One Lovely Blog and Versatile Blogger Awards

Sometimes the words aren’t enough to thank all those loyal readers that take a minute of their busy life to visit, read and comment everytime we Food bloggers post something.

That’s my case, I try hard to answer every comment I receive, I do it so happy and honored, that it’s difficult to describe. That’s my way to say Thank you to all, and that I really appreciate the encouragement and kind words.

This time I’m glad to announce, I’ve been nominated for 3 awards by Lianne of Food Made with Love, Learn 2 [Use the] Kitchen and At 350 Degrees. Thank you ladies for your consideration and above all, for reading and liking my blog. I started this journey in order to share my passion for Baking and connect with others all around the world. It’s amazing to see it’s really happening and completely strangers stop by to say hi and manifest they enjoy our work.

I have to follow these rules in order to get the Versatile Blogger award and One Lovely Blog award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Include the links to their blogs
3. Include the award image in your post
4. Copy the award image to your site
5. Give seven random facts about yourself
6. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award
7. When nominating other bloggers include the links to their sites
8. Let those bloggers know they’ve been nominated

Ok so here’s the 7 random things about me:

  • I’m addicted and huge fan of the 70’s and 80’s music, thanks to my aunt who worked at the radio and made me listen to the greatest musical hits while I was growing up. If you ask me about a new artist or trend song I just don’t know.
  • I’m very crafty. I learned how to sew, cook and graphic design all by myself. I needed to save money in order to stay in Paris so I just stopped buying things and started to do it myself instead.
  • I like creepy serial killers series like Criminal Minds. I’m just addicted to it!
  • I’m a huge fan of colored jackets (the electric blue one it’s my favorite)
  • I do NOT own an straight or and offset spatula for icing. I frost my cakes with an old knife and results are great.
  • I can live eating only fruits. Literally I’ll be relieve to not eat chicken, meat or fish. I don’t like the texture.
  • I was a salsa teacher for a very long time =D

Now the nominees for the awards are:

  1. Jessica of She Bakes Here very nice blog even though she’s super busy, but I really enjoy her stories and photos.
  2. Amy of SnazzyBiscuits my new super friend Amy owns a gorgeous blog full of sweet and great recipes. Follow her and she will sweetened your life =D
  3. Lulu of Lulu The Baker I love her blog, very neat and bright photos. She started in 2008 and it just gets better and better.
  4. Kim of Just Baked By Me Loves how she tells her story about cooking and baking having a picky eaters family. Plus she have great pictures
  5. Cath of Confessions of a Glutton Plenty of savory and sweet good recipes
  6. Cheff Lippe  He has an Olive Oil weakness like me! Recipes are just fantastic
  7. The team of Things We Make It’s impossible not to check their page. Recipes are great and PHOTOS are just perfect.
  8. Sally of My Custard Pie I will love to go and dinner with her in Dubai. Her blog is very inspirational and she knows a lot about wine. I just love her energy and enthusiasm.
  9. Christina of Sweet Pea’s Kitchen sweet tooth teacher with very nice and simple recipes. Her blog is refreshing!
  10. The Little Loaf and her bread addiction and beautiful Trips
  11. Snixy Kitchen beautiful blog, well written, all kind of meals and desserts and so neat photos ❤
  12. Pami and Jecca of Omnomalicious great team who will show you step by step photos of the recipe. Makes cooking so much easier.
  13. Alison of Love bake Chocolate I really agree with her! Chocolate is a MUST in life.
  14. Shira of In Pursuit of More a very nice blog about living with (just a little) less. I really admire her philosophy and desire of turning things into something positive. Great quotes
  15. Stephanie of A whisk A Spoon a really gifted amateur photographer ❤

So this is it friends,

Thank you again for the awards and I promise I’ll keep baking as much as I CAN!

Love,

Sara

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The Beautiful Blog Award

Yesterday I received a pretty awesome news, I was nominated for the Beautiful Blog Award by Jess from “A lot on your plate” blog.

That nomination totally made my night. Last night when I came back home , I ran to the computer to check what the award was all about, so here’s the rules:

**Obligatory Rules**

  1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  3. Tell 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know.

