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30 April 2012

Torta Salata ai Carciofi (Artichoke Quiche) and the Artichoke Festival of Ladispoli

When I asked my husband to get SOME artichokes if he happens to see the truck selling them at the town, I didn't mean a whole big box of them with an added bonus of a whole sack of white onions.  I stopped counting the artichokes after 30.  The onions were more than 50 at my estimate.  I wondered why he bought them in the first place when he despises onions (and garlic).   He said the prices were very good.  My first thought was how in the world will I cook all those when there are only two of us who eat artichokes and I'm the sole person at home who can eat onions? 

27 April 2012

Honey Lime Ginger Chicken Thighs and Philippine Java Rice

It's warm. It's sunny.  The air is still.  And best of all, it's a national holiday!  

The 25th of April is Italy's Festa della Liberazione. 

That means no work and no school.  And there's no better way to spend the day than grill our lunch and stay outdoors while basking under the sun.   

24 April 2012

Spring Salad with Chive Blossoms & Squash Seeds

Weekday lunch at home is usually slow.  There are just me and my 2-year old daughter, Sofia, to cook for. On rare moments, my husband joins us. My first-grader son stays in school the whole day and only comes back late in the afternoon.  His lunch menu though, is posted in front of our fridge.  He's in very good hands. He and his classmates have three course meals every day with perfectly balanced meals. It's the food pyramid to perfection chosen by the state's dieticians and nutritionists. Jamie Oliver would be delirious with joy! After watching his school cafeteria series, my child's school menu makes me one satisfied parent. 

23 April 2012

Risotto with Artichokes, Apples and Flower Sprinkles and the Village of Ceri

I love sprinkles of color on white. Especially yellow.  Yellow dictates a positive outlook in life. Sunshine, light, happiness. It has been my favorite color ever since I was a child, which my Mom would always say proudly that I got from her. Is color preference hereditary?  I wonder. 

21 April 2012

Pasta alla Carrettiera

"Too much garlic?"

Four cloves of garlic for a serving of four?  I don't think I can handle that.  Neither can the author of the email I just received.  There was a link to a pasta recipe that I should check out and that question.  Ha!  I knew it!   My husband just found a pasta dish he would like to try.

19 April 2012

Strawberry Tart, Strawberry Trifle, Three Awards and a Cat Who Ate My Tart

I have more things to share today that I think you should grab a chair, sit down and lend me an ear.  

Good things got thrown in to my side of the blogger fence these past two days.  While on the neighborhood fence, a bad thing came in as I still see black, or a funny one if you give me a few months to sit on it and wait for me to sizzle back to the right temperature.  My husband and son think it's funny but they keep straight faces in front of me because I might turn into an angry cat myself.

17 April 2012

Agretti, Pine Nut & Ricotta Frittata Rolls and Villa Doria Pamphili of Rome

The weekend has passed with erratic weather.   We had everything again.   Rain, sun, wind, cold and heat.   I am obsessed with the weather lately (I think I have always been anyway.) because spring had started splendidly and we are now regressing back to winter.   I slept last night with two blankets and kept on adding more during the night that I lost count after four.  It was like sleeping with a mattress on top of me.  Believe me, it was not easy heaving the mattress everytime I turn.

15 April 2012

Aubergine Omelette & Salad (Tortang Talong)

There's a tent in our house with two sleeping children snuggled happily under so many covers that you barely notice them.  I just see the tips of their heads. They have big stuffed dogs on each side of them keeping them company and cramping them more in the little space they share. There are books and toys scattered about which I pick up to clear the bed.  I could stay there looking at them the whole night.  I complain when they are too noisy or roughhousing too much but I forget that this age doesn't really last long.  They grow and they eventually move away from you. 

13 April 2012

Baked Anelletti in Aubergine Crust

I start to feel uneasy when my husband plops down beside me on the bed holding his Ipad and start browsing at his virtual menu in the Facebook page of Sicilia (Sicily).  

I know that he finds something interesting when I see him making the images bigger and stay on the picture longer than 3 seconds.  And I also know that he would be asking me to take a look at the image that he finds so compelling.

Being a virtual menu, I look at his choice and check the recipe.  A concession is made when I ask him to bookmark it.  And that sums up how he orders food in his private Sicilian restaurant. 

11 April 2012

Easter Cheese Bread on Pasqua & Pasquetta in Italy

The Easter weekend came and went with a rainy and cold spell, abruptly robbing us of well-planned garden lunches and leaving us with makeshift indoor dining instead.  Both our Pasqua (Easter Sunday) and Pasquetta (Easter Monday) lunches were spent indoors while we wondered how the temperature suddenly dropped to a low wintry one. 

08 April 2012

Pear Tiramis├╣ with Vanilla Mousse

It's beautiful, delectable and simple. 

As I was scanning the April 2012 issue of La Cucina Italiana, I immediately bookmarked this recipe.  I knew it would be good judging from the ingredients and the how it's done.

07 April 2012

Typical Italian Antipasto

These past days took me to an accelerated level of grappling for time and crawling to a deep and dreamless slumber at the end of the day.  It had been (and still is) a 24-hour marathon of running after everything that has to be done but never seem to get fulfilled.  

Spring has a bright and beautiful side but we never mention its dark side.  Spring cleaning!  It's a herculean job when doubled with other chores and cooking.  Bagging and segregating things for throwing, recycling and donating have disrupted my daily routine and my neglected chores are piling up.  And cooking, well, I had been feeding my family with pasta and pizza take-outs or whatever we can grab from the fridge.  There's anarchy in my kitchen at the moment and I am letting it be until I wrap up the last bag from spring cleaning, pretty soon.  

04 April 2012

Avocado, Pistachio & Strawberry Smoothie

I have a little lady jauntily parading around the house carrying a little pink handbag, wearing a pair of pink sunglasses, hair tied in pigtails and a big rubber snake draped on her shoulders today. Miss Coolness she is. I asked her if she can see anything with her cool shades because she had been bumping onto things.  She nodded at me while staring at her reflection at the mirror and said "Si!".  Welcome to the world of daughters with a strange fashion sense.

03 April 2012

Pizzoccheri with Fava Beans, Pancetta & Tomatoes

The sauce was almost cooked and the water for the pasta was boiling.  It was one of those days (that's becoming frequent lately) that I am running behind schedule in preparing lunch and dinner.   I grabbed this big box of pizzoccheri from the pasta shelf in the pantry and tried to understand what this pasta was meant for during my 30-second sprint towards the kitchen.  I remember that it was the pasta that my husband bought to try.   He told me something about it but I couldn't remember what it was.  Next time, I should listen more.  I had no time to call him nor search the internet so off the short linguine-like pasta went in the boiling water.