Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

While taking my usual walk I came across this empty 1.5 liter bottle of wine with two plastic cups set atop on the side of the path. Isn't that romantic... sigh.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Small Splurge

.Cream-filled doughnut, devil be thy name. Doughnut, a nut of dough. Sounds appetizing doesn't it? Or let's consider the variation in spelling, donut, which to me resembles "do not" quite a bit. Once a year around this time I take a trip to California for an extended period. I visit family and friends, purchase supplies, and eat cuisine not readily available to me in Italy. As you can see, although doughnuts are available in Italy there is certainly not the variety we have back in the states. Once a year I usually treat myself to something decadent like an apple fritter or a glazed buttermilk or who can resist a chocolate old-fashioned doughnut! This year I am unable to make my pilgrimage and I'm starting to feel the affects. A boring sugar doughnut that tasted like a little bit of heaven/California.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Family Outing

These are my shadows, Zoey, Sydney and Nina (front to back). I can't go outside without the entire troop in tow. Don't get me wrong, we all need fresh air and exercise and I do enjoy their company, but taking a walk with this group is more painstaking for me than it is beneficial. I have to keep a constant eye on everyone since we are surrounded by forest, not to mention they have to stop every few feet and check out every little smell so I wait and watch much more than I walk. Yesterday in order to take a brisk walk by myself I had to discreetly put on my shoes, sneak out the backdoor, tiptoe down the path beside the church, walk along the brush behind the neighbors cars and then make a mad dash down the road all the while looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't being followed. I'm a fugitive.


Pasta Puttanesca

This is one of my favorite pasta sauces and best served with penne pasta. It's thick, rich and spicy and although I've never tried it I'm sure it would make a good bruschetta topping!

1 and 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
1 and 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
12 Nicois olives, pitted, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 and 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chopped anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Add onion and garlic to olive oil in a large skillet. Reduce heat and simmer until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, partially cover pot and simmer sauce until thickened slightly, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the cooked sauce in skillet. Toss lightly to mix.