Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘gelato’

Understanding Italian Culture | Dining, Tips, Gelato and Coffee

DINING

In Italy, the food is an experience.  Lunches and dinners last at least two hours; you linger over your meal.  When you sit at a table, it is considered yours for the night.  A restaurant would be considered awful if it tried to turn tables like we do in the states.  The waiters are all ‘slow’ by American standards and they do not rush for anything (except keeping wine on the table for the locals).  Your waiter will only bring the bill when you ask for it, to do so before is considered rude.  When you are ready to leave, simply catch their eye and say ‘Il conto’ for the bill or make a motion of writing something out on your palm.  Many restaurants have a ‘pane e coperto’ charge (bread and cover) of a few euros per person and/or ‘servizio incluso’ (tips) built into the bill.  You will find both of these on the bill with the ‘servizio incluso’ usually on the bottom.  If that is not included in your bill, round up by a few euros (or less than half of what you would do at home).  I know it feels wrong not to leave a big tip for a great meal, we Americans are notorious for over tipping while some Italians never do.  Rarely I have run into annoyed waiters who were expecting me to tip like a typical tourist, but that reaction is not at all normal.  Another time I tipped an excessive amount because I had drank an excessive amount , and the owners made sure I left with a bottle of wine on the house.   An example for a meal that cost 37.50 would be to round up to 40.  Try to always leave a cash tip on the table, even if you are paying with credit, otherwise your server may never see the money.

Dinner service usually begins around 7:00pm and lasts well into the night.  If you want to dine with tourists, be there when they open.  Linger until around 8:30 and you will dine with the Italians.  Food is served in courses, but you are not expected to order one of each.  For example, I often order my own pasta (primi) but share an anitpasti (appetizer) and secondi (meat or fish dish) with my friend.  Just remember that the food will be brought out in order and if you skipped a course you will spend that time watching others eat.  I find I never go wrong with the house wine but if you want to try a bottle, ask the waiter what would pair well with your meal.  While you can’t always trust the bill you can trust them with their food and wine recommendations!  I personally find that you can never go wrong with the daily specials.  Italians eat with the seasons and chefs pride themselves in finding the best and freshest ingredients.  I will often go with their suggestions as well.  Europeans love fizzy water, so if you don’t want bubbles you must ask for ‘acua naturale.’

A few dining tips to make you look more like a local:

Don’t use a spoon to twirl your pasta and NEVER cut the noodles with a knife.

If cheese or other toppings didn’t come with your dish then it was not meant to go with it.  It is considered insulting to add anything to a dish that the chef prepared as they pride themselves in knowing exactly what ingredients pare with each dish.

By all means, use your bread to sop up the extra sauce.  This is considered a great compliment to the chef.

End your meal with an espresso (you can request a decaf).

Take your time to enjoy the meal, each one is an adventure in itself!

I caution everyone to pace themselves or you will find yourself groaning in bed with an overfilled stomach.

COFFEE

It’s the only place on earth that is more crazy about coffee than Seattle.  For about one euro, you can get a teeny cup of pure heaven.  It’s probably the easiest thing to do in Italy.  Head right into any bar and ask for un caffe.  You might be asked to clarify that you want an espresso and not an American cup of coffee.  Just use your fingers to show a tiny cup and they will understand.  Watch the locals.  They pour in about as much sugar as coffee and sit stirring it for some magical amount of time, then sling back the liquid in one sip and out the door they go.  This is not a Starbucks society where you savor your espresso or even take it to go.  I also love my morning cappuccino (which I do take my time with) but only tourists drink them after 10am.  Some bars have you pay first and then take your slip to the counter while others do the opposite.  If you are unsure just watch how everyone else is doing it and copy.  It is a courtesy to leave a small coin to ‘hold the paper down’ for the server.  You will also pay more for your coffee if you sit down to drink it, about twice as much as the same cup enjoyed at the bar.  The cost can be well worth it if you’ve found a cozy little spot for people watching.  The bars usually have quick and easy snacks as well; panini’s are a favorite type of sandwich and great for on the go.

GELATO

Italian ice cream is another national addiction, and a personal one.  I challenge anyone to beat my consumption record:  6 double scoops in one day!  Just remember that not all gelato is created the same and if you aren’t careful you could end up disappointed.  Follow my advice below and you are sure to never go wrong.

