Food blogger interview: Mavi de Armas

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I was looking forward for this blog post since I saw the amazing recipes and pictures of my good friend Mavi de Armas (isn’t she absolutely gorgeous?!) and her blog «Avant Garde Pty». We met a very long time ago in Venezuela and we clicked right away; she was funny and witty and we always had fun when we saw each other (yaaaas).

So there I was one day scrolling down her Instagram feed loving her amazing and stylish blog pics and I thought it would be a fun idea for her to join us in an interview here at The Golden Limoncello and let us know a bit more about her amazing blog.

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1) What motivated you to start your blog?

My love for food…The story is that I had tons of food pictures in my phone, so one day I thought… why not share? Avant Garde was born because I wanted to find the most beautiful products and create beautiful compositions so I discovered that not only I am a cook, I’m a food stylist.

2) How did you pick your blog’s name Avant Garde Pty?  

Well «avant-garde» is a term that is used mostly for art…and for me, food is art, it is beauty, The most simple way of describing food styling is by saying that it is the combination between art and gastronomy. Avant Garde is a compilation of food styling, food experiences, tricks, travels and more.

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3) What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I need to be truly sincere, it’s an obsession! I want to share everything with my followers, it’s a lifestyle! I always think about what I’m going to photograph, what recipe to cook, and it’s very exciting eating at restaurants and sharing my experiences.

4) If you had to pick, which would be your favorite recipe post of your blog? My famous Fudgy- sweet salty brownies! They are insane!  My husband and friends just love them!

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5) Sweet or salty?

Both!  In the same preparation! I think that is my favorite flavor, I love the combination of caramel and sea salt! It’s a vice.

6) Who is your biggest inspiration? 

In the kitchen, my husband is my main inspiration! He is a great chef, I’m very proud of him and I just love the way he cooks!

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7) All your photos look amazing! What is the most important thing for you when you are taking photos for the blog? 

I want to make food more beautiful that it is. I love to prepare the food  for the eye, for the camera. Food has to speak for itself.

8) Let’s pretend I come over for dinner, what would you cook? 

Well first that would be awesome! I love to make dinner parties in my home, if you come over for dinner I’ll start with some Cozze Bianco (one of my favorite dishes),  Tagliatelle with truffle butter and lobster and for dessert Crêpes à la crème.

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9) Can you give us a trick that never fails in the kitchen? 

After cooking the green vegetables , place them in a bowl with water and ice. It activates the greenery.

10) Last but not least, can you share a quick, easy recipe that you love? 

Of course! You have to try this delicious shake…

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All photos credit to © Maria Victoria de Armas

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We love it: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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I crave pizza all the time. I have it from time to time but not as often as I would love to. I found many recipes to substitute normal crust with cauliflower crust and I told you guys I would try some of them in this post.

One small warning: your kitchen is going to smell nasty when you are boiling and draining the cauliflower…but it will be all worth it at the end!

Here is the recipe I followed from «Eat.Drink.Smile».

I changed a little the toppings. I drained the cauliflower «rice» and put it in a clean cloth. You have to squeeze all the liquid out. I also didn’t use the microwave I just boiled my rice with enough water and a bit of salt. After many crusts gone wrong, I learned that it comes out pretty crunchy when you drain all the water from the cauliflower.

So let’s begin!

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Foods to avoid at airports

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You plan your vacation, you get to the airport, then all of a sudden you throw away all your healthy habits and go straight to have that burger with fries. What the heck, your vacation has just started right?

Be aware that sometimes that is not the smartest option. Not in the airport. Certain foods cause bloating, others can have a terrible aftermath.

1) Carbonated drinks. 

Sugar causes bloating and it is not a nice feeling to have on a long or even a short trip. Even diet sodas do too, so try to avoid them.

2) Too much coffee. 

I like to have my coffee when I am traveling in the morning or maybe a late-afternoon espresso. Please don´t over do it. Coffee in excess tends to dehydrate you and cause anxiety. It will not help you sleep if you are planning to do so.

3) Fried food.

Not good for your health and not good for your trip. Anything fried will satisfy your cravings for a brief time but will not nourish you in any way. When something is fried it is stripped from all its nutrients.

4) Alcohol.

I know some of you like to have a drink to soothe their nerves before a flight but believe me there are other natural options to do so. Keep in mind that alcohol dehydrate you and the first thing you need when traveling is to be hydrated. So try some valerian root or have a chamomile. (I am sounding like my grandmother, but you´ll thank me later.)

5) Switch the burger for a sandwich.

You can have it when you arrive at your destination but please try to avoid them before a flight. Have a sandwich instead with some protein and your fair amount of carbs. Thow in some veggies for extra points.

 

Greek Easter recipe: Koulourakia

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This year the Catholic and Orthodox Easter are the same day. So celebrating my mom’s Greek traditions I want to share with you the recipe to the typical Greek Easter cookies called «Koulourakia». This sugar cookies are normally served with Greek coffee in the afternoon. You can add some sesame seeds or you can skip them as I did.

I followed this recipe from the Food Network and was really pleased with the results. Since I am on a limited diet, I just had just one cookie and let me tell you it was good. Really good.

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Kalo Pasxa! (Happy Easter!)

Craving right now: Italian comfort food

There are certain dishes that my mom made when I was a child that I still love to eat today. Every time I smell basil or tomato sauce, I jump back to 1994 in a second.

My dad loved «Bruschettas» and the classic «Pasta al Pomodoro». With time I started to love them too. Those where the good times when I used to eat as much as I wanted. Lately, I have been under a lot of stress and I find myself craving those meals. I can understand why they call them «comfort foods».

Two weeks ago I shared my favorite Greek foods and today I will share my Italian comfort foods. I can’t have them often because of my migraines but I do cheat from time to time.

1) Bruschetta. This is simple, fresh and delicious. There are tons of different types of Bruschettas but I like the classic one. I always make it when I have unexpected guests over because I always have the ingredients at home. Sometimes I make some gluten-free bread and it tastes like heaven with the tomato and basil.

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2) Risotto ai funghi porcini (Mushroom risotto with Porcini). This is a fantastic alternative to pasta. When I was little I used to sprinkle so much Parmesan cheese on this meal that my mom used to tell me «Natascia you are not eating risotto with a little Parmiggiano, you are eating Parmiggiano with a little risotto».

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3) Pasta al pomodoro. This is my ultimate comfort food and I love it madly. I am not kidding. I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life. I cook this sauce with gluten-free pasta but I also found a great alternative with zucchini noddles.

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4) Rosemary focaccia. I don’t have to explain how delicious this is. Be prepared to jump of excitment: here is a gluten-free version.

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5) Nutella. This one is obvious right? Let’s all dedicate a minute of silence to the Ferrero Company for inventing such a delicious, decadent and addictive desert since 1964. For me nothing compares to this. Period. If it wasn’t for my migraines I would have it every day. (After the pasta al pomodoro obviously.)

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Do you guys have any favorite Italian foods?

 

 

Culinary shot: my Instafood

Instagram is by far my favorite app for sharing pictures. That been said, I also love to take pictures of what I am about to eat. Some people find this annoying, some do it too, both of them are valid points of view. I really like to eat colorful foods and I always try to make it a healthy choice.

Today I have selected my favorite «Instafood» pictures from my Instagram page to share with you.