The wind in the willows figurines: summer sculpting!

Hi everyone! Today I am going to tell you about … Wind in the willows‘ clay figurines I’m making!!! Oh yes, clay! I have just come back from a week in Austria, a lovely holiday, and in Austria they have GORGEOUS diy shops!!! I bought tons of cute buttons, lace, paper, crayons, acrylics… oh god, those wonderful shops (Libro, Nantwitwtfsu Nana…LLLLOVE!!!)!!! And so I also did buy two packets of red clay, although I didn’t know yet what to create with it… And today, well, the sky was so blue, soft white clouds, a happy sun, the green garden was calling and I just took the clay, a glass of water, a pen and a knife (I forgot to buy some clay tools) and began. And of course what comes to the mind when thinking of clay? … well, erm, Shaun the sheep… or Wallace&Gromit… or Coraline… Well! I didn’t! I actually thought about the tv series The wind in the willows!!!!

I simply Adore this show, it embodies all the greatest things: great characters, a wonderful setting, the coziness of winter, the lush of summer, the lovely things we love in our homes, the nature, the music… it is just a masterpiece, perfect!

Cosgrove-Hall-Wind-in-the-WillowsInspired by Kenneth Grahame’s book The wind in the willows, these animated shorts show us the adventures of beloved Ratty, Mole, Toad and Badger in an old fashioned, natural, simple and sweet english landscape by the River, where all our friends have their cozy houses and comforts. Animated using the stop motion technique, these “cartoons” are luckily quite numerous: there are five seasons of series, inspired by the book, and even a full movie, entirely based on the book The wind in the willows.


I really love the book, I always keep it on a near shelf, just to look at it or read a little bit when I don’t know what to do. It is so peaceful, relaxing… And I simply adore the illustrations of my edition, by great artist Inga Moore. They manage to make the book even more precious and poetic and adorable!


And it’s precisely from one of my book’s illustrations, by Inga Moore, that I’ve decided to create a little 3D clay image. The scene is the first pic nic that Ratty and Mole have when they meet, on a warm springtime morning. Yesterday I started with nice mister Mole, who is eating a crunchy and bread-perfumed piece of toast!




I started with the body and the head, shaped like a pear, very mole-esque! Then I added the legs and covered them with trousers.

talpa 3

Then I prepared the shirt, divided in two parts…

talpa 3
Then I cut the jacket and dressed up little Mole.


The arms then, holding onto the body with two pieces of thin wire, just like a little hidden structure to keep it together more easily.


The arms needed little hands and also the little piece of toast, which was so cute to make, especially cutting off the cute bitten piece that Mole ate! I left mister Mole out in the sun to dry for a whole day and today I started to paint it, so exciting!

talpina colorata1

Tomorrow I am going to do the second hand of paint coating, and little details and more accurate painting… 🙂

talpina colorata2

I was so happy with mister Mole, it turned out very cute, nice and smiling, and also he has an air of relax and full tummy that I particularly love:) 🙂 🙂

talpina colorata3

It seems to me like he just had a nice, filling breakfast and can now lay down and chat a bit with Ratty and Otter!! So, see you very soon to see if mister Mole and all the others are all right!! Thank you! And…


