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28 September 2013

Pasta Ruote With Sautèed Zucchini & Pancetta

I'm cooking this pasta this weekend and I am expecting a whoop of joy from my son as soon as he sees what's cooking in my saucepan. I like his habit of casually strolling in the kitchen and asking me what I am cooking while peeking inside the saucepan. He does this only when he likes the smell permeating the kitchen. He's crazy about the three ingredients in this dish. Pancetta (which I discourage him from eating too much), zucchini (which I push him to eat more) and parmigiano reggiano (which doesn't need prodding to be eaten).

Chicken Afritada

Sometimes, there is a need for Asian food in my shouting system that when I try to ignore it, it keeps its persistence loud and blaring. I get the point at the end of the day. Tonight, it was loud and clear. I was lazy to cook an elaborate Asian meal so off I went to the mall with my karate kid just out from his karate lesson with his karate gi (training uniform) and butterfly-catcher daughter with her long-handled net fitting in front of the car.

26 September 2013

Crepes With Brie, Walnuts and Honey

I was thinking of seadas (also sebadas), that Sardinian sweet flat fritter with melted pecorino cheese inside then drizzled with honey (goes very well with cardoon honey) that you eat as soon as it goes out of the saucepan. That's when this recipe popped out from my mind. Seadas are very hard to come by in Rome. I only get to have them when my husband used to frequent Sardegna or when I stumble across a Sardinian food stall in regional food markets. It's love, I am telling you. It's a strange dessert with a combination of salty & sweet flavors but they perfectly fit together.

24 September 2013

Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon Sticks With Rucola

I'm seeing less and less melons at the supermarkets nowadays because we are already off the calendar. Maybe in your part, melons are still around. Sweet and juicy. Sigh. Delicious bounties of summer, aren't they? Sometimes, I wish that some fruits & vegetables can remain all-year-round, but then, they will lose the genuine flavors that they give when their seasons arrive and besides, we will also lose interest in them. I like the excitement of counting the days until the season of a favorite fruit or vegetable arrives. And melons, dear melons are among them.

23 September 2013

Going Around the Italian & French Riviera (Part 2): Lerici, Portovenere, Sarzana,Tellaro & Vezzano Ligure

Well it's about time, I know. All sequels have a certain turtle-like pace in coming out anyway so I am using that reason for my delay.  Patience is a virtue and the act of waiting is rewarded with something good. That's what I was always being told when I was young because I was Ms. Impatience myself. The group of towns I shared in the post about the First Part of the Italian & French Riviera are focused on the central part of Liguria. This time, the towns are concentrated on the southern end of the the Italian Riviera, close to its border with Tuscany.

21 September 2013

Grilled Red Mullet & Lemon Paprika Skewers With Arugula

To be a vegetarian or not? My husband and I had been discussing frequently about becoming vegetarians. He has been contemplating a lot lately about switching his diet and I, on the other hand, told him that I cannot do it even if I would like to. Willpower is the name of the game and on the first step, I know I will already lose.

20 September 2013

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt in Fresh Lemon Bowls With Instant Naturel Sprinkles

When I was preparing this, I felt like a kid set loose in a candy shop. I had an array of colorful sprinkles, beautiful violet frozen yogurt, blueberries, mint leaves, colorful napkins and teaspoons. It robbed my whole morning but hey, I had fun, lost in my little world of colors. Naturally, my yellow board fit like a glove in the scene.

19 September 2013

Creme Caramel With Cinnamon and Brandy Sauce

Everything that you see in a blog has a story. Every picture has an anecdote attached to it and every recipe has an interesting side to it after going through transitions of trials and errors. The more errors I encounter, the more memorable it becomes...and special, because I got to know it more profoundly. Creme caramel had never been my ideal dessert because it is composed mainly of milk, eggs and sugar. One spoonful was enough for me to enjoy it. More than that, I wouldn't be able to take it. But lately, I noticed that I was starting to crave for it which was very strange because I didn't like its texture and the amount of milk in it makes me swoon. I don't like milk remember?

17 September 2013

Fig, Grape and Spinach Salad and the 2013 Campania Food & Wine Event in Sorrento & Amalfi Coast

I believe the cold has really landed on our doorstep. Our big inflatable pool is officially down and has been spewing out water since yesterday. A season finished is a season gained in memories. Even if I flew through summer this time, I think I was able to shelve some significant moments. I am constantly reminded by people with grown-up kids that I should cherish all the moments with my kids while they are young. After handling a party of super-active 8-year old males the other day, who did somersaults in the pool, threw water bombs all afternoon and other unimaginable acrobatic things that only 8-year olds can do, I was ready to throw in the towel. The advice we got that afternoon- cherish it!

16 September 2013

Chicken and Tofu Skewers With Peanut Sauce

If there's anything that needs to be categorized among the healthiest dishes, this one ranks on the top. White chicken meat, tofu, peanuts, bay leaves, grilled. Just hearing the description makes me feel rejuvenated for what I am about to eat. To be honest, I thought these skewers were going to turn out  slightly on the insipid side, but they didn't! For three reasons, I was able to give more flavors. I marinated the chicken meat overnight, I placed bay leaves alternately with the tofu & meat and the addition of the surprisingly delicious peanut sauce that until now has left an imaginary pleasant trace of delectable flavor in my mouth.

