Author Archives: Paypouy

Monkey Bread

I bought The Soup and Bread Cookbook from Amazon earlier today and there were just too many recipes that made me want to start baking right away. So I tried this Monkey Bread recipe ( snapshot from the book ):
Recipe

Here are some pics I took:

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Wag the dog

I would like to announce the upcoming addition of a new member to our family!

She’s going to be a beautiful blond, with brown eyes and a wonderful personality, just like her parents. Continue reading

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September Rain (first rainfall)

    The weather has been very hot in Italy this summer. Rome, Florence, Venice, no matter where we go the weather is hot and humid.

    August has ended and September seems to be breezy.

    This morning the sky was cloudy and it suddenly started to rain, it only lasted 3 minutes though.
    An hour later, it started raining again, and this time heavy rain. I went out to our  small balcony and took some shots.

    The original post and photos can be found here

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    Galleria degli Uffizi

    “Galleria degli Uffizi” or The Uffizi Gallery, is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world. It is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, a beautiful palace in Florence, Italy.

    Today, I was very excited about visiting the Uffizi Gallery! It was a dream coming true.
    For an art lover, seeing the works of the Grand Masters (Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Donatello…) is actually a big deal. And I have to thank my husband for that :)

    We went in the afternoon, not worrying about the long lines in front of the museum, because of our membership in “The Amici Degli Uffizi”. We went to gate number 2, a nice lady handed us our tickets and directed us to the entry.
    I was a bit mad because it was forbidden to take photos, and despite that, many couples were taking out their small point & shoot digital cameras and snapping shots secretly. I couldn’t do the same with my 0.703 Kilograms Nikon D90!

    We wandered around the rooms and corridors of the Uffizi, amazed by it’s grandeur and beauty, the ceiling frescoes and the large collection of roman sculptures and paintings.

    The original post and the pictures an be found on blog.scrum2.us

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    Under the same sky?!

    Do we really live under the same sky? That’s what I kept asking my husband since we came here!

    It’s really amazing how different the sky looks in Italy. It’s huge, vast, enormous… amazingly beautiful!
    Lebanon is surrounded by the Mediterranean from the west, a series of mountains from the east… so the sky is always bound no matter where you look. Here it’s different, wide spaces with mountains in the far horizon and plains extending as if forever. Maybe that’s why the sky looks larger (to me at least)!

    Here are some photos with beautiful Italian skies.
    I should take a few more to show you what I mean.

    The original post and the pictures an be found on blog.scrum2.us

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    Our Travel Journals

      It’s been 25 days since we arrived to Italy! Despite how very hectic it was during the past 3 weeks, we enjoyed the vacation and time we spent with our siblings and friends.

      I have been trying to start writing our travel journals, as was agreed upon,  since the first day we got here .  While we were still in Lebanon,  Abdallah would ask me everyday:  “you’re going to write a new post everyday,  aren’t you?”.
      To be honest, I have been very exhausted by the end of  the each of the 25 days, too exhausted to even think  about what I should write, and now i feel so guilty that so many days have passed by without posting anything on my blog!

      Better late than never, right? I will try to write everyday from now on, and also write about the past 3 weeks and try to tell you about our numerous adventures here.

      Yesterday we decided to visit the Boboli Gardens of Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti), it was the first time we use the  “Amici Degli Uffizi” tickets (which proved to be very practical). Why the Boboli Gardens? well, because I was trying to find somewhere we could hang out,  me wandering around taking photos  and Abdallah working on his laptop.  So I thought that the gardens must have some descent place to sit and enjoy the scenery. It was too HOT! we were barely able to breath. We spent a couple of hours in the gardens, then went out and had lunch in a nearby restaurant and came back to visit the Costume Gallery.
      This gallery contains a big collection of theatrical costumes dating from the 16th century until the now. It is the only museum in Italy which details the history of the Italian fashion.

      The Palazzo Pitti is a huge Renaissance palace, which was bought by the wealthy Medici family and later became their residence. The palace is divided to several museums and galleries as follows:

      • Pitti Palace
      • Palatine Gallery
      • Gallery of Modern Art
      • Costume Gallery
      • Silver Museum
      • Porcelain Museum
      • Boboli Gardens

      It is impossible to visit the whole place in one day. So we will have to come back again to check out the remaining works of art.

      The original post and the pictures an be found on blog.scrum2.us

      http://blog.scrum2.us/20090831/under-the-same-sky/

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      Italian Visa ready – Let the adventure begin!

      Yippee!…
      We finally got the Italian Visa (My husband & I). And to our surprise, we  were granted a 6 months, multiple entries Visa.
      And to add to my happiness,  my sister and big brother got the visas too.

      We can’t wait to get there, meet all the friends and attend the International Convention by the name:
      ‘Keep On The Watch!’ (Mt 24:42)

      We will spend 7 days in Rome and 2 whole months in Florence.  I will be posting details on this blog everyday and photos too!
      Btw, I think my new DSLR, Nikon D90 will be here tonight!! if my big brother Juliano will arrive today from KSA (but we never know exactly when he’s coming, do we????).

      Only 6  more days to go! Gotta start packing …

      Catch you later guys!

      Pia

      The original post and the pictures an be found on blog.scrum2.us

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      Fred and Ginger? (The Dancing House)

      Fred & Ginger

      The Dancing House, Fred and Ginger, Drunk House all are nicknames of the Nationale-Nederlanden building in downtown  Prague, Czech Republic ( Rašínovo nábeží 80, 120 00 Praha 2)

      Prague contains one of the world’s most varied collections of architecture: Neo-Baroque, Gothic, Cubist, Renaissance and Art Nouveau.

      The two architects Vlado Miluni & Frank Gehry designed this building on a vacant space on the riverfront of the Vlatva (The previous building was destroyed in 1945) and it was completed in 1996.

      The Dancing House resembles a dancing couple, and it really stands out among the old historic buildings of Prague.

      We included the visit to the building in our schedule while planning for this trip. On the 19th of November 2008, the plan was to find The Hard Rock Caffe in Old Town (buying t-shirt for my brother in law),  check out the Dancing House, find a good restaurant for lunch, and have dinner at Robert’s place where we got to meet his amazing family.

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      DSC01008

      It was very cold, rainy and windy and that made finding the building a difficult task.
      When we got there I started taking photos from several angles, we crossed the road facing the famous building and there we were standing on a bridge  taking photos of the dancing house and the amazing Vlatva river, when we came across “Matilda”, an Italian Restaurant-Boat.

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      I was literally able to see my husband’s eyes light up! So we decided to have lunch there.
      It was the perfect refuge from rain and cold and the perfect choice for lunch, the food was delicious and service was great.

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      All in all it was an amazing experience. We were able to see Prague’s Castle from the boat.  We also spent some time picking on some swans and ducks swimming in Vlatva…

      We couldn’t resist ordering Pasta! Abdallah had a Tagliatelle Al Funghi.
      and I had Gnocchi and Chicken dish with pancetta, basil, chicken stock and Parmesan.

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      Colorful Salad!

      Salad

      My Grandmother and mother were coming to have lunch at our place last week.
      It all happened the last minute, I was cleaning the house and preparing many things… I was nevertheless  able to make a decent meal.
      I cooked a chicken and potato casserole (with wine and mushroom) and even made a delicious banana cake. But what about salad?  Granny loves cabbage! and that’s how the idea of  this combination came out:

      Ingredients:

      • Cabbage (mixture or green & red cabbage) julienned
      • Carrots shredded
      • Avocado (cut to cubes)
      • Lemon Juice
      • Olive oil
      • Parmesan shavings
      • Walnuts crushed
      • Salt & pepper to taste

      Preparation:

      Mix the cabbage and carrots together and add the lemon juice, salt & pepper and olive oil.
      Serve them in a big salad plate, distribute the avocado cubes evenly on top.
      Use a potato peeler to make Parmesan shavings to garnish the salad.

      Bon appetit!

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      Pumpkin Pasta

      On Sunday, we had lunch at my aunt’s. I came back home with a lot of goodies, one of which was a pumpkin!

      I decided to cook again the recipe that my husband liked a lot last time, Pumpkin pasta with my own twist this time.
      This Pumpkin weights about 4kgs. I only used half of it for this recipe.

      Pumpkins

      Pumpkins

      Ingredients:

      • 2 kgs  Pumpkin  peeled, seeds removed & cut to cubes
      • 1 pack of spaghetti pasta
      • 2 onions diced
      • 1 clove of garlic
      • salt & pepper to taste
      • 2 teaspoon cinnamon (goes really well with pumpkin)
      • 2 cubes of chicken stock (not liquid, the pumpkin contains enough water)
      • 1/4 cup of white wine (whatever is available)
      • 2 tbsp of pine nuts for garnish
      • 2 tbsp olive oil

      Preparation:

      Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan, then add the onions on medium heat for 5 mns or until they become translucent.
      Add the garlic and stir for one minute, then add the pumpkin, salt, pepper cinnamon and close the lid and let it simmer for 25 minutes or until the pumpkin becomes tender.
      At this stage you can prepare the pasta by adding the pasta to the salted boiling water,  and cook it according the package instructions.
      Now we can add the wine to the pan and the stock cubes after splitting them to pieces and stir until they dissolve
      Taste and adjust seasoning.
      Serve the pumpkin and the pasta together and garnish with pine nuts

      Hope that you will enjoy this recipe, I promise to post a photo of the dish soon.

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