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29 March 2013

Easter Chocolate Egg, Ice Cream and Berry Dessert


I can be sometimes forgetful about the proximity of important occasions but because of the little projects that my kids take home from school, I am reminded about every single occasion all the time.  On their last day of school a couple of days ago, both took home their handmade cards and baskets with chocolate eggs which they ripped open as soon as they were home.  So we have all sorts of dove, bunny & egg drawings of different shapes and sizes.  We also have more than our share of blessed olive branches that my daughter took home with her when she went to church with her grandmother last Palm Sunday.  One for Mommy, one for maestra Santina (her teacher), one for herself, one for......and so on.  For the women.  She must think that Easter is an extension of Women's Day. 

27 March 2013

Spaghetti With Mussels in Tomato Sauce


A trattoria is like a restaurant but less formal, with just a simple menu that's usually verbally announced to the patrons because of the absence of a printed one.  If ever there are menus, some of them are even handwritten.  The menu is usually composed of the classic and local dishes in abundant servings.  Prices are low and the service is casual family-style.  BUT nowadays, the trattorie in the cities are becoming less simple and more expensive, closer to how a ristorante (restaurant) is.

26 March 2013

Greek Salad Verrine



Serving food in crystal glasses has always appealed to me because you can see what's waiting for you to dig into.  When there's a multitude of colors given by the ingredients. It's sometimes a must to serve the food in a glass like this one especially when you have guests over.  I love how the colors of the tomatoes, capers, olives and feta mix together in this very simple salad.  Tossed altogether then drizzled with a simple balsamic vinegar dressing. I call this my quick emergency appetizer salad when I don't have so much time to spare.  The ingredients are always in my kitchen and the feta is readily available in all stores.  

Almond Rice Pudding With Quick Strawberry Marsala Jam & Pistachios


The strawberries are coming out and their redness are just too inviting to resist.  Normally, I would wait a little longer to buy them until I see that they are not the imported ones anymore because they don't taste of anything.   But as I saw one tag after the other, they are all saying one thing.  They are grown right here!  I really prefer the smaller ones from one area here called Terracina because they are tastier but I had to scold myself for being too picky to nature's first yield of spring.  They are beautiful, fresh, tasty and very red strawberries

24 March 2013

Panino With Sausage, Scamorza, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Broccoli Rabe


When I see a van selling panini (sandwiches) that is parked within my access, smell the odors of salsicce (sausages) grilling and lunchtime is almost around, I have to stride over and get a sandwich myself amongst the men who usually fill up the place.  There, you are sure to bite into a super panino with salsiccia and broccoli rabe or whatever trimmings you want them to put.  All I can say is that the sandwiches are usually very good. 

23 March 2013

Tuna, Salmon and Swordfish Skewers


Small, medium or large fish?  I love all and I think the smaller the fish is, the tastier it is.  But let me show you how to enjoy its bigger counterpart. I skewered three kinds of common large fish which are salmon, tuna and swordfish in-between wedges of oranges, bay leaves, fennel and cherry tomatoes.  It was a wonderland of beautiful odors while I was grilling and you can imagine that the taste is also awesome.

I also develop recipes for SheKnows.com.  The recipes I submit to them can be accessed from their site.  I thought of sharing the sneak peek here then direct you to the recipe with a link. 

Step over at She Knows and check out this recipe. You can also find a list of my other recipes in their site by clicking on this link.








Stir-Fry Noodles With Shrimp and Vegetables


I have a weakness for Asian stir-fry noodles.  It's probably one of the very few dishes where I didn't mind the vegetable content when I was young.  You see, my whole childhood was a game of dodging my veggies.  Being an adult now, I actually cannot eat stir-fry noodles without any vegetables.  And when you add shelled shrimps, I would willingly grab a seat and enjoy a bowl of this Asian delight.  There are so many kinds of noodle dishes because every Asian country has particular specialties. And I love all of them!  It is also one of the Asian dishes that my kids and husband love plus I get to put whatever vegetables I have at the moment.  Let me introduce to you the stir-fry noodles we love eating at home.

I also develop recipes for SheKnows.com.  The recipes I submit to them can be accessed from their site.  I thought of sharing the sneak peek here then direct you to the recipe with a link.

Step over at She Knows and check out this recipe. You can also find a list of my other recipes in their site by clicking on this link.



21 March 2013

Pork Chops and Saffron Rice With Zucchini, Peas and Pancetta


Lunch at  home is usually  simple and has a leaning towards rice-based dishes more than pasta.  That's because my daughter and I are more partial to it and lunch is usually mom and daughter time. Rice for her should always be white sprinkled with a lot of parmigiano reggiano (parmesan) and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil but I try to introduce other ingredients other than her perennial condiments.  Just a slice of zucchini takes the whole lunch time, a lot of tears and promises to convince her to eat it but I am always positive because at least she took that slice.

Pistachio-Crusted Shrimp With Paprika


I can't go without shrimp for long. Everytime I try to work on a recipe, there it is, in my mind, ready to be scrutinized to be combined with other ingredients.  Flexibility is its number one trait which is why I like it.  Whether it is grilled, submerged in sauce, fried, baked, raw or marinated, it never disappoints me.  My all-time favorite is grilling them without putting anything, absolutely nothing, but there are times when other flavors need to be explored too.  Here is a delectable combination of pistachios, paprika and orange zest.  Need to know something else?  It's so easy to do!

I also develop recipes for SheKnows.com.  The recipes I submit to them can be accessed from their site.  I thought of sharing the sneak peek here then direct you to the recipe with a link.

Step over at She Knows and check out this recipe. You can also find a list of my other recipes in their site by clicking on this link.

Enjoy your week!







Baked Whole Fish and Potatoes With Rosemary and Paprika


When I buy fish, I like them whole and fresh because all the flavors ooze out and blend with the cooking.  A filleted fish is good but a whole fish is a totally different thing. It entails more work to debone the cooked fish especially with two small kids to feed but I don't make that impede me because seeing them pick their forks and eat compensates for the work.  Nothing can be more nutritious than serving the fish this way using minimal ingredients. 

I also develop recipes for SheKnows.com.  The recipes I submit to them can be accessed from their site.  I thought of sharing the sneak peek here then direct you to the recipe with a link.

Step over at She Knows and check out this recipe. You can also find a list of my other recipes in their site by clicking on this link.


Enjoy your week!







19 March 2013

Veal and Mushroom Marsala


Something meaty and mushroomy had been occupying my mind.  You know, that kind of savory meat dish filled with button mushrooms with brown sauce.  Buonissimo!  When I was growing up, I remember being so fond of savory meat dishes with button mushrooms flavored with soy sauce with a tinge of calamondin lemons.  For a picky kid I was, it was one meal that wins me all the time. 

18 March 2013

Pasta With Figs, Eggplant and Tomatoes


Cooking pasta dishes is an endless creation of different combinations of ingredients and a continued exploration of flavors and blends.  Most of all, it's fun to open your refrigerator and cupboards and imagine what kind of dish you can create with the ingredients that you pull out.  Mediterranean always works out for me because I always have fresh tomatoes, bottles of capers and olives and dried figs.  And I also found a place for that lonely eggplant in the vegetable bin.  That's when imagination meets the sense of taste.  I knew it will come out with Mediterranean goodness of flavors and I was right as I had my first taste.  

I also develop recipes for SheKnows.com.  The recipes I submit to them can be accessed from their site.  I thought of sharing the sneak peek here then direct you to the recipe with a link. 

Step over at She Knows and check out this recipe. You can also find a list of my other recipes in their site by clicking on this link.

Enjoy your week!








16 March 2013

Arroz a la Cubana (Cuban Rice), The Philippine Way


I love food that shout at me to get my attention.  Yes, the good tasty ones that create an independent curve on my lips.  The kind that reminds me what the real beauty of cooking is.  It's when you create something that gives a contented smile to the one eating it.  And I just saw that smile on the lips of my husband.  This recipe will definitely be filed in the recipes to keep and to be repeated.   He reminded me to keep everything as is. 

15 March 2013

Calamari and Potatoes in Tomato Sauce and The Town of Narni


I depend on two companions in my kitchen whenever I cook.  The iPod or the TV.  The past weeks, I had turned off the music in the house almost completely and I just stayed glued to the 24-hour local news channel.  Without a prime minister and a pope the past weeks, I was practically a living specimen of a news addict.  I knew every single news by heart and I was my husband's personal anchorwoman whenever he comes home.  The other night had been unexpected when the white smoke billowed out from the Vatican's chimney.  I was chopping some vegetables while I was half-listening to my husband guiding our son with his homework and to the newscasters' drone of voices while we all wait for the smoke to come out.  It's only the second day so, no one was really thinking that white smoke would come out so soon.  But it did and the shouts of joy were deafening at St. Peter's Square.  In our kitchen, my husband and I exchanged identical words.  "There's a new pope!" 

