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My Beatles-inspired baking challenge: Eight bakes a week

Eight bakes a week
I love you
Eight bakes a week
Is not enough to show I care 

It’s been a busy week in my kitchen. After baking two things in one day (hello, dishes), I decided to give myself a Beatles-inspired challenge: eight bakes a week.

It sounded like a good idea on day one and, after a few last-minute recipe searches, it was mission accomplished at the final hour. I tried to lay off the sweets and sink into the breads, breakfasts and savoury treats.

Here’s how my week went down.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Ricotta, Italy 9/80

Ricotta is, without a doubt, the easiest cheese in the world to make.

Some recipes call for cream, lemon or vinegar but this has only two ingredients: milk and buttermilk.

Brace yourself for the simplest, most impressive homemade cheese recipe of your life.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Biscotti, Italy 1/80

Biscotti, the stuff Italian dreams are made of, are simple to make twice-baked cookies and are sure to impress your friends.

On a trip to Italy last year, I was given a version of this recipe from Rosana at Agriturismo i Fuochi near Cortona and it was the best souvenir I could have asked for.

As long as you add flavour combinations you love and you keep a close eye on them in the oven, this recipe is a keeper.
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An Amalfi Coast adventure on two wheels

A narrow road in Italy calls for a scooter. Nothing else will do.

When a friend of my CouchSurfing host in Pompei offered to take me around the Amalfi Coast on his scooter, I was thrilled.

He called up the morning of our planned trip to tell me the weather didn’t look so good so we would go by car instead. Instantly, I was gutted.
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Take a hike! 5 unique treks in Europe

Travelling isn’t just about going to museums, learning new customs and eating different food. It can also be a chance to get out and enjoy the fresh air.

Hiking during a trip is a wonderful opportunity to get out of the city, off the trains and into the wilderness. With a decent pair of shoes, a waterproof raincoat and a bottle of water (and maybe a map and a phone), you’re off to the mountains.
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Mr ‘Stranded’ American and the ferry from Italy to Greece

I wasn’t expecting it to be quick. I wasn’t even expecting it to be on time.

Travelling within a slightly disorganised country can be difficult enough. But taking a 16 hour ferry from one chaotic (but beautiful) country to another? Good luck.

My expectation for the ferry’s timeliness turned out to be well-founded on a long overnight ferry from Brindisi, Italy to Patras, Greece. But the 16 hour journey was difficult enough to begin.
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Guilty until proven innocent?

When I arrived back in the States after 20 months in Europe, I had no way of getting a hold of my dad to tell him my flight had arrived at the airport and I was through security. I hadn’t planned ahead so I didn’t have any American dollars to call from a phone booth. I decided to do what I had done many times with a language barrier but without hassle. I decided to borrow someone’s phone to call him.
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