4th of July menu suggestions

4th of July menu suggestions

It looks like my Memorial day menu ideas were popular, so here are a couple more suggestions for the 4th of July. I will start with the recipe that is as simple as it gets and produces one of those appetizers that you just want to stuff yourself with and forget about the main course. It is that good, I promise! Fava Bean and Mint Crostini (fava beans are also known as broad beans in the UK and other former…

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Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar

Today I want to talk about balsamic vinegar. It may be a strange topic to some but if you read this post, you may realize that you have never tried the real thing and you may not even know what you are missing. First thing you need to know is that there is balsamic vinegar form your local supermarket and then there is the REAL thing – aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena (traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena) or aceto balsamico…

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Seasonal and simple ideas for Memorial Day dishes

Seasonal and simple ideas for Memorial Day dishes

To be honest, I have no idea what is traditionally served during the Memorial Day gatherings. I assume something simple and quick, since nobody wants to spend too much time cooking on the weekend marking the start of summer. I also assume that there is some appetite out there for something new and different. There is nothing wrong with a good cheeseburger or a hotdog but why limit yourself if there is a whole world out there? All of the…

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Cucina povera or the food of the poor

Cucina povera or the food of the poor

One of the most interesting trends in modern cooking is the ever growing popularity of what Italians call “cucina povera” or the poor kitchen. Michelin star restaurants, TV chefs and cook book authors around the world embrace the use of simple, local, sustainable and above all seasonal ingredients. Whole areas of the this country and those overseas, promote themselves as a culinary destination by stressing their access to great local ingredients. What makes this so interesting is that almost every…

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Vatican trip report part 2

Vatican trip report part 2

This is the second part of the Vatican trip report. You can read the first part here. After the tour of the gardens, we had a quick bite at the Vatican cafeteria, where the cashier seemed to be genuinely relieved I could place my order in Italian and knew what things were. Surprisingly few Italians speak English, even fewer understand an accent that is new to them. Learning some basic Italian before your trip is probably a good idea. Vatican…

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Vatican Trip Report Part 1

Vatican Trip Report Part 1

Vatican is the world’s smallest country, an absolute monarchy and the spiritual center of one the world’s one billion Catholics. Whether you are a devout Catholic, a non-Christian believer, an atheist, an agnostic or you simply don’t care; you will still be impressed by it. It will surround you with a truly Babylonian mix of languages and races, slow you down with mile long lines, crash you with heat, overwhelm you with dozens of priceless and world famous works of…

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Birchermuesli or perfect breakfast for lazy people

Birchermuesli or perfect breakfast for lazy people

Good morning, As I am writing this, sipping coffee and blocking out madness of the outside world, I am looking forward to my breakfast. I have never been much of a breakfast person, not because I don’t like to eat in the morning (there is truly no time of day or night when I will turn down good food) but rather because morning is the only time of the day when I am just too lazy to cook. Well, now…

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Traverse City, MI

Traverse City, MI

I am back! Sorry there were no posts for a while. Things got busy at work and then I was away for a long weekend in Traverse City, MI. It is time to report back on the trip. In case you are not familiar with Michigan in general and Traverse City in particular, here is where we went: As you can see, it is pretty far north  on the lower peninsular. However, if you zoom out on the map and…

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Cyprus

Cyprus

I have some very exciting trips coming up in the next 9 months and, if you know me, you know I like to plan things and not leave much to chance. As I am going through guide books, blogs and reviews, I realize that there are three types of destinations on my list. Some of the places I am going to are brand new to me: Mauritius and Malta; some I have been to but cannot claim to know very…

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One of the craziest things I have ever done

One of the craziest things I have ever done

I was organizing some old photos in Amazon Prime photo vault today and was reminded about one of the craziest things I have ever done. This was in 2013, I was new to the hobby of collecting miles, points and trying to travel the world for little money but in as much comfort as possible. In early November I saw a promotion that American Airlines (AA) was running to steal frequent flyers from other airlines. They offered anyone who was…

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