Garlic Butter

When I was in college, my sister met a Australian boy traveling through Europe on her train ride to Milan. In a sign of compassion, she invited him to spend a few nights on our couch. After all, he didn’t have a place to stay. Long story short, he ended up making us dinner – he was an aspiring chef and, apart from teaching him a thing or two on how to cook pasta properly, he left me with the gift of garlic butter. Come and cook with us!

In the US, garlic bread is synonymous with any Italian meal. However, growing up, I had never heard of it. We would spread fresh garlic on a buttered bread or run a fresh clove of garlic one slice of toasted bread, but making garlic butter was something I didn’t know about. That is until the Australian came to stay.

It’s an easy spread to make, goes well with bread and crackers alike, and adds a great layer of complexity to many a sandwich. And it only needs three ingredients. Come and cook with us!

Garlic Butter

It’s Time for an Aperol Spritz

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You know you’re in Italy when you walk into a bar or restaurant and everyone is sipping from an orange glass. In case you haven’t had Aperol Spritz before, trust me, it is almost a ritual in Italy and probably the most widespread and common aperitif in Italy. So if you feel a little Italian this summer, grab a bottle of Aperol and have yourself an Aperol spritz.

Aperol has been made in Italy since the beginning of last century. The recipe is a secret and it has never been changed. What we know is that Aperol is made from sweet and bitter oranges and includes many other herbs, including rhubarb, and roots in perfect proportions. It is similar to Campari, but with less alcohol – 11%, and has always been a staple on the Italian cocktail list. Based on the company’s information, the tasting notes of Aperol include a lightly alcoholic, zesting orange nose with appealing complex herbal scents harmonized with a touch of vanilla, an intense orange top with herbal and woody body notes, pleasantly bittersweet and salty, a velvety and rounded texture, with long-lasting orange and wood memories and a herbal long pleasant typical bitterness backtaste. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Aperol Spritz it’s the easiest drink to mix: three parts prosecco, two parts Aperol and one part soda. You can see a tutorial on the Aperol site. Invite your friends and serve some Spritz with a slice of orange in a tall glass filled with a few ice cubes. Sip and enjoy the summer together!

 

 

Does Your Breakfast Come in a Jar?

photo 16When I was a child, I spent many school nights sleeping over at my neighbor’s house. Apart from the usual rules of going to bed early and behaving well, I had to get up early enough to go home for breakfast. I’m not sure if that was because my parents wanted to make sure that I got to school in time or that I ate a nutritious breakfast. Either way, starting the day with a good meal has stayed with me for all these years. Bircher Muesli is really my breakfast of choice and we have started to make it ahead in little mason jars the night before. This is perfect for a breakfast on the go or when you are lucky enough to spend a night in a tent and want something quick to eat while you wait for the hot chocolate to warm up. Come and cook with us!

If you have tried our Bircher Muesli before, you will be a champ in making these individual jars of refrigerated oatmeal. If not, give them – and regular Bircher Muesli – a try as they constitute a nutritious, tasty and versatile alternative to packaged cereal. It does not take much more to prepare with oats, chia seeds, yogurt and fruit being the main ingredients, but it is oh so delicious, particularly this time of year when stone-fruits and berries are abundant. We usually use what we find in the fruit bowl including peaches, plums, mangoes and fresh berries. Give the pineapple a pass unless you prepare your oatmeal with non-diary products such as almond or rice milk because the dairy milk turns the pineapple bitter. Who knew. When winter comes, replace the berries with sweet ripe bananas and add some cocoa powder or make it classic oatmeal-style with cinnamon, nuts and dried fruit.

Whether going on a camping trip or knowing that you will be in a rush in the morning, try adding these breakfast jars to your morning routine. Come and cook with us!

Refrigerated Oatmeal

Celebrating Independence Day

IMG_6514We at Come and Cook with Us wish our American readers a happy July 4th celebration. May your day be filled with laughter, joy and plenty of good food. With the summer season officially in full swing, we look forward to sharing with you beloved dishes that take advantage of the seasonal produce bounty. Some of our posts will come straight from Italy, where Kathrin is spending the next few weeks doing field work and catching up with her family. Stay tuned for more, including some insights into what aperitivo Italians sip this time of year. Come and cook with us!

 

Fat Chance Row

1402967604478Have you heard about the couple that is rowing from the West Coast to Hawaii just so we do something about sugar? When realizing the effects that sugar and simple carbohydrates have on our bodies, most of us would limit our reaction to changing our diet, educating our friends and family or, if we are very driven, writing a blog post about it. That is not what Meredith Loring and Sami Inkinen are doing. They decided to raise awareness by rowing from the West Coast to Hawaii. Come and cook with us!

When Simi learned that despite his athletic lifestyle and “healthy” low-fat diet, he was pre-diabetic, he was surprised to find out how much sugar and simple carbohydrates he really consumed. After a steep learning curve on the subject – he is an engineer and successful Bay Area entrepreneur, after all – he decided to do something about it: change his diet, but also try to educate others on the pitfalls of the Western diet. And it is no easy feat, as the sugar and simple or “stripped” carbs temptation lurks everywhere with up to 80% of processed foods you buy at the super market contain added sugar: cereal, bread, salad dressings, ketchup, pasta sauce, cold cut meats and all those energy bars you eat after working out.

The couple is rowing with all donations going to Dr. Lustig‘s efforts to act on sugar and processed foods. Follow their rowing journey and think about the passion that led these two individuals to spend two months on high sea just so that we do something about sugar! Check out www.fatchancerow.com to learn more. Come and cook with us!

 

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