Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Food on Voyage - Italy (Part 2)

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My trip continued to the calm and beautiful city of Florence. The well planned city with small and serene streets can sure steal your heart.

Florence is said to be the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany.

We visited the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral or Duomo) which is one of the largest churches in Europe. The architecture is simply jaw dropping. It makes us wonder how they managed to build such large structures way back in 1296.

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The next was the best part of the trip :) or rather the best part of a food blogger's trip or say life!! :)

My dear hubby had surprised me by booking in for a cookery class at Florence. It was a 3 hour beautiful session by the cookery institute called In-Tavola.

I got a chance to learn a 4 course Italian meal and the experience of cooking at their kitchen was fabulous.

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Learnt to make Millefoglie Di Verdure (Vegetable Millefoglie) , Crespelle and Salsa di Beschiamella (Crepes and Bechamel Sauce), Crespelle Fiorentina (Florence Crepes), Pollo alla Cacciatore (Hunter's chicken) and finally Tiramisu :D

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The session ended with dining the delicious food that we cooked :)

All thanks to hubby for giving me the best gift of experience :)

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The next day started with a visit to the Ponte Vecchio bridge which is constructed over the river Arno.

Its a beautifully constructed stone bridge on which there are loads of jewellery shops lined on both the sides.

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We broke the monotony of pizza with some pita for lunch at florence :P

They were fresh and delicious but for me Italian food was generally void of spice. After eating loads of breads, cheese and pastas the Indian tongue started craving for spice which it is used to for years you see!! :P

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We enjoyed eating some fresh spaghetti as well.

Next we headed to Galleria dell' Accademia - the art gallery which holds a lot of works by the great Michelangelo.

The first master piece of Michelangelo - The original of David stands brilliantly tall in this gallery. The picture below is a replica of David which is kept in the city.

There aren't enough words in the dictionary to praise Michelangelo for his talent of painting, sculpting, architecture and so on. King of all arts :)

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Tuscany is famous for its produce of red and white wine. Every restaurant serves wine and you will get to see a lot of stores selling them at a good deal too.

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The next best product to buy at Florence is Pastas. There are loads of shapes, sizes and flavors available and they taste really good too. :)

All you need is good amount of space in your baggage to pack them all :P

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Oh yeah!! You have to wait for part 3 for a virtual visit to Venice and Milan :)

Stay connected :)

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Food on Voyage - Italy (Part 1)

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Its almost a month since I came back from my 10 day fun trip to Italy but I'm still enjoying thoroughly, the reminiscence of the trip.

Recollecting and writing a travelogue is fun for sure. That too when it comes to recollecting the food that I had there, I just can't stop drooling over again and again :P

Italy is simply a FANTASTIC location to visit and every single place we visited was damn scenic and picture perfect. AWESOME is not a word enough to express about the art and architecture of Italy.

We managed to cover ravishing Rome, fascinating Florence, vibrant Venice and magical Milan through our trip.

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The Rome illuminated tour showed us the beauty of the city with bright lights. The first sight at the Vatican brought goosebumps all over the body. The huge pillars and the amazing architecture and sculptures are just too brilliant.

The amazing fresco(Paintings) of Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel are still fresh in my thoughts. Unbelievably beautiful work of perfection and the messages they convey are over brilliant. Just dint want to walk out of that place. The guide told us that it would take 12 long years if we had to look at each painting in the Chapel for just 60 seconds each!! Imagine the number of frescos!!! Oops. An over dose of aesthetics I feel :)

The Trevi fountain - one of the largest fountains in the world was so magnificent. We tossed a coin into the fountain for the belief of getting back to Rome sometime :)


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We got to taste the first original Italian Pizza and OMG, I am still not able to forget the taste of it. Being a vegetarian I choose an onion & olive pizza and can just bow down to the simplicity yet deliciousness of it. A dizzle of fresh home grown olive oil tops it all :)

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The day trip started with the visit to Colosseum. Considering that it was constructed during the 80 AD, architecture at its best is what I can say. I so wonder how amazing an amphitheater it would have been just in case it was not ruined :(

No matter what, it is still an amazing architecture as it is. I'm so glad to have been there.

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GELATO!!!!! I scream for ice cream :)

The burst of colors, flavors and texture is something you go flat for. For me it was 'love at first taste!!' :P

Italy is flooded with gelaterias and you just cant resist having them as and when you see them. Guess what!! I dint miss having them even on one single day of the trip :)

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The cups or waffles are ranged from 1.5 euros to 3 euros and the quantity of gelato you receive is more than the money's worth.

The gelatos are more creamier and smooth than the ice creams that I have had in India.

Simply lip smacking :)

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The flavors are innumerable and classic. Dark chocolate was our favorite of all :)

Sorbets were fun to have too. The berry flavors make us wink in sourness yet tempting to eat :)

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Headed next to the Pantheon, which is commissioned by Marchus Agrippa as a temple to all gods of Ancient Rome. Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.

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On the way to the Spanish steps, we found roasted chestnuts sold on the pavements. They were arranged so neatly and were tempting enough, but was skeptical about its taste and failed to try it out for which I regret now. But guess what!! they were priced a bomb!!

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The market had loads of stores selling candied fruits and candies of other kinds. Just couldn't resist the colorful look of it and we tried few of them like candied mandarin orages, mangoes and papaya etc.

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We also enjoyed munching on gummy bears and more of such kind in various colors and shapes. The soft ice cream shaped marsh mellows were my personal favorite :) Don't they look cute???

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We ended up the three days at Rome with a delicious Penne pasta with Neapolitan tomato sauce. Just as delicious as possible.

A romantic dinner in an open to sky table with sizzling hot pasta on a super cold night can truly make a memory worth a billion :)

An absolute Italian experience!!

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Food at Italy will travel to Florence next with an exciting cookery session that I experienced :)

Catch up in a couple of days for more of Italy :)

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Crispy Noodles Dessert

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Noodles is a universally liked dish I guess!! Haven't met anyone who was against noodles. When such a liked dish is converted into a dessert, I am sure it can only get exciting!!!

Had this dish at some restaurant long ago and thought of reproducing it at home. It came out to be yummy :)

Crispy noodles with ice cream

Ingredients:

Noodles(Chinese) - 1 pack
Oil - to fry
Vanilla ice cream - 4 scoops
Honey - 3 tblsp
Sugar - 3 tblsp

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Method:

Boil 2 cups of water with 1 tsp of oil. Remove from flame and drop in the noodles into it and keep the vessel closed for 10 mins. Drain the water and run the noodles under cold water, keep it aside.

Take oil in a pan and fry the cooked noodles little by little until it turns light brown and crispy. Collect them on kitchen tissue to drain excess oil.

Take the sugar in a pan and add 2 tsp of water. Heat this until the sugar melts and turns light brown. Remove from flame and add honey to it and mix well.

Serve some crispy fried noodles on the serving plate and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Now pour the sugar honey syrup on top of it and serve immediately.

Enjoy eating crispy noodle dessert :)

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Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Aloevera Pickle

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Aolevera pickle!!! Yup.. even I exclaimed when my neighbor shared this with me. It was yummy and damn different. Its my kind of a pickle, sweet and delicious :)

Go ahead and try it out!! trust me you will love it.

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Ingredients:

Aloevera - 10
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Methi Seeds - 1/4 cup
Cooking oil - 1 cup
Chilly powder - 3 + 1 tsp
Jeera - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Dhaniya powder(coriander powder) - 2 tsp
Amchur(Mango powder) - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Mustard powder - 1 tsp

Aleovera Pickle

Method:

Cut small squares of aloevera and boil it. Soak raisins in warm water for 10 mins. Boil methi seeds.

Drain the water from all the above and press them against a towel to remove the water completely.

Take the aloevera, raisins, methi in a pan and add salt, turmeric powder, amchur powder, sugar and mustard powder. Toss until it spreads evenly. Now saute these for 5 mins.

Take a fresh pan and pour in the cup of oil. Add asafoetida, jeera, 1 tsp of chilly powder and immediately drop in the above sauted contents and mix well. This has to be down quickly before the chilly powder gets browned. This will keep the pickle red and nice to see.

Now let this pickle get cooked for another 1o minutes in medium flame.

Transfer to sterilized bottle and refrigerate and use. See to that the oil covers the top layer so that it does not get spoilt.

Enjoy eating a very healthy pickle.

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.


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