Category Archives: weather

The busy month of March

First sunny Sunday in March
The 1st Sunday of the month and SUNNY!

Get a move on, March! We’re done with winter and cold, done with being cooped up in the house really, and so eager to start moving around. This month is always when I want to shake off the lethargic effect left by January and February and get caught up on pet projects that were put on hold due to the holidays.

One of those projects is a load of recipes from old episodes of MasterChef Australia, and there is no better time to start cooking those dishes than NOW. Once spring gardening kicks into gear there won’t be enough hours in the day to plate up elaborate dishes, much less photographing them, tasting them (the best part) and cleaning up afterwards. This snow post is hopefully the last of the season but seeing as it is an icy element, fancy some frozen desserts next?

Friday snowed ALL DAY LONG



Cancelled flights, delayed trains, blocked trains, traffic a slow ride, and schools (in Rome) closed because of the danger of ice. If you haven’t seen Italy on the news it’s because we’re frozen stiff and numb with confusion. Well actually, everywhere in Europe is one giant freezer, and if the weather forecast is accurate, tomorrow is going to get worse.

This week I wanted to pick up where I left off on the exotic ice cream flavors, but I’ll let that sit on the back burner until life returns to normal. In its place I played around with an idea that came about from watching too much MasterChef Australia: a Japanese-inspired dukkah egg. The original dukkah is a nut & spice mix originating from Egypt (and if anyone says otherwise, just tell them to pick a fight with Wikipedia). You add it to almost anything as a seasoning and the way I initially heard about was like this:

Dukkah Coated Eggs, Quinoa & Cauliflower Salad with Pomegranate Reduction
All thanks to contestant Georgia Barnes

Dukkah Coated Eggs, Quinoa & Cauliflower Salad with Pomegranate Reduction

Light, tasty, wholesome food with a lot of textures. And then I thought, if dukkah can coat an egg, why not furikake? I love furikake on hot rice, but I enjoy it only when I’m back in Hawaii. BZZZT! The light bulb went on in my head and I started digging out my Japanese ingredients: sesame seeds, nori sheets, umeboshi paste. I also got out some toasted peanuts and sugar. Finely chopped the peanuts, blitzed the nori in the spice blender, and toasted the sesame seeds. To incorporate the umeboshi paste, I smeared some on baking parchment and let it dry on the lowest setting in the oven, then I broke it into pieces and blitzed them in the spice blender.

Japanese-inspired dukkah egg
Recipe: 1/8th cup chopped toasted peanuts, 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon umeboshi powder, 2 tablespoons ground nori wrapper, 1-2 teaspoons sugar

I can’t quite decide how to describe the appearance other than it certainly looks interesting… BUT, one taste of this egg and I was convinced that there’s a great idea here. The possibilities are ENDLESS.

Looking out the window

Face in the window banknote
20€ banknote – hold it up to the light and a face appears

Our faces have been doing a lot of that lately (like in the past 3 weeks!) as it’s too cold to venture out for a proper walk in the woods. This might drive anyone crazy being stuck inside all the time, but look at these two – do they seem bored out of their little minds or just plain lazy?

Mister and Maddie

If you thought bored, that would be the Westie, because cold is nothing to her Scottish roots. She’s been a little out of sorts though with some bladder issues, suffering from incontinence on occasion and the frequent need to pee. Thank goodness for absorbent pet mats. A visit to the vet for an ultrasound shows a growth (benign) in her bladder that is getting bigger, but slowly. The vet had to shave “little windows”, as she called it, on both sides of Maddie’s body to do the screening. It should grow out in a couple of months!

Maddie sporting her 'little windows' look
Rockin’ the ‘window look’ my dog butt

Despite the icy weather, there’s no lack of things to do around the house and definitely extra time to whip up something in the kitchen. What do I do? I think the photo below gives a general idea but you’d be surprised at how a simple frozen treat transforms into a special dessert with a few extra elements.

Not neapolitan