Archive for March, 2008

Milanese Expo!!!!!!

This just in, bloggisti: Milan will host the 2015 Expo!!!!! And no, it’s isn’t an April Fool’s joke.

I was about to write a rant-filled post on how p.o. I am about Alitalia cutting two-thirds of its flights from Milan’s Malpensa airport but now I’m thrilled! We beat out Izmir, Turkey by 86 votes to 65 and had the support of none other than Al Gore, who praised Milan for their plans to become “one of the most environmentally friendly cities in Europe and in the world” (well, not yet but maybe one day…). Not only is this great news for the city but for Italy as well. I mean, we’ve been through a lot over the last few months: Alitalia, the garbage crisis, the government falling, an election campaign, the mozzarella mess, our homeboy Fabio involved in a manfight with George Clooney. So it’s great to finally hear something positive for a change.

Of course, as we’re in an election period, our favourite man in heels Silvio B couldn’t be the “bigger man”. True to form, he had to ruin the moment and announce that Milan’s victory was in no way due to the work of the previous centre-left government. Sure, Silvietto, whatever you say. Then, Prime Minister Prodi tells Berlusconi that he should be ashamed of himself. Then Silvio’s spokesman hollers back to Prodi, “No, shame on you!” I loooooove Italian politics. It’s all so civilized.

But enough of that manfight, back to Milan. They will be an estimated 29 million visitors during the six-month Expo. Will you be one of them? Don’t worry, I have a sofa bed. There’s room for everyone! If you can find a flight, that is….

For more info check out the official site. Kinda sucks but what do you expect.

See you in 2015!!!

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31 March 2008 at 11:40 pm 2 comments

Food and marriage go together like Benigni and a red dress

Ciao Bloggisti!!

Are any of you suffering from Spring fatigue? I am. I’m so exhausted these days that my 4 year old daughter has to tuck me into bed sometimes. It’s that bad. And that’s why I’ve been a bad blogger mommy and have been neglecting y’all of late. But fear not, mammina is back and she’s got food!

‘Member when I talked about Easter with the in-laws? Well, it was quite the lunch. Even Mimmo’s usually belligerent grandma was on her best behaviour and didn’t whack anyone with her cane or complain about how Americans spoiled the country by bringing ketchup to Italy. And the food. Oh, the food! It was magnificent!! Let’s start at the antipasti, shall we:

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Fresh cherry tomatoes, shrimp cocktail with homemade sauce, salami made with a combination of pork and horse meat (I kid you not. And it was goooooood!), boiled mixed veg and surimi and celery salad. And my in-laws said they cut down from the usual spread. Can’t imagine how much there would have been if they’d gone whole hog!

Then there was the primo:

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Spaghetti con pomodoro e totani ( Spaghetti with tomato and tattler? Boh!) A very delicious sauce with a hint of chili pepper. I love spicy!

And now the secondi:

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To start off there was a warm salad of potatoes and octopus, which is usually served as an appetizer but we didn’t mind. Then there was a lovely cuttlefish stew with peas and tomatoes. Sorry, no pictures of that or the colomba cake that I didn’t have the stomach to eat. But all in all, it was a darn fine feast.

Now that we’ve stuffed our virtual faces, it’s time to work it all off at the Disco 2000. And it’s a special anniversary night. Mimmo and I are celebrating our first 10th anniversary today. First because we got married in Italy in March 1998 and then had a big do in Canada in August. I’ll explain more when I finally have the time to do that long marriage meme I’ve seen around. But for now, we dance!

Let’s kick off this anniversary edition with a song that was popular when I first met Mimmo way back in ’89. Picture it: I was shy little schoolgirl in Paris who met this short, swarthy George Michael lookalike on the dancefloor. Luckily for me he couldn’t speak any English or French and called his tall, hot and blond friend who kinda looked like Simon Le Bon to help translate. And since I much preferred Duran Duran to Wham, it was no contest. Bye bye George, hello Mimmo! And Erasure’s A Little Respect was always on the radio back then. And it’s only fitting, as respect is the key to every good marriage. Yadda, yadda, yadda…

Anyhoo, here’s the video. I love how they act out every single lyric. Pure fromage!

Our next anniversary special is a reworked oldie from our pal Adriano Celentano. The song, La Coppia Più Bella del Mondo (The Most Beautiful Couple in the World) was something my father-in-law would sing to Mimmo’s mother during their courtship. Very cute.

Here’s a newer version with Celentano and Roberto Benigni singing the 60s hit. Bestill my beating heart, Benigni looks damn fine in a red minidress non?

I only hope Mimmo and I can recreate that same magic this weekend. As you can see, we can’t wait!!

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Happy anniversary Baaaaaaa!

28 March 2008 at 10:32 pm 9 comments

My Memey Easter

Ciao Bloggisti!!!

I was going to post something amazing tonight – pictures from Easter lunch at the in-laws. It was quite the spread and almost all seafood, from shrimp cocktail, to squid and potato salad, and those were just the antipasti! But silly me, I forgot my camera at their place. And I thought seafood was good for the brain. But if you’re hungry for some delicious pictures and recipes to boot, check out the round-up at Festa Italiana. Very impressive!

