Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Cruise ships, Italian Cookery, Weights and Measures and a Badger in the Rose Garden!


Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed this week.

Eureka!  The back garden ground works are completed and the side gate has been attached to the house again. It looks so much better and David is now levelling the rest of the garden which was very deeply sloped. This involves stainless steel cages about four foot in length, filled with stones to form a platform for the top soil.. when they arrived from Germany, and the first one was assembled, I did have a moment of wondering if this was my punishment for over using the debit card!  Then I saw there were several others which was a relief…

One final job is to install a new fence between our house and our neighbours and across to the hedge to enclose the back garden. Even though we have electronic gates we are sure that the next owners are likely to be a family and we wanted to provide a safe and secure place for them to play. Also if they have a dog it too is secure with plenty of space.

Not sure we will be completely finished by the end of the summer as so much is weather dependent.. but certainly by next spring when the next house selling season comes around we shall be. We are currently exploring the coastline further south and to the west looking for our next home, with a sea view.. and dare I say, less to do!

Twitter

One of the ways I try to support people on Twitter is retweeting their pinned tweet when they follow me, and also to zip around regularly to my friends to share their pinned tweet too. There are still quite a few people who are not taking advantage of this additional promotional feature that extends your profile of 160 characters by another 280 characters.

I currently use my pinned tweet to promote my Cafe and Bookstore and it is the first thing new followers see when they visit my account. And it is also usually the first thing that they will retweet out to their own followers.. I do change from time to time. If I have a new book that has been released, or a new series beginning.

It is very easy to use.. Prepare your tweet – edit it so that you are getting the maximum bang for your 280 characters..

  1. What are you promoting?
  2. If it is a book, what are the key words you should be including… along with one or two relevant #hashtags #Romance #Thriller #offer  etc.
  3. Have you removed unnecessary words such as that, and etc and used commas instead.
  4. Would it sell the book to you.
  5. Perhaps you are a blogger looking for guest posts.. what can you offer those submitting and what do you need from them.
  6. You might have a post that you particularly want to promote – don’t forget to add a couple of # and think of a way to hook them that encourages them to read your post.

Once the tweet is edited… next step – easy as 1,2, and 3

  1. Click on the downward facing arrow to the top right of your tweet.
  2. You will be offered several options including Pin to your profile page.
  3. Click and you will then be asked if you would like to view.

I am always very happy to share your tweets… pinned or otherwise but if you would like to tag me when you change your pinned tweet next time.. @sgc58… I will be delighted to share.

Time to get on with this week’s posts you might have missed….

My thanks as always to the contributors, guests and to you for dropping in this week.. you keep me motivated.

Last time Debby Gies (D. G. Kaye) shared some important information on cruise lines, the various standards of cabins available, and the best place on the ship to be if the weather is a bit choppy.  Here is the link to Part One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-rewind-with-d-g-kaye-cruises-part-two-ship-tips/

With our global obsession with food and recipes, it can sometimes get a little confusing with measurements and the differing names for the foods we are familiar with. This week Carol Taylor clarifies a few things for us. Cooking terms, weight conversions and foods names

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-cooking-terms-weight-conversions-and-foods-names/

A wonderful multi-coloured appetizer or light meal from Silvia Todesco in this month’s Italian Cookery post..

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-summer-italian-flag-colors-sandwich-an-impressive-appetizer-by-silvia-todesco/

My guest this week is Debby Gies D.G. Kaye talking about her heightened 6th sense, which has forewarned her on a number of times about coming events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-my-sixth-sense-ias-inner-alert-system-d-g-kaye/

On centre stage this week……

As the night drew to an end, the lights dimmed and the music changed tempo from the rock ‘n’ roll to a more romantic vibe… the oldies were placed on the turntable and we were chaperoned..loosely by the likes of Frank Sinatra… Ole Blue Eyes himself. Who conveniently looked away from any shenanigans going on…. Here are some of my favourites.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-the-crooners-part-one-frank-sinatra/

Time of the week to respond to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 135 and this week the two prompt words are ‘Pretty and Ugly…. And I have selected the synonyms ‘Fair and Unsightly’ Etheree – Fairy Tales by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-tanka-challenge-etheree-fairy-tales-by-sally-cronin/

