Rolled Ice Cream is Hot on Butler Street

I’ve been away for awhile.  My friend B said “let’s go to NatuRoll Creamery get rolled ice cream in Lawrenceville. There’s always a line” (which is a good sign).

Turns out it didn’t open until three. So we had a delicious lunch at VANDAL first, waiting for three o’clock to roll around.

IMG_2409

Kaden took our orders and $. Two Spring Specials -Blueberry Lemon on a Vanilla Base.

IMG_2411

Abby made mine.

Then she added them lemon zest

IMG_2439

and a slice of lemon

IMG_2442The focus is on Abby.  Takes 2-5 minutes to create each fancy finished special.

IMG_6229

Truffle Atop Poached Egg and Wild Asparagus Risotto

IMG_5711What an evening of taste bud surprises! WOW.

We took an evening tram to meet my son’s friends at a café.  Because it was the night before the Easter Holiday, every seat was taken. Quite a wait for a table. Everyone celebrating being off the next workday.

Bummer-  BUT  When the friends arrived they had a discussion for an alternate plan.  Wow, did I ever luck out that the café was full.  One went to procure a  bottle of red.

The first delight was I’s Sour Cherry apéritif which he’d made.  At first,  I was worried it might burn but my concerns were totally unfounded.  In fact, the drink defined summer captured in a slim crystal cylinder.  All I can say it the ruby liquid of summer’s sour cherries woke up every taste bud in my mouth.  Delicious.  Not to sweet, not too tart, zero burn. Perfection!

And then the surprise of M’s creation- Poached egg on fresh bread with the fruitiest most fragrant olive oil drizzle AND the unexpected luxurious truffle on top of the gently poached farm egg.  Or “home eggs” as my family refers to them.

I was feeling quite content with all I had eaten. Italian cheese and olives to start and then the Sour Cherry apéritif and the lovely truffle surprise.   And then the Wild Asparagus Risotto was ready to eat.  Freshly Grated Cheese on top. Oh my.  So bold.  It was wild! A flavor I’dd never before experienced,  created by a culinary expert.

I was happy to meet my son’s friends and be invited into a Zagreb home to experience  these tastes and more importantly their friendship and hospitality.

Sretan Uskrs and Hvala for a wonderful evening in Zagreb.

IMG_5711 iPhone photos don’t do justice to this dish.

 

 

IMG_5710

The wild asparagus simmers

 

 

IMG_5718

Words are inadequate to describe this bold Wild Asparagus Risotto. WOW!

IMG_6072

Meet Slaven Lunar Kosanović

IMG_5585

Meet Slaven Lunar Kosanović.  

Artist. Designer. Illustrator.

You may have seen his artwork in Forbes Magazine or Playboy but didn’t know it! or click his name and see his walls, canvases and illustrations

We ran into him at an artist’s evening at the  Croatian Design Superstore in Zagreb last week.  My son introduced us.

He’s holding a book created for a humanitarian effort, restoring a church fresco. (Reminder to self; always carry notebook and writing implement to record important/accurate details) 

Slaven just sent me this updated information

I found the text “The book ‘Adris Foundation – contribution to Croatian society since 2007’ presents funded projects – each project is described and illustrated by one of 26 illustrators. The ‘Danse macabre’ fresco by Vincent of Kastav from 1474 has always simultaneously fascinated and dreaded me so it was a logical choice for me. Project name: Laboratory examination and protection of the Beram frescos / Project bearer: Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Project leader: Dr. Sc Emina Pustijanac”

IMG_5592

 

IMG_5590Slaven with his father, whose excellent English made easy conversation for me at the Croatian Design Superstore.

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 7.24.03 AM                                         one example of his wall art from his website

Maria Bakes Peach Cookies

Maybe you’ve been to a celebration and seen the fancy cookies that look exactly like a peach?

Meet Maria Costa.  If you live in Pittsburgh and need alterations on just about any fabric or piece clothing,upholstery or some throw pillows to match your couch, Maria is a seamstress.

But on Thursday she was baking peach cookies for her grandson’s First Holy Communion.

The first step.  Another day she’ll be cooking a vanilla pudding and filling the two halves of a ” peach”,  “gluing” them together with a finger of the filling spread on the bottoms and rolling the joined cookies in Peach Schnapps and then granulated sugar. She might add a leaf or two but no pretend stem as someone once choked on one. (Survived)

I was picking up my friend Barb to go to the art store and she asked if I could pick her up at Maria’s home instead of her house. I thought I was just picking her up.  Turns out Barb and Maria been baking all morning and Barb was taking good notes.  I was thrilled to smell the tempting baking aroma and see part of the process of the baking of the peach cookies.

They’d spent the morning baking. The dough used fifteen eggs as she thought they were on the small side but the recipe calls for a dozen!

I saw the giant wooden spoon she used to make the stiff dough. Mixers have been broken previously.

IMG_6156

IMG_6152IMG_6157IMG_6151IMG_6161

IMG_6178IMG_6196

 

Another day Maria will cook the filling and put the two hard halves of the peach together.  Roll them in Peach Schnappes( a hint of rosy food coloring added) and then confectioner’s sugar.  Each “peach” will rest in a pretty pleated cupcake paper on a platter.

Maria showed us the seedlings starting in her backyard garden.  Her fig tree.

Maria pointed out the province where she’s from- Calabria- Vibo Valentia   Italy

I hope I get invited with my friend to see the rest of the process in making the fancy peach cookies.  It was really nice to be welcomed into her kitchen.  The heart of her home.

Meet Zoe Papadopoulou

Meet Zoe Papadopoulou. My wonderful seat mate on flight from Munich  to Toronto. You know, I’m an anxious flier so it was lovely to be seated next to someone who loves the adventure and excitement of flying.

She’ll be singing  with two other well known Greek singers in a special concert this Friday in Toronto.

IMG_6118IMG_6150