Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day

Our beautiful Earth always gives us amazing gifts.
Be kind with Her, say thank you to Her for all the beautiful colors and shapes our eyes have the privilege to see. Cheers with Her for the delicious tastes and smells She offers to us.
I’m so grateful to have had the chance to walk on Her soil and pick up vegetables and fruits, I’m honored to have had animals in my life as companion, I’ blessed for have had a Dad who always brought me and my sister to visit our uncles in the countryside, helping them to feed chickens, pigs, rabbits and cows, collect fresh warm eggs from the hen house, play hide and seek in the barn.

I saw swans in the lake, birds on top of a mountain, dolphins in the ocean.

Thank you Earth, thank you Mother Nature, thank you God!!!

UnderWoodFamilyFarm_MoorPark_Apr2014 - 387 copy

UnderWoodFamilyFarm_MoorPark_Apr2014 - 385 copy
UnderWoodFamilyFarm_MoorPark_Apr2014 - 359 copy

Photo by Maurizio “OttO” De Togni

Puff Pastry Doves With Chantilly Cream

Colombine di Pasqua_BLAD prep A - 05 copyColombine di Pasqua_BLAD prep A - 06 copyColombine di Pasqua_BLAD prep B - 1 copyPuff Pastry Doves With Chantilly Cream

After Easter comes Easter Monday, an
official holiday in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cultures.
In Italy is the perfect day for a field trip to the countryside or to the beach, weather permitting .
If you still crave for something sweet after the Easter binge, the puff pastry doves filled with Chantilly Cream are a delicious treat to put into your pic-nic basket and share with family and friends.

Buona Pasquetta – Happy Easter Monday !!!


Makes : 8 doves with Chantilly Cream

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 30 min.

Cook Time : 10 min.



1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

For the Chantilly Cream
8 oz heavy whipping cream, cold
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

powdered sugar, for dusting



Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.
With a dove shaped cookie cutter, cut the thawed puff pastry into doves.
Move the doves onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and brush them with a beaten egg.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cook completely on the baking sheet.
Prepare the Chantilly Cream whipping the cold whipping cream.
When the cream is almost whipped, add the sugar vanilla extract and beat until it reaches the stiff peak.
Place the whipped cream on a pastry bag with a star tip or plain round tip.
Stuff half of the doves with Chantilly cream, than cover the stuffed doves with the remaining half.
Dust with powdered sugar.


Photo by Maurizio “OttO’ De Togni

Sogliola Alla Mugnaia – Sole Meuniere

Sogliola Alla Mugnaia - Sole Meuniere

The Catholic tradition says that during the Holy Friday all the faithful should not eat meat. This “law” doesn’t prohibit to eat fish, eggs and dairy products so the majority of the Catholics today will have fish for lunch and dinner.
Today in observance to the Good Friday I made the delicate Sole Meuniere, sole fillets floured and cooked with butter, parsley and lemon juice.
For a perfect Sole Meuniere dish use only fresh soles.
Buon Appetito!!!


4 fresh soles
1 stick + 3 tbs unsalted butter
sea salt
1 small bunch of fresh Italian parsley
1 organic lemon, squeezed


Remove the skin from the soles on both sides and cut into fillets.
Wash, pat dry on paper towel and dredge into flour.
In a large skillet, melt the butter then add the fillets and let them brown on both sides.
Sprinkle with salt, chopped parsley and lemon juice.
Place the fillets on a serving dish.
Meanwhile add fresh butter to the cooking sauce and melt until dark-brown.
Pour the browned butter over the fillets and serve immediately.
Decorate the dish with slices of lemon, fresh parsley and capers.


Photo by Maurizio “OttO” De Togni

“Baking Bread”- Episode #1- Homemade Bread (Pane Casereccio)

Makes : 1 bread loaf

Difficulty : intermediate
Prep time : 20 min.
Baking time : 40/50 min.


1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil


- In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, proof the dry yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water and sugar. When a bubbly foam forms on the surface , the yeast is proofed and ready to be used.
- Stir 2 teaspoons of salt and 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the remaining warm water, then set aside.
- Add the flour to the yeast.
- Knead the dough with dough hook at low speed.
- Add little by little the water/oil mixture.
- Knead until the dough is firm and doesn’t stick to the bowl.
- Move the dough in a big shallow bowl, previously brushed with olive oil.
- Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap.
- Let the dough rise in the oven off with the light on.
- Let the dough rise until it doubles in size (usually it takes 2 to 3 hours).
- Move the dough on a floured work surface and work it faith hands for a minute.
- Shape the dough into a big ball.
- Cover with a dishtowel and let rise for another hour.
- Move the dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- With a pairing knife make 4 incision (two horizontal and two vertical), 1/2 inch deep on top of the dough.
- Bake the dough on a preheat oven (400 F degrees) for 40/50 minutes.


Ale Gambini (Host Chef & Founder)
Maurizio “OTTO” De Togni (Film & Music Maker – Executive & Media Producer)

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