Jaleo Restaurant by José Andrés

One of my favorite things about Las Vegas is its radiant and refreshing dining scene with so many different restaurants to choose by world renowned and celebrity chefs. The glamorous and upbeat vibe at the Cosmopolitan Hotel makes it one of my favorite hotels to dine at and the lovely Spanish Tapas restaurant , Jaleo by the talented Chef, José Andrés offers a truly unforgettable dining experience.

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Gorgeous ambiance of layered chandeliers surrounding the hotel bar

Tapas are small plates of Hors d’oeuvre style dishes that can be shared. What I particularly love about the tapa dining experience is that you are trying several dishes and sharing with others which makes it so much more fun to eat because you are not “stuck” with the dish that you ordered. It is exciting to try the different flavors and dishes of tapas that are ordered. Everything that we had at this restaurant had a unique flavor profile and was truly amazing. It also had fast and friendly service which makes it even better. Definitely a restaurant on the top of my list.

All the pictures are shown below. Lastly, the featured image of this blog post is the Garlic Chilli Shrimp which was also excellent.

Bon Appetit, Shiza

 

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 upbeat and vibrant atmosphere at the restaurant

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Ensalada Remolacha , scrumptious confit beets are balanced with refreshing segments of citrus and the crunchy pistachios and pearl cheese add flair to the Ensalada

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Delicate flounder fish on a bed of roasted squash and zucchini 

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Helado de aceite de oliva cítricos texturados Interestingly delicious olive oil ice cream ( new favorite) on a bed of the refreshing grapefruit granita and segments of grapefruit all drizzled with honey to add a hint of sweetness

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Patatas Bravas // Crispy Potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli on top

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Croquettas de Mariscos are filled with a creamy lobster and shrimp filling and served with a garlic aioli on the side

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Killer Cafe

Hey guys! 

Killer cafe is a small coffee house/ cafe. Located on 4213 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292. Store hours are super convenient as well, 24 hours a day. Killer cafe is actually an add on to the main restraunt Killer Shrimp, it’s next door. Great place to take after brunch pictures, in the marina harbor! ( me and the girls always do it!)


  • Full table picture, we always order the same things whenever we go lol. 

(Left to right) buttermilk pancakes, huveos rancheros, fresh strawberries, French fries

buttermilk pancakes


3 layer banana spilt😍

animal style tots

heuvos rancheros

June Favorites by S

Hello summertime. Goodbye real life.

It has been so invigorating relaxing this past week. I have set aside this week, the first week of my summer, to doing what I want. This means not touching my tons of AP summer homework stacked up on my desk and neglecting studying for the SAT’s for just this week. I really wanted to destress and have time for doing the things that I love the most. Anyways, with that being said, this week I have had plenty of time to catch up with old friends, shop, and have a spa day… something that I needed very much after the hectic month of May. How has everyone else been doing?

With that being said, let me get into my June favorites.

Lately, I have been loving the 80s fashion trends. I had such a fun shopping day with my mother on Monday and I picked up a few 80s inspired things from my favorite shop, ZARA.

Here’s a mini haul as to what I purchased, and I can honestly say that they are my current fashion favorites

  1. Bomber Jacket

Don’t hang clothing off of chandeliers , not a very good idea, but you got to do what you got to do for the blog, right? Anyways, what i particularly love about this jacket is that it has the cute green stripe through the sleeves and also the “Don’t grow up” message on the back of the jacket adds extra flair to it. I love the color scheme of the jacket and it can easily be paired with a simple crop top and some jeans. It can also be worn with a light colored dress and I wore this with my baby blue halter maxi dress.

2.  Simple tops

I got this sparkly grey crop top with patches on it. Patches were a major trend from the 90s and they are in right now. The patches on this top make it more interesting and fun. I also bought this peachy pink top and I love the material of it and the contrast with the white.

 

Also, in this shopping trip, I went to Topshop , and picked up some ballerina-esque black tie up heels. They are my ultimate favorite heels right now.  I literally could not resist them. I have been loving the Ballerina trends right now from tie up heels/sandals to wrap tops. This trend is by far my favorite.

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Beauty favorites:

  1. I have been loving the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer Concealer. This is the best concealer of all time. With dark circles caused by finals and stress, this concealer has been my go to. A little tiny bit goes a long way to cover up the darkness under my eyes and brighten them immediately. Although this is not a permanent solution to getting rid of dark circles, this concealer does an excellent job in concealing them. Definitely worth it. I got mine from Sephora.

 

 

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2. My second favorite of this month has been the Bath and Body Works Italian Citrus Sun Body lotion. It has a sweet and citrusy scent to it which makes it smell divine. I can’t get enough of this flavor. I have also been loving the perfume , Chance by Chanel, that I recently got. It has an energetic and floral scent which I love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. My last but most favorite, beauty favorite of June is the Rosewater Aromatherapy Mist from Target and the California Rose Sea Salt Souffle from Whole foods. The Sea Salt Souffle is a 2 in 1 bath soak and body scrub. It has dried rose petals in it and smells like a rose garden which is incredible to bathe in. The aromatherapy mist is a great facial toner and I love spritzing it all over my body, face, and hair after I shower . Its a great addition to your post-shower routine before putting on lotion. Rose water is an excellent toner and keeps you hydrated.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous Favorites:

  1. Chocolate covered Stawberries are the best fruit and chocolate combination there is. I have been making them so often this month and they are my favorite thing to snack on. It is so simple and easy to make all you have to do is melt some semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler ( a pot filled halfway with  water, boiled, and then place a stove proof bowl on top of the pot and let the heat of the water underneath melt the chocolate. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water or you can just melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate melts). It is super easy to make these. Or if you are really lazy, you can always by them from Godiva because Godiva is the best Chocolatier there is. There truffles are my absolute favorite.

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2.  Room DIY. My cousin got me this cute wooden heart for my room. It was blank and I decided to paint over it in some shades of emerald green and paint the word “live” on it in a cursive font. This has been my favorite room decor item so far and it is so easy to do yet so cute.

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That sums up my favorites of the month, so far, considering its only been half the month. Hope you all have an adventurous summer filled with happiness and positivity.

XOXO,

Shiza

 

 

 

 

Brunch Party

Hello everyone, so last month , we threw my dad a birthday brunch in our backyard and I can honestly say that it was perfect. My dad is the kind of person that doesn’t like to go out on his birthdays and would much rather spend the day at home with his family and friends because he goes out to eat so often that he is literally tired of restaurant food. Therefore, my cousins and I decided to throw him this surprise brunch party.

To throw a birthday brunch you need a plan and the first step to your plan is the menu. Get together with your cousins and/or parents and map out a menu. Divide and conquer is the strategy. Have one person make the eggs dish, one make the sweet breakfast dish such as (french toast, homemade waffles, pancakes, or crepes) , and one person make the sides such as (breakfast potatoes, hash browns, fruit salad, and sausages). A fun way to serve the sweet breakfast dish is to have a toppings buffet with all of the yummy treats we all love such as whipped cream, nutella, strawberries, caramel, etc.

Remember to keep the menu short and simple because less is more. Here is our menu:

 

Birthday Brunch Menu

Italian Frittatta  cherry tomatoes, basil, mint

 Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

 Italian Breakfast Potatoes onions, bell peppers, garden rosemary & thyme, jalapenos, cheese

 Mango Cake

 Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca

 

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Set the table with your prettiest plates and cutlery. We used our Portugese printed plates from the World Market , oversized water goblets, and plain cloth napkins. Set the table with your favorite tablecloth, this one is a new satin sheet we had lying around the house. Its fun print and soft fabric made it a perfect tablecloth. A runner also makes for a great decor piece and this floral one is perfect for the summer. Last but most importantly, have a bunch of fresh flowers in the center of the table as the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

 

Ferry Building Marketplace

The Ferry Building Marketplace is a haven for food lovers. It has numerous local eateries and cafes that create artisanal, organic food that is scrumptious and sustainable. From cheese shops with local cheeses, handmade pastries, organic coffee houses, and other breakfast/lunch time eateries – The Ferry Building has something that will satisfy any palette. It also has some cookware shops, small grocery shops, and flower shops of the garden. This place is THE food lover’s sanctuary in the heart of San Francisco with a view of the gorgeous Bay.

