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Hummus

Picture this: Tuesday night. It seems that the week started three years ago and you still have to suffer four meetings, two spinning classes and three rainy days until your weekend begins. What do you prepare for dinner? This hummus. It’s comforting, utterly delicious and so very easy to prepare. The perfect dinner if you are tired and in need of a flavourful push to continue with your week. Because is there anything better than a great dinner in the sofa watching your favourite TV show? Yes, great hair, but we talked about it on Monday.

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The best thing about hummus is that it’s packed with protein, since chickpeas are a fantastic protein source and, therefore, a basic ingredient for plant based diets. We do eat meat, but we have been trying to reduce our meat intake, so that’s another reason why we’ve been having this hummus for dinner a lot. The main reason being that it’s delicious, though.

There are thousands of hummus recipes, this is ours. It’s not very conservative, let’s say that we have adapted it to our taste. We don’t use tahini, for instance, because we don’t like its noticeable earthy flavour. Instead we use toasted sesame seeds, which also give the recipe a little bit of a crunch.

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Ingredients (serves 2):
30 g toasted sesame seeds
35 g extra virgin olive oil
60 g water
30 g lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled
250 g  canned chickpeas
1 g salt

Before serving: ground cumin, sweet paprika and extra virgin olive oil to taste
Pita bread

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Rinse the chickpeas in cold water. Then boil the chickpeas 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse them again afterwards and rub them, so that the skin peels off easily. This is the secret to silky, smooth hummus!

The next step can’t be easier: put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend. Taste and adjust your seasoning. Maybe you need more lemon juice, olive oil, salt…

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Serve in a  bowl, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and finally add the ground cumin and sweet paprika. And there you have it!  A delicious, creamy hummus. Now put on your pyjamas, crawl into in your sofa, turn on your favourite TV show or film and enjoy your comforting yet healthy dinner. We can’t think of a better way to finish your day!

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My hair journey. Seriously.

So in this post I’m going to share with you my hair journey and my latest hair tragedy. Because, honestly: is there anything more important than beautiful hair? I don’t think so.

I have to admit that I’m really obsessed with hair. I have a thing for smooth, caramel coloured manes. I know people that go crazy for pointy brows, shiny mani pedis or flawless skin. But hair is my jam. It might be because my hair has a history of looking like a mop, being curly when I wanted it straight, and straight when I wanted it curly. Humidity is to my hair what the sinister creatures inside the paralell world are to Eleven. It scares me like hell, but it also makes me fight back. And what do I use to fight back? Everything! No weapon is enough!  I will win this war! (Insert hair flip, obviously)

It all started thousands of years ago, when I was a teenager and the world worked without Internet. Just as inexplicably, my hair somehow worked without straighteners. However, I used to look like a mushroom most of the time, but… you know, the 90’s were difficult and humanity in general (except Cindy Crawford) looked quite poorly.  But time passed by and I met a wonderful hairdresser that did my hair beautifully. She was so very modern, she had been in Japan a few times and she even got married in Las Vegas. The definition of cool. During those years I reluctantly tried the most subtle highlights to cover my first grey hairs, went from cute short hair à la Amélie to a beautiful cut in gorgeous layers and lived happily working with what I got: slightly frizzy hair but still manageable. Then the real struggle began. When I moved to the perennial mix betweeen freezer and washing maschine that is Germany my hair basically went on strike. The poor thing was depressed because we had to leave our wonderful hairdresser in Madrid, my Vitamin D levels plummeted and all the worries made it almost completely grey. Drama.

I suffered from a severe case of Idon’tfindtherighthairdresserohGodhelpme. Then I went from fried blonde to shitty brunette, without forgetting a terrible carrot orange phase. Every time I went back to Spain I used to have this Keratin treatment done that was amazing… until it turned out hazardous for the hairdresser that applied it and just like that, my hair was sad and messy again. Hopeless.

Bear in mind that during all this time my hair was Pocahontas long because a couple of hairdressers in Germany told me that my face was so, so fat that shorter hair will never suit me. Happy times. But one day, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, I mean, hair salon. A really petite woman  was substituting my always angry hairdresser. She was very nice to me, she talked a lot (something quite strange in Germany compared to the usual chatterbox that a hairdresser in Spain is, something I love and miss terribly) and she suggested highlights, a nice shade of bronde and face contouring. Was I dreaming? Was this a Huda Beauty surprise Instagram video? I shily asked if I could try shorter hair…. and I left the salon with the most adorable bob!