The first of this weekend’s chapters from Tales from the Irish Garden Last week we met the foxes who had been changed from their human form by the evil goblin, the female was the Storyteller’s daughter.  Summer: Chapter Twelve – The Storyteller to the Rescue

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-summer-chapter-twelve-the-storyteller-to-the-rescue-by-sally-cronin/

The Storyteller arrives for his daily nurturing of his imported roses when he finds the garden in ruins.. and who might be the culprit?  Chapter Thirteen – Trouble in the Rose Garden.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-summer-chapter-thirteen-trouble-in-the-rose-garden-by-sally-cronin/

This is the second post from the archives of writer Sherrey Meyer whose blog is titled Life in the Slow Lane. Although Sherrey posted this in the spring of 2018, I am always behind with chores like this, as I am sure are some of you… so no time like the present. Time for Cleaning and Decluttering 2018 by Sherrey Meyer

messy desk, clutter, disorganization

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potlucktime-for-cleaning-and-decluttering-2018-by-sherrey-meyer/

This is the second of the  posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. We are currently pet less, but certainly the one dog that we did have made a huge pawprint on our lives and did inspire a book all about himself. Do you have a pet that lies across your keyboard or has inspired you to write? Llamas and Labradoodles 2017 by Janet Gogerty

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-writerspets-llamas-and-labradoodles-2017-by-janet-gogerty/

This is the second post from the archives of Laura M. Bailey who blogs on a number of subjects including history, family, horses, Southern lifestyle and cookery. I selected this post as we love frittata or quiche for breakfast… great recipe thank I know you will enjoy. Barefoot In The kitchen: Breakfast For Dinner? 2018 by Laura M. Bailey

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-barefoot-in-the-kitchen-breakfast-for-dinner-2018-by-laura-m-bailey/

This is the second post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so. I selected this post from 2016 as I was always fascinated by Eva Peron and her extraordinary life. Haddon Musings’ Feminist Friday – Eva Peron 2016 by Stevie Turner

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-haddon-musings-feminist-friday-eva-peron-2016-by-stevie-turner/

This is the second post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher.. or perhaps I should say Pearl and Millie do…sadly Millie has now passed on over the rainbow bridge, but as you will see she was a wonderful companion. This post is from 2016 and introduces us to some of the pack. Brother from Another Mother by Annabelle Franklin

No, you’re not seeing double – the one on the left is Tommy, Snip’s new BFF.

https://annabellefranklinauthor.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/a-img_20151016_161604448.jpg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-pets-brother-from-another-mother-by-annabelle-franklin/

This is the second post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. I selected this post from 2016 because I love eggplant or aubergine and always keep an eye open for recipes.  Eggplant Napoleon 2016 by Dolly Aizenman

Eggpl Nap 8.jpg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-kosherkitchen-eggplant-napoleon-2016-by-dolly-aizenman/

This is the third post from author Christa Polkinhorn who has been blogging since 2010.. This gave me access to her extensive archives. Christa is also a poet and I fell in love with this particular one that she wrote in 2000 and posted in 2016…The Old Man and his Memories by Christa Polkinhorn

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-old-man-and-his-memories-by-christa-polkinhorn/

This is the third post from the archives of poet Dorinda Duclos…and for something slightly different, some wonderful photographs from a Wordless Wednesday post in 2016. A Family Affair by Dorinda Duclos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-nature-wordless-wednesday-a-family-affair-by-dorinda-duclos/

This is the third post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected one of the over 100 book reviews in her archives from 2015. This book is by another author in the Cafe and Bookstore Nicholas Rossis.. for Runaway Smile.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-book-review-my-kyrosmagica-review-of-nicholas-rossiss-runaway-smile-by-m-j-mallon/

This is the third post from the archives of a regular contributor to the series and wonderful supporter of us all, apart from challenging us each week with photo and Haiku prompts Sue Vincent wanders the land..in search of the ancient and modern to share with us. This week a post from her Muse and constant companion and contributor to her blog.. Ani. Notes from a small dog – War and peace 2017 by Sue Vincent

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-notes-from-a-small-dog-war-and-peace-2017-by-sue-vincent/

