(almost) everything you always wanted to know about me (part the first)

Question mark in Esbjerg on FlickrOh dear, this has been a long time coming. I was going through some old files on my computer and realized that there were some reader questions that I had promised to answer *a long time ago* but haven’t yet.

Well that’s all going to change today. And tomorrow. There are enough to cover two posts, so stay tuned for more answers on the morrow as well.

And in the meantime? It’s time to open up the floor to more questions, so feel free to ask what you like in the comments, and I’ll promise to try to answer them within the next year or so. Kidding! Sort of.

Now, I hope you’re not hungry because these happen to all involve food—one of my very favorite topics!

But before I get to the answers, have you happened to catch my recent submissions on some of the “food p*rn” sites like TasteSpotting (Caprese salad and zucchini flowers), Photograzing (Pesto on tomato) and FoodGawker (Uova alla Pablo)? Woohoo! Have you been using these sites? Similar ones that you enjoy?

Ahem, the questions and answers:

(1) Sara of Moving Right Along asked about my favorite biscotti recipe.

Come in close.


Ever so closer.

I’ve never made biscotti.

I know it seems insane coming from an Italian-American background, living in Italy, having a mean sweet tooth and being fond of the kitchen (and eating), but honestly? Biscotti just isn’t one of my favorites, and I tend to stick to my favorites when I’m making things.

That said, this recipe for Mosaic Biscotti featured on Sara’s Ms Adventures in Italy and adapted from Gina DePalma’s Dolce Italiano will definitely be the one I try first.

(2) Karina of Candid Karina asked, “What are your top 3 recipes that you KNOW you have mastered, and love how they come out?”

Pasta with tuna & lemonMy no fail dishes are Calabrian stuffed lasagna (my mom, not a big lasagna fan *loves* this), pasta with tuna (with lemon (at right) or with tomatoes), and, since I am still an American, cheeseburgers, which I have yet to write about on the blog. Seriously, P loves them even though he won’t even try a hamburger made by anyone else.

(3) Tina of Tina’s World asked: “How do you like your gnocchi, if you eat them?”

Oh do I eat them Tina; they are absolutely one of my favorites! I’ve had them in all kinds of creamy sauces from gorgonzola to vodka-based, but you know what I like best with them? A basic tomato sauce, heavy on the basil. YUM.

(4) Michelle of Scribbit wants to know my favorite food. “Living in Italy where I dream of the cuisine you must get I could live vicariously,” she wrote.

Tropea pizza on FlickrWell, I love different foods for various reasons—some like my favorite chocolate cake is just so delicious that I can’t imagine a world without it. That one also has sentimental value because my mom made this every year for my birthday growing up.

Other than that, as cliché as it is, I really love a great pizza. I love it plain (Margherita baby!) and with all different kinds of toppings from tuna and onions (pictured above at left) to prosciutto and porcini. Just. So. Good.

OK, that’s all for today. Be sure to come back tomorrow for more answers to questions asked a very long time ago, and be sure to leave your new questions in the comments!

26 Beans of Wisdom to “(almost) everything you always wanted to know about me (part the first)”
  1. 07.21.2008

    My question would be: How do you maintain your healthy weight with all these glorious food around you? 🙂
    I love all your recipes and food stuff here, Michelle.

    Sandier Pastures’s last blog post..Even Will Smith is capable of doing a crap movie

    Hah, Grace, well first of all, I could stand to lose another 15 or so pounds, but I have actually lost weight here…portion control, everything in moderation and *lots* of walking are the keys for me 🙂

  2. 07.21.2008

    Our crapass French supermarket has 196 fresh mint plants for sale and ONLY DRIED BASIL. Not even a few fresh leaves in a baggie in the produce department, like at crapass Italian markets.


    Miss Expatria’s last blog post..Happy Moon Landing Day, Mom!

    Oh that is *so* not cool. SO. NOT. COOL. My condolences 🙁

  3. It’s funny I love biscotti and have a sweet tooth but I’ve never thought about baking some. Maybe they seemed too complicated esp. since all my recipes are in American measurements? You know how with baking you have to be more accurate vs. cooking.

    I might try to make some this fall.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Finalmente!

    What you mean you’re not looking to fire up the oven in August? Huh 😉

  4. Tina

    Wow, I forgot I had asked that! 🙂

    Tina’s last blog post..Hot Mujeres

    Hah, I *told* you it was a long time ago!

  5. Your mentioning the cheeseburgers brought this to mind: my friend’s Spanish mom asked me Saturday how you say hamburgüesa in Italian. I told her that I didn’t think they had their own word for something so barbaric; “hammboorgehr” was the only word I’d ever heard.

    What does P call your patties?

    paul of crazy like whoa’s last blog post..The passionate journey

    Erm, slightly personal but…your guess is correct. They are simply “hamburger” (singular and plural) and pronounced something like ahm-BOORG-er. Actually on some of the boxes of frozen “hamburger” they are called “beefburger” but I’ve never heard anyone say that out loud.

    And for the record? A Big Mac? Just a “Beeeeg.”

  6. Joanne at frutto della passione

    What a fun idea. I can’t think of any questions but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to know more. It just means that the old zucca is vuota this morning 😆

    Joanne at frutto della passione’s last blog post..Una faccia, una razza

    There’s always tomorrow Joanne; one more day of question-asking around here!

  7. Maria from Philly

    Okay thanks for making me salivate at freaking 8:00 a.m. on a Monday morning at work! :-)~
    Everything sounds so good and you just gave me my dinner tonight…pasta with tuna and lemon!

    Hee hee…I suppose it’s quite early, but buon appetito!

  8. 07.21.2008

    My husband loves coffee (I only drink about a half cup every other day), and therefore loves biscotti since it too loves his coffee. I should try that recipe.

    3carnations’s last blog post..In which I complain about my husband and/or the Catholic church

    From all reports, those biscotti are fabulous; if you make them, please let me know! Like NYC/Caribbean ragazza above, I think I’ll be waiting until the fall….

  9. 07.21.2008

    I found a similar recipe to your stuffed lasagna in this book I was reading “Two Meatballs in an Italian Kitchen”. It looks so fabulous! I’m definitely going to make it soon.

    So here’s a question for you – what do your DOGS like best about living in Italy?

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..On the Road Again…

    Hee hee…love the title of that book!

    And how did you know that Luna and Stella have been begging for some blogging time?

  10. 07.21.2008

    OK you’re right: I’m totally hungry now. That cheeseburger tidbit is amusing. P loves your burgers but won’t try anyone else’s? Between that and the peanut butter thing, the man is a puzzle, isn’t he?

    Stefanie’s last blog post..Quirkier than thou

    Indeed. And I just may count this as a question….

  11. audra

    Hiya! Yayyyyyyyyy! I love reading this kind of stuff. Hehe..

    Anyway, I thought you would get a kick out of this– I’m listening to Kiss Kiss FM (an Italian radio station for those who are still in America or may not know) and they’ve been playing non-stop American music.

    This is one of those things I was wondering about for when I move (by the way, I’m leaving for Italy after I finish this last year of university here!!! NON VEDO L’ORA). I was worried that I would never hear music that reminds me of my childhood again, but this radio station has me smiling from ear to ear!!

    Oh wow, I didn’t realize you were coming over so soon! Glad Kiss Kiss can help fill the void in the meantime 😉

  12. 07.21.2008

    Do you make your own gnocchi? I have a photo to send you. Catarina sent me email with the gnocchi she made for dinner! I could eat the photo!

    jmisgro’s last blog post..Blueberry Moon Give Away

    I haven’t made them on my own since my grandmother passed away. The photo looks yummy, thanks 🙂

  13. Oh how I love pasta! I can never get enough but pizza is a close second.

    Michelle at Scribbit’s last blog post..Losing the Lottery (or: Publishing the Hard Way)

    I certainly love pasta too, although eating it just about every day? Yeah, that makes pizza the favorite since it’s more of a treat 🙂

  14. 07.21.2008

    *shock* …. you’ve never made biscotti?
    I’m so surprised! Oh well, you don’t have to make or eat biscot to be Italian, no matter what they say. Less calories anyway.


    And yes… heavy basil on everything that isn’t dessert….
    I can’t wait to sit down to a meal with you, how fun! Someday Cara, someday.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..True Fairy Tales

    Indeed, someday 🙂 And don’t worry, I’ll *eat* biscotti with you, no problem!

  15. 07.21.2008

    Here’s your question…

    Do you dance? (please give several details, and perhaps a story if there is one. I bet there is one.) Thanks!

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..True Fairy Tales

    Ooh, great question 🙂

  16. Sue

    Okay, I’m sure this is a magician-never-tells-his-secrets kind of question, but did you make up all of the recipes listed on your ‘recipe’ tab yourself? Or, have they been handed down, found in books, etc.? More importantly, do you ever have to refer to a recipe card to make things or are you one of those women who has it all in her head?

    (And, yay, remember how I told you I’m not that great a cook as far as pulling things out of my head? Well, turns out, I am! Or becoming even more so. 🙂

    Congrats to you on your cooking prowess…woohoo! And that is a fabulous question as well….

  17. 07.21.2008

    I love reading things like this. I’ve actually made biscotti (okay it was in cooking class but I didn’t burn it and people didn’t die from it so I think it was a success). I keep meaning to make it again…

    Mrs. L’s last blog post..Cheesy Peas

    Hee hee…I’d say that’s success too Mrs L! Please post about your biscotti experience when it happens 🙂

  18. Alicia

    If you had to live in one other country, other than Italy or the US, which would you choose and why? Canada doesn’t count… cuz technically, that’s America-lite. Kidding eh! Seriously, where else would you live?

    Ooh *great* question Alicia! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  19. 07.22.2008

    Yum, gnocchi with tomato sauce, just how I like it. Or with brown butter, sage and parm. Yum!

    What’s your fave vacay location outside of the US or Italy?

    Geggie’s last blog post..A Recipe for Cleanliness

    Great question Geggie 🙂

  20. 07.22.2008

    Food glorious food!!

    simple question, how did you end up where you are?

    Sparky Duck’s last blog post..Poetry Nearly Derailed by a Sinnerman

    Not much else more glorious, is there S Duck?

    And I suppose you’re looking for something more touchy-feely on that answer than simply “an airplane” right? 😉 Will get on it!

  21. 07.22.2008

    Ok, this is a super idea! But I’d be afraid to do it on my blog. What if no one had any questions?! Eek!

    Chocolate cake is one of my favorite things ever. My mother and grandmother both made them for me as a kid. And I’ve adopted a Coca-Cola Cake as my new signature pot-luck dish. Do you make stuffed burgers? When we’re flirting with danger, we have a heart attack on a bun… your typical burger meat with bacon and cheese mixed in, topped with melted cheese and another strip of bacon. Not healthy but happy.

    My question… and forgive me if you’ve answered it a million times here… Where in the States did you grow up? And how did you find yourself in Italy?

    Chel’s last blog post..Menu Plan Monday – the waiting for baby fish edition

    Hee, well *I’d* come up with some question or another 😉

    A Coca-Cola cake…do tell!

    I haven’t made stuffed burgers, but for no reason other than I just haven’t…they sound *so* good. And we can’t be healthy all the time, can we?

    Thanks for your question! It will certainly be addressed soon 🙂

  22. 07.22.2008

    Well, thanks for clearing those few things up 😉

    I love my gnocchi with either a gorgonzola walnut sauce or a brown butter and cinnamon sauce. And thanks, now you’ve made me hungry 🙂

    My Mélange’s last blog post..Travel Tip Tuesday- Free Paris Museums

    I hope you’ve gotten some gnocchi to fill that void 😉

  23. 07.23.2008

    Coca-Cola Cake… here’s the recipe


    It’s completely yummy, but you’re going to have to give people tiny pieces because it’s really rich.

    Chel’s last blog post..Menu Plan Monday – the waiting for baby fish edition

    Yes yes! Thank you! Thank you!

  24. 07.24.2008

    Hey, I forgot I even asked that question…that was a pretty good question! 😉 I’ll have to bookmark your picks because they all sound/look delicious, and yes, now I’m hungry again, but I’ve already had dinner and it’s almost bedtime, so hopefully part two is not all about food! 😉

    Karina’s last blog post..Where In The World is Candid Karina?

    Hah, you lucked out on Part 2 then 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed the answer, delayed as it was 🙂

  1. [...] the second half of my answers to questions that were asked a very long time ago. The first part is here ... bleedingespresso.com/2008/07/almost-everything-you-wanted-to-you-about-me-part-the-second.html
  2. [...] - bookmarked by 6 members originally found by TJade on 2008-08-17 (almost) everything you always wanted... remmrit.com/reader
Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake