Monza Grand Prix Cookies

Every year the first week of September in Monza is totally dedicated to the Grand Prix. The town is immersed in Ferrari mania with stores displaying Ferrari gadgets, race cars parked in the squares, people brightly dressed in red – and even some bakeries turning out cookies with the famous trademark. This afternoon the first two pole positions were won to the joy of Ferrari fans by Raikkonen and Vettel. Good luck for tomorrow!
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Euroflora 2018 – Cooking with Wild Herbs

This year Euroflora, one of the biggest flower shows in Europe, was held for the first time outside Genova-Nervi in the beautiful parks of this seaside town. One of the interesting exhibits featured wild herbs and how to use them in cooking. Many of these plants are commonly known as “weeds” and eradicated from our gardens without realising their medicinal virtues and usefulness in cooking. This exhibit showcased their use in various recipes, many of them from age old Italian traditions. Of course these herbs should be collected from pollution free areas and following advice from experts! Continue reading

Foraging in the Oltrepo’ Pavese Countryside

At the end of April “Joia Academy” organised an interesting course on wild herbs. You could call this “foraging” as the group, led by Pietro Leemann, trekked through the Oltrepo’ Pavese countryside near the Boscasso farm to collect and learn how to use these herbs. This was truly a “hands on ” experience as these herbs were also prepared in the farm kitchen and served to the group. A wonderful getaway from our day to day routines and immersing ourselves in nature at its best! Continue reading

Terrina di Broccoli con Salsa di Mandarino

This refreshing broccoli aspic is the fruit of an interesting vegan course at the “Joia Academy” kitchens in Milan. The “Joia” restaurant is one of the most well known vegetarian restaurants in the region run by chef Pietro Leemann. Here chef Nabil Bakouss demonstrates how this “Terrine di Broccoli con Salsa di Mandarino” is prepared. Carefully following the recipe, ours came out delicious too! The idea to add an edible pansy was ours. Continue reading

Cibo a Regola d’Arte

This year too, I couldn’t possibly miss the major Milanese cooking event: “Cibo a Regola d’Arte, the best of national and international food. There was show cooking with famous chefs, cooking labs, demonstrations, masterclasses and also the annual Blog Awards. This year a fellow Minnesotan was the winning finalist with her blog “Fox Meets Bear”. A blog about foraging plants … Continue reading

Springtime Salmon Salad

Last Monday I saw an interesting cooking masterclass demonstration at the “Tempo dei Libri” event in Milan, one of the largest book fairs in Italy. There were editors from all over Italy and some even from the States. Of course I was drawn to the cookbook area which was full of every imaginable type of cookbook with the latest editions in print. The chef at the demonstration stressed that every recipe should dip from a palette of crunchiness, sweetness, sapidity, and a touch of acidity. The perfect mixture of these flavours can almost create a work of art if carefully assembled. Tasting this delicious salmon salad I could see (taste!) what he meant. Continue reading

Pistachio Vegan Cupcakes

I made these wonderful little pistachio vegan cupcakes thanks to a vegan pastry course I took at the “Kilometro Bio” vegan restaurant in Monza. Here we learned all sorts of tips on how to substitute egg whites with aquafaba, how to make vegan butter for pastry crusts (crostata) and a wealth of other information on vegan baking. These cupcakes with their rich pistachio flavor also have an interesting souffle like texture which really makes them melt in your mouth. Using these white silicone teacups also made it much easier to bake and serve them. Continue reading

Stuffed Mackerel with Scallop Roe

This is my rendition of chef Yoji Tokuyoshi’s mackerel recipe that he demonstrated at his master class during the annual “Taste of Milan” event in Milan this spring. I left out the artistic part which was probably the most important (the Gyotaku technique which, using cuttlefish ink, creates a print of the fish before cooking). Anyway for the rest I took careful notes. The result, a delicious and impressive dish – but relatively easy to make. Continue reading