Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Easter (Over)eating

Well, WHAT a week!

My parents arrived in Puglia last Saturday, and what followed was a super busy seven days full of excursions, family meet ups and masses of overeating. We took trips to Trani, Castel del Monte and Matera (write ups to follow) and, despite the pretty bad weather, had a very lovely time indeed.

But let's return, for now, to the aforementioned 'overeating' part of the Easter vacation. I've written many times before about the fact that, on special occasions, Italians really up the ante and enjoy ridiculous amounts of delicious food. So, who were we to say no to anything! Throughout the entire week we indulged in all sorts of tasty treats, including...

Yes, this is what Italian Easter eggs look like. None of that funny box business like in the UK. They can be pretty pricey too.

We sampled these delicious typical dishes at a wonderful party that was thrown by some friends. Here, you can see Parmigiana, Pancotto (a dish made with vegetables and bread), pasta with a vegetable similar to chicory, panzerotti, tomato pizza and some local Rosè wine.

And theeeeen came the dolce. Oh my. From the top, a forest fruit cheesecake (which was deliciouss because it wasn't too sweet), a nutella cake, red wine cake, typical Easter colomba cake, pistachio cake, tiramisù and finally, a pineapple and cream cake. Of course, we sampled them all. Well, it would have been rude not to!

Cake close up.

A slightly lighter (yet no less delicious) dessert that we had whilst in Matera (at the Soul Kitchen restaurant). White chocolate semi-freddo with fresh strawberries and balsamic.
On Saturday, we decided that (at least) a week of 'sensible' eating was in order. This was going very well indeed until a birthday celebration that we were invited to yesterday evening.

 Oh dear.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter treats

Well would you look at that. Easter is almost upon us! It's almost time to start scoffing chocolate eggs, which makes me very excited indeed. What makes me even MORE excited than consuming vast quantities of chocolate however, is that soon my parents will be arriving. It's been several months since I've seen them, and so it's about time that we saw each other. There are already several family meet-ups organised, the majority of which involve lunches or dinners (of course), and I'm once again looking forward to witnessing the (amusing) reliance on non verbal communication. Mine don't speak Italian, his don't speak English; you get the idea. In all seriousness though, it's amazing how much a big smile and a warm embrace can show affection and can create bonds. My boyfriend's dad does have one token phrase though; the ever-useful 'WHAT TIME IS IT?!'. I'm quite sure he doesn't know how to actually tell the time in English...but at least he's making an effort.

In other 'news', it has been a while since I've posted some pics of delicious dolce, so I thought I'd better deliver. The other morning, myself and my man went out for breakfast, and instead of a nice healthy colazione, we went for nice and unhealthy instead. Cappuccino? Check. Crostata alla nutella? Check. Small, cream filled croissant? Ohhh yes.

As I was enjoying my sweet breakfast, I also snapped a few pics of the cream cakes on offer at the bar. Sunday is the day of dolce, and so the counter was filled with all sorts of tasty treats.

And finally, a little while ago I discovered a cute little bar which serves great cocktails. Not only this, but their aperitivo is also pretty impressive.  And all for €6, cocktail included? Yes please! I recently went there with a friend and we had a very nice evening indeed.

Have a happy Easter folks! :D

Monday, 7 April 2014

Hello April!

Well can you believe it. It's actually April now. A whole week into April! (Don't worry, not all of this post will be in short sharp sentences which express my disbelief at how quickly time is passing by). Soon, the Spring will be in full flow (it's got off to a pretty good start) and then of course, those long, balmy days of summer will arrive. This (pasty) Brit absolutely can't wait. There comes a point when getting all snuggled up in comfy warm jumpers, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying hearty soups gets a bit, well, old. For the last month or two I have been impatiently waiting for warmer days where I can switch to a light jacket and enjoy daylight until 7pm.

Two Sundays ago, myself and my man headed to Termoli, which is a lovely resort town in Molise; just north of the region of Puglia. In the Summer it's packed with people and a hefty dose of international tourists too, who can't get enough of the gorgeous beaches, lively bars and seafood restaurants. The well-restored historical part of town is the perfect place to have a nice little stroll (whether it's summer or winter), and this is exactly what we did that Sunday afternoon; ice cream in hand of course. We weren't the only ones who had this idea however, as the town was absolutely packed with people. It seems as though I'm not the only one who is craving that Spring feeling! Here are a few photos that I took (minus the hoards of people of course). Isn't the sea so beautifully calm?

Have a great week! :D