pane fresco


Pane fresco is a local Italian bakery where I have shared many moments with family, over cappuccinos and biscotti. Yesterday my sister treated me, my mother and son to a mouthwatering breakfast. We had maple bacon, fluffy eggs and fresh Italian bread, with a generous serving of perfectly prepared homefries. Berries, grapefruit and orange slices were beautifully arranged on the plate. The food was delicious, most of all, the company. This bakery reminds me of family, of special moments and Italian cuisine at its best. Even to sit down and enjoy a freshly brewed coffee, or a cappuccino, on a Summer morning, is a wonderful treat.





The storefront faces the bustling city street
With its collection of Belgian chocolates
Parceled in small gold
The white walled shop
Smells of hot chocolate
And fresh ground
European coffee.
I think of the hot chocolate you
Purchased last winter.
The steamed milk
And cocoa,
Delicious shavings layered
On top.
I find myself purchasing
The same drink
Even though
the heat is stifling
In a separate bag,
Four truffles
Are carefully placed
Like small trophies,
Inside clear packaging.
As I step into the street
Into  summer
For a brief moment
The sweet familiar smell of
The shop
Then it becomes
The smell of fragrant skin,

Street food

And smoke. -J. Hamilton

the sweet life of cupcakes



Growing up, I was always mesmerized by the homemade chocolate cupcakes made by mothers and grandmothers at bake sales. I loved the thick layer of vanilla or chocolate icing on top. Sometimes some of those deliciously sweet cupcakes were covered in a heap of sprinkles and I would love to pick them off and eat them while savoring the sugary taste. The icing was next. Followed by the crumbly mini cake.

I still have a weakness for cupcakes.  I still admire the parents who take time to bake them in time for school fundraisers or birthday parties. I am not an avid baker though, and my body rebels when I consume gluten. But lucky for me, I have discovered an incredible local bakery that sells gluten free cupcakes.  Every time I visit Kelly’s Bakery, I feel like a child again. It takes me a lot of time to decide on the right one. Vanilla bean, chocolate, mint chocolate,  caramel or red velvet. Birthday cake, my daughter’s favourite.  And the mile high cupcake brownie my son always chooses. It is great to indulge once in a while. To sit on a tall white stool that faces the core of the city with a cupcake on my plate. Chocolate mint.



Remembering Rome


I visited a pizzeria recently that is located within a quaint little village. My family and I shared two small pizzas which were quite generous.One had bacon, sausage and pepperoni on a buffalo cheese layered pizza. Hot peppers that were not visible to the naked eye, were certainly noticed by my mouth but seemed to add a delicious flavour. The other had buffalo mozzarella as well and asparagus with a sunny side egg in the centre. We shared a huge bowl of Caesar salad that had fresh crumbled bacon inside and a roasted lemon which gave it an incredible zest. The food was delicious and the wonderful aroma alone, brought back memories of the pizzerias in Rome. As a child I was impressed with the exquisite smell that came from the ones that faced the bustling  streets with their crowded patios.It was a memory that reawakened as I took a bite from the expertly prepared pizza and inhaled the familiar scent that belonged to a different time in a different country.