We basically spent the Biscotti Queen’s last day in Rome just eating.
I’ve eaten so much I don’t even want to look at food anymore. The thought of pizza makes my stomach turn (more on that later).
But her last night, we made sure to go to Hostaria Farnese, a small restaurant between Piazza Farnese and Campo d’ Fiori. The Biscotti Queen and her family had been to that restaurant 10 years prior and had take pictures with the family. Biscotti Queen’s uncle Mark offered to buy us dinner if we went and took pictures with the family.
After a bit of wine (or maybe an entire bottle of sparkling wine between me and the Biscotti Queen), we all (Biscotti Queen, Lis and me) went to dinner.
After ordering, Biscotti Queen pulled out the pictures from 10 years before.
The old man and his son, Luca, were so pleased! So we got a picture of Sara with the family! Mission accomplished.
On to the food. The three of us shared a spaghetti Carbonara (because it was Biscotti Queen’s last day in Rome and she had yet to have it)
Lamb with potatoes
and Artichokes. They also gave us some of their house flat bread to try (and some wonderful anti pasti that I forgot to take a picture of). They were awfully generous!
The next day, the Biscotti Queen left and it was back to work for me. Super sad!
I had such a wonderful time with all my visitors. It was nice to we around close friends again. Everyone here in Rome is great, but they’re no match to friends from home.
After all these visits though, I’m sooo tired of food. I’m starting a mini diet on Monday. More on that soon.
Remember that time that decided to take a vacation. We walked, bused, trained, bused again and finally made our way to Amalfi, because let’s be honest, Rome is fantastic but the Amalfi coast is pretty much amazing.
Then it was time to venture out. We walked about 200 meters to the Duomo, the main cathedral.
Our vacation ambitions somehow convinced us to shell out 3 Euro to take a tour of the Cloister, Catacombs and Cathedral.
Lovely! Then of course, we fed ourselves, because Sara’s main goal on her trip to Italy was to gain 10 lbs.
For lunch, pizza and gelato on the steps of the Duomo.
After there was no more food to eat (for now), we wandered, because really that’s what we’re good at and that’s what there is to do on the Amalfi coast. There’s one main street in Amalfi. We walked up and down it probably 20 times. After we window shopped enough, we decided to wander through the neighborhoods.
The neighborhoods are not what you would imagine. First off, Amalfi is built into the side of a mountain. So the streets are made of tiny corridors full of many, many, many stairs.
After getting lost a few times, we referred to the map to try to get to the neighboring little town, Atrani. After an hour of stairs, twists, turns, amazing views and a few more stairs, we made it.
Atrani was tiny. We saw a main square, a bar, some people going to church, a restaurant, and two fisherman. Then we turned around and headed back to Amalfi. This time, we walked along the side of the road. It took about 15 minutes to get back, compared to an hour and a half to get there… Stair free.
A few hours later, our friend Lis joined us! By this time it was about 10 pm. Most things were closed but luckily the restaurant we had scoped out in one of the random alleys off the main street was still open. We then proceeded to have the best meal EVER.
Mussels with lemon and pepper.
Pasta with tomatoes and mussels
Arancini (Risotto balls)
Then we proceeded to pass out in a food coma.
Life is good in Italy.
Last Tuesday, after a full day of work and two hours of class, I went to the grocery store. In my drowsy state of exhaustion, I decided I wanted rice. Unknowingly I purchased arborio, the kind of rice used for risotto, instead of the regular longer grain rice that I’m accustomed to. I don’t think it was a language barrier, as the box was clearly labeled “arborio.” It was probably just that I was tired, hungry and not in the right state of mind.
Long story short. I now have a box of arborio rice sitting in my kitchen cabinet. Clearly, it can’t go to waste. Neither can the huge bag of spinach that I purchased in a moment of desperation when I felt like I’d had it with carbohydrates.
