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 tyrant boss, a march on Washington, puberty, sex,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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Fall Recipes

I’m in love with this dish.

A sustaining and tasty fall salad. Sweet roasted and spicy pumpkin is topped with layers of crunchy apples, woodsy pine nuts and a load of iron clad spinach. I suggest Crown prince pumpkins (the large gray Cinderella ones with shiny skin) because they have the best texture and deep autumnal flavor but butternut squash works well and will still taste great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced pumpkin wedges with spinach, apple & pine nuts
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Recipe By Silvia Baldini— A lovely sustaining and tasty fall salad. Sweet roasted and spicy pumpkin is topped with layers of crunchy apples, woodsy pine nuts and a load of spinach. I'm in love with this dish.
Servings
4/6 people
Servings
4/6 people
Spiced pumpkin wedges with spinach, apple & pine nuts
Print Recipe
Recipe By Silvia Baldini— A lovely sustaining and tasty fall salad. Sweet roasted and spicy pumpkin is topped with layers of crunchy apples, woodsy pine nuts and a load of spinach. I'm in love with this dish.
Servings
4/6 people
Servings
4/6 people
Ingredients
PUMPKIN
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium pumpkin, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 6-8 wedges
SPINACH
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 tart apple (Granny Smith or similar), peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons runny honey
  • 1 pound washed spinach sliced in ribbons
  • 5 tablespoons double cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch fresh ground black pepper
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 400F Put coriander, cumin, fennel, cinnamon and chilli with the salt into a mortar and pestle and crush until finely ground. Add the garlic and olive oil and pound to a paste. Rub this spice mix evenly all over the pumpkin wedges. Arrange in a single layer in a roast until tender, about 40 minutes.
  2. Make the spinach topping when the pumpkin is nearly done. Toast the pine nuts in a dry heavy frying pan over the low heat, shaking the pan once or twice, until nutty and golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Put the oil in a large pan over medium heat. When it's hot, add the onion and chilli and cook until soft and wilted, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the apple and garlic ad cook until the apple starts to turn gold, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin, honey and two tablespoons of the pine nuts. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes, then pour in the cream and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Arrange the roast pumpkin onto a serving platter, pour over the spinach sauce and sprinkle over the chopped cilantro and remaining pine nuts. Serve at once.
Recipe Notes

THINK AHEAD

You can bake the pumpkin a day ahead; reheat gently in a 300F oven, about 20 minutes. The spinach sauce is best made just before serving as it loses its bright green colour if you leave it sitting around but it takes only a few minutes if you have your pine nuts ready and toasted and your spinach chopped.

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This soup is made with an unexpected combination of healthy and powerful ingredients that taste sublime together. Eggplant, toasted almonds, dried soft apricots and turmeric. Grilling and charring the eggplant gives smoky flavor while the apricots and the almonds bring sweetness and a lovely texture. A sprinkle of turmeric and cumin gives a mediterranean touch to the soup and a hefty squeeze of lemon brightens it up. I serve the soup hot or even better at room temperature, in big bowls for supper or a sustaining lunch.


 

Eggplant, Almond, Tumeric and Apricot Soup
Print Recipe
Recipe By Silvia Baldini — I'm big fan of eggplant and this soup is made with an unexpected combination of healthy and powerful ingredients that taste sublime together. Eggplant, toasted almonds, dried soft apricots and turmeric. Grilling and charring the eggplant gives smoky flavor while the apricots and the almonds bring sweetness and a lovely texture. A sprinkle of turmeric and cumin gives a mediterranean touch to the soup and a hefty squeeze of lemon brightens it up. I serve the soup hot or even better at room temperature, in big bowls for supper or a sustaining lunch.
Servings Prep Time
4/6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4/6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Eggplant, Almond, Tumeric and Apricot Soup
Print Recipe
Recipe By Silvia Baldini — I'm big fan of eggplant and this soup is made with an unexpected combination of healthy and powerful ingredients that taste sublime together. Eggplant, toasted almonds, dried soft apricots and turmeric. Grilling and charring the eggplant gives smoky flavor while the apricots and the almonds bring sweetness and a lovely texture. A sprinkle of turmeric and cumin gives a mediterranean touch to the soup and a hefty squeeze of lemon brightens it up. I serve the soup hot or even better at room temperature, in big bowls for supper or a sustaining lunch.
Servings Prep Time
4/6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4/6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 2 teaspoons grated gresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground coritander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 pints vegetable stock
  • 4 oz dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Marsala or Sherry
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 1/2 medium fresh lemon juice
  • 3 oz lightly toasted grounds almonds
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Heat a grill pan to fairly high. Spread the eggplants out on a rack over the grill pan. Brush lightly with oil and season. Grill on both sides for about 12-20 minutes until golden. You can also use the oven broiler.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large lidded saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin seeds and turmeric. Cover and sweat for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the grilled eggplants into the onion mixture with the stock, apricots, Marsala, honey and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the almonds and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before puréeing until smooth. Check seasoning.
  6. Return to the rinsed out pan and re-heat slowly. Divide between warmed serving bowls and serve.
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Birthday Hell

What kind of mom are you? Tiger mom, helicopter mom, MILF, sanctimommy, yummy mommy, alpha mommy, holistic mommy, yelly-bossy mommy? I’m the kind of mom that needs a glass of wine at the end of the day or even better a Negroni neat.

Welcome to September. September is not only back to school, clean last year wrappers from the back packs, realize all shoes smell and look like a wet rat, sign up for swimming at incredibly inconvenient to reach pool, travel soccer bonanza month. It is also lucky me, every-one in my family, birthday month. Don’t get me wrong. I do love a good birthday party and I give it up big for my kids. No restraints when it comes to baking a layer cake or singing as loud as I can the happy birthday tunes at Skyzone — in case you don’t know, that’s were lucifer fell from the sky and decided the build his headquarters while making a profit off kids high on sugar jumping on trampolines and hitting each others as hard as the can during the ultimate dodgeball game.

My son has simple taste when it comes to cakes. Boston Cream is his favorite cake. Every year we leaf together through all my recipes and my cooking books in search of the perfect birthday cake. Every year we come back to this custardy and chocolaty three layer wander. The soft sponge cake layers are sandwiched and kept in place with a smooth and silky vanilla custard and then topped with an intense and bittersweet chocolate ganache, the kind that drips gracefully down the sides. The cake looks impressive and it might seem hard to make but it’s actually very simple — if you get organized and follow the directions step by step. I make the sponge layers and the custard they day before the birthday; then I assemble the cake on a pretty stand and make the ganache an hour or two before I need  to serve it. My son measures all the ingredients and he is in charge of bowl and spoons licking, something he manages to do very efficiently.

Oh, hey just in case  you are interested, a good and nerve calming Negroni is 1 part dry Gin, 1 part Campari, 1 part Vermouth rosso. Ice. Stir. Repeat.

 

 

 

 

Boston Cream Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
16/18 people 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25/35 minutes 2 hours minimum
Servings Prep Time
16/18 people 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25/35 minutes 2 hours minimum
Boston Cream Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
16/18 people 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25/35 minutes 2 hours minimum
Servings Prep Time
16/18 people 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25/35 minutes 2 hours minimum
Ingredients
Sponge Cake
  • 3 sticks butter unsalted room temperature and cut in to pieces
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups self rising flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk lukewarm
Vanilla Custard
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large eggs yolks
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate in small pieces about 6 ounces
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and line three 9 inches cake pans with parchment paper. Put all the ingredients except the milk in a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a blade. Beat until you get a smooth batter and then slowly add the milk a little bit at the time. You can be a purist and beat cream the butter and sugar first and then add the eggs one at time, the vanilla and then the flour, corn flour and baking powder one spoon at the time then the milk; but honestly, for this kind of sponge, it doesn't make much of difference.
  2. Pour the batter in the prepared cake pans and level with a knife. Bake in the hot oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown, the cakes come away from the pans sides and the sponge is springy to the touch.
  3. Leave the cakes to cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then gently turn them and leave them on the racks to cool completely. Once they have cooled I wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the fridge until ready to plate.
Vanilla Custard
  1. Combine the corn starch and 1/4 cup of the milk in a non reactive medium bowl. Whisk in the eggs yolks Set aside.
  2. In a stainless steel medium saucepan combine the remaining 3/4 cups milk and the sugar, the vanilla extract and bring to a boil then simmer unit the sugar is all dissolved.
  3. Ladle one third of the sweet milk on to the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk the egg mixture in to the remaining hot milk in the pan. Whisking constantly bring to a boil then reduce the heat and boil very gently for a minute until thick and smooth.
  4. Transfer the custard in a metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin to form. Refrigerate to chill and keep cold until ready to use. If the custard curdle, don't panic, you can strain it through a thin mech strainer or blend it.
Chocolate Ganache
  1. In a small heavy pan saucepan, combine the cream and the corn syrup. Bring to a simmer over low heat and stir to blend. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, let is stand for a minute or two then whisk well until smooth and shiny.
Recipe Notes

You can freeze the sponge cakes up to 3 months.

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Boston Cream Cake

This Boston Cream cake is my son Augusto’s favorite cake. Every September we leaf together through all my recipes and my cooking books in search of the perfect birthday cake. Every year we come back to this custardy and chocolaty three layer wander. The soft sponge cake layers are sandwiched and kept in place with a smooth and silky vanilla custard and then topped with an intense and bittersweet chocolate ganache, the kind that drips gracefully down the sides. The cake looks impressive and it might look hard to make but it’s actually very simple — if you get organized and follow the directions step by step. I make the sponge layers and the custard they day before the birthday; then I assemble the cake on a pretty stand and make the ganache an hour or two before I need  to serve it. My son helps measuring and he is in charge of bowl and spoons licking, he is efficient and quick.

 

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Welcome Back to School

The 10 stages of a mother summer holiday. 

  • Euphoria
  • Peace
  • Euphoria dissipation
  • Panic
  • Screaming Phase
  • Swearing Phase
  • Bribing
  • Alcohol
  • Euphoria
  • Peace

Welcome back to school!
Of course with peace and back to school we also get back to lunches, dinner, snacks and the dreaded stinky soccer shoes. I don’t know what to do about smelly shoes, but I know how to cope with meal’s prep anxiety.
I personally enjoy cooking for my family because I believe nourishing is the best part of being a woman and a mother.
The food I like to cook straddles both my vision, and passion for eating well and my love for taking care of family and friends. I truly enjoy cooking wholesome recipes that are good for the mind and body. Then I find immense joy in sharing my recipes. Essentially, I believe in the power of food to nourish the body and in the power of women to nourish loved ones. I also know how hard it is to find the time to shop and cook healthy but delicious meals for a family every day.
This is way I’m excited to be working and to be sharing my recipes with RealEats.com
RealEats is a prepared meal subscription service that makes it quick and simple to eat real food. Meals are vacuum-sealed in food-safe, recyclable pouches to lock in the freshness, flavor and nutrients, then shipped directly from our kitchen to consumers weekly. Meals stay fresh for seven days when refrigerated, and can simply be reheated in a pot of boiling water, ready to eat in under 10 minutes.

The first 3 meals are $30  Among many yummy recipes you can try my shrimp, beans and pancetta, a shiitake chicken and a braised chickpeas and tomatoes vegetarian stew, a brilliant meat free dish. It’s served with a delicious spinach couscous for extra energy. This toothsome and tender chickpeas stew is seasoned to perfection. The tenderness comes from the slow and low cooking; the punchy flavors come from the healthy and powerful blend of spices. The braised chickpeas and tomatoes vegetarian stew is a brilliant meat free dish. It’s served with a delicious spinach couscous for extra energy.

If you are still not convinced you can read the raving reviews in The Manual or watch me tomorrow live on Good Morning CT at 9 when I demonstrate how easy it is to prep a meal in less than 8 minutes.

Of course if you feel euphoric enough to get back in to the kitchen and cook for the family click on this link to get the recipe for my satisfying shiitake chicken. It’s a delicious one tray dinner the whole family will love!

