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June 2009 Archives

June 5, 2009

PhotoHunt: Advertisement

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This week's theme is "Advertisement."

Two vintage ads plus one modern one, all found here in NC. And I didn't notice this until a few minutes ago, but all of these are ads for products made with lots of sugar. :)

Remember Chiclets (that dainty mint-covered, candy-coated chewing gum)?

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Iconic Coca-Cola ads on an old country store:

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And a modern ad on a truck. I've never had anything from this bakery but I like their ad:

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.

June 7, 2009

Sunday Salads: Wild Rice and Roasted Corn Salad

samplersThis week's recipe came from Deborah of "Old Shoes - New Trip" and it's a wonderful salad - super easy to make, healthy, and delicious. Plus I love the colors - it's a beautiful dish.

I'd never had wild rice "straight" (I'd only had it in pilaf mixed with regular rice), and I like it a lot. I cooked it "al dente" (the package said to cook it for an hour but I tested it at 40 minutes and it was almost soft enough but still had some bite to it. I turned the stove off and let it sit there and steam for a little while longer and then opened it up to cool).

I was curious about the difference between wild and regular rice and looked in Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" which says:

"Neither a true rice nor always wild, this long black grass is native to North America and was once a staple food of native North Americans. Chewy and very earthy tasting, wild rice has more B vitamins and proteins than true rice. It's a very labor intensive crop to harvest - in some places it's still hand-gathered. When cooked, it expands greatly, which helps offset its high price."

The recipe is below. I left the Craisins out, used scallions instead of red onion, and used both sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Thanks Deborah, this one's a keeper.

Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Jan's Shrimp Salad.

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Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Wild Rice and Roasted Corn Salad" »

June 9, 2009

Dandelion Greens

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There are many "green" reasons for eating seasonally and buying locally but on top of all that, it's simply a fun way to eat. It's exciting to have the first asparagus or strawberries of the year, and I tend to eat as much as I can of the things I love since I know the seasons are short. This spring, I've been eating a lot of dandelion greens.

I didn't grow up eating these greens. The first time I had them was in a trattoria in Rome and I fell in love with them, so I was excited when I began seeing them for sale at the Farmer's Market here in NC. These are not wild greens - I haven't tried those but there are plenty in my yard if I get brave. I've read that the wild ones are even more bitter than the cultivated ones (which are pretty bitter themselves).

The key to mellowing them out is to blanch first, drain, and then stir fry. Every time I buy these greens at the market, someone sees me doing it and asks me how to cook them - they are exotic here in NC, I guess, but not in Italy. I use a recipe I found via google (see below).

Continue reading "Dandelion Greens" »

June 10, 2009

San Cristoforo shrine

This is Rio della Verona, the canal that runs behind the opera house La Fenice.

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This large shrine is in sotoportego San Cristoforo, next to the rio. It looks so clean and new, I wonder if it was also reconstructed after the fire.

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The image inside the shrine is a copy of Titian's fresco of St. Christopher that's in the Palazzo Ducale.

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Continue reading "San Cristoforo shrine" »

June 11, 2009

A Scottish "Sheep" for Trekcapri

Kathy (Trekcapri) has started planning her trip to Scotland, and she mentioned seeing some photos of a beautiful Scottish hillside with sheep grazing and wrote, "It's crazy that I want to see sheep while in Scotland, but have you seen the sheep they have there? They are so different looking. It's funny what things can attract me when traveling."

I can completely relate to this, and I told Kathy that I thought I still had a postcard that a friend sent from Scotland years ago that had one of those sheep on it.

I'm not a complete packrat but I do save cards (and especially postcards) and sure enough, I found the card from Scotland with the sheep on it. I put it on my desk so I'd remember to scan it in to show Kathy.

Well, I looked at that card for about two days until it finally dawned on me - it's not a sheep, it's a BABY COW! Duh! I had to laugh at myself for being so slow. But it IS an unusual looking cow with long fluffy caramel-colored hair, very cute. So Kathy, here's your sheep and keep an eye out for cute cows while you're in Scotland too. :)

The back of the card says that this was taken on the Isle of Skye.

postcard from Scotland

June 12, 2009

PhotoHunt: Lock

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This week's theme is "Lock."

This is a roadside stand where I stop and shop sometimes. Nice stuff for sale but what's unusual about this place is that there is never anyone there. You shop on the honor system.

They do have a lock on the money box but still, they trust people to put money in the box (and not grab the box and run off with it). There used to be more stands like this when I was a kid; it made me happy to find this one.

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.

June 13, 2009

Sunday Salads: Shrimp Salad

samplersThis week's recipe came from Jan of Keep Your Feet in the Street. She said that her salad is "simple, summery, and good" and that's a perfect description. I enjoyed this one a lot and it couldn't be easier to make.

I didn't tinker with this recipe that much except by accident. I missed the "or" in the list of fresh herbs and ended up putting all three in (dill, tarragon, and parsley). I'm growing all three in my garden so it was no big deal and actually it worked very well...the herby green flavors were a good contrast to the stronger taste of the Old Bay. I served the salad over an avocado and a bed of romaine, and squeezed some fresh lemon juice on top.

I love Old Bay - it takes me back to childhood beach vacations when we'd eat steamed blue crabs covered in the stuff. I love the way it smells and tastes, and I always cook shrimp in it and add it to crab cakes. It's a complex seasoning as you can tell from this long list of ingredients on the Old Bay can: celery salt, mustard, red pepper, black pepper, bay (laurel) leaves, cloves, allspice, ginger, mace, cardamom, cinnamon, and paprika.

Jan's recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Cindy Ruth's Grilled Romaine Salad.

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Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Shrimp Salad" »

June 15, 2009

Madonna dell' Arsenale

These are the gates to the Arsenale, the famed shipyards which were the source of much of the Venetian Republic's wealth. There used to be a small Renaissance church to the right of these gates and thanks to a painting by Canaletto, we can see what it looked like.

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Madonna dell 'Arsenale was built in the 16th century by an unknown architect who modeled it on a Greek temple. Looks like a sweet little place. It was demolished in the early 19th century.

Madonna dell' Arsenale, Canaletto

Continue reading "Madonna dell' Arsenale" »

June 16, 2009

Garden Wall Madonnas

A collection of "garden wall" Madonnas from all over Venice. I love this iconic image and all its many variations. I'm partial to the "squirmy baby wearing a crown" in the first photo and love those metal umbrellas over most of them.

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Madonna and child

Continue reading "Garden Wall Madonnas" »

June 17, 2009

The Arsenale Lions

Maria I asked a question in the comments of my post about Madonna dell' Arsenale ~

"I was just reading Doctored Evidence and Brunetti was commenting on the lions at the Arsenale, wondering whether the men who carved them ever saw a real one. Are the lions ‘funny’ looking? "

The answer is yes!, There are four lions outside the entrance to the Arsenale, and one of them in particular is pretty goofy looking. The entrance is guarded by eight statues of pagan gods with the lions lounging beside them.

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This is the goofy one - such a worried expression on his face! I love him. He looks straight out of cartoons. Despite his Disney appearance, he's the oldest of the bunch, a Greek sculpture dating back to the 6th century BC. The Venetians stole him from island of Delos.

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This one sits to the left of the cartoon lion.

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And this one sits alone is to the left of the entrance. He came from the port of Piraeus in Athens where he might have been part of a fountain,and there's carved graffiti on him: runic inscriptions left by Scandinavian soldiers who were fighting in Greece in the 11th century. Supposedly translators have concluded that the graffiti is an archaic equivalent of "Kilroy Was Here."

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Continue reading "The Arsenale Lions" »

June 18, 2009

The walls behind

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Sometimes the wall behind the shrine is just as interesting as the shrine itself. This wall is ravaged but beautiful.

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Here's another example ~

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Continue reading "The walls behind" »

June 19, 2009

PhotoHunt: Creamy

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This week's theme is "Creamy."

A couple of photos I took in Venice last year. First up is a booth at the Christmas market in campo Santo Stefano. I took this photo because of the marzipan fruit but there are some cream horns behind them.

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A cream-colored statue of the Madonna inside a little street shrine.

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and Happy Summer Solstice!

June 20, 2009

Sunday Salads: Grilled Radicchio Salad

samplersThis week's recipe came from Cindy Ruth of Baked Alaska. The actual recipe she gave us was for "Grilled Romaine Salad with Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette" but I ended up switching the main ingredient.

