Tag Archives: cooking



Sigh…in the most wonderful way ever! I am here in Rome, Italy. I have been here for three weeks now and I had no idea that a person could relax so much. Seriously, Rome has turned me into the Goddess of relaxation. I literally just woke up from an afternoon nap…and I slept-in this morning… like all my other mornings!

That being said, today wasn’t the most eventful day, as I have only walked outside to get some fresh groceries. But I have been touring this incredible city other days.

On the food note, while in I was introduced to better quality foods than I was used to having back in Toronto. Nice’s food is still super amazing don’t get me wrong, but I am enjoying my food experiences in Rome much more. I guess Italian food is more my style…which might not be good for my waistline. One of my favourite things to do here is to go grocery shopping for fresh ingredients then come home and cook. Let’s not forget about the tasting part…that’s pretty fun too!

Here is one of our feasts complete with Caprese salad, Parpardelle pasta with a porcini mushroom and truffle oil sauce along with our focaccia.

When cooking Italian it is impossible not to buy fresh ingredients. This is why there is nothing BUT fresh ingredients everywhere you look. I have found a small produce shop nearby that has great quality fruits and vegetables at the cost of basically nothing. I once filled my bag with carrots, a lemon, a lime, arugula, basil and lots of tomatoes at a cost of only 1.80 euro. This is why I go back everyday, to buy the freshest ingredients.


It is also possible to buy focaccia and pizza dough rolled up ready to bake at home. It comes out so fluffy and delicious. I love topping the focaccia with fresh mozzarella, plum tomatoes and fresh basil, for the most amazing lunch!

Here I topped the focaccia with mozzarella, proscuitto and arugula.

Here pasta is .99 euro and feeds both of us twice…did I mention it is fresh pasta? I have never had pasta like this. The pasta is actually quite hard to overcook and I can always achieve the “al dente” state. Also, I have never, ever, seen so many pasta choices; some types I’ve never even heard of until now.

Here is some succulent Osso Bucco alongside Paccheri Pasta. This meal was and still is our best in Rome!

The food and drink prices have decreased from Nice. We are buying .85 euro wine and really “soaking” it up.

We got all this stuff (Aperol liquor, 4 beers, 1L red wine, juice, mixed seafood salad, soft cheese, Pesto, jared clams, pizza dough, 2 artichokes, mushrooms, sparkling water and mushrooms) for 17 Euro! What amazing value!

Also, right now is artichoke season in Italy, so for the first time my boyfriend and I cooked and ate fresh artichokes. Once cooked, we scraped the harder leaves between our front teeth to get the small portion of edible artichoke that is on each leaf. One by one, we were getting closer to the ‘heart’ of the artichoke. This is obviously the best and most ‘meaty’ part of the ‘choke. This was a fun experience and we have even bought more artichokes for this evening.



I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen!



Cooking In


As I have stated in the past, the food in France is great. Not only the food you eat at restaurants but also the quality of food is higher than what I am used to.

Here are a few dishes I have cooked up whilst living in France.

Sushi- The sushi in Europe itself is super expensive, so I knew if I wanted some I’d have to make it. However, I did not know where to buy sashimi grade fish, so I settled for shrimp, egg and avocado nigiri along with California rolls.

Stuffed Mushrooms- This is a little recipe I learned from Matt. I stuffed these mushrooms with their stems, breadcrumbs, chorizo, shallot, oil, parsley and other seasonings. Then I cooked them in a skillet on a very low heat.

Carpaccio- I didn’t do much work here, as I bought the Carpaccio pre-sliced. I did however marinate the slices in a lemon and oil mixture and then topped with rocket and some parmigiano reggiano.

Seafood pasta- I bought about 6 clams, 12 mussels and 8 shrimp for under 2 Euro and decided to make a pasta dish. After stewing some fresh tomatoes and seasoning my sauce I added white wine. Once the alcohol cooked off I added my shelled friends to steam. This took about 1 minute. The juices that are released from the seafood add so much flavour, so be sure to always cook the shellfish in with your sauce. It would be a shame to waste the juices.

I paired the sauce with fresh linguini and it was a joy to eat!

Duck breast- We finally cooked a French meal! We purchased a large duck breast that was in an Herbs de Provence marinade. Matt scored the duck breast before cooking it in the oven to a perfect medium rare. We used the excess fat drippings to cook some thinly cut potatoes. This meal was magnifique!

Spaghetti Bolognaise- This is one of my classic meals I make. I cook the beef along with lots of onion and add garlic just before my meat is finished. I add crushed tomatoes when the garlic is finished (before it starts to brown). Then I add seasoning and red wine. I add just enough to cover all the ingredients. Then I cook the sauce uncovered on a medium heat. Once my sauce has reduced and the liquid has thickened I pour over a bed of spaghetti. I garnish with parsley and fresh parmigiano cheese.