Monday, September 27, 2010

Adding sugar yourself makes for a sweeter Pasta

If you've been a reader of my blog for awhile (lucky me!), then you know that I'm of Italian roots-yes, I love the dark hair, the hand-talking, the wine, the carbs, etc. (My Nana referred to me as Caito-Alfredo). I've blogged about it before here and there...

  1. My Ellis Island visit in NYC to retain records of my Nonni's journey here from Italy post "The Big Apple" here.
  2. My tribute to my late-Nonni post "Wearing her Italian Smile" here.
  3. My Guidette post which insulted my Italian roots "A Real Italian poses as a fake Guidette" Here.

On the contrary, my boyfriend of Swedish descent doesn't come from a line of hand-talkers or pasta eaters but he does have a wonderful understanding of the importance of spending time together over food- eating or making. That's why for part of my birthday present way back in August, he purchased a gourmet cooking class for us to partake in together. He also allowed me to select our course from the wide-range of classes Sur La Table offers.

My mouth watered as I grazed over the wide-range of decadent courses: Easy Meals, Sushi, Home-Cooking... but nothing could have beat the A Regional Tour of Italy course that we ended up taking a couple weeks ago. When I saw the menu for the evening class... I was sold.

  • Trofie with Pesto Alla Genovese from Liguria
  • Tagliatelle alla Bolognese from Emilia Romagna
  • Pici al Pomodoro from Tuscany
  • Spaghetti all’Amatriciana from Abruzzo
  • Busiati Alla Norma

I know that when my Italian ancestors were my age, they were likely saddled with children and a husband with the main duty of being a homemaker. I dutifully believe that there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom, but I also believe that those who are in that lifestyle now- do so because they chose to, not because it was blindly expected of them. The women in my family before me however, were most likely guided into those roles without ever having the chance to fill out a college application or enjoy a night of guilt-free premarital "excursions".

It's blissful to know that I've had the opportunity to choose the way I live my life as opposed to submitting to a lifestyle I didn't necessarily want. However, I believe that this Independence has somewhat manifested into many Girls feeling as if they don't need to know how to cook. How many celebrities have brazenly stated- "I don't cook!"?- Say what? You can still be a feminist and make a mean dinner for your husband.

That's why I've tried to make cooking more of a goal these last couple of years. I've been teaching myself basics and learning the tricks of the trade. To be able to take a gourmet class on Italian food was killing three birds with one stone: not only am I in the kitchen culturing an art but I'm spending time with The Boy and feeling closer to the Italian descendants from whom I derive from.

So this time when I was talking with my hands, I actually had the flour on my fingers to back it up.

{Above: Learning from the head Chef Below: The Boy and the full kitchen}

{2 above: The Boy and I mastering the fine art of Italian food}

{Left: Yes, we had wine throughout. Right: Making Pasta from scratch Below: The Boy getting into homemade noodles}

{Above: Making Pesto from scratch Below: Enjoying a break in class }

And of course.. as I went straight from my no-jeans-allowed office to the cooking class, here's how I made my work outfit, quickly shift into a casual evening outfit in the 10 minutes time I had to do so.

Top two: Work outfit- tucked shirt, jacket, black skirt.
Bottom two:
Untucked the shirt, paired it with a belt and added jeans for a more casual outfit.
Images via camera phone... aka shoddy, shoddy

I hope you get your fingers deep into the art of something on this Tuesday!

PS- tonight is the Britney Glee! episode. I'll be watching it with my best friend and fellow Britney lover. All hail Britney Spears!

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ellinelle said...

..hey Caitlin ..I hope that you are feeling much better then last week ..
..Food !!that is the subject for me :) I love Italian food , just everything , even thought it's full of carbs it still remains healthy ..there is so many pasta dishes I love , I love all the different bread etc ..I think 'I don't cook ' is so old fashion right now , I love that world has changed for the last few years and cooking now is 'In' ..
..about 5 years ago I never cooked a thing , I had different thoughts in my head and life little granny was always cooking family meals and even thought I never cooked before , now I can cook everything and I love it .. it's also wonderful quality time with family ..
..I actually really want to learn how to cook fresh pasta ..mmmm..
..just few days ago I found wonderful web about cooking ( especially because the girl is American married with Latvian )..Check if you are interested in different foods : ) of you and the boy are so sweet and welcoming ..

Anonymous said...

A cooking class sounds like so much fun! I wish I was better at cooking.

Claire Kiefer said...

