Red Velvet Beet and Aquafaba Cupcakes

Instead of using food coloring for these Red Velvet Cupcakes I used beets which also make them more nutritious and moist. I also prefer substituting coconut sugar for the white which gave these cupcakes a more brownish color which I didn’t mind. They are really good – especially with a whipped topping and redcurrants. Continue reading

Villa Pizzini

Near the top of Mottarone, above Stresa on Lago Maggiore, lies hidden in an enchanted wood this unique restaurant (and B&B) called Villa Pizzini. Everything is perfectly inserted into this natural habitat overlooking majestic Lago Maggiore with its three Borromeo islands below. Practically all the produce for the restaurant is grown locally or gathered in the surrounding woods such as wild herbs and mushrooms. Everything seems to be in perfect balance with nature here! Continue reading

Slice-and-Bake Lavender Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Just a touch of lavender flowers in these oatmeal breakfast cookies can make a difference in taste from boring to intriguing. These slice-and-bake cookies are also a snap to make. Their crispy and tender texture practically make them melt in your mouth. Great to have on hand for a quick breakfast or energising snack. Continue reading

Laura’s Piadina

The piadina is an Italian specialty from the Emilia-Romagna region. Similar to a flour tortilla it can be filled or topped with practically any cooked or fresh vegetable or cured meat such as ham and prosciutto which are typical. This unleavened flat bread can be made in no time too – just two basic ingredients! By the way my friend Laura who comes from this region gave me this recipe that has been handed down from her family for generations. Continue reading

Banana Caramel Cream Mini Pies

These banana caramel cream mini pies are so easy to whip up using ready made pastry shells. The caramel flavor comes from the coconut sugar and goes so well with bananas. I found these ready made “lingue di gatto” (cat’s tongues) pastry shells at our local pastry shop-cafe’ “Mr. C” in Monza. Graham cracker pie shells would work well here too. Continue reading

Sea and Land Seafood Salad

Sea and Land here translate into shrimp and walnuts, an unusually delicious combination for a salad. We had this simple but delicious seafood salad right on the beach at the Serenval Beach Club restaurant in Finale Ligure. The Mediterranean breeze, a piece of Ligurian focaccia and this salad were enough for a memorable and light meal. Continue reading

Salmon Trout Summer Pasta Salad

This cold salmon trout pasta is perfect in hot weather especially now when the thermometer is reaching almost 40 degrees C. (100 F) around here! It’s also easy to prepare ahead of time and even serve it the next day. You could easily substitute the trout with tuna, shrimp or practically any cooked fish. Continue reading

Deep Chocolate Chickpea Cupcakes

These Deep Chocolate Chickpea Cupcakes are completely vegan – no dairy or eggs . They have nothing to lose though in flavor or texture. In addition they’re packed with protein provided by the chickpea flour, almond meal and almond milk. And they’re so easy to make, just combine and beat together the dry and wet ingredients. I whipped them up before breakfast and in 20 minutes they were out of the oven. And they’re healthy enough for breakfast too. Continue reading

Blueberry Peach Tart

Actually this blueberry peach tart is easier than pie – literally! I even used a pizza pan to bake it in since the fruit is spread out more and consequently the bottom of the crust stays crisper. The buckwheat crust lends a pleasantly nutty flavour and the juicy peaches and blueberries pair together perfectly. Other than less gluten in the crust the filling too uses practically no sugar – only a touch of maple syrup to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit. Perfect with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Continue reading