Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Holidays to All

Happy Holidays Everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful time during this holiday season and that the new year brings new adventures to your life.  I will be celebrating Christmas away from home, so see you all in 2015!  

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year!!  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Il Ginanicolo, One of the Best Views of Rome

"She taught me to slow down.  To look up and enjoy the view.  To not worry so much about the end result that I end up missing things along the way.” Lisa Schroeder, Chasing Brooklyn

You may already know that ancient Rome was a city with seven hills, each one with distinct importance and enough history to fill volumes of books.  In present day Rome, there is a hill called the Gianicolo that has lots of interesting attractions and that seldom gets included in pre-planned city tours.  If you have a little extra time in Rome and are looking for a great view of the city, head to the Gianicolo hill and you will find the following:

One of my favorite views of the Rome.    I don't have to say much, just look at the image above and judge for yourself.

A canon that shoots at noon everyday!  Kids (maybe not those afraid of loud noises) will love the thrill of listening to a real canon shoot at noon, everyday, rain or shine.  It is said that the shooting of the canon was started by Pope Pio IX in 1847 to synchronize the sounding of the bells in all the churches of Rome.  The canon has been on the Gianicolo hill since 1904.

Monument to Garibaldi.  An equestrian statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi overlooking the Gianicolo hill.  

The Fontanone.  Officially called the Fountain of Acqua Paola it debuted in the latest Italian film to win an Academy Award to the Best Foreign Language Film, the Great Beauty

The Gianicolo hill is located near Saint Peter's and Trastevere, if you are in the area, don't hesitate to visit this great part of town.  If you are an avid photographer, the stop at the Gianicolo is a must!  If you want to read about another place from where to take great pictures of Rome, click here.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Italian Food: Where to Order Your Favorite Italian Dishes

"They have preserved the conditions of preparing food, handed down through generations, and have come to know them as expressions of their families." Bill Buford, Heat

We all know Italian food it's amazing, then why on earth do I hear many people saying they came to Italy and didn't really get an extraordinary meal?  I think I know the answer.  They are ordering the wrong dishes in the wrong places.

So let's back up a little.  Italian food is very regional, meaning the dishes you find in one part of Italy are not necessarily what you would want to order in another region.  They are specialized in their cuisine as it mostly involves very local ingredients.  Here is the deal for those of you planning to visit Italy and would like to have an out-of-this-world experience when it comes to food.  Of course this will require you to be a bit open-minded and willing to order something you may not have had in mind.

The tip of the day: order your dishes according to your location, be adventurous and you will be rewarded with an amazing meal.  So here is they list of regions and the dishes they're known for:

When in Rome (Region: Lazio) order the following:
  • Spaghetti All'Amatriciana (red sauce with pig cheeks bacon that tastes just like bacon)
  • Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (like a local mac and cheese with pepper)
  • Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (pasta with egg, pecorino cheese and the pig cheek bacon)
  • Carcciofi alla Giudia (artichokes jewish style)
  • Abbacchio alla Romana (roman baby-lamb)

When in Florence (Region: Tuscany) order the following:
  • Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (Florence-style steak)
  • Ribollita (soup with beans and chard)
  • Pappa al Pomodoro (local bread soaked in tomato sauce)
When in Venice (Region: Veneto) order the following:

  • Baccalà Mantecato (creamed baccalà)
  • Sarde in Saor (Sardines Ventian-style with raisins)
When in Genova (Region: Liguria) order the following: 
  • Troffie al Pesto (short fresh pasta with pesto sauce, their local specialty)
  • Anything al Pesto
  • Farinata (Chickpea flour bread, kinds of like a corn bread consistency)
When in Milan (Region: Lombardia) order the following:
  • Agnolini di Carne in Brodo (small meat-stuffed pasta in broth)
  • Risotto (typical Milanese dish)
  • Tortelli Alla Zucca (pumpkin-stuffed ravioli)
  • Cotoletta Alla Milanese (breaded chicken breast)
When in Bologna (Region: Emilia Romagna) order the following:
  • Tagliatelle al Ragu (the real name for spaghetti Bolognese)
  • Piadina (flat bread with any local ham)
  • Lasagna al Forno (baked pasta layered with meat sauce)
  • Anything with balsamic vinegar reduction
  • Polpettone (meatloaf)
When in the South of Italy and anywhere near the ocean, always go with seafood and fish.

