Archive | April, 2012

Come and dine with me…our own version! So many things to look forward to this weekend…I can’t wait!

27 Apr

Come Dine With Me is a popular Channel 4 television programme shown in the United Kingdom, produced by Granada Television (now known as ITV Studios) and first broadcast in January 2005. The show has either four or five amateur chefs competing against each other hosting a dinner party for the other contestants. Each competitor then rates the host’s performance with the winner winning a £1,000 cash prize. An element of comedy is added to the show through comedian Dave Lamb, who provides a dry and “bitingly sarcastic” narration.

The format has been taken up by many other broadcasters throughout the world…and by us as well. My husband and I, and a couple of good friends now instead than go out for dinner in swanky restaurants or local gastro pubs, we discovered the pleasure (and the effort) of inviting people around, experimenting new recipes and of course, enjoy the time spent together while enjoying an homemade dinner and a good bottle of wine. Last night was “the other couple come dine with me” and we really enjoyed dinner!

I prepared myself for lunch with just a healthy and big salad after have been to the gym (I am trying so hard in these days at the gym to be in shape for our holiday), been running errands all day and finally it was dinner time!

Salmon with asparagus and potatoes and cream pie…gorgeous!!!

Pudding was so good, I must admit I was a bit worried when I saw bananas going around the kitchen (I eat bananas only when they are green or I do not digest them), but my worries went away as soon as I taste the banana, cream and chocolate cake…so good…well done Joe and Becky, our turn again very soon!

I was a bit sad yesterday, after three years spent together my beloved car had to leave me…how can you get close to a car? I don’t know but I did!!! Goodbye Tinkerbell….

I have been working out again today and I probably I will do it again tomorrow and even on Sunday, I can’t feel my arms right now I’m struggling to write!!! Miami…here we come soon!!!I wish an amazing weekend to everyone!

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Low cost shopping, great fun…and good excuse to escape from my lonely wonderland

25 Apr

As you know I haven’t had much to do recently and this fact has actually started to bother me a bit, the weather has been horrible recently, rain non-stop since last week, been working out at the gym every other day but, I start to feel frustrated and I cannot wait to go away on Monday. Is just me or is it normal feel like the time is just flying by…and despite and I’m not busy at all I arrive at the evening thinking: – Oh shit I haven’t done that, oh yes I must do that tomorrow…come on turn back time I need more hour during the day…looking for a job is exhausting, plus when no one even bother to reply…even more frustrating!

Today I woke up and it was raining, and raining, and raining. I keep on seeing rabbits everywhere, every time I look out of the window there is a bit of wildlife going on, I will start to talk to them soon…and it was still raining, and raining and raining. I have to do something today just to take my mind off things for a bit so when around 12 stopped to rain for a bit (MIRACLE) I went down to Brighton for some Low Cost Shopping down in the high street and I was pleasantly pleased with myself!

I don’t get why lots of people slag off most of the high street shops, Primark? For chavs and poor people! New look? Not good! Topshop? Cheap shop! H&M? polyester a go go…hang on….are all British people millionaires right now? Because I heard this morning on the radio England is in recession again and unfortunately right now designer is off limits for my wallet so why not?

Monday we are off again to Miami (YEAH!) and I just needed some basic t-shirts…well actually as usual I did not need a thing but I found a few interesting bits anyway!

Electric blue shorts? Yeah! As a huge fan of Rihanna … I needed that t-shirt!   And what about some LMFAO? Party rock! And the espadrilles? They are taking me right back to my childhood! So Miami…low cost I will come over!

xxx

Anna, the useless Domestic Goddess is trying hard to impress…and to not feel that useless!

23 Apr

I am really sorry to have not written for such a long time, nearly a week is too long, this is not what I would normally do…but unfortunately I was a bit down last week so I didn’t want that my problems could affect my writing.

I am absolutely fine , I do just feel very useless right now, I’m not working anymore and sometimes it’s a struggle getting up in the morning, why? What am I going to do today? Not much! It does feel so frustrating thinking…uh…I haven’t got much to think about apart tidy up the house, going to the supermarket and cook dinner! Not having a daily job makes you see things in a different way, I am so glad that when I was feeling low last week my husband and my best friend (and my family from Italy of course) were supporting me and tried to motivate me to look for something new, new experiences, new possibilities but it is not that easy right now in the current climate is it? At the moment probably the only thing in my mind is…food! What shall I cook for dinner? I even baked a cake last week and it came out presentable and tasty!

Shall I open a restaurant?….nah…shall I just keep on cooking and telling you about? Deal then!

Shepherd’s pie can be cook by Italians as well…I am the proof!

A good soup can always warm up your cold wintery evenings

A good experiment, chocolate carrots and walnuts cake

Or a slice of chocolate cheesecake at the local pub tastes so good everytime!

Feel down? Going out for breakfast at the local tea room revives you!

Pancakes anyone? We call them crespelle…mushroom one for me!

