Posts Tagged ‘pistachio’

Saying Goodbye

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart

If you read my blog enough, you will know how crazy I am about my two dogs, Baci and Bizou.  They drive me crazy sometimes, and have more than once brought me to near bankruptcy with all the trips to the emergency hospital but there’s something priceless about loyalty and unconditional love.

I never did tell you about my very first dog did I?  When my husband’s dog gave birth, he had promised me the pick of the litter.   I chose Feliz – who had a gorgeous pale coat, broad head and always inquisitive eyes.  We used to have “this thing” where I would blow into her face and she would stick her tongue out as if she was blowing kisses right back at me.  This one kept me company when my husband left for New York to take his MBA.

When I left for Australia, I would call home often and my Dad would put me on speaker phone.  He told me that Feliz would run up and down the house when she heard my voice, looking for me and trying to figure out where the voice was coming from.  I found it uncanny how even after a year of being away she would still look for me when she heard my voice on the phone.




Over the years, as life got in the way, I called home less and wondered less frequently how she was doing.   At the back of my mind I always knew there were always going to be people taking care of her – so  less and less did I feel like she was still my dog.

Last week, my Dad broke the news that Feliz, who had over the years gotten weaker with age, had deteriorated dramatically.  She couldn’t stand up and had refused to eat.  The doctor said that her kidneys had failed and that she was suffering from bone disease.   My Mom told me that Feliz was in pain and had been crying.

I called home one last time and asked them to put me on speaker phone. I wanted to tell her that I loved her and that everything was going to be better. They told me that she lifted her head, wagged her tail, tried to stand up but couldn’t.

I knew then it was time to say goodbye.

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart

Blueberry and Pistachio Tart


Pistachio and Blueberry Tart

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

  • 225 grams flour
  • 20 grams sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 120 grams butter, cut into cubes, cold
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
  1. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Using the tips of your fingers, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Beat the egg yolks into the flour mixture and add the water, a little at a time until you form a cohesive dough that comes together, the dough should be slightly sticky.
  3. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Pistachio and Blueberry Filling

  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 125 grams icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Seeds of one scrapped vanilla bean
  • 80 grams ground pistachios
  • 45 grams almond meal
  • 30 grams flour
  • strawberry jam
  • one punnet of bluberries
  1. Cream the butter and the sugar together until the mixture is pale and light. Add the eggs, one at a time and scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go along. Add the vanilla bean seeds, the ground pistachios, almond meal and flour, incorporate the batter well.
  2. To assemble, roll out the pastry to line 6 mini tarts. Trim the excess on the sides. Chill the pastry for around 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Pre-heat a fan forced oven to 180c.
  3. Spread some strawberry jam on the base of the shell and top with the pistachio filling and place about three or four blueberries in the center of the tart.
  4. Bake for around 15 to 18 minutes.

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Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies

Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies

This last week has made me reflect on the many happy accidents in my life.  Starting, in fact, nine months before I was born.

I always thought it was cool that my sister and I were the same age for a month during the year.  I liked it when I told people we were sisters, “same age but not twins”. I found it hilarious when they would give us this puzzled look. It only dawned on me one day, when  I was around thirteen or fourteen, my family was having dinner at the house of some friends they had just met.  The lady was introducing her four children.

“The eldest is James, he is sixteen, followed by Natasha, she is twelve.” She said.

“Then this is Raul, he is eight.  Bea, my youngest, is also eight.”  Then the lady patted her youngest daughter’s head and said as she smiled cheekily and said “She’s the accident of the family!”, to everyone’s amusement.

Everyone, except me, as I was shocked.  If Bea and Raul were the same age and Bea was an accident… I started to think about the age gaps between all my other siblings – everyone was around two years apart except for me and my sister.  I felt my face turning red. Could this mean I was an accident too?

It was only after the dinner that I confronted my Mom about this discovery.

“Am I an accident too?” I asked.

This is why my Mom is so fantastic.

“If you were, you’d be the best accident ever!”  she said.

Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies

Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies

Which brings me to these Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies.

Last week I had some friends over who wanted to learn how to make macarons.  I had prepared the almond meal, cocoa powder, icing sugar and caster sugar in little bowls so that all we needed to do was make the meringue and mix.  I pointed to the  almond meal, cocoa powder and icing sugar and told them to mix all of it.  I turned my back to separate the eggs.

“Do you want me to add the sugar?”  My friend asked.

“Yes please.” I told her.

As we started to make the meringue, I asked where the caster sugar was”

“It’s with the almond meal mixture!”  They told me.

“What?  We needed it for the meringue.” I said.

“But I asked you if I should add the sugar.” She said!

I just had to laugh.  Of course I did tell her to add the sugar!  So she added even the caster sugar. Silly silly me!

But that’s okay, because just when I thought that my Trissalicious World’s Best Pistachio cookies couldn’t get any better, I made this with that accidental supply of almond meal and sugar mixture. So here you have the the chocolate and pistachio version, gluten free, easy to make, and terribly delicious.


Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies

Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies

Trissalicious Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies

  • 180 grams Pistachios (raw, shelled)
  • 225 grams almond meal
  • 120 grams caster sugar
  • 125 grams icing sugar
  • 30 grams dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 75 grams eggwhites (from around 2 to 3 eggs)
  1. Chop the pistachios roughly and set aside.
  2. In a bowl place the almond meal, sugars and egg whites. Mix well until you form a paste.
  3. Scoop the cookie batter and form into logs around 5 cm long, (at this point, if you find the batter too sticky add a little bit more almond meal to the paste) then roll them in the pistachios.
  4. Place them in a baking sheet, around 2 cm apart and bake for around 13 minutes at 150c (fan forced).
  5. Update on recipe: Dust with icing sugar when cool.


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Italian Pistachio Cookies

Trissalicious Pistachio Cookies

I first tasted pistachio cookies in Italy, about  two years ago.  My husband and I were searching for Il Gelato di San Crispino that was supposed to serve Rome’s best gelato when we chanced upon a little bakery selling these bright green chewy balls of pistachio cookies that were called Bocconcini al Pistacchio di Bronte.  The gelato store was set aside for another day.  Instead, we bought two cookies each (At 3.80 EURO each they were expensive!) and went to Sant’ Eustachio for a caffe and devoured the little gluten-free Italian pistachio cookies.


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