Posts filed under ‘Memes’

Blogiversary and Book Giveaway!

Ciao Bloggisti!

It’s a very special moment for me. This proud mammina is thrilled to celebrate my baby’s 1st birthday with y’all.


Yes, Milanese Masala is a year old! Well, to be honest, the actual blogiversary was a couple of weeks ago but (surprise, surprise!) I didn’t get around to writing this post till now. Maybe it’s the change of season, maybe it’s my latent narcolepsy waking up again. Whatever it is, I’m just too exhausted to stay up late and write like I used to in the early days.

In honour of her birthday I’ve decided to give the old broad a facelift. It’s just what best friends do. You like? It’s still a work in progress but I think it’s much easier to read. I plan on improving my photos and start putting myself on a stricter schedule but I ain’t making no promises!

I guess now I should take the customary stroll down Blogiversary Lane,  look back, take stock of the past year, etc, etc. What have I learned? Well, that I’m a touch crazy to have decided to embark on a blogging career considering that a) I already have a full-time job b) we moved into our new house 2 years ago and still have a garage full of boxes to unpack and c) I have two little ‘uns, one of whom is a terremoto toddler who leaps small cabinets in a single bound.

So why in the hoo ha did I start blogging in the first place ? Truth be told, despite my busy life, I really love writing and I thought what better outlet to spew my senseless ramblings in than a blog. Plus, it would get me in the habit of writing regularly (or so I thought). I was also muchly inspired by my pal Joanne at Frutto della Passione. She’s taught me so much and helped this tech numbskull out on many a occasion. Thanks Jo! And of course, there’s a great community of expat bloggers that I wanted to get to know better. I “met” so many cool people because of my blog and for that I’m grateful.

Now, on with the shoe…

To celebrate my blogiversary I wanted to subject you to a meme that I did on FB. Some of you have probably already read this but for those who haven’t, it’s a way for all you newbies to get to know me a little better. Here are 25 Random Things About Me:

1. I believe humour and music can save your soul…

2. … so at the ripe old age of 30-something, I’ve decided to learn to play the guitar! Funny, eh?

3. I am slow at everything except driving.

4. Yet I was picked to be a part of a 4×100 relay team in Gr.8

5. I’m crazy for cats. They are the smartest, coolest, calmest, most beautiful animals in the world.

6. I’m a plant killer. I love flowers and gardens so I’m hoping to change my homicidal ways.

7. There’s nothing sexier than talking to a man who’s actually listening to you. A sense of humour don’t hurt either.

8. It’s terrible but I love gossip, from reading it to doing it. All harmless but it’s a bad habit I hope to kick.

9. I’d like to be a writer. Of some sort. I think.

10. I used to throw cutlery from our 6th floor balcony when I was a toddler.

11. My 2 yr old is obsessed with dinner knives. Coincidence?

12. I once sang The Greatest Love of All in an audition for a high school musical. I vaguely remember people chuckling during my heartfelt performance. I didn’t get the part.

13. I’ve had a love affair with the city of Paris ever since I first went there at 16 and did everything possible to live there, which I finally managed to do at university.

14. I think dictionaries are cool

15. Is there anything better than hugging a baby/child who’s just woken up, all toasty and warm?

16. If you want to ride in my car you have to listen to music. My music. Unless you’re a kid which means you can choose from either Raffi or Sharon, Lois & Bram.

17. If I had the chance to meet one famous person it would have to be Paul McCartney.

18. I’ve been married twice. To the same guy. Still waiting for that engagement ring, though.

19. I’ve been to India five times.

20. I used to have straight hair when I was a kid. My hair started going all wonky at puberty. I was so desperate to fix it I even had two perms when I was in high school. No joke.

21. I love lists. I love it when a plan comes together. I absolutely hate it when they don’t, especially if it’s due to somebody going back on their word.

22. I’m a terrible procrastinator. I really should be doing something else instead of writing this list.

23. I used to collect dryer lint.

24. My people can’t dance. Well, that’s what my father used to say.

25. I really wish I could have heard him say that to his grandkids.

I am also commemorating the blogiversary by doing  my very first giveaway. Yes, you read right! I am giving away an autographed copy of renowned novelist and translator Tim Parks‘s latest book, Dreams of Rivers and Seas.


As Jane Shilling of the Sunday Telegraph says, Dreams of Rivers and Seas is “a love story (or rather several love stories), an oblique and engrossing mystery, but above all a story about language and its limitations.”

If you want to win a copy of the book, all you have to do is post a comment from today (17 March) till Thursday 19 March. You can leave any comment you wish (be nice!) but it would be nice to hear  about your experiences with language limitations or even read what you have to say about the meme or even do your own. The winner will be chosen randomly from all those who posted comments. I will send the book anywhere so all you international lurkers can start speaking up for a change!

Can’t wait to read your comments!

p.s. Don’t forget about the Ultimate Blog Party 2009 at 5 Minutes for Mom from 20-27 March. I’m doing a giveaway there too!! Yes, la sciura è impazzita!

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17 March 2009 at 1:57 am 10 comments

The Omnivore’s Hundred

Ciao Bloggisti!

I’m feeling a bit peckish. I think I ate too much when I was in Canada and my stomach has expanded. Damn you Food Court!! So now I’m hungry a lot. And when that happens I love going on luscious foodie blogs, like Jasmine’s Confessions of a Cardamom Addict. This week she posted about a cool list that I just had to share with you. It’s called the Omnivore’s Hundred and she got it from Andrew from the British blog Very Good Taste. Basically, it’s a list of the 100 foods “every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life”. It’s an eclectic and international round-up of delicacies, some of which are heavenly and others stomach-turning. I didn’t do too bad for a little girl from Scarborough. What about you? How much of the world have you eaten? I’d love to see your lists!

If you’re interested in taking part, here are the instructions:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.

Here are my results for the VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare (I have had carpaccio a lot. Does that count?)
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari (my daughter loves it)
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (my hubby’s fave)
15. Hot dog from a street cart (street meat is da best!)
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (but the hubster planted tomatoes that were rotting in our fridge and those plants are now producing the most delicious pomodori ever!)
22. Fresh wild berries
Foie gras (see my post on Paris)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (Had it on the pier in San Francisco. Yum!)
33. Salted lassi (the best way to cool down after eating a fiery curry)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects
43. Phaal (am so tempted to try this one!)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (I’ll try everything once but I don’t want to risk my life!)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (nowhere near as good as Tim Horton’s!)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (When I was 10 I could eat an entire meal. Now I can only manage Happy Meals!)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (eating earth???)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (Well, I’ve eaten jackfruit. Does that count?)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
(Mmmm. Fried dough!)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette (merçi Stéphanie!)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini (just had one in Scarborough, of all places)
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky (Sold as Mikado here in Italy. So addictive)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef (would be a dream!)
86. Hare
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
Mole poblano (chocolate goes well with anything!)
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake (I’ve had snake-infused grappa though)

Ok, now it’s your turn!

5 September 2008 at 12:28 am 2 comments

Picture it!

Ciao Bloggisti!

Um, I’m having a hard time figuring out how WordPress is working now. They changed things around over the weekend and since I’m a creature of habit, me is confused!

Haven’t had much time to write lately. Sorry! But I’ve been busy recovering from the stomach flu and helping my “third child” (aka Mimmo) cope with his flu. You know how it is when a man gets sick, dontcha? “Oh woe is me!” “No, I’m not going to the doctor! I can deal with the unbearable pain by myself. Don’t you worry about me.” “Mamma!!!”

I just hope everyone will be well by the end of the month. Ya see, the hubby and I are off to Paris for an anniversary celebration, sans kids! Paree is special to us because it’s where we met and fell in love years after that first meeting. In my opinion, it is the most beautiful city in the world. And of course, you can’t beat French hospitality! But seriously, I can’t wait to go back after 12 long years. I long to walk down the streets I wandered as a starving exchange student, drinking in every monument, every moment, with the euphoric feeling that Paris was the city that was going to change my life. And it did.

I am also praying that Alitalia will have gotten over its flu by the end of April because that’s our unfortunate choice of airline. If anything goes wrong and I don’t get to fulfill my dream of eating in a Parisian Michelin-starred restaurant, somebody in Rome is gonna get a hurt real bad! Btw, any resto suggestions pour moi?

Ok, my cat Sausage is about to shred my brand-new curtains so I’d better be quick. The whole point of this post is a cute picture meme I “stole” from Erin at Fully Alive Ready To Smile. If you’re interested here’s how it works:
1. Go to
2. Type in your answer to the question in the “search” box
3. Use only the first page
4. Insert the picture into your Blog

Heeeeere’s my Picture Meme!

1.) What is your relationship status?

2.) What is your current mood?

3.) Who is your favorite band/artist?

4.) What are your favorite movies?

5.) What kind of pet do you have?

6.) Where do you live?

7.) Where do you work?

8.) What do you look like?

9.) What do you drive?

10.) What did you do last night?

11.) What is your favorite TV show?

12.) Describe yourself.

13.) What are you doing today?

14.) What is your favorite candy?



9 April 2008 at 12:36 am 1 comment

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…


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

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 Registered & Protected
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