She also recommended me Olaplex. And this is when my hair journey gets interesting, fun and smooth as silk. Oh, Olaplex. You beauty. This treatment has made my hair look less like a mop and more like a smooth, golden curtain. If you have damaged hair, frizzy hair or just coloured hair and you care about the health of your mane you have to try this treatment. It will make your life better, because nice hair makes everything better. Just like red lips or chocolate.

And talking about health… Vitamin D, guys. There’s nothing like Vitamin D to go from Cindy Lauper ‘s Girls just wanna have fun and no split ends to Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman without a wig. I started taking my Vitamin D and even my amazing hairdresser noticed the change. Because even though two liters of water and 8 hours of sleep do wonders for it girls, I need medical help.

Last but not least: Moroccan Oil. I started applying a little bit to the midsection and specially the ends of my towel dry hair. Then I style it and then it swishes everythime I turn around to fall in slow motion afterwards. I feel like a Pantene girl. I can’t recommed this great oil enough. It was very famous a few years ago, but now nobody talks about it. I don’t know why because it’s amazing.

So now that my hair journey has turned from backpacking in Europe to vacations in the Maldives mode… My hairdresser gets pregnant. And she will be a whole year in medical leave. I got her flowers and all, but… a whole year without her???? Tragedy. So here I am, looking at my (at least for now) gorgeous mane (if I may say so myself) and wondering what will happen. Will I look like a mushroom again? After all, 90’s trends are back, aren’t they? Will my hair turn orange, purple or even blue? And before you ask, leaving my grey hairs au naturel is not an option. Even my hairdresser has told me not to do so: Apparently it looks fantastic in those young girls that want to look edgy, but if your hair is naturally grey, you are over 35 and your bone structure is average(ly chubby), chances are you will look like Mrs. Doubtfire.

I still have my lightsabers: my straighteners and my curling wand. I have stocked up on Moroccan Oil, I have Vitamin D prescriptions to last until June and I know where to find Olaplex. I think I’m prepared. But boy will I miss my hairdresser this next year. I have my last appointment with her in a couple of weeks. From that moment on, it will be a bumpy ride again. But I have experience now. I might not be able to let my grey hairs show, but the wisdom is within me! No more frizz! No more tyrant hairdressers that make me go Pocahontas again! The journey continues but this time, I’ll be driving!

Images via our Pinterest moodboard dedicated to hair. Follow along if hair is your jam too!

Ibiza’s secrets and legends

Three years ago we spent the most wonderful days exploring Ibiza. The rural Ibiza, the quiet Ibiza. Now that we are already thinking about our Summer holidays, this extremely popular yet truly unknown destination has made its way to the top of our bucket list again. There are so many corners we have to discover yet… Because Ibiza is not just a party island! It has the most magical atmosphere once you look beyond the surface.

And when we found this book, we couldn’t help but immediately start looking for flight prices, accommodations and new routes in Ibiza. Wanderlust mode on! Even though we mostly rely on travel blogs, magazines and Instagram (as seen here, here and here) to plan new trips nowadays, the good old travel books are a lovely resource to go back to. And this book is a perfect example. It’s a collection of rare hidden places, mysterious tales and magical landscapes in the Balearic Islands. It uncovers the secrets of local legends and makes us want to keep on discovering that different Ibiza that we got a glimpse of during our first trip back in 2014.

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The wonderful, mostly deserted alleys in Dalt Vila are the perfect scenario for romance and mystery. One of them, the Carreró de la Soledat is supposed to be the place where a woman lost her soul to get her husband back home. The spooky story involves a witch, a dark night and a small balcony.

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In the east coast of the island you will find Santa Eularia des Riu, which is considered a great destination for families. Well, it does have its secrets too… and some of them are not suitable for all audiences! It is said that it was none other than the devil who built Es Pont Vell, the bridge that crosses the Santa Eularia River and according to the legend, on June 24th at midnight you can catch fameliars, small elves, under said bridge.

Also in Santa Eularia you can find the little Sa Creu d´En Ribes chapel. This chapel was built by a resident who faced the devil when trying to cut down an ancient holm oak. Since God protected him from this terrible encounter with the devil, he commissioned this little chapel. Legend says that if you go around this chapel 7 times with someone you have problems with, before the last turn all problems between the two of you will be solved. Magic.