There are a few important things to look for when choosing a gelateria.  Only places that make their gelato fresh each day on the premise are legally allowed to display the sign ‘fatta in casa.’  This is a good start but that is not all you want to watch for.  A long line is one of the best signs of great gelato.  If you see more Italians than tourists, even better.  Italians tend to avoid tourists at all costs but will stand shoulder to shoulder with them for a good scoop and you know that your gelato will be worth the wait.  If all looks well, step inside and make sure that the gelato is in metal containers and not plastic ones, this will confirm that the ice cream was made in smaller batches and of a better quality.  The final check is in the gelato itself.  If you notice tons of bright unnatural colors run away.  Banana will be your gold standard.  If it is gray you have found the perfect spot, if it is any shade of yellow don’t waste another second there.  Gelato should be made from fresh ingredients with the primary concern being taste not color.  Be wary of any shop that has a big area with table and chairs.  While we are used to this set up, in Italy gelato is meant to be consumed on the go and a gelateria trying to encourage you to stay is focused on tourists.

No day is complete without gelato and there is no reason to feel guilty.  Gelato’s fat content is at least a third less than our ice cream because it is made from milk and not fresh cream or butterfat.  Ordering gelato is similar to getting your coffee.  Most places have you buy your gelato ahead of time and the cashier will give you a ticket to take to the counter.  Take your time looking around while you decide, but for the server’s sanity make sure that you are ready with your order when it is your turn.  You will be ignored if you do not have a ticket.  If you are having trouble getting his attention just hold your ticket like a torch and push your way to the front.  Be exotic and try different combinations; everything is good.

GROCERIES AND MARKETS

You will be able to find little grocery shops in every town and even some larger more modern ones in the cities.  In the produce section there are a few different ways to handle the vegetables.  Sometimes the checker (or another employee) will select the produce for you, bag it and weigh it on the spot.  All you do is point to what you want.  More commonly, you will bag it yourself and then put your selection on a scale.  There will be about 100 different buttons with pictures of fruits and veggies.  Find yours and simply push, the weight and cost in Euros will be printed on a sticker you attach to the bag (make sure you aren’t LEANING on the scale when you push!).  Don’t forgot to wear the disposable plastic gloves, otherwise you will draw many disgusted looks from the local shoppers.

Every city, town and village has a market on a certain day and some are daily.  Go early to get the best choices and have the most fun with the pushy old ladies.  Markets aren’t limited to just produce; usually you will find trucks full of cheese and meats.  If you see someone selling Porchetta sandwiches get one!

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Top Ten | Cheap Thrills in Italy

Who says you need to spend a fortune to enjoy yourself when traveling.  The following are my very favorite and very affordable experiences.

10.  Crossing the street.  If anyone disagrees with me here, they have obviously never tried to do so in Rome.

9.  Driving on the Autostrada.  The thrill goes both ways.  I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and out in the open.  It seems though, no matter how well I’m doing or how fast I’m going, some Italian is on my butt.

8.  Ordering an espresso (or two) in the afternoon.  I just can’t get enough of coffee in Italy and I find myself sneaking in and out of bars through the day indulging in my addiction.

7.  If coffee isn’t your thing, then I dare you to double down on gelato.  Ignore those raised eyebrows and go back for seconds or order a triple to begin with.  My mouth watering combo?  Pistachio, hazelnut and something chocolate!

6.   For you ladies wanting to live on the edge and believe in fashion at all costs, try an evening on the town in heels.  There is nothing more amazing or sexy than watching the Italian women strut along the cobblestones.  I have tried this myself and….well, not so sexy but I didn’t break anything.

5.  Passeggiata.  Probably my favorite time of the day, when the day trippers have gone home and the locals come out to catch up on the day’s news.  There is no better time to people watch and be watched!  Even in the smallest of villages, people can be found out and about during the evening right before dinner.  Couples holding hands, old women arm in arm.  Magic.

4.  Sagra.  These food centered festivals are everywhere, in every town or village.  Love garlic, cheese or olives?  You are in luck because there are a handful of places across Italy ready to celebrate.

3. Festivals.  Each and every town has some festival rooted in tradition that you can be a part of with the right timing.  The activities vary widely, from pushing wine barrels up the steep city center to decorating the ground with elaborate works of art made from flower petals.

