we saw a fox hunting an animal in our back garden on the 21st of january of this year. then, the winter was gone, the flowers showed up and we moved to another house. after exactly 10 months, that big furry red fox showed up in our new back garden. i love living in a neighbourhood that is full of wild life!


pumpkin pie (a.k.a. the first pie i have ever baked)

october was over and we were left with a whole lot of pumpkins to cook. soups were made and our halloween dinner wouldn't happen without the traditional shrimps in pumpkin, a brazilian favourite. pumpkin pie was the ultimate recipe i wanted to try before autumn was over.

as expected for a virgin baker that i am, the pastry wasn't amazing and i had quite a few problems while blind baking it. well, but it's what they say, if you never get it wrong you will never learn how to do it right.

both recipes for the pie and the pastry were from good food website with a few changes to suit my taste. but here it is:

750g/1lb 10oz pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
350g sweet shortcrust pastry
140g muscovado sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
25g butter, melted
175ml milk

225g/8oz plain flour
110g/4oz butter
80g/3oz sugar
1 large egg

1. place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. drain pumpkin; let cool.
2. heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas.
3. crumb together the butter in to the flour using the food processor in pulse mode. add the sugar and give a couple of pulses. mix in the egg and enough milk and pulse until a soft dough forms. let it rest in the fridge.
4. roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a tart tray. blind bake it for 15 mins. remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
5. increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas
6. push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. in a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine.
7. pour the mixture into the tart shell and decorate the top with pecan nuts. cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas.
8. continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set. leave to cool.

it seems a lot, but was actually quite easy to do, even for me!


a day in the life

a month ago we went to liverpool for the weekend. these pictures are from very typical autumn day. there are such different colour ranges in every tree, i never thought autumn could be so bright. i love the cloudy days that have everything to seem grim, but actually, they are just as nice as a sunny day. i always thought that clouds create a beautiful natural filter, every picture has the perfect tone when taken in a cloudy day. 

since it was only my second time in town, we went to see some well known sights for any beatles' fan (which means everyone on earth, perhaps?). we went for a stroll in calderstones park and the view was stunning. i just love autumn so much. the strawberry fields are everything but fields, but i wasn't expecting much more than the gates to be honest. it is quite endearing that they have a plate with the story of strawberry fields and the contact of the people who restored the gate. so, if you want your house to emanate the beatles, here is your chance.

the japanese garden at calderstones park is like a dream. so perfectly structured and incredibly colourful! i want to check it in summertime, but i reckon it doesn't get any better than this. 

69a is an antique shop in liverpool that is around since the 70s. located in renshaw street, it is definitely a not-to-be-missed spot and it contents vary from clothes to decoration objects, books and jewelry. be aware that you can easily spend hours there, browsing all the little things that you may come across. it is beautiful.

i can't wait for christmas time so i can be back to liverpool, i just love this town.


brighton in december

well, it has been a while since i've last blogged in my life. i think the last time i did, i was being a completely maniac-depressive and i was talking about the emptiness of the world. or maybe how deep the conscious and sub-conscious of humanity can really be and other subjects that would probably make nietzsche and proust turn over in their graves. to summarize: it is never easy to write a first post.

anyway, almost one year ago, two of my closest friends came to spend christmas and new year's eve here in london. it was a magical time and i felt like if the time could have stopped forever (it wouldn't have bothered me at all if it actually had stopped). also, we went to brighton in the last week of december and as the pictures show, it was very, very windy. sometimes, the most memorable days are the ones where you don't expect much, you just go and do stuff without any concerns.