And finally, before leaving Santa Eularia, a visit to the enchanted Sa Font d’en Lluna is a must. This beautiful place was the setting of a heartbreaking love story where, you guessed it, the devil played his usual tricks. And apparently, even today you can find modern witches meeting in this mysterious spring.

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One of our favourite areas of the island is the Northwest, where the beautiful Santa Agnes chapel is located. This is the most ancient Christian temple of the island, where hidden cults were celebrated  when the Christians were persecuted. Inside this chapel there is a spring, which waters are said to be blessed by Santa Agnes. By the way, no one knows for sure how the statue of Santa Agnes arrived in this location.

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And finally, in the Northeast of Ibiza, you will find the most magical and mysterious place of the island, the Sanctuary of the Goddess Tanit. This area was sacred during  centuries going back to the Bronze age, but it was during the the Punic settlement when the Sanctuary of the Goddess Tanit was established. So not only has this area a significant historic relevance, but also a unique atmosphere that proves that Ibiza does not only vibrate thanks to the loud music of its famous clubs.

And now, excuse us, we have to book some flights…

Chocolate chip blondies

We tried this recipe a couple of weeks ago in an attempt of improving our office coffee break game. We weren’t very sure but the result surprised us so much that we’ve already cooked more than two batches in the last few days. These vegan (well, that’s optional), light blondies are surprisingly good. They might not look like much, but they are addictive!

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First it was gluten, then sugar and now comes the palm oil. The supermarket is full of cancer threats and since I’m a hopeless hypochondriac I’ve been trying to bake our very own, healthy (ish) treats for a while now like these almond bites, this coconut vanilla cake or these coconut chocolate bars. Notice a pattern? Coconut. And for this recipe we also used a lot of coconut based ingredients. Coconut sugar, which is great if you want to cut off refined sugar, and coconut butter, which we found a little bit hard to work with (you can always use normal butter to make things easier). Tip: work the dough with your hands and a wood spoon. It will get messier and it will be more difficult (it counts as arm workout, I hope) but we’ve found that that’s the best way to work with the coconut butter. However, these blondies are worth the effort. So delicious!

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Onto the recipe! You will need:
100 g coconut butter
100 g coconut sugar
Seeds from one vanilla pod
100 g soya yogurt
2 tablespoons agave syrup
250 g plain flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
A large pinch of sea salt
90 ml milk (you can use coconut, almond or soya milk and keep this recipe vegan)
150 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

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Preheat the oven o 190ºC and line a brownie tin with baking paper.
In a big bowl, mix the butter and the sugar. Add the vanilla seeds, yogurt and agave and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the dry ingredients mix to the wet ingredients and, you guessed it, mix. Slowly pour the milk and mix again until combined. Finally add the chocolate.
Pour the batter into the tin and spread with your hands. The original recipe recommends a spatula but since the dough is really sticky, the palms of your hands will do a better job. Just dab it until you get a smooth surface.
Bake for 35 minutes, then let it cool completely and cut into squares.

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The result is not overly sweet, it’s moist (though on camera looks oddly dry) and tastes extremely rich thanks to the dark chocolate. Perfect to take to the office and bright up your coffee break! Mission accomplished!

PS: This a take on a original recipe is from this book, which we bought in order to discover new ways of preparing vegetables, but has an incredible good dessert and snacks section!

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Cashmere

Weather has been awful lately. What an interesting way of starting a post, huh? But honestly, it really affects all the important facets of life: mood, health… and wardrobe. When half the population is going bonkers with the new collections, the other half is looking miserably through the window because it’s raining cats and dogs, it’s freezing and it’s been Winter for soooo, so long. Therefore, while most blogs talk about Spring collections, we are going to cling to the last sales because yes, we are among that desperate half of the population and now, now is the moment to score a great bargain.

Let us ask you a question: How old are you? Because if you are over 28 (which you probably are according to Google Analytics) you need to look for a nice cashmere sweater. This is the moment: sales, no one is looking because, you know, Spring is coming… and it will make your life better. Let us elaborate:

It will make your mornings cosier, because even though you just can’t stop thinking about those little Easter vacations in April you still have to get up when it’s still dark outside (light, when will you come?).

It will feel like a gentle caress when in the middle of one of those boring meetings that could have easily been E-mails (why people insist on meeting? Ugh!) you cross your arms over your body because otherwise you will end up loosing it and smack someone. And that amazing fabric will ease you almost immediately.