Another perk to flirting: better prices

2.  Flirting.  It’s free and it’s everywhere.  The men in Italy love women and not just the Victoria Secret model women.  Feeling bad about the extra weight you can’t seem to get rid of?  Having trouble hiding the grey?  No worries!  Italian men are professionals when it comes to making a woman feel beautiful, any woman.  Flirting taken with the right frame of mind can be a great ego boost.  Of course, if they go too far I’m not afraid to let them know they’ve crossed a line.

1.  Battling the old women during the morning market.  You have to mentally prepare for this scenario.  They are plump and sweet on the bench in the piazza, but they are shrewd and as stealthy as any ninja at the vegetable stall.

travel

Sweet and innocent? Don’t be so sure

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Italy in the News: Phone Sex, WWI arsenal found, Trevi repairs and the death of a Cardinal

Headlines from the week of Aug 26-Sept 1

Courtesy of Gizmodo

(ANSA) – Giving phone sex for money does not make you a prostitute, as long as it’s done solely with the mind, not with the body, Italy’s supreme court ruled on Friday. Read More

(Guardian) –  As the Venice Biennale of Architecture kicks off today, we head to Cannaregio and discover a neighbourhood largely unchanged by the city’s tourist hordes. Its bars, restaurants and shops are great places to taste local life.  Read More

(ANSA) –  Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini died from Parkinson’s disease on Friday at the age of 85.     The former archbishop of Milan and highly esteemed member of the Catholic Church had been suffering from the degenerative nerve disorder for many years.  Read More

(ANSA) – Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain has been drained to make way for repairs to its facade that lost several small pieces last June, Cultural Heritage Superintendent Umberto Broccoli said on Monday.  Read More

(ANSA) –  Italian Finance Police recovered 200 pieces of World War I ammunition, which emerged from a melting glacier on a Trentino mountain peak on Friday, Finance Guard sources said.Read More

(Wa Post) – Flowers, family, found objects. If you have an iPhone, chances are you’ve started to explore the world of iPhoneography —  shooting images with your phone and, if you choose, processing them using various applications.  Read More

(ANSA) – Rome – Dripping with chocolate, covered with strawberries or laden with cream, there is a gelato to tease the tastebuds of every ice-cream lover.       It’s no surprise to learn that thousands of foreign tourists who come to Rome take time out to scour the cobbled streets of the Italian capital in search of the perfect gelato.  Read More

Courtesy of ANSA

For anyone who missed my articles about the wildfires in Italy or painted pigeons in Venice, follow the links below.

Courtesty of Julian Charrière

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Italy in the News: Phone Sex, WWI arsenal found, Trevi repairs and the death of a Cardinal

Headlines from the week of Aug 26-Sept 1

Courtesy of Gizmodo

(ANSA) – Giving phone sex for money does not make you a prostitute, as long as it’s done solely with the mind, not with the body, Italy’s supreme court ruled on Friday. Read More

(Guardian) –  As the Venice Biennale of Architecture kicks off today, we head to Cannaregio and discover a neighbourhood largely unchanged by the city’s tourist hordes. Its bars, restaurants and shops are great places to taste local life.  Read More

(ANSA) –  Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini died from Parkinson’s disease on Friday at the age of 85.     The former archbishop of Milan and highly esteemed member of the Catholic Church had been suffering from the degenerative nerve disorder for many years.  Read More

(ANSA) – Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain has been drained to make way for repairs to its facade that lost several small pieces last June, Cultural Heritage Superintendent Umberto Broccoli said on Monday.  Read More

(ANSA) –  Italian Finance Police recovered 200 pieces of World War I ammunition, which emerged from a melting glacier on a Trentino mountain peak on Friday, Finance Guard sources said.Read More

(Wa Post) – Flowers, family, found objects. If you have an iPhone, chances are you’ve started to explore the world of iPhoneography —  shooting images with your phone and, if you choose, processing them using various applications.  Read More

(ANSA) – Rome – Dripping with chocolate, covered with strawberries or laden with cream, there is a gelato to tease the tastebuds of every ice-cream lover.       It’s no surprise to learn that thousands of foreign tourists who come to Rome take time out to scour the cobbled streets of the Italian capital in search of the perfect gelato.  Read More

Courtesy of ANSA

For anyone who missed my articles about the wildfires in Italy or painted pigeons in Venice, follow the links below.