“A brown little face, with whiskers. A grave round face, with the same twinkle in its eye that had first attracted his notice. Small neat ears and thick silky hair. It was the Water Rat! Then the two animals stood and regarded each other cautiously. ‘Hullo, Mole!’ said the Water Rat. ‘Hullo, Rat!’ said the Mole. ‘Would you like to come over?’ enquired the Rat presently. ‘Oh, its all very well to talk,’ said the Mole, rather pettishly, he being new to a river and riverside life and its ways. The Rat said nothing, but stooped and unfastened a rope and hauled on it; then lightly stepped into a little boat which the Mole had not observed. It was painted blue outside and white within, and was just the size for two animals; and the Mole’s whole heart went out to it at once, even though he did not yet fully understand its uses. The Rat sculled smartly across and made fast. Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down. ‘Lean on that!’ he said. ‘Now then, step lively!’ and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat. ‘This has been a wonderful day!’ said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. ‘Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in all my life.’ ‘What?’ cried the Rat, open-mouthed: ‘Never been in a- you never- well Iwhat have you been doing, then?’ ‘Is it so nice as all that?’ asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him. ‘Nice? It’s the only thing,’ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. ‘Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing- absolute nothinghalf so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: ‘messing- about- in- boats; messing-’ ‘Look ahead, Rat!’ cried the Mole suddenly. It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air. ‘-about in boats- or with boats,’ the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. ‘In or out of ‘em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not. Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?’ The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions. ‘What a day I’m having!’ he said. ‘Let us start at once!’ ‘Hold hard a minute, then!’ said the Rat. He looped the painter through a ring in his landing-stage, climbed up into his hole above, and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat, wicker luncheon-basket. ‘Shove that under your feet,’ he observed to the Mole, as he passed it down into the boat. Then he untied the painter and took the sculls again. ‘What’s inside it?’ asked the Mole, wriggling with curiosity. ‘There’s cold chicken inside it,’ replied the Rat briefly; ‘coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrolls resssandwichespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater-’ ‘O stop, stop,’ cried the Mole in ecstacies: ‘This is too much!’ ‘Do you really think so?’ enquired the Rat seriously. ‘It’s only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I’m a mean beast and cut it very fine!’ The Mole never heard a word he was saying. Absorbed in the new life he was entering upon, intoxicated with the sparkle, the ripple, the scents and the sounds and the sunlight, he trailed a paw in the water and dreamed long waking dreams.”




Homameade ice cream very Meryl! part 3

Hi everyone! So today is part 3 from my ice cream experiment and I will tell you how it turned out! Well, it was verrry nice!!!!! SOOOO lavender tasty that it was nearly unbelievable, really! 

It was smooth yet icy, creamy but deliciously cool and it had this out of this world flavour of freshly picked lavender flowers, it was like having an infusion of lavender essential oil, incredible! But one warning 🙂 while you could eat as much as you wish of a basic flavoured ice cream, such as chocolate or vanilla, this one you cannot! It is so strange a flavour, I believe it would work best served after a meal to refresh the palate. So just one or two scoops of this delicate, flowery, vintage, old fashioned dessert! So weird 🙂 But it is so nice and good you must try it! Maybe at the end of a romantic dinner, or it would be great at the end of a summery, hot evening or at a july party, you will amaze your guests!!!

gelatino1So, if you are in an ice cream mood and wanna try something verrry different, go and make this recipe, you’ll be happy, I assure! And you will definitely will feel very Nancy Meyers-esque while you will be stirring a gently boiling pan of rich, lushious, lavender perfumed cream in your lovely kitchen 🙂 Have a great evening and…




Adam: “This was so nice and relaxing and the lavender ice cream was actually the best dessert of any sort I’ve ever had like… in my life!

Jane: “Aw, thank you! I always make ice cream when I can’t sleep, so I’m glad someone was here to eat it!”



Homemade ice cream very Meryl – part two

Hi everyone! I did it, I DID IT!!! I made my very first LAVENDER HONEY ICE CREAM!!!! Inspired by Nancy Meyers’ movie It’s complicated, in the cute scene where Jane (Meryl Streep) and her ex husband Jake (Alec Baldwin)Its_complicated_ver2 are chatting together during a lovely bubble bath! And in the meantime he eats that particular ice cream! Yesterday I told you a bit about the movie and today I went and made it, and by the way, very first time that I prepare home made ice cream ever! [click here to read it]

I love gardening and I was so luckhat lavy to be able to use my very own lavender from the garden. Which was filling the air around with an intoxicating perfume, soo good! I took ten, eleven ears. And I needed the cornflour starch and the honey, the rest I already had. So, the recipe!





lavender lush









– 2 teaspoons of cornflour starch16649-30346

– 4 egg yolks

– 6 tablespoons of honey

– lavender of course, a few sprigs (2 or 3 is already a LOT, believe me!)

