Category Archives: Italy

“L’homme est fait pour donner, la femme pour recevoir” – [ Giacomo Casanova ] – Extrait de Histoire de ma vie

Yes, yes I know the title in in French. I’m french that’s why, and also because the original source material is in French and I think that quotes are always better in their native language. But because I am a nice person (those who dislike me would probably beg to differ) and well I am pretty good at translating stuff. So here goes nothing :

“L’homme est fait pour donner, la femme pour recevoir”
“A man is created to give, a women to receive”

Now, what do you all think that means? It had more than one significance, but the most important part is where this excerpt comes from. It is an extract from a book called “The Story of my Life” which, let’s be honest here, doesn’t say much… but if you read it (and you won’t unless you are me because it is actually really long! But in any case,  it obviously means more to some people, and less to others.

Obviously it has sexual undertones, but there is another way of looking at this quotation. Are men (or were men?) perceive as the one who was supposed to give himself to the woman ? In other words, was he the one to give everything up ? Sacrifice everything ? Or is it more basic : financial aid ?

In any case, it is far more than just some macho phallic comment. It maybe shows the generous nature a man should be with a woman. Maybe this is archaic in a world where it is now expected for women to pay 50/50, and this in the name of equality. That said, it doesn’t mean that some of our old values are not welcome anymore. Sometimes a stereotypical gesture is welcome. I like it when a guy buys me a drink, or picks me up in his car to take me somewhere. Or even when he takes me home because I’ve drunk too much !

Men should give love, and women should receive… but in this case, it works both ways. Ponder what this phrase means…




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Filed under Culture, Europe, France, Italy, Love, Men vs. Women, Politics, Sex

Italian Meatballs in Pasta : Just Like I Love Them!

What is there to say? Who doesn’t like Italian meatballs? I love this dish. It is maybe a bit time consuming, but that doesn’t mean the result isn’t worth it! Make and enjoy!


For the meatballs

  • 250 g pork, minced
  • 250 g beef, minced
  • 1 eggs
  • 2 tbsp parmesan, freshly grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 tbsp semolina, or breadcrumbs
  • 1 pinches pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 onions
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, (not extra-virgin)
  • 700 g tomato passata
  • 1 pinches sugar
  • 1 pinches salt and black pepper
  • 100 ml full-fat milk

For the pasta

  • 400 g ’00’ flour
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 4 eggs



1. To make the meatballs, just put everything in a large bowl, and then, using your hands, mix to combine, before shaping into small balls.

2. Place the meatballs on baking sheets or plates that you have lined with clingfilm, and put in the fridge as you finish them.

3. To make the tomato sauce, put the onion, garlic and oregano into the process and blitz to a pulp.

4. Heat the butter and oil in a deep wide pan, then scrape the onion-garlic mix into it and cook over a low-medium for about 10 minutes. Don’t let the mixture catch, just let it become soft.

5. Add the bottle of passata and then fill the empty bottle half full with cold water. Add this to the pan with the pinch of sugar, some salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes. The tomato sauce will appear thin at this stage, but don’t worry as it will thicken a little later.

6. Stir in the milk, and then drop the meatballs in one by one. Don’t stir the pan until the meatballs have turned from pink to brown as you don’t want to break them up.

7. Cook everything for about 20 minutes, with the lid only partially covering it. At the end of cooking time, check the seasoning as you may want more salt and a grind or two more of pepper.

8. To make the pasta, either put the flour (with the salt) in a bowl and crack the eggs into it, or make a mound of flour on a worktop and add the eggs to that. I don’t bother to beat them before adding them to the flour, but if you prefer to, then add them gradually, do. Just find the way that you prefer.

Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

9. All you do is mix the flour and eggs together, and then knead the mixture until it all comes together in a satiny mass. Kneading involves no more than pushing the mixture away from you with the heels of your hands and then bringing it back towards you. If you’ve got an electric mixer with a dough hook, then do use that, but for some reason I don’t find it makes the pasta cohere any sooner. And you don’t get the relaxing satisfaction of making it by hand.

10. When the pasta is silky and smooth, form into a ball, cover with a cloth and leave for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

11. Get out your pasta machine, read the instructions and away you go. Two tips first: cut each slice you want to feed through the pasta machine as you go, and put through the no1 press quite a few times, folding the strip in half and pushing it through again after each time. When the pasta dough’s been fed a few times through the no1 slot, pass it through the remaining numbers on the gauge, before pushing it through the tagliatelle-cutters. And I find that the pasta strips cut into tagliatelle better if you leave them hanging over the table or wherever to dry a little first (10 minutes is enough).

12. When you cook the pasta, make sure you’ve got plenty of boiling salted water and start tasting immediately the water comes back to the boil after you’ve put the pasta in. Use about a third of the meatballs in their sauce to toss the cooked, drained pasta in and then pour the rest of them over the scantly sauced ribbons in the bowl. This is ambrosia: food to get you through the winter happily.

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Filed under Europe, Food & Cooking, Italy, Main Courses

Flirting… the European Way?

While researching this topic (a couple of bad encounters in the last week prompted this post!), I was quick to discover the europeans who I will have to brand “unlucky”. Our world works on clichés, you can’t deny it, we all secretly love them. I can’t tell you the number of times someone has walked up to me, and it could be anywhere : bus, train, in a queue at the local shop, in a club, at a bar and at christening (seriously, bad taste!) to ask me this “Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?”.

What can I possibly reply to someone I have never met before? Mmm let me see, no no I’m fine, and no I don’t feel in the mood for sex at this EXACT second. WHAT? Ha, apart from sex, being French has many more clichés that are not so flattering, say about odour, and certain “hair” issues… I personally can’t say I feel that I have any smelly or hairy problems, but it is the reputation we French have. Which you could say its strange since for us, we think that it is the Italiens and Portuguese or are the most hairy!

No, back to more “flirt orientated” clichés. The french are the flirty ones. They use language to get what they want. Light occasion touching are their main arsenal. The fact that we have this reputation is very helpful (as long as you don’t look like the hunchback of Notre Dame or something!) and it doesn’t hurt that many people believe we are good lovers (and no, I am not about to but that rumour to rest!). The Italiens… well they are the lovers. They are the stallions many women dream about. I suppose we could say that they are the southern sexy men that put the rest of the world to shame. Where this rumour started we will never know, but it has to be said that Italien men are a virile, macho and very masculine people. The tan, the eyes, the swagger appeal to many a woman. They don’t shy away from excessive flirting in order to snag their prey…

Now, that is a small example of the “europeans” that excel at an art of which eludes the great majority of us (and I, sadly include myself in the “I don’t know how to flirt with the guys I really want” section). Anyhow, the English as well as the Germans, have I am afraid the worst reputation.

For my part, I agree with the accusation that the Brits don’t know how to flirt, and yes I know I’m British, but I am not renouncing where I come from, just they way of getting you into bed etc. We all attracted to different things, and of course what would be deemed as heavy flirting for one person, could be deemed normal by another. It is generally believed that you can mesure the amount of love or importance a person has for you, by they way they look at you. I believe this. BUT, and this is a big but, while researching how the Germans flirt, I came across many a site explaining that a German man, will just stare at you with a blank stare, while behind that glassy exterior may be a man burning with love for you. So you can see that there is a dilemma. This is what annoys and yet gives hope to all women in the world. I explain.

That guy you like. You’re friends, but you really like him but are not sure of his feelings. Which is true, it is always hard to know the line between friends and “more than friends”. Dare to dream? Most of us live in a fantasy world where the guy we like likes us back. Sometimes the girl doesn’t know how he feels, and is this difficult indistinct world, she doesn’t act and he doesn’t act… and you both go out with people you like… but not as much maybe.

I always say CARPE DIEM, seize the day. If you get kicked to the curb, they will always be someone to pick you up, brush of the tears and give you that shot of vodka that gives you the strength to continue. That’s what we call hope.

So back to the British and German flirting “techniques”… A British guy, needs his drink to flirt, a British girl may not need it, but it gives you courage (I suppose) but what alcohol does in amorous situations is loosen the tongue. For my part, it makes me very honest, and I cannot lie (but everyone who knows me KNOWS that I must be the worst liar in existence anyway). The guy will be just as heavy handed as the girl in these alcohol infused flirting situations. To but it crudely, he will undoubtably be more interested in getting in her pants that anything else. This is the “first date” situation, where sex is the goal. Most of the time, if she refuses (or she of course), they might try and get to know the person better… and develop into something more.

For our German counterparts, apparently a foreigner saying a simple “Hello” may be deemed as quite forward! I think this is a bit much… The Germans are also seemed as pasty, scared men, who see getting women a sport… but never ever win… because they are so shy. They are not seen as very good lovers (just as the British are)… and are in the lowest position of desirable couples, (which I would, with a couple of friends highly dispute, but then we do love us some German men… we all like this cold exterior… and the accent! Lovely!)… anyway enough about that!

The Russians and Swedes are also seen as extremely desirable candidates. Tall, beautiful, and sporty… and of course blond! The Spanish, as also seen as the eternal “lovers” from the South, with their beautifully tanned skin and curly hair…

But in the end, we all like certain things. As long as you know what you want, the way you get there doesn’t really matter, but let’s remember, no one likes a person who is too direct, but nor do they want a person who is too shy to declare their interest! Where would Romeo and Juliette be if they had never said anything? Juliette would have married Paris… and Romeo… Rosalie? Mmm well they would undoubtably not have taken their own lives in any case.

It just proves, love hurts, but only rarely does it kill you!


Europe - So Many Opportunities!


Filed under Europe, France, Germany, Happiness, Italy, Love, NEW!, Orgasm, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Travel, UK