Month: July 2011

The Mountain Air

It’s cold here, up in the mountains. From the stifling streets of Venice to the snow-capped peaks of Cogne, it’s quite a change. When we leave the house we have to wrap up in coats and when the piercing sun fights its way through the clouds we joyfully peel off our layers. The air is different too. Breathing in is like inhaling one of those ‘mountain fresh’ air fresheners. Although of course this isn’t artificial, it’s the sweet breath of firs and grass and life. Yesterday tractors came to cut the meadow grass. Now hay bales cast shadows over the golden fields; this summer ritual contrasts with the icy peaks of the Gran Paradiso mountain range, looming over like fierce guards. The food here is incredible as well. On Friday we visited the best restaurant in town and I ate the most astounding spinach tart, perched in the middle of a cheese fondue lake and bordered by fleshy smoked trout. This place hasn’t won awards for nothing you know. I’ve also eaten polenta for the Read More

Living the Dream….

Whenever I used to stare wistfully in the distance, muttering something about how I longed to live in Venice, someone would for sure answer “Pfft, it might seem like a great place to live when you’re busy buying Venetian masks and cruising down the Grand Canal on a gondola, but ask a Venetian; I bet they’d tell you that living in Venice is no holiday.” It came as a wonderful surprise then, when the parents announced the other day, “Aren’t we lucky, living in Venice is like being on a permanent holiday”. So there you have it, I’m living with a Venetian family who love the city. They take their boat out every weekend, gliding through the canals of Venice, and still they sit in awe of their surroundings. Before leaving for Italy I was anxious, worried that I would be missing out on a summer at home with friends and family. I even made a GoodBye Pavlova on my last night in England, one last slice of home-baked comfort before I left for the land Read More

Cupcakes for Tennis

On Saturday my friends and I decided to try our hands at tennis. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve picked up our rackets, trekked to the grass courts and made complete fools of ourselves; however we soon got into the swing of things. When I say that even a group of ten year old boys watching from a shed roof were laughing at us, you can probably picture how rubbish we were. But hey, whilst we might not quite be destined for Wimbledon, it was still fun to meet with each other and pretend that prancing around a tennis court is legitimate exercise. Well anyway, physical activity is probably quite a good thing after you’ve consumed these cupcakes. I introduce, Vanilla Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting and an Apricot Surprise. So perhaps not the catchiest of names…but these beauties are my entry for the ‘We Should Cocoa’ challenge, hosted by Chele at the delicious The challenge this month was to combine chocolate (of course!) with apricot, and after much consideration I decided to go down the Read More