– 2 cups of milk

– 2 cups of cream



Ok, it’s very funny to prepare this and it gives great satisfaction in the end, seeing the results. And it will be very easy!

the eggs









Begin by mixing in a bowl the cornflour starch, the 4 egg yolks and the honey. Set it aside.

lav lavender

Clean and rinse the lavender sprigs, wash it thoroughly under the running water and break the sprigs a little: this will help all the good, nice essential oils to come out and give off their wonderful and distinct perfume. Put the lavender in a dish, ready to use.

the milk

Now pour two cups of milk and put the milk in a pan.

the pan with the milk

Add the lavender and put it on the stove, stirring it kindly with a spoon.

milk and lavender together

The milk has to boil. It will take a bit, but you will be able to enjoy the milk vapours and the lavender oil rising from the pan and making you dream and wander far far away with lovely thoughts…

milk boiling with lavender

Then you will see it, the milk all of a sudden will boil.

cream on fire on stove

Take the pan away from the fire and with a sieve, pour the milk in the eggs-honey-starch mixture. In this way all the lavender sprigs and flowers will be discarded and your ice cream will be nice and smooth. If you want you can leave the flowers, eh, it’s up to you! 🙂

the boiling cream

Once you’ve mixed the two creams, get the pan back on the fire and wait for the boiling point again. Keep stirring it gently. It will create a soft, rich, smooth, shiny, gorgeous, yellow, vanill-y cream that will make you swoon!

final cream the perfect cream








Now turn off the stove and pour the cream in a cool bowl and leave it to cool completely.

wrapped up

Oh, yes, you must wrap it up with some baking paper, so that the essential oil perfume will remain there and get infused and soak the cream and make it all nice and lovely.

the cream poured

In the meantime take the cream, pour it into a mixing bowl and with your whisk, whip the whipping whipped cream!!! When it forms soft, firm, high peaks, fold it into the creamy mixture!

all bowls

Now put the whole thing in the refrigerator!

into the freezer

Your ice cream is DONE!!!! Now all you have to do is stay home for the rest of the day watching movies, ’cause the ice cream needs to be stirred every two hours. In this way the ice crystals forming into it will be broken up and mixed well in the ice cream! I am now at this very moment and who knows how the ice cream will turn out?? 🙂

So this is the recipe and though I have not tasted the finished ice cream yet, I assure you it looked AMAZIIING!!!! So let’s wait together and I will tell you as soon as it is ready to be served! Oh, yes, it will take a few hours to be ready! One thing: while preparing the ice cream one thought occurred to me, movie-wise… Jane is preparing the ice cream when she cannot sleep, but there are the girls sleeping at home. And every thing ok, it is a very relaxing and enjoying recipe and procedure, until you get to the whipping cream part and it was like RRRRAEAEEWGGAGAHHZZZZZ!!!! So, I smiled thinking about Gabby (Zoe Kazan) and Lauren (Caitlin Fitzgerald) waked up in the middle of the night by the mixer roaring and buzzing like hell in the kitchen!!

eggs and lavender



I hope you will try this recipe and… see you soon for another movie post! Have a lovely day! And…

Jake: And what’s with the “big guy”? Is it because I’m fat?

Jane: …!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


Homemade ice cream very Meryl!

Hi everyone! It is full summer here in Italy now and we are all totally bursting out in flames. You can just spend Its_complicated_ver2all day splashing your face and arms with cold water or taking a hundred showers ALL day long! And try to make your home as fresh and cool as possible, creating a little haven of quiet and comforting peace. Out there let the sun burn, into your house, let it go Elsa style! And to chill out a bit, today I prepared myself a pitcher of iced tea, kicked off my sandals and chose… well, one of my top favorite movies! Nancy Meyers’ It’s complicated!!! There is something instantly soothing about every single Nancy Meyers’ movie, don’t you think? 🙂 It’s like entering a world of – well, they funnily call it houses porn (!!!), that’s to say, every movie has such gorgeous, unbelievable settings and houses that you just could die watching those movies! And then the stories are always light, funny, filled with romance, nice feelings and great comedy. And all her actors and actresses are … just … classic! Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep … !! You just can’t go wrong if you chose a Nancy Meyers movie for a quiet evening!


