I am distracted while trying to decide where I should start. Like Ximena, I think I am suffering from some type of writing block. Or is it that I am simply feeling too jet lagged to gather coherent thoughts?
On Saturday, for example, I baked a cake and I forgot to add flour to it. I don’t recall the last time I did something like this.
It’s been two–almost three–days that I am back from Sicily in Italy, but I feel that I am somehow still there. A strong part of me will remain there for a while.
First there are the photos I brought back. So many of them. Then there’s the vivid memory of so many friendly faces I met during our wonderful stay with Fabrizia, Mita, and Gianlucas.
We (aka Keiko, Chika, Ximena, Oliver, Nicky, Melissa, and I) were welcomed like family! I was lucky to find myself amongst a group of inspiring talents.
And oh, the foods that we sampled and ate together….
Sicily was rich of life, of moments, places, and faces that were just waiting to be photographed.
So I snapped. Snapped. And snapped away.
And because I felt nostalgic of the wonderful foods we ate, last night, I made gnocchi ricotta and crema bianco mangiare (blanc manger)–two delicious dishes Fabrizia prepared and treated us to. You will love the recipes, I promise.
In the meantime, while I keep you waiting, I am suggesting an orange fruit salad I had prepared before I left. The oranges and lemons and vanilla oranges and citrons and blood oranges we sampled every day in Sicily were succulent.
I know they’d be amazing in this simple salade de fruits aux oranges.
That’s my welcome to spring.
Also, I’d like to thank everyone for the warm welcome my book is currently receiving: from you all to the press. Here are a few of the articles written over the last few weeks.
Boston Phoenix; Boston Globe Magazine; Fine Cooking Magazine; Whole Living Magazine (April issue); Clean Eating Magazine (April issue); Huffington Post; New York Times Diner’s Journal; Wall Street Journal; Bon appétit Magazine, ; Library Journal; Hello Magazine, Canada.
Merci ! It feels good to be in this spot right now.
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup blond cane sugar
- 4 star anises
- 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
- 3 cardamon pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Drizzle of lemon juice
- 4 blood oranges
- 4 oranges
- Plain yogurt, to taste
- In a pot, combine the water with the sugar. Bring to a simmer and stir, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the spices and simmer for 10 minutes. Stop the heat and let infuse for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool at room temperature then discard the spices. Drizzle lemon juice to taste.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the outer skin of the oranges until you reach the flesh. Remove any white membrane around the orange slices.
- To serve, divide the fruit between four bowls.
- Divide the syrup between them and add a large dollop of plain yogurt and chopped mint (non set is preferrable).
So bummed I missed your book signing in Chicago (Glen Ellyn). I’ll be moving out to the east coast this summer. Maybe I’ll catch you then. Hope the jet lag wears off quickly. Wish I had that to blame for all my baking mishaps lately 🙂
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous – my heart aches just looking at these photos! Pure serenity and contentment. And that salad sounds lovely, too. I am hoping to travel around the globe taking cooking classes this fall, and now I have my first idea. Thank you!
Les souvenirs… Memories are like the light that hits a stained glass window… they illuminate our faces with a wonderful smile. I understand how it can be difficult to catch the daily routine when the feet and the head want to be elsewhere. And if you’re not able to recover your daily routine, so why not perpetuate the beautiful moments spent abroad in the walls of your home. Bon retour!
Les photographies nimbées de cette lumière dorée sont magifiques. Bravo!
Thank you for the post: it’s beautiful and just what I needed. I have some oranges to be used and will make some variation of your salad hopefully tomorrow. Thanks!
i can just stare at the photos forever.
What part of Sicily did you visit?
your photos are so beautiful they almost hurt my eyes. i can’t wait to see more!
Amazing salad…. des photos de toute beauté, j’aime ces touches roses des framboises et des groseilles!
I love this salad! I’m glad you don’t have a writing block anymore 😉
Thank you! And please share the recipe of the gorgeous-looking cake, too!
Absolutely beautiful photos of Sicily, I cannot wait to see more!
The orange salad looks lovely, I will definitely make that for dessert sometime this week.
I bought your book on Amazon yesterday and I am so excited to receive it and cook your delicious recipes and admire your inspirational photography.
The pics are so beautiful. You have a great eye for details
beautiful story and salad dear bea!! i’m so happy for your book’s success too. you deserve every bit of recoginition you are receiving – you are a determined woman!
also, i recently blogged about a blood orange salad inspired by my parents’ visit to siciliy – if you want to check it out 🙂
blood orange salad
What a beautiful post of recollections and recipes…. I love Italy! Thank you for the inspiration!
Welcome back! I would love to go to Sicily. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Sorry it’s cold here now that you’re back! 🙁
So excited for you!! So well-deserved and I could stare at your photos forever. 🙂
What a beautiful pictures. I’m in love with the light of Sicily. And your salad is a summery feast. My neighbours are back from a trip to Napoli and brought lemons for me. They are so big and juicy. Going to make a lot of curd and more of them.
Tout est beau, comme toujours avec toi! 😉
What a trip that must have been! Is it easy to eat gluten free in Sicily? All the breads and pastas! I’m curious if gluten free alternatives are available. Also, the beautiful tartines in you book, what kind of breads do you use? Really enjoying your cookbook! Today, pistachio and poppy seed financiers!
As usual your glorious photos do not disappoint. Look at one, take a deep breath and close my eyes and I am there! I am hoping that this will lead you to a new book. Inspiring. As far as leaving the flour out….I wonder if this is how flourless cakes got started…by accident? I will look forward to more beautiful pictures, food and writing after you have had a chance to rest. So happy that you enjoyed the experience and can share with others.
Beautiful photos as always! Love this fruit salad idea too. Thanks for sharing! We’ve been buying 5 or 6 kilos of blood oranges every week at the pazar here in Istanbul and juicing them like crazy b/c they are so inexpensive and sweet!
Lovely! You where not far from me then! I’m from Malta and we have similar cuisine to Sicily 🙂
Just looking at your pictures makes me miss Sicily and our family that’s still there. The food is amazing and much different then Italy. The fruit and the cakes are awesome. And the ricotta. The ricotta from Sicily is very distinct. I’m so glad you were able to see how wonderful and beautiful it is there. I really need to get back with there with the kids.
Ah, la Sicilia…. Je l’aime et j’aime tous ses saveurs inégalables!!!!
Gorgeous pics from Sicily! I am looking forward to seeing more pictures and the gnocchi recipe. You were not that far from me either…being itlalian I am quite lucky to enjoy citrus and oranges produced in that beautiful Island, Have you ever tried fennel, oranges and black olives salad? I pretty love it!
Hope you’ll recover from the jet lag soon!
What a fantastic post for a beautiful spring day. The ingredients, colours, textures & text all combine for a most delectable – & simple – post. Thank you. And huge congratulations on your deserved success. May it long continue.
Oh, you’re so jammy getting to visit Sicilia! I wish I could travel more but it’s lovely to armchair travel through your blog and your amazing photos. Forgetting the entire flour in a cake is pretty impressive! 🙂
Your book is at home, here in Buenos Aires. I travelled to the US for work and I ordered and had it delivered to my hotel and since the day I received it I am enjoying it. Thank you for sharing your talent and especially for sharing your life that is with no doubt in each page of your book. Hope to meet you one day! You are very welcome if you happen to come to Buenos Aires!
Oh my word, I SOOOOOOOOOOO want to go wander in those fields.
Thank you so much everyone. It was quite a trip indeed.
Leela, I love the looks of this salad. Totally had similar things there. Also close to a recipe inside my book, actually, so maybe it was a sign I had to be in Sicily 😉 You’d love it there.
C’est toujours aussi incroyablement beau ici, ou que tu promenes ton regard.
Sicily is one of my favorite places in the world. Swordfish pasta, arancini, I could eat that food for days. Thank you for bringing me back there with your beautiful pictures.
encore de magnifiques photos avec cette superbe lumière sicilienne!! N’oublie pas de t’accorder le temps du repos, si tu sens cela nécessaire.:) la salade de fruits aux oranges sanguines a l’air délicieuse 🙂
I’ve been to Sicily twice, but never in the blooming spring, oh gosh, it’s unbelievably beautiful! Sicilian people have a generous heart, you can feel and taste their generousity in their amazing and true food, isn’t it?
Tes photos sont de toute beauté et tu sais nous faire voyager à travers celles-ci, merci!
nb: pourrai-tu nous dévoiler des endroits où tu chines ta vaisselle, tes nappes et serviettes ? C’est respire tellement la gaieté que j’aimerai en profiter aussi:)
So very beautiful! Thank you for sharing this.
Sicily is in my bucket list of places to visit! How lucky you are! I will content myself by waiting for your photos and reading your amazing stories for the meantime. He he he.
Wow, cette salade á l’air vraiment trop delicieuse! Je lis votre blog depuis un bon moment mais je ne pense pas avoir laissé de commentaire avant, et donc je vais profiter de l’enthousiasme que m’inspirent les oranges pour vous remercer de toutes les belles recettes et photo que vous partagez. 🙂 Merci!
Beautiful things made even more beautiful! It is a treat for the eyes and the soul and if I can make it, a real treat for the belly! I am a beginner who has been inspired by you to take better photographs. Thank you so very much!
Maravillosa ensalada de frutas refrescante y saludable postre me encanta,sus foto es espectacular,saludos y abrazos hugs,hugs.
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compelling photography, Bea! LOVE!!!!
Gorgeous photo and beautiful recipe. I am so inspired 🙂
Now this recipe excites me a lot! I’m gonna have to make it this coming weekend for sure.
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thanks for your wonderfull post, I tink that Sicily is an amazing land that doesn’t need of frames, is true and genuine, as its people… I’m very happy that your travel has given you many emotions!!!
just got your cookbook, FINALLY in the mail yesterday…and read it..yes, the whole thing, woke up this morning and made your Lemon Poppy Seed Buttermilk Pancakes and they were dellllllllliiiccccioussss! my 4 year old even ate them!! im in love and you take a mean photograph 🙂 best wishes to you and further cookbooks 🙂 a fantastic job well done!!! oh, and Lulu = beautiful.
Hi! I’d like to know if you teach any course of food photography and styling…
Nous sommes allés en Sicile il y a 2 ans et cela reste un de mes meilleurs souvenirs de vacances: paysages, sites, agriturismos et cuisine… tout était super!
i adore sicily! longing to go back. that light is magical! xx
reminds me of a very special week I spent at Regaleali vineyard ages ago..
Another world altogether
Let me know how to get the MUZE pages to you Beatrice
I couldn’t be more envious of your trip to Sicily. I want to visit so so much. Beautiful photos.
Ok, I have to try! Could you please please please tell me: d’où vient cette nappe?? Elle m’a tapé dans l’oeil! Not sure whether you keep these things secret or not… Anyway, I love your blog and the spirit of it, merci pour toutes les belles photos et bonnes recettes!!
The recipe sounds delicious — I have many oranges on the tree that need to be used now that it’s spring — and with vanilla bean being my “it” spice/ingredient of the moment, I’m definitely going to make this.
I received your cookbook about a week ago and it is my constant companion, just beautiful! I am obsessed with the textiles you use on your table (not unlike the one in the orange fruit salad photo)….where can I find fabrics/textiles like these?!? (Anyone?)
This is a lovely fruit salad, and my Pakistani husband will love the star anise flavour. Will try!
For just a moment, while reading this post, I was back in Italy. Sitting on an old balcony, smelling the Tuscan air with a bowl of just picked apricots in front of me. Thank you for this inspirational tidbit from your time in Italy. I can tell you have yet to leave. 🙂
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This was perfect for a warm early spring day.! looks delicious!
I am so inspired by your first photo! We’re going to be in the Oregon wind country and I cannot wait to see their vineyards. Beautiful photo!
What id meant by “non set” in this part of the recipe instructions?
add a large dollop of plain yogurt and chopped mint (non set is preferrable).
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Wow your blog is amazing … and your photos are just like a dream.
I’m gonna try some of your recipes !
Thanks for sharing them.
Look tasty! But i don’t get those materials in my country 🙁
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Oh, my goodness! The colors on that bowl look so pretty! I have never thought of this recipe before, but I will surely try out your lovely recipe soon. Thanks for sharing!