cheese
3 eggs
3 spoons of sugar
cocoa powder
liquor for sweets

Put some pandoro pieces on the bottom of each cup and wet it with liquor (you can use biscuits or some other left cake). If you want it alcohol free, you can use some coffee. Then beat the yolks with the sugar, and add the mascarpone cheese. Add the whipped eggwhites and decorate with the cocoa on top or with anything else you like. Puth them in the freezer untill stiff !

Your sweet surrender is ready for a sweet last night of the year. Happy New Year !

.: Let your heart be light

Want to compare? ok. First compare Ella Fitzgerald to Sam Smith

Well… Ella wins, but Smith’s version is also sang very nicely, only more melancholic.

Then compare Giovanni Rana’s gnocchi to Maffei’s ones.

Well I think they’re pretty good and they’re are soft as the package promises, but I must say I prefere Maffei’s ones. Just because they’re a a bit less soft. I like to feel something under my teeth.

In effetti i gnocchi di Giovanni Rana sono buoni, ma un po’ troppo soffici per i miei gusti. Quelli di Maffei sono più piccoli e tengono meglio la cottura, che è rapidissima in entrambi i casi. Buon Natale e complimenti Signor Maffei ! Be’… non si vince niente, ma io dico che ha vinto lei !

.: Have yourself a Merry little Christmas

Colazione di Natale? Col pandoro ! Do you know pandoro ? It’s a soft sweet…I don’t know how to explain, anyway, it’s pandoro, and it’s a Christmas sweet bread we eat in Italy. And yes, it’s good for breakfast… especially when you still can’t eat “hard things”.

But there’s something else.
There’s a lot of stories about gingerbread men cookies. According to Carole Levin, director of the medieval studies program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and author of The Reign of Elizabeth I, Queen Elizabeth I’s 16th-century reign was known for elaborate royal dinners and “she did do a banquet where she had gingerbread men made to represent foreign dignitaries and people in her court”.
In those times, gingerbread men were also prepared by folk-medicine practitioners, often described as witches or magicians, who would create them as love tokens for young women. Levin says that “if they could get the man of their choice to eat the gingerbread man that had been made for them, the idea was the man would then fall in love with the young woman”.
But gingerbread is much older. It is claimed to have been brought to Europe in 992 CE by the Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis. He went to France and and taught gingerbread baking to French Christians. From France gingerbread spread to Sweden in 13th century and arrived in England in 17th century where the biscuits were born.
Anyway. The reason I’m talking about gingerbread is that my niece gave me a present…

She gave me some biscuits she made, and I love them

brown sugar 50 g zucchero di canna
butter 125 gr burro
nut flour 50 gr farina di nocciole
sugar or honey 65 gr zucchero o miele
flour 300 gr farina
ginger 50 gr zenzero
egg 1 uovo (separate yolk from white) [separate il tuorlo dal bianco]
powdered sugar for the decoration – zucchero a velo per la glassa
you can also add
nutmeg – noce moscata
cinnamon – cannella

mix everything, putting the yolk and the flour for last [mescolate tutto, mettendo per ultimi, prima l’uovo, infine la farina] and put it in the fridge for 1 hour [e mettetelo in frigorifero per 1 ora]. Then lie it down and make the biscuits [dopo aver fatto i biscotti, rimettete in frigo per 10 minuti] and put them again in the dridge for 10 minutes.

For the decoration, whip the egg white with powdered sugar [montate l’albume a neve con lo zucchero a velo, per la decorazione]
Finally bake them 185°C for about 25 minutes. Va be’ questo non lo traduco XD

I must confess it’s very weird eating a woman’s head.. even if it’s just a biscuit! But I did it !

Dietro ogni cosa c’è una storia… a volte una storia che non sospettate. And there’s a story behind this song too.

It was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane in 1944. And it was a pretty sad song. People asked him to change the lyrics and the song started to be revised.