What a thoughtful gift! And it looks like so much fun. The older I get, the more I love to cook as well. My dad's a chef, so I grew up relying upon him and not very interested in learning myself . . . but now I love it! I'm sure it was all the more meaningful cooking the food of your homeland. :) And what is better than Italian???

p.s. you look beautiful, as always!

this free bird said...

Yay!! This looks like so much. What a cool gift and family is eastern European and food/fam is interwoven as one. Nice to see you carry that on as a valued choice rather than simple obligation.


Leia said...

This sounds like a perfect evening! I've always wanted to do a cookery course and Italian food is one of my faves.

Also: SO excited for the Britney/Glee episode! :D


Tina said...

That sounds like so much fun!! I always wanted to take a cooking class - think you convinced me [especially since I'm italian too!] lol and I love how easily you made your outfit perfect for nighttime!

Kim Axani said...

Aww, you look too cute in your little apron!
Good for you for learning how to cook these gourmet meals! I'm way too lazy to cook and it's bad! I just find it's too much work for me ... My fiance on the other hand LIVES to cook, I'm honestly surprised he is not Italian. He wants to buy a pasta roller and he'll spend hours cooking dinner ... Hope you enjoy your new hobby.

Sher said...

Oh, a gourmet class, how wonderful! Not only you get to spend time with the bf but you get to make delicious food! I would love to do it with my boy too:)

And yay, can't wait to watch the britney glee episode! I'm sure it's gonna be great!


erika sorocco said...

Ohmigosh Caitlin this is the coolest gift EVER! Taking a cooking class sounds like such a blast; and even more so because you had the chance to share it with Le Boy. I'm so glad that the two of you had a fabulous time!! :)

{andthisiswhatshesaid} said...

your life looks so fun.

Arantxa Chavarria said...

i bet you guys had a blast!! i love reading your posts... and of course you look great!

Panty Buns said...

My mouth is watering. i'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian but i'm (revealing too much as usual) half Italian by blood. There are many Italian dishes i love: Pesto Pasta Primavera, Fettuccini Alfredo, Vegetarian Tofu Lasagna, Stuffed Shells, Manicotti, Pasta Fagioli, pizza, Linguini Marinara, and canolies (sp?), Napoleons, etc. etc.. Do you use plum tomatoes? i don't cook too often because i would wind up way north of 200 pounds quickly if i did.

That cooking class was a nice birthday present from your boyfriend. i'm sure it will yield some very tasty results. Manga!

LindseyEveryday said...

OMG what fun!! I've been meaning to look into cooking classes. I've heard they're great and you just confirmed it. Yay for food ;) I'm having a giveaway so you should come check it out.

drollgirl said...

i am not italian, but i love all things italian!

and you have inspired me to get off my duff and take some cooking classes already!

Unknown said...

mouth is watering!
feel free to travel over here to australia and cook me up an italian feast!

Jessica said...

what FUN! I would love to do a cooking class (I need too...badly!)

Unknown said...

Looks like you guys had great fun in the Italian kitchen...Now that you are some what trained in Italian foods so when is the party??
My mouth is

PorkStar said...

very nice post.

And ohhh Italian food, good lord, is the best!!

G said...

I have to say I like your top a lot! How did the cooking endeavor go? The dish must have been really tasty!

-Gayle from

bananas. said... it's overrated. ha! jk. i'm trying to grow a liking for it but stay @ home wifey cooking dinner every night...yea that's not me.

the class idea looks fun though! it's always so rewarding to dine on your own work. great job!

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Love your work wear to date night transition!

Ms. Emmy N said...

I am not Italian, but I love all things Italy, especially the food! I am going to have to look for a class like this at the Sur La Table near me... and I am loving your day to night outfit!

Jaime @ laviejaime said...

How fun, amazing, delish!!!! I took 2 cooking classes when I studied abroad in Florence....i loved it!

JMay said...

This looks like so much fun! Must do :-)

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Gosh, I love his idea for your bday present!!! How very thoughtful of him! Cooking classes always sounded fun to me, which now reminds me that I'll need to attend one of these days!

Anonymous said...

Oh girl, this is RIGHT up my alley! Such a fantabulous gift! My Mom, Sister and I are always taking cooking classes! I love that you get it, you can have it all!! Believe me! Such a fun post (however, your photographer needs some lessons! ; )

LadyBugSays ... said...

What an amazing present! I might just have to leave this post open on the Mr's laptop and hope he gets the hint that a cookery class would be an awesome birthday present!! Love your work to play outfit!