01 August 2014

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl



I really can't deny that I prefer salty breakfasts from sweet ones. Yesterday, as I walked in the splendid breakfast room of Park Hotel Pacchiosi in Parma, I scanned the three long buffet tables of breakfast goodies discretely set against the wall. I quickly walked towards the one I was interested in and checked how my breakfast was going to be. Heavy, for sure but definitely satisfying because I liked how the eggs were cooked, sausages, uuhhh crispy bacon (ssshhh!), wedges of Parmigiano Reggiano, prosciutto crudo di Parma, other kinds of ham and cheese, different kind of bread. I think I will stop there because that morning, my eyes were only for a salty breakfast. Period. Twice over even, until I was completely full.

28 July 2014

Risotto with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta and Toasted Zucchini


There are a few times when my family gets separated for important stuff or sometimes even on vacations. It's quite normal for me to pack bags for each member of the family and line them up at the entrance of our house the night before separating. That also includes pets of whatever kind. Last year, they were pet hamsters going to my husband's colleague's house while my kids went to their grandmother and my husband and I flew to Manila for some important stuff. It was one busy morning of saying goodbyes and running around.

Warm Barley, Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Grilled Chicken


Putting pearl barley in our regular diet at home has been my aim lately. It's rich in fibers which is important for us, especially for the kids. They do get fibers from the bowls of cornflakes that they keep munching on throughout the day. I say munch because they eat them like chips. Dry, no milk, no yogurt. It's strange I know. I eat cornflakes exactly the same way they do. I know that I am not guilty of teaching them the improper way to eat them. Oh well, like mother, like kids.

26 July 2014

Fish and Artichokes with White Wine


When I am at the fish shop and the place is empty, I always use that opportunity to question the fishmonger. How to keep the clams a day before cooking, what kind of fish is best for a certain type of cooking, do I keep the scales or not, or to give me advice on how to cook new kinds of seafood that I would like to try. The other day, I got some orata or gilt-head bream. There were no sole for the kids and gilt-head bream is my usual second choice to buy. I got 3 medium ones for dinner.

25 July 2014

Quick Fish with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Sage


We all have recipes that we instantly think of when we have three minutes to think of what to cook for dinner. When I am at the seafood section of the supermarket, I usually get some sole or plaice. The children love them simply covered with breadcrumbs, Mediterranean style or this dish where I cook them with chickpeas and tomatoes. It's an instant hit with my picky-eating kids.

24 July 2014

Mini Puff Pastry Tarts with Asparagus, Pancetta and Cream of Parmesan


Italian courses are a lot and it took me about a couple of years to go through all the courses with success, meaning eating everything served to me from the first course to the last one. I used to give up after the pasta because not only are the courses a lot, the servings are also abundant. There's antipasto (appetizer), pasta or risotto (the first course), secondo (second/main course) with contorno (side dish), sometimes frutta (fruit) then lastly, the dolce (dessert). At times, each course even has more than one dish.

21 July 2014

3 Fresh Fruit Summer Cocktails


The temperature is soaring! When I step out of the house and feel myself melting rapidly in the heat, I feel like escaping indoors and not go out anymore until summer finishes. Not unless I am dressed to combat the heat with just a bathing suit on me and lukewarm water waiting for me to dip in. And of course, a nice cold fruity cold alcoholic cocktail to keep me cool. Then I'll stay outdoors willingly.

20 July 2014

Asian-Style Garlicky Spicy Sautèed Shrimp


I was speaking with someone once about how the simplest recipes can be better than their complex counterparts at times. I like both simple and complex methods of cooking but I usually leave the complex ones to the good chefs who can wow me with their creations. This makes dining out a good reason to try out innovative dishes. But most of the time, I look for simple dishes with minimal ingredients. I like it when I identify the ingredients used in the dishes and that is one reason that prods me to cook at home. I like to keep my cooking simple.

19 July 2014

La Francesca Resort in Bonassola, Liguria (Italian Riviera)


Just after the Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare), the rocky and hilly coastline continues on to Levanto then to Bonassola where La Francesca Resort is set amidst the Parco Naturale del Bracco-Mesco, a protected natural woods of Mediterannean maquis and pines. La Francesca covers 15 hectares of land facing the Ligurian Sea and is in the middle of Levanto and Bonassola connected by a 4 km. foot and tunnel path that used to be an old railroad connection between the two towns.

14 July 2014

Risotto with Leeks and Fennel


It may not sound as good as it is in reality, but this risotto has a wonderful combination of subtle flavors of leeks, fennel and Parmigiano Reggiano. It's not the kind that impresses you with explosive tastes at the first taste. It's the kind that impresses you with its lovely flavors as you go from the first to the next ones. It's not highfalutin and complex. It's simple and it's comforting. And it's something that I would like to have at home with my family because it's healthy.