SILVIA’S TRAYS

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SILVIA’S TRAYS is a blog for women about fresh, modern, power-loaded but delicious recipes from a mother, chef, wife and an activist.


Here you’ll find recipes for women at war with every day battles; kids, husbands, a sexist boss, a march on Washington, menopause, an-ever budding waist and the constant attack of nowadays relentless Twazis.

Silvia’s tray is a combination of my favorite recipes, ideas, stories and foods that I like to eat, cook and share. In the end, Silvia’s Trays it’s about my true passions.  Eating, cooking, family, friends, the people I cook for and I eat with and the relentless pursuit for balance,  peace and equality.

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Spring Break


Things I don’t look forward during Spring Break:

  1. It will take me approximately 3 to 7 days to pack for the whole family; we will have had 37 different marital blow ups before even leaving the house.
  2. Immediately upon arrival to destination everyone, including my husband, will develop an ear infection or an obscure rash that will require a) finding a pharmacy open in the middle of the night and b) a winner disposition for Charades to explain, in a foreign language, what hurts.
  3. The guilty feeling I nurture when I pretend my kids haven’t been on their tablets for 48 hours straight watching twat Jelly on youtube playing Minecraft.
  4. The “ME FIRST” arguments. Me first in the car, me first out of the car, me first opening the hotel door, me first taking a shower. Note nobody never, ever shouts: Me first to bed!
  5. Hotel room sex interrupted by wandering children looking for their tablets.

Things I do look forward during Spring Break:

  1. Even if I’ll be tired as hell when I get back I know I’ll have great memories about my lovely family. I’ll remember with warmness my daughter shoving her gigantic bunny toy through the tiny security detector at the airport, while a line of disgruntle travelers forms behind us.
  2. My son talking poop and farts non stop and making me laugh so hard my Prosecco comes out from my nostrils.
  3. Sharing time with the people I love the most and eating unforgettable meals that I didn’t have to prepare.

If you are smarter than me and decide not to travel but you have to cook for Easter, my pistachio and herbs rack of lamb is absolutely delicious and easy to make. I suggest you ask your butcher to French down the racks, so there is no fat or silver skin left – making them extremely tender, lean and juicy. The racks are easy to prepare and they roast in about 20 to 25 minute in a hot oven, the herbs and pistachios will flavor the meat beautifully making this a show off Easter meal.  And speaking of showing off, the White House announced this year Trump’s Easter eggs will be GOLD, if you think you might miss the more traditional pastel/rainbow colors click on my recipe for pink eggs, they are tasty, tastefully pretty and effortless to make. Happy Spring Break! #RESIST!

Pistachios and Herbs Roasted Rack of Lamb
Print Recipe
Recipe by Silvia Baldini
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Pistachios and Herbs Roasted Rack of Lamb
Print Recipe
Recipe by Silvia Baldini
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
  • 1 medium grated lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sea-salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 1- to1 1/4 pound well trimmed racks of lamb
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Combine the garlic, the mint, the parsley, the pistachios, the bread crumbs and the lemon zest in a food processor. Blend until the garlic is finely chopped. Add 4 tablespoons oil and blend until a coarse paste forms. Transfer half of herb paste to small bowl and reserve
  2. Sprinkle each lamb rack generously with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Place 1 lamb rack, meat side down, in the skillet. Sear until golden, about 2 minutes; return to baking sheet, meat side up. Repeat with remaining lamb racks. Cool off for a couple of minutes.
  3. Spread the Dijon mustard evenly over the lamb, then spread the herb and pistachio paste over the lamb racks. Place on to a lined baking sheet, meat side up.
  4. Roast the lamb until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the lamb registers 130°F for medium-rare, about 20 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a platter. Let it stand 15 minutes. Mix any pan juices into the reserved herb paste. Cut the lamb between the bones into individual chops. Serve with the herb and pistachio sauce.
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Pistachios and Herbs Roasted Rack of Lamb

This pistachio and herbs rack of lamb is absolutely delicious and easy to make. I suggest you ask your butcher to French down the racks, so there is no fat or silver skin left – making them extremely tender, lean and juicy. The racks are easy to prepare and they roast in about 20 to 25 minute in a hot oven, the herbs and pistachios will flavor the meat beautifully making this a show off Easter meal.

Recipe by Silvia Baldini

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The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K

There are two teams in life.  The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up team, or the The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K  team. I definitely belong to the latter.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K  is a delicious little gem of a book by Sara Knight and it’s my kind of self-help book.  Read what she said to the Guardian:

1 What Other People Think. This one is non-negotiable. All anxiety stems from here.

2 Having a bikini body. The day I stopped caring about how I looked in a bathing suit, it was like a litter of kittens in black leotards had tumbled down from heaven to perform Single Ladies for the sole enjoyment of my thighs and belly.

3 Taylor Swift. Nope.

Feigning sincerity. I am the embodiment of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I just don’t fake it.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K  is liberating advise for all women stressed out, overbooked, underwhelmed by life. I follow the same philosophy in my kitchen. I keep it simple, if a guest doesn’t like my food it’s their problem not mine and when disaster strikes — say, dinners goes up in flames — I dial in for Sushi.

Here’s one more thought: spend your free time in the sunshine, away from the news and definitely not stressing in the kitchen.
Asparagus is easy enough to prepare. I geek out for asparagus at the farmers market or my local shops, as soon as March and April come around and I choose spears that are brightly colored and have a compact tip. Asparagus mimosa is a simple, fresh and easy way to cook this crisp, sweet spring vegetable.  It’s also one of my Easter brunch favored dishes. Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. Asparagus is also a brain booster because it’s loaded with vitamin B12, a vitamin with anti-aging property and known to prevent cognitive impairment. Brain power for pretty ladies, now that’s my kind of no brainer brunch and the kind of veggie I love. #RESIST

Asparagus and Eggs Mimosa
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Asparagus and Eggs Mimosa
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place your eggs in a pot of boiling water. Simmer for 9 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and after cooling down for a couple of minutes, peel them.
  2. Separate the yolks from the whites. Grate the yolks and the white in two different bowls. I like to use a coarse cheese grater.
  3. Bend the asparagus until the tough bottom end snaps off. Discard the end. With a peeler gently remove some of the tough skin from the stalks. Place the spears in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 3 to 6 minutes.
  4. Drain and place in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Top with grated eggs, making sure not to cover thetas of the asparagus.
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Food Science For Girls

I have a badass little daughter. She loves science, math, singing songs from Matilda the musical, unicorns and all things rainbow. I’m fond of cooking and since cooking is also a science, we teamed up for her school fair project. I knew she had her eyes on the rain and clouds experiment so after some digging in our pantry we managed to turn a tin of spun sugar in to fluffy clouds and butterfly pea flowers tea in to pretty rain. We filled the glass with bright yellow lemonade, we topped the lemonade with a cloud of spun sugar and we poured the hot blue tea on to the sugar.  We wanted to prove that as a cloud gets full of water or mass, the water has to go somewhere and will break through the cloud and start to fall to the ground. As we poured our hot tea over the spun sugar cloud, we watched the sugar/cloud disappear and change its composition; we were mesmerized by the blue tea slowly dripping like rain in the yellow lemonade and then turning in to a lovely and might I add, yummy rainbow. The cotton candy will melt and the lemonade will react with the tea and change color. The color of the butterfly pea flower tea changes depending on the pH of whatever it’s mixed with. That, dear ladies, is culinary science! If you add, as suggested by one of the parent at the fair, a generous shot of vodka, its’ also a mother’s helper.

Our cloud was not the only disappearing act. Last week our administration revealed the budget outline  known as the skinny budget. The cuts in the proposed educational budget are fast and furious;  among other debilitating cuts, they include eliminating support for after-school programs and teacher professional development.  If science, and the dreams of your children are important to you, download this handy pocket-sized action guide and get to work on your next project.  Your kids can help you writing postcards while sipping on rainbow tea(the non alcoholic one, that is). #RESIST

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Little Women


When I turned 13, my mother gave me a signed first edition of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. She asked me to read it and she promised to one day discuss with me
her favorite character.

For years, she had been piling books in my room. Greek and Nordic mythology. Arabian fables. Anthologies of Dante and The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni. Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers. Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat. Ulysses. Anything by Primo Levi. And Italo Calvino (please, gift your children with his writings). A full series of Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. And even one small pocket edition of short stories by Edgar Allan Poe that scared the bejesus out of me.

While I loved reading about Laura and became fascinated by her descriptions of churning butter and tapping freshly sugared sap and an attic full of winter squash and other supplies to get her through the winter, which was something very foreign and intriguing to an Italian girl, Little Women became one of my favorites. I immediately gravitated to Jo, the rebel. She lived unchaperoned in NYC, offered inappropriate stories to publishers, cut her hair short and turned down the rich boy next door.

While Jo will forever be my girl, I later concluded that Mrs. March was the true feminist character, the constructive one, the mother who allowed her four girls to thrive and follow their dreams by building their beloved castles in the clouds. She is sort of a gentler, old-fashioned, go-ahead kind of mom. She nourished her daughters with thoughts.

Nourishing is the best part of being a woman and a mother. We feed, listen, cook, teach, work, produce, give life, care, advocate, hug and fight. Nourishing doesn’t preclude  women from being seductive, and it shouldn’t stop us from being leaders. Nourishing is a female privilege. That’s not an insult to men, who, by the way I love and appreciate. But nourish is largely the land of females. Nourishing deserves respect like women deserve equal rights.  

