Sunday, April 29, 2012

Homemade cinnamon twists

So I found this on Pinterest and thought I'd give it a go, it didn't look too difficult.  I followed the pin back to the original website and read the description.  I decided to simplify it and used store bought pastry dough  a little sugar and Cinnamon blended with some butter.  To be honest I didn't measure any of it, just winged it.

Then rolled it, sliced it down the middle then twisted the two halves together and then into the shape of a circle.  Next, it went into the over at 200 F for 30 minutes.  Came out piping hot.  Sliced it into 2 parts and ate it hot.  It was delicious!

stuffed Zucchini flowers

One of Michele's favorite side dishes are stuffed Zucchini flowers.  While I was in the grocery store the other day I noticed that the flowers were in the produce section.  So being the good wife that I am I picked up a package of them.  Then with help of my iPhone did a quick search and found a few recipes that helped me get all the necessary ingredients.  I ended up creating my own filling as I could not find all the original one's ingredients.  Below are the ones I used, as a whole it's tweaked from the FoodNetwork.
My first attempt at making stuffed Zucchini Flowers!

    Vegetable oil, for frying
    2 large egg yolks
    1 cup ice water
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    12 zucchini flowers with stems
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

1 tbsp Fresh Basil
1 cup Fresh Ricotta
1 tbsp freshly ground Grana


Pour 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F.

Combine, basil, ricotta and Grana in a bowl then transfer to a pastry bag.

In a deep mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and pour in the ice water; mix to combine. Add the flour and continue to mix until the batter is the consistency of heavy cream.

Using a pastry bag fill each flower with the mixture of Basil, ricotta and grana.  Once all flowers have been filled dip 2 zucchini flowers at a time in the batter to coat completely, letting the excess drip off.

Fry the flowers in the hot oil for 2 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Drain the fried flowers on a platter lined with paper towels, season with salt and pepper while they are still hot. Repeat with the remaining zucchini flowers.

Angelo's Birthday

Our friend Peggy, decided to throw a birthday celebration for her husband Angelo.  It was on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, it had been raining all week so it was great that the weather cooperated.  It was at this adorable little place in the village of Quintosole between Opera and Milan.  If you blink while driving toward Milan you'd miss it completely.  There was such a spread of food, I cannot believe I failed to take pictures of it all.
As a wedding gift Peggy and Angelo gave us 2 gift certificate (not a simple task here in Italy) to 2 for their favorite restaurants.  One is this place, we're very excited to come back and enjoy a delicious meal here. Now if it would just stop raining for more than a day at a time we might get there.
Talk about a grill pit!

Angelo thanking all of his guests for coming out today.

Trying to do it in Italian as well :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter, a tad late.

My mom loves to give her kids gifts, so Easter time is no different we still get Easter baskets.  Mine was a tad late thanks to the Italian postal service.  She packed in some of my favorite Easter treats and even check the ingredients on the Peeps to ensure they were cocoa free!  But neither of us could have predicted that I'd have a reaction to the Jelly Bellies, since when to they make chocolate flavored ones!  Michele enjoyed finishing them off after we realized I was reacting to them, my hero.

She also included another kitchen towel, cupcake papers and a few other things.  She's so thoughtful!  It was almost like having her here for a little visit.

To Rome and back

During our April Break we had hoped to do a few day trips to see more of the area near Milan.  However,  as with all things in life it didn't go quite as we had planned.  We did go to Verona again, but this time only to get our revisione redone on our car (inspection).

We went into Milan one day in search of the Canadian Consulate to renew Michele's passport, only to find the building but discover that the consulate closed in 2007!  I think someone needs to update their website.
Driving to Rogerado to take the train into Milan, the car in front of ours was smoking!

We then learned that we needed to go to Rome to get this done, so we did the very next day.  We too the train from Locate (the next town over) into Milan and then from Milan on to Rome arriving mid afternoon.
Train ride from Milan to Rome.

After checking into our hotel (near the train station) we headed out with my iPhone in search of the Canadian Embassy.  It was a short 30 minute walk, along the way we saw several other embassies.  We both came to the conclusion that the way they do it in the USA and Canada is much better with their "Embassy Row" area.  We finally arrived at the Embassy only to find out we were way, way, way too late for today, good thing it was Thursday.
A few sights a long our walk to the Canadian Embassy.

We went back to our hotel and relaxed for a bit before heading to Campo di Fiori for dinner.  We'd been to this little place last April when it had just opened and it had been delicious so we went back.  Well we were sadly disappointed.
Walking to Campo di Fiori
Still walking
Some how I always forget how incredibly strong
they make thier drinks in this country.
There was a groups of high school kids having some good, clean
fun.  They would pick a person at random and follow them in
a long line mimicking them.  This made dinner far better.
The meal was sub par compared to what we remember from last year.  After a disappointing meal we walked back to our hotel to get some sleep, we had to be up early tomorrow to get to the Canadian Embassy.
Old run-down building near our hotel.
These ads were all over buses here.
Ivory Coast Embassy.
                                                                        Saudi Embassy

Filling out paperwork.
ID Tags we had to wear while here.
Less than flattering photo of my husband (Michele) outside
 the Canadian Embassy when we were all done. 
The Canadian Embassy, somethings just aren't equal.
Canadian Flag.
The weather was threatening rain so we made haste for the Embassy, no need for the iPhone to guide us this time.  We got there and still no rain.  After 4 trips up and down the elevator to access our cell phones for data Michele and I finally left.  His new Canadian passport should arrive at the school in Milan in about 3-4 weeks.  Who knew it could take that long! But at least we were done.
Red Cross Piazza, I thought it said something else,
guses I still need to work on my Italian.

We headed to the Colosseum, to go inside it.  Last year when we were here we didn't go in and Michele's never been inside it.  As we walked we encountered a protest of all things.  This was great because it enabled us to easily walk down the street without thinking about traffic.

 Protesting, mechanic I think.

We stopped for some lunch and then the rain began.  We enjoyed a touristy lunch spot near the Colosseum.  After refuelling we headed to the line to get into the Colosseum, the rain was really coming down.  We got into the line and the poor tour guides standing their begging people to take their tours.  Claiming you can skip the line.  Why would we want to do that, the longer we were in line the longer we'd stay dry!

After a while we were finally in and able to wander as we saw fit in the covered areas and outside.

After spending quite a while exploring the Colosseum, we headed to the metro to go to a different part of the city to do some shopping.  I know, I know we live in Milan why shop in Rome.  Michele ended up finding some great shirts at the Gap of all places. I had no luck, so we headed home to dry off and take a nap.

For dinner we wandered around the corner from our hotel and found this amazing little place called Alessio, what a fantastic find.  We enjoyed the meal more than any other we've had in Italy in quite some time.  We were very disappointed to learn that it would not be open for lunch tomorrow, our last meal before heading to back home to Milan.

Saturday morning we awoke packed up checked out and had the hotel hold our luggage.  We headed back to the shopping area we were in yesterday and got Michele more long sleeve shirts.  After we stopped at Cafe Greco for Michele to grab an espresso.  They had a delicious display of treats, but we resisted the urge to indulge.
 We headed back to the area near our hotel grab a quick bite before taking the train back to Milan.