Archive for the ‘Appetisers’ Category

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!



I am depressed. This month we had 19 days of rain, 19!!!! out of 31… I can’t take it anymore.  

Because Luminita is so eager to get to the dessert, I first have to post the second corse which is :

*pork bbq

*tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, mixed with white wine vinegar and sunflower oil, salt and pepper

*broccoli – boiled for a minute in salted water and then sauté in a little bit of butter

The background is a reproduction of the only beautiful thing in my hometown. A very old castle, built in the 14th century. Check this out !!!

Bon voyage and bon apetit!

Omelet rolls

Posted: July 11, 2008 in Appetisers
Tags: , ,


Ingredients :

4 large eggs

2 tbsp. water

1 tbsp Thai soy sauce

6 scallions, chopped finely

1 fresh red chili, seeded and chopped finely

1tbsp vegetable or peanut oil

1tbsp green curry paste

bunch of fresh parsley/ lovage, chopped

Put the eggs, water, and Thai soy sauce in a bowl. Set aside. Mix together the scallions and chopped chili to form a paste.

Heat half the oil in an 8-inch skillet and pour half the egg mixture. Tilt to coat the bottom of the skillet evenly and cook until set.Lift out and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and make a second omelet in the same way.

Spread the scallions, chilli paste, and curry paste in a thin layer over each omelet and sprinkle the parsley/lovage on top. Roll up tightly. Cut each one in half and then cut each piece on the diagonal in half again. Serve immediately, while still warm.

Bon Apetit!

Lovage / Leustean

Posted: June 14, 2008 in Appetisers
Tags: , , , ,


Lovage is a wonderful, very old herb with properties perfect for today’s healthy lifestyles. Its unique flavor, which is a combination of strong celery flavour with a hint of anise, lends a wonderful flavor to soups, stews, stocks, salads, meat, potato and tomato dishes. You can use it much like you would celery or parsley, but with a lighter hand since it does have a stronger flavor. It is also used as a natural salt substitute, and is said to be an aphrodisiac – hence the name. And every part of the plant – leaves, stems, roots and seed – is edible!

Fortunately for us, Lovage is not a small, delicate plant. It will grow to about 6′ – 0 feet tall in 5 years, so you want to have a nice roomy corner of the garden set aside for it. Due to its statuesque size and solid green leaves, it looks great as a backdrop in the perennial flower garden, and is indeed often used for that purpose. It can also be grown in a large pot, or tub on the balcony. And in a couple of years, you never need to buy celery or parsley again – other than for celery sticks with Chez Whiz.

Here then are in the why and wherefores of how to grow and use Lovage.

So, one plant is enough for a family. It can take partial shade and does better in soil that is fairly fertile and not too dry. If you have a longer growing season, simply direct seed it outside. Hereabouts, start seeds indoors about 6 weeks ahead for transplanting, or buy a plant from a garden centre. Germination takes about ten to twelve days. Lovage seeds need to be fairly fresh, and to make sure you get one good plant, sow at least 4 seeds in a pot. When you move the plant to the garden keep it well watered for the first couple weeks, and feed with a natural fertilizer. The first year you won’t see it’s full growth – it will only reach about 2 feet – but you can begin to harvest at 1′ – 0 tall. Cut stems from the outside, leaving the center intact, and chop up to use in recipes.

Lovage is a perennial which dies back to the ground in winter, and regrows in spring. To keep you in Lovage over the winter, you can dry or freeze the leaves – the latter preserves the flavour – and dry the stems and grind them as needed.

Lovage seeds can also be used. They have a sweeter flavor than the leaves and can be used much like celery seed. A large seed stalk will form in early summer. Allow the seed to ripen until they begin to turn brown, then cut the stalk and dry the seeds. If you do not want to harvest seeds cut the stalk right away; this encourages more leaf growth. If you leave it be, the plant will reseed in your garden.

After several seasons dig up your Lovage in the spring and divide the root, or find and transplant new self-sown seedlings. You can preserve or use the root by washing it, and cutting it into small pieces. Dry the pieces on a screen and store away from light. Or, you can give the root to a fellow gardener to plant and grow their own Lovage plant. A gift that will be much appreciated. The Lovage plant will do much better after division.

Lovage is best used fresh, but you can freeze the leaves and stems. Blanch a handful of leaves in boiling water VERY quickly then quickly throw into a bowl of ice water for a couple of minutes. Drain, place in plastic freezer bags and freeze. The frozen Lovage can be minced and used in cooked dishes.

Add a teaspoon of fresh minced Lovage to your chicken soup during the last 15 or 20 minutes of cooking. You can also add it to hot or chilled vegetable, meat, potato or tomato soups. Add one to two tablespoons of minced fresh Lovage to your meatloaf recipes. Harvest Lovage seeds to use whole or ground in cakes, meats, biscuits, breads, sauces, cheeses, salad dressings, or pickles. Add fresh leavest to your favorite potato salad or coleslaw too.

 Cuban sun, cuban food, cuban water, cuban dancing, cuban music, cuban drinks, cuban cigars, cuban spirit.

Have fun wherever you are!