This is the third post from Amanda Reilly Sayer and because Amanda has only begun blogging recently, the posts are from 2019. There is plenty to share in poetry, prose and wonderful artwork. I am sure you are going to enjoy. This week I have selected a poem to share with you…Snow Day by Amanda Reilly Sayer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-snow-day-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ages-8-10-pixie-and-the-green-book-mystery-by-coraline-grace/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-july-22nd-the-magic-carpet-by-jessica-norrie/

Author Updates -Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-laura-m-baird-rachele-baker-dvm-and-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-annette-rochelle-aben-barbara-silkstone-walter-rhein/

One of the leading causes of heart attacks in men and increasingly in women is stress. It is a silent killer that lies in wait and pounces when you least expect it. It is not helpful that the stress that we experience is as unique as our own bodies.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-of-the-body-part-three-the-heart-and-stress-connection-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-digitally-enhanced-random-thoughts-on-life/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-sallys-archives/

Thank you very much for dropping in and all the support that you offer each week, it is much appreciated…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine- #ItalianCookery with Silvia Todesco – Summer: Italian Flag Colors Sandwich: an impressive appetizer! by Silvia Todesco


Delighted that Silvia Todesco will be joining us each month to share one of her delicious Italian recipes.  This month a sandwich with the colours of sunshine and Italy. As an appetizer or as a light lunch, this will be a family pleaser.

Italian Flag Colors Sandwich: an impressive appetizer! by Silvia Todesco

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As much as I like cooking, I love parties even more! Unfortunately, it is uncomfortable going to parties at someone else’s house if you have young kids to bring along. And sometimes, those same young kids also makes it difficult to prepare really delicious food for friends you might invite over to your house. So, I have found that the alternative to becoming an hermit until your youngest kid reaches an appropriate age, is to have an arsenal of recipes that you can make in advance, and that also look and taste amazing. That is why I LOVE this recipe!

This is a really, really fancy and tasty appetizer, which can be prepared even a couple of days in advance, and will make a buffet absolutely attractive and colorful: the “Italian Flag Colors Sandwich.” With just a few easy ingredients- like white and whole wheat bread, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, some herbs, and a slice of salmon- you can create this impressive loaf of deliciousness!

This recipe doesn’t belong to my family tradition, but instead comes from one of my favorite Italian Food Websites (Giallo Zafferano), and since I really like this different way to arrange a sandwich, I made some modifications, I translated the quantities for you, and, of course, as usual I’m showing you how I make it step by step!

Please, give this sandwich a shot… you (and your family and friends) will love it!

Ingredients for a loaf pan size sandwich

  • 1 bag white bread
  • 1 bag whole wheat bread
  • 1 slice frozen or fresh salmon
  • 2 to 3 tbs. tomato sauce (better if concentrated)
  • 9 oz. cream cheese for herbs sauce
  • 5 oz. ricotta cheese for salmon sauce
  • 7 oz. ricotta cheese for pesto sauce
  • 5 oz. Genovese pesto
  • 2 tbs. thyme (better fresh)
  • 2 tbs. parsley (the Italian one, better fresh)
  • 2 tbs. chives (better fresh)
  • salt

Directions

For the “herbs sauce”

Chop chives, parsley and thyme as thin as you can and mix it very well with 9 oz. cream cheese. Save this herbed cream cheese for later.

Do not rinse the food processor, and go ahead and use it for the next sauce.

For the salmon sauce

Boil the salmon in half a inch of water. In the food processor combine the salmon with sea salt (to taste) and two tbs. of tomato sauce (better if concentrated) and 5 oz. ricotta cheese. Keep the sauce apart for later.

For the “pesto sauce”

Combine the 5 oz. pesto with 7 oz. ricotta cheese and stir very well until smooth. Keep this sauce, in few minutes you will use it!

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To arrange the sandwich:

Once you are done preparing the sauces, you are ready to build up the sandwich.

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Cover the loaf pan with abundantly plastic wrap (once the sandwich loaf is assembled, you will need the extra plastic to wrap it up).

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Remove the crust from the loaves of bread. Then cover the bottom of the pan with several slices of whole wheat bread. Spread the salmon sauce evenly over the top.

Now is the turn of the white bread. After removing the crust, make a layer with this one and spread evenly the herbed cream cheese.

Now again make another whole wheat bread (no crust) layer and cover it with the pesto sauce.

Finish your loaf by covering with a layer of white bread.

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Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the loaf and let it rest in the coolest part of your refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving, or not more that a half-hour in the freezer.

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Before serving, flip the loaf onto a cutting board, and cut it into 1/2 inch slices using a very sharp serrated knife.

If you like, arrange it in a nice tray and ENJOY!!!!

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LEARN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS:

  1. If kept refrigerated this sandwich loaf can last up to 4 or 5 days.
  2. Serve the sandwich slices still cool.
  3. This sandwich variation could be a fun way to entice your kids to eat salmon, as well as an excellent addition to your lunch box menu!
  4. If you have leftovers, keep them refrigerated and enjoy later!

© Silvia Todesco 2019

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to my blog if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: https://italiangoodness.net/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italiangoodness.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandfourkids/
Mix: https://mix.com/silviatodesco81
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silviatodesco81
Pinterest: www.pinterest.it/silviatodesco/

Silvia would love to receive your comments and it would be great if you could share the post.. thanks Sally.

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine- #ItalianCookery with Silvia Todesco – Summer: Classic Rice Salad (Insalata de Riso)


Delighted that Silvia Todesco will be joining us each month to share one of her delicious Italian recipes.  We begin a series of summer themed recipes, beginning with the classic rice salad….

Summer: Classic Rice Salad (Insalata de Riso)

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I would say, without question, that Rice Salad (“Insalata di Riso”) is the Summer Italian Classic – as much as “Italian meatballs” are a Winter Italian Classic! Every Italian, from Sicily to the North of Italy, knows what an Insalata di Riso is, and all cook it in the same way (with maybe a few exceptions due to the local products of the various Regions). It is a fresh dish, super easy to prepare, and able to be prepared ahead of time. A rice salad would never be missing from any Italian summer party or picnic.

As any other rice salad, this dish is composed of a base of boiled white rice, enriched with meat (frankfurters and ham), fish (tuna), veggies (pickled, fresh, or frozen), eggs, and cheese. Very quick to prepare, perfect for picnics or lunch boxes (as is the tuna and lemon pasta salad) and particularly suitable for parties (as much as “Tartine“) not only because it can be served cool, but especially because it looks colorful and tempting.

As for all the ingredients that this salad needs, I usually make a big bowl of it, so we can consume it during all the week, and my husband loves it because is the perfect alternative to a sandwich to be eaten for lunch at the office.

Even though I usually try to be very precise with the quantities, I would suggest you make this salad by adjusting the ingredients according to your individual tastes (I mean, if you don’t like tuna, you can skip it, and add more ham instead, or viceversa). I will try to give you an idea of how I make it, using pictures, and approximate quantities.

Ingredients for a big bowl

  • 3 cups white rice cooked “al dente”
  • 6-8 frankfurters
  • 2 big cans tuna in oil
  • 1 small pack ham cubes
  • 1 small pack frozen peas, boiled
  • 1 jar Italian mix giardiniera
  • 1 handful cappers
  • 1 cup green olives chopped
  • half jar cocktail onions cut in two
  • a handful of sweet roasted peppers
  • a handful of Asiago cheese cut in cubes
  • a couple of sliced eggs
  • mayonnaise to decorate

Directions

Cook the rice as it was pasta “al dente” (don’t forget to salt the water!), drain it, and rinse it under cool water. Be careful not to overcook the rice because if you let it cook too long, once drained all the grains will stick together, ruining both the taste and appearance of the salad.

I took a pictures of all the ingredients together, but you don’t need to dirty so many dishes, as I did! 😉

IMG_3242Just add all the ingredients to the rice, and mix them together!

Put the salad in the refrigerator and enjoy it when cooled.

Add to your portion some Asiago cheese cubes, few slices of boiled egg, and – if you like some extra taste – a few lines of mayonnaise.

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TIPS: – If you decide to make this rice salad for a cook out (which sounds like an awesome idea), remember not to mix the mayonnaise with the salad, as to avoid it spoiling too quickly in the heat.

– If you make this salad for a party, use the eggs and mayonnaise not only as ingredients but as decorations: your dish will look gorgeously alluring!

– According to my personal experience, kids don’t appreciate this plate. My daughters like most of the ingredients of this salad separated, but once mixed all together, they just don’t want to take even a bite!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to my blog if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: https://italiangoodness.net/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italiangoodness.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandfourkids/
Mix: https://mix.com/silviatodesco81
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silviatodesco81
Pinterest: www.pinterest.it/silviatodesco/

Silvia would love to receive your comments and it would be great if you could share the post.. thanks Sally.

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine- #ItalianCookery with Silvia Todesco -GARLIC, OLIVE OIL AND RED PEPPER SPAGHETTI (Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)


Delighted that Silvia Todesco will be joining us each month to share one of her delicious Italian recipes.  This month a savoury classic that is a family favourite, very quick and easy to prepare, and I am sure you will enjoy.

Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper Spaghetti…(Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)

GARLIC, OLIVE OIL AND RED PEPPER SPAGHETTI (Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)

It is pretty known that Italians are people who enjoy life… eating good food, traveling a lot, and having fun both during the weekends and during the week (many people used to have “happy hour” during the week, usually on Wednesday and Friday nights, but lately also during the other days of the week.)

Did you know that Italy is full of discos? Did you know that if you go to a disco in Italy you can never enter before 11:00 pm (or, it would be really embarrassing to arrive any earlier), and music and dancing never starts before 12:30 or 1:00 a.m.?

Yep, it sounds crazy, but this is true. And you are probably wondering at this point, “Why are you telling me about that?”

BECAUSE after a night awake, after you finish dancing at 4.00 a.m., the most important emotions that rage in Italians minds are: 1) they are a little bit tired 🙂 ; 2) they are starving!!!!

And what’s the food most desired by Italians after a night like that?

SPAGHETTI AGLIO, OLIO E PEPERONCINO…

And at this point you’re probably wondering, why this special dish? And the answer is: because they are cheap, easy and fast to cook, really good for sharing with friends, and for your “night digestion” (especially after one or two drinks too much).

But don’t misunderstand me, I cook this dish for my family at least once a week, and we love it, because it is really delicious!!!

And especially after all the rich festivity meals, why not opt for some food that is more “simple” and “easy” to digest?!

Let’s go find out how to make this new spaghetti sauce recipe. You will be pleasantly surprised by the fact that it will be ready in 20 minutes.

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • garlic there is no “requested quantity”,
  • you usually decide how many cloves according to your taste (I usually pick 6-8 garlic cloves)
  • olive oil (again there is no “requested quantity,
  • you usually decide how much olive oil according to your calories tolerance 🙂 (I usually consider 4-6 tbs. olive oil)
  • crushed red pepper to taste (I usually pick about 3 tps.)
  • 2/3 tbs. canned diced tomato (or pieces of fresh tomatoes)
  • basil to taste (dried or fresh, but preferably fresh).
  • sea salt to taste (for the pasta’s water)

Directions

The preparation of the sauce takes about the time for the pasta to be cooked, so you don’t need to do anything in advance. All the steps will take not more than 20 minutes.

Put the water in a big pot at medium heat. While you wait for the water to boil, peel off the garlic’s cloves, cut them in two pieces.

(If they have the sprout, take it away because usually the sprout makes the garlic taste a little bitter.)

When the water starts to boil, toss the spaghetti in the water and set the timer for the pasta, as directed on the box. With the sauce pan at medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, the basil.

Let the garlic cook for a while (until it becomes blonde, don’t let it brown!).

When the garlic seems golden, add the diced tomatoes and let the sauce cook for a couple minutes more.

Since your spaghetti should be ready, drain the pasta very well, mix them with the sauce, and serve it!!!

Isn’t it easy?!?

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – My husband loves garlic, so when I mix the spaghetti to the sauce, I don’t need to take the garlic aside, but if you don’t like eating garlic (but like me, you just like garlic’s flavor), before to mix the spaghetti with the sauce, take the garlic out of the pot: your spaghetti will taste wonderful anyway!!!

– I usually cook this pasta when I’m totally out of other ingredients: it is so easy that rarely I don’t have these few ingredients to make it!

– If you are on a trip to Italy, and you would like to enjoy a simple dish, you can go to whatever restaurant or “trattoria” you want and just ask for an “Aglio e Olio”, and they will immediately know what are you taking about, because this is exactly the way this sauce is known in Italy.

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to my blog if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: https://italiangoodness.net/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italiangoodness.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandfourkids/
Mix: https://mix.com/silviatodesco81
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silviatodesco81
Pinterest: www.pinterest.it/silviatodesco/

Silvia would love to receive your comments and it would be great if you could share the post.. thanks Sally.

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – #Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Fresh Fruit Pie with Sugar Glaze #dessert


Delighted that Silvia Todesco will be joining us each month to share one of her delicious Italian recipes.. This month a fruit pie that uses up that odd pieces of fruit that are passed their best. It is very simple to make with Silvia’s directions and I will certainly be making it next time we have visitors..

Fresh Fruit Pie with Sugar Glaze

I can proudly say that a pie like this has never been seen before because it was invented by my mom many years ago… She prepared it for me and my brother usually at the end of the summer, when all the fruit plants of her garden where ready to harvest at the same time and using all those fruits in a short amount of time was kind of challenging!

A few tablespoons of sugar, few tablespoons of flour, eggs, butter and her leftover fruit and the pie was ready! She would use fresh figs, plums, peaches and apples, but since here in Mid West I have never seen a fresh fig ( 😦 ), I used plums, peaches, pears and apples instead.

What I love about this pie is: 1) that you will need just a tbs. for measuring; 2) that you can really use as much fruit as you like (only important part is to cut it super thin and drain it very well for few hours before arranging the pie; 3) only a bunch of ingredients needed; 4) besides preparing the fruit, it literally takes few minutes to obtain a batter ready for baking; 5) last but not least, that delicious, crunchy layer of sugar glaze that get formed on top of the pie once is cooked. In other word this pie is and extraordinary experience were the wet, moist mixed fruit touches the thin sweet crust, for an epic deliciousness.

Ingredients for a 9” round spring pan

  • 4 eggs
  • 5 tbs. sugar for the batter
  • 1 tbs. sugar for the fruit
  • sugar to taste for the crust
  • 4 tbs. all purpose flour
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 stick melted unsalted butter
  • seasonal fruit (cut in small pieces and deprived of the juice)
  • *optional: a few tbs. schnapps

Directions

I didn’t remember how much fruit my mom used for this recipe and her cookbook reported “fruit to taste” so I used what I had available: two pears, 4 plums, one peach and a little apple (the apple is not in the picture because I forgot to add it… Lol… that’s what happens with for kids around).

Start by lining a 9″ round spring pan with parchment paper.

Then grate the lemon zest and set it aside, squeeze the lemon and keep the juice aside.

Cut the fruits in small thin pieces, dust with a bit of sugar and add the lemon juice, stir and let the mix resting in a colander as long as possible to get the fruit draining from its own juice.

Make the batter using the other ingredients: first mix the eggs with the sugar and the lemon zest.

Continue by adding the flour and finally the melted butter at room temperature.

Pour half of the batter in the pan, cover it with the fruit (try to arrange the fruit evenly) and last cover the fruit with the remaining batter. Dust the butter with few tbs. of sugar.

Bake at 360 F. for about 50 minutes or until the sugar looks crystalized.

Serve it when completely cooled off.

Oh my this pie is sooooooooo goooood!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – If you prefer to realize a smaller cake, for the same butter quantity use 4 tbs. sugar and 4 tbs. flour.

– I know for sure my mom usually add to the butter a few tbs. of “grappa” (schnapps) to avoid any egg aftertaste and to dilute the batter. I skipped the “grappa”, and the pie was delicious anyway.

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to my blog if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: https://italiangoodness.net/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italiangoodness.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandfourkids/
Mix: https://mix.com/silviatodesco81
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silviatodesco81
Pinterest: www.pinterest.it/silviatodesco/

Silvia would love to receive your comments and it would be great if you could share the post.. thanks Sally.

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco/

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Silvia Todesco #Italian Cookery- MERINGATA: the taste of an ice-cream cake, with no ice-cream at all!-


Last week we were treated to a delicious Oven bake, bacon wrapped cod dish and this week for Silvia Todesco’s final post in this short series… we will be enjoying dessert.

MERINGATA: the taste of an ice-cream cake, with no ice-cream at all!

Meringata (literally “meringued” – with meringue on it or in it) refers to any type or cake or dessert with a meringue topping or meringue mixed into it.
In Veneto (the Italian Region which I come from), Meringata is a very picturesque cake
similar to Pavlova,
the Austialian/New Zeland meringue cake consisting of wheels of meringue layered with whipped cream.
Except for the custard layer, the Meringata does not need to be cooked or baked, but rather just needs to be assembled together, to obtain an absolutely tempting dessert, delicate, velvety, and fresh!
Your guests will be amazed by the beauty and the deliciousness of this cake,
and you’ll be amazed to know how easy it is to make! 

Ingredients for a 12″ round Meringata

  • 1 container Lady Finger cookies (un pacco di Savoiardi)
  • 1 can peaches in heavy syrup (un barattolo di pesche sciroppate)
  • a quart heavy whipping cream (un litro di panna da montare)
  • about 12 oz. meringues (circa 250 grammi spumiglie)
  • about 4.4 oz. dark chocolate finely chopped (circa 125 gr. cioccolato fondente tagliato finemente)
  • about 30 Amaretti cookies (3.5 oz.) (circa 30 amaretti, 100 gr.)

Ingredients for the custard (Crema Pasticcera)

  • 6 yolks (6 tuorli)
  • 2 oz. or 1/4 cup all porpose flour (45 gr. farina)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (1 cucchiaino di aroma alla vaniglia)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (140 gr. zucchero)
  • 16 oz. or 2 cups whole milk (500 ml. di latte intero)
  • 1 lemon zest (la scorza di un limone)

DIRECTIONS for making the custard

A few hours before making the cake, or even the day before, prepare the custard according to this recipe. (To build your Meringata, the custard MUST be cool.)

DIRECTIONS For the meringues

You can easily buy meringues at the groceries store, but if you prefer to make them from scratch, follow this recipe, and these quantities:

  • 200 gr. cold egg whites (usually 6 or 7 cold egg whites)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon extract

To build your Meringata

Separate the peaches from their syrup and save the syrup for later (you have to soak the Lady Fingers in it). Crumble the Amaretti and arrange them on a round platter to form the first layer of the cake, and sprinkle with the chopped dark chocolate.

IMG_2668

The next layer will be made by crumbling the meringues. Crumble them into coarse pieces- big enough to be felt when you eat the cake.

IMG_2670

Whip the whipping cream and cover the meringues. Spreading whipped cream on chunks of meringues can be a little challenging, so I usually arrange small dollops of whipped cream close together, and then spread it evenly, so as to cover the layer underneath.

Next, soak the Lady Fingers in the peach syrup and layer them onto the cake. (If you haven’t enough syrup from the peaches, you can dilute it with water and sugar. For each Tbs. of water you add, you need to add a tsp. of sugar.)

Spread the custard evenly on the lady fingers.

IMG_2677

Cut the peaches into pieces and arrange them on the custard, in a way to cover every free spot.

IMG_2678

Make another layer of whipped cream, and this time make sure to cover not only the top of the cake, but also the sides.

IMG_2679

Finish your awesome cake buy covering it with the crumbled meringues left.

IMG_2680

Put your Meringata in the freezer at least 5 or 6 hours. Let it thaw a little before serving: it will be like eating an ice-cream, with no ice-cream at all!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips:

– It really make sense deciding to make also the meringues from scratch since to make the custard you will have 6 eggs white left. If you agree with me, I suggest you to make the custard and the meringues the day before making the cake. Only be sure to cover the custard properly with a plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated until it’s time to use it.

– This cake could be filled with any kind of fruit you prefer (even a fruit cocktail). The important part is that you use a syrup to soak the Lady Finger with the same taste of the fruit you picked (or otherwise use just water and sugar as syrup). I usually make Meringata with peaches or strawberry because they give to the cake a very light and delicate taste, but I would say that using a mix of berries would be a delicious alternative!

– Keep your “Meringata” in the freezer until a couple hours before serving it, and then move it to the refrigerator until the moment you are ready to cut and serve it.

– For sure this cake is ideal for the summer time, since is very refreshing, but honestly, I made it in February, with 8 F. outside, and everybody loved it anyway!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to my blog if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free,

My thanks to Silvia for for this wonderful Italian Menu that she has created for us and if you hit the link button in the first line of the post it will take to you the individual recipes step by step.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: https://italiangoodness.net/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italiangoodness.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandfourkids/
Mix: https://mix.com/silviatodesco81
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silviatodesco81
Pinterest: www.pinterest.it/silviatodesco/

Silvia would love to receive your comments and it would be great if you could share the post.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Silvia Todesco – White onion, bacon and blue cheese savory pie: the ultimate recipe for a magnificent appetizer.


Delighted to welcome Silvia Todesco to Smorgasbord for a series of guest posts about Italian Cookery. Over the next four Sundays, Silvia will share a recipe for an appetizer, a meat dish and a fish course, and a dessert. I love all food, but Italian food is probably my favourite, from freshly made pasta dishes to handmade pizzas. I have no doubt that you will enjoy the experience.

White onion, bacon and blue cheese savory pie: the ultimate recipe for a magnificent appetizer.

I like using puff pastry very much (especially for an appetizer), because it is so versatile and it is very easy to use… This new recipe with puff pastry will for sure not leave you disappointed!

This savory pie is as simple as it is, but has a flavor so special that everyone (even for those who don’t like blue cheese) will love it! I’ve made it twice since I found the recipe on Pinterest few weeks ago and I couldn’t manage to get a picture of the pie once cut, because it just disappeared from the table in few minutes! It is so delicious!

I have to tell you that I was sceptical about using the balsamic vinegar and all that onion, but at the end, those two ingredients are just the perfect touch to this super tasty appetizer which is a cheesy heaven with a delicate vinegar and onion aftertaste. Although it is not a finger food, this pie it’s an appetizer I would absolutely suggest you to try because it is so delicious and appealing that your guests will be amazed!

Ingredients for 1 puff pastry sheet

  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet
  • 3 regular sized white onions peeled and finely cut
  • 7 oz. blue cheese (200 gr. formaggio verde) cut in small cubes
  • 3.5 oz little stripes of bacon (100 gr.)
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • olive oil
  • 1 handful grated parmesan cheese
  • few tbs. crumbled bread
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 egg yolk to brush the pastry

Method

A few hour before arranging the pie, take out of the freezer the puff pastry sheet and let it thaw in the refrigerator until it is easy to roll out.

For the filling: pan fry (or saute’) the onions and bacon in a large pan with some olive oil for about 10-15 minutes stirring every now and then to avoid burning. Once cooked, adjust with sea salt and add the balsamic vinegar. Let cool off.

In a separate bowl combine the cheese, eggs and parmesan and mix very well. Add to the mix the cooled onion and bacon.

Preheat the oven at 420 F. In a clean surface, roll out the pastry, giving it a round or rectangular shape, according to the shape of your baking dish. Lay the pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, fill the pastry with the mix evenly, and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Be careful to close inward the sides of the pastry so the filling doesn’t run out while baking. Brush the edges of the pastry with some beaten egg yolk. (as you can see I’ve tried both options using the regular rectangular puff pastry sheet and both time it turned out great!).

Bake at 420 F for about 20 minutes or until the pie rises and starts getting colored.

Serve still warm… it is sooooooo scrumptious!

TIPS: – the Blue cheese I buy comes in packs of 150 gr. so I add to the filling 50 gr. of brie cheese and the result was wonderful;

– I’ve tried to add stripes of salami together with the bacon, and again, the result was absolutely amazing.

– Considering the two previous facts, I would definitely consider this recipe as a way to use up a few ingredients that sometimes are in our refrigerator for days and usually ends up going bad (I am talking of small pieces of cheese or few slices of bacon…).

My thanks to Silvia and this is a dish that I will be making very soon… looks delicious

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: https://italiangoodness.net/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italiangoodness.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandfourkids/
Mix: https://mix.com/silviatodesco81
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silviatodesco81
Pinterest: www.pinterest.it/silviatodesco/

I am sure that you are now as hungry as I am….. and Silvia would love to receive your comments. She will be back again next week with Ricotta and beef meatballs…