Buongiorno Bella!

What do you say to yourself as soon as you get up?

If it’s Monday, chances are probably “heck, no”! Guilty of it myself.

Yet the energy we “breathe in” in the beginning of the day affects how the rest of it will go, if not in a physical sense but then in an emotional way for sure.

Yes, granted, not everybody is a “morning” person (myself including), and “rise and shine” better not be happening before 9 am, but as life dictates it, most of us have to be up and out the door early in the morning. Does it mean then that every day has to be a struggle?

When we see that first morning image of ourselves in the mirror, do we see a sleep-deprived person with messy hair, pale cheeks and half-closed make-up free eyes? Or do we see a beautiful human spirit at the brink of a day savoring every moment in a state of just “being” , stretching every muscle, saying “hello” to every body part and organ that will work extremely hard throughout the day to tackle any task that life will throw at them?!

Do you remember when your kids were very little, and you woke up in the morning later than usual alarmed that something happened to them only to find them quietly playing in their crib? And you pick them up, warm and smelling of milk, powder (and probably needing a diaper change), you feel the tiny arms circling your neck and a precious breath right into your ear… Do you really think they care that you don’t exactly look like a Victoria Secret’s model in your old sleeping t-shirt, with unwashed hair and probably a drool stuck to your cheek?! You just see a sheer joy in their eyes, “mommy is finally up”! To them, you’re the most beautiful creature in the world!

So, when you get up in the morning, say to yourself “Buongiorno bella!” and see yourself through your babies’ eyes. As you’re beautiful indeed!

What’s Cooking This Week

What could be better in the morning than something sweet and savory? Fruits are abundant, and summer fruits are especially delicious (just like your babies in the morning 🙂 ). This quick and unpretentious recipe could be something to greet and tempt with your now grown babies (and won’t they always be?). If these won’t get them out of bed, try filling a spray bottle with cold water. 🙂

Recipe # 4

Crostata di Frutta Rustica

(Rustic Fruit Tart)

Makes 1 9-inch tart or 4 small tarts

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups of flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free flour mix)

1 stick of butter, softened

1 +1 eggs

1/4 cup of sugar

1/8 tspoon of sea salt

Filling (2 ways):

1 medium plum

1/2 of tart apple, like Granny Smith

1 cup of mixed berries, like strawberries and blueberries

1+1 tspoons of lemon juice

1 Tbspoon of flour (I used Cup4Cup)

2 Tbspoons of honey

1 Tbspoon of sugar

1/4 cup of chopped pecans (or other nuts)

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a big bowl. Make a well and break 1 egg into the mix, also add softened butter pieces and incorporate all together. I used my hands as to not “over-work” the dough.

Make a ball, wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and chill in a fridge for about 20-30 minutes.

In a mean while, make the filling. Peel, core and cut the apple into small slices, cut the plum too, drizzle with 1 tspoon of lemon juice to prevent them turning brown. Mix in 2 Tbspoons of honey and chopped nuts.

In a separate bowl, mix the berries with sugar and lemon juice and sprinkle with 1 Tbspoon of flour.

Take the dough out of the fridge, flour the surface, divide the dough in 4 equal parts and gently roll it to about 1/8-inch thick rounds/ovals.

Place the fruit filling in a middle of each tart and fold in the edges of the dough. You get 2 of each: berry and apple/plum tarts.

Lightly beat the remaining egg and using a pastry brush coat each tart with the egg wash.

Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

Which one would you choose? The good thing, you don’t have to. 🙂

Enjoy! And share with your babies!