Sunday, July 2, 2017

Life Lately with a Side of Italian Roasted Peppers

I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog of mine and it seems like I have so much to say I don't know where to start. Things have been hectic around these parts and my anxiety level is slowly creeping back up. I had a terrible day this past Friday and needed to blow off some steam. The day just started out bad from the moment I woke up until I left work because it seemed that everything I did was wrong, there was way too much to do and I just couldn't take the pressure anymore. I haven't been sleeping well at night as the dog wakes up at all hours of the morning barking up a storm because it's too damn hot here and so I have to leave the window open.  He hears cats outside rummaging through the trash and goes bonkers... When I wake up in the middle of the night I start thinking about a million things...my mind starts racing and I can't go back to sleep.  The anxiety has gotten to me.. 

There are few things that calm my anxiety and one of them is shopping... The only shopping that relaxes me is home furnishing and decor stores...so that is where I went. I found this pillow that lightened my mood and took it home with me. I think it looks good and it makes me smile so it's staying on my couch for the time being.


Another thing that calms my anxiety is painting...anything... Just put a paint brush in my hand and I'm good. So my balcony needed painting as it was pretty chippy (not good chippy either). 


So I also picked up some paint and went to town. It looks so much better now and I'm glad I took care of that cause it was bugging me for some time now. 


I don't think I showed you my front door that I painted a couple weeks ago. I know I posted it on Instagram.  My dog scratched the crap out of that door and it too needed some lovin'. It looks so much better now and I am no longer embarrassed when people come over! 


I added some new accessories to my kitchen  and organized some spices and things in cute little glass jars. I just think they look more organized now as I had most in their original store bought baggies. 


Gigia has had this rodent ulcer thing on her lip for almost a year now. Her lip swells up and nothing seems to help her expect for a cortisone injection (depomedrol). It apparently is an allergic reaction but I have absolutely no idea to what...The shot lasts for about 20 days...the swelling goes down but now her lip has swollen back up and I'm nervous about giving her another shot because of the side effects.  I've changed her to a hypoallergenic diet, tried a bunch of things but nothing seems to work. She's not in pain or anything and she's acting normally but I just hate seeing her like this. She also got diarrhea after the depomedrol shot and that was great... I had to switch up the diet again...anyways...it was a mess.  Now that the diarrhea is gone the lip swells back up...my poor baby.


On a more positive note we went to my cousins First Holy Communion in Rome last week and that was fun. It reminded me of my Holy Communion and got me thinking about how my faith stayed with me and has gotten stronger over the years. I pray that these children don't take for granted this blessed Sacrament and that their faith accompanies them throughout their lives. My faith has gotten me through many hardships and I wouldn't be anything if it wasn't for God's strength in me. 


He's our little guy Antonio :-) He's a cutie.


This is part of the family at the restaurant and a picture of the beautiful cake. 


It was SUPER hot that day so little guy had to go and change because he was itching to go play outside with his buddies. 


That's pretty much what's been going down lately in these parts. 

Oh yes! I almost forgot about the roasted peppers! This is another typical Italian dish that is very healthy and is served as a side dish or antipasto.  It goes super well on top of bruschettas or crostini and is so easy to make. Let me guide you through the process.

Wash your bell peppers and place on a baking sheet.  Preheat the oven to 180° C (350°F).  


Roast for about 35 minutes turning the peppers over after 15 minutes. 


Place the peppers as they are in a plastic container covering them and leaving them to cool for no less than one hour. 


The steam from the peppers will facilitate the removal the skin later on. 


Once the time is up remove the stem.  You should find that seeds are mostly attached to the stem. 


The skin comes off super easy.  The peppers will release a good amount of juice.  Make sure to keep that and set aside. Place the peppers in a dish and just peel off the skin as shown below. The secret here is the time left in the container.  The longer you leave them sitting the easier it is to remove the skin. 


In a small dish combine a couple garlic cloves, a small jalapeno pepper, the juice that you set aside from the peppers and a tablespoon or so of olive oil, some salt to taste and chopped parsley. 


Mix well and add to the peppers. 


That's all there is to it.  I love this antipasto.  It's easy enough to make at home and it's healthy!

I hope you all are doing well.  Now I'm going to get back to my day finish my coffee and get ready for church. 

Counting down the days 'til my mamma gets here!  We're going to have a blast.  I know Cathy is going to miss her but she has some wonderful ladies that take excellent care of her while Mom's away so I know she's in good hands. 

I don't know about you guys but I am slightly obsessed with selfie filters and so is my mother apparently ! Cathy doesn't seem very amused though LOL! 


Have a wonderful week ahead! 

xoxo, 

Silvana



Sunday, June 18, 2017

To My Father

Dear Daddy,

You carried me on your shoulders and showed me the world.


You taught me how to ride a bike and drive a car as I was your favorite little girl.

You pushed me to never give up and keep going when I was ready to quit.


You even created my very own math computer program to help me appreciate the subject I hated the most (LOL...true).


Every moment I spend with you, you teach me something new.


You manage to lift up my spirits whenever I'm sad and blue.


I may not need you to hold my hand anymore, but I will always need you to hold me in your heart.

Happy Father's Day.

I love you,

Silvana


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Arrivederci Roma!

We spent a beautiful afternoon in Rome last Saturday and I wanted to share some snapshots that I took while there. My family and I lived in Rome when I was in high school for four years and it was wonderful.  I would move to Rome in a heartbeat if I could.  I haven't been many places other than the States and Italy but as far as the cities I've visited, Rome takes the cake in my book. I find it very romantic, alive, and mysterious. You can really feel the history that the monuments and streets encompass. There is so much to visit in Rome but we were only there for a quick afternoon...  just enough time to make a wish at the Trevi Fountain and stop for a gelato. 

Fontana di Trevi


The Trevi Fountain is breathtakingly beautiful and always packed with tourists....and coins :-) You just can't visit the Trevi Fountain without throwing in a coin and making a wish...

Here is a view from the opposite side of the fountain so you can see how many people were there.  There were also sooo many armed forces in Rome that day... I feel protected when I see them but then I also feel that it's such a shame to have to live in fear nowadays... I find that really sad. 



Via dei Condotti


Via dei Condotti is the street where all the designer shops are and it's the via that takes you to The Spanish Steps, also filled with tourists. 


This is where we stopped and had a gelato.  I got my favorite coffee flavored gelato and Mr. Amore got dark chocolate....even though it was a tough call as there were plenty of mouth watering flavors to choose from as you can see.





No words to describe the deliciousness....

We then headed back to the entrance of the city and to the Piazza del Popolo or the "People's Piazza"....we did a lot of walking that day!



Ok so this was pretty crazy...this dude was apparently "levitating" and I was dumbfounded as to how he was actually doing this so when I got home I had to Google "floating man trick" and spoiler: he's pretty much sitting on a chair.. lol.  But it's a pretty good trick! 



This street (Via del Corso) starts from Piazza del Popolo and leads to Piazza Venezia where the Victor Emmanuel II Monument pictured below is located (also known as "The Wedding Cake"). This Via is also filled with shops but they are more "accessible", if you know what I mean,  as opposed to the Via dei Condotti designer stores.

Via

You will find many artists that sell beautiful watercolors of the city and "vintage" photographs with images from the 1950's films Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn and  La Dolce Vita with Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg who danced in the Trevi Fountain in the famous Federico Fellini film ....how romantical :-)  

Via


I'm sure I'll be back in Rome again soon and share some more pictures of this beautiful City with you because legend has it that if you throw a penny into the Trevi Fountain, you will most certainly be back again... :-) 

So until next time, Arrivederci Roma!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Prawn Linguine with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

I know I haven't been very good at keeping up with my blog lately and I do miss it. This is a place where I like to share the things that make me happy and it's something I really enjoy doing so I'm happy to be back here today. 

Things have been pretty hectic with work and life in general.  I've been making an effort to go for an hour long walk/jog every day after work. I've been doing pretty good with sticking with it so I'm proud of myself for that. I haven't noticed any drastic weight loss or anything but I feel stronger and have more energy so I guess that's some improvement. 

My favorite blogs to follow other than DIY/home decor blogs are weight loss blogs.  I'm fascinated by the drive and motivation that these bloggers have to push through on their weight loss journey. I'm inspired by them to live a healthier lifestyle because that kind of drive is not easy to maintain every day for an extensive period of time. At least not for me... I'm usually pretty good for a couple weeks then I slowly creep back to my old eating habits. I'm sure I'm not the only woman who struggles with this...it's just frustrating at times especially when the warmer weather comes around and I'm trying on bathing suits and shorts...ugh! 

I have tried many fad diets and low carb eating but I find that it's not in the least bit easy for me to maintain long term.  Yes, I would lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time but I would always put it back on again (...and then some...) as soon as I starting eating regularly again. I also firmly believe that moderation is key and that it's ok to have pasta every once in a while but I make sure that the condiments or dressings used are healthy and light so I opt for a fresh tomato sauce as opposed to a creamy cheese sauce for example. I'm also trying not to mix carbs and protein in one meal so I'll do rice or whole wheat bread with a salad or veggies for lunch for example and only protein and veggies for dinner. Hopefully I will maintain a steady and gradual weight loss without having to starve myself or feel deprived from the foods I love. Anyways, I'm not here to give weight loss advice I just wanted to document what I've been doing lately and it seems to be working for me (for now at least lol). 

On that note I wanted to share a delicious and light seafood pasta dish that is great for summer and won't leave you feeling weighed down when you finish eating. This is a typical Italian dish that I made for our Sunday meal a while back and instead of using ready made sauce I made my own tomato sauce from fresh cherry tomatoes.



It was just the two of us so I bought a handful (about 8) fresh prawns.  These little guys don't really have a lot of meat in them but they do have a lot of flavor so they add a delicious seafood taste to the sauce. I just rinsed them and dried them off with a paper towel and set aside. 


For the sauce I used about half a kilo a fresh cherry tomatoes cut in half.  I added them to a pot with a cut up shallot and some fresh basil leaves and let them cook for about ten minutes on low heat stirring occasionally. I didn't add any salt yet as it will be added later together with the prawns. 


Next I placed everything in the sauce maker and pressed the condiments into a small bowl. 


Keep turning until you're only left with the skin and seeds of the tomatoes. Make sure to scrape the sauce off the bottom of the press. 


Here is the fresh tomato sauce that will be used. 


Next I sauteed the prawns with one garlic clove (which I removed once it browned), about a tablespoon of olive oil and a cup of dry white wine. 


When the white wine evaporates add the sauce. I like to press the prawns down while cooking to release the juices which will add that delicious seafood flavor to the pasta. 


At this point I added salt and pepper to taste along with some chopped fresh parsley.


In a separate pot I cooked the linguine "al dente" drained the pasta and added the sauce amalgamating everything together for a few minutes on low heat. 



That's pretty much it! Now you're ready to serve...preferably in your favorite dinnerware :-)


This is about a 400 calorie dish and it will keep you full for a while. In the future I might try making this with whole wheat pasta which would probably be an even healthier alternative and I'm sure would taste just as good. 


I hope you enjoyed this recipe. 

Have a great rest of the week and I promise to be back again soon and update on my weight loss progress.

xoxo

Silvana


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