Gazpacho (vegan)

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Hey pixels!! Do you still have a hot weather where do you live? Or it’s starting to chill? Here it’s too warm… and this temperatures will be there for at least one month more… So it’s time to eat cold soups. Like this one; I’ve had it as my lunch today. Full of vitamins and ready in 10′. Perfect!!

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This is a traditional Spanish recipe. I think it’s known all over the world, but this has been the first time I’ve made it at home instead of eating the store bought version. I should say it’s been delicious, so next time it’s going to be home made, too.

I’ve used bread as a topping, but you can use more veggies instead. Actually you can use the topping you prefer. No one is going to judge you. It’s up to you. This is how I like it, so enjoy my  recipe, my lovely and happy pixels.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tomatos
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1 bread slice
  • water, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, salt
  • decoration: toasted and cubed bread

Directions:

Remove bread crust and soak it in a bit of water.

Chop tomatos, cucumber, onion and pepper. Add garlic and bread. Blend.

Add 1/2 cup water, oil, vinegar and salt; blend again. Strain and serve.

Do you eat cold soups on Summer? What’s your favourite recipe? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Ingredientes:

  • 5 tomates
  • 1 pepino pequeño
  • 1/2 pimiento verde
  • 1 cebolleta
  • 1/2 diente de ajo
  • 1 rebanada de pan de molde
  • agua
  • aceite de oliva
  • 1/2 cucharadita de vinagre
  • sal
  • guarnición: pan tostado cortado en cubos

Instrucciones:

Retira la corteza de la rebanada de pan y ponla a remojar en un poco de agua.

Pica los tomates, el pepino, la cebolleta y el pimiento y colócalos en el vaso americano. Añade el diente de ajo y la rebanada de pan y tritura.

Añade 1/2 vaso de agua, aceite, vinagre y sal al gusto y tritura nuevamente. Cuela la mezcla y sirve.

 ¿Coméis sopas frías en verano, mis felices pixels? ¿Cuál es vuestra receta favorita? ¿Nos dejáis un comentario?

 

Figat (fig jam) / Mermelada de higos

Hey pixels!! It’s Monday again. Can you believe it? I know Monday is a sad day. That’s why I want to make it happier for you, my sweet pixels. Trust me, it’s going to be very sweet if you make this jam recipe.

This is a fig recipe; we make it here, in Menorca. Directions are similar to other jam recipes I’ve read before. So, if you know how to make jam, this will be easy for you.

 

I supose there are similar recipes in other parts of the world, but this is our local one. We eat this jam with bread and some cheese. Even we make ice cream using this jam. Yes: figat ice cream is real… I don’t have the recipe yet, but if one day you come to Menorca you can try it here…

It’s also good as a pie or cookies filling.

Eat it the way you prefer, my happy pixels. And now, the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2000g figs (peeled and cubed)
  • 450g sugar
  • orange zest

Directions:

Weight your ingredients. The figs without their skin should weight exactly 2000g. (Actually the recipe calls for 500g sugar for every 1000g figs, but I think is too sugar, so I’ve reduced the amount). Pour figs and sugar in a big saucepan.

Cook on low heat, stirring constantly. It burns easily. It also helps making the jam. When it has thickened a bit, add orange zest; keep cooking.

You’ll know it’s ready when all the liquid is absorbed and the jam has a nice brown colour.

Keep in mason jars. If you want to keep your jam for a long time, you can seal your jars using a double boiler. Boil them for 20′.

Do you make your own jams at home, my happy pixels? Or do you buy them? Are you going to try this one? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Ingredientes:

  • 2000g de higos, pelados y cortados a trozos
  • 450g de azúcar
  • piel de naranja rallada finamente

Instrucciones:

Pesa tus ingredientes. Los higos deberían pesar 2000g sin la piel. (La receta dice 500g de azúcar por cada quilo de higos, pero me ha parecido una cantidad excesiva y la he reducido). Pon higos y azúcar en una olla grande.

Cuece a fuego bajo, removiendo constantemente. Esto evitará que se queme, a la vez que ayuda al proceso de rotura de los higos y formación de la mermelada. Cuando haya espesado un poco, añade la ralladura de naranja; sigue cociendo.

Sabréis que está hecha cuando todo el líquido se haya absorbido y presente un bonito color marrón.

Guardar en tarros de cristal. Si vais a conservarla mucho tiempo, os recomiendo que selléis los tarros hirviéndolos al baño Maria durante 20′.

¿Hacéis vuestras propias mermeladas en casa o las compráis hechas, mis felices pixels? ¿Vais a hacer esta? Podéis dejar un comentario.

Guest post: Benefits of travelling.

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Hey happy pixels!! I must tell you I was really happy when my friend Shivali and I accorded this guest post. For the first time writing at her blog, I’ve chosen one of my favorite topics: travelling.

Travelling has been always one of my favorite activities. When I have enough time and money, I go to somewhere to spent a few days away from home and from my daily routine.

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I’m sure if I don’t travel enough now, someday, when I’ll be old, I’ll regret about it. I think travelling it’s the best way (or at least, one the bests) to spend your money and time. You visit a new place, learn new things, met new people, eat different foods…. The list of advantages is endless. And this is the subject of this post: the benefits that travelling has for you. Enjoy them, probably when you finish reading you’ll want to book a flight to somewhere…

  1. Travelling opens your mind.

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Meeting someone interesting on a train, or having a revelation about your life purpose while visiting a museum. All this is possible when you’re out of home. That’s because you open your mind to all the new experiences you’re having. It’s less probable when you’re at home, just because you tend to get stacked in your routine: home/work. Probably you’re paying less attention to your surroundings that when you’re in a brand, new place, and you want to catch all that little details just because they are new for you.

  1. It’s not only the destination.

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The travel itself starts when you decide to make it. Deciding where to go, planning what to do, buying the plane tickets, and of course, the journey to your final destination are part of the fun, too. Good things can happen everywhere: you can have the best experience of your travel when you’re still going there. You can’t know when a great experience will take place. So, don’t be afraid to change your plans or to improvise. Lose yourself in a nice town or visit a remote beach.

Even the journey back home is not as sad as could be. You are tired, but you have a lot of good experiences to share and think about.

  1. Meeting new people seems easier when you’re abroad.

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This is especially true if you travel alone. There is plenty of people travelling alone, so you can met one of them, start to talk and become best friends in just a few hours. You can make together some activities, and this way you won’t feel lonely. Just  if you want, having some time to spent on your own is ok, too. We all need time for ourselves, so if another person doesn’t want to talk to you, respect them, too.

  1. You learn tons of things in just a few days.

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From new food recipes to cultural facts about your destination. All is possible in an exciting, new environment. Remember you’ll find yourself surrounded by another language, another culture, different ways of living and thinking. You’ll discover another ways to live and enjoy.

Even if you’re in another region of your own country, you can learn about the local gastronomy or traditions. It’s impossible to go to somewhere where you can’t learn anything. There are things I still don’t know from the island where I live.

Don’t be afraid to ask to local people if you want to know more about their traditions or how to say something in their language. Probably they will be glad to see that you are interested and they will answer to your questions. If they don’t speak the same language as you, try to learn at least a pair of basic sentences to use daily. This is always nice.

  1. Your home looks better when you return.

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After a travel, you appreciate more what you have at home. Travelling makes you more patient, makes you feel more relaxed, increases your resources and gives you great memories. You’ll have all this with you, always. Even at home.

And, of course, after a while, you feel tired and there’s nothing like home to rest. Met your friends, family, explain your travel to them.  Look at your familiar environment in a new way. Discover things you have near but you’ve never seen before.

At least until your next adventure.

  1. Now you want to leave it again.

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Because you should be careful, my happy pixels. Travelling causes addiction. Once you have started, you don’t want to stop. Probably you’ll find yourself looking at maps, travel guides and ticket prices in just a few weeks after you’ve arrived. Or sooner…

But at the same time, it’s the best addiction you can have. I have a list with all the places I want to visit before I die. And I must say this list is growing, because I always discover new wonderful places where I want to go.

What do you think about travelling now, my happy pixels? Are you planning a trip now? Where do you want to travel next time? Please, let us know in the comments below.