And today I was particularly in a It’s complicated mood! Because it is summery, it is California style, and Meryl Streep is the adorable owner of an AMAZIIING patisserie and a fabulous cook! She has been divorced from her husband (a simply irresistible Alec Baldwin) for ten years and now, with her three kids all grown up and her shop all under way, she finds herself in a new relationship with… her husband!!! So cute and fun, you have to see it!


And in one particular scene, they are together in their old, beautiful house, during the night. Jane (Meryl Streep) is taking a relaxing bubble bath, while Jake (Baldwin) is just sitting on the floor and they chat and laugh and think about good ol’ times. And since she is such a great cook, her hous is always filled with mouth watering food and delicious things. And during this romantic scene, Jake is having a cup of delectable lavender honey home made ice cream! Yes, exactly!! Oh my god! When she cannot sleep at night she usually prepares this creamy, wonderful ice cream…

And so, ok, go! Book shelf, Hermes House cookbook, ice creams section, and check: lavender honey ice cream!

arancia zabaioneI have to do it, it looks just so lushious and dainty, so old fashioned, so Victorian style afternoon tea – like, that I must prepare it! AND I am going to use the lavender from my garden, oh yes, like a boss, beautiful! And all the other ingredients, I’ll have to buy them tomorrow! Besides, I’ve always wanted to make ice cream and this is the perfect recipe to start, so special!gelati bonetti

So the recipe will have to wait, in the meantime I went to a beautiful shopping center where, besides great fashion outlets, there are cute little ice cream and crepes shops and since it was so incredibly HOT, I got into this nice, shiny ice cream shop that had the most inviting ice cream flavours, yum! I chose la spécialité de la maison, that’s to say, Bonetti Cream, a rich, vanilla cream filled with chunks of biscuits and dark chocolate chips… Uuuuh!!! Very good, Bonetti ice cream shop, veeery good, well done!!! 🙂 I will definitely go back there and have some MORE ice cream, mh mh! gelatoso

And so, waiting for the ingredients, I bid you good night and I will be back tomorrow with part two [click here to read it] and … the RECIPE and the photographsss!!! Have a lovely evening! And…











Jake: What ice cream is this?

Jane: Lavender honey…

Jake: Not sleeping again, huh?



Magic wands à la Harry Potter

Hi everyone! Today a very magic post! Oh, yes, inspired by the J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter‘s magic world, Iharry_potter_and_the_sorcerers_stone_poster5 found the cutest tutorial to create your own magic wand! Brilliant! I have to say that after discovering this video, I found out an astonishing amount of sites and other tutorials on how to create wands… I felt like the last to know this nice idea, however, you always discover something new, huh?

When little Harry first gets to Diagon Alley to get his first year school stuff, he needs a magic wand and what better wand shop to visit than Olivander’s?? Don’t you just LOVE that shop? The long and dusty boxes for the wands, the atmosphere you breathe in that place, the magic pouring from within in that old, mysterious, charming place… and mister Olivander himself! A decent, polite yet witty wizard, a man who has seen a lot… a wise wizard who knows better… You are in good hands if you turn to Olivander for magic advice! f6fb22048e3a308031974df88d82c9c2

Yesterday I read a bit about magic wands and it seems that there even is a calendar that connects a wizard or a witch’s birth to a certain, right kind of tree. You need a wand made with the right kind of tree wood. Say perhaps that you’re born in July, well then, you need an oak wood or a holly wand! That’s nice, heh? This is the Celtic calendar of the wands’ trees!hpatss012

Birch December 24 to January 20
Rowan January 21 to February 17
Ash February 18 to March 17
Alder March 18 to April 14
Willow April 15 to May 12
Hawthorn May 13 to June 9
Oak June 10 to July 7
Holly July 8 to August 4
Hazel August 5 to September 1
Vine September 2 to September 29
Ivy September 30 to October 27
Reed October 28 to November 24
Elder November 25 to December 22

Merchandise product shoot for internet online store Harry Potter HP merchandise on white seamless

… and incredibly, the wood I used to create the three magic wands I did was picked from a hazel tree, and my birthday is in august… magic stuff!








