Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Crisp Winter

This salad will open up a new world to your taste buds.  The ingredients are 4: fennel, fennel leaves, orange and (raw) beets.  The dressing is minimum: extra virgin olive oil, orange juice, salt and pepper. The equipment: a mandoline slicer.  A knife wouldn’t do the same job, unless you’re one of those Japanese chefs that slice with ninja gestures as they toss food in the air, having it fall back in the plate done and perfect.  The mandoline gives you the same result and is still very entertaining.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rainy days and...

Blueberry Muffins

Rainy days. What a good excuse to stick inside and bake. In this case, muffins, a bunch of muffins.  I’m trying to use up my frozen berries, making room in my freezer for the soon to come summer season, when I’ll be stacking up again.  So this was the last batch of blueberries, next ones will be coming in summer when I go picking in those mountains again.  I thought I’d use them by making something simple and humble just like a muffin can be.  Simple in its preparation, simple in taste and simple to eat, especially if you are like me when it takes just two bites.  I got this recipe from an anonymous cookbook that came free as part of the package when I purchased my Kenwood and out of all the recipes for muffins I’ve tried, I think this one is the best.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Peanut Beef & Baby Spinach Stir-Fry
Peanut Beef and Baby Spinach Stir-Fry1
I found this recipe while flipping through a food magazine.  My eyes were captured by the picture which stood out in each and every way.  The colours of the vegetables, the few ingredients, the food assembled beautifully on a simple white plate, I was staring at a Picasso masterpiece.  The first sentence of the article stated exactly what I was thinking that minute “We all know how tough it can be to find inspiration for everyday meals...", this is so true.  It’s not that you don’t know what to cook, it’s that you want to make something different without hanging around pots and pans for a long time.  You get home late from work and your just tired and lazy.  I wanted something different and fast.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pan Brioche

Breakfast & Pan Brioche
Pan brioche

There are many things I enjoy to do in my kitchen and there are many others I just don’t like at all.  I don’t like cleaning up after my wild experiments, especially if there was a lot of chopping, shredding, cutting, whisking, blending, breaking involved. I don’t like to mop the floor, wash the dishes and even if I have a super duper dishwasher, I still don’t like filling it up (and emptying it out).Thank goodness I don’t have to clean the fridge because I wouldn’t like that either, I’m very good in consuming everything in it, which I believe has more to do with having a good appetite rather than not wasting or being well organized. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


A Bowl Full of Frappe
Frappe, Chiacchiere, Cenci.  These special treats appear at the beginning of February in just about every Italian region during the Carnevale.  In Rome, we call them Frappe, in other regions you will find them also as Chiacchiere, Cenci, Sfrappole, Sprelle, Fiocchetti, Lattughe, and so on.  The Carnevale is a festival celebrated with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties. It goes on for days!  There’s some sort of complicated calculation to figure out when the Carnevale starts, Easter Sunday has something to do with it.  I think you need to count 47 days prior to Easter and that is when the Carnevale starts.  My way of figuring it out, is when I notice that the Frappe are everywhere I go, from a coffee shop to a supermarket.  Food always answers my questions, I’m better in eating than doing the math, usually I go by the scent.  And even if I personally don’t celebrate the season by going to masquerade balls, I do make sure to have my gastronomic divertissment.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pasta With Love

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Let's say pasta is forbidden, you can't eat it, buy it, sell it, dream it anymore. Someone just wakes up and decides there is a pasta prohibition just like in the 20's for alcohol. Imagine the scene of pasta black markets, pasta smuggling, people paying fortunes just for a plate of pasta,  those suspiciously eating pasta in dark alleys, those who try to cover the fumes of pasta cooking, those who hide to get drunk with pasta, late night police raids taking your pasta away. Without getting too carried away with my imagination, I think you've got the picture.