Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Feliz cumpleanos!

It was F's birthday the other day.
Lucky to be a birthday boy on vacation, on a Mediterranean island.
Lucky to have local connections. Local connections who happen to be close friends and family, cooking up a feast for your birthday.

3kgs of the best gambas.

Just best quality olive oil, chili peppers and a dash of coarse sea salt

Marinated lamb.

An ensaimada makes a perfect birthday cake.

Lucky I am married to the birthday boy and got to partake.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No access

Who's complaining about having no access when you have this?

Food from the area in the coming posts. This is literally just what has been falling into our arms...

More soon!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Photo by Patick Piatkowski
Life is good today. Real good.

Today is my last day of work for a few weeks.

Photo by Michael Zeis
My little girl is on her way back home to me right this minute. I just spoke to her for the first time in almost a week and she told me she loves me more than the sun and the moon. I can't wait to hug her little body.

Photo by Franny Dee
Tomorrow I am boarding a plane to a little paradise.

With my family.

To go join my family.

Photo by  Lee Johnson

I will be posting from the sunny Mediterranean. I may get distracted by the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. The splashing of a noisy bunch of cousins in a pool. Red wine and food aplenty. But I promise to send snapshots from my point-and-shoot. And to steal a few local recipes.

Photo by Pedro Vinagre

In the meantime, here are a few things I am liking on the Internet these days.

If you need a laugh after a tough week, go here.
If you are a native English speaker living abroad, this is a good way for your pre-schooler to practice English.
If you need an original gift for a chocaholic, go here.
Another hysterical post.

All photos from TrekEarth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Brown rice with cream of cannellini beans, roasted garlic-infused olive oil and baby spinach

I was just reading a comment to a blogging friend's new post and unexpectedly got inspiration for my own post.

A few weeks ago I mentioned some of my pet peeves in the kitchen. Today I present you with a list of blogging pet peeves.

1. 'Please read my post before you leave a comment' or 'Commenting is not mandatory'
I know there is much more important stuff going on in the world than my blog. I understand that cutting your toenails is a more practical way to spend your time than reading my post. I even get it if you happen upon my blog, you scroll through the pictures and leave because: a) you don't like the recipe; b) you think the pictures are bad; 3) the design just gets on your nerves. I get it. I've been there, I've done it. But why, o why do you leave a comment that blatantly proves you did not read a word of what I just wrote? We all know why, but don't do it, don't be a traffic whore, people won't click onto your blog after reading your comment anyway.
The same goes for people who do read your post but don't really pay that much attention and comment anyway. I love getting comments, I love interacting, I really do. But if you are in a rush and don't feel like reading the whole post, don't feel obliged to leave a comment: a) that blatantly shows that you didn't get my point AT ALL because you just skimmed through the post; b) asking me how I am enjoying life in Florence if I just mentioned more than once that I live in Milan.

2. Why the heck can't I comment on some blogs?
There are a few blogs I follow that I have problems commenting on, but not all the time. Just nine out of ten times. It drives me bananas. On one I usally can't even get my cursor into the comment space. On another I write away only to click onto publish and watch it load endlessly to no avail. Beats me. 

3. Unrelated links in my comment space.
I am pretty new to blogging and I have surfed the blogosphere and left comments (and still do sometimes) mentioning posts in them too, but: 1) I always mention a post that was somehow related to the topic; 2) I rarely leave a link to my posts and if I have, there was a specific reason. Normally I just mention I posted on the topic and people are free to visit me if they are further interested.
Also, I always make an effort to visit the blogs of all those who leave comments and I often link to blogs I enjoy. Meaning I am happy to help people increase their traffic, but perhaps if you leave a funny or interesting comment, people will be more curious to check you out.

4. Typos
We all make typos, we all sometimes miss a few of them here and there. I probably made some right here and don't realize it. But if each and every post is filled with typos, then you are not revising what you wrote. Which is fine if you are writing in your journal but not as fine if your journal is a public blog. In my opinion at least.

5. Why do I keep coming back?
I read some of the blogs I follow on Blogger, others are in my blogroll and many more are in the Favorites of my browser. Each time I read through this list there are some links I skip automatically and some other links I click onto but groan inside as I do so. While I read them I keep checking how much is missing to the end. Why do I keep coming back? Why do I feel forced to? Why I am I wasting my time reading when there is so much good stuff out there? (Note to self: remember to use the same approach with books and articles). The solution is: delete. Delete if that blog is ok but the author irritates the hell out of you every time you read a post. Delete if the blog is just plain boring. Delete if the pictures are so bad or the font is so tiny or weird that you skip on to the next blog as quickly as you can. Delete if you are reading that blog because it was one of the first you discovered and you are sentimental, but to be honest you really don't like it that much. Delete if you dislike the blog even if everyone else is raving about it. Delete if that blog is torture to read but the author left you a nice comment eons ago when nobody commented yet and you feel an obligation towards them. Same goes for a blogger you are not into that comments all the time. Just delete. I comment on people's blogs that I enjoy even if they never visit mine. Who cares, if you love what they do? Delete those blogs that you log onto more often than their authors do. If they haven't written a post in 16 months, they probably won't in the next 16 either.

What are your blogging pet peeves?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lait Gelateria Alpina at Eataly - Genova

On Saturday we drove to Genova. We went to the old port and visited Eataly before heading off to Piedmont to stay with friends. Even if the weather wasn't great, it is always a nice and interesting area to walk around.

The Acquarium

See the pool and sundeck?

As usual we got lost in the orderly and colorful rows and rows of pasta, cured meats, chocolate, beer, wine, jams, dairy products.

We decided to stop for a quick lunch so little guy could nap on our drive to Piedmont. I had a lovely carne al coltello (hand chopped raw meat of Piemontese breed) because I am avoiding carbs for a few weeks as you know. Husband had pasta di Gragnano with a fish ragout which he said was delicious. Little guy had a bit of both.

They also brought a basket of warm bread freshly baked in the wood oven. Ok, I admit I had some. Delicious.

Lurisia water and a glass of Prosecco for the husband and we were on our way.

Except we had some dessert first. I shared with the little guy because I am avoiding sugar and dairy for the next week too.

On Friday I had read about a new gelateria they recently opened in the Eataly of Genova. What a perfect coincidence! It is called Lait, Gelateria Artigianale. The ingredients are top quality, the cream base is made in the mountains of Piedmont and brought to the stores (2 for now I believe) and then mixed with the flavors upon ordering.

Reasonable prices

Churning the ice cream when serving means the ice cream does not sit in tubs for long periods of time, thus not requiring the addition of preservatives or additives (food coloring, aroma). The end product is fresher, creamier, lighter. And it ensures a higher level of hygene. Apparently a special ice cream maker was designed by an internationally renowned chef just for this purpose. Our curiosity was piqued.

There are less than 10 flavors, two of which are fruit sorbets made with Lurisia water (the same water Grom uses). F got nocciola di Piemonte (hazelnut) and Pistacchio di Bronte (pistachio) in a cup. Little Guy and I got gianduja (a chocolate hazelnut mix) on a cone.

Our opinion. It was good, the ingredients certainly shone through. The pistachio, my meter for ice cream, was delicious. It was light yet creamy. Light as air because it has a lot of air in it.

It was basically gourmet soft serve, soft ice cream made with top quality ingredients. Soft serve reminds us of our childhood, so why not indulge in it with adult expectations and standards? It is a great idea, one nobody has had before, but not revolutionary. It is a classic revamped to appeal to foodies sprouting all over the world, a group of people who want and expect more from their food. It is a great marketing idea, I'll give you that.


Will it be the new Grom? Maybe not, but it is sure to draw a crowd.