Friday night treat? Cupcakes!!! (courtesy of Cloud 9 Brighton)

It’s hard when my husband is better than me at cooking…he should become a chef! Last night lamb in red wine sauce and sundried tomatoes mash potatoes…was so good!

And what about this strawberry cake? Domestic goddess me? Domestic God him!

Are we growing old too quickly? 27, feeling a teenager and behaving like a middle age woman…is the young fogey generation taking over?

17 Apr

Reading the paper a few days ago, I noticed an article that made me smile but made me think at the same time. Prince William and Kate Middleton came back from their skiing holiday last week and what did they do next? Went home to enjoy dinner together and they watched some DVDs…ok we are talking about royalty….but I wouldn’t say they are becoming middle aged just for a night in!!

The article was mentioning some warning signs about becoming a young fogey …let’s analyse them.

You are into Pinterest, and especially proud of that board in which you posted your favourite Le Creuset pots.

Hang on, I am into Pinterest now, my husband bought me a set of Le Creuset pots for my birthday and I did not post them on Facebook or Twitter (didn’t know about Pinterest in August)…but actually I did send that notorious picture of my new pots to my best friend…( I have the blue one, by the way!)

You can’t decide what to do for your birthday this year. If you want a weekend away you want to be walking distance to restaurants but not too close to clubs and drunk teenagers (FAIR ENOUGH).

Probably you will end up having a dinner with friends, take pictures of the food you ate (WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT????) and go home, have a drink and pass out on the sofa (NO I DON’T!)

Funny enough we will go in Italy for my birthday, on my parents house on the Italian Riviera, nice town with lots of nice bars and restaurants…but far away from clubs…who cares anymore? Rather stuff myself at dinner!

When shopping, you find yourself thinking that everything is too short. I don’t normally wear skirts so this problem does not affect me, but I do find more difficult buying stuff. I’d like to wear shorts, but I try them on and I think? Is that appropriate? Walking around town bare legs? What about if I can’t see but the cellulite is showing? Will people look at me in a funny way? Anyway it’s freezing in England so no way!!! Mmm….am I really getting old?

Before Christmas I wanted to change my hair, desperately, needed some changes after had my hair long and plain for so many years, wanted a long bob…did it…I was so happy.

But after a few days I felt the hairstyle makes me look more grown up, or just a bit middle aged. And I even felt more awkward last week when my best friend took out of her bag her camera with the pictures of us in Miami for my Bachelorette party…my heart sank, I miss my long hair!!! Not keen on extensions…too expensive and too Essex for my style…let’s just wait for my hair to grown.

My ideal weekend? Years ago was aperitif out, light dinner somewhere, and out clubbing until 3am, at least.

Now, have a drink somewhere, high heels or not? Mostly is not because we have to walk around and I cannot walk on high heels very well. Dinner somewhere? Great! I always drink and eat too much so as soon as we finish, my husband usually says: – Shall we go for another drink? Normally 10.30pm…my reply can vary, depending how cold it is and which shoes I am wearing.

If it’s freezing and probably I wear flat shoes: Not sure baby, if we go somewhere close to the car ok, if not let’s go back, it’s too cold.

If it’s not that cold and I wear high heels: Not sure baby, my feet hurt, can’t walk far and you will probably make me driving back…let’s go back, we have a drink at home.

Am I really growing old? Hope not!

The adventures of Anna, an Italian girl feeling alone in her “nearly” home country! Friend-dating anyone?

13 Apr

A few days ago I found an interesting article in Grazia, my favourite magazine, and I recognized myself straight away while reading it. This article is titled Er, will you be my friend? And it explains the story of Rachel, New Yorker born that at 25 years-old moved to Chicago to live with her fiancé, now husband, and how she struggles to meet new friends. I thought I was reading my story, just set in the US instead than in the UK!

The only difference between me and Rachel is, I have not started yet to friend-dating…I do struggle so much with meeting people in England, in over three years I have been here I have met amazing people, thanks to the wives and girlfriends of my husband’s friends (it does sound a bit like WAGs), I met an amazing girl here that I can consider my British best friend to whom I wish all the joy of this world on her engagement…but still, sometimes, I struggle, I want to meet more people, and make friendships. I notice that when I go shopping (on my own) I even try to chat up the person who works at the cashier in Zara, H&M, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, male or female does not matter… today I even did at Steamer Trading cook shop in Brighton, I bought a kitchen scale and when I was about to pay the girl at the cashier asked me if everything was ok, if I found what I was looking for etc, I thought How nice! So I started to chat her up saying Yes I found the scale I wanted but I wanted to buy the vintage style one but my husband does not like so I am buying this one…the girl very nice went blank for a few seconds, probably thinking:

WHY are you telling me this? And she replied politely…I mean what did I do wrong with trying to do a bit of conversation? I was not going to ask her out anyway!!! Is it the language barrier, is it the different culture or is it something else? It cannot be the language barrier, my strong Italian accent we all know is strong but it’s very understandable when I speak, it is not only the usual stereotype that British people are not friendly and Italian people are…because thinking about Rachel Tutto il mondo e’ paese (all the world is a town, everywhere is the same, like my good old grandmothers would say) because it happens the same ANYWHERE, Chicago, Brighton and Hove and God knows where else! WHY grown up people do not want meet new people and they just want stay in the circle of known friends instead than expand new horizons? Sometimes I could do with another British friend or a couple more….you know just fancy to see my best friend for a coffee in my situation could be an expensive double espresso… flying to Italy just for a quick meeting! Or I could do with a friend while shopping instead than use an imaginary one…luckily I learnt how to control myself from my compulsive hysteric lonely shopping : I try anything that gets my attention, go to the changing room, try all on and think about … what would someone else say about? Today as you can see I tried a pair of orange faded skinny jeans with zip on the ankles and a pair of Chanel inspired mint green shorts in Zara…luckily my imaginary best friend said no!

But luckily he/she did not say no to my Versace style or sofa cover inspired tops from H&M!!!

Going back to the article on the friend dating…if anyone feels lonely like Rachel or Anna, in the south east of England area….please let’s meet up!!! 🙂

xxx

Our big fat Easter weekend, in Italy! Milano, Bergamo, Lecco, Lake Como…the only ways!

11 Apr

I am really sorry I haven’t blogged for so many days and I apologise for that. After a long Italian weekend spent with my family in Italy we are now back in England, or shall I say wonderland? I can see so many rabbits around the garden that I have started to think if I follow one I will arrive in wonderland…one cute one yesterday was staring at me close to the front door…FOLLOW ME!

Going back to the Italian weekend…it was great, so much love from my family, so much good times, so many beautiful places and so much food!!!! Have a look through the pictures….and enjoy your week!

Left on good Friday, enjoying the lounge at the airport

Saturday shopping in Milan

Saturday night, aperitif in Lecco overlooking the Lake Como and Dinner on the lake (Oliveto Lario)

Easter Day, in my town with my parents

Ate too much but we couldn’t resist to a pizza in Bergamo!

Forgot to mention, we went to see the wedding photographer…have you seen in the window?

Easter monday, or Pasquetta, out for lunch with the family, uncles, aunt, cousins, red wine and lots of food again!

So what now? WE ARE ON A DIET!!!

Back in business, into my kitchen! Surrounded by Hello Kitty Easter eggs and very soon from my family!

4 Apr

I finally started to feel better, my cold has finally abandoned me and my husband with his burnt arm and hand is getting better as well, shame now he has man flu…my fault apparently….MEEEEEEEEEN

By the way I am so glad that Kim is getting over this problem, and I am sure he is never going to use petrol again to lit the bonfire after this accident, his arm speaks for himself

I think we really need and holiday, an Italian one, I cannot wait to go back home on Friday, spend time with my family, go shopping in Milan, see my friends, and go back to eat normally (I finally lost that famous kg I was going on about, but just for the stress!) Now I’m back in the kitchen cooking away and being happy, do you want to see my latest creations?

Salmon fillet with crème fraiche, breadcrumbs and lime with green peas puree with crème fraiche and Thai green curry paste with chestnut mushrooms cooked in honey gorgonzola and brie cheese….what a wonderful dinner!

Yesterday morning I made Frangelico (Italian hazelnut liqueur) tiramisu to go for dinner to my mother in law…WOW it was good!

As you can see everyone know about my passion for Hello Kitty….only Hello Kitty Easter eggs for me so far, my friend Shonda will be happy as well!!! 🙂

And what about my latest discovery? While reading Grazia I came across an article about Pinterest…check me out if you wish!

Back from a few days of hell, and now countdown for an Italian Easter celebration!

2 Apr

Hello everyone,

I am really sorry to have let the blog not updated for so long but unfortunately I had a few days of hell that are finally nearly gone and now  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…with an Italian Easter egg waiting for me!

Got myself too much sun last week when the weather was more for summer time than spring time, days too hot, nights too cold so I got myself into a nasty cold that made me struggle a bit, on Thursday night my husband decided again that was time to work in the garden, which we did, he wanted to do a bonfire but probably too much petrol went on an a big BOOM made me jump and burnt my husband’s arm and hand…an hour and half later after shouting at him : I take you to A&E! for an hour, he convinced himself and off we went, luckily, now he’s recovering but the stress of that, taking care of him completely and my never ending cold did not help me to cope very well with all the stress, I am not good at coping even in normal situation so, the weekend was interestingly hard for and stressful for me, I hope that tonight finally I will fall asleep and sleep for long time…not being able to sleep for the past four days, breathing problems and stress…can you imagine me with PMS? Well multiply that feeling for 100 and you will find my state of mind at the weekend!

The only thing that gave me so much joy this weekend was Imogen, the pretty little baby of my friend that I went to visit yesterday and I was struggling to leave…how can something that small and cuddly can make you so happy? She is gorgeous and I hope the yummy mummy does not mind if I post a snap of her…

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