It will turn your uniform (pants, knit, boots)  into something better than it really is. And just by rolling up your sleeves and thinking nonchalantly “oh, I’m wearing cashmere!” you will feel closer to your life’s dream of turning into a JCrew model.

And if you are thinking that it will be terrible to wash: well, you are right. But if you always wear t -shirts underneath, use a good deodorant and be careful with you lunch box, you won’t be having to wash it that often. Besides, if you have a good quality washing machine you can use the delicate cycle and hope for the best.

Are you convinced now? Let us show you some things that will change your mind: light pink turtleneck sweater (50% off) to put you instantly in a good mood, grey wooden sweater to lounge at home feeling like Victoria Beckham (45% off), black and ruffles to wear under a nice blazer and show your boss that you can be girly and yet a badass (45% off) and this simple and wearable cream sweater (46% off) to to channel your inner minimalist cool that tries to convince you to Capsule Wardrobe you life. As you can see  The Outnet has a great selection with amazing prices. But don’t wait too long, they fly!

And if you like the gorgeous turtleneck black cashmere sweater that I’m wearing on the picture above while trying not to show my face because I feel embarrassed, last chance here! The Kooples have amazing “last chance” sales: it was 325 € and now it’s 162 €!! Score!! It was my one and only sales buy, but it was so worth it. And you can also buy it in grey, which I’m tempted to buy because I have a grey addiction (as seen here) and because the weather prediction says it’s going to be rainy and dreary for the next few weeks…  so I might as well enjoy it, huh?

Our favorite European neighbourhoods

We are lucky enough to have visited some of the most wonderful European cities more than once. The truth is that when one place fascinates us we can’t help but coming back to discover more about it. That’s how we have found our favorite areas in cities like London, Copenhagen, Paris and Venice. The reasons why we prefer these neighbourhoods are diverse: it could be a local vibe, a different atmosphere, a big concentration of nice restaurants or shops or a unique charm that simply appeals to us.

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Castello, Venice
This is probably my favorite place in the world. The most authentic sestier of Venice, where you can get lost in the tiniest streets and practically see no one, contemplate in silence the wonderful canals and enjoy the little bit of real life that is still fighting the hordes of tourists in Venice. Here you can find our favorite accommodation in Venice, Residenze Cortenova, and one of our favorite restaurants as well, La Oliva Nera. Even though this area is not as impressive as others, it feels local, real, authentic. The architecture is different from the wonderful examples of Venetian extravaganza you can find along the Canal Grande, but you will find understated palazzi and the most adorable and beautiful houses where a few resilient Venetians still live. In a nutshell, you will find my Venice.

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Marylebone, London
Most of our favorite restaurants in London are located in this beautiful area: from the cozy Fromagerie to the Michelin starred Trishna, without forgetting, of course, the delicious burgers at Patty & Bun . Matrylebone also has the most amazing shops and it’s the home of our favorite hotel in London, The Mandeville, so if your idea of the perfect weekend in London involves leisure walks discovering beautiful mews, lots of good food and some incredible shopping, then you’ll love Marylebone as much as we do. Don’t miss the wonderful bookshop Daunt Books (pictured above) and the fashionable Monocle Café!

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Norrebro, Copenhagen
Choosing one area in Copenhagen is really hard because the city is petite and beautiful, but we always love spending some time in Norrebro. Starting with a power breakfast at Dagh Café we love walking along the Lakes and enjoying its beautiful side streets. This is definitely a great area for a slow-paced day and it also could be the perfect starting point to explore Copenhagen, since it’s quite close to the city center and the hip Vesterbro. Just enjoy the quiet atmosphere, the tidy streets and the beautiful pastel colored architecture.

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Latin Quarter, Paris
The first time we visited Paris we were charmed by the beautiful Montmartre and the bo-ho Marais areas. However, the more we got to know the Latin Quarter, the more we loved it and, nowadays, it’s our neighborhood of choice when we look for accommodation in Paris (Usually this hotel). From here, we can walk to most attractions and museums, we can have breakfast at the wonderful boulangerie Eric Kayser and get lost in the streets that inspire Midnight in Paris. And of course, this area is home to the lovely Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the most beautiful parks in Paris. And now that I think about it, it’s time to revisit our Parisian favorites… Spring is wonderful in Paris, isn’t it?