Photos source: Unsplash

Author: the happiest pixel

Tempura

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Hey pixels!! Today I wanted to eat something new, different from what I cook every day. I’ve been thinking on trying to make tempura for a while, and today was the day!! I had all the ingredients at home, so no need to go to the supermarket…

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It has been easier than I thought it would be. Maybe the recipe I have is a simplification of the real Japanese recipe, but for me, it has been delicious. Easy to make. Healthy. Vegan. Gluten free. Perfect.

I’ve used the vegetables I had at home, but you can use any other ones. Make a lot, it will disappear. No one wanted to try mine, but in the end, everybody was eating it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour (or regular flour if you can eat gluten)
  • cold water (it has to be really cold, I freezed mine for 5′ before using it)
  • salt, vegetable oil for frying

Note: feel free to use the veggies you prefer.

Directions:

Chop your vegetables. Add a bit of salt to them.

Mix cornflour with a bit of cold water. It should be a bit thick. Use this batter to coat your veggies. Fry them in hot vegetable oil.

You can eat your tempura with a bit of soy sauce and a bowl of rice.

Do you make japanese food at home, my happy pixels? Do you like it? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Ingredientes:

  • 1 pimiento rojo
  • 1 calabacín
  • 4 cucharadas de harina de maíz (o de trigo si podéis comer gluten)
  • agua fría (meter un bol con agua en el congelador durante 5′)
  • sal, aceite vegetal para freír 

Nota: podéis usar las verduras que más os apetezcan.

Instrucciones:

Cortar las verduras en trozos no muy grandes. Añadir sal.

Mezclar la harina de maíz con el agua fría. Debería ser un poco espeso. Usar esta mezcla para rebozar las verduras. Freírlas en aceite vegetal bien caliente. Escurrir con un papel de cocina.

Podéis comer vuestra tempura con salsa de soja y un bol de arroz.

¿Preparáis comida japonesa en casa, mis felices pixels? ¿Os gusta? Podéis dejar un comentario.

DIY 34: fabric garland

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Hey pixels!! Yesterday we had a rainy Summer day, here in Menorca. So I spent part of the afternoon sewing this little garland. It was a funny project, and I think it’s really cute as a decoration. Perfect for that small corner of your living room, or for a dorm room at college. This is for you, college students!!! You’re welcome!!

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You can also use this to decorate a child’s room or to give a touch of happiness to this little, sad corner of your house. This garland is that versatile!! I hope you’ll enjoy it. You can make it, but it’s also available at my shop on Etsy.

fabric garland 1

You’ll need:

  • sewing machine
  • a triangle or rounded template (I draw and cut mine; it’s done in 3′)
  • different fabrics (I’ve used small pieces of fabric I had at home, but you’ll need enough for at least 2 templates of each one)
  • scissors
  • white or beige satin ribbon

 

Directions:

Using the template as a guide, cut out 2 pieces of each fabric you’re using.

Sew them together (inside out), leaving the top open.

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Carefully, turn them

Once you have all your triangles done, pin and sew them to the ribbon, leaving a few inches free on each side.

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Decorate!!

How are you going to decorate your dorm room, my happy pixels? Or how did you decorate yours? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Materiales:

  • máquina de coser
  • patrón triangular o más redondeado (yo dibujé y corté el mío en 3′)
  • telas diferentes (he usado retales que tenía en casa, pero se necesita al menos para 2 patrones de cada una)
  • tijeras
  • cinta blanca o beige de satén

Instrucciones:

Usando el patrón como guía, corta 2 piezas de cada tela que estés usando.

Cose las dos juntas, con la parte buena de la tela hacía dentro, dejando la parte superior abierta.

Con cuidado, dales la vuelta.

Una vez tengas hechas todas tus figuras, sujétalas con agujas a la cinta, dejando unos centímetros libres en cada extremo. Cose.

¡¡Decora!!

¿Cómo decoraréis vuestro cuarto de estudiante? ¿O cómo lo hicisteis en su momento? Podéis dejar un comentario. 

Tumbet (a vegan salad)

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Hey pixels!! This is the fourth week of recipes from my island!! A whole month since I started this section… I can’t believe it. And I still have more recipes to share with you, my happy pixels.

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I’ve learnt today’s recipe from my dad. He always cook this salad when we eat it at home. Not today: it was my turn to make it. All for you, my pixels.😉

It’s an easy recipe. You can make it the day before eating it, it will be ok if you keep in the fridge. Better in a closed container.

It’s perfect as a main dish for dinner, or as a starter for lunch. We usually eat it for lunch, but it’s up to you, my happy pixels. I hope you’ll enjoy it!!

Ingredients:

  • 3 potatos, peeled and cubed
  • 2 red peppers, cubed
  • 2 green peppers, cubed
  • 2 eggplants, cubed + another eggplant, sliced to decorate
  • salt, olive oil, 4 fresh laurel leaves

Directions:

Fry (in olive oil) all your veggies together (not the sliced eggplant). If your saucepan is too small, use two or fry them in two times. They should be cooking around 45-60′. Add laurel leaves, this would add a nice taste to your veggies.

Pour fried veggies in a big dish and allow them to cool. While, fry in the same oil the eggplant slices. Use them to decorate your dish.

Eat warm or cold.

Do you eat cold veggie salads at home? What’s your favourite salad recipe? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Ingredientes:

  • 3 patatas, peladas y cortadas en cubos
  • 2 berenjenas, en cubos + otra berenjena, laminada
  • 2 pimientos rojos, en cubos
  • 2 pimientos verdes, en cubos
  • sal, aceite de oliva, 4 hojas de laurel

Instrucciones:

Freir (en aceite de oliva) todas las verduras juntas (menos la berenjena laminada). Si vuestra paella es demasiado pequeña, podéis hacerlo en dos veces. Deberían estar cociendo alrededor de 45-60′. Añadir las hojas de laurel al cocer, esto añadirá un agradable sabor a las verduras.

Deposita las verduras cocidas en una fuente y déjalas enfriar. Mientras, en el mismo aceite, fríe las láminas de berenjena. Úsalas para decorar tu plato.

Come templado o frío. 

¿Coméis ensaladas frías de verduras en casa? ¿Cual es vuestra receta de ensalada favorita? Podéis dejar un comentario.

Leche merengada (a cold drink for Summer)

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Hey pixels!! Here is a cold and refreshing drink for those warm Summer afternoons. It’s made with milk and egg whites, so it’s more or less healthy, despite all that sugar…

I’m sure you’ll enjoy this recipe. It’s easier to make than it looks, and the result is wonderful. You can have it with cookies.

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Ingredients:

  • 1000ml whole milk
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon skin
  • 4 egg whites

Directions:

Pour the milk, 190g sugar, cinnamon stick and the lemon zest into a medium-sized sauce pan and heat on medium high. As soon as the milk begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, remove the cinnamon stick and strain the milk

Pour the egg whites and remaining sugar into a clean, dry glass bowl. Beat egg whites to as stiff peak.

 Pour the milk into a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, and carefully fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula until the mixture is homogenous.

 Cover the bowl, sealing it tightly. Place into the freezer for 2 1/2 hours. Remove from the freezer and mix on low speed with an electric mixer before serving.

Serve very cold in a glass with a long spoon or a straw.Top with powdered cinnamon if desired.

What do you drink on Summer? Do you have a special drink recipe? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Ingredientes:

  • 1 litro de leche.
  • 250 gr. de azúcar.
  • 1 rama de canela.
  • La piel de un limón 
  • 4 claras de huevo.

Instrucciones:

Calienta la leche, 190g de azúcar, la canela en rama y la piel del limón en una olla mediana. Cuando empiece a hervir, baja el fuego y deja que cueza 5′ más. 

Retira del fuego y cuela la leche. Déjala enfriar a temperatura ambiente.

Monta las claras a punto de nieve con el resto del azúcar.

Añade la leche al merengue, removiendo cuidadosamente mientras lo haces. Tapa el bol y ponlo en el congelador unas dos horas.

Al sacarlo, mezcla con las varillas eléctricas antes de servir. Espolvorea cada vaso con algo de canela en polvo, si quieres.

¿Que bebéis cuando hace mucho calor? ¿Tenéis alguna receta especial? Podéis dejarnos un comentario.