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The good side of the past six months

I haven’t been blogging for a while, and as I said, I’m back….maybe.

The past six months have been a rollercoaster that changed me as well as my life.

There are few things that I held on during this ride, trying to find some moments of peace and remember what life is about. Small things, I know, but sometimes it’s all it takes to smile, to feel things will get better, and we can find a way no matter what.

I thought it would be nice to blog about the good side of the past six months, and I’m going to start right now.

I made homemade pasta (click for the recipe) and homemade tomato sauce! It took me the whole weekend, but it was more than worthy.


In the past I often saw my father and other relatives making homemade pasta, but this was my very first experience, and it was great!
It’s an excellent way to live your home, stay in company, and at the same time doing something productive and healthy that will stay with you and your family for months.

It might sound snob, but now I have hard time using canned tomato sauce, and I can’t wait to do it all over again!

This was actually a great gift that I got, and we want to make is a family tradition!

Another good thing I did – and here I answer to all of you who wrote me wondering how things were going – it’s been going back to run. After shin splints, a stress fracture, and a pretty recent dislocated knee, I wasn’t of course able to achieve my goal to run my first 10k race.

As those of you who followed my running journey can probably understand, the disappointment was overwhelming, and the lack of motivation even worse.  I had to start over after every injury, and it was getting harder and harder.


I don’t even know how I started again, I just did.
I’m not even close to the training level that I was at the end of the winter, but I’m running. Every time I wonder why I’m doing it, but I feel alive.

I guess my goal still stands.
(Btw, where to you keep your key when you go running?)


to be continued…..

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Homemade natural firming facial mask

When I found this recipe I couldn’t believe it, so I decided to test it!

After the commitment to my 2011 resolution, here I am sharing with you my very first natural body care recipe.
Thanks to friends, Internet, different books and magazine, I have been taking notes and discovering a brand new world. Even just going to one of those stores that sale organic and natural products and talking with them can be an excellent resource for who, like me, it’s a beginner of “I want to make the difference”.

This facial mask is great for shrinking your pores and light up again your face.

You need:
- one cold egg white (please use a fresh large egg, not those nasty egg whites in a box that should even being in your fridge!)
- one and 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch or white flour

Mix the two ingredients together until foamy.

It would probably look pretty liquid to you, but trust me, it will dry quickly.

Using your finger or a brush apply on you face and throat  avoiding eyes and lips. Let it dry for about 15-20 minutes. As I said, it will dry pretty tight, and you will probably feel itchy and unable to move you mouth. Try to relax.

I actually found it funny when I tried the first time: when it dries, you can see yourself with lots of wrinkle, and since the mask has not color, it really looks like your skin!

Rinse with warm water and apply moisturizer (do not miss my natural moisturizer recipes coming up!).

Do not store the mask, instead make it as need it and use once at week. The quantity is actually enough for two masks, so you could make it and share it with a friend!

Enjoy your skin!

For more info read her the Ingredients of natural body care and how I started this journey.

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Handmade Italian pasta recipe

This is the authentic basic recipe for handmade egg pasta from Italy


If you have time it’s really worthy to make handmade pasta, especially for special occasions. It’s also perfect to spend a fun day with the whole family, getting involved kids in making a great and healthy meal. Make sure to have some volunteer to clean up afterwards!

INGREDIENTS:

300 gr all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
3 eggs
a pinch of salt

Sift the flour on the work surface forming it into volcano shaped mound with a well in the centre. Break the eggs into this and add the salt. With hands incorporate the eggs into the flour, gradually drawing the flour into the egg until it forms a coarse paste. Add a little more flour if the mixture seems too soft or sticky. With a spatula scrape together all the dough.

Clean you hands and the work surface, and lightly dust it with flour again. Knead the dough with palms of your hands, giving it lots of power. Work the dough for 10-15 minutes until the consistency is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in cling film or foil and leave it to rest for about 30 minutes.

Lightly flour the work surface again and a rolling pin. Gently roll out the rested dough, rotating in by quarter turns, to obtain a round sheet of pasta with a thickness of 2-3 mm. Cut the sheet into noodles or use to make lasagne or stuffed pasta.

You could also shape it to make different kind of pasta like farfalle, or cut it in simple and irregular rectangle, called maltagliati.

Dress with your favorite sauce, homemade of course!

Buon appetito!

Stuffed zucchini simple recipe

You do not need to be an expert chef to make delicious food. There are some recipes that are very simple and tasty.


Today I am sharing with you another Italian recipe from my kitchen in Italy: le zucchine ripiene, stuffed zucchini.

INGREDIENTS
800 gr zucchini
400 gr mince beef or pork
2 eggs
chopped onion
4 tbs parmigiano cheese
4 tbs breadcrumbs
olive oil
salt

Cook zucchini in boiling water with a little salt. Cut them in pieces about 1 inch tall and empty them with a teaspoon.

In a pan cook the onion and the meat with some olive oil and salt. When cooked, add the internal part of zucchini. Turn off the heat and add also 2 eggs, parmigiano cheese, and breadcrumbs. Add salt if needed.

Fill the zucchini, and if you have some leftover you can also make some meatballs (usually it’s the best part!)

Bake  in 200°C oven for 30  minutes.

Buon appetito!

Read more about food on ElenaSc’Blog

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Tiramisù recipe, the best Italian dessert! (Addictive)

My Dad makes the best Tiramisù in the world. Be ready because it’s pretty addicted!

Tiramisu ( or how we say in Italy tiramisù) which literally means “pull me up”, is one of the most popular Italian cakes.
It is made of biscuits (usually savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone, and flavored with cocoa.

INGRIDIENTS:

500 gr mascarpone
6 eggs
6 tbs sugar
250 gr savoiardi (you can also use other kind of biscotti, light, finger-sized sponge cakes, commonly known as ladyfingers in the United States)
3 or 4 espresso coffee o coffee made with moka
unsweetened cocoa

Use two large bowl. In the first mix together yolks and sugar,and use the second to beat the egg whites until stiff. Then add mascarpone and egg whites to the first bowl, mixing slowly until creamy. (At this point you can also add some liquor if you like).

Put the unsweetened coffee in a soup bowl and dip the savoiardi.

Line them in a glass container and cover them with the cream. Repeat until the container is full. Sprinkle everything with unsweetened cocoa and put in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Enjoy! Buon appetito!

Don’t miss the best food post of 2010: Italian hot Chocolate Recipe

Read more about food on ElenaSc’Blog

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