Summer Survival Tips

It has been a long month. News and astonishing tweets kept coming fast and furious and I just couldn’t keep up with all of it. Potus, Flotus and annex circus went on their fist big boys and girls trip. There was a hand swat, an unhappy-unlucky Pope photo op, a Covfefe frenzy, followed by awkward tweets about the British Mayor; lets not forget the mocking video from a former Mexican president, the inflated non conclusive FBI hearing and the oncoming Sessions’s Russia testimony.

Luckily I had the opportunity to take a break from all the frenzy and enjoy a visit at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck.  I was very honored to be invited to cook on the main kitchen stage. We prepared a Power Lunch and we ended the demonstration by tasting my recipe for Slow Baked Rhubarb, one of my Spring obsession. At the Country Living Fair I had the chance to clear my head and I was happy to meet many talented artists and friends. I did some great shopping, I ate yummy food and I attended many inspiring craft demonstrations. Including three fabulous workshops by my dear friend Jana Platina, the famous Trim Queen. 


Right after the Country Living Fair I got swept away to the beautiful Culinary Institute of America  for the annual Chef Challenge sponsored by Barilla and organized by  NY Moves Magazine I was paired with super talented  Anthony DiLorenzo, Pixx 11 News  reporter.

We cooked our hearts out. We had 30 minutes to prepare a 3 courses meal with a basket of secret ingredients. The judges got to taste our creations. We had a surprise visit from stunning  Jessica Pimentel who plays Maria Ruiz on the girl-power cast of Netflix Original Series Orange Is The New Black. Loved her! We then headed to a star studded red carpet event at Barilla Restaurant where I got to hang out with the delicious editors of NYMoves Magazine.


Meanwhile, and this I’m excited for, we are testing my recipes for RealEats. If you sign up now you will get three free meals!  RealEats is like having your very own personal chef at home. We use our own version of a helpful cooking method called sous-vide. We craft the recipes, prep and cook the meals, then vacuum-pack them to seal in the freshness, flavors, and nutrients. All you need to do is put the vacuum-packed pouch in a pot of boiling water, and in under 10 minutes, voila, you have a fresh, delicious and nutritious meal. We are getting ready to start shipping my recipes in July. I hope you are hungry.



Finally, I’m sure we are all painfully aware school is coming to an end. Translation — all kids are expected to be home for three months. As a loving mom I’m looking forward to the cozy, lazy afternoons in the sunshine and lots of cuddles in the hummock but as an older and wiser woman I’m preparing for two bored and always hungry children with waaaay too much time to waste and not enough WIFI privilege.

These are few of my summer tips:

  • Put the kids at work. The little one are expensive and often smelly. Force them to earn their living and wash often; example of acceptable chores are : car washing, patio furniture cleaning, garden weeding. Give them water , sponges and soap; then promise, after inspection, a couple of dollars. Please don’t kill it for all of us by throwing ungodly amounts of money at them.

  • Play bank: dump all your coins, lose change and pennies on the table and ask them to organize them and count them. Tell them you will, after they complete the task, give them the loot and perhaps even throw in their own personal bank account, your local bank will let them open a free of charges account with a minimum of $25

  • Start a “Bored Jar”: fill a big jar with written tasks – the grosser the better –  that range from cleaning their room or the toilette after they use it, or baking to doing laundry and cleaning the basement. If they say they are bored send them to the jar. No pity please.

  • Send them to the neighbor (sorry Amy)

  • Make them run up and down the garden at least 25 times. Time them. The kid with the fastest time at the end of the races wins an ice-cream. No mercy win. This will keep the game competitive and you will be able to milk it for a couple of days.

  • Organize a tag sale. Give them a label machine and tell them to price all the items. Negotiate how much they will be able to keep from the sale before hand.

  • Give them water soakers and put them in charge of chipmunk control in the garden. They can take pictures and start a youtube channel. Tell them the best pictures will be uploaded  at the end of the day. This will give them a break on their mounting online addiction and some sort of computer time relief.

  • Last but not least cook together. This is my favorite under 20 minutes summer pasta. It is a bowl of fresh chopped tomatoes, diced mozzarella, basil and garlic oil tossed with a short cooked noodle, then sprinkled with parmesan. It’s very easy to prepare and it taste better at room temperature or cold.  Make sure your tomatoes are ripe and local and choose good quality mozzarella. This is a simple and humble dish but it’s packed with flavor and the whole process is ridiculously easy. It will keep the little one occupied and well fed. #RESIST

Photo By Silvia Baldini

Photo by Silvia Baldini

 

Fresh Summer Tomatoes Pasta Bowl
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Fresh Summer Tomatoes Pasta Bowl
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pack pasta penne, sedanini or rigatoni
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large fresh mozzarella, drained and diced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled sliced really thin
  • 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Boil a large pot of water, add sea salt and cook your pasta according to the directions. Drain, quickly rinse under cold water and place in a large bowl. Toss with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, toss the tomatoes and mozzarella in a bowl with the basil leaves. I like to rip the basil leaves by hand in small pieces. Season with salt and pepper and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.
  3. In a small pan add the olive oil and the slivers of garlic. Cook on low until the garlic is golden then remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. With a slotted spoon remove the garlic and place on paper towel to drain. Reserve the garlic oil and the slivers for later use.
  5. Toss the tomatoes mixture with the pasta. Add the some of the garlic oil and the parmesan. Add a touch of black pepper and toss well. Serve at room temperature with extra parmesan and the garlic slivers on the side.
Recipe Notes

You can make the garlic oil in advance and keep in a glass container at room temperature for up to three weeks. I like to substitute pecorino cheese to the parmesan. Burrata is a delicious and creamy alternative to regular mozzarella.

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