The four March girls have kept coming back into my life in many ways, becoming even more daring, modern and, at times inflammatory. I rooted for the ladies in Sex in the City. I cried and laughed along with Hannah and the Girls on HBO (shall we talk about Matthew Rhys’ prosthetic Penis for a sec?!) And every decade I bump into a real-life incarnation of the four ladies in the form of my formidable girlfriends who are my lifeline. We bond over our need for love, respect and nourishment and our shared knowing of the importance of being allowed to be vocal, heard and successful. And I’m extremely thankful for each and every one of these women in my life.

A short while before the 2016 election, I took a walk with an argumentative friend. It became clear she was not going to vote for Clinton. What distressed me most at the time, though, was not her political viewpoint but a statement she made while discussing her choice. “The least of my concerns,” she said sternly, “is women’s rights.” Not acceptable, lady.

Dilma Rousseff once said, “I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say, ‘Yes women can.’” We, as women, have the responsibility to propel the movement for women’s rights forward. We also need energy and power to continue the journey we have ahead of us the next four years. Our daily fights are many but we need to persevere.

My mother died six months after giving me Little Women. I was never able to discuss with her which character was her favorite, although I like to think she, like me, was fond of Jo, the rebel.  I consider myself incredibly lucky that in the short time she was with me, she fueled my passion for reading, writing and cooking; she supplied me with an insubordinate mind; and that she nurtured me and taught me to stand up for my beliefs. I want my daughter and my son to grow up with the same ideals but hopefully in a more forward-thinking, more accepting society.

So get your favorite foursome together and dial your elected officials to nourish your country back to normal. And remind everyone you know to do the same. And if you’re hungry for more than good intentions, try my mom’s honey and tangerine roasted chicken. It’s a recipe that will keep you happy while satisfying your hunger for food and equality. #RESIST 

Honey, Tangerine and Rosemary Chicken
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4/6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4/6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Honey, Tangerine and Rosemary Chicken
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4/6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4/6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 3 1/2 -to - 4 Lb. organic whole chicken
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 Sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 leaves fresh sage
  • 1 Medium white onion, halved
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tangerines
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a nonstick roasting pan and line the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Prep the chicken. Season with salt and pepper the cavities and the outside. Stuff the chicken with the garlic, the rosemary, sage and the 2 onions half. Slice one of the tangerines in thin slices and place the slices at the bottom of the pan. Place the prepped chicken on the sliced tangerine in the pan.
  3. Juice the 2 remaining tangerines. In a tall jug combine the tangerine juice with the balsamic vinegar, the honey, the garlic cloves, the rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whiz with a hand held blender for a minute or two.
  4. Spoon all but 1/4 cup of liquid over all the chicken. Place chicken in oven and roast for 10 minutes. Spoon accumulated juices back over chicken, reverse pan back to front, and return to oven. Repeat a couple of times, basting every 10 minutes and switching pan position each time. If chicken browns too quickly, lower heat a bit. If juices dry up, use reserved liquid and 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
  5. After 50 minutes of roasting, insert an instant-read thermometer into a thigh; when it reads 155 to 165 degrees, remove chicken from oven, and baste one final time. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

Substitute oranges with tangerines for a sweeter version. I also like adding fresh ginger to the basting sauce.

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Mermaid Toast

Sleepover For Rebel Girls.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.

Real women of the past and the present who have achieved incredible results, despite all odds. Rebel girls whose actions have changed the course of history. Painters, scientists, dancers, chefs, astronauts, jazz singers, pharaohs, boxers, writers, political leaders… from every corner of the globe!

It’s a collection of bedtime stories that will inspire young girls (and their mothers, their aunts, their cousins…) to be confident, to dream big, to cultivate their strength.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls was born thanks to a succesful Crowdfunding campaign. Elena Favilli Francesca Cavallo two Italian rebel girls that made their dreams come true.

I’m making mermaid toast for the my next daughter’s sleepover, but move over Ariel, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is what we are reading.#RESIST

 

Mermaid Toast
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Mermaid Toast
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 slices bread slices toasted
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon natural plant base blue dye
  • glitter
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Toast the bread.
  2. In a small bowl whip the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add the blue coloring a little at the time. It looks better when you have some white streaks combined with blue, so don't over mix
  3. Spread the cream cheese on the toasted bread and go to town with glitter.
Recipe Notes

I also make the mermaid toast with ricotta and whipped cream. YUM!

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Honey, Tangerine and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

I think everyone should learn to roast a chicken properly. It’s a perfect go-to family meal, but you can be sure guests will appreciate it.  This is my mother delicious and nurturing recipe for roasted chicken and it’s a bit different from the usually roasted chickens; it’s comfort food with a twist. It calls for honey and tangerine juice. As the chicken roasts, the honey condenses and caramelizes, becoming thicker and stickier and turning the chicken’s skin crisp and brown, the tangerine adds an unusual citrusy taste to the otherwise bland meat. You have to remember to rotate the chicken and baste the bird  because the skin burns in spots. Rest the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.  The juices are tangy and sweet, I loved them spooned over a good rice. I love the power of a good family meal, it restores my energy and brings me joy.

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