Well, I was going to write another quick post soon after the last one but… – who would have thought that having twins means not only, to employ the well worn but nevertheless true cliché, double the joy but also double the work, double no time & double no sleep. Lucky the people who have grandparents, aunts & uncles and the whole extended family around to alleviate the daily grind and provide small pockets of breathing space. We don’t, so it has been a hard year with fantastic experiences, precious moments coupled with absolutely back (& spirit) breaking times. I thought we had it covered. Continue reading →
In the matter of ice cream flavours I am not, never have been a strawberry-vanilla-chocolate kind of person but a faithful pistachio lover. Ever since the day I could make my own gelato choice from the sleek, shiny case behind the espresso machine and food elevator at the end of the central bar in the restaurant. The prospect of the delicious after-dinner treat made me forget my toddler timidity and march alone through the dining room to choose amongst the flavours (classic Italian gelato varieties and special ones like Stracciatella and Pistacchio– we are talking 1970s!) and always choosing the one. Continue reading →
There are days when I feel uninspired, sluggish and my normally sunny disposition tends to be more on the grumpy side. I want to have good food (fast), something delicious and healthy without a lot of pottering around. So, please do not ask me to make ‘something simple’ (without naming one ‘simple dish’ or offering specific suggestions) or let me start the huge complicated dinner project originally planned for that evening – better not ask me anything if you value your life since this state is quickly followed by a hefty side of hangry-ness. Generally carbs, pasta in particular, are a like a St. Bernard for me and these wonderfully aromatic herby, silky, satisfying oregano & tomato bucatini are about the fastest cure for anything Continue reading →
Somehow I ended up with a (giant) tub of beautiful whiteMascarpone in the fridge and no idea what to do with it. It was there as a back up plan (aka raspberry tiramisu) in case the dessert intended for a big dinner would fail terribly – it didn’t and I needed a new plan for a rather large amount. Mascarpone is a fresh triple-crème cheese in fact, basically thickened cream, and cream is really, really good in ice cream – ICE CREAM! There were fragrant strawberries in the house, so are a few bottles of sweet woodruff syrup and they were just begging for a classic egg custard ice cream with an extra jolt of cream Continue reading →
This was a wonderful “impromptu” dessert for a dinner with a menu more or less inspired by Venice. With spring already palpable I have a distinct longing for fresher, lighter dishes and a fruity, vernal pudding rather than a warm coffee-spiced one was what I wanted. With three punnets of raspberries filling the kitchen with their sweet, musky scent (Did you know that the galaxy is supposed to taste of raspberries and smell of rum?), this fruity transformation of the iconic Italian dessert (which I haven’t made in decades, what a shame, let’s revive the Tiramisu!) basically developed itself. Marsala in the silky Mascarpone cream adds a toasted woodsy note to complement the floral, sylvan fragrance of raspberries, which deliver the fruity punch. Continue reading →
If the notion of a bean gratin evokes images of heavy & greige institution food, think again. This fine gratin is a layered flavour affair: tiny white creamy beans, a savoury, herb infused broth, a bed of sweet caramelized onions and all is covered by crispy thyme scented breadcrumbs. It can’t get any better and we found it a perfect partner to lamb chops with a slightly acidic tomato, feta & parsley salsa. Continue reading →
Back to the quest for great vegetable dishes and this one has proven itself many times over and therefore is a recurring dinner guest in our house. I love the combination of creamy chickpeas with sweet carrots and earthy chard in a pleasantly spiced sauce. A spritz of lemon finishes it with a jolt of acidity and lots of parsley for a fresh green note. A completely satisfactory & comforting dish on its own, this makes a pleasant change even for die-hard carnivores: add a fried egg or pan-fried halloumi slices for a fantastic vegetarian supper; at other times it’s a great partner to grilled lamb chops or a firmly fleshed fish like monkfish (Baudroi, Seeteufel or Lotte).