a mother and daughter lifestyle blog

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Posts tagged italy
olive harvest at la vialla
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end of october we returned to our home away from home, fattoria la vialla in tuscany. we love getting away to somewhere a little warmer for a week in autumn - it really is the ideal time of year to travel when you want to enjoy some peace and quiet before the christmas madness begins. tuscany in autumn is such a dream - the fields, hills and trees are washed-out from the summer sun, making for the softest colour palette wherever you look. it’s just warm enough to soak up the sun in a dress during the day with a glass of rosé, but cuddle up next to the fireplace in a cozy knit as soon as the sun sets.

this was a really special trip, because we came to la vialla with a group of our best girl friends for a week of cooking, eating, olive harvesting and calmness. as always, arriving felt like coming home and we were greeted with such warmheartedness, generosity and love by our la vialla famiily. especially our dear annette, steffi and christina. our friends, most of who hadn’t been here yet, left feeling like family, too, at the end of the week. we want to share some of the pictures we took during our day of olive harvesting. it was really foggy when we started but in the course of the morning the sun came through and it turned out to be the most beautiful day.

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as a reward for all our hard work (ha ha), we had lunch in the olive grove. the longest table we had ever seen was set up, beautifully nestled between the olive trees. it was rather spectacular! the lovely cooks of la vialla completely spoilt us with bruschetta, pecorino, antipasti and toasted bread with the fresh olive oil from this years harvest. homemade sausages were cooked on the open fire, as well as a thick, warming chickpea stew, which was best washed down with a glass of ‘vino nuovo’ - the very first bottles of this years’ red wine.

lunch lasted well into the afternoon and we could have happily sat there, drank wine and chatted with the other guests, most of whom have been coming to la vialla as long as we have, for many more hours.

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skincare that cares about you
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those of you that have been reading our blog for a while will know that we are big supporters of the fattoria la vialla, a bio-dynamic vineyard (and so much more) in tuscany. we have been spending holidays there and buying their all organic produce for years and we photographed a large part of our upcoming cookbook on their beautiful grounds.

when we spent a week there in april for a quick getaway we were lucky enough to get our hands on their newly launched skincare line "oliphenolia". quite like all their products it is completely natural and organic and made only of ingredients that are good for you and the planet.

while we love cooking with organic, natural ingredients we haven't always been a hundred percent convinced of natural cosmetics - it never really seemed to work as well as non-organic for us. so we started using the products with little to no expectations at all. but let us tell you..

it smells amaaaaazing. and it feels amazing too.

it's left our skin feeling so nourished and hydrated and loved.

at the same time the serum and cream feel so lightweight that you don't feel like you're wearing anything at all which is perfect for the summer when you don't want heavy creams making you look and feel all oily and shiny.

we love it. and have been using it for more than three months.

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the creams (there is one for the face and one for baby-soft hands) and serum are all 100% natural – 90% of the serum and 70% of the creams are made with biodynamic, demeter certified, raw materials directly from fattoria la vialla; the rest of the ingredients doesn't come from agriculture and is also permitted by demeter standards - aka only the best of the best makes it into these little flasks.

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oliphenolia, which is a main ingredient (hence the name), is completely natural and a by-product from cold pressing olives. it basically is the waste water that is produced in the process, which doesn't sound so great but is actually extremely healthy! it contains an abundance of polyphenols from the olives, over 20 times of the amount you will find in olive oil. polyphenols are fantastic and have great anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and can counter-act the damage of free radicals, which are the principal chemical cause of tissue ageing and cell degeneration

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but enough of the science - far more important to us is that it has actually made our skin feel great throughout the summer and we are in desperate need of more as our supply has slowly but steadily gone down to zero.

we fully recommend you give it a try, too! you can read lots more about it and order it here. you would be supporting a product and a place we absolutely love and doing your skin a huge favour as well!

lots of love,

k & l

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this is not a sponsored post, but we did receive the products for free. we wouldn't have posted if we didn't wholeheartedly recommend them.

how to: homemade pasta
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while we were in tuscany last year, we had the chance to make pasta with la viallas cook, luigina, the queen of pasta. so you can believe us when we say this recipe is good, like reeeaaally good and pretty much foolproof. in these pictures we made lasagna and cut the dough into large rectangles, but the recipe works for any type of pasta. if you're making some kind of linguine or spaghetti we recommend running the dough through a pasta machine. any other kind can easily be cut by hand and there are lots of tutorials online to show you how. making fresh pasta is 100% worth it as the taste and texture just does not compare to anything store bought.

for about 500g you'll need:

500g of flour (type 550/all-purpose)
4 eggs
100g durum wheat semolina
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

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step 1:

pile up the flour on your worktop and hollow out the middle. add in the eggs, semolina, olive oil and a pinch of salt. using a fork, mix the ingredients and gradually start taking in the flour from the sides.

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step 2:

then proceed to kneed with your hands until you are left with an even, compact dough. as you can see from the left picture, the dough might be a little sticky in the beginning but will eventually become nice and smooth and shouldn't stick to your fingers. once you are left with a nice big ball of dough, cover with a clean hand towel and put aside to rest for 15 minutes.

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step 3:

lightly flour your worktop and use a large rolling pin to roll the dough as thin as possible. it can help to flour the rolling pin as well to stop the dough from sticking to it.

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step 4:

cut the dough into the pasta shape of your choice using a knife or a pizza cutter. to make lasagna sheets we did large rectangles, but you can do almost anything from farfalle to fettuccine.

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step 5:

now that you have the pasta of your choice, it's time to cook it. bring salted water to a boil, add in the pasta and cook for about 3 minutes. then drain and serve with a delicious sauce worthy of your homemade pasta! we covered our lasagna sheets with a hand towel (in order to soak up the excess water) before layering them with the rest of the ingredients and popping them in the oven...

...to become what is quite certainly the best lasagna we've ever had.

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