Stir-Fry Soba Noodles With Pork & Vegetables

Noodles symbolize long life. This Chinese belief has crept its way to the Philippine birthday traditions that makes the presence of noodles almost obligatory, like having a cake with candles to blow. Imagine a birthday celebration without any noodles to symbolize this. Imagine how bad I felt when I realized that I cooked one of the shortest pasta that exists, on my husband and son's birthday celebration yesterday.

13 September 2013

Carrots With Marsala, Almonds and Mint

If it's health food you are looking for, don't look left, right or up. It's right here in front of you. It's so quick to prepare and so tasty too. The Marsala wine gives this dish a particular lovely taste that goes so well with the slight sweetness of the carrots and the almonds and mint. If you don't have Marsala wine (but I advise you to always have one in the cupboard because it's great for cooking & drinking!), you can substitute it with other fortified wines like port or sherry. The taste is not the same but both wines will lend their own  particular good flavors too. This side dish goes well with meat or fish but personally, I think I prefer it with meat. You might find it better the other way around.

12 September 2013

Spicy Pasta With Salami

If you can stand heat in your food, then I have to tell you, this pasta dish is oozing with goodness! I am not a big fan of spicy food but when it's good, I eat it because the the spiciness is a part of the overall goodness of what I am eating. First, let me introduce you to 'nduja, the culprit that spread its heat in this dish.

11 September 2013

Turkey Fillet with Prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano

First day of school. It's monumental for every parent. And to commemorate such a day, I take snapshots of my exasperated kids. Mom, pictures again? *Sigh* As we take them to school, with the first day butterflies fluttering in their tummies, we unknowingly soothe their nerves with the mere touching of their hands (My son refused to give his hand to me because he's too old he says!) and giving words of encouragement. We forget that it is also terrifying for them to start another year with more expectations from them, more difficult subjects to deal with, old friendships to rekindle and new areas to explore. My kids try to put up a confident front but I know that behind those saucer-like eyes, thinned lips and silence is apprehension of starting a new schoolyear again.

10 September 2013

Going Around the Italian & French Riviera (Part 1): Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure, Camogli & Portofino

Italian & French Riviera. Just the mere thought of it triggers a dreamlike picture of a summer holiday in the coast of Italy and France. Sunbathers, beautiful colored houses, sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, clear waters, color coordinated umbrellas, castles and blue skies. When you imagine a picture like this, the only thing you would like to do is jump right in and be a part of the scene.

06 September 2013

Green Curry Chicken and Vegetables

Before, curry dishes would be the last ones that I would be picking out from a line-up of Asian dishes. I do eat them but the color and smell send me away a mile away. It's because my initiation to curry dishes was yellow curry chicken... done badly.

Cold Pasta Salad With Smoked Salmon, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

If he goes for everything classic, then he will remain being a classic, always. My son, almost 8-years old going on 40 with his taste in food, style and what he watches. At the beginning of opening his eyes to the cartoon world, he preferred watching Mickey Mouse from the 1930s. His limit was until 1940s, no more than that. His colored and more modern cartoon preferences ended in the 1970s. Barbapapà, Pippi Calzelunghe (Longstocking) and the educational Siamo Fatti Così (Once Upon a Time... Life) which is about the different parts and functions of the body. I have to admit that whenever the episodes of Siamo Fatti Così start, I look forward to every single one of them because I, too, learn new things. I was more the "good against evil cartoon" type of kid when I was young. You know, superheroes and robots stuff. Femininity shined through!

04 September 2013

Salmon, Asparagus & Brie Quiche

When I was young, quiche was not a household word. If you ask someone about it, that person would look at you blankly. Perhaps even a remark of: Speak adobo or halo-halo with me, but not quiche! Moving forward after decades, most probably, almost everyone knows what it is and looks at the only person in the room who doesn't know about it with incredulous eyes and air of sophistication, remarking: You only know about adobo and halo-halo, but not quiche?   

03 September 2013

Panino With Prosciutto, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Pesto & Brie

Flying headless LEGO men, abandoned plastic arms on the floor, moving cars with missing wheels, a complete zoo of stuffed toy animals staring back at me in every corner of the house, cards of every design imaginable wedged everywhere, little plastic characters speaking continuously and the list goes on. We comprise a full house. These are my new colleagues. Quality time, didn't I say that in my previous panino post?

02 September 2013

Panino With Chicken Mayo, Onions & Arugula

You believe in shortcuts when time management is out of your hands. I have pondered countless times how I can get by with my time without falling apart at the end of the day. Because I do fall apart. Because I do get tired. And I do run out of words to write.

Milk-Free Strawberry Gelato

The first reaction I got was a teeny-weeny squeal of delight coming from my little daughter as I scooped out the gelato (ice cream) from the container. It was indeed bright pink, I thought. It had a rich strawberry flavor which is was what made it especially good. And one other thing that's quite important to me - it's milk free!

01 September 2013

La Meridiana Resort Relais & Chateaux in Garlenda at the Italian Riviera

After a holiday at the Italian alps (Alto Adige), I was ready for the sea. Summer is hard to let go without seeing the sea even for just a quick glance. I live close to the beach, at the outskirt of Rome but it doesn't compare to the extraordinary beauty of the Italian Riviera. The Italian Riviera is the whole stretch of coastline of the Ligurian region that lies between Tuscany and France. And that is where I headed to this time.