The table is set and cheers to Easter!
My mom always wants to know and see pictures of what Matteo’s mom cooked. I choose a few of my favorites from the Easter menu this year to share.
(gamberetti con salsa)
(lasagna di radicchio)
(tagliatelle di ragu)
(maiale e patate al forno)
(chocolate egg and cookies, the typical Easter gifts to go along with the dessert of colombo cake with mascarpone cream)
We spent Easter at Matteo’s family’s house, and Matteo’s mom is an outstanding cook! Her cooking is like no other I’ve ever seen, in a matter of minutes she can whip up with ease 4 antipasti, 3 primi, 3 secondi and dessert…! It is incredible to watch especially because she hardly ever uses a recipe, it is all measured by the eye and taste. Preparing Easter lunch with her and Matteo’s nonna was another great learning experience for my cooking studies!
I find myself turning back to my kitchen for inspiration. Especially now that it is spring and the days are longer with sunlight, it is one of my favorite places to be. The change of season has also given me extra energy to continue with my cooking studies of the basics but also experimenting with more. Ever since I arrived here in Italy, I had wanted to learn the culture of cooking like an Italian. Something so natural and inspiring is how the Italians understand their own cooking culture; they know the typical cooking of each region and can judge by taste where a dish originates. So I am motivated to start expanding my portfolio in the kitchen and start cooking dishes from all different regions of Italy, so then, I as well can become a natural expert of Italian cuisine by knowing by taste where each recipe comes from.
My kitchen has little nick-nacks from home back in the States and of home here in Italy.
(salt & pepper shakers)
(vespa candy holder)
(new Italian coffee mugs)
(old American coffee mugs from home)
What isn’t to love about tiramisù? Coffee, Cookies, Mascarpone and Sugar… che buono! I’m a huge espresso and sweets lover, so when I discovered that the one dessert my Matteo knows how to make is tiramisu… my stomach was filled with love. I leave the tiramisu up to him, even though I have learned how to make it myself, it just tastes that much better when Matteo gives it his touch!
(main ingredients.. espresso, mascarpone, savoiardi biscotti)
Risotto ai Carciofi – Artichoke Risotto
Risotto is one of my favorite warm dishes to cook on a night I want to be cozy at home in Turin. I always had this idea of risotto as being very heavy and difficult to cook. Every Italian knows how to cook risotto just like pasta. After I learned this Italian staple dish from my Italian friends, I laughed at how I used to think of the classical risotto. The trick of risotto to make sure the rice is always covered by enough broth while it cooks on the stove, and the more cheese you add in the heavier the risotto seems. Here are the basic steps:
1. saute carrot, celery, and onion with olive oil 2. after the saute is finished add the rice along with white wine 3. wait for the white wine to evaporate then begin to add the broth 4. keep an eye on the rice, constantly stirring, and adding the right amount of broth to cover the rice 5. once the rice becomes cooked you can add the cheese of your choice and mix in – if you want to add more than just cheese to the risotto like I did, cook in another pan then add at the end – I suggest toma or parmigiano cheese 6. let the rice thicken then serve!
Courmayeur – Monte Bianco
Oh how I just love being on my skis, on fresh snow, without a cloud in the sky..! A day like this you can only have in Courma! I have mentioned before our love for Courma. We spend many weekends skiing there with our friends, and that is why it has become such a special spot for us, not only for the great skiing and chic ski town. A typical day in Courma is up on the slopes as early as possible, ski all morning, have lunch up on the slopes, ski a few more runs after lunch then go back down into town, have a nap, walk around the town at the shops have an aperitivo at Caffe’ della Posta, then dinner out at a pizzeria or cook in.
( Me! )
(Pranzo – Lunch)
(Walk in town)
(Courmayeur Ski School)
(Caffe’ della Posta – our spot for Aperitivo & hanging out)
(Aperitivo & Cena)
(Buona Notte – Good Night – Courma)
February’s Edition of Dove Viaggi Magazine highlighted Courmayeur & Monte Bianco.
Dove Viaggi magazine is one of my “go to’s” for my passion for travel, it is a monthly Italian travel magazine – dove means where in English – featuring the latest travel sights and adventures to do in Italy and abroad. Matteo & I get very excited every month of the arrival of the newest edition of our travel guide magazine. We turn to Dove for many travel ideas and inspirations, so when Dove featured our beloved weekend destination spot to ski in Courmayeur, we were even more excited to read up on the articles and even see photos of some of Matteo’s friends featured in some of the articles. Click here to read up on the article from February’s edition of The New Chic: Courmayeur and Monte Bianco, and for more photos from the articles click here.
(photo of Monte Bianco, taken from the slopes on one of our skis last month)
Mascarpone Cupcakes with Pink frosting
It is no secret, I have an obsession for cupcakes, I just love them! Unfortunately, cupcakes are not a popular dessert here in Italy like they are back in the States, although there are starting to be more & more cupcakes enthusiasts with openings of cupcake pastry shops in Milan & Turin, so I find myself baking cupcakes very often. I put an Italian flair to be my beloved cupcakes by adding Mascarpone cheese – Mascarpone is a cheese you may find in many traditional Italian desserts like tiramisu or canoli – which makes the cupcakes even that much more yummy with an added moist=ness by the mascarpone.
1 1/2 cups mascarpone, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3 eggs, 2 1/4 flour, a touch of salt, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup butter
(if you are living in Italy, finding the right ingredients for baking may be tricky, when searching for baking powder get lievito pane degli angeli per dolci – usually vanilla extract is included in there – and all recipes will be in grams instead of cups)
Spring is a time when love fills the air, even here in Italy. So I was feeling loved inspired with my creativity and decided to try my act in painting. I choose an old photo of Matteo & I from two years ago on our California road trip down Highway 1. With the paint, I was able to glue the picture to the canvas and paint around it creating a picture frame.
No matter what time of the year it is, always find time in your day to do a little reminder to the one you love of just how special they are to you, because love is found in the everyday things.
Buongiorno Cappuccino and Happy Valentine’s Day to me!
On Valentine’s day this year, Matteo and I spent the morning in Milan. And of course, to make my heart smile, we went to my preferred Milanese cafe Bianco Latte for a breakfast of cappuccino and brioche – whole wheat with jam my pfav. I was in pastry heaven with all the delightful treats and displays for Valentine’s Day. It was the perfect a lovely to spend with my Amore on Valentine’s day.