Pasta Fazool

Two years ago, Stepson gave us “A Goomba’s Guide to Life” by Steven R. Schiripa.  Schiripa is better known as Bobby Bacala of HBO’s The Sopranos.  Spouse and I  really enjoyed that book and the show. Since Spouse grew up in New Jersey and his grandparent’s and parent’s last home was just a few blocks from where the Sopranos’ pork store, Satriale’s,  is located (Kearny Avenue Kearny, NJ), you really can’t fault us for being big fans of this show.

The book also has some common Italian-American recipes, some of which  I’ve tried.  One of my favorites is  Pasta Fazool or as they call it in proper Italian, Pasta E Fagioli – noodles and beans.  It’s an Italian comfort food that’s rich tasting and easy to prepare.  The combination of beans and pasta is very healthy because of the complex carbohydrates and proteins of the main ingredients.

Pasta Fazool is actually a soup, but Spouse likes it more like a stew.  I like mine topped with extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The olive oil HAS to be extra virgin to bring out the very earthy flavors of the beef, the basil and the beans.  This is a meal in itself….perfect for a cold winter evening.  I like my Pasta Fazool with crusty Italian bread, red wine followed by a simple green salad of  arugula and mushrooms with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.  Not bad for Tuesday dinner.

Next time you’re in a hurry and want something warm and comforting for dinner, try this recipe. Continue reading “Pasta Fazool”

Going All Chocolate-y

My favorite Filipina food blogger once wrote about a German Chocolate called Ritter Sport which I’d never heard of before.  On my regular commissary run for that week, I chanced upon this same brand.  I don’t know why I waited to try it until today.  But I’m thankful I did.

The Swiss-made Lindt was always my favorite chocolate brand.  No matter what the flavor was, it’s always consistently excellent.  Flavor, texture, even their packaging is fine and tasteful.  Whenever someone I knew was going to Switzerland, this was the best “pasalubong” to request.  But now that I’ve discovered Ritter Sport, I’m tempted to change my mind. Continue reading “Going All Chocolate-y”

Old Heidelberg Restaurant and Deli – Colorado Springs

Spouse took me to see “Brokeback Mountain” this afternoon  Before we headed downtown, we decided to try the Quizno’s $2.99 roast beef sub they’ve been advertising on tv.  We’ve never tried Quizno’s before and thought this new item would be interesting with the au jus.

Well, that was the plan anyway. We made the wrong turn and I saw the sign for the Old Heidelberg Bakery and Cafe.  Spouse was all upset but hey, if you’ve got broken eggs, make an omelette, right?   And so we parked right in front of the bakery and decided to have lunch there instead. The bakery/cafe and deli looked very modern and clean.  I was sorry I didn’t bring my camera along so I could take shots of their delicious looking cakes and pastries. A short line was starting to form at the cashier but the staff was very efficient and we put in our order not long after we came in. Continue reading “Old Heidelberg Restaurant and Deli – Colorado Springs”


I’ve been reading a lot of food blogs the last few months.  My favorites are those authored by Filipinos living abroad. It’s just so interesting to read about other Filipinos’ adventures cooking familiar foods in a foreign land or learning to cook new recipes. There is something I find amiss though. Cooking pancit or anything guisado used to mean using shrimp juice to add more flavor to your dish and I do not recall reading about that in any of the blogs I chanced on. Perhaps, it’s because this one ingredient is not something you can pick up in any store, unless you make do with bouillons and instant mixes. Continue reading “Guisado!”

Low Fat Spinach Quiche

I’ve made this low-fat Spinach Quiche one of my regular stand-by lunch recipes for some time now. 

Spinach is one of those Super Foods packed with vitamins and minerals, best when boiled and not raw.  I read this trivia in our local paper and was pretty relieved cause raw spinach is not my favorite thing in the world.  It’s convenient to make with frozen spinach that lasts forever in any  freezer.  It’s a relatively healthy meal and tastes great.  Even a carnivore like me doesn t miss the lack of any meats in this dish. Another thing I love about this are the leftovers.  They are great even after a day or two in the fridge.  Just reheat in the microwave and it comes out still good. Here’s the recipe I use: Continue reading “Low Fat Spinach Quiche”

Lee Iacocca’s Olivio Premium Spread and the Diabetes Connection

On our last visit to Younger Sister in Florida last Thanksgiving, she handed us a tub of Olivio Premium Spread for our toast at breakfast.  I was first intrigued by the packaging because it carried Lee Iacocca’s name on it.  But when she told me that it was made from olive oil, I got even more intrigued.  My first taste convinced me that this was the one product I would always choose to have on my toast.  No matter who makes it, or what it’s made of, IT IS DELICIOUS.  it doesn’t hurt that it is also has 85 percent less saturated fat than butter and is cholesterol-free. Continue reading “Lee Iacocca’s Olivio Premium Spread and the Diabetes Connection”

Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup

Thank goodness for unpredictable Colorado weather!  It got warm enough for Spouse and I to indulge in a pint of another untested flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

This time we decided to try “Peanut Butter Cup” and were not disappointed.

My first spoonful reminded me of “Choc-Nut”, my favorite Philippine sweet.  Choc-Nut was the reward I got from the sari-sari store owner off 11th Street?in New Manila. My yaya would take the day’s pig slop from my grandmother’s household to the store owner who had her little pigpen in her backyard.  I was just a toddler but remember accompanying my yaya and being handed a Choc-Nut or two when we said our good byes.  I have always loved Choc-Nut.  I found it in a Filipino store here once but was disappointed to find the Choc-Nut had gone old and stale. Continue reading “Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup”