Fennel Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

Bored with your usual garden salad?  This fennel salad is so refreshing and very easy to make. I just love its delicate smell of anise and its unusual licorice flavor. 

Serves 3-4


2 fennel bulbs
1 orange, sliced
2 tbs. orange juice
5 tbs. light olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1.  Cut the fennel bulb lengthwise and cut into thin slices.

2. Zest the orange, remove the peel and slice. You can slice it in orange wheels or orange supreme (segment).

3. Combine orange juice, orange zest, olive oil and salt. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the sliced fennel and sprinkle black pepper. Arrange on the plate with orange slices. Enjoy!


Citrus Chicken Adobo

Adobo is a Filipino dish and also referred to as a cooking method that uses vinegar. In this recipe, I used lemon and orange instead of vinegar. Every region in the Philippines has their own version of this very popular dish and I like mine sweet and tangy. Hope you like it!

Serves 2-3


5 -6 pcs. chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon
1 orange
2 tbs. olive oil
3 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. sweet paprika
2 bay leaves
pinch black pepper


1. Heat oil in a medium size saucepan over medium high heat, add chicken, cook until they get a little color then add the garlic. Cook for few seconds until fragrant. Add black pepper, paprika, bay leaves and mix all together.

2. Add half a cup of water. Zest the lemon, cut in half and squeeze over the chicken. Do the same thing with the orange. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar and stir.

3. Cover the saucepan with foil, seal tightly and cook for 35-40 minutes over medium low heat. Check once and stir then put the foil back. Add salt if necessary. Serve over steamed rice. Enjoy!


Amalfi Coast

"To wander is to be alive".

Roman Payne


I used to see Venice in postcards or in movies like Only You (Robert Downey, Jr. and Melissa Tomei). It was a pinch me moment when I arrived in this beautiful and romantic city. Venice was like a floating maze and I enjoyed getting lost in every passageway.

The grandiosity of Venice was beyond words. Though I was traveling alone... I was so in love and I never felt lonely, not even for a second.


Imitation Crab Salad

Back in April, I visited my Aunt in Bari, Italy and I arrived there just in time for the Holy Week.  We went to a party on Easter Sunday and met the family of her late husband. It was so amazing to witness the traditional Italian meal structure. It started from antipasto, primo, secondo to dolce and it ended with espresso. Even though I didn't understand 90 percent of what they were saying, I had the pleasure listening to them and eating homecooked meals for four hours.

After the festivities, my aunt and I wanted something small to eat, so she made us a very simple crab salad. She didn't add any toppings, just squeezed lemon and extra virgin olive oil. It was so simple yet surprisingly good!

Here’s my version of my aunt Gloria’s imitation crab salad. 

Serves 4


8 oz imitation crab
½ cantaloupe, small size, sliced
2 oz baby Arugula
½ lemon
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Kosher salt
black pepper


1. Peel of the crab sticks into strings and place it into a mixing bowl.

2. Zest the lemon and sprinkle over the crab. Combine the oil and lemon then drizzle it over the crab. Add the baby arugula,  season with salt and pepper then mix all ingredients together. Serve with   Parmesan cheese and sliced cantaloupe. Enjoy!


Garbanzos with Baby Clams and Fennel

Serves 4


15 oz  garbanzos, canned
10 oz  baby clams with juice, fresh or canned
1 fennel, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 tbs. parsley, chopped
3 tbs.  olive oil
¼ c white wine
salt and pepper


1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat then sauté onion. Once the onion becomes translucent add the garlic then diced tomato, let it cook for a few seconds then add fennel and bell pepper. Cook until the fennel becomes soft.  

2. Add the wine and let it simmer for 30 seconds then add the garbanzos, baby clams, clam juice and ½ cup water. Add salt and pepper, cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy!