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Sweet and fruity couscous salad

I saw her. She was running after a lonely firefly, wandering in a field of wheat in the point of turning from green to golden-yellow. She was smelling the wet earth after a sudden thundery shower. She was lying on the white table, back in the garden from now till October. She was playing hide and seek in the silent hedgerows along my country road.

I saw her, Summer has arrived a month ahead of schedule! As soon as summer arrives, I give new birth to all the rituals I’ve kept dormant for many months in a drawer. At the first sunny days that drawer begins to quiver, my summer habits push to gain life and freedom, to stretch their legs and enjoy the season, as lazy lizards on a stone wall.

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Pavlova day

We met by chance, as it usually happens in the most beautiful friendships. We met on line, as it is happening often lately, thanks to a mutual passion. We met for the first time live in Florence, of course sitting at a table, being two foodbloggers greedy for food and life: we were surrounded by bowls of chickpeas purée, lampredotto and strawberry tiramisu, yet we could talk and dream about more food and recipes still to come. In our long list of things to do, food to try, places to see and books to read, at the very first place, before the hight tea at the Four Season Hotel and a trip to London, there was the pavlova.

Yes, because Emiko is half Australian. Once discovered this, I couldn’t help. I wanted to learn from the expert how to bake the real pavlova, the one you could easily eat in a Sydney family at Christmas! Emiko came on a spring Sunday morning with a box of coconut macaroons and a little black book with all their family secrets for the ultimate pavlova.

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Gluten free cupcakes with strawberry buttercream

Cupcakes senza glutine

Juls’ Kitchen is a democratic blog and, therefore, it complies with the majority.

Yesterday I gave my followers on Twitter and Facebook the chance to choose today’s recipe (by the way, if you are not, follow me on my pages. They are quick channels to receive updates and sneak peaks). Fresh pasta or cupcakes was the question. Fresh pasta held out to the end, but in the last minutes the cupcakes have marked the final victory, with a 54% of the votes. Then, cupcakes for everyone (but you, fresh pasta supporters, do not despair! There are two upcoming recipes for you!)

Those who chose cupcakes remarked that they wanted something colourful, fresh, suitable for early spring days. I made something special. The cakes are gluten free, strong, masculine, with the bitter aroma of cocoa powder and the strength of quinoa. They have a crumbly texture, dotted with oatmeal. The frosting is a feminine quirk, sugary and soft, a fruity buttercream.

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Experiment with agar agar: strawberry pudding

Indulge yourself. Sounds good, isn’t it? Round and soft. Pamper yourself, take care of yourself. It is not necessary to have had a bad day to take some time for yourself and find your own little corner of paradise into your daily routine, made up of things that have to be made, people that have to be met, tasks that have to be accomplished. In between all these “have to be”s, it would be important to get a few moments of pleasure, something done only because you want to do it, because it makes you feel good.

It is really easy: an example? a walk when the sun glows and spreads its golden and pink gleams. One of the moments of pleasure I prefer is to choose a side country street, not the faster road clogged with traffic, but that road, the one that crosses fields and woods, where I can slow down the speed, lower the car windows and breathe the smell of hedges and fields of flowers. Immersed in a relaxed atmosphere, I choose my favourite cd (guess what? ABBA), turn up the radio and begin to sing with the scented air that caresses me and covers my happy but out of tune notes of Mamma Mia or Dancing Queen. Suddenly I’m a movie star, and I can always choose the soundtrack and the happy ending of that movie!

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HHDD event: strawberry cheesecake pots

When I was young, at the question “what do you want to be”, I would have answered an architect, a police woman or a lawyer, but now if you ask me “What do you wanna be?” Ehrm, my answer will be: Donna Hay! Why? have you ever browsed through her magazine, DHM? Have you ever had a look at her website? Have you ever had the chance to read one of her books? Her style is unique, her recipes are easy to make, reliable and can make you happy with a few simple and fresh ingredients.

So, go figure my joy when I discovered that the HHDD event hay hay it’s donna day was back! The event is overseen by Denise at Chezus. Each month it will be hosted by the winner of the previous month event. I first stumbled about HHDD event at Eat.Live.Travel.Write, as Mardi is this month’s host.

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