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Outside the Ferry Building

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Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

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Soft Scrambled Eggs with herbs

 

Bon Appetit,

Shiza

LA’s Stunning Cafe’s & Restaurants

Hello everyone. I know that it has been awhile , but we are finally back on! So we are gonna start the year off on a delicious note, with a list of the yummiest places around LA to eat. I love to cook it and try both trending and hidden restaurants wherever I go. I have been to MANY restaurants in Los Angeles, but these ones definitely hold a special place in my heart.

Angelini’s Osteria – 7313 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036

If you are looking for some down home, traditional Italian food this is THE place. The restaurant has a rustic and cozy atmosphere, with an exposed brick wall, large pit fire oven, and be sure to make reservations before hand because the restaurant has only one dining room and some patio seating and it is always packed. The menu is impeccable with food that could have been your Nonna’s food but with a modern twist.

 

Grilled Prime Rib Eye // Swiss Chard Ravioli ( I promise you this is the greatest ravioli that you will ever taste) Who knew Swiss Chard could taste this good?

 

El Floridita Cuban Restaurant – 1253 Vine Street , Los Angeles, CA 90038

This upbeat, authentic Cuban restaurant will take you to the Caribbean and back . With friendly service, nightly dance and music performances, and a menu in which almost everything comes with a side of rice, beans, and fried plantains you will never want to leave!

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Tilapia en Mojo, a Cuban scampi sauce. The sauce is packed with flavors of garlic, tomatoes, onions, and spices and the tilapia is an excellent, delicate choice of seafood to pair with the bold Mojo sauce.

Nobu, West Hollywood – 903 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

This is the shining gem of the LA fine dining food scene. Japanese food takes a whole new level with extraordinary entrees and sushi that have a Peruvian flair.
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These deceptively, un-spicy, Shishito Peppers are crunchy, sweet, and addicting. Hands down the BEST appetizer ever.

Tender Greens- 9523 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

If your a looking for a lunch place that is healthy, fast, and has many vegetarian friendly/plant based options, this should be number 1 on your list. Tender Greens has the BEST salads from varieties such as Vegan Salads ,Backyard Steak, and Tuna Nicoise topped with quail eggs are my particular favorite.  They also have refreshing homemade lemonades such as mint lemonade.

Aroma Bakery and Cafe- 7373 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Aroma has been one of my favorite breakfast spots for as long as I can remember. It’s chic and has no wait time because its a large amount of space both inside and out (because we all know that Brunch in LA always has a wait time, sadly) , Aroma doesn’t follow this norm and gets you seated right away which is one its best qualities asides from the spectacular Middle Eastern inspired breakfast.

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Knowing how to  make Shakshuka at home, I know what makes a Shakshuka (Eggs in Spiced Tomato Sauce) truly spectacular- Harissa and the right amount of Ras El Hanout (Moroccan spice blend) and this particular one hits all of the right notes. Having travelled to Israel, has set the bar very high as to what i classify as a good Shakshuka, and I can honestly say that this is the most well done Shakshuka that I have had in any restaurant in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

This Middle Eastern platter is a glimpse as to what a traditional Middle Eastern breakfast consists of which is IMG_3213an array of fresh cheese such as feta, hummus,  traditional creamy yoghurt called labneh which has a sweet and tangy taste and is definitely my favorite thing on the platter.

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Barney’s Beanery Redondo Beach – 100 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

For a casual , Mexican -Californian breakfast , Barney’s Beanery has a lot to choose from. You can order the Mexi-Cali favorites such as Huevos Rancheros, Ranchero Omlette, and Chilaquiles or opt for a simple American breakfast of pancakes. My favorite thing to order are the Chilaquiles with the classic Chocolate milkshake.

 

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The Chilaquiles are tortilla chips topped with scrambled eggs and a red chili sauce, served with refried beans and rice on the side, and guacamole and salsa.

 

 

 

Il Cielo – 9018 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

This beautiful house turned Italian restaurant with a charming courtyard has an excellent selection of traditional Italian cuisine. However, I personally adore the desserts more than the food itself. The gorgeous Panna Cotta was hands down , sublime. I would come here specifically for the desserts . The silky , subtle texture of the Vanilla bean Panna Cotta is perfectly complemented with the strawberry coulis and fresh berries complete the decadent dessert. The Tiramuisu was delicious but did not match the unparalleled beauty and taste of the Panna Cotta.

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Brunch @ Blu Jam Cafe- 7371 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

 

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Make sure you arrive at this Melrose / West Hollywood neighborhood brunch gem right when it opens because if it hits 10 AM, the cafe has a long line outside of it ( More than an hour …#hectic ) However, the Crunchy French Toast with a Hot Vanilla “Milk”(kinda like a sauce) is a breakfast that is truly worth the wait. This is by far, my favorite french toast in the whole world. Its the culinary balance of textures from the creamy custard like bread to the crunchy bite on the outside and the luscious hot vanilla bean milk all of which pair perfectly with tart seasonal berries and a light dusting of powdered sugar. Also , they have fresh juices, made with fruits that you want. A healthy juice can help you forget having just devour a french toast a few moments ago.

 

XOXO,

Shiza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeade Strawberry Whipped Butter

Whats better than strawberries & cream? Strawberry Whipped Butter is ❤️Next time you need something quick to whip up with just a few ingredients to spruce up some simple french toast or pancakes , this whipped butter will elevate your dish into something truly spectacular. 

All you need is : 

  • A stick of butter at room temperature (salted or unsalted  it doesnt matter I used salted and it still tasted amazing)
  • A few strawberries (4-5), rinsed and chopped tiny
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • Tablespoon of Sugar

   
    
    

Place the whipped butter on the center of a sheet of aluminim foil.

  Wrap the butter in the foil in a log and place in the freezer for it to harden. 

Slice the whipped butter and serve on your french toast or pancakes. Bón Appetit

 Xoxo,

Shiza

New Year, Healthier Me

Although I believe that New Year’s Resolutions do not EVER work, I do believe that it is a good time for self- reflections and perhaps a new mindset. I am not saying that your resolutions won’t work, I am just saying you would rather use it to contemplate on where you are at your life and find ways to make achievable, positive changes. Nothing too crazy or dramatic, because just because the calendar year changes, that doesn’t mean you have too, too. With that being said, I am going to share with you guys some healthy breakfast and drink ideas which will have you feeling great both inside and out. I have been enjoying eating healthier since the start of this New Year because with my cousin’s Big Fat Indian Wedding this past December, I was tired of eating rich and spicy Indian food.

Breakfast- Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowls are all the rage right now and what’s great about them is that they are an easy to make breakfast for your busy mornings. You can even make the smoothie the night before and top it right before eating. It makes for a refreshing and satisfying breakfast that will give you the energy boost that you need to kickstart your day!

You can literally use any fruits that you want in the smoothie bowl, blend the fruits (ex: strawberries , blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mango, kiwi) up with about a 1/4 cup of greek yogurt, a splash of orange juice, and a drizzle of agave nectar or honey for some sweetness and you have yourself a delicious smoothie. Make sure you put in more yogurt than juice so that the smoothie is thick and can be eaten with a spoon. I literally eyeball it. No need to be really specific , the possibilities are endless. Each smoothie that I make has its own unique flavor and taste.

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A very berry smoothie

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A mango, strawberry, & raspberry smoothie

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The mango, strawberry, raspberry one blended.

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Toppings:

  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Chia Seeds
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Granola
  • Dates
  • Drizzle of Honey or Agave Nectar
  • Coconut Shavings
  • Kiwi
  • Chocolate Chips

Hydrate- Coconut Water

I absolutely adore coconut water , especially from a fresh coconut. Although, I do enjoy vita coconut water or the Taste Nirvana Real Thai coconut water with pulp that come in green bottles from the store year-round when I can’t find Thai Coconuts. Coconut water has more potassium than a 4 bananas and is packed with electrolytes and tons of other health benefits.

 

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Hydrate-Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

I love to drink pressed orange juice throughout the day. Orange juice is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a great thing to drink as a snack that keeps you refreshed and satisfied. I go through several bottles of these a week. If you own a juicer you can juice your own oranges and make freshly squeezed orange juice at home. You can even make your own fresh oj blends using other citrus such as blood oranges, grapefruit, or tangerines. It will take a few extra minutes but it is definitely worth it and can easily spruce up breakfast on the weekends.

