Summer & Salads … two of my favorite things! As summer is approaching and the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time of year to incorporate more creative salads into the mix for a refreshing lunch or dinner.
Spring is here and that means time for picnics and sunny outdoor gatherings with friends and family … so here’s a delicious side dish or starter perfect for the occasion!
Tomorrow morning I have a meeting/study session with a group of women so I decided to make something to bring along … dark chocolate covered strawberries… because, who doesn’t love them?!
#saturdaymorning #breakfast #sabatomattina #colazione This past weekend I tried a little experiment for brunch and it turned out wonderfully. If you’re an egg lover and looking for high-protein, healthy breakfast or brunch options, I highly recommend this one! It’s super easy and equally tasty and only requires a couple eggs and veggies, cheese or other toppings/fillings of your choice.
One of my favorite things to make when I’m in the mood for a deliciously refreshing breakfast, afternoon snack or post-workout drink is a berry banana smoothie. Super energizing and full of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, protein and all kinds of good stuff for your body (especially when you throw a bit of baby spinach into the mix) … this one is just perfect and I’ve stuck with it for years. The ingredients are all natural and really simple.
Hummus: The perfect healthy snack, starter or side dish. Easy to make, tasty, and great to have on hand just in case you get a bit hungry and want a satisfying quick bite of guilt-free deliciousness.
Every now and then I crave certain foods that were such a common thing back home. I reminisce about last-minute brunch dates with friends or sisters at one of our favorite spots, La Boulange, a cute French bakery and cafe style place. I loved getting the bowl of homemade granola with creamy Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and a big cappuccino. So simple, so tasty and oh so satisfying!
As 2014 comes to a close, I sit here smiling to myself as I think about all of the new things I’ve “learned” thanks to my year here in Italy. It’s a lovely country and so are the people, so bare in mind that these are just meant to be fun things I’ve experienced personally with my husband (who’s from southern Italy), his family and friends here, or stories I’ve heard from other expat friends. There are certainly some generalizations, but it’s only meant to be taken lightheartedly and provide a bit of laughter and insight to my oh-so-fabulous life here in Italy! 🙂
Where do we pull inspiration from? Everywhere. Especially nature. I’m in love with this color palette and if it was summer I would probably be inspired to paint something with the soft yellow lemon hue, the refreshing, vibrant pink grapefruit, and the natural tones from the ginger and wood.
Happy fall everyone! One of my favorite things about fall in Milan is walking through the city center and smelling the scent of freshly roasted chestnuts in the streets. The air is crisp, the streets are busy with bustling tourists, the trams are decorated, and it’s just a beautiful sight.
What is it about these little beauties that makes them so popular around the world? I first tried them back in 2004 when I lived in France for about four months, and while I wasn’t particularly wowed by the taste initially, I was instantly attracted to the tiny little delicate morsels, just sitting in the bakery windows all perfectly lined up, flashing their pretty colors at people as they walked by, hoping to be scooped up in little cellophane bags or small gift boxes.
If you ever head to southern Italy, do yourself a favor and make sure you try the mozzarella di bufala, a delicious specialty from the Campania region (Naples area). Honestly, it’s the best mozzarella I’ve ever had in my life. I guess you can say we have some pretty good imported mozzarella di bufala and burrata cheeses in San Francisco (we have a pretty big Italian population and “Little Italy”), but there’s just nothing quite like the real deal over here. It’s moist, dripping with buffalo milk, soft and the flavor is fantastic, especially when paired with prosciutto crudo: it’s a winning combination. If and when we move from Italy one day, this is one of the things that will top the charts in terms of things I miss.
Every meal is an important part of Italian life and culture – especially on Sunday when families gather together for a long lunch, one that usually last for a minimum of three hours. For Easter (Pasqua) this year we headed down to Gaeta, a beautiful city along the coast in southern Italy where some of my husband’s family lives. (It reminds me a lot of Sausalito, California if anyone is familiar with the Bay Area).
One of the first things I loved about Italy was their attention to detail – their presentation of food and desserts – which is such an important part of their culture. I remember seeing this gorgeous display of gelato when I was in Florence and almost couldn’t believe it was real… and not only does it look amazing, it’s equally as delicious. My favorite flavors are limone on a scorching hot day when I need something refreshing, or the combination of caffè and mascarpone e noci (mascarpone with walnuts) when I’m in the mood for something a little richer.