Monday, June 27, 2011

Strawberries with balsamic vinegar

Tried the strawberries with balsamic vinegar, sugar, and wine recipe from Tessa Kiros' Twelve cookbook.  Substituted Grand Marnier for the wine.  Very good and also hit the mark on having less than five ingredients and using one prep and serving dish!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Living La Dolce Vita? A Book Review

Just finished Raeleen d'Agostino Mautner's book.  She is something of a cultural psychologist.  This is more of a self-help style book than a manual on how to live superficially like Italians (throw on a scarf and heels and sip a glass of wine on your balcony, etc.).   

Much of it is common sense, but it is a good reminder of why the Italians seem to be living simpler, more relaxed lives.   If your life is totally out of whack, this is a great book.  If you already lead a balanced life and have your priorities in order, you may not need this book. 

She definitely makes a lot of generalizations, but you'd have to in order to summarize the lifestyle of an entire country.  Worth a read when you feel like you are on the hamster wheel, buy it used.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Limoncino or Limoncello?

We brought a bottle of the lemon liquor back from Liguria this trip.  I had been calling it Limoncello but today I noticed the bottle said Limoncino.  After half-hearted googling, it seems in the north they call it Limoncino, particularly around the Cinque Terre, and in the south Limoncello.  Yet another reason to get to the Amalfi Coast someday!  Then I ran across a producer in Ventura County.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to dress like an Italian

This book is old, 1992, but still rings true.   Sienese women seemed to be even better dressed than the Florentines, if that is possible.

Things I noticed about Italian women on my last trip:

1. Radiant, natural skin (no facelifts or breast augmentation for that matter, either!)
2. Curve-skimming feminine clothes, not terribly trendy
3. A few classic high-end accessories (knock-offs ok, too)
4. Scarves, scarves, scarves
5. Glossy, well-cut hair with subtle highlights if any, longish
6. Heels!
7. Great leather items
8. Ironed clothes and polished shoes
9. Killer shades 
10. Natural makeup

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Basil Advice

Info on this Ligurian staple with a bit a history.  We have yet to use our Volterran mortar and pestle, but maybe this article will get us in gear.

Hard Rock Cafe in Florence?

I am thinking the Hard Rock Cafe is not the best addition to the Piazza della Repubblica!  Do they really need this?