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Guest Chef Jean Fares After quite some time, we are proud to welcome back our beloved Guest Chef Jean Fares! This time, he outdid himself with this delicious and all-fresh seafood pasta. He bought fresh calamari, fresh herbs, fresh vegetables and most importantly shrimps that were still alive (yes, that’s how fresh it was!) to make this absolutely phenomenal spaghetti dish that I keep on longing for ever since. Believe me, try to make it and you’ll definitely adopt it.

Jean’s birthday is tomorrow so I’ll be baking him a nice and yummy cake for the occasion (the one I had baked here).

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

– Fresh Shrimps. Keep the heads and shells aside to make the juice

– Fresh Calamari

– Coriander leaves

– 3 to 4 small tomatoes (choose them very red), chopped

– White wine

– Spaghetti

– Salt and Pepper

– 1 Onion (diced)

– 3 cloves of Garlic (diced)

How to make it:

1) Boil your spaghetti al dente and drain

2) Chop the onions, the garlic and chili pepper (If you want to spice it up)

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2) In a wok or pan, heat a bit of olive oil and cook the onions, garlic and pepper, then add the shrimp heads, white wine and chopped tomatoes. Let it simmer and reduce

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4) On a grill, cook the calamari

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5) Mix them all when they’re done, top it all with some fresh coriander leaves and experience an explosion of flavors 🙂

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Rome is one of my favorite cities and for those of you who still haven’t been there, I seriously tell you to pack your bags this summer and head to Italy. You won’t regret it for a minute.

My sister Mia, the one who’s on the perfect cookie quest (read here for more details), lives in London. For her Easter holiday, she met my mom in Rome and they had the real dolce vita for a few days. I asked her to send me the highlights of her trip so that I could provide you with a taste of this great city. Here’s what one day in Rome could be like.

1. Start your day with a coffee and brioche at “Sant’Eustachio il caffe” (http://www.santeustachioilcaffe.it/) – best “caffe” in Rome. Have a quick breakfast at the bar.

2. Visit the church of San Luigi dei Francesi (http://saintlouis-rome.net/) which is just a few footsteps away from the cafe. It’s one of the few churches where you can see some of Caravaggio’s paintings for free and the church itself is beautiful.

San Luigi dei Francesi 2

3. Walk to Piazza Navona (a few minutes’ walk from the church). It’s one of the best “piazzas” in Rome. There, you can find the best gelato place. My advice would be Orange and Nutellone gelato flavors.

4. At lunchtime, head to Vicolo 88 on Via dell’Orso 88 for a nice lunch at one of my good friend Giovanni De Luca’s restaurants. (www.vicolo88.it)

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5. After lunch, head to Via del Corso for a bit of shopping and also visit the spanish steps and fontana di trevi close to there. Then, if you want, catch the andy Warhol Exhibition which is a fascinating summary of the artist’s life and his work. (http://www.wantedinrome.com/whats-on/2003489/andy-warhol-in-rome.html)

Spanish Steps

6. Later in the afternoon, go to Campo dei Fiori for a quick dash around the cutest market and then cross the bridge to Trastevere for a nice aperitivo (make sure you order a nice and fresh “Spritz”) followed by dinner in one of the charming trattorias around there.

Campo dei fiori

Aperitivo

This is just a preview of all the things you can do in Rome. There are so many other beautiful places there to see and restaurants to eat in. I’ll make sure to share everything if I go there this year.

Meanwhile, all you have to do is dream 😉

 

 

 

I am always proud to tell people about my mixed nationalities. My mom is Greek and my dad is Lebanese. I am a mix of the two most “Mediterranean” cultures ever known (alongside the Italians). I’m using the word “Mediterranean” as an adjective, meaning chaotic, loud, in love with food, olive oil, the sun and the sea, always gathering for special occasions (varying from all family members’ birthdays -including the dog’s- to Christmas, Easter, and family members coming back from abroad) and laughing the night away.  
When I went to the UK in 2008 to study for my Masters degree, I met a lot of Greek people, “real” ones. Having always lived in Lebanon, the only information I had about Greek culture came from my grandparents and their stories. But I had always wanted to meet THE Greeks. I did, and I spent a lot of time in Greece visiting them. Of course, I seized the opportunity to learn the “real” tzatziki, how Greek mothers make it. Here it is.
What you’ll need:
– 5 to 6 Cucumbers
– Yogurt (i.e. ‘Laban’ for the Lebanese or Greek yogurt for all countries where you can find it)
– 5 Garlic cloves
– Olive oil
– Salt and Pepper
– A bowl
1) Peel the cucumbers’ skin, and throw it away. Then, continue peeling and add them all to the bowl

2) Crush the garlic cloves and add them on top of the cucumbers

3) Add salt and pepper

4) Add the yogurt on top of everything and mix

5) Add as much olive oil as you’d like and mix

And Voila! You can have it alone or with absolutely everything.