Courtesty of Julian Charrière

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Rome Italy Travel Sites

Here are a few fun sites I have found to waste away on a Sunday.  I little of everything can be found below.

What to Eat in Rome - Who doesn’t love a good food blog??

Dark Rome Blog - Several articles about places to see, things to do in Rome.

An American in Rome - I great blog with photos documenting life in Italy from a California girl’s perspective.

The Pines of Rome - Another American who has made her home in Rome.  She has a helpful section listing exhibits currently on display.

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Reasons Traveling with Kids is Cool

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I was crazy to take my toddler to Italy by myself I would have never come back.  “You are wasting your money; she will never remember anything.  She will be a mess on that long flight.  How will you pack everything by yourself?  She won’t stand going to museums or sitting through long dinners.”  Jet lag, potty issues, getting sick, being bored.  I heard it all.

But one month after my daughter’s second birthday I defiantly boarded a flight to Rome armed with a backpack of her necessities, one suitcase for both of us, a stroller and Benadryl.  I could see that look in the other passengers’ faces.

You know the one, just before they quickly darted their eyes away hoping to avoid direct contact.

The dread and fear of having to sit next to a kid on a long flight.  Then the absolute elation as we walked by.  I could actually hear the sighs of relief.  I don’t blame them for hoping we were nowhere near their seat; thirteen hours with a small child in an even smaller space could be considered a version of hell on earth.  Yet, she fooled them all.  To the shock and relief of those around me she was an angel on the plane.  After devouring her ‘fancy’ meal, she watched a movie and then proceeded to pass out.  I can’t say the same for many of the other passengers.

Once in Italy, I quickly found out that traveling with my daughter did two things:  opened doors to experiences and got us free stuff.  People who would have done nothing more than complete their transaction with me or more likely not even noticed my presence were suddenly whisking us behind counters and showing us part of the real Italian life I had not seen before.  We met dogs; we met grandkids.  We watered plants and learned to make pizza.  We held rabbits and petted goats.

I haven’t even gotten to the free stuff.

My daughter learned a simple smile meant extra scoops of gelato or little candies in her hand.  I don’t think I went anywhere with her that some old lady wasn’t trying to feed her or put sweets in her pockets.  She was the star at dinner, our waiters taking pride in her appetite.  She had no need for a menu, they would prepare whatever she desired without hesitation.  I was once chided for not ordering her enough food and found extra plates appearing on the table free of charge.  Did I ever pay for dessert?  Maybe my own.

She loved the Roman Forum, although it was the beetles not the ruins that caught her eye.  Every new hill town was exciting; who knew how many kitties would be hiding in the narrow cobblestone streets.  Trains were a marvel.  Maps became new toys.  Piazzas her playgrounds.  My passion for travel deepened with each new discovery she made.

Maybe I was crazy and it is true that she doesn’t remember that trip, but my daughter has no fear of the unknown and loves new experiences.  I have since taken her back to Italy (see the photos below) and she now has her own travel bucket list.  The lesson to be taken here is that having a family does not mean your travel dreams are over.  They are just different.  I may not be able to travel as much as I did before, but I never use children as my excuse to stay home.  Travel is good for them.  They begin to understand the world is a bigger place and differences are to be celebrated.  Travel is good for you.  You will find indescribable joy watching your child experience another culture.

I could list the top reasons why traveling with kids is cool, but I think these pictures do a better job.

Joining up again with the fabulous writers at yeah write. Click the button below to read some truly wonderful writers and don’t forget to return on Thursday to vote for your five favorite posts.

Copyright 2012  Andi Brown  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Understanding Italian Culture | Dining, Tips, Gelato and Coffee

DINING

In Italy, the food is an experience.  Lunches and dinners last at least two hours; you linger over your meal.  When you sit at a table, it is considered yours for the night.  A restaurant would be considered awful if it tried to turn tables like we do in the states.  The waiters are all ‘slow’ by American standards and they do not rush for anything (except keeping wine on the table for the locals).  Your waiter will only bring the bill when you ask for it, to do so before is considered rude.  When you are ready to leave, simply catch their eye and say ‘Il conto’ for the bill or make a motion of writing something out on your palm.  Many restaurants have a ‘pane e coperto’ charge (bread and cover) of a few euros per person and/or ‘servizio incluso’ (tips) built into the bill.  You will find both of these on the bill with the ‘servizio incluso’ usually on the bottom.  If that is not included in your bill, round up by a few euros (or less than half of what you would do at home).  I know it feels wrong not to leave a big tip for a great meal, we Americans are notorious for over tipping while some Italians never do.  Rarely I have run into annoyed waiters who were expecting me to tip like a typical tourist, but that reaction is not at all normal.  Another time I tipped an excessive amount because I had drank an excessive amount , and the owners made sure I left with a bottle of wine on the house.   An example for a meal that cost 37.50 would be to round up to 40.  Try to always leave a cash tip on the table, even if you are paying with credit, otherwise your server may never see the money.

Dinner service usually begins around 7:00pm and lasts well into the night.  If you want to dine with tourists, be there when they open.  Linger until around 8:30 and you will dine with the Italians.  Food is served in courses, but you are not expected to order one of each.  For example, I often order my own pasta (primi) but share an anitpasti (appetizer) and secondi (meat or fish dish) with my friend.  Just remember that the food will be brought out in order and if you skipped a course you will spend that time watching others eat.  I find I never go wrong with the house wine but if you want to try a bottle, ask the waiter what would pair well with your meal.  While you can’t always trust the bill you can trust them with their food and wine recommendations!  I personally find that you can never go wrong with the daily specials.  Italians eat with the seasons and chefs pride themselves in finding the best and freshest ingredients.  I will often go with their suggestions as well.  Europeans love fizzy water, so if you don’t want bubbles you must ask for ‘acua naturale.’

A few dining tips to make you look more like a local:

Don’t use a spoon to twirl your pasta and NEVER cut the noodles with a knife.

If cheese or other toppings didn’t come with your dish then it was not meant to go with it.  It is considered insulting to add anything to a dish that the chef prepared as they pride themselves in knowing exactly what ingredients pare with each dish.

By all means, use your bread to sop up the extra sauce.  This is considered a great compliment to the chef.

End your meal with an espresso (you can request a decaf).

Take your time to enjoy the meal, each one is an adventure in itself!

I caution everyone to pace themselves or you will find yourself groaning in bed with an overfilled stomach.

COFFEE

It’s the only place on earth that is more crazy about coffee than Seattle.  For about one euro, you can get a teeny cup of pure heaven.  It’s probably the easiest thing to do in Italy.  Head right into any bar and ask for un caffe.  You might be asked to clarify that you want an espresso and not an American cup of coffee.  Just use your fingers to show a tiny cup and they will understand.  Watch the locals.  They pour in about as much sugar as coffee and sit stirring it for some magical amount of time, then sling back the liquid in one sip and out the door they go.  This is not a Starbucks society where you savor your espresso or even take it to go.  I also love my morning cappuccino (which I do take my time with) but only tourists drink them after 10am.  Some bars have you pay first and then take your slip to the counter while others do the opposite.  If you are unsure just watch how everyone else is doing it and copy.  It is a courtesy to leave a small coin to ‘hold the paper down’ for the server.  You will also pay more for your coffee if you sit down to drink it, about twice as much as the same cup enjoyed at the bar.  The cost can be well worth it if you’ve found a cozy little spot for people watching.  The bars usually have quick and easy snacks as well; panini’s are a favorite type of sandwich and great for on the go.

GELATO

Italian ice cream is another national addiction, and a personal one.  I challenge anyone to beat my consumption record:  6 double scoops in one day!  Just remember that not all gelato is created the same and if you aren’t careful you could end up disappointed.  Follow my advice below and you are sure to never go wrong.

