This recipe is so fantastic if you are in a time crunch but need to throw something together that is tasty and healthy. What is so great about this recipe is you can actually use the marinade for the vegetables as the final broth for the mussels, no wastage!
Spicy Sesame Marinade (from Blue Flame Kitchen)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp hot sauce
Combine all ingredients and let vegetable pieces marinade as long as you like. Save the marinade for the mussels. Grill in a wok over medium heat on a barbecue while stirring, for 10-15 minutes.
For the mussels: Heat the marinade along with some white wine in a large pan until starts to bubble, then add de-frosted or fresh mussels in the half-shell. Cover and cook 10 minutes, serve immediately.
I am going to try to do a throwback photograph on Thursdays of a travel scene from past trips to Italy. There are some really great ones that I would love to be able to share just for the heck of it...
The backstory: I was looking at my phone to track down a decent gelateria. Word of advice,
never go to ones where the colors look overly vibrant or where any flavors are written in English instead of Italian. Also, I never trust anywhere with elaborate cone towers or where the gelato is piled high, like mountainously high. When the gelato is genuinely good, nothing fancy is needed to advertise that it is.
Thank you to friends, family, and colleagues near and far for making my 26th birthday so wonderful, despite the fact that I worked all day and it was a Monday to boot. Grazie mille to Massi for the surprise bouquet delivery that made me (and all the females in the pharmacy) break down in tears! This is going to be a huge year, the year that I move to Italy and follow a dream. Stay tuned for the next 365 days of my year of being 26. Tomorrow's post will be the recipe for my signature Waldorf Astoria (Red Velvet) Cake which is the cake shown above that I baked for myself...!
Red velvet cake is one of my favorites because it is just such a crowd-pleaser wherever you take it (in addition to being yummy!). I love the stark contrast between the white cream cheesing icing and the red of the cake. I made this the night before my birthday, it is so easy despite what people think and in my experience, very fool-proof. The cake portion in this recipe always comes out moist and quite dense which is how I like my chocolate cakes. I tend to go easy on the sugar for the cake because the icing is also sweet but hey, if you are the ultimate sweet-tooth by all means add more sugar!
Waldorf Astoria Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2-3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
2 eggs (room temp.)
1 cup buttermilk
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 oz red food coloring
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round pan.
You will need three bowls. (This is not actually how the original recipe explained things but it is how I make this cake and I think it really simplifies everything!).
Bowl #1: Sift flour, salt, baking powder together. Set aside.
Bowl #2: Beat sugar and butter together until fluffy, Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Bowl #3: Mix cocoa and food coloring together until it forms a paste.
Add contents of Bowl #3 to Bowl #2 and mix well, the mixture will turn bright red! Then you need to add the contents of Bowl #1 very slowly, alternating with the buttermilk until everything is mixed in. It should be a smooth, red batter. Lastly, in a small glass, combine the vinegar and baking soda and add immediately to the batter. Stir in.
Pour batter into the pan and bake in pre-heated oven for 25-35 minutes, until the toothpick test comes out clean from the center of the cake.
For the icing:
1 package of cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 tsp vanilla
Basically you just beat all the ingredients together until fantastically fluffy. Ice the cake after it is completely cool and garnish if you like.
Tonight I had the wonderful pleasure of attending an advance screening of The Trip to Italy with many thanks to the Italian Speakers of Edmonton group (sorry I have not attended an event in while...). I mainly went for the scenery, a term I use to refer to both the sweeping Tuscan hills and the equally breath-taking shots of abundant plates of pasta. There was one line in the film that I very much appreciated when Steve Coogan admits that if he had to be exiled somewhere, Italy would be first on his list. I feel similarly about my own impending exile. Cheers!/Stasera ho avuto il gran piacere di essere una dei primi a vedere il film nuovo The Trip to Italy (Il Viaggio in Italia), grazie al gruppo Meetup. Volevo vederlo solo per i paesaggi e ovviamente per il cibo,..! Cin cin!
Just thought I would share a few photos taken by Massi where he is enjoying a family vacation in central Italy. While I am usually the snap-happy one of the two of us, especially when it comes to scenery and food, Massi also has a good eye for photographs.
Volevo mostrarvi delle foto che Massi ha fatto dei suoi giri in Abruzzo. Mentre di solito, sono io che devo sempre scattare una foto, particolarmente di un panorama (oppure un bel piatto di pasta), alcune volte Massi dimostra un buon occhio per fare delle foto. Bravo Massi!
Today is our six year anniversary. The whole world is little more beautiful in the moments that I spend with you. Grazie di tutto.
Jasmine is a former pharmacist turned freelance writer, foodie, and fashionista from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.