Italian Treat

Well it took me to age 80 but I finally have tried NUTELLA. Not sure why, just curious I guess. For some reason I thought Nutella was from Australia but recently discovered it is Italian and dates back to the end of WWII.  After the war there was a shortage of chocolate so Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker from Piedmont in Italy, ingeniously created a sweet paste made from hazelnuts, sugar and just a little of the rare cocoa. Originally, it was marketed as SUPERCREMA . In 1964 Ferrero’s son perfected the spread and named it NUTELLA. It’s popularity soon spread to Germany and then France. 

In 1978 the company began manufacturing in Australia where Nutella had become popular. The company now has 20 production plants around the world producing 365,000 tons of Nutella and employs more than 34,000 people. It’s annual sales exceed 8 billion Euros per year. That is a lot of Nutella. 

The Chaiman of the company is Giovanni Ferraro, grandson of the founder. He is reportedly the richest person in Italy with a net worth of

over $35 billion US. 

So last week I bought a bottle of this now famous chocolate spread and enjoyed it on a toasted English Muffin.  It was really good. I’m a convert. 

Nutella is made of 7 ingredients. Palm Oil, Hazelnuts, Cocoa, Milk. Lecithin and Vanilla.  And it tastes like a chocolate spread. 

If you have never tried it, I recommend that you do. 

Just saying…

A Touch of Mexico in Coombs

Drove up to Coombs today to buy some Take Out Cannelloni from Cuckoo’s Trattoria and since it was close to lunch time I checked out the TAQUERIA.  Had not been for a few years. THE TAQUERIA has been improved significantly and now has a large covered patio with big log posts and beams and a see through roof. There were 16 tables, appropriately spaced and table service is standard. A big circular bar and serving area has been added around the base of the enormous Cedar tree.  This patio really is a great place to sit back and enjoy a Corona or a Margarita and relax. 

Typical Mexican fare is offered including Tacos, Burritos, Tortilla Soup and Nachos.  I opted for the 3 Taco plate and chose two beef and one fish. Next time it will be all fish.  Really delicious crispy deep fried cod with a red cabbage slaw on top. You can order mild, medium or hot. Unless you are nuts about heat don’t pass medium. The hot sauce made my eyes water and my lips were still tingling an hour later. Be forewarned.  They make their own tortillas and they are good although I would prefer them a little crispier. 

I was the 3rd in line when they opened but in 15 minutes every table was filled. As I left I noticed that there was a long lineup next door for Cuckoo’s which also has a most delightful patio. If you haven’t been, put it on your ‘must do’ list. 

Just saying…


The other day while shopping in my favourite food store I saw Sirloin Tip Roast on sale. $15 for 1.4kg, whatever that is. It occurred to me that we had not had a Roast Beef dinner at home for at least a couple of years. It’s a lot of effort for two people. So I bought one and last night cooked it with the usual roasted potatoes, green peas and carrots AND Yorkshire Pudding. Making the latter can be intimidating as one does not want them to end up as dried out hockey pucks that my mother could produce. So using my late sister’s recipe I said ‘Game On’ .  Mixed up the batter, waited until the oil in the muffin  pan was smoking hot and poured them in. 25  minutes later out popped near perfect Yorkshire’s. My favourite girl polished of one completely and I managed to stop at two. Of course, they were lathered with homemade gravy that included a slug of Sherry. The beef was actually quite good, not Prime Rib good, but for a cheap cut pretty darn delicious. 

Speaking of Yorkshire’s, the most memorable ones ever were at  the Rotunda Restaurant in Newman Marcus in San Francisco. The Yanks call them Popovers and at the Rotunda they are served as an appetizer. They are huge. Bigger than a softball. Light, fluffy, and served with whipped  blueberry butter on the side. We have gone back there several times just for the popovers. So good! Can’t get to San Francisco? Who would want to these days anyway. Here is their recipe. It can be cut in half. 



  • 3 1/2 Cups whole milk
  • 4 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 Large eggs, at room temperature
  • For the Butter: (a must)
  • 1 1/2 Cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 Cup of your best quality strawberry preserves


  • Place milk in bowl and microwave on high for two minutes, or warm to touch. Sift flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Crack eggs in another large bowl with an electric mixer and whisk for on medium for about 3 minutes, until foamy. Turn down mixer speed to low and add warm milk. Gradually add flour mixture and beat for about 2 minutes. Let batter rest at room temperature for about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450. Spray popover pan generously with nonstick spray. (or place 1 T of pan dripping or butter in pan, then heat till piping hot.) Fill popover cups almost to the top with batter and place popover pan on cookie sheet. Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, until popovers are deep golden brown. Remove from oven and pop out popovers on a cool rack. Serve hot with the Strawberry Or Blueberry Butter.


Just saying…