 

Shiitake Mushrooms, Lemon, Parsley One-Tray Dinner
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Shiitake Mushrooms, Lemon, Parsley One-Tray Dinner
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium organic lemon, juiced
  • 6-8 thyme sprigs
  • 1 lb. Shiitake mushrooms cleaned, stemmed and halved if too large
  • 1 organic lemon sliced
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • extra lemon slices and parsley for garnish
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 450F. Line a thick rimmed oven tray with parchment. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper then place on the lined oven tray. Drizzle the chicken with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and half of the lemon juice and add the thyme sprigs.
  2. Place the chicken in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken begins to brown, then pull out of the oven.
  3. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, toss the cleaned mushrooms with the lemon slices and two tablespoons of the olive oil, one teaspoon of the sherry vinegar, the garlic and the thyme, then scatter around the browned chicken. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are browned at the edges.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, mix the remaining olive oil with the 1/2 a cup of parsley the 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Season the sauce with salt.
  5. When ready to serve, squeeze the remaining half of the lemon on the chicken then spoon some of the parsley sauce on top of the chicken and mushrooms. Serve with the remaining sauce. Garnish with lemon and extra parsley.
Recipe Notes

I adore Shiitake. Of course fresh porcini would  make a wonderful substitute. I have also used marsala instead of the sherry vinegar for a slightly sweeter finish.

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Summer Zucchini Ratatouille

A ratatouille is a beautiful summer excuse to transform humble ingredients like onions, garlic and herbs in to a glorious and delicious  dish. This recipe is very healthy but packed with big flavors. I use zucchini and yellow squash in this version but you could add eggplant, peppers and thin slices of potatoes for a more powerful version.
I quickly chop all the tomatoes, shallot, carrot and garlic with a food processor and then I pour all the chopped vegetables in a baking dish with my herbs and good olive oil. I layer the zucchini by making mini-stacks of about 20 slices in sequence, and then I arrang a few stacks at a time into the prepared baking dish in a concentric spiral from the outer edge to the inside, fanning them out.

I made the ratatouille with my kids for dinner. I sliced the zucchini, they stacked the slices for me in neat piles. We talked about summer plans and they filled me in on the latest stories. We played a game of badmington on the lawn and while I miserably lost every set, I won precious time with them, away from twitter and the unwatchable news #RESIST

 

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille
Print Recipe
Recipe by Silvia Baldini
Summer Vegetable Ratatouille
Print Recipe
Recipe by Silvia Baldini
Ingredients
  • 3 medium ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small peeled and roughly chopped carrot
  • 1 small peeled garlic clove
  • 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons 3 tsp fresh thyme, basil, parsley finely chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 3 medium yellow squash
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a food processor add the chopped tomatoes, shallot, carrot and the garlic. Chop all the vegetable but stop before they become a puree', leaving a rough texture.
  3. Pour the chopped vegetables, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and half of the chopped fresh herbs into a medium baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Using a mandolin, or a really sharp knife, thinly and evenly, slice the vegetables. Make the slices thin, about 1/8’ (3mm) thick.
  5. Make mini-stacks of about 20 slices in sequence. Arrange a few stacks at a time into the prepared baking dish in a concentric spiral from the outer edge to the inside, fanning them out a bit so that you can see the top 1/8” of all the slices. “Stand” them up a little, so you can it as many vegetable slices in as possible, but you may still have some leftover veggies. Save the smaller rounds for the center of the dish.
  6. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season with more salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining chopped herbs. Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to it just inside the dish rim, directly on top of the vegetable arrangement.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes -1 hour
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Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

A Ratatouille is a beautiful summer excuse to transform humble ingredients like onions, garlic and herbs in to a glorious and delicious  dish. This recipe is very healthy but packed with big flavors. I use zucchini but you could add eggplant, peppers and thin slices of potatoes for a more powerful version.

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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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Fresh Summer Tomatoes Pasta Bowl

My favorite under 20 minutes summer pasta 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.

 

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6 Three Day Weekend Free Give Away Passes To The County Living Fair In Rhinebeck

The COUNTRY LIVING FAIR RETURNS TO RHINEBECK, NEW YORK, JUNE 2-4

I’m so excited to be part of the Country Living Fair this year and very honored to be cooking on the stage where I’ll be doing a demo on Spring Power Lunches.

The Country Living Fair brings the magazine’s content to life and gives readers access to a unique shopping experience featuring more than 200 vendors from 25 states, including antiques sellers, food purveyors, artists, furniture makers, crafters, and more. Guests will also have a chance to meet Country Living editors and their special guests; attend cooking, crafting, and DIY demonstrations, workshops, and book signings; sample locally sourced, artisanal food; and shop the Country Living General Store.

Don’t miss out on this fabulous three day event!  Come And Meet Me On:

Friday, June 2 @ 2:30 pm on the Kitchen Stage


The Fair is  June 2, 3, 4 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Gates open for Early Bird ticket holders at 8:30 a.m. Friday & Saturday at the Duchess County Fairgrounds at 6550 Spring Brook Avenue in Rhinebeck, NY 12572 for more in formations click on the  Country Living Magazine link.

The 2017 Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck is sponsored by The 2017 Ford Experience Tour, Jelly Belly®, and JOANN Stores, and is produced by Stella Show Management Company. For tickets and additional information, including a list of vendors and discounted hotel rates, contact Stella Show Management Co. at 1-866-500-FAIR or www.stellashows.com.

I love the fair and I cannot wait to meet all the amazing artists, chefs, crafters and designer that will be there, plus I’m giving away 6 3-day weekend passes to the Country Living Fair. 

To be eligible simply share this post and leave a comment here or tag me and share on my Facebook page or on my Facebook StrawberryandSage page on my  Instagram or my Twitter account, and let me know WHY I should give YOU a 3 day weekend pass to the event…  Contest runs through Tuesday, May 30th and the winners will be announced on May 31st

 

See You The Fair!

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Puberty Class

Euphoria has been building in our home. The infamous puberty class is happening today. Questions have been flying in for months as well as large packs of manly Axe Deodorant. I have spent hours at the local pharmacy waiting for my son to choose between Gold Temptation, Anarchy For Him and yes, something named Excite Deodorant Stick.

Secretly I want my boy to remain cute, cuddly and stinky forever but as a mother I feel the responsibility to give him the chance to grow up in to a strong, confident, respectful, kind and hopefully succesful man.  The way I see it, we have enough puberty-trapped, spoiled men-children disrupting our lives at the moment.

Below you’ll find some of the questions my husband and I answered this year. My younger daughter of course felt the need to jump in abundantly and she was not shy with her queries. The creatures  seem to be the most curious at inopportune times and/or when guests, grandparents or church ladies are close by, but we have learned to deflect when necessary and to answer with— I hope — honesty and humor.

If you feel the need to sit with your family and have “the talk” or any talk, consider making my recipe for a lighter version of a lasagna tray made with pane Casarau. Pane Casarau is an ancient flat bread from Sardegna. The airy flat layers are simply delicious, salty and crunchy. They are made of flour, yeast, water, and salt. The dough is rolled out thin and baked, then split into two layers which are baked again. The result is a thin, crispy cracker like, bread. This crispy bread is great on its own or served together with a fresh but dry pecorino and thick slices of prosciutto. It’s also delicious when layered in this version of the ultimate family comfort food, my easy and light ragu’ and mozzarella lasagna. This lasagna is healthier, lighter than the original version. The Casarau bread while satisfying has less gluten than pasta resulting in a more digestible dish.

I believe ancient wisdom is always the best ingredient therefore I cannot wait to sit around the family table tonight and dispense my knowledge. I’m sure the discussions will not disappoint. Happy Wednesday to all the ladies working hard at growing boys in to good men, not an easy task. #RESIST

 

Puberty Questions:

Does it hurt to get a baby created?
Why do you have sex?
How do you have sex
When you are going through puberty would a person have mood swings?
When do you start having your period?
When do you start growing hair under your armpits?
Does it feel good to have sex?
What happens if puberty doesn’t happen to you?
Why does puberty happen?
Why do people stop doing puberty?
What is it called when you have a tingling in your private part? Is it called an orgasm?
Can a man have a woman’s part and a woman have a man’s part?
What is an orgasm?
What are the side effects of sex?
What makes semen?
What color is sperm?
If I had all the symptoms of a period would I get it soon even if I’m only 10?
What do men and women have to have to make a child?
Does the flow of the period last days?
How many hormones are in the human body?
What age do you start have and stop having baby?
Why do girls go through more things than boys do?
Why do you have a half cup of blood when you have your period? Why not ¼ or 3/8?
How does the HIV virus go into other person by having sex?
What are AIDS?
What happens when a man’s penis becomes hard?
Why is it wrong to have sex before you are married and who came up with the idea that it is?
How do you know someone is in love with you?
Why do people have sexual change of feelings about a man or woman?
How do I know it’s time to wear deodorant?
Why can some women can’t have baby?
Is it normal for a 5th grader to have pubic hairs?
Why does my penis get big? I mean I know what’s supposed to happen but why does it happen randomly?
Do you have to have sex?
I just wanted to know if the sack behind penis ever runs out of sperm?
Why are kids mental when there parents are related?
Is having sex the only way to have a baby?
What are the positions for having sex?
Where do you have sex?
How does sex change your life?
How large does your penis grow when you hit puberty?
How do condoms work?
Can a man to man make babies?
Will my personality change in puberty? Will I become unnaturally gloomy?
Can puberty be disturbing sometimes?
Where does the liquid from the boy’s penis come from?
How are ferternal twins born?
My question is, what happens to your body after experiencing “it”!
For breast feeding where does the milk come from?
When is the right time to start wearing bras?
What happens if one of your breasts is bigger than the other? Is that bad?
Will it hurt when my body changes?
Why are we even talking about these things?

