Category Archives: Other

Superbowl Party Time!!

Well it’s finally here – Patriots vs. Giants!!! This is such a huge game – I can’t wait….for the food!!!

We have some friends coming over who are bringing some buffalo wings, pizza and some other snacks. Here’s what’s on the ‘To Cook’ menu today:

Meatball Sandwiches
Spinach Pesto Chicken Quesadillas
Potato Skins
Bacon Wrapped Artichoke Hearts
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stay tuned for the new recipes! Here are some more great ideas:

Touchdown Treats
Homemade Pita Chips
Pizza Bites
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Stuffed mushrooms
Making slider versions of the delicious cheeseburger
White Chicken Chilli

Want to dress up your party? Here are some fabulous printables from Living Locurto.

Which team are you rooting on???

Cheers,
Sabrina

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Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I recently finished reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The plot? Gilbert writes about her life beginning when she divorces her husband and finds peace in her life by traveling to three different countries: Italy (Eat), India (Pray) and Thailand (Love). Now I won’t go into details of what I thought about the book since this is a food blog, but if you are interested, feel free to comment. I did want to go into the first part of the book though, which is Eat! The main character goes to Italy to, one, learn the beautiful language and two, to eat to her heart’s desires. I am Italian and my love for food runs deep, as does Gilbert, but she’s a writer and can express it better.

So here are some of my favorite quotes about food from the book. Enjoy!

Unsurprisingly, she knows all the best places to eat in Rome, including a gelateria that serves a frozen rice pudding (and if they don’t serve this kind of thing in heaven, then I really don’t want to go there.) She took me out to lunch the other day, and what we ate included not only lamb and truffles and carpaccio rolled around hazelnut mousse but an exotic little serving of pickled lampascione, which is –as everyone knows—the bulb of the wild hyacinth.

 

I walked home to my apartment and soft-boiled a pair of fresh brown eggs for lunch. I peeled the eggs and arranged them on a plate beside the seven stalks of asparagus (which were so slim and snappy they didn’t need to be cooked at all). I put some olives on the plate, too, and the four knobs of goat cheese I’d picked up yesterday from the formaggeria down the street, and two slices of pink, oily salmon. For dessert—a lovely peach, which the woman at the market had given to me for free and which was still warm from the Roman sunlight. For a while I couldn’t even touch the food for it was a masterpiece of lunch, a true expression of the art of making something out of nothing. Finally, when I had fully absorbed the prettiness of my meal, I went and sat in a patch of sunbeam on my clean wooden floor and at every bite of it, with my fingers, while reading my daily newspaper article in Italian. Happiness inhabited  my every molecule.

 

But he is Neapolitan, no question about it, because before I left Rome he gave me the name of a pizzeria in Naples that I had to try, because, Giovanni informed me it sold the best pizza in Naples. I found this a wildly exciting prospect, given that the best pizza in Italy is from Naples, and the best pizza in the world is from Italy, which means that this pizzeria must offer…I’m almost too superstitious to say it…the best pizza in the world? Giovanni passed along the name of the place with such seriousness and intensity, I almost felt I was being inducted into a secret society. He pressed the address into the palm of my hand and said, in gravest confidence, “Please go to this pizzeria. Order the margherita pizza with double mozzarella. If you do not eat this pizza when you are in Naples, please lie to me later and tell me that you did.” So Sofie and I have to come to Pizzeria da Michele, and these pies we have just ordered—one for each of us—are making us lose our minds. I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair. Meanwhile, Sofie is practically in tears over hers, she’s having a metaphysical crisis about it… There’s not a menu. They have only two varieties of pizza here—regular and extra cheese. None of this new age southern California olives-and-sun-dried-tomato wannabe pizza twaddle. The dough it takes me half my meal to figure out, tastes more like Indian nan than like any pizza dough I ever tried. It’s soft and chewy and yielding, but incredibly thin. I always thought we had two choices in our lives when it came to pizza crust—thin and crispy, or thick and doughty. How was I have to have known there could be a crust in this world that was thin and doughy? Holy of holies! Thin, doughy, strong, gummy, yummy, chewy, salty pizza paradise. On top, there is a sweet tomato sauce that foams up all bubbly and creamy when it melts the fresh buffalo mozzarella, and the one sprig of basil in the middle of the whole deal somehow infuses the entire pizza with herbal radiance, much the same one shimmering movie star in the middle of a party brings contact high of glamour to everyone around her. It’s technically impossible to eat this thing of course. You try to take a bit off your slice and the gummy crust folds, and the hot cheese runs away like topsoil in a landslides, makes a mess of you and  your surroundings, but just deal with it.

