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Naples in a Day: Fifteen Absolute Musts!

Naples is a must if you’re looking for amazing food and incredible pastries, jaw dropping art that will leave you dazzled, and if you want to experience a culture of passion and music! To enjoy Naples to its fullest you have to take it as it is, jump in and enjoy! There’s nothing like it…

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Buratta stuffed ravioli

Buratta-stuffed ravioli, on a swirl of pesto & topped with lightly caramelized cherry tomatoes. At Garibaldi Ristorante, Rome. Making homemade ravioli. Tropea onions from my garden lent themselves beautifully to these onion ricotta tarts. Arch of Malborghetto, whose core structure is datable to 4th century, sits on Via Flaminia right at Sacrofano train station. And…

Casino Ludovisi, a delightful treasure in the center of Rome

Casino Ludovisi hand-drawn historic book

When I stroll through the centro storico in Rome, its streets filled with ancient palazzi and their huge wooden doors, I like to think about what’s behind the doors, and who owns and lives in these frescoed buildings. During the day these doors are often open and you can gaze in upon exquisite courtyards with…

Wild Rice Risotto with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Gorgonzola

Brussels Sprouts Roasted

It’s quite a while that I’ve wanted to come up with a recipe to marry two of my favorite ingredients: Brussels sprouts and gorgonzola. This wild rice risotto fits the bill to a “t”! It’s post holiday and time to shed those extra pounds so I wanted a yummy recipe but one that wouldn’t interfere…

Fennel, Orange & Black Olive Salad

Fennel bulbs from the market in Rome

There’s nothing like the fresh crunchy flavor of fennel bulbs and they’re a perfect salad ingredient. I put them in just about any kind of salad; use a mandolin to slice them paper thin right into your salad. They tend to turn brown so if you won’t use the fennel slices immediately toss them in…

Christmas Season in Rome…

Piazza Venezia

Here are a few pictures of Rome during the Christmas 2015 season. Nothing lifts the spirit more than shimmering Christmas lights, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, lovely shops and gorgeously packaged panettoni and other holiday treats! Piazza Venezia… The iconic Hassler Hotel at the top of the Spanish steps… Via del Babuino… These boxed panettoni are…

Blackberry jam

      Last year we made blackberry jam; Maurizio picked the berries and I did the cooking and canning. Blackberries have so many seeds which we find unpleasant in jams and tarts so I decided to remove them. It’s a laborious, time consuming task and I cursed myself the whole way through making the…

Nonna’s hope chest and her Neapolitan coffee maker

Giulia will be having her baby any day now so while we are all waiting I’ve started doing a little nesting myself. For a long time now I’ve wanted to go through Nonna’s hope chest; it’s nearing a decade since she passed away at age ninety. She was an amazing woman: frugal, organized, efficient, as…

Hibiscus flowers

Every morning one of my hibiscus plants has a new flower to share. They’re so intricate and beautiful with a rich array of color tones. I have a number of plants so I never know which plant will be offering up a gift. The plants love partial shade and regular watering. I place my hibiscus…