Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On the Isle for a While - Capri

This past weekend we took a quick trip to Capri. What an amazing place to visit! If you've never been there I hope that with this post you are able to see what a magical Island it is through these pictures.

The boat ride from Naples to Capri takes about 40 minutes. It was kind of cloudy that day but at least we didn't get any rain. Below is a picture of Marina Grande, the main port of the Island of Capri.

Once we arrived, we hopped on the "funicolare" a sort of cable car which takes you to the top of the Island where all of the upscale hotels and shops are.

It's a quick ride which lasts about 10 minutes or so and gives you a chance to really get a good look at the island on your way up. He are some pictures I took from the funicolare. 

Once we arrived at the top we stopped to have a bite to eat. Obviously all of the seafood is fresh and is the specialty of the area so this is what we ordered and it was exquisite to say the least. 

This is what I had - Spaghetti in a garlic clam sauce. You can find the recipe here.  

This is "Scialatielli ai Frutti di Mare" which is basically home made pasta with mussels, clams and shrimp in a tomato basil sauce. Similar recipe here. 

And fisherman's risotto, a recipe which I've shared before but my version is without tomato sauce. In Capri, they typically add some tomato. Here is my recipe for Fisherman's risotto

After all that deliciousness we did a lot of walking and window shopping. Capri is filled with so many original shops and the merchandise is like nothing I've every seen anywhere else. 

Needless to say everything is mad expensive and of the highest quality...

...And the JEWELRY...UUUHHHH...

A girl can dream, right?

I saw these boots in the Roberto Cavalli window display and I had to take a picture of them.  

They reminded me so much of the boots Madonna wore in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan.  Do you remember that 80's movie? It's funny how fashion comes back in style. 

So we made our way past the Piazzetta where all the upscale Hotels are located and up Via Krupp towards the Gardens of Augustus. 

I had to take some pictures of the gorgeous Villas that are located along the main street.

I love these wrought iron gates.

Once you reach the Gardens you see the Carthusia Perfume shops which Capri is also famous for. 

The fragrances are all very fresh and citrusy and they fill the streets with their scents which are diffused outside the shop windows. 

Once you reach the Gardens you are exposed to the famous view of the Faraglioni of Capri which are the 3 large rock formations on the side of the Island.

The gardens are very well kept and they even have a little "dog bar" for our four-legged friends :-)

Unfortunately we weren't able to visit the Blue Grotta that day which was unfortunate because it is a Sea Cave on the coast of the Island which passes through an underwater cavity where the sun shines through creating an electric blue reflection that illuminates the cave. 

So that concludes our trip to Capri. It's a magical and very romantic place to visit.  I hope you can see it for yourselves one day if you've never been there before. 

I'll leave you with the lyrics from one of my Grandmother's favorite Frank Sinatra songs that she would sing when she visited Capri many years ago... 

"Isle Of Capri"

It was on the Isle of Capri that I found her
Beneath the shade of an old walnut tree
Oh, I can still see the flowers bloomin' 'round her
Where we met on the Isle of Capri

She was as sweet as a rose at the dawning
But some how fate hadn't meant her for me
And though I sailed with the tide in the morning
Still, my heart's on the Isle of Capri

Summertime was nearly over, blue Italian sky above
I said, "Lady, I'm a rover, can you spare a sweet word of love?"

She whispered softly, "It's best not to linger"
And then as I kissed her hand, I could see
She wore a lovely meatball on her finger
It was goodbye at the Villa Capri

Summertime was nearly over, blue Italian sky above
I said, "Lady, I'm a rover, can you spare a fine word of love?"

She whispered softly, "It's best not to linger"
And then as I kissed her hand, I could see
She wore a plain golden ring on her finger
It was goodbye on the Isle of Capri
It was goodbye on the Isle of Capri
It was goodbye on the Isle of Capri

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Poached "Crazy Water" Sea Bass

Pesce all'Acqua Pazza or "Crazy Water Fish" originated in Capri and was a very popular recipe in the 1960's. Why is it called "crazy water" fish? The term originates from peasants who had the job of making wine for their landlords and the small amount of wine they had leftover they used for themselves and as resourceful as they were, was kept to ferment with grape stems and seeds mixed with large quantities of water and the result was basically water colored with wine thus the term crazy water.  

So how does this apply to the recipe? The original "acqua pazza" recipe was made by taking the fresh catch of the day and poaching it in seawater, olive oil and cherry tomatoes, turning the color of the water similar to the watered down wine mentioned above.  

It's a very simple and light recipe and it really only takes about 20 minutes to make. 

I took two medium sized European Sea Bass but you can use any type of white fish you have for this recipe. Gut the fish...I know gross...but someone's gotta do it! Put a large clove of garlic cut in half in the belly of fish along with some parsley and a pinch of salt. 

Add water to the pan covering only half of the dish as well as 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a cup of white wine.  Cut about 5 cherry tomatoes in half and add to the pan along with a handful of green olives. 

Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 220°C.

At this point the fish has absorbed the water and is super moist, You will find that the skin detaches from the meat very easily and cleaning it is not at all difficult.  

Clean the fish placing the meat in a separate plate and add the tomatoes and olives along with some of the extra water that was left in the pan for more flavor. 

Serve with a salad on the side and you have yourself a healthy omega-3 packed meal :-)

Hope you enjoy this easy and very Mediterranean recipe! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Home Office Makeover

It all began with a Liatorp desk in the clearance section of our local IKEA.... I went back and forth and back and forth on whether or not to buy it.  It was a display piece that had a little scratch on the back side but other than that it looked great.  It was already assembled so I didn't have to do that part AND it was 50% off.. hmm. Decisions, decisions...So I went one Saturday with my Aunt and she said "I am not helping you lug that thing out to your car and secondly it won't even fit in your car"... she had a point. But I was worried that the next time I would go it would be gone (because that has happened to me more times than I can remember..) So I said oh well if it's meant to be I'll find it again! One week passed and I begged Mr. Amore to take me to IKEA (he hates going there) and he did...and guess what? It was still there after a week! Obviously it was a sign and I finally took that beauty home with me. 

So as it usually happens, one thing leads to another and you find yourself in a whirlwind of redecorating your entire home office space in just 48 hours... please tell me I'm not the only one that does this? Please..

Here was my home office before the makeover:

It was just a cluttered room with pet toys,  a tread mill and some weights, a really ugly desk that I hated with a passion ever since it set its little rolly wheels in my house... a sofa bed, a mixture of art work that I had no where else to put, etc. etc. I was ok with this space for a while but I really hated that desk. It was uncomfortable, there were no drawers and it was just ugly to look at. 

So the first thing I did after returning from IKEA was clear out the room. 

I gave it a nice scrub, patched up the holes and touched up the paint. 

 Out with the old and in with the new... love that fresh and clean feeling. Let the decorating commence!

I wasn't planning on getting rid of the tread mill 'cause that things gets used a lot in our house but I wasn't convinced with how it was positioned before either. I decided to move it along the front wall so that it doesn't take up that much space. 

I did know one thing though, I wanted that beautiful desk front and center. Ready to see it redecorated? 

Here is a close up of some of the art work I framed. These are prints of photographs by Nick Brandt. He is such a talented photographer. I absolutely love all his work. 

Isn't this orchid beautiful? I hope she doesn't die on me...I'm the worst with house plants. 

Above you can see a close up of the scratch I was telling you about. It's not really that noticeable  unless you look closely at it. It doesn't bother me at all.

Now you can see where I'm sitting when I read all your lovely blogs :-)

I am so pleased with how it turned out.... now I never want to leave! 

I hope you all have a great new week.