Roasted Hazelnut, Sea Salt and Date Brownies

Alessandro and I are spending this week on the slopes. Such a ‘settimana bianca’ (a ‘white’ week) is by now a yearly tradition for us. After my first tentative steps on skis on a schooltrip to Austria as a teenager I am now able to tackle almost all slopes and dare I say, even enjoy myself a good deal doing so. While there are a few small slopes not too far from Rome, once you have mastered the basics, they are a bit short and boring. So our yearly ‘settimana bianca’ now takes us up to Northern Italy, to the Dolomites, to San Cassiano in Alta Badia to be precise. A trip we are now doing for the second time with a group of about 10 or so friends. While I feel sorry for anyone else staying in our small hotel given our inevitable loud chatter in the bar after a long day on the slopes (no doubt fuelled by

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Garam Masala & Coconut Stove-Top Granola

In case you have already made your way through your stack of new-reads acquired over the holidays, I would encourage you to track down a copy of Slow Food Nation, a wonderful read that does not seem to be getting the attention I think it deserves. I picked this book up on a whim when I was present-hunting just before Christmas and it is an incredibly well-written book by Slow Food’s founder Carlo Petrini. For those of you not familiar with Slow Food, the organisation’s mission is to “defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread taste education and connect producers of excellent foods with co-producers through events and initiatives.” Today the organisation counts over 100,000 members across the globe who, among other things, are active in seeking the protection of traditional foods, set up tasting seminars and work with those in the food industry to encourage them to source locally grown food. Rather refreshingly, there is no preaching involved in

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“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”

The words of the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland sound painfully familiar – I have lost count of the number of times I have slept through my alarm after another night of ‘burning the candle at both ends’ as some people like to call it and then running late for work, again.  At least work is pretty flexible about when we show up for work each day (assuming you don’t miss any meetings or conference calls).  However, getting up on time for work after pulling a late night (or, more accurately, an early morning) is one challenge – fitting workouts into my days when I am working this hard is quite another.  I sometimes have to smile a bit when I read blog entries about how to fit in a workout into a busy working life when the authors assume readers have a 9-5 job and a short commute.  So, I figured it was time to share my tips

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Blueberry Muffin Lärabars

It seems as though I am not the only one who has had a go at recreating the various types of date bars on sale in Health Food Stores (whether it’s the Nakd Bars now available in the UK or the Lärabars initially available in the US but now more easily found here in the UK as well) since I have seen a few recipes for home-made bars around the blog-world.  This should not really come as a surprise, given their awesome taste and very short ingredient list (they are mainly made from dates and cashews plus flavouring in the form of raisins, dried apples, pecans, cocoa, orange … the list is endless).  Last year, I experimented with a few flavours already … I made some plain date bars, some with vanilla and sea salt, some with chocolate chips and orange zest and, Alessandro’s favourite, mock ‘Bounty’ bars (with chocolate and coconut) (which helped sustain us on our tortorous hike

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