There are a few important things to look for when choosing a gelateria.  Only places that make their gelato fresh each day on the premise are legally allowed to display the sign ‘fatta in casa.’  This is a good start but that is not all you want to watch for.  A long line is one of the best signs of great gelato.  If you see more Italians than tourists, even better.  Italians tend to avoid tourists at all costs but will stand shoulder to shoulder with them for a good scoop and you know that your gelato will be worth the wait.  If all looks well, step inside and make sure that the gelato is in metal containers and not plastic ones, this will confirm that the ice cream was made in smaller batches and of a better quality.  The final check is in the gelato itself.  If you notice tons of bright unnatural colors run away.  Banana will be your gold standard.  If it is gray you have found the perfect spot, if it is any shade of yellow don’t waste another second there.  Gelato should be made from fresh ingredients with the primary concern being taste not color.  Be wary of any shop that has a big area with table and chairs.  While we are used to this set up, in Italy gelato is meant to be consumed on the go and a gelateria trying to encourage you to stay is focused on tourists.

No day is complete without gelato and there is no reason to feel guilty.  Gelato’s fat content is at least a third less than our ice cream because it is made from milk and not fresh cream or butterfat.  Ordering gelato is similar to getting your coffee.  Most places have you buy your gelato ahead of time and the cashier will give you a ticket to take to the counter.  Take your time looking around while you decide, but for the server’s sanity make sure that you are ready with your order when it is your turn.  You will be ignored if you do not have a ticket.  If you are having trouble getting his attention just hold your ticket like a torch and push your way to the front.  Be exotic and try different combinations; everything is good.

GROCERIES AND MARKETS

You will be able to find little grocery shops in every town and even some larger more modern ones in the cities.  In the produce section there are a few different ways to handle the vegetables.  Sometimes the checker (or another employee) will select the produce for you, bag it and weigh it on the spot.  All you do is point to what you want.  More commonly, you will bag it yourself and then put your selection on a scale.  There will be about 100 different buttons with pictures of fruits and veggies.  Find yours and simply push, the weight and cost in Euros will be printed on a sticker you attach to the bag (make sure you aren’t LEANING on the scale when you push!).  Don’t forgot to wear the disposable plastic gloves, otherwise you will draw many disgusted looks from the local shoppers.

Every city, town and village has a market on a certain day and some are daily.  Go early to get the best choices and have the most fun with the pushy old ladies.  Markets aren’t limited to just produce; usually you will find trucks full of cheese and meats.  If you see someone selling Porchetta sandwiches get one!

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Red Velvet Biscotti Recipe

I made these for Valentines Day for the family.  They are delicious, best with a bowl of ice cream or a glass of dessert wine.  Definitely not something you will find on your trip to Italy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 jar of red food coloring (you will need 2 bottles if using the liquid kind you find at the grocery store)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

*Don’t freak out, there is no butter in this recipe*

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°.

2. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, food coloring, baking powder and salt.

3. Lightly beat eggs in a separate bowl, then add to flour mixture and mix until combined. I found this recipe was very crumbly, so I would not add the full 3 cups of flour unless it is really doughy.

4.  Fold in white chocolate chips.

5. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, form each half into a log that is 3½ inches by 9 inches. Place the logs on a heavy-duty baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are set.

6. Reduce the oven to 300°. Let the logs cool (this is a crumbly recipe so the longer you let the logs cool the better and easier it will be to cut without breaking), then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.  With this recipe it is very important to let them cool otherwise it will crumble when cutting.  Arrange the slices on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the slices over, and bake for another 8 minutes.

7. Cool on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Things I love about Italy | A Valentine’s Day Tribute

I thought in honor of sweetheart’s day I would simply list the things that I love about Italy.  Here they are, off the top of my head and in no particular order.  Go ahead, I encourage you to make your own list and send me the link to include in a future post about our love affair with this amazing place!

  • passeggiata
  • house wine
  • pistachio  gelato
  • bells tolling in the morning
  • the sound of swallows in Siena
  • the smell of sunrise
  • the sound of silverware on china plates in the late evening from my balcony window
  • guessing how fast the car that just passed me is going
  • the thrill of a good parking spot
  • porchetta straight from the van
  • the click of high heels on cobblestones
  • a cool drink from a fountain when in Rome
  • the bored look of the officials after baggage claim
  • osso bucco in Rome
  • polenta served family style
  • giving exact change
  • cheek kisses
  • espresso shots
  • savoring a morning cappuccino
  • following my nose for dinner
  • old men on benches
  • marveling at what an ape can carry

    Courtesy of Italy from the Inside

Did I miss something?  Send my a link to your Things I love about Italy list.

I love feedback, so leave me comments!

copyright 2012  Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 417 other followers

%d bloggers like this: