Visualizzazione dei post da Settembre, 2014

Just wondering

I keep reading here and there on the net only to realize – suddenly – that I do not remember which information I have acquired. This is a bit scary and given that I am too young to have developed any degenerative disease I just had this tiny faint doubt whether the problem lies on the mean of information.
How come I can remember facts I have read in books or magazines last century and totally forget the trivialities I have read online only yesterday?
Well, according to a research made by the University of Wellington, Victoria, Australia, “In general, online reading was found to have a negative impact on people’s cognition. Concentration, comprehension, absorption and recall rates when engaging with online material were all much lower.”
This is a total relief: so I am not the only one. Apparently I am an innocent victim of an exposure to an exceeding amount of information. As said by these scholars, a “Cognitive overload may occur when more cognitive efforts are required than are availab…


Reading recipes is a hobby. I like to find inspiration and sometimes to try them out. Normally I cook for dinner and I am usually quite hungry. Therefore if I have not planned it in advance or if I simply want to eat immediately, I just cook random ingredients and try to have them in an edible form in front of us. 
Yesterday for instance I simply prepared a sauté of scallion and a couple of zucchini, added a little whole grain couscous and some boiling water and let it steam away. Meanwhile I baked a squash (15 minutes, fan oven 200° C with 360W microwave), prepared a soffritto with a fresh chili with some couscous spice and that was our dinner.
Obviously that has nothing to do with lasagne. This food has to be planned and it takes some time to prepare. 
Normally I do not read foreign lasagne recipe, but a couple of days ago I did, because the picture looked nice and I was shocked by the ingredients listed and the alleged difficulty that had nothing to do with lasagna but with the extr…

The spicery

As I live in the countryside, outsourcing spices has always been quite a problem. Italians are not very keen on spices, though the increasing presence of foreigners from around the world is actually improving our supplies.

Yet there are exotic stuff (for me) such as sumac or chitpotle chilies that I would stumble upon while reading my too many cookbooks and did not know their smell and taste.

Now I have resolved my problems with this beautiful online seller.I have found their link in Made in India, but I still have to try a recipe from this book.

I just placed an order few days ago and I have received this morning a cute purple box with neat plastic bags containing the desired spices and also a complementary sample.

Lovely, cannot wait to try them.

Patate al forno alla moda greca

As I was telling you I did purchase too many cookbooks, among which the latest Moosewood cookbook. I am such a boring person: when I fall in love with an author I tend to buy and read all her books. Thus I definitely did not need this one either, but I have found a lovely recipe for greek lemony potatoes. You can actually stumble on a thousand such recipes on pinterest and my favorite is this one from Foodaki.
What you need:
Many potatoes, cubed. You can peel (or not) your potatoes. I decided to keep the peel on. Juice and zest of one lemon Little water, about ½ cup to 1 cup, depending on how many potatoes you are using Little oil Little oregano Salt and pepper to taste 1 or two garlic cloves (I used powder garlic)
How to do it: 
Mix everything and toss in the oven. Bake (200°C) for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every once in a while, until roasted to desired color. The water shall completely evaporate while cooking and leave only the infused oil on the bottom.
Definitely lovely. We gobb…

Sformato di melanzane

Although I own many cookbooks and save million recipes in every possible format and support, I end up cooking the same old things.
It is just a matter of time, hunger and poor supply of fancy ingredients.
My favorite cookbooks recipes are those that get stuck in my mind and that pop up when I need them, more or less accurately, and save me and/or my family from starvation.
One of these recipes is an eggplant bake from my beloved first Moosewood cookbook.  I actually own the previous 1987 edition. It was my first vegetarian cookbook ever. It was a gift from a different life in the past about to end abruptly. Also my first book measured in cups. Funnily enough, I remembered a cup measurer my Canadian-Spanish aunt gave my mother many years before and suddenly that weird looking gadget made some sense.
Then recently I purchased Ottolenghi’s Plenty more and met a recipe that resembled my favorite, though with a cheesier custard.
What you need:
3 fat eggplants (nice shiny black or purple peel, …


I wanted to share a couple of my son's favorite books. He will turn three years old in a couple of weeks.

He just started scuola materna and I am feeling emotional about my little one being (sort of) grown up (which translates in finding him on the slide with all his face brown from dirt, but alas, he's always my little monkey).
These are not new releases, as you may already know. Yet I find it always difficult to pick up books for my kid (which means that I buy too many, but he may not always like them...).

Slow Cooker Lentils

Years ago I acquired my friend’s R. slow cooker. She was moving back the US and I was the lucky one to get her almost brand new pot. Well, now I could not resist checking how much a new one costs and hey, R. it was not a great deal huh, I still love you dearly though.
I am ashamed to confess that as with most of my exotic kitchen appliances I did use it only once for Christmas holidays lentils (Italians believe that eating lentils at New Year’s Eve will bring loads of money in the upcoming year. It does not really work much, but at least you get lots of fiber). It was such a failure: I used my regular recipe and it turned out all mushy and dry.
Afterwards I decided to invest (or squander) some money on a cookbook (yes, another one. Did I mention that I am in a total freak out cookbook purchasing frenzy? You’ll see it in the coming months…).
Now, after trying this recipe I am in love with my expensive slow cooker.
Beans and slow cooker are the perfect match.
What you need: 1 onion, thinly s…