The kids are in the pool now, enjoying the last rays of the summer sun. Another season has passed and this time, it had been too fast for me. Maybe it's because I started it with a full schedule of travels, barely leaving time to sit down and relax at home. It seems like I spent the whole season packing, unpacking and running after time. And speaking of time, I just turned a year older yesterday.
30 August 2013
28 August 2013
My week at the Italian and French Riviera has passed. I have been home for exactly 2 days and still, I feel the exhaustion from the trip. Reality plopped itself down right in front of me immediately as soon as I stepped inside our house. I missed it. I missed my daughter too, who for this trip, decided not to come with us because she wanted to stay with her nonna (grandmother) & zia (grandaunt), go to the beach everyday, color her coloring books and stay in a tranquil ambience in the company of two of her favorite people. This she told me in a serious tone while playing together. I have to respect that, coming from a 3-year old.
24 August 2013
The simplicity of the white and green combination of this breakfast refreshes my eyes in the morning. Sweet chamomile syrup mixed with vanilla yogurt was something that runs fluidly in my mind when I put this together. Just making the words roll in my mouth made me go straight to the kitchen and let my imagination run my hands in mixing.
20 August 2013
These pictures and recipe have been sitting in my computer since July. I made it, loved it and enjoyed every single spoonful I ate. Like with the package of TWG teas that I got as a parting gift from a good friend in the Philippines, another good friend gave me some jars of these shore crab roe. It's not something that everyone will really like because it can be appreciated through acquired taste. Why? Because it is pure roe of the shore crabs (See picture at the bottom). I am 99% sure that it's crab roe even if it is locally known in the Philippines as aligue or taba ng talangka which literally translate to shore crab fat.
18 August 2013
Bruschetta means abbrustolito which is translated to lightly burned with the fire. And that is exactly what the bread goes through before being topped with whatever your heart desires. Since the grill is on, vegetables cooked on the fire are perfect to pile up on your bread. It's one of the simplest and healthiest way to enjoy the fresh produce in Italy in summer.
17 August 2013
When the pizza is rolled like this, I can't help enjoying it more. Not only is it neat to eat but it also works like a sandwich that I can take with me on picnics. I don't worry about drippings on clothes nor oily hands. AND it doesn't take up so much space too. Got you attention? Give it a try, it's a mess-free pizza! You'll love it more when you have kids.
14 August 2013
This is the ONLY crostata I eat. Crostata or jam tart is everywhere in Italy and everyone eats it. You can find it in restaurant menus, in everyone's kitchens, in parties, in the bars, everywhere! It's one of the easiest desserts to make (if you are not making the dough yourself) and it's also one of the most-loved desserts in Italy. It's just a matter of preference on which kind of fruit jam you are using on the crostata.
I am quite well-stocked with lentils at home because my son adores them. Then his little sister follows whatever he does so she eats them too. Imagine that. When I was a kid myself, I avoided mung beans. Then eventually I learned to like them when I became older. Maybe I wised up and realized how rich in protein they are or maybe because I stopped being kiddish in my preference of food.
13 August 2013
When you leave your friends after a visit, you receive parting gifts. When friends put all their effort in certain activities, you are a part of their support network. This is the story of the myriad TWG teabags I have now in my cupboard. A big number of Sechan teabags and numerous others with most of the flavors the company produces are all waiting for me to try and enjoy with my 7-year old son who, for some odd reason, loves both hot tea and iced tea. He was born with a badge of tea connoisseurship.
12 August 2013
The heat of the summer here is intensifying that at times, I feel like putting a yellow ribbon to close off my kitchen for the rest of the season. I prepare our meals that require minimal cooking or better when they don't need cooking at all! So for now, insalate (salads) and panini (sandwiches) are the main ones coming from my kitchen.
11 August 2013
The first time I saw a vegetable spiral pie, I got stuck to my computer screen for a full minute before I took my eyes off it. It was so beautiful! The next thing that came to my mind was: It should have been difficult to do seeing all those swirls of thinly-sliced vegetables all lined up like soldiers standing in attention. Then the next thought: It should take a lot of patience to do that. I don't have a problem with that because eversince I was a kid, I can be lost in my own world creating little artsy projects that sometimes I would forget about food & sleep. And the last thought: It's involves baking and it does look difficult. No, I can't do it! I left it like that. I didn't give it another thought again.
10 August 2013
I have been battling my kids' non-negotiable decisions to be fed with the Golden Arches' chicken nuggets whenever we are within a 100-meter radius. I often wish I can shoo away the odors emanating from its kitchen when we are still a good distance away. My husband and I count 1-2-3 silently as soon as we smell something and like clockwork, the excited squeals of excitement erupt from the backseat. I have tried bribing them with everything imaginable to make them change their minds. Nothing.
09 August 2013
I love chicken and potatoes! Don't you? There are a myriad ways to enjoy them and here's an idea from my very own kitchen! It came from my Mom's kitchen which I adopted in my own and which I have since, changed to something tastier. I also tried adding some fresh mint leaves which came out differently. I would say, it gave it a nice edge. Plus the kitchen smells more homey with the permeating odor of grilled chicken. Yum!
08 August 2013
If there's anything very cold to drink, count me in! If it's something fruity with a lot of ice, then I raise both my hands for it! Out of necessity to create something cold and fruity to pass the hot days of summer, I came up with this drink after my Philippine trip. It quenched my thirst, it cooled me down and over everything, I really enjoyed it! If only I had more fresh Philippine mangoes, then I would have made pitchers of it. I was only able to take a couple with me and I treated them like rare jewels when I went back to Rome.
06 August 2013
Here it is. For once, when someone asks me if I can recommend a place to stay in Rome close to the Vatican, I can easily say B&B Gli Artisti with confidence. How many times have I received questions like this and I always remain with a blank. After this weekend, things have changed because I had the opportunity to stay at the B&B Gli Artisti myself.
05 August 2013
Now that it's 40 degrees Celsius in Rome, I feel like running back to the alps and cool off. I do realize how important it is to escape for a few days from the peak of the heat in the city and go somewhere else to refresh and enjoy the nature, whether it's the mountains or the sea. I live in the outskirt of Rome so still, I enjoy being free from traffic congestions and a different kind of heat that only cities have.
02 August 2013
We had a big avocado tree growing in our backyard along with other backyard fruit trees when I was young. No one really thought much about it. We just referred to is as the big tree at the back of the house because it never bore fruit. No one had any idea that it was an avocado tree until finally after so many years, we saw life sprouting out from one of its branches. Then another one and another. The fruit ripened and they went immediately to the kitchen to be mashed, mixed with milk & sugar then refrigerated just like how we always enjoy eating our avocados.
01 August 2013
Chorizo. One of the greatest gastronomic contributions of Spain to the culinary world and one of my most preferred ingredients in cooking. Whatever I create in cooking around this Iberian pork sausage comes out bursting with flavor with a strong hint of smoked paprika, another Spanish flavor I absolutely love. One bite encompasses you with the real essence of Spain. And guess what? It's also one of my favorite cuisines!