05 September 2009

Well good morning!

A friend spotted this and passed it on to me today-(thank you M) and I just had to share it with you all. Talk about athletic! Am loving it this morning, after a strong cup of coffee and with the kids at their grandparents I feel almost like tap dancing around the place myself. Had to share!
Hope you are all out having a good weekend!
By the way, fancy feet and myself are at last signed up to start tango lessons! Just hope I don't get the giggles, tango seems like some serious business.

03 September 2009

For the kids

Sometimes you just need five minutes, to jump in the shower, run and grab the laundry off the line, finish the breakfast dishes or make a quick phone call. Am including (because I strangely enjoy making lists) a list of some of my kid's favourite youtube videos, most are 3-5 min long.
I admit I am a bad mother and have used them as bribes, such as "if you two can stop bickering and get your shoes, hats and coats on by the count of ten, you can watch the robot song".
Boy does it work! Better then sweets and I admittedly enjoy hearing them humming the songs throughout the day.
*I have listed the videos as the kids refer to them.

02 September 2009


While stopping by my husband's grandmothers old house last week (when I say old I mean more than 400 years, it has closed up stairways connecting to the catacombs under the city leading to the church), a labyrinth of a house, complete with an inner courtyard, an old well and countless rooms. My other half was away so I was asked in his place to stop by and pick out anything I wanted from one of the old upper rooms soon to be renovated, there was not much left in this particular room but two old arm chests (meant for someone else) and some random pieces of furniture (mostly spoken for already). Just before saying good by and thank you I spotted an odd shaped black case in the corner of the room, my husband's aunt had no idea what it was, so we gingerly took it out and carefully unzipped the case to discover a mandolin in perfect condition. She had no idea where it had come from or how long it had been sitting there, neither did any of her brothers or sisters (all seven), she had never seen her father or anyone else in her family ever play such a thing. She has decided to keep the mandolin and hang it on the wall somewhere but I am still puzzled by it, for it seems unlike the Italian Mandolins I have seen and the carved work is so intricate, many little inlayed triangles of mother of pearl, looks far more like something from north Africa.
I did read Captain Corelli's Mandolin many years ago and loved it (never saw the film), but ever since moving here it has drifted in and out of my mind for it's descriptions of the light on the Greek island remind me of what it is like here, and the band clubs where the old men gather, and the dry rocky earth with sparse olive trees....so many small details envoke a similar feel to this island. So this mandolin has for the time being captured my interest. Certain there must be quite a story behind it, one we will probably never know. At the least though I would like to know which country it came from. There is nothing written on it.

30 August 2009

oh new books!

Kid related tid bit, my other half brought this home for our airplane enthusiast (we so enjoyed his other book, both pictured). Really beautiful illustrations and both have very sweet stories. Ahem someone went to Scotland and someone stayed home. Sometimes your the sail sometimes your the anchor I suppose.

In any case I just had to share...

Monsoon Rains?!

Fig and Ricotta Tart

What a delight to have a bit of rain on Saturday, thunder and lightening to boot! Summer storms are something I miss from my midwestern roots, England at least did provide a good dose of summer rain. The rain brought a smile to my face and a wave of nostalgia, actually more for our quiet days in Winchester when a short stroll through the tiny lanes, past the river, to the Bridge cafe was the perfect morning outing (especially with two toddlers and a new born) complete with fresh croissants. For some reason it is near to impossible to get a croissant here in Malta (at least in Zabbar). There is a wonderful cafe- newly reopened (will have to take a photo) in Valletta, a cafe near the old library called Cafe Premier which does thank god have good fresh croissants. Next post perhaps I will have to highlight some of my favourite cafes here. So yes a bit of rain over the weekend was lovely, the heat however did not subside much, and the humidity seemed only to increase. Back to the beach with the lot of us on Sunday.
I did find some last figs at the local vegetable stall and made this, which turned out suprisingly well! Shame I did not think to do it earlier in the season. Next year I guess.

I am terribly embarrassed about this picture, I am totally rubbish at taking good food pictures, and the grilled figs are a hard thing to capture but I feel compelled to add some kind of visual to the recipe.

Fig and Ricotta Tart
Crust - (makes enough for two)
6 ounces butter or about 3/4 cup (you can use half butter half margarine)
125 grams self raising flour (about a cup)
125 grams plain flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100 grams almonds
1 egg

250 ricotta
2 eggs
1 1/2 Tbs semolina
5 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix Flours, almonds, salt and baking powder together.
Mix in with your fingers the butter till the consistency of cornmeal or wet sand.
Beat one egg with a fork, add in a tablespoon of cold water
Pour egg mixture in and briefly mix together the dough.
Place the dough in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling out.
Blind bake the crust at 180 C for 10 min.

Take out and let cool
Meanwhile mix together the filling and once the crust is cooled off to room temperature pour in the filling and bake for 30 min or till the edges are golden brown at 180 C.
take out and place the quartered figs on the top, brush lightly with heated currant jam and grill for 10 min.

Let cool, tastes best when eaten cold.

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