October 2009

Sometimes Dinner Really Is Just This Simple

October 31, 2009

cheeseplattersm

I think the title and the photo speaks for itself, no?

Salami, cheese (soft goat cheese, cave aged Gruyere and a sharp white cheddar), olives, mom’s home smoked salmon and some marinated artichokes. Add to that a loaf of freshly baked bread (buy it or make it yourself) and a good bottle of wine and you have a meal ready in 5 minutes. I love to eat this way.

What do you do make when you don’t feel like cooking?

Read the full article →

Braised Boneless Short Ribs with Leeks and Mushrooms

October 27, 2009

Printer Friendly Recipe

shortribplateSM
Sometimes the best laid plans for a meal never quite work out the way you want.
I wanted to make lamb. I had it all planned out; yogurt marinated lamb kabobs, home-made tzatzki, pita, a greek salad, some marinated eggplant~ the whole kit and kaboodle. My uncle was in town and my aunt, who had never been to LA the entire 35 years we’ve lived here, was finally here with him. They were coming to my house for dinner and…and I couldn’t find lamb for kabobs anywhere.

First, I was at Costco, buying things one buys there like paper towels and 36 count packages of AA batteries and they had no lamb. Sure, they had expensive chops and a whole boned leg of lamb, but nothing for kabobs. But that’s ok, I wasn’t really expecting to find it there. Then I went to my local “…

Read the full article →

Restaurants in Rome; Il Fico and Hosteria Da Nerone

October 21, 2009

Rome abounds with fantastic restaurants. Toss a coin over your shoulder (a la Three Coins in a Fountain) and you are liable to hit a decent one. On the other hand, like most cities with an abundance of tourists, there’s no shortage of crap either. This is why it’s imperative you do your homework and don’t settle for the first place with a laminated menu in four languages and a nice view of the coliseum.

Rome09ilficofruttimare

The Centro Storico is the “historical center” of Rome and there are literally hundreds of restaurants clustered around the Piazza Navona, Pantheon and Campo di Fiori area. We ended up at Il Fico after pulling out my restaurant list and map and looking for whatever was closest to where we were standing. In truth, that wasn’t Il Fico, but the first place was full without reservations and we moved on, calling Il Fico and …

Read the full article →

Home Made Key Lime Syrup and Posting on Auto Pilot

October 12, 2009

limes2 limesyrup

Posting on auto pilot? What’s that all about?

Well folks, this girl is enjoying the dolce far niente in bella Roma this week but I went ahead and put together a little something for you in advance so you wouldn’t go wanting or miss me too much. There’s a nifty feature of most blogs which allows one to schedule a post in advance. Who would have thought?

A couple of weeks ago I was in one of my favorite local markets and came across a bag of key limes. They were so cute and cheap I bought them, with no real plans as to what to do with them. Time passed and they kept looking at me, like, “well, what are you going to make with us Miss Fancy Pants?” Yes, my food taunts me and yes, it can be rude too!
I could have made the typical Key …

Read the full article →

How to Make Fresh Ricotta Cheese plus an Easy Pasta Recipe

October 6, 2009
Thumbnail image for How to Make Fresh Ricotta Cheese plus an Easy Pasta Recipe

I really hate to waste food. It’s definitely a result of my upbringing. My grandparents were children of the depression and never threw anything away. Add to that, being fairly poor as a small child, and thriftiness was indoctrinated from a very young age.
So when I had 6 cups of whole milk left over from making the chocolate peanut butter ice cream, I was in a quandary as to what to do with it. We don’t normally drink whole milk (though I’m sure my husband would, happily) and I couldn’t let it go bad. I couldn’t make any more ice cream because frankly, I just don’t exercise enough to justify it. So what to make? Cheese was my final answer.

In addition, I don’t like to have to go shopping just to be able to make something (see my post on making a lemon blueberry tart). What …

Read the full article →