My Ebooks:

My Ebooks:
A thoughtful blend of original ‪‎photography‬, ‪haiku‬ and ‪calligraphy‬; a cathartic journey upon fluid images and simple words.

27 Nov 2012

Comforting Italian Trifle

Italian Christmas trifle with ricotta cream and mandarin


What is comfort to our eyes? The feeling of home? A completely relaxed body? Or conversely a hyperactive session of our favorite sport? A visit to a museum can be comforting to many, but just because we stand still for hours in front of a magnificent piece of art it doesn't mean that our mind isn't going 100 miles an hour.

Generally we tend to associate the word comfort with something soft, fluffy, enveloping and translating this abstract and deep feeling into food is quite an interesting endeavor.
Certain ingredients can, by themselves, elicit such an emotional response so much so that we may find ourselves savoring luscious sour cream by the spoonful directly from the tub in these deep moments of need. The texture of fatty rich food makes us melt into expressions of pure enjoyment, probably an instinctual response to the fact that we are well provided for the cold season.

12 Nov 2012

My Magic Wintery Gazpacho Chez Fahad's

Magic Pumpkin Gazpacho

It has been quite some time since I had guest posted for a friend and this time I am very happy to be hosted at Fahad's land of delicious treats SimplyFahad-istic.

When he approached me asking to guest post, he mentioned that it would be for his "Liquid Friday" series. As the title says, this series concentrates on drinks and this is a first for me. My original idea was that of using the Vitamix blender I had won at "Food Blogger Connect" back in September and create something around almonds. One of my culinary dream project is that of perfecting home-made almond milk and the Vitamix seemed like the most perfect kitchen appliance to help me; but what do you know, I still haven't received my blender....

Destiny wants that, for one of my sessions at FBC12, I had created a Wintery Gazpacho to show a special technique of clarification. Normally gazpacho is a soup item but thanks to this technique it can be now promoted to the category of drinks (and cocktails) furthermore I bet it would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving table!

Without further ado, let's head to Fahad's to fetch a cup of my Wintery Gazpacho.

8 Nov 2012

Sicilian Pasta e Broccoli in Support for Sandy

Pasta e Broccoli Sicilian style

Last week the New York area got hit by a terrible "hurricane" that crippled the city and the surrounding states. From this side of the Ocean, we couldn't help but feel the angst of the people getting ready for what was to come. Those who didn't have to evacuate were getting ready to live without electricity for a few days.
Being from Sicily, I am used to loosing electricity power almost at each storm that hit my town, but this never last more than a couple of hours. I can't imagine what it means to remap our life around camp stoves and charcoal grills with the fear that most of the food was spoiling away in a dark and warm fridge.
Furthermore, when trees fall not only the power lines are affected but also the telephone ones are and this is enough to send far-away siblings into fibrillation.

5 Nov 2012

Autumn thoughtfulness and CreativeLIVE

Coffee-Quark cheesecake pudding with caramelised Pumpkin in Spiced nuts bowl

Autumn is the season of change. From the vibrant electricity of Summer days we slowly transition toward a sleepy November. The skies often mirror our moods and our woolly cloaks. Mornings are dark  the blankets become our best friends.
The sun isn't disappeared from our lives, it shyly emerges seldom from its blankets in the dark blue sky bringing a warming smile into our daily routines. Somehow this season always makes me more introspective and focused toward the future, the light at the end of a cloudy day.

8 Oct 2012

Zahtar buttermilk biscuit and my first days in London

Zahtar spiced Scones for breakfast!
It takes some time to recover from bad experiences and it takes even longer to get back to or daily life after a short parenthesis of happiness.

Almost one week has passed since my visit to London. As I am sure I have already mentioned in previous posts (here and here) London for me is synonymous of friendships. Nothing better of a vibrant metropolis filled with friendly faces and great food to ease the mind from a life of routine boredom.
This time around though the friendly call was accompanied by a call to action. It was the Food Bloggers Connect weekend and I was asked by the organizer Bethany to present few talks on food science.

14 Aug 2012

Sicilian egg gratin and my trip to Versailles

Egg gratin alla Norma

It was a sunny day that started with a little drizzle my last day in Paris.
I was stationed in a little town close to the ville lumieres at arm lengths from Versailles. In the past I have told myself many times to just take the train and visit the old kings but I was never strong enough to disentangle myself from the parisian hug. This time I didn't have any excuse; I set my alarm clock, bought my train ticket and there I was, Versailles.

Versailles Castle - Square

6 Aug 2012

Buckweat-Quinoa veggie muffins with lime-vanilla cream-cheese frosting

Buckweat-Quinoa veggie muffins with lime-vanilla cream-cheese frosting
August is here and so is the middle of summer, not only that actually; August usually brings my whole family to Bonn for a little summer vacation.
My family has been visiting me regularly since I moved to Germany; a subtle way to keep an eye on my doing as well as experimencing new places, people and realities. The days of their visit are though punctuated by visits to some of our canonical restaurants of different extractions and traditions, often joined with some of my friends, but these days ar essentially a continous shopping-spree for the ladies of the family. By now, after more than 7 years, they are rather used to Bonn and so they do not need much attending from my side so I can continue my work as usual.