Now, the procedure is very simple and funny too, very easy and entertaining to do. All you will need is:

1) old brushes, the wooden part, or chopsticks, or simple little sticks or branches collected from your garden or a forest! Maybe a magic forest would be ideal…

2) hot glue

3) some sand paper

4) a little knife or scissors or gardening scissors

5) acrylic paint

6) decorations such as little beads, pearls, pieces of minerals, ecc, everything you love


And so, take your branch or chopstick or brush, if it is a branch, as I used, use the scissors to cut off any rough part and use the sand paper to make it nice and smooth.

hot glue

Make it long 30 cm approximately. Now take the hot glue gun and decorate very carefully the part you’ll use as the handle.

glue white wand

Follow your imagination, do what inspires you! I looked up online the Hogwarts’ magic wands and tried to recreate that lovely, magical style.

glue wands clearAdd on the lukewarm glue (be very careful when it’s too hot at the beginning!) the beads, the pearls … I used two pearls and I was sooo pleased with the final look of that particular wand!

pearls wand

Oh, and very important, keep twisting slowly the wand so that the glue doesn’t dry in odd shapes falling down. Then let the wands dry completely and get cold. When they are completely dry, you can proceed by painting them! And now they’re done! Very good!

wands three


Now you are ready to play, make spells and charms, cosplay or just goof around! Your magic wands are ready! Believe me, they feel very real and VERY magic when you will see the finished product!!! You’ll be happy! I was! So goodbye and…





Ok, go and try all the spells you know!!!!!! You’re a wizard now! 🙂


A thing of Beauty is a joy forever

Hi everyone, yesterday I watched Bright stara stunning movie, an incredible work from bright_suk1sheet_ref1031the too-great-to-be-real New Zealander director Jane Campion. The movie tells the tale of the delicate yet passionate and softly spoken love between the poet John Keats and miss Fanny Brawne.

English Romantic poet, mister Keats dedicated his short life and his vibrant work to a continue and most serious research of the perfection: a perfection obtained by the unique use of words, of a liquid and flawless, flowing use of the english language, getting his inspiration from the medieval myth and the legends of the ancyent Greece. Keats admired the value and the appalling emotions deriving from Beauty, from the concept of Beauty, from loving and letting himself being absorbed by Beauty in things and in Nature.

After his beloved brother death, in 1818, John Keats travelled to London and stayed at his good friend Charles Brown’s house. There he met miss Fanny Brawne, guest as well in Brown’s home with her family. At this very moment begins the movie Bright star, and we are taken by the hand and their love is shown to us. With such a delicacy, a fairy like touch, as if the story is pulled on by invisible silk threads.


John Keats is played in the movie by a hypnotical and incredibly charming Ben Wishaw. An actor with such a unique way of acting, that I believe it is the perfect John Keats… You never really can tell what he is thinking and that just enhances the developing and the telling of the romance… In the same way, miss Brawne is played by Abbie Cornish, as well such a misterious actress to me that she is the most right match to Ben Wishaw. Their voices… They…

Snubbed ... Abbie Cornish, who plays Fanny Brawne in Bright Star.

Well, I must begin at the beginning. This movie is just intoxicating.

6271406541_38d36e7f62_oIt is a … light wing… a flash of pink flowers… It has … the most… exquisite music… It develops itself like the flight of a butterfly. The screenplay is perfection. To me, it’s as if this whole movie is a poem. You lose yourself watching it, you get lost into a beautiful, soothing mist of images, voices reading poems, nature sounds, birds singing… flowers, meadows of blue flowers… And you begin to029_bs_01239-abbie-cornish-as-fanny-brawne-in-bright-star4 understand that it is not a movie you’re watching, no, it is a delicate dream, the edge of a ribbon… the… oh, yes… the ribbons, the sewing, the fabrics… Fanny creates and designs clothes. But not ordinary clothing, oh no, they are “charming”, lovely, pleated masterpieces of an utter elegance and avantguarde for their times and she is lulled by her greatness with the sewing. It is her power, it is her nature and it is used as a first way of getting to know poet Keats: talking about the art, the beauty of what she creates. Everything is told to you with such politeness and amiable words, that you are instantly transported into this world. This magical world of love, poetry and tailoring. And then his art, the poetry, and her art, the tailoring, get infused together and create something magical. The days pass, while the two lovers talk about poems, life, love, happiness, summer… And you wish you could live in that world, as light as a flower petal…

images (1)