Big big Thank you to Jess, I’m so touched that you thought of me and my blog. Really it meant the world to me 🙂

I find your blog so dynamic, updated and useful . I’m a huge fan of your recipe of the week and Apps of the week. These two are super handy. Your work and your organization insights are very inspiring so keep doing it! We, (your readers) love it ❤

Seven things about me:

1.  My dream is to become a great Baker ❤

2.  I was born and raised in the Venezuelan Costs, and even though the beach is my life I’m just horrified by sand. (hate the texture)

3.  I’m small (1m54) and I love it!

4.  I have a heels collection and it keeps growing 😉

5.  I dream to live in Denmark… Still don’t know why.

6.  My favorite season is spring. Every year, I take an infinity amount of different flowers photos.

7.  My full name is Sarasvatty. Dad named my sisters and me, after Indian goddess.

Seven Beautiful Bloggers:

1.  Bertha @ Gourmet Baking

2. Nicole @ Sweet Peony

3.  Emilie @ Griottes

4. Evan @ Evan’s kitchen ramblings

5. Jen @ Beantown Baker

6. Lili @ Lili’s Kitchen

7.  Raquel @ Los Tragaldabas

Thank you Jess!

Have a lovely Week,

Sara 🙂

Homemade Pesto Bruschettas with Jambon de Bayonne et Mozzarella

Going early to the Saturday Market its have a larger option in fresh fruits and vegetables. Every time I try to go as early as possible to look around and choose my fresh products.

My mom laugh about me because of that, she says that I’m the Grandma’s fierce rival! How mean!! LOL, but thinking it well, I totally am!

Well, I’ve being kind off sick and wasn’t very motivated to go to the market, my hubs pulled me out of bed, he knew that will make me feel better and of course he wants a good lunch. So few minutes later we were heading to my paradise ‘fresh fruits market”.

Oh! I found the most wonderful variety of tomatoes, melon, strawberries, cheese, beans, Ham and more.. I picked Bayonne Ham, some mozzarella, beautiful cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
My usual merchant knows me well, and he totally made my day giving me some basil branches with their roots, so I could plant it back home. How great is that?

I decided to go Italian Provençal style and prepare some homemade Pesto and  Bruschettas. Yumm!

For the Pesto you will need:

  • 50 Handpicked Basil Leaves
  • 25 cl of Olive Oil
  • 60 gr of grated Parmesan
  • 70 gr of Pine Nuts (Pignons de Pain)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • salt

In a food processor, combine the basil in with the pine nuts. Process for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic cloves and start to incorporate the olive oil little by little, in a constant stream while the food processor is on.

Once in a while stop the food processor and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.

Add the grated cheese (Parmesan or Reggiano) and pulse again until blended.

Add a pinch of salt to the pesto. I personally likes to season the pesto with a lil of ground black pepper, for me it just taste better. (It’s totally up to you)

Serve your fresh pesto with pasta, or like me spread over the bruschettas.

To prepare the Bruschettas you will need:
(Serves 2)

  • Fresh French Baguette or Italian Bread
  • 4 slice of Jambon de Bayonne or Jambon Serrano
  • Mozzarella
  • Sliced Olives
  • Fresh Pesto
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs
  • Olive Oil

Slice the baguette or the Italian bread, diagonal to make thick slices.

Spread one side of each slice with fresh pesto.
In each bread bruschetta, place a slice of jambon de Bayonne or Serrano.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in 4 pieces, the mozzarella in dice and the green olives, place them whole in top of the ham.
Season with a thind thread of olive oil and some fresh herbs.

Preheat the oven at 180°C.
Place the bruschettas on a cooking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

Serves as an appetizer. Or 3-4 for lunch with red wine.

I was so proud of my pesto and the bus loved it. I hope my basil plants will grow soon 🙂

What I loved the most about this bruschettas is the simplicity of the recipe. You just put the ingredients and they do the whole work. Flavors are just perfect.

Have a lovely day,

Bon appétit,

Sara

The Best Vanilla Cupcake- Homemade Nutella Heart

For some, rainny days are totally lame and unispiring, for me are a baking opportunity, LOL! You heard right!
Somehow I’ve managed to fight my rainny cuddle time, to a pro-active baker style challenge.

