January 21, 2017

A Tea Party At Home


Meeting up with friends for afternoon tea is always a good idea, and as nice as meeting in a cafe can be, there's nothing quite like hosting a tea party at home. Not only because it's way more child friendly and you don't need to be worrying about where everyone's kids are, but because of the hominess that no cafe, no matter how hygge, could ever achieve. 

This last Monday I hosted a tea party for a party of four (plus two kids and the hubby who cared to join for the yummy cakes), and it was so nice! I made this rose hanging arrangement for the occasion, because I thought it looked so girly and quaint, perfect as a wall backdrop for a girl's tea party! You can find the original DIY tutorial here, even though in my case I simply used fake roses I already had home. 


As for the cakes, I baked a cheesecake and brownies, and I was congratulated on both of them. I used this matcha cheesecake recipe, simply omitting the matcha part. It was top notch for a regular cheesecake, but I like the matcha version (which I made for the hubby's 30th birthday) even better. You're bound to get compliments on both of them, so you're safe no matter which version you choose to go for :) Seeing how I had created the floral wall arrangement, I decided to incorporate some edible flowers to the cakes as well!

The brownies are something from another world, really. Definitely the best brownies I've ever had, and the reason why I never order brownie outside of home anymore, because I gave up on trying to find a better one. These ones are BBC's best-ever brownies after all, so yummy! I just think 180 degrees Celsius is better than the recommended 160. Also, I think it's better to make them the day before, as they do take some time to cool down.

Even though I have several kinds of teas at home, everyone wanted to try the Tea Shop's White Gracia Blend, which smells heavenly, so I just made a big pot of this. It's kind of expensive, as white teas are more delicate than green or black ones, but it's all worth it! We all enjoyed it and I highly recommend it.


Do you ever host tea parties at home? Next time I think I'll try an English style one, my fave!

December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016


Merry Christmas, everyone! Here's our complete Christmas photoshoot, although you've probably seen most of it on my Instagram already!



We chose El Parc del Laberint d'Horta (The Labyrinth Park of Horta) as our location because of its beauty, and it didn't disappoint :)



Let me know what you think and enjoy the season!







November 24, 2016

Vegan Carob Cake Recipe


Truth be told, I hadn't baked in a while, let alone taking pictures of my creations or blogging about it! I feel like recently all I have time to do is cook proper meals, since to be honest, having to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day for two and a half doesn't leave you much spare time!

A couple weeks ago, we treated one of our friends to a vegan cooking class for her 30th birthday, and it was such a fun experience! The dessert was a carob brownie, which inspired me to cook this vegan carob cake this week. 



For those of you not familiar with carob, it's a healthy alternative to chocolate because it's naturally sweet, high in fiber, low in fat, has twice the amount of calcium compared to cocoa and, most importantly specially for kids or caffeine-sensitive people, it doesn't have caffeine.

I got the recipe from here (in Spanish), and it's SO GOOD! I feel like next time I want to go cocoa-free the whole way though, because this recipe has a bit of chocolate in it.



You know I'm a huge chocolate lover, but this doesn't mean I don't have a major crush on carob ever since I first tasted it a couple weeks ago. Some people dislike it because, obviously, it will never taste 100% like chocolate, but I simply love it. It's slightly different yet totally mesmerizing. 

So without much ado, here comes the recipe!

VEGAN CAROB BANANA CAKE

  • 2 or 3 over-ripe bananas
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup of carob flour
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 spoons of pure unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 spoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 spoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of oat milk
  1. Blend the bananas, sugar, oat milk and olive oil together.
  2. On a separate bowl, mix the spelt flour, carob flour, baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon.
  3. Gently place the dry mixture on the liquid batter and keep folding until blended. Fold in 1/2 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.
  4. Pour the mixture into a pound cake pan or any other baking dish of your preference.
  5. Last but not least, distribute the remaining 1/2 of chopped walnuts on top of the batter so as to create a nice coat.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 170C.
TIP: This recipe will be even healthier if you use 1 cup of dates or 1/2 of molasses instead of the sugar. 



***********

RECETA EN ESPAÑOL

BIZCOCHO DE ALGARROBA VEGANO

                                                        2 o 3 plátanos maduros

1 taza y 1/2 de harina de espelta

1/2 taza de harina de algarroba

1 taza de nueces picadas

1/2 taza de aceite de oliva

2 cucharadas de cacao puro en polvo
1/2 cucharada de canela en polvo
2 cucharadas de levadura
1/2 taza de azúcar moreno
1 taza de leche de avena


               - Bate en un bol los plátanos, el azúcar, la leche de avena y el aceite de oliva.

- En otro bol, mezcla la harina de espelta, la harina de algarroba, la levadura, el cacao y la canela.

- Incoropora la mezcla del punto número 2 al bol del punto número 1 con movimientos envolventes hasta que esté bien integrado. Añade 1/2 taza de nueces y integra suavemente.

- Pon la mezcla en un molde y esparce el resto de las nueces por encima.

- Hornea a 170C durante 50-60 minutos. 

NOTA: Puedes sustituir el azúcar por 1 taza de dátiles o 1/2 taza de melaza.

I hope you like it as much as we did. Thanks for reading!!! 


October 27, 2016

Second Baby Gender Reveal


* Boy or Girl?! *
 
I know you guys have been waiting for a long time for this post! Thanks for bearing with me and having patiently awaited until the gender reveal pics were ready!


So, without further ado, here it comes! Our second baby is a...


 BABY BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Almost everyone thought we were having a girl this time around! So if you're one of the ones who thought so, please comment below to let me know why! :p Also, on yesterday's Instagram post, a lot of you thought the surprise I was referring to was that we were having twins!!! Definitely not, what I meant is barely anyone bet for a boy, and that's what our little one is!




It's a little prince we've been blessed with!!! And the other major reveal... His name...



* NOAM *

Noam is a name of Hebrew origin, and it means "pleasantness, charm, tenderness".
I think Noam is really similar to Liam, and I love these two names for the 2 brothers! They are going to be 2.5 years apart, and I'm not sure I can handle so much cuteness! :p


It took me a while to decide on Holi Powder for this gender reveal. You may remember we did Liam's with balloons! I love the result and we could have never done it without the help of our friend KC Leung, our photographer for the day. These pictures require so much movement, it would have been impossible to take them as we usually do, with a tripod.


Baby Noam is due in less than 15 weeks, and we all love him so much already it's crazy! Liam likes kissing mommy's belly and even pronounces Noam's name better than his own haha! 


I hope you liked the pictures, we put so much love in them and hopefully we can show them to our Noam one day! <3 Thanks for reading!



October 24, 2016

Summer 2016


Our summer couldn't have started any better, after finding out we were expecting our second baby on the 6th of June :) Shortly after that, on the 11th, our road trip in southern France started, and we spent 10 lovely days in a secret early babymoon discovering the Languedoc-Roussillon, Camargue, and Provence regions. 


One thing we soon realized was how much better did French schedule fit our family rather than the Spanish one. French have lunch (as most of the world does I think) a bit before 1PM, and dinner around 7:30PM. In Spain, we eat at 2-3PM and 9-10PM respectively. This schedule is really bad for going out to restaurants with toddlers who need to nap/sleep by the time we're just starting to eat. Eating earlier as the French do definitely smoothed our trip a lot, as Liam was ok during lunch (it was in fact his lunch time as well), and same goes for dinner. 



In the Camargue region, we specially enjoyed the salt mines of Aigues-Mortes. They were SO pretty with their pink color, it was such an enjoyment for the eyes! There were several huge, white salt mountains around, and we were allowed on one of them! We took these pics below while on it, and Liam and I dared trying the salt directly from the ground :p



The Provence region was our main destination, and getting to visit the lavender fields was a dream of mine that finally came true! The bloom had just started in June, but they were already absolutely gorgeous.




We also enjoyed discovering Les Baux de Provence, St Remy de Provence, and Roussillon, lovely little Provence towns we fell in love with.

Les Baux de Provence

Roussillon

The farthest we went in our trip was Les Gorges du Verdon, which is the beginning of the Verdon river, an absolute delight, it was SO pretty! We really enjoyed this one-day trip.





The most pleasant surprise from our trip though, was our last stop: Collioure, a lovely little French town by the sea next to the Catalan border. I chose it because it was in the middle of Arles (our last real stop) and our home in Barcelona, but it ended up being a major highlight of the trip. We absolutely loved being in the seaside after spending our trip in the inland, and Collioure truly surprised us by being absolutely gorgeous. 




In July, I had major bleeding in my 9th week of pregnancy as I explained here and was on sick leave for 77 days, so I didn't take much pictures... 


When Liam's school term got to an end by the end of July, we moved to our beach house and Liam and I spent the whole month there.  The hubby came back everyday after work, luckily it's not too far from Barcelona. I didn't exactly get to rest having to take care of Liam one-on-one, but it was the best for him, he had a blast every single day! So I guess that makes it all worth it :) Plus my 20 week ultrasound confirmed everything was ok with my pregnancy and I could go back to work, so yay!



We also celebrated Liam's second birthday on August 28th, which is when we also announced that we were expecting our second baby. We've just recently taken the gender reveal pics, so you know which post will be next! I hope to post it within this week.

Thanks for taking your time to read all the way until here, I hope you liked our little summer summary!