Last night I cooked this rice-stuffed aubergine sprinkled with mozzarella and garnished with fresh basil.
It was delicious!
I know the photo doesn’t do it justice, but I, literally, had no time to stop and take pictures one after the other, as we were all hungry and the meal smelled divine.
Plus, it tasted divine, too. We only stopped munching once all four aubergine shells, generously stuffed with a rice and vegetable mix, were all but gone.
The best bit was the satisfaction I felt afterwards. First, I felt I had done the right thing for my family by cooking them a fresh, nutritious meal from scratch. And, then, I felt the satisfaction of having done something really productive and edifying with my time, like cooking instead of reading Reddit or checking if Blind Gossip have posted another outrageous piece of unconfirmed news.
Lastly, I felt really satisfied, as I had finally cooked this particular meal.
As these rice-stuffed aubergines had been playing on my mind for two whole days. I physically craved making them and, yes, eating them. So, last night the right moment finally presented itself and I cooked them in 50 minutes flat (yes, they were quick and easy to make), whilst at the same time I was recounting to my husband the events of a rather bad day of small unfortunate events that I had been through yesterday.
At the end of the 50 minutes, when the aubergines emerged from the oven in all their mozzarella, rice and fresh basil glory, I felt like the badness of my day had never happened. Cooking them (and then eating them) was so cathartic.
And I have one person only to thank for this beautiful aubergine-based experience.
She doesn’t know of my existence, but I have been watching her videos on her Facebook page with culinary love and dedication close to six months now.
The page is called Life & Chiara and it posts weekly vegetarian-based recipes.
Even if you don’t speak Italian, it is very easy to follow the cooking instructions. Actually, I have never watched these videos with the sound on, as I usually scroll through my Facebook feed either late at night or early in the morning when everyone else is asleep in the house and I don’t want to make any noise.
The videos are very easy on the eye and the recipes are presented in logical steps, so they are not difficult to follow and replicate at home. I love it how they always show easy to find and to cook with ingredients prepared in some very tasty and inspiring ways.
To be honest with you, I had really gone off rice for a while, as it can be such a boring and bland food, but watching the Rice-Stuffed Aubergine video galvanised me into such cooking frenzy, that we had to go to the shop and get a fresh box of rice specifically for this meal.
I don’t know anything about the blogger behind the Life & Chiara brand.
There is a picture of a dark-haired girl on the respective YouTube channel, Facebook page and her old blog, but when you attempt to access her new blog, there is an on-screen message saying that the blog is by invitation only, and I haven’t bothered to ask for an invitation yet.
In any case, I am more than happy to keep following just the Facebook page for her amazing recipes.
So, how did I come across this little gem of Life & Chiara, you may ask.
It was recommended by another Italian food blogger whom I have been fanatically following close to, I think, two years now. Her name is very well known all over Italy and over 3 million(!) people follow her Facebook page.
Of course, I am talking about the formidable Benedetta from Fatto in Casa da Benedetta fame. I think she is simply amazing.
Watching her videos (again, they are very easy to follow, very clear and use just a small number of ingredients to produce stunning results) is one of my favourite pastimes. Usually I don’t watch the videos with the sound on, yet I find them very easy to follow. Plus, on her blog, she includes a translated in English ingredient list for each recipe.
I love it how she can use two, three or four ingredients and come up with some really great yet completely foolproof recipes. I love it how at the end of each video she never fails to sample her freshly made and mouthwatering dish or cake by cutting a large slice for herself, eating a bite and then give it the thumbs up while her whole face is aglow with culinary happiness.
In Benedetta’s video catalogue I always find some great ideas for cooking and baking that I can easily do with my little daughter. We love Benedetta’s Nutellotti which only require some Nutella, 1 egg and some flour and are so easy that a toddler can happily make them, yet they are so delicious we once made them three times in ten days.
So, yes, I am a fan!
Italy being so famous the world over for its food and fresh local produce, I love following these two Italian food bloggers as they show how simple it is to make delicious savoury and sweet food without gimmicks and without numerous expensive ingredients.
As a matter of fact, I am about to start on Benedetta’s easy gelato recipe, which only requires two base products.
In the meantime, do let me know, please, if you follow any food bloggers yourself? Can you recommend another food blogger (Italian or based no matter where in the world) for me to indulge in?
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