Chicken and vegetables stir-fry

A few weeks ago, we got a wok. I know, so 2002!  But hey, we are usually late to all the parties. So during the last rainy weekends we’ve been experimenting with some recipes and we have finally created our own. It’s delicious, quite healthy and low in carbohydrates, so you won’t feel guilty eating a nice chocolatey pudding afterwards (the purpose of all our low in carbohydrates recipes).

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You will need:
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 big red pepper, finely sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
Lots of mushrooms, finely sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic
2 red chillies, finely sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Sesame oil
Soya sauce
Salt
Fresh coriander (to taste)

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Heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in your wok. Season the chicken with a pinch of salt, then add to the wok and stir-fry until it’s golden. Remove from the wok and reserve.

Now heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of sesame oil in your wok and add the cloves of garlic. When they are almost golden, add the chillies. Next, add the red pepper, red onion, broccoli, mushrooms and spring onions. Stir-fry for about five minutes.

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Add the chicken and keep stir-frying for a couple of minutes. Finally add two tablespoons of Soya sauce and stir-fry for another minute.

Remove from the heat and serve with a few coriander leaves on top to add a bit of freshness.

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This is a really simple recipe: add, stir-fry, add, stir-fry. You can change the vegetables for those you prefer: cauliflower instead of broccoli, carrots instead of pepper… Your choice.

You can even sprinkle some peanuts or cashews if you want to add more crunchiness. It admits lots of variations! Oh, I don’t know how we’ve survived this long without a wok.  I can’t even begin to imagine how a Kitchen Aid would rock our world…

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Beauty basics

Even though we love discovering new beauty products, there are a bunch of items that we’ve been using for years. We are extremely loyal to them and while we love watching You Tube videos or Instagram mini-tutorials about fascinating, new beauty launches, the truth is that we always go back to our basics. In fact, we bet that every woman has her beauty basics, those no one talks about, those products that aren’t fancy but give her that special scent that identifies her, that beautiful shine in her hair or the softness of her skin. Those little things that make us… us.

In my case, that’s the Irresistibly Smooth Nivea body lotion, the light blue one as I always call it. It has changed its name and packing during the last few years but the lotions is always the same: lighter than the original Nivea body lotion and softer, with a warmer scent. In fact, that’s the scent most people identifies me with. It’s great for dry skin and its non greasy formula makes it fantastic for those mornings where you just have a few minutes to get ready. You can get dressed right after applying it. It’s the only body lotion I use (apart from those few weeks when I think about Summer and I use this). To sum up: I can’t live without it (I probably could, but my skin will feel definitely worse).

And since Nivea is a German brand, we’ve been using more of their products during the last years. One of our favourites and the only one that has always a place in our shower is the Creme Care shower gel. Oddly enough, here we prefer the classic version, the dark blue one. It leaves your skin soft and, again, it smells amazing.  We’ve tried the fancy mousse and other cool interpretations, but this one works better for us.

Before you start wondering if this is a sponsored post, let’s talk about other brands. When it comes to cleaning our faces, there are two products that we always use: the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter in the mornings and the Avene Micellar Lotion at nights to remove makeup (though we sometime use this if we are wearing lots of makeup or the day has been pretty messy). We have a very special relationship with the Clarins Cleanser because we start using it during our honeymoon and even today, when I wash my face every morning with my eyes closed (obviously),  the scent takes me to the small bathroom of our hotel room in Ravello and I can listen to the sea through the window, I feel relaxed and happy. Besides, it’s the only cleanser that doesn’t leave our skin tight like sandpaper. We can change our face skin care, but this cleanser never changes.

And last, but not least, our trustworthy hand cream: Excipial Repair Sensitive.  As you might have noticed we have extremely dry skin and this cold weather doesn’t help, so when our dermatologist recommended this hand cream we bought it reluctantly, thinking it was just another sticky, useless hand cream. But we were wrong. It’s a little bit sticky, yes, but just for a minute. Then it sets and protects your hands like iron gloves. We use it twice: in the mornings, before heading out the door, and just before going to sleep. So if you are looking for a hand cream that really works, try this one.

Now it’s your turn: which are your beauty basics? Those little touches that make you feel better? We know you are there, because we see you in our stats, don’t be shy and let us your comment below!

Moodboard: Tallinn

We probably shouldn’t say this, since this is (partially) a travel blog, but this year doesn’t look very promising travel-wise. You can say that life has gotten in the way of our exploring plans and we are in a travel limbo. We hope we can squeeze some weekend getaways in our schedule, though.