It's gotten hot here in NC - hot enough to make the lettuce plants in my garden bolt, and I used the last of my romaine for last week's shrimp salad. The only lettuce at the Farmer's Market was loose leaf lettuce, not suitable for grilling, but when I saw this beautiful radicchio, I knew it would work perfectly for this recipe.

I fell in love with grilled radicchio in Venice. Lots of places serve it there and in fact, the first place radicchio was cultivated was in the Veneto region of Italy during the Renaissance. Most of the radicchio in US grocery stores is the round kind that looks like a small purple cabbage (Radicchio di Choggia) but most restaurants in Venice serve the elongated variety (Radicchio di Treviso).

The radicchio I found at my market was the same shape as the Treviso variety but was only purple on the ends. I'm not sure but it might have been harvested young before it had time to turn completely purple. Anyway, it was wonderful grilled for this salad.

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I love the citrus vinaigrette recipe too. I cut the oil back to a little under half a cup and instead of croutons, I put a few pine nuts on top. The sweet little Sungold tomatoes were the first to ripen in my garden; tomato season is finally here, yay!

Thanks Cindy Ruth for an excellent recipe.

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Cindy Ruth's recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Marcia's Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon Pesto.

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Grilled Radicchio Salad" »

June 21, 2009

Honeysuckle Sorbet

Honeysuckle Sorbet

I didn’t participate in Slow Scoopers last summer but they inspired me to buy an ice cream maker which has been in winter storage but is now out and cranking! This amazing sorbet is the first thing I’ve made this year and also, this was my first ever experience of foraging in the wild for ingredients. :)

There are a few things I’ve eaten in my life that were so good they almost made me swoon and this sorbet is one of them. It’s a cult classic dessert here in North Carolina and every spring, people flock to my favorite local restaurant, Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, to eat this stuff. Bill Smith (the chef at Crooks’ and a 2009 James Beard finalist for best regional chef) created this recipe after doing research into medieval Arabic and Sicilian recipes for flower ices.

Pretty much every Southern kid learns how to pluck a honeysuckle blossom, pull the stamen out, and then eat the tiny drop of honey inside the flower. Well, this sorbet tastes like a combination of that honey droplet and the aroma of honeysuckle when it’s in bloom.

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Continue reading "Honeysuckle Sorbet" »

June 25, 2009

San Gioachino

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Tucked away on a little calle in Castello north of Via Garibaldi, this lovely 14th century Gothic relief shows the Virgin and Child with saints Peter and Paul. The child is handing a key to Peter and a scroll to Paul.

The relief is over an entrance to a former religious complex that once included a hospice(Ospizio dei Santi Pietro e Paolo) for pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, a convent, and an oratory dedicated to San Gioachino, father of the Virgin Mary. The hospice was founded in the 11th c. and was later converted to a hospital which was one of the largest in Venice. The complex was closed by the French in the early 19th century; now it's city property and I've never found it open and don't know what (if anything) it's used for today.

Continue reading "San Gioachino" »

June 27, 2009

PhotoHunt: Flags

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This week's theme is "Flags."

Various and sundry flags seen at Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival. The first photo shows Buddhist prayer flags in a tree.

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a happy weekend.


June 28, 2009

Sunday Salads: Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon Pesto

samplersWhat a great recipe! This week's salad came from Marcia of Happy Trails For Us; she found it in Bon Appetit magazine.

I love pesto but tarragon pesto was a new experience for me. It's delicious and so easy to make. I had some leftover pesto that I used on pasta later in the week; that was tasty too.

I didn't tweak this recipe much; I substituted sugar snap peas from my garden for the cukes and skipped the grilled bread. It's a beautiful salad.

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Thanks Marcia, this was a winner. And by the way, Marcia's been blogging from an Alaskan cruise; check out her blog for some great posts and cool photos.

The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Nancy's Watermelon Salad.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon Pesto" »

June 30, 2009

Ponte dei Carmini

Here's a case where a bridge was named for a street shrine. The bridge, called Ponte dei Carmini, was built in 1791 and named for the adjacent shrine with an image of the Madonna del Carmine inside. The shrine is lovely but needs some attention; one side is propped up with what looks like a bed slat. This is in Castello, close to the church of San Zaccaria.

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Continue reading "Ponte dei Carmini" »

This page contains all entries posted to Churches in Venice in June 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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