Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Stop and Smell the Roses"

 I arrived back late Sunday night, but not a very successful way. The worst summer flu, with a throat infection...a slightly sprained ankle two days before leaving (same ankle that I sprained 2yrs ago) this time missing a step down from stairway ...otherwise, I had the most relaxing and wonderful  amazing time...ever!

I actually do have a recipe for you...Lemon Bars that I made there for my Italian (extended) family and it turned out super luscious and perfect...thanks to the best and natural 'farmer butter' so fresh and sweet.

I took two great soft covered novels with me...which I read in less than one week...took long walks, ate amazing homemade foods. One thing that I took time to notice...take time to 'smell the roses' which are all around Como, and in Aosta (located very, far up northern Italy, abt. 3hrs from Como; surrounded by high mountains that some still have snow on them even in the summer...about 1 hr. drive to Switzerland, and part of France!

I will keep you posted, as soon as I feel better! xoxo









'Stop and smell the roses'... is a cliché that is widely used in the United States. We are all familiar with its meaning, which is, to take time to appreciate a situation or slow down and pay attention to what is going on around you.
'Stop and smell the roses' is commonly used when talking to someone who seems too busy to enjoy life.

Most often, this phrase is used by a well-meaning friend or family member when they become concerned that you are over-worked, or are not taking time to enjoy the pleasures of life.

This phrase can also be used just as a gentle reminder to take a few minutes for yourself each day.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Love my new Nikon COOLPIX camera

It may seem that I'm giving up blogging...which in actual reality sure looks like it; but the 'truth of the matter' is, I'm going through so much issues with all the new technical stuff I acquired all at once...is a bit 'overwhelming'!

Not only am I dealing with technical issues, but planning a nice little trip to Como, Italy on the first week of June for 2 weeks.

I had to return my new Canon Power Shot to exchange for Nikon Cool Pix (love both)...but can only afford one...one, that you can easily install the software and upload your photos for Windows 8.

Hope all of you moms had a wonderful day on Sunday...as my daughter and I had, as well! xo

 
No...this is not laundry hanging on an indoor drying rack...its really pasta sheets... oh, the doggies' food dish on the floor in the background; Way to go, Elisabeth...you're doing a 'bang up' job with your new camera...LOL

my homemade pasta...made with the old fashioned 'cranker' kind of machine! 


Easy recipe for homemade pasta...for each 1 cup of  all purpose flour, add 1 egg. For a generous portion to serve 4, I used 3 cups=2 1/2 lbs of flour, 3 extra large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1 Tblsp. olive oil. You can add all these ingredients in your food processor, or mix by hand to make your dough. Divide in 3 or more portions and feed them through the machine to a desired thinness, and attach the cutter for spaghetti, or fettucine. Let the sheets dry for about 20 minutes before you start cutting the pasta. Cook in rapid boiling water, and drain pasta as soon as it comes to the surface.

Just to let you know...I did a little editing, cropping, and retouching in the original photos!
Can you tell what's been edited, and fixed?



 
 

 





Saturday, October 20, 2012

Spaghetti with Calamari Sauce

Being in a mostly Italian family, we seem to eat a lot of pastas and never get tired of it. In Italy, a meal without pasta every day, is unheard of...just as in Hungary, a meal without soup every day is 'not a meal' ...as my father used to say...so, I'm 'famous' for both! I make a lot of different pastas with different sauces, and I also make a lot of soups, as well. The most popular sauce in my family is the simple 'red sauce' that you cook up in 30 minutes. It doesn't have to be with fresh tomatoes...if you have a favorite good canned tomato puree, which is the easiest way, add some seafood...as in this case calamari/squid... then you have dinner PRONTO~

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pizza Margherita...{semi- homemade}

No matter what I try to do to this photo, to make it look better, its just not working! Its one of those photos that you have no choice at night, under a light that is just not gonna do justice to the photo. I made this semi-homemade pizza for myself, just the day before my family arrived back from their vacation, in Italy.

It was the easiest pizza...ever, and I must admit; the TASTIEST!...you know why?...because all you have to do is buy a fresh pizza dough from your local favorite supermarket, that's already in a plastic bag, and it weight 1 lb. and the dough is already risen. Costs about $2.50...and you don't have to do anything else, just spread the dough out on a pizza pan, and I will show you how I made it...and devoured almost the entire pizza by myself.

For the last time...alone in my daughter's house, I decided to go out on the patio with my glass, or two of my favorite Chardonnay wine, and just enjoyed the beautiful night...not exactly standing in this spot...where I took the photo of my son-in-law's creative 'trellis' design, where the beautiful bougainvilleas grow, but no flower at this time!

I am not having much luck with my computer today...or is it with Blogger? Thanks to my dear friend Angie...she wrote me an e-mail, just about an hour ago, which showed that she could not open my blog..."by invitation only"...what's up with that? I corrected it right away...so now its working, again.

Also, I cannot open my new photos that I intended to post for today's post. Lora took the photos at her house yesterday; of the Zucchini Quiche that I made, since I didn't have my camera with me, and I cannot upload it!
Will post it next week! ...so here's my super easy pizza with the 'ready dough'...BTW, I learned this method of actually getting a 'hands on' tutoring from a friend from Naples who was an expert 'pizza guy'...at my workplace at the famous caffe Luna Rosa, on the beach in Delray Beach, Florida. Now, its a chic and trendy caffe, but back in the late mid to late nineties, it was more of a small pizza, and panini place!

Pizza Margherita  
 recipe by; Elisabeth

1 lb.fresh, (not frozen) bread/pizza dough
or your favorite homemade dough
3 or 4 ripe plum (Roma) tomatoes sliced fairly thin
Kosher, or sea salt, freshly ground pepper,
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
crushed red pepper flakes
dried oregano, dried basil
fresh basil leaves for garnish

1/2 to 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

First step: get your pizza pan ready, spray with cooking spray, take dough out of the plastic bag, and place it on the pizza pan...punch the dough down, and spread as much as it allows, leaving a border at the edge of the dough. In a small bowl, add the oil, garlic, the salt, pepper, the dry spices, and brush the dough lightly, with a pastry brush! Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes, and stretch again, leaving a border.

Preheat the oven to 525 degrees F. Also, brush the top of the tomato slices with additional oil, mixed with herbs, or if you prefer, just drizzle plain extra virgin olive oil on top. Place the pizza with the baking rim on a 'pizza stone'...if you have it, if not; it will still work fine. Bake for about 5 minutes...just to get the rawness out of the dough. Take the pizza out carefully; just don't burn your hands. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the dough, carefully put the fresh tomatoes on top of the cheese topped pizza, put back in the oven...lower the temp. to 450 degrees F. and bake for an additional 15 minutes longer, until the tomato gets slightly wilted, and cheese bubbles. The rim will get nicely golden brown, and crunchy!
Slice with a pizza cutter, and enjoy!...perfect pizza...and it really is homemade, because you made the entire pizza by yourself, and just used a 'little shortcut' dough, which saves you time, and waiting for the dough to rise!

You can top your pizza with whatever you have on hand, just a suggestion: which will help you each and every time. Brush your dough with the herb-based olive oil, and pre-bake for about 5 to even 10 minutes, depending on the topping you will use. You will never get a slimey, soggy top, underneath the topping, and will be sure to get a nice crunchy bottom, as well!
Mangia, mangia...Buon Appetito! xo


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Saturday, July 14, 2012

White Beans and Tuna Salad

I hope you are all enjoying your summer months...hopefully not suffering the horrible heat wave. For us, in South Florida, we've gone through some scorching temperatures, and when the humidity level hits the 100%...don't even try to stay dry, and comfortable in your best attire...because the minute you step outside from your air conditioned comfortable homes, you will be drenched with 'sweat'...within minutes. The best thing do do is just dress comfortably in your shorts and T-shirts...although, that may not apply if you're going someplace that requires appropriate dress code!
A couple weeks ago, I happen to notice a favorite easy and light salad on a food blogger friend's blog... that I have not made for a while....and immediately wanted to make it, so the perfect opportunity was, while my family vacationed in Italy, to have a light and easy lunch, just for myself...I did even find a can of the lovely Italian tuna in olive oil, and the cannelini beans.The vegetables, I purchased at our favorite local produce market!
Isn't it nice to just grab a recipe from a fellow food blogger, who happens to inspire you with their creation?...actually, this simple salad does not really need a recipe, but if you would like to follow the recipe, I have a great suggestion for you!

On the left side of this page, is the photo of the refreshing and light salad, that my new food blogger friend, Anna shared on her blog...@ Una Semplice Passione...meaning: A Simple Passion!...doesn't the title sound romantic?
I was so happy to find this lost and forgotten simple, yet so healthy and delicious salad.

The only difference was, in addition to Anna's recipe, was that I just had to have my favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette...this time with fresh snipped dill added to the balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil! Enjoy it with a couple pieces of nice crusty bread, and you got yourself a fabulous light lunch!

Do check out the fabulous  Una Semplice Passione ...and say hello to Anna, and let her know I sent you!




FEAST your eyes...people! Who says, you can't eat healthy foods?...Just look at this other creation of mine, that I made from all the veggies and fresh fruits in season: Preparation may take a little time, but it's so well worth it
I call this creation of mine:...PAPAYA, KIWI SALSA....just happen to make it up. Nothing exotic, no spicy additions, but you can add your favorite hot chilli or jalapeno peppers to it.

All it is: Diced papaya...cucumbers, peeled, pulp scooped out cut in half, and slice into moon shape...red onion diced, kiwi peeled, cut in half and diced, and a good squeeze of fresh lime over it, sea salt, freshly ground pepper...and the most important herb...chopped cilantro! If you don't like cilantro, you can use chopped parsley, or basil; your preference. You can use dill, too, of course. You do not need olive oil, or any other oils...leave it natural, and let it marinade for about 20 minutes before serving
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mango Rum Cake

Here I am again, trying to get things done...at least, I did make something with the mangoes...not just any old mango cake, but added rum to it, and drizzled it with a light lemon glaze! I'm so happy I re-created my own recipe from a simple yellow cake mix...the second cake in the last two weeks, from a mix. So much easier to 'doctor; up a
mix cake, than to start from scratch.

Thank you so much for all your recommendations on the mangoes...each and every one of them sound so good, especially the salsa, which I have made last year, the jam, which is still waiting to be made, and also canning some, as well. The chutney, the salads, the puddings, and probably more cakes...all are so amazing with mangoes.



I just happen to find a box of yellow cake mix in my pantry, which I like to keep around for quick emergencies...and trust me, this one was an emergency...and why?...because I tried to make things easier on myself, since now, I'm a little bit clumsy with my left hand which requires to be used, but can't be lifting heavy things for a few weeks.


Well, remember when I mentioned in my last post that I got knocked on  the head with a falling mango, as I was picking the mangoes from under the tree?...I didn't mention that from the fall on my head, I lost my balance and awkwardly fell, over and kind of twisted my left hand...as a result, I noticed that my wrist was swollen the next morning, and for some reason my hand hurt...forget about the bump on the head, but can't ignore the swelling, so I went to get it checked, and x-rayed, and was told I have a sprained wrist. Last year, around this time, I sprained my left ankle...at least all the injuries are concentrated on the left side...left ankle, left side of the head bump, and left sprained wrist.!


...and NO, it didn't have anything to do with the rum..honest! I made the rum cake after my injury! What a "bummer'...could I be any more accident prone, other than my 6yr. old grandson vacationing in Italy, w/parents and sister, falling off from the 2wheeler bicycle, not once, but twice, learning to ride...Lora said he's got bruises from head to toe...poor baby!


...anyway, continuing with my rum cake!




Mango Rum Cake
My adapted version from yellow cake mix

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
pulp of 2 ripe mangoes mixed in blender
mixed with 1 Tbsp water  (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup vegetable, or canola oil
1/4 cup golden rum
1/4 cup water


(baking bundt pan is a 'thrift find' made in Germany
cost, $3.99)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bow, with an electric mixer. Spray bundt pan or 2- 9 inch cake pans, or a tube pan, rectangular, whichever you prefer. Spray, and flour the pan.








Just make sure you mix everything together, start on low, to incorporate, and then on high to mix together the ingredients, so it will be golden, and thick...just like in the photo...it should take about 3 minutes, maybe 4.

Pour into the cake pan, and with a rubber spatula, clean the bowl to add all into the cake pan.






Cake batter should look, just like that, in the photo.











After 45 minutes in the oven, your cake will look like this! For the round 9 inch cake pans, it takes 35 minutes, but in the bundt pan will take at least 45 minutes to be done.











After about 20 minutes still warm...but you can carefully flip it out onto a cooling rack to cool for another 30 minutes, before drizzling it with the lemon glaze.







I almost forgot to mention, that you can poke holes in the cake and pour 1/4 cup more, of the gold rum...(optional)









with a metal skewer, or bamboo stick, prick some holes, all around the cake.











Slowly, pour all the rum around the cake into the poked holes.











Note: just don't make the same mistake that I did...what a shame...I forgot to put the cake on a plate, and instead it went all over the counter...(messy job, and a waste of good rum)









Now, you're ready for the lemon glaze, or you can just dust it with powdered sugar.











 Here's a little tip when you frost, or glaze a cake:
Set out your cake platter, or plate, and take 3 strips of wax, or aluminum foil, about 3 or 4 inches wide and lay them crossing each other on the platter.