The main problem that we face when planning weekends away is transport. Since there are not many direct flights available from/to our city, the possibilities for a quick weekend away are very limited. And before you ask us: what about trains? No, German trains are not an option. We love travelling by train as long as it’s not German.

So when you have just a few destinations to choose from, you start thinking about places you’d never thought of before. Like Tallinn, for instance. And since there is a direct flight to Tallinn that makes a Friday to Sunday trip possible, we are seriously considering give it a go this Spring.

Have you ever visited Tallinn? If you have, tips and recommendations are welcome! We have seen a few nice accommodation options like the Three Sisters hotel, The Telegraaf hotel or the picturesque Villa Hortensia and we’ve been surprised by the beautiful images we’ve come across of Tallinn’s old town. We’ve read that there is this cafe, Maiasmokk, that has been opened since 1864 so that is in our list. And so is a dinner at Sfaar and drinks at Butterfly Lounge. And apart from visiting the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and walk along the Town Wall, we sure would like to take a bunch of pictures of St. Catherine’s passage. And did you know the Estonian’s parliament building is painted in a beautiful shade of pink? In general, the city seems the perfect setting for a Wes Anderson film!

We’ve seen there’s a Estonian food festival and also a flower festival in May, so that might be a good moment to travel to Tallinn… but will we be able to survive such a long time without one of our beloved slow -paced weekends away?

 

 

Sunday lunch

Sometimes we need to spend a Sunday morning in the kitchen and prepare a special Sunday lunch. We always picture it like this relaxing experience, with Instagram appropriate moments, a lovely scent in the air, our favourite music in the background… But the truth is that we always stress about missing some important step of the recipe we are preparing, we never take an Instagram picture, let alone an IG Story, and we have to stop the music because like my nonna used to say: che confusione!  So, real life hits and the process is not as smooth as we imagined. But the result is always worth it!

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Last Sunday was one of those Sundays. It was freezing outside, so we decided to cosy up at home and roll up our pyjamas sleeves to cook something comforting: a lighter take on a British Sunday roast. To be honest, we cheated from the beginning because we had bought an excellent roast beef in a local fancy supermarket the day before, so all we prepared were the vegetables, but still, we managed to cook them in three different preparations (tap on the shoulder). We did a celeriac gratin, a shallot purée and some sauteed mushrooms.

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The celeriac gratin was the first thing we prepared. If you don’t eat celeriac we recommend you to give them a try. We discovered them when we moved to Germany and we love them raw in salads, especially with tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  But this time we used them to substitute potatoes in this gratin. For this recipe you will need:

2 celeriacs, peeled and finely sliced
100 ml vegetable stock (we cheat again, it wasn’t homemade)
25 ml double cream
Fresh thyme to taste
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Black pepper

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Pour the vegetable stock, the cream, the fresh thyme and garlic into a saucepan over medium heat for five minutes. In the meantime put the sliced celeriac in a bowl. When the sauce is warm, pour it over the celeriac and season with black pepper. You can add salt if you want, but we prefer not to.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Line a tin with greaseproof paper and layer up the celeriac slices until you use them all. Pour the sauce that might be left in the bowl all over the celeriac, cover with foil and place it in the oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and leave it 10 additional minutes so that the top coat gets a warmer colour.

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While your gratin is in the oven, you can prepare the shallot purée and the mushrooms. You will need:

For the shallot purée:
8 shallots, chopped
50 gr butter
Fresh thyme to taste
25 ml double cream
Pepper

For the mushrooms:
200 gr mixed mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, sliced
Fresh parsley to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

Begin with the purée: place the shallots in a saucepan with the butter and thyme over low to medium heat until the shallots start to caramelise, then add the cream and pepper. Remove from the heat and whisk until you have a fine purée. Set aside.

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Then place a frying pan over high heat, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, then the mushrooms and cook until they are brown and soft. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for another five minutes.

By now, your gratin should be ready so all you have to do is serve: a dollop of shallot purée, a couple of slices of roast beef, a portion of celeriac gratin and some mushrooms. You can add a few green leaves if you want to add some freshness.

The shallot purée is the real star of this Sunday lunch.  Its sweet flavour will enhance the other elements of the plate and make them combine perfectly, like a delicious common thread.

So here you have: three recipes in one, perfect to impress your guests or just treat yourself to a nice, home cooked meal.

PS: This recipe is a take on a Sunday Roast of Sophie Michell’s book Chef on a Diet.