But alas, carbohydrates can’t seem to escape me. Luckily, they’re delicious.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup arborio rice
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable broth, warm
2 cups fresh chopped spinach
pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (or more if you’d like)
Heat oil in a pot on medium heat. Add mushrooms and arborio, cook for 5-10 mins until rice begins to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add white wine, stir until it is almost completely absorbed. Then begin to add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until the liquid absorbs. Repeat until you’ve used all but a bit of the broth. Stir in the chopped spinach and the last bit of liquid. Keep stirring until almost completely absorbed, then add the pepper and parmesan. Once all the liquid is absorbed, serve immediately.
I think I’m going to suck it up and pay the 195 Euro to use a gym for three months. I think it might be worth it.
Even though I walk everywhere here, I don’t think it’s going to cut it. I hadn’t realized how lucky I was to have a cheap gym so close to me in Ithaca. While I don’t miss the snow, I definitely miss how easy it was to work out.
I’ll keep you posted on the gym dilemma. Any thoughts?
Let me start by saying that this title might be grammatically incorrect. Surprisingly, being in Italy has yielded little opportunity to learn Italian. However, I might leave fluent in French. Today I spent the majority of the day reading reports in French, who knew I still can read it… but google translate helps… On to Sunday… Domenica!
A new tradition has started. Well, at least, I hope it’ll catch on. Inspired by the Biscotti Queen and her family, the grad students and I have decided to start a Sunday Dinner tradition.
My roommate and I both love to cook. So it sorta works out. Plus, he’s Sicilian and doesn’t fool around.
Now this wasn’t your average Sunday Dinner. It started around 3:00pm and ended around 8:00pm, and it was amazing.
It started with an unorthodox, antipasti. Not meats. Instead, cream puffs.
Nancy and I love sugar and she stopped at a bakery before arriving. They were amazing! Some were filled with lemon cream and others with a chocolate cream.
To die for. So while Nancy and I munched on cream puffs and waited for the others to arrive, Joe started making primo piatto.
Once Lis, Kyla and her friend Giuseppe arrived. We were ready.
Spaghetti ai Frutti di Mare
After some sitting and chatting, I made secondo piatto. It ended up being some strange version of saltimbocca. Thinly pounded chicken breast, rolled with prosciutto and sage, cooked in a butter wine sauce.
Not bad. For contorno, rosemary roasted potatoes.
Nancy and Lis both brought dessert. However, I only remembered to photograph what Nancy brought (other than the cream puffs):
Some sort of delicious crostata! I was pleased.
After dessert and coffee, we were sufficiently full and basically ready for the night to be over.
Next time, I want to make primo and leave the meat making to someone who knows what he’s doing.
Forget the pink and red.
Today has been all about green.
Pasta e fagoli con pesto e rucola
Translation: Pasta with cannelini beans and pesto with arugula
It was delicious, but honestly, it’s been a rough day.
I really wanted gelato. Not far from my house is a gelateria… why not?
Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
Being in Italy, does not give me license to eat Nutella like it’s going out of style.
I ate this jar in about 5 days.
The entire container was 200g. Each serving is 15g, meaning there were about 13.3 servings in this little glass container. That would mean I ate a little less than 3 servings per day.
While that’s not terrible, let’s not forget the first two ingredients: zucchero e olio vegetale.
Translation: sugar and vegetable oil.
Transitive Property: No more Nutella for me.
For now :)
Anyone else go crazy for Nutella?
I’ve probably mentioned this before but I’ve never been a big fan of pasta.
It just was never that exciting.
UNLucky for me, I’m spending the next few months in the land of pasta.
But as the saying goes… When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
So I’m trying, and here’s my experiment. Pasta alla Puttanesca, which I guess literally means “whore style pasta.” It’s not a Roman recipe originally, and I like to think I’m not a whore, but why not give it a shot. While I’ve never been a big fan of pasta, I’ve always loved sauce (or “gravy” as they call it on The Sopranos) and more importantly I love olives.