When inlands, something with mushrooms (funghi) is always good.
When in doubt order Spaghetti al Pomodoro (tomato sauce) or Spaghetti aglio olio (pasta with oil and garlic). And Naples=Pizza.

Hope you have a wonderful trip to Italy and that you get to try their amazing dishes and remember their fresh and intense flavors for years to come.  If you live in Rome and are looking for international food, click here for a list of non-italian restaurants.

And that is all for today.  Buon Apettito 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."  John F. Kennedy

I'm very thankful for all of you and I'm thankful for being able to share a little bit of me through this blog.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends specially the ones who find themselves far  from home during the holidays.  "#Friendsgiving" is also great, that's what we are celebrating today as we are far away from our families.  I'm very thankful for the friends I've made along my travels, that have become part of my new holiday traditions


Friday, November 21, 2014

A Light One Before the Food Coma: Veggie Pancakes Recipe

"To lengthen your life, shorten your meals."  Proverb

The holiday season is coming and with it, all the overeating of the get togethers, cookie exchanges and holiday meals.  Yesterday I decided to make some veggie pancakes to lighten up a little before the food-coma of the holidays

This veggie pancake recipe is perfect for those days when you want to use up leftover veggies that have remained in your fridge at the end of the week.  An alternative to making soup with whatever you find in your fridge.  And a great vegetarian alternative to serve with a side of lentils.

Separate your egg whites and yolks,
 and beat the egg whites until they are fluffy and full of air.
  Add the yolks one by one and incorporate to the whites. 
 In a frying pan with a little bit of oil,
 sauté your onions and add your cooked veggies,
 season to taste.  
I used fresh zucchini, added a cup of frozen veggie mix and ended with swiss chard.
  All the veggies will get softer after 5 minutes and the greens (spinach or any fresh greens) will whittle. 

Sprinkle the flour and baking powder to your beaten eggs.
Add your cooked veggies to the mixture and incorporate them gently.
Cook on a griddle like if you were making pancakes,
 make small sizes for parties or regular sizes to eat with a meal.  

If you make them, let me know how they came out.  Do you have a good vegetarian recipe to share with me?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Preparing for the Holidays: The Stains on my Tablecloths

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

Today I hosted a lunch at my house, one of those fun moments when we get to know our friends a little better, share a meal and learn from our different perspectives.  As I was preparing for this event I browsed through my tablecloths and in the pile I saw one that my mother had given me, a beautiful one, embroidered, delicate.  You could have guessed it was brand new if it wasn't for the yellowish tint it had gotten over the years.  As I decided on another tablecloth, a more simple and modern one, I recalled my mom's was probably used only a couple of times and had spent its life tucked away afraid of being stained.

At that moment, I decided not to worry about the stains on my tablecloths, all of them are completely worth it (ok, almost all of them).  Each little stain I cannot wash away will remind me of a loved one, who sat at my table and is no longer with us.  I'll be reminded of a friend who came with a wonderful exotic dish to share.  I will think of the family who came for a #Thanksgiving dinner on a short notice and made our day as it gave us the reason to cook a proper holiday meal.   I even have a tiny hole in one of my tablecloth from my boys trying to start a sparkle with my centerpiece candle, and every time I see it I remember their faces when they were little.  All those moments are what life is all about.  And the friends I've made along this #expat #life have my full permission to mess up any of my tablecloths.  I welcome all future stains that will remind me of my time in Italy.

I use my nice dishes for my family and all my guests, because there is no sense of waiting for special occasions.  Life is only lived once, and it is full of messy moments, the moments that make one's memories.

As the holiday season approaches I wish you many many stains on your tablecloths.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rome on a Budget: Amazing Statues

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”  Emile Zola

People visit Rome for many, many reasons, the food, the architecture, the magic, and of course the art.  But what if you are a big art aficionado who wants to keep the traveling budget under control?  Well, there are several ways to enjoy art around Rome and most of them are free.

Art is everywhere in Rome, in its fountains, piazzas (city squares), religious statues; all you have to do is walk around and you'll bump into art; basically, you can't avoid it even if you tried.  Here are a few of the most notorious sculptures and some of my personal favorites:

#1 La Pietà by Michelangelo
Of course, coming at number one is Michelangelo's La Pietà.  This master piece is housed in St. Peter's Basilica, as soon as you come in it will be on your right hand side.  This statue of the Virgin Mary holding the body of Jesus after crucifixion is simply spectacular.  There is no entrance fee to St. Peters, but you do have to make long lines to enter St. Peter's square and the basilica, so plan to go there early, especially during the summer months.  

#2 Moses by Michelangelo
The statue of Moses is another master piece by Michelangelo Buonarroti.  It is housed in the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains (San Pietro in Vincoli), which is an easy walk from the Colosseum.  If you are planning a tour to the Colosseum, don't forget to detour a little bit to marvel at this amazing statue.  No entrance fee.  Closest metro stop: Cavour

#3 Triton's Fountain by Bernini

The "Fontana del Tritone" sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini is located in the middle of the Barberini square (and steps from the Barberini metro stop).  It is one of my personal favorites, especially during the Christmas season as the building behind it gets illuminated with Christmas lights, creating an amazing background for photographs.  Since you are already there, take a look at the Bee's fountain by the same sculptor, which sits right outside the metro exit.

#4 The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa by Bernini
Art students and art lovers can't miss this Bernini's masterpiece.  The statue of the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa is located in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (very close to Piazza della Repubblica).  This magnificent statue represents an episode described by the saint herself where an angel with a fire-tipped spear pierces her heart sparking a religious ecstasy.  A must see!  The church is closed during lunch hours (reopening at 3:3o pm) and if you go later in the day you have to make an offering for the statue to be illuminated.

#5 The Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini
This fountain is located in the middle of Piazza Navona and its vast size is enough to astonish you!  There are four marble giants, the River Gods, representing the four main rivers of the world: the Nile in Africa the Ganges in Asia, the Danube in Europe and the Rio de la Plata in America.

There are many sculptures by not so renown artists that are just as amazing.  Like the Fountain of the Turtles in the Jewish Ghetto; in reality this list could be never ending, but I will end it here.  Hope you get a chance to marvel at these amazing statues!

Arrivederci for now,

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dressing Like an Italian: Fall Fashion

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Coco Chanel

This week I was out and about with my camera at hand, marveling at Italian women's fashion sense.  Actually, I always marvel at their fashion sense but I'm not always equipped to capture it in a photograph.  I've chosen the pictures of some fashionistas out there to help me illustrate some rules of the well-dressed Roman ladies; I'm not talking about Gucci and Prada outfits, I'm talking about tips that you can follow on any budget so you too can dress like an Italian fashionista.  

Fashion Inspiration#1: The color splash
To recreate this outfit dress all in a neutral color and add a bold accessory.   In the photo below, this fabulous lady is wearing black and gray and carries a big red purse.  This color splash fashion style landed her in my #1 position.  Brava!

Fashion Inspiration#2: The military green jacket
Military green is big during the fall, if you pair it with chunky boots and a messenger bag, the outfit is casual, chic and fantastic.  These two ladies know what they're doing!

Fashion Inspiration #3: Color Coordinate, Always!
Roman ladies take fashion very seriously, they plan their outfits and know what goes with what.  They love color coordinating.  At least two of your pieces have to match, shoes and belt, pants and purse, scarf and shoes.  If you want to dress like an Italian you have to color coordinate!

Fashion Inspiration #4: The tailored Jacket

The tailored jacket is a must here in Rome.  Italians are known for their slim fitting outfits, so drop the baggy sweatshirt and replace it with a well-fitted jacket and you'll do wonders for your look. Even if you are wearing a t-shirt underneath.  

Men are as big fashionistas as the ladies here, just look at this gentleman rocking the color splash rule!!! Neon green sneakers to brighten up your look, why not!  You can now find the European cut on mens clothing in the U.S. too. 

Fashion Inspiration #5: Break All the Rules
We all have learned the fashion rules, well, look at the outfit this lady put together: faux leather leggings,  light-colored coat, animal print booties.  I'm not sure how, but she pulled it off, all these different trends in one outfit.  You rock lady #5!

Fashion Inspiration #6: Tourists can Be Fabulous Too
Just because you are traveling and don't have your entire closet with you it doesn't mean you can't look amazing.  Plan your outfits ahead of time and you'll be a fashionista like the well dressed tourist who became my fashion inspiration #6 and the last one of the day.  See how she's mixed several colors, is wearing comfy but cool shoes and is rocking an outfit that will look great on her pictures.  "Complimenti" (my compliments).  And if Italy is part of your  upcoming travel plans, please read "10 things you should know before traveling to Italy".

I hope you enjoyed my fashion tips and that they help you be fashionable like the Roman ladies out there.  Arrivederci for now,

Friday, October 24, 2014

That's Amore

"When the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie, that's Amore; when the world seems to shine like you had too much wine, that's Amore" sang by Dean Martin 

What is it with Italy that so many people fall in love with it?  Is it the beautiful natural landscapes, their cities' colorful buildings?  Why is it that you always hear about people ready to drop it all and move to Italy?

One of the possible answers could be Italians' ability to demonstrate their feelings more openly.  Are we, people born in other countries craving a little bit more "Amore" in our lives?  Certainly, Italians know how to express love.  (They also know how to express frustration, anger and every other feeling listed in your emotional intelligence books.)

Nutella Pizza, now that's Amore!

Here are some phrases that will help you reciprocate your love when in #Italy, even if it is your #love for #pizza.

Let's start using some superlatives in our own language and love with all our hearts, like Italians do.

Arrivederci with lots of love,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Be a Traveler not a Tourist

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” G.K. Chesterton

I just got back from a trip to the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and even though the villages are beautiful and quaint, I couldn't be more bothered by the behavior of the visiting tourists.   I'll try to explain why.

The Cinque Terre are five fishing villages built on the coast line of the Italian region of Liguria, on what is known as the Italian Riviera.  Their lifestyle seems to have changed very little since the late middle ages, when they first sprouted.  Even though the park groups the five villages under one name, they are actually five independent towns called Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.  You can hike from one to the other in about an hour and a half.  They are also connected by a regional train line that gets you from one town to the adjacent one in about 5 minutes.  

You can choose to stay in one of the towns, Monterosso al Mare being the biggest and the one that offers more options regarding accommodations.  I would recommend against staying in Corniglia, because it's the only one that sits above the cliffs and from the train station to the town you have to climb 365 steps.  Something I wouldn't want to do every time I went exploring the other towns.

Staying in Vernazza gave me the opportunity to really experience the town.  I woke up early walked the two steps to the main and only piazza (city square) and just sat, observing a day in the life of the town.  The postwoman (wearing way too much make-up at 7am) delivering mail, chatting with every store clerk for at least 10 minutes before getting down to business.  The robust garbage man, too big for his mini-version of a garbage truck.  The town elders, the first ones to rise, ready to direct anything that might be going on that day.  The young local guys, ready to help pushing a boat out of the water.  The grandmas yelling at the kids from a second story window.

From seven to about ten in the morning, being in Vernazza was kind of being in an Italian movie set, full of strong characters living a simple life.  At about ten in the morning the trains started arriving loaded with tourists.  They arrived in packs, dressed head to toe in Cabella's, LLBean's and Orvis' hiking gear as if they were about to climb the Himalayas.  The magic was gone.  I know the towns live out of tourism, but do we tourists need to be so disruptive to their way of life?  These are one street towns, with not a lot of room for loud obnoxious tourists.  Like the group that sat next to me one night and started singing "That's Amore" at the top of their lungs, disrupting the piazza's romantic charm.  Or the guy outfitted all in Washington State gear demanding eggs and bacon for breakfast (read all about eating in Italy here).  

If you try to observe your surrounding and catch a glimpse of their conversations you will see the several hand gestures a minute for which Italians are known.  If at the restaurant you didn't ask for your fish to be served without the head, you would witness the surgical precision with which the waiter debones that fish and hear, like I did, how it was caught that very same morning and how proud they are to serve you nothing but the best.

Please, don't ruin the postcard perfect scenery, be a traveler not a tourist.

Arrivederci for now,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

10 Things You Need to Know Before Eating in Italy

“Watching Italians eat (especially men, I have to say) is a form of tourism the books don't tell you about." Barbara Kingsolver

Let's talk about one of my favorite subjects: Italian food.  Having tried "Italian" cuisine around the world, I have to say it does not compare to eating real Italian food IN ITALY.  Italians love to break rules, unless we are talking about food, then their rules are very strict as they don't like to deviate from tradition.  So, I'm going to share 10 things I've learned and that you should know before eating in Italy:

1. Have your breakfast standing: Regular Italian breakfast consist of coffee and a croissant, locally called "cornetto".  Since it will take you about two seconds to drink your shot of espresso, Italians usually have their coffee standing at the coffee bar.  If you sit at a table and wait to be served, you will be charge quadruple the price. Beware!

2. Is it lunch time yet?: Don't show up at a restaurant before 12:30, they will not be ready.  

3. Order in Order: There is a specific order when it comes to eating Italian food.  If you order out of that specific order, you may be frown upon or else.  So here is the order:
  • Antipasto: Is the appetizer 
  • Primi: Is your pasta dish
  • Secondo: Is you your meat/chicken/fish dish which can be ordered at the same time  as the side dishes; normally you will have to order your sides (called "contorni" in Italian) as they don't come with the meat dish.
  • Dolce: Is is your dessert
Now, you don't have to order all the courses, just make sure you don't order a Secondo first and then and antipasto.

4. Do not mix and match: Food in Italy is approached with the same devotion as a religion. Do not mix and match when it comes to food in Italy.  If you order a pasta dish as a Primi (first course) and a chicken dish as a Secondo (second course) DO NOT put your chicken and your pasta in the same plate!! All you need to know is that it's a sin ;)

5. Ranch, what is "Ranch"?: When it comes to salads you will not find several pre-mixed dressing options.  Most likely your only option will be bottles of Olive Oil and Vinegar at your table, and salt and pepper.  You are expected to season your own salad to taste.  Sorry, only Italian-style in Italy.

6. Dishes you won't find: Italians around the world have allowed themselves to be creative and break the rules that are so strict in their country of origin.  However, no matter how much you search for them you won't (easily) find: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Spaghetti with chicken legs, Pasta Alfredo, pasta with everything but the kitchen sink on it.  Their dishes are usually built with a few "extremely good" ingredients.

7. The real meaning of Pepperoni: In Italian the word Pepperoni means Bell Peppers, so if you order a "Pepperoni" pizza, you'll get red bell peppers as a topping.  If you want an American pepperoni pizza try "Pizza alla Diavola" which comes with a spicy salami on top.  It's yummy, you will not be disappointed. 

8. Is it dinner time yet?: No. If you are looking to dine at 6:00 pm, you're out of luck, it's not dinner time until around 8:00 pm.  If you are starving, you can try an Aperitivo, a drink which comes with little munchies, kind of like happy hour.

9. Now it's dinner time: Same rules apply as at lunch time.  Ah, and no need to tip a percentage of the meal, a couple of Euros will do.  Waiters receive a salary and are not dependent on the tips to make a living.  

10. The best part of it all: Take your time! Enjoy your meal! Have some wine! Eat out on the terrace if the weather is nice.  Nobody will rush you out, they will not bring you the bill as soon as your food is on the table, they will not even bring it what you are taking your last bite.  You can linger for as long as you want, talk, laugh and take it all in.  Lower the RPMs and enjoy your real Italian food experience.

Arrivederci for now,

Friday, October 3, 2014

What to See While in Rome: Campo De' Fiori

“The earth laughs in flowers.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most people who arrive to Rome have a pretty good idea of what they want to see during their visit.  Some others, like me, after reading every article from every subject-matter expert, decide to forget it all and let the city captivate them by its own right, roam around and get lost in its labyrinth cobble stone streets to find your own version of Rome.  And walking like that, without a destination, I arrived to Campo De'Fiori.

Campo De'Fiori is a piazza (city square) that hosts an outdoor market operating Monday through Saturday from 7 am until lunch time (around 2:00 pm).  In the morning, the market sells all kinds of goodies, from flowers to fruits, fish and spices.  After lunch the market disappears  leaving the piazza ready for the nighttime scene.  Campo de' Fiori at night is very popular among the younger crowd.

In the middle of the square there is a statue of Giordano Bruno, a Dominican Friar, mathematician, and philosopher who was burnt alive in 1600.   Yes, in the sixteen hundreds, Campo de'Fiori was a place for public executions, like many other piazzas around Rome.   All the buildings that surround the square are the typical Roman buildings of terracota and mustard colors that make this piazza such a postcard-perfect picture of Rome and Roman life.

If you go during the morning, try a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, pack with antioxidants.  You can also buy fruits and veggies, or kitchen utensils to take home.  Don't forget to pick up some multicolored pasta as a souvenir.  

If you go at night, try a typical Roman happy hour drink like the Spritz and enjoy yourself.  Having a dinner at an outdoor terrace, surrounded by ancient buildings but a very hip and trendy atmosphere is just priceless.

Arrivederci for now,

Friday, September 26, 2014

Eating Real Food, Staying Healthy

"Your body was meant to run on good food: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and lots of water. Eat good food!” Tom Giaquinto

I just finished watching a documentary called "FedUp" and mamma mia!  how sad it is to see the way people's poor eating habits affect their health and most importantly that of their children.  Let me back up for a second and explain my observations about the American obesity epidemic after living overseas for so long.

We've been living abroad for a while now and every time we went back to the U.S. it was impossible not to notice how America has changed over the last decades.  It was like seeing a child after a few years and noticing how much he has grown.  Our perception of America was heightened by the fact that we were not living in it and seeing it get larger every day.

I noticed our compatriots' growing waist size by realizing that every time I went back to the U.S. and bought a pair of jeans I had to reach for a smaller size even though my body was certainly not getting smaller.  Portions at restaurants were getting so overwhelmingly large, we had a hard time finishing any meal.  I had to order only one plate of the kid's menu and split it between my two boys and even then, I had leftovers to take home.  Soon, I also started splitting meals with my husband.  At the grocery store, choosing fruits and vegetables was always more expensive than buying processed foods.

This is how real food looks like, no wrappers, no brands!

Another simple observation was the super scientific fact that every time I went back to the U.S. I gained weight.  That is a recurrent comment from most visiting foreigners.  They laugh about the super large sizes found in the U.S. and talk about how much they love America's junk food.  Their advantage is that they get to go back home, eat better food and loose the weigh efforlessly.  Americans are in that respect "trapped".  The movie #FedUp opens your eyes on the subject.  I highly recommend it to every person living in America.   Hopefully you'll make better choices when it comes to what you put in your body.

A point that was highlighted at the end of the movie was that cooking home meals from real ingredients was basically the answer, and I couldn't agree more.  So, to be consistent with my wish to eat better in order to be healthy and to teach my kids to eat real food, I try to learn fun recipes and involve my kids in the cooking process.

I learned this recipe from a Japanese friend of mine, and it was approved by my teenagers.  So here it goes:


  • Buy thinly sliced meat (you can look for carpaccio meat);
  • Cut carrots and string beans into long finger-size strips;
  • Steam the veggies;
  • Lay the meat flat and season it with salt pepper;
  • Place the veggies on one end of the meat and roll;
  • Once you finished rolling all your meat, season the outside of your rolls and sprinkle flour on top; 
  • Pan fry them, making sure all sides are fully cooked.
  • The veggies inside are already cook so you are looking to brown the meat which only takes a minute when it is carpaccio meat (very very thin).

This part is my spin on the recipe:
  • Take the rolls out of the pan and set aside.  Add chopped onion or scallions to the hot pan;
  • Cook until translucent;
  • Season with salt pepper and a splash of soy sauce, stir for a couple of minutes;
  • Pour onions over rolls and serve.  You just made Nikumaki!

Serve with a side of rice and salad.

Enjoy! And don't forget to eat real food, make the time to cook at home and reap the benefits.  Do you have a healthy recipe to share?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 21: International Day of Peace

“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.” John Lennon

This one is just a quick post to bring attention to the fact that today, September 21, is the International Day of Peace, declared by the U.N. back in 1981.  There is no Google Moodle about it, there are no articles in Yahoo news, but through the power of the internet and social media I urge you to mention it to bring awareness to the fact that without peace, the existence of all the other human rights is merely impossible.

There are so many ongoing conflicts in the world that we become numb to the realization that millions of people are, as you are reading these lines, being victims of violence, displacement and all the other horrors that war brings upon us.

Let's take a moment to make peace with those around us and do our part to make this a better world for our children.  It is my wish that those who have the possibility to travel and appreciate different cultures could come back home with renewed ideas of tolerance and mutual respect.

Have a blessed and peaceful day and if you have time check this link: