Mango Chutney Quinoa

Quinoa is on the top of my lunch list every week, it’s so easy to make and it’s healthy and diet approved! But I’m always trying to find different ways to cook it. Here’s a mango chutney inspired recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 spoons of olive Oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 table spoon of Curcuma
  • A pinch of Cardamom seeds
  • A pinch of Cumin seeds
  • Fresh ginger
  • Salt

How to do it:

  1. Fry the onions with olive oil and a dash of sugar untill they are caramelised.
  2. Add the curcuma, cardamom and cumin seeds and the fresh ginger
  3. Cut the red bell pepper in small cubes and add to the pan.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes
  5. Add the chopped mango cubes and the already cooked quinoa.
  6. Salt to taste

Napkin made with our Ambria printed fabric.

It’s a super fresh alternative for lunch, takes around 10 minutes to make and it looks super fancy. Enjoy.

Also Awesome

Budapest

Budapest is the perfect location for a quick gateway weekend in Europe. I went there for 2 and a half days and as per usual, without any plans. I’m fully aware that most people like to plan, and are not keen on booking the hotel when you are boarding the plane, so if you are planning on going there here are some tips of my favourite spots and things to do.

I tend to book the hotel when I’m at the airport, and also download some blogs and guides to read on the plane.

I do that pretty much every time I travel as I hate planning and like to walk and discover places as I go along.

Walking and discovering has led me to this little alley, so communist style and full of nice shops, and a place specialized in coffee (check it out here) I was on my phone looking for any coffee that wasn’t Starbucks or Costa and found this amazing corner.

Taking the metro to the Millennium monument there is the most enchanted park, where you can rent a canoe and watch drunk northerners passing by on this very typical car bicycle, where they cycle and drink at the same time. Budapest is a bachelor party destination, so it’s very young and full of parties.

If you are not into the drinking and partying like yours truly, you can always go to the many options of thermal baths and spas. The three main ones are Gellert  – An Art Nouveau spa. Széchenyi the biggest one and that also holds parties during summer (Very relaxing I imagine!). And Rudas Baths, in Turkish style.

I chose Rudas to see its amazing pools dating back from 1550.

I spent a couple of hours going from boiling 42 degrees pools to chilling 1 degrees pools where you can chill among ice cubes. Perfect skin afterwards.

The other amazing thing about Budapest are its bridges. Not only they are beautiful but people will actually climb on it to drink and enjoy the sunset. I mean literally climb on the bridge! Like this guy that brought a table, food and wine and placed everything on top of the bridge. I wish it was me on that red dress…. Can you get any more romantic than that?

And then there is the very touristic neighbourhood Gozsdu Udvar, by night is full of life and parties and during the day there is a crafts market and nice cafes.

Going to Buda though, specifically at the Fisherman’s Bastion you have the amazing view of Pest.

The food is extremely heavy and meat based, so since I’m a vegetarian I just stuck to international restaurants and a good glass of local rose wine.

Always obsessed with doors…

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Villa D’Este – Italy

Villa d’Este is a 16th century villa just outside of Rome, located in the city called Tivoli. It’s a quick drive (only 30km) and perfect for a spring day out.

The Villa itself is beautiful, but the garden is the best part. Full of fountains and labyrinths. Every two hours they have an organ that plays in synchrony with the fountains.

White Calla Lily is my favourite flower and there are so many at Villa d’Este

Also Awesome

Risotto – Pere & Pecorino

Risotto is really one of my specialties, and a big one. I love rice so I have a lot of risotto recipes, and this one with pears and pecorino cheese is one of my favourites. I love mixing fruits with savoury food. Pears & Pecorino is a match made in heaven in Italian food and you can find it mostly as an entreè.

For the Risotto you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Arborio Rice
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 2 spoons of olive Oil
  • 2 pears, ripe
  • Half an onion
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Double cream
  • White Wine
  • Pecorino Cheese (150g)

How to do it:

I always make risotto in two pans, one for the rice and one for the sauce.

Step 1:

Lightly stir fry the rice in a spoon of olive oil till it turns transparent. Then add the two cups of boiling water and a glass of white wine. Let it cook in a low heat, semi covered for 20 minutes. Let’s just make sure you use the same type of wine you would drink. There is no such thing as “cooking wine”. I tend to throw some in the pan and some in my wine glass while cooking!

Step 2:

In a separate pan fry the onions with the salt and pepper. Add the sliced pears and cook till soft. I live to leave the pear skin simply because all the ingredients are in there. Add the grated pecorino cheese till it melts. Mix in the already cooked rice and add the double cream to taste.

To decorate separate some slices of cheese.

Napkin made with our Azzure printed fabric.

Also Awesome

Tanzania Part II – Arusha

After spending a week in the blue seas of Zanzibar (read full post here) we flew to Arusha via the Kilimanjaro airport, for a couple of days of safari and to see the Kilimanjaro Mountain.

Honestly a safari wasn’t on the top of my list of things to do, although I’m a big animal lover (and have always hated and avoid Zoos of course) I didn’t see the attraction of a Safari. I had done some light search before actually arriving to Tanzania and found them extremely expensive.

As per usual, one day before my flight to Arusha I still had no plans or hired a company for the safari. I guess it was time to start planning, after searching some sites I ended up with five simultaneous whatsapp conversations from different companies. I ended up finding a really good deal with  Afrozone Kingdom Safari  and managed to also get a trekking day on the Materuni park and waterfall.

Zacchissimi Jacket Available Here

The falls are 150m and are beautiful. But the whole point of my trip was to get a good view of the Kilimanjaro, which just didn’t happen. Apparently the Kilimanjaro is not so easy to see. The whole sky may be clear, but most of the times the Kilimanjaro is covered in clouds, at least around April.

After the trekking we got to visit a coffee production and actually make the coffee we would drink. This was quite fun but nothing new to me since I grew up in a coffee farm. The food was amazing though, and I’ve been missing so much Brazilian food that Africa made me really feel at home.

They then made us try Banana Beer. It was by far the most disgusting thing I have ever drunk. They made it themselves, and it’s full of little parts of God knows what. But I’m not one to say no to try new things. After the tour we had down to the car, and they were so locals drinking it. An old guy offered me some, I tried to explain to him that I had already tried it, but of course he didn’t understand anything and I didn’t want to be rude, so that’s why I ended up – again – having banana beer out of a very suspicious container, the same that the guy was drinking from.

Coffee, beans, banana beer and Chameleons…

I didn’t know what to expect from a safari, but it was absolutely amazing. I don’t know if I was just lucky but I got to see all animals, minus the leopard!

We started at the Tarangeri Park. Five minutes in, two female lions just walk by our car. We then got to see many animals just enjoying their day, and it’s trully amazing to be part of it.

After seeing one of the most amazing sun rises at the Lake Manyara Park (in all fairness I’m usually sleep at sun rises, so I don’t get to see many) we went to the Ngorongoro Crater. Which was full of Zebras, Lions (at one point there were about 15 of them around, but who’s scared right?) and apparently Cheetahs and Leopards, who didn’t come out to greet us.

Ngorongoro Crater

One thing that really shocked me was when we were driving inside the Ngorongoro park and we saw a Maasai guy just casually walking, with all Lions and Leopards that could be around. Lions are afraid of the Maasai, said our driver. But he just had this easy going look on his face that me think “Well, there goes a WARRIOR”.

A couple of hours later we made a bathroom break, I asked Richard, our driver, if it was safe and he said “Sure. Just watch out for the lions”. I thought he was joking….

When I get back I see everybody taking pictures, 40m from us was a baby lion just resting on a tree. Hey, Richard wasn’t joking! And I was outside of the car. I didn’t feel like hanging around to wait for his mother though, and got quickly back to the car, while other people were out trying to get the best shot of him…

After two days inside a car I was ready to call the Safari over. We got back to town and the Kilimanjaro was still behind clouds. I was mad. So mad. We got to the aiport  (KI-LI-MAN-JA-RO Airport) and still nothing.

Then when we were walking to the plane, there it was. Standing tall, the tallest mountain in Africa. The airplane then did a 360 spin around it, leaving me breathless and just so over the moon happy. After four days of trying to see it, it had finally showed up!

The plane was high now, I decided to open my book. I’ve been reading My Year with Eleanor, a story about an American Girl who gets a little to obsessed with Eleanor Roosevelt and does a whole year devoted to facing her own fears. That’s when I open the book and out of the blue, she starts talking about…..

The Kilimanjaro.

It was the perfect ending to a truly amazing trip.

Jambo! 

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