 

Pane Casarau Lasagna Bake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6/8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6/8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Pane Casarau Lasagna Bake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6/8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6/8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups tomato sauce you can use Pomi strained tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 8/12 crackers pane Casarau I used 1 and 1/2 square pack available at Trader Joe's
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 2 cups meat ragu'
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 350°F. Spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-12-inch lasagna pan. Wet the Pane Casarau crackers with the vegetable stock or the water to soften them. Then cover the tomato sauce with one layer of the Pane Casaurau. You can break the bread to fit pan.
  2. Spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bread and season highly with salt and pepper. Add a thin layer of ragu' sauce and spread. Sprinkle with a couple of teaspoons of the grated pecorino and parmigiano. Add 4 to 6 thin slices of the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with basil leaves.
  3. Cover with a layer of the softened Pane Casarau and repeat for 2 or 3 more layers using all the ingredients. Top with a layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle evenly with the grated cheeses.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minute, or until the cheese on the top is melted and slightly golden brown. Drizzle with olive oil to finish.
Recipe Notes

I used a square version of Pane Casarau from Trader Joe's.  You can find the bread online at hwww.amazon.com/Pane-Carasau-Flatbread-Classic-gram/dp/B007W5OUB6

I have made the lasagna without ragu' and I increased the amount of tomato sauce and the mozzarella.

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Whole Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Herbs

Roasting a big batch of whole tomatoes is a simple way to stash away a useful dish with and intense, concentrate flavor. Tomatoes are not only delicious but they have cooling and astringent properties. They are rich in vitamin C, which can eliminate acne and brighten dull skinI use Plum, Roma or any firm, meaty and ripe tomato. I skin them by plunging them in boiling water for 10 seconds then I roast them with garlic, good extra virgin olive oil, basil and thyme for 45 minutes. I always add salt and pepper after cooking them, because tomatoes don’t take to seasoning well before roasting them, and it’s just better that way.

Roasted Tomatoes can be used as a garnish, or as a healthy and fast sauce scooped on pasta and grains. I chop leftovers with ripe peaches, cilantro and small red onion and hot peppers for an assertive salsa.

The tomatoes keep, covered in the fridge for a week but no matter how many I make they never last that long. #RESIST

Whole Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Herbs
Print Recipe
by Silvia Baldini
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Whole Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Herbs
Print Recipe
by Silvia Baldini
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 24 medium plum or roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8/10 medium cloves of garlic, peeled
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • sprigs of thyme
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. With a pairing knife core the tomatoes (cut out a small wedge from the stem end) then score a small cross on the bottom, it facilitate peeling them. Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds. Then scoop them out on a paper towel and remove the skin.
  2. Line a large baking dish with parchment paper, then fit all the tomatoes in the dish. It's ok if they are a bit crowed. Distribute the garlic and the herbs among the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil.
  3. Roast with-out touching the tomatoes for 40 to 45. Once cooked they should still hold their shape but they should be soft to the touch and slightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Store with the liquids, herbs and garlic for up to a week in the fridge.
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Whole Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Herbs

Roasting a big batch of whole tomatoes it’s a simple way to stash away a useful dish with and intense, concentrate flavor. Tomatoes are not only delicious but they have cooling and astringent properties. They are rich in vitamin C, which can eliminate acne and brighten dull skinI use Plum, Roma or any firm, meaty and ripe tomato. I skin them by plunging them in boiling water for 10 seconds then I roast them with garlic, good extra virgin olive oil, basil and thyme for 45 minutes. I always add salt and pepper after cooking them, because tomatoes don’t take to seasoning well before roasting them, and it’s just better that way.

