Today was a good day.
It started out with Italian, which because of my “sick day” yesterday, was relatively easy to get out of bed for. And lucky for me, today we took a field trip – to a cafe! Our teacher ordered pastry and cappuccinos for the 10 of us and we each had to ask the waiter a question about espresso. If I learned anything, it was that field trips in Italy are SO much better than home!! The capp was delicious, too 🙂
It only got better from there. After some food shopping (the best kind!) at the market, we went to Sergio’s. The main man in my life! I ordered the ribollita…second week in a row. Addicted? Me? Naaaaah…..
But back to the show.
Today’s class was focused on cooking with FRUIT! Quite possibly my favorite food category. I don’t take pictures of everything I eat, mostly because it’s just not all that interesting or photogenic, but if I did – you would be very sick of apples and pears. I think I eat at least one of each a day. Can’t wait for summer berries!!
NEEDless to say, I was quite excited about today. We started with a salad:
Spinach, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, red onion, pears, fresh buffalo mozzarella, dressed with lemon juice + olive oil + few drops of good aged balsamic vin.
Now, I grew up with the reigning queen of salads. My mother makes wonderful and creative salads not unlike this one, and I’m actually pretty envious of her ability to whip up the right dressing that complements the salad ingredients. That said, this salad blew my tastebuds away! The pears just made it. Although I would recommend using a more pungent cheese like a goat or bleu, would have been even better with the sweetness of the pear.
We also made some fresh rosemary focaccia to go with it (and by made, I mean actually hand-made it from ingredients-up, not just took it out of some plastic and threw it in the oven):
This is, I believe, my first-ever experience with a souffle…and now I am wondering why. This. was. so. good. It had the light, fluffy texture of mousse that I adore but was warm and moist like cake fresh out of the oven. The chocolate was dark but not too heavy and all in all, this was a little ramekin of heaven. We did not alter this recipe, and the only fruit added was that raspberry that you seeon top, but I think it makes an important statement nutrition-wise: it’s perfectly healthy to eat indulgent foods! It’s all about the portion size. And what better an end to a meal than chocolate? Especially in carb-form. I left perfectly satisfied.
This class was the first that I didn’t go ga-ga over every single dish we made, but the salad, focaccia and dessert more than make up for the other two (which weren’t even bad, just not something I personally enjoyed as much as the others).
The rest of the day was spent in a nearby piazza with a nap in the sun and bit of dog-watching. Lovely.
I am not sure that I have formally discussed this other than maybe some lines here or there, but I am as of now looking into culinary school after next year’s graduation (aaah! senior year…how did this happen???). I have no idea what exact career I want–and by no idea, I mean I have about 30 different ones–but I do know that my passion for and fascination with food only seems to increase, and I’m following what I love. I would go for Baking/Pastry because that’s really what I love and where I feel I’m more creative, and, well, I’d much rather deal with finicky pate a choux than learn how to de-bone a duck. It’s something I’ve been putting off announcing mostly because whenever I ‘announce’ something like this, I end up going in a completely different direction. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, as long as I love it, but right now I’m so into the food world that the thought of me suddenly not going into it is too scary and sad for me to think of.
Just throwing it out there.
British weekend is coming!
And yes, I realize that society still judges and there are forces out there that even the greatest self-esteem can’t conquer, but in my experience, being comfortable in your own skin gives a kind of confidence that makes other people look past, or even not see, the outside. Easier said than done, of course. But it can be!
I tried to turn my day around:
Chocolate-raspberry yogoats. Not sure they helped my mood, but my tastebuds sure were grateful 🙂
Ethnic Tuesday: Sushi, take-2
tuna roll + seaweed salad
Quite depressing sushi, actually. The tuna was unimpressive and the salad was too sweet and too spicy. And it was overpriced in general. BUT, this place delivered and the rumored “good” sushi places here are sit-down restaurants and a little pricey, so subpar sushi it was.
Ok, no more crappy Tuesday talk, let’s get back to the present!
Funky angles, no?
This market had all of their produce stands outside – it went on forever!
Beautiful South African pears. I had to get some. I loved it! Very nice cinnamony-sweet taste. And so perty!
This market was fun; the old man at one of the cheese stands liked me and gave us lots of samples 🙂 I also bought this monster:
This pepper was 1,50 euro. That’s like 2 dollars of BELL. PEPPER. Did NOT see that coming. Whoops.
I liked this market a lot, but Mercato Centrale remains my favorite. More to see there, I think. Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with markets in Italy!
We did a bit of shopping in San Lorenzo and stopped for what remains to be the best cappuccino I’ve ever had before lunch at Sergios! My Wednesdays will be just a little empty when I can’t come here for lunch.
Although I woke up thinking about their wonderful soups, I ended going a different route once I took a look a the daily menu…
Melanzane alla parmigiana – Eggplant parm!
What I love about the eggplant parm I’ve had here is that it is nothing like the breaded, buttered, deep-fried, cheap-cheese-covered American version. The eggplant has a melt-in-your-mouth texture on the inside, but the skin gets crispy and crunchy in the oven, and paired with wonderful parmeggiano and provolone cheese and fresh tomato sauce, it tastes like nothing you’d ever expect to come from just an eggplant and some cheese. It’s really a toss-up between my first eggplant parm at Dino and today’s…mm, yummylicious. And it was a perfect little lunch portion too. Cute food is more fun to eat 😉
Because of the gorgeous weather, the roomies and I grabbed a blanket and headed to a piazza nearby to do some much-needed sunbathing. I took my book…but ended up napping in the sun instead. I almost wish everyday were this wonderful, but then that would make it less special, and what’s the fun in that?
I came home on sunshine and nap high, fixed myself an enormous salad…and that’s about when my lovely day in the sun got cloudy. But this is such a happy post, I’m not bringing it down! Let’s just say – to be continued.
Wonderful food, warm spring weather, and a nap in the middle of a piazza. Life is good.