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Monthly Archives: September 2014

How to make your family eat cauliflower

Cauliflower Puffs

Ingredients (4 ps)

  • puff pastry
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 ¾ oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
Defrost the dough at room temperature. In the meanwhile, trim the cauliflower and separate into florets. Wash well and place in a pot of boiling, salted water. Cook for 5 minutes, then drain. Melt 1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp, butter in a little saucepan. Add an equal amount of flour and dilute with hot milk, stirring continuously. Add salt and cook the sauce for 10 minutes. Sauté the cauliflower florets in the remaining butter, breaking it apart into crumb-sized pieces. Then add the cauliflower to the béchamel. Add grated cheese and an egg yolk. Mix carefully. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface and cut out 4 inch wide disks. Place 1 tbsp of filling at the center of each disk. Brush the boarder with egg white, then fold the disks in half, sealing them around the edges. Grease a baking dish with butter and place the pastries on top. Bake in a 350 °F oven for 35 minutes.

P.S. You can avoid to fold the disks and make it a pie instead. I just added some mozzarella on top to make it more yummy (not that it needs that but….)
 
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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Old times and two 30th anniversaries

For the 30th year, last weekend my hometown celebrated its “Palio”. It’s a tradition really loved by my fellow citizens, as well as tourists coming from all Italy and from abroad. My town is divided in 5 “porte”, or gates, the old accesses to the city, each one has a different color, coat of arms, a symbolic animal, a stone and it depends on a different Church (for more about this, check my last year post).

On saturday afternoon the participants of the event, gathered in some particular places around town and then moved to Piazza Duomo (the Cathedral square) where the medieval village had been set

The one below, closing one side of the square, is the Palazzo del Vescovado (the Bishop Palace) where on saturday night a very fancy medieval banquet is held in the cloister for the “captains” and their companions

Sunday morning there was the official presentation of the “Porte”, each one of them  at a place meaningful for the gate district. Ours is” Porta Santa Croce” (Holy Cross Gate) and the choosen place was the beautiful Parco Ducale (Dukes Park). The flag throwing show was really amazing…..

while the horsmen (and women) were training for the afternoon parade….

We went home just for a quick lunch, and then out again just in time for the parade…..

Each gate has its own people wearing the traditional costumes with specific colors and fabrics, each representing a family very powerful at that time in the city

And here they are, the horses…..

At the end of the parade it’s time for the donkeys race, with children riding them (one for each gate) without any saddle….someone was a little scared….

The parade wasn’t just about powerful and aristocratic families, there were also villains, soldiers and the masses, as you can see below…..

The end of the parade was a surprise this year. I mentioned two anniversaries: this was the 30th edition of the palio, but we celebrate also 30 years of friendship with the german city of Worms, one of ours Twin Towns. Our vice-major recently went there for the inauguration of Piazza Parma (Parma Square) and a special truck was made by a german company to celebrate the event.

That truck arrived in Parma main square on friday and the two city counsels took a photo together.

With the german delegation, arrived also a bunch of Worms college students who performed (at the end of the parade and in other city streets) a sort of dance, called “hide dance” throwing a piece of leather on the ground with a stunning synchronic sound…..

It was almost at sunset when finally we got home, but it was so worth the terrible pain in our backs and feet……

Hope this link will work….a little of the flag throwing show….. http://youtu.be/NDhWQ234UeY

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Quote of the week

“Children begin by loving their parents. As they grow older, they judge them. Sometimes they forgive them.”

(Oscar Wilde)

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A special day

It’s been a weird summer, I don’t even know  if we actually had a summer. On top of the bad weather it was also a matter of family issues if we had just one week off to relax and explore the world around us. So we didn’t (and we won’t) miss a chance to enjoy our free time wandering around with friends…

That was the case the first sunday of september. With a bunch of friends we drove to the hills till Passo della Cisa (Cisa Pass) a must for all the local bikers, always crowded with people, but this one was a special occasion. Last year we were there as well, so me couldn’t miss the meeting….

We were up there early but not the first to arrive…..

and in a blink of an eye hundreds of bikes filled all the places availabe….

It was the second time all together for remembering a life taken too soon, a life spent at a fast speed on a race track, and now, in a place dear to bikers, a name on a plate…

The man speaking with the microphone is his father (behind him, not visible, his mother) always present everytime their son is remembered somewhere, and the major of the village who last year gave them the honorary citizenship. He talked about the meaning of meeting like this for his family and all the projects for the future of the Sic#58 Foundation….

Under the tent, a delegation of the Marco Simoncelli Foundation, founded by his family and friends to help disabled young and elders in need (we are now proud members of it!)

We talked a little with Mr Simoncelli, always so kind with everyone, about the Foundation next projects and the last news from the MotoGP Championship…. then they tooke their car and went away and it was time for lunch. It’s that time of the year when our mountains present us with one of the most cherished gifts….mushrooms!

The food was soooo good but the scenario wasn’t bad neither…..

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Simple, quick and tasteful

 Roman cheese cake

The recipe comes from Marcus Cato, a Roman politician, in his text ‘Agriculture’. It is sometimes referred to as “Ancient Roman Cheesecake”, although that is misleading to Americans, who know cheesecake to be a sweet dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ lb ricotta cheese
  • 2 ½ oz honey
  • 1 egg
  • poppy seeds to taste

How to do it:

Mix the cheese with the flour, honey and the egg. Spread the mixture into an oiled oven-dish and bake in the oven at 400°F for around 20-30 minutes, leaving the dish covered with aluminum foil for the first 10 minutes of cooking. When the focaccia is cooked, drizzle with honey and poppy seeds to taste; return to the oven for a further 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Always ready to sit and eat….unfortunately!

Lately we had dinner out with friends and collegues so often….not that I complain, not at all. I mean, no dinner to plan, no dishes to wash after….but on the other hand….goodbye waist…..

Anyway, we eat at some usual places and we tried a couple new, not bad I have to say….

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Too bad the rain…

It was one of those event you don’t want to miss…Well in advance we booked 4 seats even if they were really expensives, but it was a unique occasion and part of the proceeds went for charity to local organizations, so….The idea was born some time ago in the fertile mind of one of the most famous italian chef – with base just out of Parma – Massimo Spigaroli (just to let you know, he’s the guy who directly send “culatello” to Charles, Prince of Wales…) and on the 50th anniversary of the” Ristoranti del Buon Ricordo” (sort of “Good Memories Restaurants”, an association that now counts 111 restaurant in all Italy, preserving and promoting italian slow food) his dream came true. They choose Parma because of Spigaroli, of course, but also because… well…. after all, they call us “the food valley….

So what was this about? A dinner for 1000 persons, arranged on a very long table, all in white, in the city center, planned and cooked by 100 italian chefs, from aperitif to dessert….and it was incredible! In the afternoon the waiters and the chefs arrived to begin cooking under some tents and they settled the table along the main street of the city….

And then, the worst nightmare occured……a huge thunderstorm hit Parma almost ruining the party!!! They quickly covered the table, everyone had the aperitif under the porch of the City Hall….and we all thought about a missed dinner and our money gone….

But luckily, an hour later than planned, the dinner was a big success, even under a few raindrops that still tried to made us all nervous….

The menu was spectacular…..a buffet full of the best of all the italian regions…

Pheasant with parmesan ham and cheese….

Ravioli with porcini and chanterelle mushrooms and black truffle….

Beef with honey and pears…

Cassata from Sicily

And it couldn’t be a party without the group photo at the end…..Bravo to all!

I knew already that was the event of the summer for my hometown, but the next day from our local newspaper site, I had the confirmation….not a bad scene, uhu?

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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