Anyhoo, to make up for my forgetfulness, I am going to let you feast your eyes on THIS…

A NEW MEME!!!

Ah, yes people. It’s that time again. Now, stop groaning! Since I’m still new to the blogosphere it’s a good way to get to know me, n’est-ce pas? And my pal at My Melange decided to tag wittle ole me. So, I am more than honoured to share this Q and A with youz.

What I was doing 10 years ago:

I was about to get married, naive little child-bride that I was ; )
Five things on my to-do list today:

  1. Finish an important translation for work
  2. Sort the mountains of clean laundry in my room
  3. Get both kids fed, cleaned and in bed by 10
  4. Devise a plan to convince my husband to let me go to the Nick Cave concert in May
  5. Post this terribly exciting meme.

Snacks I enjoy:

Chips, cheesies, popcorn, cheese, chocolate, mac&cheese with white yogurt (sounds gross but it’s goooooood!)

Things I would do if I were a Billionaire:

Close Briatore’s Billionaire club in Sardinia

Invest in real estate – a house in Kerala, a villa in Tuscany, a penthouse in Manhattan, an apartment in Paris, a donut shop in Scarborough

Save money for my kids’ education (of course they’re going to McGill, just like Mommy!)

Buy original vinyls of all Beatles albums

Shopping spree for me and my mom!!!!

Three of my bad habits:

  1. I’m slow at everything (except driving)
  2. I’m a terrible procrastinator
  3. I love reading gossip blogs/magazines

Five places I have lived:

  1. Toronto
  2. Scarborough, Canada (and proud of it!!!)
  3. Montreal
  4. Paris
  5. Milan (well, not the city proper but sort of the Scarborough of Milan. No donut shops, though)

Five jobs I have had:

  1. My mom was an Avon lady for 2 weeks and I was her”assistant”. Loved those mini sample lipsticks
  2. Cashier at supermarket (for all of 2 weeks – I see a pattern….)
  3. Waitress
  4. English Teacher
  5. Translator

Last but not least, 5 people I’d like to get to know better, or in other words, 5 folks I’m tagging for this meme:

I’m afraid of tagging someone who’s already been tagged for this meme. But I’d love to find out more about

Marie at Proud Italian Cook

Jenn at The Leftover Queen because my husband always complains about the food I let rot in the fridge

Le Meg at Blagueur à Paris cause you gotta respect karaoke

Amanda at A Tuscan View from Umbria cause she thinks Jude Law is a pixie

and … can’t think of anyone else at this time. I’ve also got a hand cramp and sore shoulder so I’m going to bed now. G’night!

26 March 2008 at 12:17 am 8 comments

Disco 2000 – 21/03/08

Hello groovy party people! Just got back from a very enjoyable post-work pre-long weekend drink with my colleagues (including Jo from Frutto della Passione). We discovered a cool bar in the not-so-cool suburb where we work. Very good cocktails, fries and music.

And speaking of music, it’s time for our weekly boogie session at Disco 2000. Are you ready kids?

Tonight I have a couple of new songs, the first being Dig Lazarus Dig!!! by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. For those of you who don’t know, Nick Cave is an Australian singer/songwriter and actor (most notably in Wim Wender’s movies). I like him because he is the consummate showman – great presence, powerful voice and fascinating storyteller. He’s aged a bit over the last few years and I’m not feeling his slimy lounge singer look (definitely not sexy ugly ) but it’s a super song.

Next up is yet another Milanese group, Elio e le Storie Tese.  Hmmm, how can I describe them? They’re a cross between Frank Zappa and Monty Python, if you can imagine it. They are stellar musicians but their sense of humour is demenziale, absurd and often biting. They are constantly on tour and have a huge cult following. I have yet to see them but I’m sure they would blow me away.

The today’s Italian song is dedicated to Milan’s largest park Parco Sempione. Unfortunately for us, it’s nothing like Central Park and, as Elio sings, it’s verde e marrone (green and brown, ugh). The video shows a man being tormented by a terrible bongo player in the park (you know the kind – urban, tie-died rasta boy. Very popular when I was at university in Montreal in the 90s). It turns out the bongo player is part of a diabolical plan to destroy the green areas of Milan and replace them with concrete monsters. If you understand Italian (and Milanese dialect!) it’s hilarious. But even if you don’t, you can still enjoy the fine bongo-playing. “Ma non vedi come suona male da dio??” LOL!!

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend, kids!!!


22 March 2008 at 12:18 am 2 comments

The Sexy Ugly List

Hey ladies!!! Tonight I have men on my mind. The good, the bad and the sexy ugly. You know, those men who don’t have the traditional, pretty boy, hunka-hunka burnin’ love good looks. Brad Pitt? Nah! Orlando Bloom? Puh-lease! I like real men, those who don’t moisturize, pluck their eyebrows or spend every waking hour in front of a mirror.

So here are my Sexy Ugly lists, one international, the other for my favourite Italians. The lists are in no particular order and are subject to change depending on what time of the month it is.

 International Sexy Ugly

1. Adrien Brody – that swagger, those bedroom eyes, that nose!

2. Clive Owen – well, he’s not exactly ugly but I couldn’t resist putting him down

3. Mathieu Kassovitz – trop mignon!

4. Daniel Craig – don’t usually like musclemen but he’s something special

5. Hugh Laurie – bitter brilliant British man with a complex. Gotta love him!

 Italian Sexy Ugly

1. Sergio Castellitto – brilliant director and actor. A bit rat-like but he does it for me.

2. Sergio Rubini – I guess I got a thing for Sergios

3. Roberto Donadoni, coach of the Italian national soccer team – a bit goofy-looking when he was young, he’s aged rather nicely

4. Claudio Santamaria – he’s the yummy baddie that tried to kill Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.

5. Luigi LoCascio – can’t resist his laughing eyes and jet black hair

Ok girls, now it’s your turn. Who would you put on your sexy ugly lists? The possibilities are endless. Can’t wait to read them!

21 March 2008 at 12:41 am 6 comments

How to feed a bratty bambino

Like most 4 year olds, my daughter Bellie can’t stand the sight of vegetables. Present her with a dish of broccoli and she emits a blood-curdling scream, runs to the nearest corner, cowers into the fetal position and rocks herself to sleep while humming show tunes. A terrible sight.

In our quest to get her to eat her greens, we’ve tried all sorts of things such as bribing her with chocolate and panty hose but to no avail. So, like in all good families, I resorted to deceit and trickery. I am so evil, I puree and hide vegetables in the few things she likes to eat. And I invented this waaaay before Jessica Seinfeld even knew what a kitchen was for, so there!!

My husband Mimmo is the re della frittata (“the omelette king” just doesn’t sound as regal, non?) and together, we came up with this recipe that my picky daughter actually devours. It’s a little high in calories but kids don’t usually have any cholesterol issues. Not in this country anyway.

Vegetarians can leave the bacon out, of course. It still tastes great.

Here’s the recipe:

FRITTATA VERDE CON PANCETTA (Green Omelette with Pancetta)

Ingredients (for 4 people):

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups cooked swiss chard (or spinach or any other green leafy veg)
1 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, if you can get it)
100 gr. pancetta cubes or bacon cut in small pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onions (optional)

Instructions:

Cook the swiss chard in boiling salted water until white part is tender (around 10-15 min).

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Drain, let cool and chop coarsely. Puree chard in blender. Add some of the cooking water while blending if too dry.

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Beat eggs, add pureed vegetables, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Fry the pancetta (and onions if you can sneak them in there) on medium-low in a non-stick pan until almost crisp. Add egg mixture, make sure pancetta is distributed evenly and cover pan.

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When the underside is golden, flip the frittata and cook until set. The flipping part can get a bit tricky. If you aren’t a mago like my father-in-law who can do it beautifully with a flick of his wrist, you can try this method: place a plate on top of the pan, then flip the pan upside down so the frittata remains on the plate. Slide the frittata back onto the pan, golden side up, and fry until the other side is cooked. If all this is too complicated for you and/or you’re afraid of a debilitating injury, don’t flip the frittata and just keep cooking until set on top.

Ecco la bella frittata!

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Ok, so it ain’t that bella. But don’t let the picture fool you. This frittata is infused with an inner beauty that will astound and amaze your taste buds. The key is using a good quality cheese.

And the most important thing, she likes it!!!

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I am contributing this recipe to Festa Italiana, organized by the hostesses with the mostestess, Maryann from Finding La Dolce Vita and Marie from Proud Italian Cook . It’s a blogospheric celebration of Italian food and drink. If you have a recipe you’d like to share, you have until March 22 to take part.

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Buon appetito, piatto pulito!!!

18 March 2008 at 10:42 pm 9 comments

Like a meme virgin

I still get excited the very first time I do anything. And gosh darn it, it sure is swell being tagged for my first meme. The tagger? None other than fellow Canuck Joanne from the scrumptious Frutto della Passione . Can’t wait for her to post her pasta with mushrooms, truffle oil and saffron recipe. But I digress….The rules for this meme are:

  • Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird (not a problem for me!).
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and links to their blogs.
  • Tell them that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

E allora….. ladies and gentlemen, my meme!

1. I have pretty accurate gaydar. Speaking of which, Bert and Ernie: the jig is up! Just get on with it, move to Canada or Holland and get married already!!

2. I love living in Italy but would move back to Toronto in a heartbeat. Or NYC. Or Newfoundland. Can’t decide.

3. I have one bulimic cat and the other one has a dandruff problem.

4. I love Italian food but I’m a junkaholic at heart. I would kill for a chocolate dip donut right now. Sad but true.

5. Despite my junkaholic ways, I think Anthony Bourdain is a sex god.

6. My favourite colour is purple.

7. I am a font of useless knowledge and gossip.

I am tagging four new blogger friends who I think deserve reading. I’ve either stumbled upon them over the last month or met them at the Ultimate Blog Party last week. They are nyc/caribbean ragazza , Erin at fully alive ready to smile , my melange , and Cherrye at my bella vita .

Goodnight and Happy St. Paddy’s day!

17 March 2008 at 11:30 pm 7 comments

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