Nightmare weekend

Posted by sol in images, life

I’m still recovering from our nightmare weekend in Milan, where the A/C of the car burnt away and mostly nothing went as we planned. But in the end it was great to see everyone and introduce Damiano to our dearest friends. He is an angel and behaved so patiently, enduring the heat and the unusualness, and even displaying beautiful smiles like this one:

Bringing a baby in an unnecessary trip to Milan should account for crime. We left on Friday at dusk and headed to the Mexican consulate, to get Damiano his mexican citizenship and passport and could get none because his stupid mother had forgotten a piece of document….

….yeah I know…

Anyway, at least when we came back, our moo cards had arrived. They are so pretty!!!

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eBay sins.

Posted by sol in I wanted to be an architect


Ok, so I bought this horror on ebay. The only excuse I have is that it was pouring down that day, and the pink bench with silver wood didn’t seem that expensive. Only when it arrived, I realized that if it could be saved from its ugliness it would have been a hard task.It is taking me ages to scrap the silver coating away (also because under the silver, I found brown and then white, and I’m trying to go down to bare wood before painting it.

Anyway, once that is done, a big question remains: Which of these fabrics should I re-upholster it with? Please tell me what you think. I will be placing it by the bay-window in my bedroom, when our new house is ready… so there’s plenty of time to choose.

Here go my options:


1. Playful. I think that the last thing this bench needs is to be taken seriously.


2. But if I shall take it seriously, I’m for something sober like this japanese fabric. Love the color.


3. I hate dots. But these aren’ dots. These are sliced citrus fruits. Certainly low key, but pleasant and timeless.


4. When I was little, there was a little etching in my grandparent’s house, with two hot air balloons. I have loved hot air balloons ever since. These are soft and dreamy.


5. Another degree of playful, in one of my favorite colors: green tea green. Love the girl with the skirt up.


6. Seriously, I’ll be 30 in three years. Maybe it’s about time to have a ladylike piece of furniture in my house… These mauve flowers would look so chic on my little bench.


7. Oh but I love these children motives.


8. Last but not least… actually my very favorite as of now: Beautiful avocado color. And the shopping girls motive is lustfully vain, as vain as me… LOVE it.

What do you think?



Sacher naked and dressed.(and amaretti pie)

Posted by sol in cuisine or at least food on the plate

Today Damiano slept soundly through the afternoon, letting me bake like crazy. I baked two Sachers and an amaretto pie for the children from Belarus and Ukraine that come here to spend the summer and wash away the radiations from Chernobyl.

I love the Sacher torte, the real one I mean. But what is so special about it? After careful analysis I realized that for me it is all in the glaze.

And those greedy Austrians will not let go of the secret.

So I tried a couple of recipes and adaptations. The result is faaar away from the real thing, but since I wasn’t expecting much, I wasn’t disappointed either.

Here’s a picture of my two creatures, one in her undies (the apricot jam) and the other fully dressed.


And the amaretto tart, recipe follows.amarettitart.jpg

Make a sugar pastry with 250 gr flour 125 gr butter 125gr sugar 1 egg yolk 1 tsp baking powder 1 pinch salt 2 tbsp amaretto liquor (or marsala). Place on pie mould, pressing so that edges are a bit higher than the center.

Place amaretti in circles.

Mix 4 tbsp confectioners sugar 1 egg yolk 1 tbsp milk and whisk until the thing becomes all spongy and pale yellow. Pour it slowly between the amaretti.

Bake for 30 minutes at 180 centigrades.


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My 11 kitchen essentials

Posted by sol in cuisine or at least food on the plate, list

I’m in a list-making mood today, so here goes my list of the kitchen supplies I would take along in a desert island. (ok, not really.)

Wasabi grater (from Muji): My everyday cooking is  lebanese, italian and mexican. Three that can’t live without garlic. With this wasabi grater, I can puree garlic faster and I the result is creamy,  not chunky like with a garlic press, which afterwards is also annoying to clean! To clean this one water is enough, and it’s made from stainless steel so rubbing one’s hands under cold running water with it, makes the smell of garlic disappear. (just watch those nails)


Mexican lemon/lime squeezer: For those of you who have seen *this*, let me show you the real thing. It’s made from an alloy of aluminum and tin and maybe something else (or something less!), and it has been sold in open air markets throughout Mexico for ages, before Williams & Sonoma (or whoever did) copied the idea to make a fancier one!!

Rice cooker: quick healthy sides that go with almost any roasted meat, goulasch, ragout, curry, fish etc. Sometimes I put carrots, courgettes, and green beans in it to make steamed rice with veggies.
Ziplock bags: The best thing after ice cream sandwiches. These populate my freezer with all sorts of content, from overripe bananas, grapes, chicken drumsticks, to spring rolls whose box was too bulky and baby’s tooth soothing toys.


Moulinette: can’t make any real kibbe without the moulinette!!! Besides meat, it is great for making breadcrumbs, grinding nuts, and making a chunky guacamole!

Microplane cheese grater: shred the Parmigiano, lots of it and with little effort (and waste).


Rosle silicon Spatulas: real silicon means they don’t attract dust while in the drawer, they don’t melt, and they last forever. I use them in three sizes: huge, medium and tiny.

Global serrated knife Gs13: tomatoes are the core of mexican, lebanese and italian cuisines, but even the ripest ones have a tough skin. With this knife slicing tomatoes (as well as bell peppers and eggplants (aubergines)) is a piece of cake.


WMF’s Ball whisk – (or as I call it, my carbonara tool): Yes, first you whisk the eggs with it. Then you mix the eggs into the cooked spaghetti and you comb them with it, so the sauce goes everywhere, and then you serve them with it, by picking them up and twisting them… Besides it is really easy to clean it, compared to normal balloon whisks.
Castor peeler: the best peeler you can get, and the cheapest one, too. (1,50 euros the last time I got one). Great fot shaving Parmigiano and vegetables to make chips
Onion chopper: A little over the top, since onions is much all it can chop, but for a sweet girl with easy tears like me, it’s revolutionary.


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Posted by sol in prattle

where were you educated?
Universita’ Bocconi di Milano

who/what did you want to be when you were a child?
❦a pastry chef. Making mud pies was my favorite game

what inspires your work?

happiness is…
❦my son’s smile
❦dinner with friends

browsing often…

wishing for…
❦my new house to be ready
❦wishbone chairs for my new house
❦Paris or Berlin

listening to…
❦my husband playing his guitar (and watching my son loving it)
❦Astor Piazzolla

❦Evening, Susan Minot (great book so far)

escaping with…
Living etc
New York Times magazine

❦Wake up my son, feed him and put him back to sleep
❦Breakfast!! (poached eggs, toast, yogurt, tea)

❦Prepare lunch
❦Tidy up while husband plays with son

❦answer emails
❦window shop on ebay

what are you looking forward to?
❦my new house
❦my brother’s wedding in October in Mexico

the future is…

the past is…
❦my grandfather

your happiest accident…
❦meeting my husband
❦my son

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Side effects

Posted by sol in art

..of the steam sterilizer.


Don’t put toys or formula spoons in it, unless you want to end up with a collection of modern art. (the tooth-soothing cherries are goners, but the spoon is actually very cool. My husband gave me an accusatory look when I asked if the capacity of the spoon had remained the same. Guess it was a stupid question… but still, it’s a nice groovy spoon)

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Posted by sol in images, my sons are smarter than me




One year

Posted by sol in life

Exactly one year ago, I had one of those days that will remain forever among the happiest days of my life. I woke up, it was a sunny Saturday morning. The market was busying the street already. I had done a pregnancy test days before, and it was negative. But still I sensed something. I got ready for work and took another test. The second line appeared this time. It was really thin. I immediately told Michele the result, he was still half asleep. It was a Saturday. I was supposed to ride my bike to work and let him sleep late. He saw the stick and thought the line was way too thin to be positive. But I wanted to be pregnant, so I ran to the pharmacy and showed the test to the pharmacist. He looked at me gloom and said: definitely positive. I would have liked to say how immensely happy I was. But he seemed to expect disappointment, like if I were too young or simply not the kind of woman that would want a child. I just walked back home as fast as I could. Michele was befuddled and I left him that way on my way to work. I was happy then, but not half as happy as now.

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The good-housekeeping fairy hit me.

Posted by sol in prattle

It’s 9 am and I’ve already prepared lunch, had breakfast, put baby to nap and made a load of laundry. What’s next uh? ironing?

yeah right.

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I bought a press.

Posted by sol in art

Since Noah isn’t coming to save us from this damn rain, I decided to write him a letter. A nice letter printed by me on cotton paper and my brand new little press from Offenbach.

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