Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower with Olives

This is a side dish that goes molto buono with Italian food. It is easy-peasy. Read through the recipe, and you will see that it doesn't take much work.


1 large head cauliflower, trimmed & cut into bite-sized florets.
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (use a good quality olive oil here, for sure)
Sea Salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. fine grated lemon zest
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (you can slice the olives in half, or not, I buy them prepitted, but be careful some pits are not left in them)
3 Tbsp. salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained.
1/4 tsp or more red chili flakes (I only use 1/4 tsp., but you could add more, if you like it spicy)

In large bowl, toss cauliflower with 3 Tbsp.olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on large baking sheet. Broil four inches beneath preheated broiler, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until lightly charred in spots and just tender. (be careful not to let them burn).

In small bowl, stir together remaining 3 Tbsp. oil with zest. Return cauliflower to large bowl. Add olives, capers, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Toss to mix well. Season with more pepper, if desired. You can serve this dish immediately, but I prefer to let it stand at room temperature for up to one hour, before serving.
Makes 4 to 6 side dishes, depending on the size of your cauliflower.

Fairy Doors

We have two fairy doors at our house. One, is next to the back door leading out, and the other is in our back garden. I guess you can say that I have a special interest in fairy doors. There are fairies at the bottom of our garden, and they need to feel welcomed.

My niece went to Ann Arbor, Michigan this past weekend. Who knew that Ann Arbor was famous for their fairy doors? My kind niece sent a photo of one of the doors she and her DH happened upon on their walk. I love the little treasures and trinkets scattered around the door for the fairies.

Here is a link to some more photos of the Ann Arbor doors.

by Rose Fyleman

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!It's not so very, very far away;You pass the gardener's shed and you just keep straight ahead -I do so hope they've really come to stay.There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,And a little stream that quietly runs through;You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merry-making there -Well, they do.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden! They often have a dance on summer nights; The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams And pick a little star to make a far,And dance away up there in the middle of the air?Well, they can.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!You cannot think how beautiful they are;They all stand up and sing when the Fairy Queen and KingCome gently floating down upon their car.The King is very proud and very handsome;The Queen - now can you guess who that could be(She's a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?Well - it's ME!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli (macaroni and beans), was a standard Friday night dish when I was growing up. My mama's way of making this dish was meatless, which made it ideal for our meatless-Friday night meal. I still make this dish today, as it is inexpensive, fast, and most of all....delicious. It tastes even better if made the day before and it freezes well. Here is how we make Pasta Fagioli. This makes about six servings.


2 cloves garlic

1 small, chopped onion

1 or 2 finely chopped carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1/4 tsp. oregano


2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (red or white)

1 Tablespoon Tomato paste

1 cup water or wine


'1 pound of Small Macaroni (can be ditalini, small shells, elbow or whatever you have on hand)
a separate pot boiling, salted water to cook macaroni in


Grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese for serving.


Put the first 9 ingredients in pot. Stir and cook until the onions are clear, but do not burn.

Add the kidney beans and tomato paste. At his point I also add the wine or water. Bring to to very low simmer, cover and cook until carrots are done. (about 10 minutes or so). Give it a stir every so often, so the bottom doesn't burn.


I cook my macaroni in a separate pot of boiling, salted water. When it is al dente, (not mushy) drain the water from the macaroni, saving a cup or two of water aside. Add the cooked macaroni to the bean pot, continue cooking on low for about ten minutes. We like it fairly thick at our house, but if it seems too thick for your family, add a bit of the water you saved from the cooked macaroni.

Serve in soup bowls with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese on top. A nice piece of crusty Italian bread and a salad make a good meal. As I mentioned above, this dish is even better if it is made ahead of time and reheated.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


We live in the city, but we have a shady and welcoming back garden. When we sit in the garden, it is almost as if we are in the country, with lots of birds, wildlife (squirrels and raccoons), butterflies. and Cala (our dog).
A few years ago, we noticed a gnome or two working their way into our garden; moving closer and closer to the very back of the yard, near where the fairies live. The population of gnomes is now well over forty. Today, a few of the more friendlier gnomes have allowed me to post their photos on the blog. I hope you enjoy seeing them. Maybe, one day, the fairies will come out of hiding to be photographed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


My name is Rosemary, also known as Nonna to my family. I come from an Italian-American family, born and raised in the USA. I married a man who was born into an Irish-American family. We moved to Canada almost 42 years ago, and have raised a family of four. (two boys, two girls) My wonderful children have given me loving daughter-in-laws, great son-in-laws, 2 grandsons, and there are two more grandchildren on the way! Life is good. I praise God for the gift of my family, and I hope to share the joy they give me with you.