 

I tell her that I don’t need to see the menu but could she just being me the best food possible because this is my first night in Sicily. She rubs her hands together in pleasure and yells something in Sicilian dialect to her even-more –elderly mother in the kitchen, and within the space of twenty minutes I am busily eating the hands-down most amazing meal I’ve eaten yet in all of Italy. It’s pasta, but a shape of pasta I’ve never before seen- big, fresh, sheets of pasta folded ravioli-like into the shape (if not exactly the size) of the pope’s hat, stuffed with a hot, aromatic puree of crustaceans and octopus an squid, served tossed like a hot salad with fresh cockles and strips of julienned vegetables, all swimming in an olivey, oceany broth. Followed by the rabbit, stewed in thyme.

So there you have it – my favorite food quotes! Know of any other novels about food? Please share.

Cheers,

Sabrina

My Cute Little Garden

I finally planted my wonderful and fragrant herbs and vegetables this month. To me, there is nothing more rewarding as growing your own food. Watching a tomato seedling grow taller and taller and then — there it is, a beautiful little bud. I have no children, so this is as close as its going to get this summer!

By no means is my garden big. Far from it! I have 6 tomato plants, 3 cucumber plants (generously given to me from my neighbors), basil, parsley, and oregano. Sure having other vegetables would be great, but I don’t have the room (One day! One day I’ll have a superific magical Sabrina garden!) These are the ingredients I use the most anyways.

Check out my cute little garden, and watch it grow!

Let dreamers dream what worlds they please
Those edens can’t be found
The sweetest flowers
The fairest trees
Are grown in solid ground
We’re neither pure nor wise nor good
We’ll do the best we know
We’ll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow
And make our garden grow

Sing it Barbara!

Tomato

Tomato

Tomato

Tomato

Cucumber

Cucumber

Parsley

Parsley

Oregano

Oregano

Basil

Basil

Basil

Basil

More Tomato!

More Tomato!


Cookbooks!

I went to the library today and picked up two cookbooks:

Barefoot Contessa family style

Can I just say I love the Barefoot Contessa and Ina Garten, on the Food Network. She is so awesome in the kitchen. She makes really simple, but really delicious foods and she makes it look effortless.

On the show, everything is just shot so well, and clean and crisp. She usually creates different types of dishes, and a lot of times really simple dishes that most people don’t even know how to make (roasting a chicken). She either cooks for her hubby, Jeffrey, or has her friends over. She sets up cute table settings, always picking flowers and gives the viewer her own decorating helpful tips.

I just love it! I’d like to have a show where I cook, invite my friends over to eat, and let the staff clean. Oh yeah.

The Eating Well Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook

I’ve been referring the Eating Well website quite often lately for new recipes. They really have some simple and healthy ideas, and when I saw this book and browsed through the colorful pictures — I knew I had to take it home.

Can’t wait to tell you what I think, and hopefully share some recipes from these books.

What are your favorite cookbooks? Please share!

Cheers,
Sabrina

Finding the Time

Last night, after a very comforting dinner (Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole — coming soon!), I got hit hard with sleepiness and totally did not want to clean the dishes.

After a long day at work, and now even the gym, coming home and cooking dinner really wipes me out. We end up eating at 7:30 on no gym nights, and 8:30ish on gym nights because its usually something quick.

I just don’t know how people do it. Especially working moms! How do you find the time to cook, clean, and tend to children? I warned the other half that I would not be able to work full time post children. That is, unless he likes take-out every night and crawling into bed next to a cow.

How do you guys do it? Please, tell me your secrets. Caffeine???

Sleepy Sabrina

Doubling Over

The grossest thing I’ve ever seen:

KFC’s new Double Down sandwich makes me want to double over with disgust. Seriously, how unhealthy can this country get? KFC is actually stating that this sandwich contains 540 calories, and the grilled version is 460 calories. Raise your hand if you would eat this… or leave a comment! 🙂

It’s all in the Olives

How do you choose the best olive oil?

I celebrated my birthday about a month ago. My boyfriend took me to the North End where we dined at Davide’s.

I wanted to share our antipasto food experience here since I always tell everyone about it. It was amazing!

We started out with the Stuzzico Antipasto. The Stuzzico consisted of San Daniele prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and roasted bell peppers.

The key ingredient in this simple salad was the olive oil. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was. Literally, my lips felt so weird because the quality was just so good.

It got me thinking about the olive oils I buy (usually Filippo Barrio) and how the quality is OK, but not great.

Read this great article about the quality of olive oils and how they are lacking in our supermarkets and restaurants:

Raymond Francis, the author of this article states, “Find an extra virgin olive oil that is cold pressed, unfiltered, and looks cloudy. The oil should be packaged in dark glass bottles to protect it from the damaging effects of light. Real olive oil is still made in small estate bottled settings.”

There actually is a website out there called http://www.BestOliveOils.com. Take a look at some of the listings there to get an idea of what you should be looking for.

Though you may not find the best premium product out there, you may find one better then the alternative. Try looking at your local italian markets.

So long story short, sure we ordered a salad. But it was so much more then that. Ingredients are key. So splurge once in a while to make a difference.

Cheers,

Sabrina