 

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  Eat – Salads

Salads are a great way to stay in shape especially when they are packed with wholesome ingredients and fruits and vegetables that you enjoy to it and are served with light, homeade dressings that are not packed with calories and fat because store bought dressings can LITERALLY KILL your salad. I shared a scrumptious salad recipe on another blog post titled “Summer Salad Recipe” so check it out if you are interested in making a healthy homemade salad packed with flavor .

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My homemade Summer Salad from the blog 

 

These are a few ideas on healthy eating, stay fit and well both on the inside and out. SO sorry this post is a month late (I drafted it but never go to actually completing and posting it) , but i hope the New Years Resolutions you made in January apply to your life today .

XOXO

Shiza

 

 

Summer Diaries Part 2 : Mumbai, India

While in India, I went on a four day trip to the charming city of Bollywood and the Arabian Sea. Here are pictures of my adventures!

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Aerial view of Mumbai from the flight.

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Versova Beach is a local , hidden beach that is beautiful! I rode a horse on the waterside here! It was so fun and relaxing.

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Gateway of India constructed to welcome the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay (now Mumbai) .

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The famous Taj Hotel of Mumbai.

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Mumbai’s Speacialty breakfast : Vada Pau, consists of spicy fried potato patties filled with green chillies and served with fresh buns and a pudina (mint) chilli chutney and a sweet imli (tamarind) chutney. This is my favorite breakfast in Mumbai, I had it for three days straight because I loved it that much.

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This is from Naturals , a Juhu Beach based natural fruit ice cream shop’s watermelon ice cream! The shop offers fruity flavors but this one was my all time fav. The texture of the ice cream is very light yet creamy and the ice cream had little bits of fresh watermelon to it.

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Gorgeous Sea Link Bridge

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)
is a historical train station built in 1887 to honor Queen Victoria’s 50th anniversery of being Queen.

Xoxo,
Shiza

Simple, Summery Fettuccine 

Fettuccine is a pasta that is usually served in an alfredo sauce. However, today I changed things up and made some with a simple sauce using fresh ingredients such as rosemary and basil from my garden, sweet cherry tomatoes, and fragrant garlic. These ever so accessible ingredients transformed the fettuccine into a heavenly dish that is perfect for a summer time lunch! 

Ingredients:

  1. Good quality Fettuccine 
  2. About a cup of Cherry Tomatoes 
  3. 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  4. Handful of Basil
  5. 1 sprig of Rosemary 
  6. Lemon Pepper
  7. Seasoned Salt
  8. Parmeasan cheese 
  9. Olive Oil + Butter
  10. Pinch of sugar ( to offset the acidity of the tomatoes) 

Directions: 

  1. In a large pot, boil water up to the brim with some salt.
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes lengthwise. Chop the basil and 1/2 of the rosemary. Mince the garlic. 
  3. Once the water in the pot boils, add the fettuccine noodles. I added about 1/2 of a box of fettuccine simply estimating it. No need to be precise, if you have extra pasta you can use it the next day! Cook the pasta in the salted boiling water for about 8-10 minutes of until its al dente.  
  4. While the pasta cooks, heat a tablespoon of butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan on medium high heat. Once the oil + butter begin to sizzle, add the minced garlic. Let the garlic infuse its flavor into the oil, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning . After 2 minutes, add the cherry tomatoes into the saucepan. Raise the heat to high for a few minutes and sautée the tomatoes. They should release a sauce yet hold their shape. Add the sugar. Stir well.
  5. Next, lower the heat and add the lemon pepper, seasoned salt, basil, chopped rosemary, and the 1/2 sprig leftover into the saucepan. Stir well. A sauce should develop. 
  6. Drain the fettuccine and add it into the saucepan with the tomatoes. Combine the pasta with the sauce on low heat. Add a teaspoon of butter into the pasta. Turn off heat and add some grated parmesean cheese and mix well. Remove the sprig of rosemary. Voilà, the fettuccine is ready!

   
    
    
 
Buon Appetito❤️

Xoxo,

Shiza