Roasted Tomatoes can be used as a garnish, or as a healthy and fast sauce scooped on pasta and grains. I chop leftovers with ripe peaches, cilantro and small red onion and hot peppers for an assertive salsa.

The tomatoes keep, covered in the fridge for a week but no matter how many I make they never last that long.

 

 

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Risi Bisi Bowl

Comfort in a bowl in less than 25 minutes. It’s called Risi e Bisi. It’s rice and fresh peas. Onions , celery, carrot, pancetta and good chicken stock.

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Bad Ass Moms

The moment I become a mom I felt like I had made it to the top, then I came back from the hospital with a hungry, screaming, pooping machine. I looked like shit, I smelled even worst and I was pretty convinced I would not make it through the night; I’m happy to report back, 10 years later, I am alive, showered and somewhat mentally stable.

Being a mother, so far, has been the best and most fulfilling job/career/racket/diversion/horror-comedy show I have been in charge of. I love my kids; I love nurturing them. I love having a family.

Unlike Ivanka T., mommy survival mode to me has nothing to do with not having enough time to meditate or treat myself to a massage, but rather it reflects the constant state of chaos I live in as a working mom, burning the candle at both ends just hoping to make it all work.

Let’s give a shout to all the bad-ass mothers who don’t have millions under their mattresses, or a butler to make sure their every need is met along with their children’s. The ones who are just trying to raise good (clean) humans and make it from one day to the next in one piece. And the ones hoping that the folks in Washington will finally have our backs.

Once we are done shouting, lets cook a nice brunch for mom. I suggest a frittata.

The frittata is to Italy as the omelet is to France and just as much an art form. Every Italian family has its own recipe and masterful way of turn it. My mom made a great soufflé-like frittata by adding stiffly beaten egg whites, and she turned it on a large lid over the sink without ever breaking it. When turning my version of her frittata, I prefer to use a large plate and turn it by firmly holding the pan and the plate together with two hands and then quickly inverting both. Once the frittata is turned, I gently place it back in the pan and cook for a couple minutes more.

When I want to impress and am seeking extra height on my frittata, I don’t invert it. I finish it in the oven instead. You can also use a special double frittata pan. (Once, on a long overnight trip to Paris to visit family, my father, tired of my brothers and me quarrelling, produced one of these and swiftly but not so gently hit us over our heads. We were quiet the whole remainder of the trip. The pan was a gift for my relatives, or so he told us.)

I call this frittata No-Fear Soufflé because the texture is light and fluffy, and it can rise pretty high after the egg whites are folded in. It makes a lovely present for Mother’s Day when presented in a cast-iron pan, sprinkled with edible flowers and accompanied by a green salad and a sizable hug. #RESIST

photo by silvia baldini

No Fear Soufflé-Like Herbed Frittata
Print Recipe
Recipe by Silvia Baldini
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15/20 minutes total
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15/20 minutes total
No Fear Soufflé-Like Herbed Frittata
Print Recipe
Recipe by Silvia Baldini
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15/20 minutes total
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15/20 minutes total
Ingredients
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 4 large organic eggs whites
  • 1/2 cups grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • light olive oil
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large metal bowl, whisk the 4 eggs. Add the Parmesan, heavy cream, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the nutmeg and mix well. In a large metal bowl, beat the eggs whites with a small pinch of salt and the vinegar until they form stiff peaks. Slowly fold the whites into the frittata mixture.
  2. Heat a seasoned medium cast-iron pan or nonstick pan over high and add enough oil to coat the bottom, then lower to medium. Gently pour the frittata mixture into the pan, lower the flame, and cook until the frittata doesn’t stick to the bottom, about 7 to 10 minutes. Finish the frittata in the oven, 5 to 10 minutes. The center should still be a little creamy. Serve immediately to a happy mom.
Recipe Notes

Tips:

  • If you are using a cast-iron pan, make sure to rub it with 1 cup kitchen salt and 4 tbsp oil. I also use a paper towel to rub the bottom of the pan in circular motions. This helps seal the pan and make it nonstick. Throw out the paper towel and salt mixture when you’re done.
  • You can use 4 individual ramekins. Make sure to grease the sides well and coat with parmesan.
  • Folding is a simple technique. The goal is to preserve the air you worked so hard to produce by beating the eggs. Chef Franc at Le Cordon Bleu taught me to first spoon a small amount of egg whites into the mixture and beat vigorously to combine the molecules and even out the texture, then gently fold the rest of the whites in with a rubber spatula in 3 batches. If you really want to be precise and make sure the mixture is well combined, you can slowly turn the mixture from one bowl to the other and keep folding, repeating this process at least twice. It sounds like a lot of work, but moms deserve it and will appreciate the effort.

 

Variations:

Anything you have in your fridge will make a great frittata add-in. Some ideas and traditional variations:
Cubed Fontina Cheese and Ham
Four Cheeses
Sautéed Zucchini
Caramelized Onions
Cooked Spinach
Herbs
Leftover Spaghetti (a kids’ favorite)
Pancetta and Peas

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No Fear Soufflé-Like Herbed Frittata

I call this frittata No-Fear Soufflé because the texture is light and fluffy, and it can rise pretty high after the egg whites are folded in. It makes a lovely present for Mother’s Day when presented in a pretty cast-iron pan, accompanied by a green salad and a sizable hug.

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Easy Peasy Spring Peas, Snow Peas and Prosciutto Salad

This bright, green and crunchy salad is a take on the classic italian side dish of Peas and Prosciutto.  I like this nutritious salad, it makes a very yummy power lunch or a delicious side dish and since I care about what I eat but I don’t want to lose sleep over it –the past 100 days have been enough of a snooze disruptor — I’m happy when a recipe this balanced takes less than 15 minutes to throw together. #RESIST

Spring Peas, Snow Peas and Prosciutto Salad
Print Recipe
Servings
4 people
Cook Time
15 minutes total
Servings
4 people
Cook Time
15 minutes total
Spring Peas, Snow Peas and Prosciutto Salad
Print Recipe
Servings
4 people
Cook Time
15 minutes total
Servings
4 people
Cook Time
15 minutes total
Ingredients
  • sea salt for boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups cups shelled fresh green peas (from about 1¼ pounds pods), or frozen peas, thawed
  • 12 ounces snow peas, trimmed and washed
  • 8 slices prosciutto, sliced medium-thick
  • 1/2 cups shaved parmigiano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Cook green peas and snow peas in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water then drain and dry on paper towels.
  2. Whisk lemon juice and mustard in a large bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until emulsified; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
  3. Add green peas, snow peas, and mint to a bowl with vinaigrette and toss until well coated with dressing;
  4. Arrange salad on a platter and top with prosciutto. Add the shaved parmigiano.
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Spring Peas, Snow Peas and Prosciutto Salad

This bright, green and crunchy salad is a take on the classic italian side dish of Peas and Prosciutto.  I like this nutritious salad, it makes a very yummy power lunch or a delicious side dish and since I care about what I eat but I don’t want to lose sleep over –the past 100 days have been enough of a snooze disruptor — I’m happy when a recipe this balanced takes less than 15 minutes to throw together.

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Pane Casarau Lasagna Bake

Pane Casarau is an ancient flat bread from Sardegna, also known as “carta da musica” (sheet music) due to its resemblance to the parchment paper that sacred music was written on. The airy flat layers are simply delicious, salty and crunchy. They are made of flour, yeast, water, and salt. The dough is rolled out thin and baked, then split into two layers which are baked again. The result is a thin, crispy cracker like, bread.  This crispy bread is great on its own or served together with a fresh but dry pecorino and thick slices of prosciutto. It’s also delicious when layered in this version of the ultimate family comfort food, my easy and light ragu’ and mozzarella lasagna. Click on the link for my family recipe of a hearty meat ragu’. I make a large pot once every two weeks and then I freeze the meat sauce in batches. You can prepare your lasagna a day ahead and bake it for 3o to 35 minutes on the following day or you can freeze the tray for up to 3 months.

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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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