12 March 2013

Pearl Barley and Vegetable Minestrone (Minestrone di Verdure e Orzo Perlato)


I like thick, textured soups especially when there are grains in them.  And you guessed it, barley ranks high in my list.  A plain vegetable minestrone is welcoming, healthy and good but it's not something that I would be very excited to have.  Of course, that's my opinion.  But if you add grains like emmer, rice or barley, then I will skip high towards the kitchen table. 

11 March 2013

Asian Beef Steak With Soy Sauce (Bistek)


It seems that I have dedicated these past posts to Memory Lane.  There are moments when it's hard to stop cooking one Asian recipe after the other once I start.  This dish actually has a real name other than the generic Asian Beef Steak With Soy Sauce.  It's called Bistek and it's one of my favorite soy-sauce dishes.  Simple, tasty and when I close my eyes, it transports me back to the Orient.

I also develop recipes for SheKnows.com.  The recipes I submit to them can be accessed from their site.  I thought of sharing the sneak peek here then direct you to the recipe with a link. 
 
Step over at She Knows and check out this recipe. You can also find a list of my other recipes in their site by clicking on this link.

Enjoy your week!











09 March 2013

Rice Dumplings in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Bilo-Bilo)


Yesterday's Festa della Donna (International Women's Day) was more special and sweeter than usual.  My 3-year old daughter has joined the festivity and has embraced the day with so much fervor that Christmas pales in comparison. She and her older brother had been waiting for it in anticipation.  Her brother's interest was piqued because he was making a little card project in school to commemorate the occasion. She, on the other hand, knew that it was a celebration of females and it includes her.

07 March 2013

Zuppa di Pasta e Ceci (Pasta and Chickpea Soup)


When our bodies are one degree warmer, they call out for something hot, soupy and comforting. It's automatic. Sometimes, it's the only food that's easy to take and digest.  Apart from less elaborate meals like simple salads or panini (sandwiches), bowls of hot soup have more prevalence on our bed trays. A bowl of this hot zuppa di pasta e ceci calls out to be enjoyed in the comfort of the bed and pillows propping me while I watch the latest news (Never mind that!  There's nothing great going on in Italy nor the Vatican right now.) and reading an e-book. My brain is already at the dangerous level of rustiness. It has been out of reading practice for so many years. It's so strange to be reading a sentence without any interruptions, a paragraph, then a page. There's silence.

05 March 2013

Miso Soup


I am grateful for the warmth and comfort that soups give when I am down with something.  There's a bug going around our family that left all four of us sick.  Three with fever and fortunately, our little princess was spared from it but she's also coughing around like the rest of us.  My husband and I passed a weekend of alternating in standing up from the bed and taking care of the family.  He was down on Saturday and my turn came on Sunday when high fever sent me completely useless.  It's hard when both parents are sick and there are also sick kids to take care of.  We passed the weekend pushing ourselves to the limit.  We did it and that's what's important.

03 March 2013

Lemon and Oregano Chicken Fillet


Lately, I have been more attracted to quick and easy recipes that are exploding with flavors.  Example?  This one!  I first tried this in my husband's aunt's house when, lunchtime was almost arriving (well, to be honest, it was actually lunch time!) and we still didn't have any food on the table nor on the stove and since the oven was busy at that time, not even there.    Then she showed me some raw turkey slices (you can also use chicken if that's the one you have like the one in the picture) in the fridge and told me that that was lunch.  Ok, it already took me a long time to get used to the late eating habits in Rome of 13:30 for lunch and 20:30 for dinner.  My tummy grew up being fed at noon and 19:00.  The time difference for a grumbling stomach makes a huge difference.  I forgot that she's Sicilian and in Sicily, they eat much later than in Rome.   You hear rumbling noises from me often when I am there but well, with seriously delicious food laid down in front of me, my growling tummy is always appeased. 

Grilled Shrimp, Peppers and Clementine Panino


This panino happened when I was so late in preparing lunch one day.  I pinched some shrimp from my stock I was allotting for the dinner meal then I grabbed the rest from around the kitchen.  The clementines played an important role in making the flavors round with the grilled shrimp and bottled peppers.  It's delicious and healthy!

I also develop recipes for SheKnows.com.  The recipes I submit to them can be accessed from their site.  I thought of sharing the sneak peek here then direct you to the recipe with a link.

Step over at She Knows and check out this recipe. You can also find a list of my other recipes in their site by clicking on this link.

Buon appetito!