And the music… ooh, that music, you have to listen to the soundtrack of this movie, which by the way is also enriched with Ben and Abbie reading poems… oh, so beautiful, so decadent…
After watching the movie I just took a few photographs of little details as though I was seeing them through Fanny’s eyes… Embroidery details… Beautiful fabrics… White lace, trimmings… Fanny is depicted as a fierce young lady who struggles to find something else in her life, like many of the most beloved female characters in books and movies. She yearns for something more and I believe that by sewing she is kind of creating a world where she can hide herself and be alone and content, thinking, planning, dreaming. And so does John Keats with his poetry. It’s their own way of escaping the world. But when they meet, the world opens up and embraces them and they walk through flowery fields and lay in the sun together, finally finding their true natures and happiness…


The highest moment in Keats’ poetry can be found in Ode to a nightingale, where the poet wants to recreate a somehow stupefying work of art, a reading that would lull away his beloved in some kind of daze, of amazement and astonishment for the surrounding Beauty.


by John Keatsrim1

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
         My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
         One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
         But being too happy in thine happiness,—
                That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
                        In some melodious plot
         Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
                Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
         Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
         Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,bow1
         Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
                With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
                        And purple-stained mouth;
         That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
                And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
         What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
         Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
         Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
                Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
                        And leaden-eyed despairs,
         Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
                Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
         Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
         Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
         And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
                Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;stitch1
                        But here there is no light,
         Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
                Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
         Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
         Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
         White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
                Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
                        And mid-May’s eldest child,
         The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
                The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
         I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
         To take into the air my quiet breath;
                Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
         To cease upon the midnight with no pain,pleated1
                While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
                        In such an ecstasy!
         Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
                   To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
         No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
         In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
         Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
                She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
                        The same that oft-times hath
         Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
                Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.white cotton rose1
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
         To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
         As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
         Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
                Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
                        In the next valley-glades:
         Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
                Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?
I have loved this movie so much, I recommend it to all of you who are looking for a moment of escape from our world and sinking into a misty world of fairies and white cotton gowns, poems and Beauty… above all Beauty… and…

Fanny Brawne: “I still don’t know how to work out a poem.”

John Keats: “A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out, it is a experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept the mystery.”

Fanny Brawne: “I love mystery…”


Thoughts on cookbooks

downloadHi everyone, today I was wondering about a thing that happened a few days ago and again today: after the cronuts recipe that I hope you have read about ;), I wanted to try the croissants and then, today, the donuts recipe. Well, I must say that I was a bit taken aback when I used the recipe on the back of the donut cutter that I just had bought.  This because it suggested to use the wrong amount of flour, the wrong amount of sugar…!!! And so did the recipe for the croissants, auuuughh!!! I was there, all happy and cook-like feeling, and then I found myself with this sticky, gluey dough and… wawugh, so frustrating! I grabbed the flour and go go go! Doubled the amount and for the sugar too, then I was able to knead the batter, which had become this soft, deliciously bread&butter smelling, adorable ball of dough. This is how they turned out, I was sooo glad and had a hot, sugar glaze coated donut right away, yesss!!

But then I started to think about the wrong recipes and the next step was Nora Ephron’s Julie&Julia movie. Have you ever seen it? Based on the book by Julie Powell, it tells the parallel culinary story of worldwide famous cook Julia Child and this brave girl who decides to cook All the recipes contained in Child’s great cookbook Mastering the art of french cooking in one year. It is a splendid comedy, so well written and directed that watching it feels like going on vacation… a french, delightful vacation. The movie has it all, the luscious food, the parisian heart breakingly beautiful sets, sweet Amy Adams and a majestic Meryl Streep, obviously playing Julia Child.

simone-beck-actressIn the movie, she gets together with two other female cooks in Paris,  and the three of them decide to write a book to teach to the american the art of cooking the mouth watering french cuisine. Of course writing the book will take so much efforts and time and moments of despair. But one in particular impressed me and it was the moment I was thinking about with my flour and sugar accident today.


Julia and her cooking partners went to see Irma Rombauer, the famous american cookbook author, best knownfor The joy of cooking book. In the movie she is played by a perfect Frances Sternhager! During their meeting in this nice livingroom, Julia is discussing the book, trying to get some good hints and ispirations for the publishing by mrs Rombauer. Julia talks about the time that it is taking to experiment all the recipes first…

Yes. Julia Child experimented every single recipe she wrote in her book!

…and asks Rombauer how much did it take to her to do this, while writing The joy of cooking.

Well, says Rombauer, none! I didn’t tried out ALL the recipes… Julia and her friends remain practically shocked by the fact.

ee811_the_joy_of_cooking_irma_rombauerThat is what I was thinking about. I was wondering if those who write nowadays cookbooks experiment first the recipes they are going to write. I mean, I hope they do, I like to think about cooks all around the world, or maybe cooking writers, who find themselves in a kitchen, with the ingredients on the table, while they are testing a well known dish, or maybe creating something brand new. How do they know what to do? Where did the first chef take his or her inspiration? Or ingredients amounts? This chef is standing there and … and creates, mixes,smooths, pours, cuts, kneads, and something amazing happens… Something that soothes you, comforts you and inspires you. And at the end of the process, also and most of all feeds you and makes you feel complete.

You remember what Richard Gere says in Autumn in New York: food is the only beautiful think that actually feeds and nurture you.

I like to think that Julia Child took the cooking so seriously and did fight against all the publishers and people who at first didn’t understand what she was trying to do with her book, or that wanted to restrict her efforts and did not give the proper credit and value to her great work. She wanted her book to be perfect, she wanted to create something good and true, real, useful, helpful and guaranteed by her time and hard work. An important, strong, let’s get to business cookbook!


Cookbooks… I love cookbooks, I am always looking for new ones to enrich my collection and I must say I especially love the Hermes House cook books! They are filled with great pictures, very original recipes and they are a delight to read! And above all they are sooo beautiful to look at, they have wonderful photographs and are so well written, with always an interesting history introduction about the cuisine they are talking about. And then they are very block-like shaped, with nice, smooth paper covers, it is a pleasure to read them and go through the pages! Sometimes I just take one from the bookshelf and go through the pages, admiring the lovely details of the photography, the bunches of lavender near the plates, the white cast iron egg tray, the cherries covered in scintillating dew pearls, the gorgeous indian dishes, the country style french cakes, the soft soups… It is like entering another world…


But I still do not have a copy of Mastering the art of french food. … Mmm… I always look it up on Amazon, and I never buy it. To me it feels like finally buying a rare piece of jewelry you’ve been wanting for a long time. I don’t know… Someday I’ll buy it, but I like to think about it as the Great Cook Book that in some way needs to be earned and waited for… It feels like something perfect and special, which contains foolproof recipes, filled with thought and scientific precision.

One day I will buy it and I will be finally able to read all those grand recipes. For now, I will try to make more experiences with all kinds of books and recipes, even the one I’ll find on the back of new bought dough cutters…! And…

Julia: “Bon appetit!”

Julie: “Booon… appetit!!!”


Cronuts craze & Two broke girls

Hi everyone! This is the very first post ever on my new site, so exciting! Well, let’s begin! I like tv series very much, atwo broke girls posternd I am a Will&Grace, Sex&the city, Big Bang theory kinda girl. I also like to prepare cupcakes and some time ago a friend of mine told me if I’ve ever seen 2 Broke Girls, cause one of the two main characters bakes gorgeous cupcakes. No, I’ve never, but then my dad (the Emperor of tv series!) bought in Austria the first series dvd box and after months (I was very reluctant, I really can’t say why), I watched it. Oh. God. I ….LLOVED IT!!!!! I immediately bought online the second series dvd box and suffered until I could order the third one, which was at the time unavailable!!

I just can’t get enough of this show, it is fresh, modern, unbelievably funny and I love the two girls, but also ALL the other characters, it can’t fail to make me burst out with laughter! The show is created by Michael Patrick King&Whitney Cummings and for the sex&the city addicts it is veeery clear where all the spunk and cleverness of the series is coming, very bright and edgy! The story is about cynical but good hearted waitress Max Black, who works in a rough but funny Williamsburg diner, and Caroline Channing, Manhattan princess who finds herself without money because her multimillionaire dad goes to prison for economical fraud. Caroline gets hired at the diner but while Max is very tough and life-expert, she can’t handle hard work. Max will take her under her wing and under her roof and the two girls will start to complete one another, Max will teach Caroline how to go through life and Caroline, thanks to her education and enterprenurial drive will convince Max, who is a grrreat cupcake baker, to open a cupcake shop together and aim for the stars!

I simply love both of them, exactly because they have all of it: Max is strong, funny, sarcastic and witty, Caroline has the New York fashionista mind, knows all about art, foreign languages, culture, is very refined and cute and so they kinda create the perfect girl being together. And yes, I have started looking for Caroline necklace in bijoux stores and I can say that I’ve found one, and when I am in a 2 Broke Girls mood I can put it on and feel very inspired! And yes, I’ve started baking a lotta more cupcakes, eheh, while thinking about Max’s hilarious quotes.

But then, in an episode, it was more than the cupcakes, a lightning bolt! In the third series, in episode 5, the new trend in town is… CRONUTS!

What? Cronuts? Yes, cronuts! The ultimate, delicious novelty in New York, the amazing combination of croissant & donuts is the cronut!

And so I started looking up online and there were all this mouth watering pictures of crunchy, soft, golden sugared and glazed pastries and I said to myself: “Do it!” And so if you wanna try the grrreat cronuts here it goes, the delicious recipe!

The ingredients are:spoon

1 packet of dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup warm water (I always use the same mug for all recipes and it works!)

4  tablespoons white sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg


30 ounces all-purpose flour, more as needed

7 ounces unsalted butter (work it in a bowl before, until creamy and smooth, ready to spread)


First you put the yeast in a large bowl and add the water, then let it sit for five minutes. It will start to create a delicate paste. Then add all the other ingredients, the flour at the end, but Do Not add the soft unsalted butter. Mix all well and then knead the dough on a board, using some flour to smooth it and make it less sticky and more kneadable. Then form a ball and wrap it in plastic film, then refrigerate it for twenty minutes.


Then, take it out of the fridge and carefully roll it with a pin. You wanna form a rectangle


Then you will spread half of the soft butter in the middle of the rectangle, as if it was divided in three parts. Then fold it and put the second half of the butter on the part on top. Then cover with the other part of dough.


Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then roll it out into a new rectangle and fold it in three, as before. Refrigerate for 40 minutes. Roll it out again, you are doing a croissant kinda dough, which was pretty amazing, I felt like Meryl Streep in “It’s complicated”!, and and fold it and refrigerate for three hours! You may watch eleven episodes of 2 Broke Girls for inspiration to help time pass…!

mug cut

Now take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out and cut it with round pastry cutters in donuts shapes. Let them rest in a warm place under a towel for 30 minutes and then, people… HOOOT vegetable oil and then FRY those gorgeous cronuts!


You made them! Very good! Fry the pastries two minutes circa for side, then put them on kitchen paper to drain and then, well, the sky is your limit! Glaze them, sprinkle some sugar, chocolate drizzles, eat them with custard, lemon cream, jam, whatever rocks your boat!


I baked these cronuts today for the first time ever and I was so happy, I felt so satisfied and they turned out delicious! So, I’ll see you soon, dear readers, with more films&tv inspired thoughts and ideas! Thanks for reading my first post, have a  lovely day and…

Max: “What’s a cronut?”

Caroline: “A half croissant – half donut!”

Max: “They sound stupid! … Stupid DELICIOUS!!!!