Sunday, August 31, 2008
I'm the Mom!
Friday, August 29, 2008
So, step one for me is - take the puff pastry out of its packaging and lie it across your tart pan. You can also use a standard pie pan. It depends on whether you prefer a deeper or shallower pie.
Step two - prepare the pie filling.
some frozen spinach (thawed and excess water removed)
some ricotta (150 grams?)
some grated cheese (Parmigiano, Grana, Pecorino, as you prefer)
salt (to taste)
pepper (if you like it)
Blend the above ingredients all together in a deep bowl with an electric blender. Pour them into the pastry shell and bake until brown (about 30 minutes) at 180° Celsius (about 375° Farenheit).
If you like, you can add other cheeses, either cubed or grated, or diced ham. This is one of those recipes where you can follow my mother-in-law's advice and "throw in whatever you have in the refrigerator"!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
An Honest Man...
Friday, August 22, 2008
by Thomas Moore
I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,
A bark o'er the waters move gloriously on;
I came when the sun o'er that beach was declining,
The bark was still there, but the waters were gone.
And such is the fate of our life's early promise,
So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known;
Each wave that we danced on at morning ebbs from us,
And leaves us, at eve, on the bleak shore alone.
Oh, who would not welcome that moment's returning
When passion first waked a new life through his frame,
And his soul, like the wood that grows precious in burning,
Gave out all its sweets to love's exquisite flame.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Big Blue Balloon
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Bees Do It
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday with Nonna
Monday, August 18, 2008
My bags are packed
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Kids these days...
...are so electronics dependent it's frightening!
Here we are at a local festa with bandoliers, a fantastic light display, balloons, ice cream, you name it...
...and they are consumed by the latest Nintendo DS adventure...
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Into the Blue
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It's nice to live in a sunny place...the sky is almost always blue, a beautiful blue, the sea awaits just a few meters away...
...but, the summer is hot, so hot, so very, very HOT... sometimes all you can do is lie around in the shade...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
(recipe to follow in the early afternoon ... now I'm going to the beach!)
Ok, I'm back...
1 cup shortening (or butter!)
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
7-8 tbsps. cold water
Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1-2 teaspoons water can be added, if necessary).
Gather pastry into a ball. Divide and shape into 2 rounds on lightly floured surface. Roll pastry 2 inches larger than inverted pie plate with floured rolling pin.
Fold pastry into fourths. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and sides.
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 cups sliced fresh peaches (about 6 medium)
1 tsp. lemon juice
3 tbsps. butter
Heat oven to 425° (220° celsius). Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir in peaches and lemon juice. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with margarine. Cover with top crust. Tuck edges of top crust under edges of bottom crust and flute all the way around. Cut slits in top crust. Cover edge with 2-3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. 35 to 45 minutes. Cool. Serve with vanilla ice-cream!
Monday, August 11, 2008
A Single Cloud
Saturday, August 9, 2008
These are photos of the crane truck that lifted the wood up onto the roof.
The man who is overseeing the job also teaches construction courses. The guys to the left have finished their theoretical courses and are doing their practical application on my roof! Do you think they need more help there? I can't believe it takes five of them to hold that beam up! And one to watch. Sounds like a joke...how many Italians does it take to...?
Thursday, August 7, 2008
If It Ain't Easy, I Don't Cook It
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
What does your Garden Grow?
This pumpkin plant took over our garden this summer. She and about 10 of her close personal friends just sprouted up all over the place and started growing like crazy. She pulled herself up the fencing with aggressive tendrils that seemed to appear out of nowhere from one hour to the next. The funny thing is that we didn't plant any pumpkin seeds. The only thing we can figure is that the seeds were in the compost we use for fertilizer. I did throw that Halloween pumpkin in the compost pile last November...
Tomatoes, tomatoes, lovely tomatoes! Good for salads, good for pasta dishes, good for sauce... the generous tomato!
Welcome to the basil jungle! We have oregano, parsley and mint, too. Way too much mint...mint is another overeager plant...put in one tiny little specimen and it'll take over the garden!
It's late summer now, so this is all that's left in the garden. It's so hot and water is so scarce that only the hardy can survive at this point. Without air-conditioning we sometimes feel that way ourselves!
Tomorrow a recipe!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This is Mariushka. We got her at the dog shelter. She was apparently rescued as a puppy from a gypsy family that beat her. She is very eager and enthusiastic about everything, but nervous around brooms.
This is Blanca. We got her at the dog shelter together with Mari. She is somewhat more refined and composed than Mari...but just barely!
And this is Bunny. Bunny is a sweet bit of fluff who unfortunately spends too much time in his cage. He has some bad habits when he's out and about, like biting through electric wires...
This is Blackie. She is a new arrival, just started showing up at dinnertime last week. After a couple of days she started coming at lunchtime, too. And now she's a regular visitor at breakfast as well. The fisherman says she nobody's fool...
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Who Are You?
Ok, that's me, the one holding the plate. Good looking fish, huh? I didn't fish them myself, actually, nor did I clean or cook them...but I did help in eating them! Don't notice the messy kitchen counter...I said, don't notice!
This is the fisherman. Enjoying a glass of fine French wine in Lyon's old town. Wearing his t-shirt that says "Me taue addaveere?" in our local dialect (not Lyonese!). Not easy to translate, but roughly approximate to "You gotta be kidding!" or "What?"
First son, leading the way, in the prow of our boat of life... The attentive viewer can guess his sports preference...
Second son, squinting against the harsh sun of life...ok, these poetic turns of mine are getting a bit ridiculous. But, the attentive viewer will once again have spotted the hidden clues to this boy's sports preference...
Tomorow I'll introduce you to the other half of the family!