Yesterday, (late) morning I was craving chocolate. I saw a nutella cupcakes recipe, but guess what? I ran out of nutella : Catastrophe! … Mmmm not so much, I really wanted to do a variation of the nutella cupcakes, so I prepared my homemade nutella with some quality chocolate and 100g of hazelnuts I had left from a previous recipe! Bingo

Doing the nutella is king of long, cause you have to roast the hazelnuts, process them, so they can let go their natural oil, then add the chocolate and process the whole until spreadable consistency. Pfff I spent like an hour doing it but is delicious! And the best part of it, is food additives or preservatives FREE!

Next step was the vanilla cupcakes. I’m super picky in cupcakes matter, and I have try Lots of vanilla cupcakes, but honestly none of them was great enough….. til’ a friend of mine gave me the Magnolia’s one. They are just great, light and perfect, so I’m sharing with you this piece of art.

For the Vanilla cupcakes you will need:
Recipe: Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes from 
Food Network
Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 175 g all-purpose flour
  • 115g  unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 125 mL milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • pinch of salt

reparation
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 1 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. Mines are 12 in total.

In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners. Try to put the same amount of batter in each miner, this will allow you to have a uniform size of cupcakes.

Fill 1/3 of the cupcake, next add 1 teaspoon of homemade nuttella in the very center and the cover with the vanilla batter till 2/3 of the liner.

Bake for about 17 minutes (depending the oven), or until tops turn golden brown.

6. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the Chocolate light fluffy frosting:
Frost 12 – 17 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 225 g of unsalted butter softened.
  • 125g of icing sugar (sucre glace)
  • 1/2 teaspoons (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 150 g quality semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted (double boiler) and cooled.
  • 55 ml of whole milk
  • pinch of salt

Preparation:

In a bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer cream the butter and add the icing sugar in 3 times. Whisk until well incorporated.

Add vanilla and continue beating until well combined.

Slowly, add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Incorporate  the milk and salt, and beat on medium speed for about a minute.

Put the frosting into a pipping bag and frost cooled cupcakes .

This Vanilla – Homemade Nutella Heart  cupcakes received an standing ovation from my family. My husband loved it and considering I’m not a buttercream fan, I ate at least 2!

Hope you like them,

Bon Appétit,

Sara


Fresh Mint – Chocolate Chips Cookies

My husband Arthur is a huge Mint fan.
He eats a box of “After Eight” (chocolate filled with mint) in 2 hours, he stole the mint leaves of my mojitos, and wants to add mint to every single savory recipe I do!

Oh God he is a nightmare, the worst part is that I’m not a mint fan! So, this week was a big deal for him, it was his graduation ceremony and he received a “mention très honorable” that is very important in France.

Certainly, I was really proud of my other half and I wanted to surprise him and reward his effort, so when less expected I started to do mint cookies when he was busy doing other stuff!

Oh Dear, when he smelled the mint scent coming out from the oven, he ran to see what I was doing! Surpriseeee face!
He was so happy, and stayed in front of the oven until the first batch came out!
He didn’t even wait until the cookies cooled down.


I tried them too and I was shocked of how delicious they were. So “parfumés” and balanced with the chocolate.
Pleasant surprise, I might say.

Note: This mint cookies are “strong” in flavor so eat one or two! Not the 15 at one time!

Fresh Mint-Chocolate Chips Cookies
(makes 15) recipe inspired by: Aurelie from Mes envies et Délices

  • 50 mint leaves (around)
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 100 g of Butter
  • 150 g of all purpose Flour
  • 100 g dark chocolate chips

In a stand mixer or blender (as I did) , Mix the sugar and the fresh mint leaves, until is all well mix, normally it forms sort of green dough.

Add the egg to the mixture and whisk. Cut the butter in dices and add it little by little to the mixture.

Once the dough is uniform, incorporate the flour in 2 times.
Mix with a spatula till well incorporated and add the chocolate chips.
Mix to distribute evenly.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Take out the dough from the fridge. With a tablespoon, start to form medium size dough balls and place them on the baking tray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending the oven) or until you see the edges, turn to a light brown.

Let them cool and enjoy with a glass of milk.

Hope you Like them.

Love,

Sara