Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Asti Italy a Gem

We visited a lovely little town called Asti Italy in the Northern Piedmont region and I would say its a gem. Especially as the Italians holiday there and it's all about the food and local wine. Here's a little tour :-)

Me sipping wine the first evening proud of kids even after the drive and a late set of from Nice because we had to find a place to buy a car seat as the rental company had run out!!

It was our wedding anniversary that evening 9 years.

The town at night

The pretty countryside

Love Poppy's

The b n b we stayed in just outside town good price and great with kids :-)

Kids playing in Nice Jasmine even made some French friends :-)

Pasta with eggplant so good kids liked this

Hubby's swordfish

Camermello Gelato love Italians love of gelato

Milan here now but being honest we are tempted to head on and stay in lake como today.

Got to love cappuccino here

Onto lake Garda and maybe combo and through mountains to Munich before flying home!, sorry if I am not able to read all your blogs at present just have wifi as able and paying here :-)

Love and hugs Rebecca

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What to eat in Nice, France

Here are a few items you must try if you are visiting Nice in the South of France. It's so much fun and I feel important to try regional specialities as you never know when you will return and it really gives you a flavor of the area.

Cod we ate at a lovely restaurant called Cafe Bianco.

Tourtes de Blettes a traditional tart from Nice made with Swiss chard, raisins, pine nuts and apple sounds funny but so good. The sweet neighbor next door to the apartment we are renting brought it for us to try as we sat on the balcony sharing pizza with them last night. See below for recipe, may not be able to get it to link as blogging on my phone :-)

Of course no trip to France is complete without fresh baguettes and croissant.

Ravioli a speciality here, Roshan loved this :-)

Local park

Menu of awesome restaurant highly recommended and cheap mid day menu.

Eating pâté on balcony

Fish soup


Fresh asparagus at local market

Small streets in old town

Pâté and salad this was great had a texture like pulled pork

view from balcony :-)

Soca a traditional flatbread made from chick pea flour

Have a wonderful week everyone

Love Rebecca

Friday, May 25, 2012

Picnic in Bath

We had a lovely week in the UK catching up with my parents, grandparents, hubby's Mum from India and the kids little cousin. It was busy though going from house to house, on Tuesday we drove from Kings Lynn to Bristol saw close friends then to Bath, calling in at Oxford. Bath was lovely was my first time visiting and we had a great couple of hours strolling around and had a picnic in the park by the river. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pumpkin grits

I had some leftover sausages cooked with vegetables I often serve over polenta, but for a change I thought I would add pumpkin to grits to have with it. It was easy to make and so good, and I love the idea of adding an extra vegetable to my meal. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Guest Post: Eggplant Parmesan

I have a wonderful Guest post for you from my buddy Mdivani, he kindly offered a recipe with a clip. I always enjoy his interviews on his blog with fashion designers and think he has tremendous talent in front of a camera. He's a fashion designer, foodie and world traveler and honestly such a sweet person on twitter. You may recall I made his Grandma's Borsht recipe once. 

Eggplant Parmesan is one of my all time favorite dishes and I have been making my grandmother’s recipe from the Tuscan region of Italy for as long as I can remember. Even though it turns out delicious every time, it involves dredging slices of eggplant in flour, dipping them in egg and then frying them.

As I started eating healthier over the last few years, I also started to rethink the Eggplant Parmesan recipe. How could I make a flavorful version without the egg, flour and especially the frying, making it healthier and decreasing the calorie intake. So about 2 years ago I started experimenting with the recipe.
I perfected a version where I sliced the eggplant, lightly brushed the slices with olive oil and then roasted them in single layers on baking sheets. It turned out great, but all of the single layer roasting was very time consuming.

I spent this last Christmas in Venice, Italy and while there discovered a charming restaurant with exquisite food called A Beccafico. We loved the restaurant so much that we ended up going back three times. On one of those visits, I ordered an appetizer that blew my mind. They took a half eggplant, roasted it, topped it with marinara, parmesan and mozzarella and then baked it! I knew that I had found the answer to making a healthy and flavorful Eggplant Parmesan.

As soon as I got back to the States, I went out and bought eggplant and experimented until I got it down pat. Now I am ready to share it with you!

