Answer to: nominate you for a Liebster Award

I’ve been nominated by Frank S. Ravitch ( click here to see his blog) and I am gonna answer these questions anyway, even if I won’t fit exactly in parameters requested. But I am happy someone thought about me and actually nominated me.

10 questions
1. What is your dream for the future?To be happier within myself. Loving me a little more and being proud of what I am, even if it is not was I wanted to become.

2. Do you want to live in a different country? If so, where is it and why?
I’ve already moved three times, probably I would have to move again. A part of me would like to go back and live in my homeland again, Sicily. Because I miss so many little things that Germany won’t give me. But still, when I am back in Sicily, my heart doesn’t recognize it as “home”. I don’t know if it is only a matter of time or maybe we should try to move somewhere else. I would like to give a try to USA. Who knows.

3. What kind of food do you like?
Seafood pasta, a big bowl of salad, better with some grilled zucchini and peppers, bruschetta

4. Have you ever traveled? If so, where have you been?
I went in Florida, London and Austria (Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna). When I was young , my family and I traveled Italy far and wide, high and low, expect for Sardinia, we visited all Italian regions in details. I have wonderful memories of those trips.

5. What is your favorite season? And Why?
Now that I moved northermost, summer.

6. Do you cook? If so, what is/are your best dish/es?
I’ll answer with my husband’s favorites, since it is really hard for me to judge myself with indulgent: Sacher Torte,pasta with pistachio (link here), guacamole, potatoes gateau ( link here)

7. If you get 1-month-vacation, what will you do?
I would like to visit Asia continent, it is my dream , since I was young.

8. What is/are the most important thing/s for your life?
My husband, animals and my bed.

9. What makes you smile recently?
Kindness.

10. Do you like reading? If so, What book do you recommend?
I am actually very slow reading, but I would say I read 6-7 books for year, which I know is under the average of normal people. I love crime books the most, together with political-social books. I’ll list some of my favorite below:

  • Andrea Camilleri – Terracotta Dog
  • Mary Wollstonecraft – A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
  • Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre
  • E. T. A. Hoffmann -‘Night Pieces’ or ‘Nocturnes

Thank you very much for reading this,

Gaia

The Rules for the ten nominated blogs:
* Nominate 10 blogs and tell them that they have been nominated
* Each nominee must have under 200 followers
* Thank the person who nominated you and link to the nominating blog
* Answer my 10 questions and propose 10 new ones for your nominees
* Write a post containing my questions for you
* Include these rules in your post

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Grandma grilled Eggplants

grilled_eggplantGrandma used to make them in Summer, when eggplants are in season and they have no seeds. She used to put them in jars also, preserved with oil for the winter. However, she was famous for her tomatoes passata, every year she spent 4 days doing it and she had so many jars in her pantry. I miss her and I miss these old traditions.

All that you need is some music or movie,or as she used to, watch some soap opera like “Beautiful”, because grilling eggplants take time. They can last up to one week in your fridge, or 6 months if you decided to preserved them in oil.

I got my grill pan “GRILLA” from ikea 3 years ago ( around 10 €),  it is still in perfect condition. I use vinegar to clean it :)

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 4 aubergines
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper (with/out seeds, up to your spicy taste)
  • fresh basil, fresh mint
  • 2 tea spoons oregano,salt
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar ( for the preservers use regular white one, from grapefruit)
  • 4 tbs olive oil

1. Pre-heat your grill pan with medium-high heat and spread some salt on it.Doing so, the eggplants slices won’t get sticked.

2. While the grill is warming up,wash and cut the eggplants in 1 cm thick slices. Thicker they are, longer they have to grill both sides, certain I don’t want that !

3. While your eggplants are grilling, let’s make the dressing: in a bowl mix 4 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs balsamic vinegar, 4 garlic cloves and red chili-pepper very fine cut, 2 teaspoons oregano, mint and basil fresh leaves, as much as you like.

4. Each time a slice will be ready, put it in the bowl so it can soak the dressing up. Each time another round of eggplants will be cooked and added to the bowl, do not forget to stir them. It could seem that the dressing won’t be enough, but, as long as you see them changing color and turning more brown ( because of the black balsamic vinegar), trust me, it is good enough :)

and Buon appetito!

Carrots Salad

carrotsalad

Oh yes, that’s not even a recipe, I know. But the combination of this citrus dressing and spicy garlic is really good. Again, this another recipe of my daddy.

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 350 gr carrots
  • 1 ½ lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • pepper, salt
  • fresh parsley
  • oregano
  • 4 tbs olive oil

1. Peel, wash and cut very finely your carrots. You can use a grater to make them.

2. Mix everything in a bowl: 1 ½ lemon juice, olive oil,oregano, pepper, salt, fresh parsley and cloves of garlic without skin cut in half, then it will be easier to avoid eating them later. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes, half an hour if you have the time. This will marinate the carrots and pop the flavour out!!

Buon appetito!!!

My version: Tiroler Gröstl

groestlThis is a typical dish of Tyrol, a mountain area of Austria, where I had the pleasure to live for 10 beautiful months. If you ever tried Austrian cuisine, you already know how strong in terms of caloric values can be.  But it’s perfect if you need to go ski through Alps.

I called this my version, because I added some champignon mushrooms and used some bacon instead of normal pork shoulder, as the tradition wants. Buon appetito!

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients [for 26 cm pan]

  • 600 gr potatoes (I used the small variety with thin skin, so I could keep it)
  • 40 gr butter
  • 1 big onion
  • 250 gr bacon already cut in stripes
  • 300 gr mushrooms
  • olive oil, salt , pepper
  • some meat broth ( a small glass)
  • fresh parsley

1. Clean and cut your veggies: potatoes, mushrooms and onion. In the meanwhile, bring some water to boil in a big pot.

2. Add to boiling water your potatoes and some salt. Cook with the lid on for 15 min, so they become tender but not too much.  Drain the water, cut them and put them aside.

4. In a pan, heat 40 gr butter. Cut the onion and let it brown in the pan. Add the meat and mushrooms.

5. When they got some color, add some meat broth, homemade (click here for my recipe) or instant,together with your semi-cooked potatoes. Cook until the the broth it is almost absorbed, using a medium-high heat.

6. Spread with parsley and olive oil your pan.