For the lemon glaze: 3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar. Add 1 the juice of 1 lemon...depending if you want a thin, or thick glaze (as for me, I only had about less than 3/4 cup sugar, so I ended up with a thin glaze)...for a nice rich thick glaze, use 1 cup of powdered sugar







Now you see, all the messy leftover glaze dripped on the paper, and not on the platter.



Drizzle cake with a spoon...it would look better, if the glaze was thicker.









You end up with a clean platter, and just dispose of the messy strips of paper.














I can't begin to tell you how amazing this awesome cake turned out. The Bacardi gold rum is the BEST rum I can recommend...so smooth, and mellow, just gave such a nice moistness and yummy flavor and texture to the cake...and the mango pulp?...oh, my, oh my...MANGO heaven!

I only had that one piece shown on the plate, and shared gave the rest of the cake to my ex, and my best friend~

I will be trying out your suggested recipes, and thank you so much for your gracious comments, ideas, and recipes...xo










Photo, courtesy of PINTEREST
HAPPY BIRTHDAY...AMERICA!...AND A HAPPY 4TH OF JULY to all! America is still the BEST of all the countries...LET FREEDOM PREVAIL THROUGHOUT ALL THE LANDS! GOD BLESS AMERICA ...AND GOD BLESS US ALL!
Strawberry Mimosas...Photo, courtesy of Pinterest
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Strawberry Cake...for Father's Day!


Notice something different?...a pink cake...and it's for Father's Day!...just can't stop having 'Lucy' moments, since I agreed to guest post for my friend Ping, and Veronica. It just seemed to have rubbed off on me. Now, I'm enlisted in the 'Lucy Club'

Why a 'pink' cake for Father's Day?...wouldn't it be more appropriate to make a cake with perhaps 'blueberries' that would signify that it's for  a male?...actually, not really Having a strawberry cake is OK, but why go overboard for the pink frosting?...well, I have an explanation for that, as well!

Linking to:
Hearth and Soul Blog Hop @ Swathi's Zesty South Indian Kitchen

OK, I must admit that I got a little carried away with the cake. I had 2 containers of beautiful ripe strawberries, and I just had to do something with them, so I decided to make a cake (last minute)...like a few hours before we were going to eat lunch.

The cake was an absolute success to celebrate Father's Day for my son, and my ex-hubby! They never even notice that it was all PINK, but my little granddaughter sure did. Pink is her favorite color, so it was a double celebration!

Strawberry Cake
my doctored up creation

1 box of strawberry or yellow cake mix
1- 3oz. box of strawberry JELL-O
1/2 cup canola, or vegetable oil
1 cup of plain water
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups mashed strawberries
1 Tbsp sugar




It's a lot easier than you think. Just one box of strawberry cake mix, or yellow cake mix,

For the strawberries: cut the berries in 1/3 pieces, place them in a medium bowl, and add the 1 Tbsp sugar...mash with mashed potato masher, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. It will be juicy and slightly chunky.


In a large mixing bowl, add the cake mix, 1/2 of the 3-oz. JELL-O the eggs, oil, water. Beat on slow speed with electric mixer, until combined, then on high speed for about 3 minute, till creamy, and fluffy.










After mixing the ingredients, pour in the mashed strawberries.












 Gently fold in the mashed strawberries.













Pour into a sprayed and floured 9 inch spring form pan, or 2- 9 inch round pans. (my pan I used only has the bottom removable.
For spring-form pan, bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-50 minutes, for the 2 round 9 inch pans, about 30-35 minutes.








Let it cool on a wire rack, and frost with strawberry cream cheese frosting:

1- 8 oz. pkg Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temp.
1 stick=4 oz, (113.4 g,) unsalted butter, at room temp.
3 cups powder (icing) sugar
1 teaspoon of the strawberry JELL-O
1 teaspoon plain water

With an electric mixer, mix all ingredients together, till combined, and beat until light, and fluffy, on high speed. Spread it on the cake, when cake is cool, and decorate with additional strawberries if you like. Let the cake set in the fridge for about 2hrs before serving! It is yumm, and delish...and no-one will suspect that it's a "doctored-up" cake...let it be YOUR SECRET! 


I finally received the special addition of the Bon Appetit for the Giveaway, and will announce the winner for my next post!

So, for my continuing photos....just wanted to share some S. Florida photos. The mango tree has already been trimmed down...it is at least 50yrs old.

The glorious mango tree...mangoes getting nice, and ripe!

He loves bougainvilleas!


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