2 Medium to Large Eggplants
1 Cup Marinara (Recipe to Follow)
1/4 Cup Finely Grated Parmesan
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan
3/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Preheat Oven to 450 Degrees

Peel off the leaves and cut off the stems of the eggplants. Slice the eggplants in half and lightly salt each half with the kosher salt and let sit for about 15 minutes to let the salt draw out some of the excess moisture in the eggplant halves. By doing this, the eggplant will retain its shape better and roast more evenly. When the 15 minutes is up, brush the salt off of the halves with a paper towel.

Score each eggplant half on the flesh side with three slices, then lightly brush each half with olive oil. Places the eggplant halves flesh side down on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and roast in the 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the eggplant and when the skin just begins to wrinkle slightly, it is time to take it out of the oven. It could take up to 25 minutes depending on your oven! Let the eggplant cool for about 15 minutes and then remove carefully from the aluminum foil.

Reduce oven temperature to 375 Degrees.

Spray a large baking dish with a non-stick spray, preferably olive oil based and place the eggplant halves
in the dish flesh side up. Top each slice with marinara sauce, sprinkle lightly with finely grated parmesan cheese, then top with the shredded parmesan and the shredded mozzarella. Place the eggplant back in the 375 Degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, pass the eggplant under the broiler for just long enough to lightly brown the cheese.

Bon Appetit!

Grandmother’s Marinara
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic chopped
1 6-oz. can Tomato Paste
1 28oz. can Italian Plum Tomatoes, strained
2 3/4 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Sherry
2 Sprigs Fresh Sweet Basil Chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
Salt and Pepper

Sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil until it almost becomes translucent.
Add the garlic to the oil and continue cooking until the garlic just begins to
brown. Add tomato paste, strained tomatoes, water and sherry. Stir until well
blended, add the seasonings and cook uncovered over low flame, stirring
occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour.

for more follow along: 

Mdivani Monroe

Twitter - @LadiesWhoLunch1
Designer, World Traveler, Foodie out to discover the best of the best and share it with you!!
Traveling :)

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Friday, May 18, 2012

The Hatch - Street Kitchen and Kings College

So we arrived in London safely the kids did great on the flight, but honestly the first day was rough as both had jet lag, but are getting back into a sleep routine. Yesterday we had lunch at The Street Kitchen - The Hatch.

 I have been following on twitter for a year now and love the concept, one is a mobile food truck and this one a small kiosk serving locally sourced organic food, made by cool chefs. 
There is seating at the doodle bar next door and as it's simply you and the chefs making the price very reasonable for top notch food. Its traditional British food with pizazz and I highly recommend it. 

It is a little tricky to find though on a side street in Battersea in a ware house type building. I think my bro and sis in law and Mum in law thought where the heck is Rebecca taking us. But once everyone started eating their food they got why :-). In fact my friend Dianne @cherries_r_yum on twitter tweeted pictures of their food one Sunday when they did a pop up restaurant it really impressed me and while only having less than two days in central London it was a must for me!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Walnut and Maple Biscotti

I made this biscotti for my Dad coming a few weeks back, he's very partial to cake and with two wee ones, cooking a meal and a cake on the same day I felt was a tad amibitious so I wanted something that I could make one or two day's ahead of time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Strawberry, Rocket and Cucumber Salad

This is a super little salad, inspired by the idea to combine strawberries with cucumber in The Telegraph, another great British newspaper with a great Food Section.  I made a simply salad with the strawberry, cucumber and home grown arugula/rocket in the UK. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Guest Post: Seasonal Food Markets

Wild mushrooms in Antwerp

To get you in the #Tuesfoodmarket spirit we have a treat a guest post from a couple of foodie world traveling bloggers, of some cool markets around the world from their travels, enjoy and thanks Natalie and Tim. Tim is a chef with 15 years of experience and Natalie a Jane of all trades, florist, office manager and more, they had a deli in Vancouver but have sold up and are on the adventure of a lifetime food and travel blogging!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bulgur Wheat and Roasted Vegetable Salad

I made this salad recently for a pot luck and it went down really well, I am not sure why I hadn't used bulgur wheat before, its whole grain and has 6 g of protein in a serving 1/4 cup dry and is a great source of fiber. Its very much like cous cous but healthier. I will make it again for sure. 


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