Tuscan Pesto

Posted: April 10, 2009 in Appetisers, Italian food, Vacation

Sun is out. It is so great to see it again, I thought it just disappeared,  melted in its own heat, ran away from me… I don’t know what happened exactly, but the SUN is back in the sky and makes me feel great, ready for SUMMER. Along with summer comes a lot of time spent outside, but best of all – vacation. Oh, yes. And this year is about to be a very special year. Plans are done, we just need to book our tickets.

The title says a lot about the country where we’ll stop first, Italy. To be more specific, Rome – where else, right?  To be continued…

Now, here’s a recipe I found in one of my magazines. It says that the best accompaniment is Baguette Flatbread, a recipe that will follow shortly.


1/3 cups pine nuts ( love them!!!)

1/4 cup packed walnut halves (love them, too!)

5 large bunches of fresh basil leaves

3 cups loosely packed fresh Italian parsley, large stalks removed

2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

3 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spread pine nuts and walnut halves on baking sheet; toast in oven for about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before chopping roughly.

Wash and dry basil and parsley. Place as much basil and parsley in food processor as possible before adding pine nuts, walnuts, garlic and cheese. Pour in 1/2 cup of the olive oil and the white wine vinegar.; pulse, adding more herbs and more oil as volume decreases. Don’t overprocess. The pesto should have some texture and not be completely smooth. Add more oil if too thick. Taste and salt, if necessary, before transferring to serving bowl.

TIP : The pesto will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for three to four days or in the freezer for up to two months.The top layer will turn darker; just mix it in.

Bon apetit!

Beautiful Petra / Frumoasa Petra

Posted: February 19, 2009 in Appetisers, Montreal
Tags: ,


2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter
3/4 cup milk
lemon zest / orange zest ( 1 1/2 tsp )
1 cup fresh blueberries
Mix the dry ingredients together. Separately, mix the liquid ingredients together. Do a well in the dry ingredients bowl and pour the liquid ingredients. Mix with a wood spoon. Fold the blueberries.
Bake at 350F for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
Bon apetit!

Groundhog Day

Posted: February 2, 2009 in Montreal

Source : The Telegraph

Groundhog Day, the world’s most eccentric weather forecasting system, has predicted that America is in for another six weeks of winter.

Every February 2 since 1887, the behaviour of a groundhog – a rodent in the marmot family – called Phil has been closely observed as it emerges for the day in Punxsutawney, a small town in western Pennsylvania.

On Monday the current “Phil” emerged from its burrow just after dawn in front of a 13,000-strong crowd on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill in the town, which is 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal sees its shadow on this day – the Christian festival of Candlemas – winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, according to legend, spring will come early.

On this occasion, the groundhog reportedly saw its shadow. At least that was the case in Punxsutawney, whose annual ceremony was made famous in the 1993 film Groundhog Day, about a reporter – played by Bill Murray – who keeps living the same day over and over again.

At another Groundhog Day ceremony in New York, a rodent called Staten Island Chuck didn’t see his shadow but did bite Michael Bloomberg, the city’s mayor – an action that groundhog experts were at a loss to explain in meteorological terms.

Following tradition in Punxsutawney, the groundhog communicated his prediction to Bill Cooper, a top-hatted town elder who claims to be the only person in the world to speak “Groundhogese”.

Since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, hasn’t seen it 15 times, and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

The town, which this year attracted fans of the event from Japan, Iceland and Egypt, claims Phil has always been correct.

However, the US National Climate Prediction Centre said that the animal has only been right 39 per cent of the time.

Sheldon Carr, an engineer from Newburg, Wisconsin, was unable to explain the appeal of Groundhog Day, especially to non-Americans.

“There’s no reason,” he said. “No one understands the Yanks.”

A spokesman for Mr Bloomberg said the Staten Island groundhog bit him on the hand, drawing blood, but there was no risk of rabies as the animal had been raised in captivity.

Issued : 3.45 PM EST Wednesday 14 January 2009

A few clouds. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 26. Wind chill minus 30 this evening.
Day: Sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 22. Wind chill minus 33 in the afternoon.
Night: Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 27. Wind chill minus 33.
Sunny. High minus 21.
Sunny. Low minus 25. High minus 22.
Sunny. Low minus 25. High minus 21.

Smog warning in effect.

Cloudy. 40 percent chance of flurries overnight. Low minus 10.
Day: Cloudy. Snow beginning in the morning. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind becoming southeast 30 km/h early in the afternoon. High minus 2.
Night: Light snow ending in the evening then clearing. Wind west 40 km/h gusting to 60. Low minus 20. Wind chill minus 30.
Sunny. High minus 20.
Sunny. Low minus 24. High minus 22.
Sunny. Low minus 27. High minus 19.

Cabbage rolls / Sarmale

Posted: December 4, 2008 in Dinner
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