Welcome to Villa Emilia (My Woodland Garden), a photography blog with a slant towards gardening and nature. An amateur gardener and photographer, I hope to share beautiful moments with you through pictures. Let me know if you like them!

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Thank you for your visit.



Outside it looks like this:

Greyish and darkish, no matter from which angle you look. On the plus side, it's a good day to watch a nice film or TV programme munching on something tasty. My favourite snack is this: red wine, breadsticks, Parmesan, and stuffed chillies: 

The best stuffed chillies I've tasted were of course home-made. My mother-in-law didn't use tuna fish for the stuffing, only anchovies, and the chillies she used were hot, but not excessively so, just enough to be really delicious... and to cure any occasional headache. :) 

I found the following recipe on the Internet some years ago:

Stuffed Chillies  (Peperoncini Ripieni)

from the book Return to Tuscany - Recipes from a Tuscan Cookery School 

by Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi

These little stuffed chillies are usually preserved in oil in jars and sold at markets and delis in Italy. The recipe originated in the south of the country but stuffed chilies are now made everywhere. Be careful when cutting the chillies and don't touch your face or eyes as they will burn. However, when the chillies are boiled in wine and vinegar, then water, the heat dissipates. In Tuscany, the chillies used are small, dark-red, round ones, called Calabrese.

18 tiny chillies, tops cut off and seeded (you can do this with a small spoon)

200 ml (7 fl oz) white wine

400 ml (14 fl oz) white wine vinegar

3 salted anchovies

90g (3 1/4 oz) tuna in oil, drained

1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed

1 tbsp fine breadcrumbs

enough oil to cover the chillies if storing

Makes enough to fill a 300 ml (1/2 pint) preserving jar.

Place the chillies, wine and vinegar in a pan, bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, and discard the cooking liquid. Bring a pan of water to the boil and boil the chillies for 5 minutes. This will get rid of most of their fiery heat. Set aside.

Rinse the anchovies thoroughly under cold running water to remove the salt. Finely chop them with the tuna and capers to form a paste. Combine the paste with the breadcrumbs.

Carefully stuff the chillies with the mixture, filling them right down to the bottom to avoid any air pockets. Do not overfill.

Eat the chillies straight away or place them upright in a jar that has been sterilized by being washed in a dishwasher, or in soapy water for 5 minutes. Cover with olive oil. Push a knife down the sides of the jar, around the chillies, to release any trapped air bubbles, then tap the jar on the table to release more bubbles. Make sure the chillies are completely covered in oil and screw on the lid. They will keep for up to two months in a dark cupboard.

Searching on the Internet, I noticed that there also has been a BBC2 cookery series “Return to Tuscany”. At http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/search?programmes[]=p007b4jj (accessed on 31 October, 2014) you can find more recipes from Tuscany!

As every Sunday evening, I'm linking up with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith. Do visit her beautiful blog for more mosaics!

Now, what to watch on a Saturday or Sunday night?  I thought to have heard that the third season of Scott&Bailey would start in Finland in November (in the UK they have already seen the fourth season), but I just read it will be shown in December and January.  The series is about Rachel Bailey and Janet Scott, Detective Constables in the Major Incident Team, headed by Detective Chief Inspector Gill Murray, of the fictional Manchester Metropolitan Police force.  I was gripped by the series from the beginning, even though the crimes sometimes are really grisly and the private matters of the characters not completely credible. The cast is excellent, as in all British television series I have seen. 

I could see my favourite crime drama television series, Inspector Morse. I have all the DVDs...

Or perhaps the best television series ever (ever ever), Yes Minister? As its sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, it's as topical and witty today as when it was made in the Eighties!

There have been earlier versions of the following quotation concerning Britain's newspapers, but this one is unforgettable:
Hacker (Prime Minister): Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers: the Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; the Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.
Sir Humphrey (Cabinet Secretary): Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?
Bernard (Hacker's Principal Private Secretary): Sun readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits.


  1. Brrr, you have already snow, a good idea to stay inside with these mouthwatering stuffed chillies at hand.

    1. They are really delicious!
      Have a nice new week, Janneke!

  2. It looks pretty outside but I will join you inside for those yummy treats and especially if you put in a Morse DVD!

    1. Welcome anytime, Donna!!
      Have a lovely week!

  3. I think some of us are bypassing Autumn and moving straight to winter ... brrrrr. Your treats look delicious. I love snacks of cheese and wine and I love stuffed peppers of all kinds. YUM!

  4. Brr, snow already! Well the wine is warming as are the chilies :)

  5. It sure looks beautiful outside! And the recipe sounds very yummy for tv watching. We're watching a football game this afternoon. Sweet hugs, Diane

  6. I suppose your snow is here to stay Sara but I'm sure you're used to it. I love a good Valpolicella with cheese and crackers and your stuffed chiles would be nice as well. Yum.
    I'm gearing up for Christmas movies and have recorded a few so far to watch when I can get cozy with some snacks.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  7. I like stuffed cherry peppers, like the ones you made! I used to be able to buy them in NYC freshly made, but now I'll try making my own as no one sells them where I now live. I've alsocseen Inspector Morse shows on DVD--the one you quoted is amusing!

  8. Tiedätkö mitä, talvi on peruutettu taas tällä erää. Onneksi otin lumikuvia, saattaa olla, että koko talvena ei tule noin kaunista. Liukas keli sivuteillä. Eilen oli jälleen sähkökatko noin neljä tuntia. Me laitettiin uuniruokia leivinuunissa tunnelmoitiin kynttilän valossa.

    1. Lumikuvasi ovatkin todella kauniita! Täällä ei ole vielä oikeastaan ollut lumista maisemaa ja auringonpaistetta yhtä aikaa.
      Leivinuuni olisi kyllä kätevä! Mekin joimme kakkukahvit kynttilänvalossa, Isänpäivän kunniaksi.

  9. Good food and good television. We get some of those wonderful British show here on our public television stations that are commercial free. Good viewing.

  10. The snow images are lovely and we may be getting some this week. The recipe does sound good!


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