Sun is out and so the flowers… and I exhale!

Ach, don’t I just love February? Spring seems to be getting closer, at least in days like today, when the sun is out!, and both hubby and I have our birthdays!
Last weekend saw us going to Rome: he’s started as visiting prof now, and enjoying himself tremendously, lodging at my folks 🙂 and working away… yesterday as a gift my folks took Alistair for lunch at the Riserva in Canale Monterano, which is near our home in Oriolo and what a little jewel for the food they offer… the menu is not very vast but the produce is local and the offerings tasty! They also bake pizza in their woodfire oven at dinner, but lunch is all about ribollita, lasagne and fettuccine and the much prized local lamb!
Last weekend, my Dad took us all to lunch to one of our favourite Roman haunt, i.e. Trattoria Perilli al Testaccio! My Mum, hubby, sister and kids all gathered to celebrate my 36th birthday (yes, I am an old bag! official!): veggie soup, carciofi and spring greens were had, along with Shiraz from Casale del Giglio… Hubby enjoyed tagliolini ai carciofi and veal cacciatora, whereas the kids got stuck in lamb roast with potatoes. My Mamma, instead, enjoyed trippa and a portion of cacio e pepe, shared with big sister. Perilli is just the place for good, not pretentious Roman food. I recommend it to any pal wishing to sample my city’s cuisine… several friends went and were treated really well, so I never fail to thank Mr Perilli and his family and employees for having looked after my friends every time I go!
Now that hubby is away, well… I am not saying I am bored but don’t I miss him?? 😦 Last Tuesday I really appreciated going to Hush Hour at Lucky Liquor, where I had a nice catch up beer or two with my pal Blythe (of LunchQuest fame!) and lovely friend Rose!! Much fun for us Total Food Geeks Edinburgh will be had, so watch this space!
And now, late lunch beckons… mushroom broth, quick and easy, I think. So before I go, herewith my recipe!
for one
300g mushrooms, any type you like, washed and chopped
350ml veggie stock
1/2 tbsp olive oil
a handful pearl spelt or barley, soaked for at least 3 hours
mixed greens, shredded (anything you like, sorrel, spinach, kale… even frozen spinach will do! :))
salt, pepper, parsley and chilli to taste
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, chopped

In a pan, heat the oil and sautee garlic and onion for a few minutes, then add the cereal. Mix well, then add the mushrooms and seasonings. Cover and let stew for 5/6 min. Pour over the stock, lower the hob and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.


New month already! Happy days!

As you know, both hubby and I are February babies… hence we were kind of looking forward to getting out of tough-ish January! It is 1 February today, which is nice… the sun is shining and it feels less cold.
My visit tro the garden this morning was good–lots of clearing and pruning got done, which helps the soul. The snowdrops look good and the bulbs have started germinating, which is really promising.
However, before getting to today, I had to go through a couple of tough days… Friday afternoon was spent on the dentist’s chair. My good friend and Italian fellow national Manuela had to do some work on me, nothing serious, but enough to give me a sore cheek and mouth for about 36 hours. Friday night was pretty tough… and I was only too happy once in a while to outsource dinner! Hubby was coming back from London on a work trip, so I thought, ‘how about a surprise?’
Hey presto, some newly made friends (thanks to my TFGE involvement!) were to hand… Tom and Budge from Soul Sushi! This fab sushi firm has its kitchen in my area and kindly supported our endeavour at Restaurant Day. A quick look at their extensive menu, a couple of emails and here we go-sushi dinner for 2, and how good it was! We shared starters–edamame, seaweed salad and for hubby miso soup–and then I enjoyed my mixed veg inside out roll, while for hubby, well… only a California roll did it! 🙂
So, if you are on the look out for takeaway or delivery sushi, head no further than to:
Drop these 2 lovely guys an email and you are sorted!
Yesterday was another quiet day–domestics and gardening dispensed with, I set out to make some soup, just what was required… using parsnips and pumpkin (the former from my trusted supplier Bellfield) and kale from the back garden, we enjoyed a steaming bowl of the stuff.
Those who care to follow my endeavours on twitter will have seen it pre-blending, but in case you haven’t…

This is another eventuous week… will update anon!
Have a good one, all!