In 1957, Frank Sinatra asked Martin to revise the line “Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow.” He told Martin, “The name of my album is A Jolly Christmas. Do you think you could jolly up that line for me?” Martin’s new line was “Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.” Martin made several other alterations, changing the song’s focus to a celebration of present happiness, rather than anticipation of a better future.

I think it is still quite a melancholic song, but it has a sweet note in it. Like a gingerbread biscuit.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, your troubles will be out of sight, yeah
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on, your troubles will be miles away, ooh
Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
They gather near to us once more
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
Ooh, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now
Faithful friends who are dear to us
They gather near to us once more
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
But ‘til then we’ll have to muddle through somehow, ooh yeah, ooh, oh
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

.: Christmas is coming

Do you like prawns? I do. I gamberi sono uno dei miei cibi preferiti. Lo so… sono animaletti innocenti, e non è giusto pescarli per mangiarseli, ma sono così bbbuoooni. Yes they’re so good. Especially the big ones. Anyway. I had some in my freezer, which I bought some time ago and this was the chance for cooking them the right (and simplest!) way. Non li potevo sprecare eh ! E poi questo è un piatto perfetto se non sapete cosa inventarvi per la cena della Vigilia: velocissimo, semplice e delizioso. Yes, delicious and so simple to do.

You just have to take the heads away [togliete le teste] and cut them along the back to take the shell off [li tagliate lungo la schiena e li pelate]. These one are not very big, but they’re still very tasty.

Then put them in a pan with just some oil, parsley and tomato sauce [bastano un po’ di olio, pomodoro e prezzemolo] no salt. If you like you can add a bit of curry.
Five minutes and they’re done.

Sometimes you can burn the parsley but they will still be good.

Super classic that you can serve for Christmas Eve!

And now… science ! Beware of the Pink Floyd prawn !

A new species of shrimp has been named after Pink Floyd thanks to a pact between prog rock-loving scientists.
The synalpheus pinkfloydi uses its large pink claw to create a noise so loud it can kill small fish.
The team behind the discovery vowed years ago if it ever found a new pink shrimp it would “honour” the rockers.
Sammy De Grave, head of research at Oxford University Museum of National History, said he has been a fan of the band since he was a teenager.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-39570005

La leggenda dice che nel 1971 i Pink Floyd fecero così tanto rumore durante un concerto al Crystal Palace di Londra da uccidere con le loro canzoni i pesci in un lago nelle vicinanze. La storia è quasi sicuramente falsa, ma la possibilità di uccidere dei pesci con dei rumori forti non lo è per niente: è quello che fa una nuova specie di gamberi dalle chele rosa scoperta di recente. In modo appropriato, i ricercatori che hanno scoperto la specie – Sammy De Grave dell’Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Arthur Anker della Universidade Federal de Goiás in Brasile e Kristin Hultgren della Seattle University – l’hanno chiamata come il gruppo di Roger Waters.

La nuova specie di gambero pistolero – lo Synalpheus pinkfloydi – è stata presentata mercoledì scorso sulla rivista Zootaxa. Dalla sua colorazione fino al nome appena coniato, il crostaceo ha un sacco di caratteristiche notevoli. La cosa più eccezionale, però, è il suo potente impianto acustico, che usa come arma. A differenza degli Who o dei Dinosaur Jr., al nuovo gambero non serve una serie di amplificatori Marshall per far saltare qualche timpano: ha solo bisogno della sua unica chela allargata, che emana un bagliore tra il rosso e il rosa dando al crostaceo un’aria particolarmente minacciosa, considerando che il resto del suo corpo è marroncino opaco. Facendo scattare la sua grande chela, il gambero Pink Floyd altera rapidamente la pressione idraulica intorno a sé, creando delle bolle di vapore nell’acqua. Quando implodono, queste bolle producono «uno dei suoni più forti in tutto l’oceano, abbastanza potente da stordire o addirittura uccidere un piccolo pesce», secondo un comunicato stampa della Oxford University.

L’implosione è in grado di generare un suono che può arrivare «fino a 210 decibel», ha scritto BBC.

http://www.ilpost.it/2017/04/18/gambero-pink-floyd/