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White peach and lavender tart

There are many things that make me happy.

An evening spent in a cinema to watch a Hollywood movie, one of those you have been waiting for months and that gives you the shivers right from the opening credits, with a bag of caramel popcorn, your glasses to see clearly from the distance  and not miss a shot, your best friend in the chair beside you and two hours to spend in the dark, comments in a low voice and giggles included.

A windy day with turquoise sky and white clouds running high, the trees talking to each other in an ancient language, the branches caressing each others and intertwining. All your heavy thoughts are swept away by the wind and the air becomes lighter.

An unexpected free afternoon at home, four gifted hours, a to-do list that gets thinner and thinner, the time to put in order a shelf or the lazy books that lie on the bedside table, to make a long-waited phone call or simply to pet Kira, now old but even sweeter, with her soulful and grateful eyes.

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Lemon & White chocolate cake

It’s tea-time, a few minutes of quiet in the mid-afternoon since I can remember, a break from my homework to be spent with mum, grandma and Claudia. Often an elbow was leaning on my books, the Greek translation or the marketing manual, while the other was struggling to have space on a colourful place-mat between a cup of tea and some biscuits. Those minutes have always been precious, to spend some time together and talk and comment on our day so far. But the tea-time has a meaningful sense even when I’m alone, just my cup of tea and me, following the drawings of the sun on the kitchen floor, to clear up my mind and recharge myself with new energy, dreaming about what would have happened if…

…what would have happened if she had pursued her dream and had turned the tea-time, the moment that she preferred in the day, into her life, to live a never ending tea-time, to stop the clock at that moment when the kettle whistles, your eyes go through the many teas on the shelf to find a suitable flavour for your mood and the cake looks inviting on the table.

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Dobos Torte, the 127-year-old Hungarian dessert

Dobos Torte

It was August 2006. We went there for the European Swimming Championships, to follow the steps of the Empress Sissi, to visit the spas, the Imperial palace and the zoo. We returned from Budapest totally in love, drunk with so many gold medals and fascinated by the Hungarian cuisine.

There are many moments carved in my heart from that holiday: beautiful gardens, elegant spas with affordable prices, friendly people, a well-organized subway with the longest and steepest escalator I’ve ever seen, the most hot fresh paprika salad (Laura still cries thinking back at that salad!), colorful markets overflowing with products, where we are also able to explain us with signs and buy three whistles to cheer at the competitions, breathtaking night views of the Danube.

Beside this, we lived the most exciting sport experience ever (obviously as spectators): gold medals won scream after scream, encouragement after encouragement, painted faces and posters designed with markers on the hostel floor. The stands were shaking beneath our jumps when we were singing out national anthem with tears in our eyes. We were suffering from supporter’s fever, and we did our best not to recover from it!

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