9 Jul 2012

Lotta-Garlic chicken and a Conference

July is here.
With its finnicky mood this summer feels more like an early autumn. Sunny and melting days are followed by gloomy gray mornings. Every now and then though, there are days with a perfect balmy temperature; the sun shines through the patches of puffy clouds swimming in an ultramarine sky and the sparrows are chirping.
Autumn can be the best season of the year when it wants.

Fishing for Culture
This year I am quite looking forward to the actual autumn since this year I will finally manage to attend again the Food Bloggers Connect conference in London.

2 Jul 2012

Mom Francesca's eggplant and onion casserole

Eggplant Onion and Tomato casserole
Traveling always improves our lives; a rich baggage of memories and images can change us more than we can actually realize.
Oral stories sung by bards and grandparents have left the place to printed works and the ominous prescriptions of altarpieces and religious friezes.
Printed and visual experiences continously pull and push us around like little creatures on our shoulders whispering in our ears words of alternate realities populated by far away but somehow familiar beings. Invisible silken threads connect us nowadays in ways almost unimmaginable to our immediate ancestors.
"Practice makes us perfect" they used to say, practice is all they had to learn by, to improve, to debunk myths and legends, when they weren't meant to accompany us in the sweet kingdom of Morpheus.

20 Jun 2012

Chocolate rum quinoa pudding and a visit to Nantes

Chocolate & Rum Quinoa pudding
A trip to France always needs some time to get assimilated, especially when you come back with more than 1000 shots to edit.
I often rethink at the great weekend I spent in Nantes few weeks ago under a summery sun and in great company. Aside from exploring the objective beauty of a city, I find that getting in touch with its soul is a much more rewarding feat. People watching is great fun especially when you can sport an anthropological motive for your nosiness.
Being a tourist for me means being a citizen of leisure, living the city as close as its citizens would normally do but without the hanging pain of daily chores. I love to stroll among the frenchies, discovering their cities and their daily secret pleasures.
Having a camera on your shoulder though does single you out as an inquisitive foreigner ready to invade people's privacy for the mere pleasure of recording.

4 Jun 2012

Salmon-Eggplant-Cardamom cakes and a French prize

Salmon-Eggplant cakes served with a cardamom-butter court-bouillon sauce Pointing you the way
After a long week of holidays of sort, nothing better than a blog post to put the schedule back on tracks.
Almost 10 days ago I started my trip to France to present (and defend) my creations (#1 and #2) at the 2012 Science et Cuisine competition.
This being my main goal, I headed directly to Nantes where the competition final was held. The trip was uneventful, but not much so were the few days that preceded it. Stressed out for the presentation I had to hold, I spent the 3 days preceding the departure in a sleepless walking coma. I did manage to test my speech though, being it in French I couldn't just rely on my admirable qualities of orator, could I? I was rather happy to notice that despite all the "Ahem...", the "Mmmm...", the "Alors..." the speech was still within the 10 minutes I had at my disposal.

21 May 2012

Swiss-chard and almonds gnudi and a book review

Swiss-chard gnudi with Hazan's onion-butter-tomato sauce - duo 2
At the beginning of the past week I was surprised to receive a phone-call from a delivery agency who communicated me that they had a parcel from England to deliver.
The hours went by and the sun rose again, around 10am the delivery man rang the bell and I had my mysterious pouch in my hands.
It was Giuliano Hazan's new cookbook "Hazan Family Favorites". I immediately brought it with me in my usual coffee shop and started my reading meal. Page after page, I wanted to get a clear idea of this book so to write a proper review that you all would appreciate.

They do say to never judge a book by its cover but in this case you should. The book design has been so cleverly done that right from the front cover you have a taste of the warm oranges and dark terracotta colors you will meet inside.

10 May 2012

Mussels jelly-dome à la nage Asiatique

Moules aux Algue-Frites
Here we go with the second installment of the seaweed saga.

In the past episode , I introduced you to the seaweed tasting experience I did for a recipe competition I entered; the theme of the competition was indeed seaweeds.
They provided us with quite a few samples, mostly dried and just a couple fresh.
I do prefer when seaweeds come in their dry form, since the whitish coating on them is actually a natural concentrate of many of their savory compounds. It is easier this way to get the seaweed flavors into things without the need of cooking them longly.

7 May 2012

Goat cheese verrines with spiced apple-jelly

Goat cheese verrines with spiced apple-jelly
The beginning of each month is highlighted by the Secret Recipe Club so there is always something good to look for around the corner.
For the month of May I was assigned Megan's blog "Megan's Cookin". From her blog it is evident that she loves to cook and eat a bit of everything, so much so that she end up being a polygamous! But can you blame her to love both citrus and chocolate? Nah we can't, can we?

4 May 2012

Dulse-seaweed panna cotta with caramel sauce marine

Mixed dried seaweed
Have you ever taste tested a bunch of seaweeds? Probably when you were a kid at the sea shore hands deep in sand and slimy grassy things you attempted to eat them, but this wasn't one of those situations.
If you are regular to this blog you might remember me entering the "Science, Art et Cuisine" competition the past years.

9 Apr 2012

Nutty Swedish Meatballs

Nutty Swedish meatballs
This month you are lucky! Two post in just a few days, must be a record for me, I hope that isn't too much inspiration for your belly to bare.

I am very happy to announce that my Pomegranate shot won February DMBLGiT challenge in the Originality category; my first win in this challenge! Many thanks to the judges for choosing my entry. 

A Fall still-life
If you want to enter the March edition of the challenge, check the details on Wendy's post.

Another month has passed since the last Secret Recipe Club and at this round I was assigned the inspiring Delishhh Blog from Ewa. She usually posts homey kind of recipes with interesting flavor or presentation twists. I saw her Cinnamon sugar pull apart bread back when she originally posted the recipe and found it a very fun and yummy idea, I will have to try soon (I hope).

7 Apr 2012

Citrussy crepes soufflées

Crepes aux Agrumes
March has been a pretty busy month; my cooking classes and a couple of food related competitions made my daily schedule as hectic as I have rarely experienced before. But it has been a great and exceptional month, the best I had in the last couple years.
Healing from my Candida overgrowth has caused my diet to be extremely restrictive nowadays but the positive effects are mighty. I am my old self, full of energy and positivity; even my photography style has changed. With this extra energy I can now face this stark schedules and more!

The first third of the year has been dedicated to a food competition since the last 3 years: Les Réncontres Science et Cuisine (check my 2011 and 2010 posts) but this year a new one popped up in the same time window and it was a food-photography competition too.

17 Mar 2012

Pasta with Zucchini and my second Cooking Class

Pasta with fried Zucchini
It never happens but when it does it is in the worst moment possible. How often have we said these words with a cursing tone toward the stars (or the municipal house).
I have been living in Germany for roughly 7 years now and can still count on the tip of my fingers the times that transports have gone on strike, actually I think they are quite under 5 in total and yesterday was one of these.

5 Mar 2012

Cooking classes and my Tomato sauce

Pasta alla Norma
March is starting to look like a pretty busy month. Long time has passed since I had so many deadlines and possibilities to earn some money.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I have started giving cooking classes in my town, Bonn. It took some time for the city (represented by the Volkshochschule) to realize the need of offering public classes in English but once they started I was right there to offer my contribution.
Nothing better than some tasty Sicilian food, right? So I decided to offer two classes delving on Sicilian cuisine (one of them for vegetarians) and so far the answer has been excellent!

24 Feb 2012

Cuccia and devotional eating

Carneval 2012 - Bonn
In many of our cities, the past weekend has been dedicated to the celebration of Carnival; it sure has been around here in Bonn.

With Bavaria, North-Rhine Westphalia is the German region where "Karneval" is mostly felt and longed for since the 11th of November when the preparations for the celebrations start (at 11:11am to be precise).
Till last year this fixation with the number 11 sounded unexplainable to me but all got cleared out last autumn. The 3rd of October marked the 11th anniversary of the Unification of Germany and the celebrations were set to take place in Bonn.
During those days, me and a friend of mine took the chance to wonder around the city and got attracted by a known-to-be-there-but-never-heard-about museum. It turned out to be the Museum of the Bonner Shoah.
While wondering through its corridors we had the luck to be approached by the museum director who very kindly offered us a guided tour.

13 Feb 2012

Kaffir-lime risotto with saffron mussels and roasted hazelnuts

Creamy kefir lime-bay risotto with saffron mussels
It slipped almost unnoticed but our little baby just turned 3.
It doesn't look like right? Still so small and full of promises, rough around the edges but with a softy heart.

It came to life amongst the street of Paris between a narghile pipe and a chai, between wild chemistry talks and calm heart-pouring sessions between friends.

In 3 years it found many friends and supporters to make its parents proud of its stumbling through the virtual life. Still uncertain of where to go, a fall every now and then, a seldom cry for help or out of frustration.

6 Feb 2012

Peppered pork-fillet with tangy peanut-butter-pomegranate sauce

Peppered pork fillet with Peanut butter & pomegranate sauce
On January the Secret Recipe Club took a hiatus to allow for quieter holidays for most of us but not for our hosts. They have been working behind the scenes to update the whole machine. The head-master of the whole process is Amanda of Amanda's Cookin'.
Destiny wants that I was the one chosen to cook out of her blog this month.