Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chopped Champions!

Chardy and I are huge fans of Chopped on Food Network, so we decided to have our own little Chopped-style challenge in Rome. Alli, Aaron, and Ginny were the judges and chose the secret star ingredients for each course:
Appetizer: Basil
Entree: Roma tomatoes
Dessert: Brioche

With our challenge in hand, Chardy and I each prepared a 3 course meal for our judges! The biggest challenge: we only could use what was in our kitchen, which was pretty bare since we've only been here for a week! Here's what we came up with...

Appetizer:

On the right: Chardy made fresh buffalo mozarrella cheese sticks with a basil olive oil drizzle.

L: I made a small bite of what I call: cremosa caprese with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes.

Entree:


L: Chardy made an amazing homemade pizza using the pizza bianca base from our favorite bakery (Forno Roscioli), homemade tomato sauce with peppercino oil, and of course fresh mozzarella and basil!

R: I made a spaghetti arrabiata with parmagiano.

Dessert:


L: Chardy's dessert was an Italian strawberry shortcake with a peach reduction sauce.

R: Mine was a chocolate nutella bananas foster topped with marscapone.

Happy Judges:


P.S. It's a good thing we walked 6 miles today...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow Falling in the Pantheon

An amazing experience.
video

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Customs in Italy

I'm talking about the actual Customs in the airport, but they told us a lot about Italian cultural customs as well! So, as we go through passport control, which in other countries is a very strict formal process, in Italy, the guy comes out of the booth with his arms wide open to greet Ginny (our 5 yr old). I swear I thought he was going to hug and kiss her! I had heard Italians love kids, but I didnt expect to see evidence of this first thing at the airport!

Then, as we go through customs: again in other countries, it's usually pretty formal with the "declare" and "nothing to declare" lines with detailed forms, random inspections, etc. In Italy, all the customs guys were hanging out drinking coffee, chatting, and laughing. Literally there were no forms at all, no inspections, nothing! Totally laid back. Totally Italian? I don't know yet, it's only been one day...