Monday, 27 October 2014

A few days abroad ( part 3) : Skipton and The Yarndale festival

And here I come to the last part of my trip in the stunning county of Yorkshire.

On my fourth day in England I was lucky enough to attend an event I've been waiting for months: The Yarndale festival, a creative event celebrating all things woolly and wonderful, which took place on the 27 and 28 of September in the lovely town of Skipton.

The day was sunny, even though the brisk air and, once we reached the town, we went straight to "Coopers", a delicious place that, upstairs, is home of the creative studio of one of my favorite bloggers, the lovely Lucy of "Attic 24".
On this occasion the room was open to the curious visitors like me, and it was beautiful to wander into her multicolor wools, her amazing creations and those of her nice friends.

After the visit, before heading to the fair, we enjoyed a delicious cup of hot chocolate and we bought some take-away salads to taste at lunchtime, prepared by the girls of the bar, who were all really kind and helpful.

To reach the festival, we opted for one of the free double decker buses, decorated for the weekend and, once we got in the pavillion, we have been literally swallowed up in a whirl of color, laughter and smiles, and it has been wonderful to share a so funny experience with so many passionate and creative women, coming from everywhere.

Undoubtedly the highlight of the day has been the meeting with the lovely Lucy, who greeted us with a warm hug!  After following her blog for years, it was a dream for me to be in her magical woolly world for real!

It was amazing to wander among the stalls, stock up on balls of colorful wool, fabrics and buttons, and also meeting the cutest alpacas I've ever seen and a soft white angora rabbit.

It was almost tea time when we went back to Skipton, so we decided to go in a lovely tea room for a snack!

After the break we were ready to explore the surroundings of the town, following a path that runs alongside the river and goes on in an awesome wood, which was made ​​even more impressive by the autumnal atmosphere, and the day ended in front of a delicious pizza, with tired legs but smiles on our faces!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Red Apples, Hazelnuts And Cinnamon Custard Cake

I'm mad about apples and I love to eat them in thousand ways. I often hold an organic apple in my bag to eat it directly with the peel when I'm feeling peckish, I love baked apples with cinnamon and brown sugar, I go crazy for apple juice and desserts with apples send me into raptures!
I found this recipe in a cooking magazine at the supermarket some weeks ago, and it seemed perfect to taste after a walk in the Woods with a steaming cup of lemon and ginger tea.

300 gr of white flour "00"
120 gr of sugar
120 gr of margarine
50 gr of hazelnuts
1 egg
1/2 sachet of baking powder
1/2 lemon
5 tiny red apples

For the custard:
1 egg yolk
1 egg
80 gr of sugar
30 gr of white flour "00"
250 ml of soy milk
ground cinnamon

Chop finely the hazelnuts with sugar and add them to the flour and the baking powder.
Add the softened butter, the egg, the grated lemon rind and a pinch of salt.
Mix quickly, cover the dough and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

For the custard: boil the soy milk flavored with cinnamon. Beat the egg yolk and the whole egg with sugar. Combine flour and hot soy milk, bring on the heat and cook, stirring until it thickens.
Roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thick and line a baking sheet, leaving the top edge 1 cm. Peel and cut 2 apples into small cubes, mix them with the custard and fill the base of the cake. Cut the other apple into slices and arrange them on the cake.
Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.


Monday, 20 October 2014

An Enchanted Forest And A Dairy-Free Apple Cake

Hello ladies!!!
I took these pictures two Sundays ago, but the past couple of weeks have been so busy I couldn't find the time to write even a little post about them.
Finally this evening seems to be the right one and I'm enjoying my free time, curled up in bed, with a cinnamon scented candle lit , a soft woollen blanket, my laptop, and a cup of steamy hot chocolate!!!
This month, in Italy, has given us a lot of sunny days so, especially during the weekends, I've taken the chance to spent some time walking in the woods, admiring the nature in its autumnal shades, eating wild apples and picking up the yellowed leaves.
A Sunday I've decided to reach a place, not far from home, where I used to go with my father and my grandfather when I was a little girl, especially before Christmas, to pick up the moss for the nativity scene we created at home during the Advent.
The place is absolutely stunning: the lush trees, the sound of the waterfall, the crystal clear water and the soft light that filters through the foliage... it seems to be in an enchanted forest!!!
To get there you have to cross a wooden bridge, rather tatty so, when I was little, I felt like being on the set of Indiana Jones and even now, at the age of 26, the feeling hasn't changed at all !!!
It has been regenerating to be there and, once at home, I wanted to end the morning with a bang, preparing this delicious cake with red apples, hazelnuts and cinnamon custard, which was totally dairy-free and really fabulous with a cup of lemon and ginger tea (I'll give you the recipe as soon as possible)!
Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A few days abroad (part 2) : Haworth

The following day, after a good night's sleep, we went by train to the bucolic village of Haworth, an unmissable destination for all the lovers of the novels of the Bronte sisters.
Personally I have read and loved "Wuthering Heights" by Emily and "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte and I could not wait to cross the threshold of the house in which these works of art had taken shape!

Although in the early morning the day was a bit grey and rainy, as soon as we reached the village a wonderful sun came out and we could eat outside our sandwiches and take a walk in the surrounding countryside.
A light autumnal breeze was blowing , the trail was covered by the yellow leaves of the early days of autumn and the blackberries were shiny and juicy.

In the early afternoon we strolled about the little cemetery of the village in search of the graves of the sisters, only to discover that they were buried inside the adjacent chapel and we spent some pleasant hours visiting their house and discovering their memories.

To end with a bang we went in a lovely tea room, where I ate a slice of a butternut squash and chocolate chips cake ( totally dairy free) , which was divine!!!
It was a really nice place, where people could even buy ceramic wares and color them with pastel colors provided by the place, work on knitting and crocheting, giving vent to their creativity!