CUCINA CARA MIA.......Random thoughts from "my dear kitchen" about food, travel, Italy, San Diego and life!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Back from a very long 11 days on vacation...we visited Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Gig Harbor, Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Victoria B.C.

In no specific order we:

Saw the amazing Buchart Gardens, took 3 ferry rides, found my dream home in Gig Harbor (PHOTO 5) , got a bird's eye view of Seattle from the Space Needle, shopped at Pike's Market, ate some great seafood, saw The Proposal (cute film!) stayed at a charming B & B, walked through beautiful lavender fields, rented a turn of the century house in Sequim, and ate way too much ice cream!!

We stopped in San Francisco first and celebrated my daugher's 21st birthday and my mother-in- law's 75th...

It was great to see the Pacific Northwest...beautiful, green, and so different from where I live. Back to reality, back to enjoying summer and to my computer so I can catch up on all of your blogs!!

Happy 4th to all!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Have you noticed I haven't blogged much lately? I feel bad - my laptop crashed about a month ago and, and for some reason, I haven't been as inspired working on the desktop in the office. I am stuck at home today with no car, and have done all the cleaning I want to do, which is not much.

I was looking through the pantry for something easy to bake, and with the limited ingredients on hand, and a little web searching, I found this easy Lemon Polenta cake on the Cooking Light website--and for all you Ina fans, NO BUTTER!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Cooking Spray
1-1/4 c. All Purpose Flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 t. baking soda
1.4 t. salt
2/3 cup reduced fat buttermilk
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
2 t. grated lemon zest

To prepare cake, coat an 8 inch round pan with cooking spray, line bottom of pan with parchment paper, coat paper with cooking spray and set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 dry ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a wisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, eggs and zest, stirring well with a wisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until moist. Pour batter into prepared pan, bake for 40 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove cake from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

The recipe calls for a fruit compote. I just made a lemon glaze out of confectioner's sugar and lemon juice. I think fresh raspberries or strawberries would also be great.