I have no idea if this recipe is anywhere nearing authentic, but I read the basic ingredients of Pasta alla Puttanesca, took a quick trip to the grocery store and came up with this:
To be honest, it was delicious. And to be even more honest, I didn’t measure these things. So these are estimates of how much I used. If you give it a try, add stuff and keep tasting and adding more until you like the flavor. After all, who cares about authenticity if it doesn’t taste good to you? (At least in your own home)
Puttanesca (ish) Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced (apparently the original version doesn’t include onions)
2 gloves of garlic, minced
2 cups tomato puree
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried basil
1 cup sliced olives
3 tbsp capers
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful of fresh italian parsley, chopped
Heat oil in a large pot, add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add tomato puree, tomato paste, basil, olives, capers, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in parsley. Simmer for another 15 minutes or so, really the longer you simmer it the better. If your sauce is too thick, add a bit of water.
Serve over pasta and enjoy!
And enjoy I did, standing at my window, admiring the view
Off to Florence for the weekend! Be back with pictures!
Who doesn’t love toast?
Luckily, I have a toaster in my apartment.
Looks normal right? Well I spent the better part of 10 minutes figuring out how it works. I pushed down, pulled, turned nobs. Finally I figured out how easy it is. Slip the toast in, turn the dial and when it’s done, pull it out.
I could have sworn I bought some jam, but apparently I didn’t. So instead I had cheese on my toast with a side of yogurt and green tea. I don’t know if I was just hungry, but this cheese tasted amazing!
Strangely enough we don’t have a coffee maker. As much as I love coffee, this just means I have to go to a bar/caffe to get coffee. I’ll survive.
After a getting ready and going to the Cornell in Rome campus to print some internship stuff, I decided to wander.
I walked around aimlessly, and it was great.
After a while, I picked up some lunch:
and sat in a piazza to enjoy.
Great view, right?
The did some more wandering.
Finally, when a borderline creepy Italian man hit on me, I decided I was tired and headed home.
Now, I’m going to do more internship prep to see how soon I can start!
As much as I hate to admit this, being at my parent’s house was driving me crazy. For some reason, being there makes me the most sedentary person on the planet.
Example: I watched every episode (5 1/2 season) of How I Met Your Mother in the nearly 3 weeks I was home. Hilarious show! But that’s wayyyy too much TV.
The truth is, I feel better when I’m more active. I like walking places and working out. It just makes me feel better about myself.
So now that I’m in Ithaca, I’m trying to find ways to feel better about myself and my health… despite this:
I won’t lie. The weather here can be terrible. I walked to meet up with some friends and my toes were numb even though I was wearing tights, thick socks and snow boots.
But to keep myself moving, I present to you, my home gym:
Real state of the art, right?
Lately I’ve taken to doing circuits while watching episodes of last season’s The Biggest Loser.
Circuit 1: 25 Step ups
Circuit 2: 20 crunches
Circuit 3: 25 jumping jacks
Circuit 4: 20 bicycle crunches
Circuit 5: 25 bunny hops (back and forth over my computer charger)
Not the most exciting work out ever but definitely better than sitting and doing nothing. I’ve also recently discovered ExerciseTV online!
I made another discovery. It’ll revolutionize lunch (or dinner… for me, at least). Okay so I didn’t really discover it. Rather, it’s new to me.
Who knew it could be so delicious.
What you need:
- Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, etc.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- baking sheet
- oven preheated to 400F
Combine broccoli, other vegetables, olive oil, balsamic vinergar, salt and pepper. Put it all on a baking sheet like such:
Roast at 400F for about 25 minutes.
Makes a wonderful side dish. I’m so pleased! Last night I went and bought more broccoli just so I could have it again.
Definitely recommend it if you haven’t tried it.
Off to try to get some work done, or at least move myself a bit. Have a wonderful day!
Well, maybe not. More like Remix to Curried Kale with Lentils and Mango.
Somehow that doesn’t sound as good as Remix to Ignition. I’m going to stick to my day job… err that is searching for one…
Anyway, I remade curried kale with lentils and mango. I made a few changes, I only used 1 tsp of olive oil, omitted the shallot and used 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar instead of lemon. Everything else stayed pretty much the same.
Take that R. Kelly… or something…
Speaking of day jobs. I’m off to work on some job applications. Wish me luck!