July 2, 2014

One More Sleep

Thursday, I'm off to Bella Italia, a few days before our GrapeHops-Palmabella's Italy group in Bologna and Venice. I am looking forward to seeing Shannon, being back in beautiful Italy (even in the heat), and eating and drinking some wine (and COFFEE)!
I am MOST excited about seeing my son, Federico, in Venice, after our group!!
Whoo Hoo!

It's my last day of work, but I'm packed, and the house is ready for my house-dog sitters. Brad will join us in Venice in a few days!


June 30, 2014

Intern Pot Luck

Friday night I hosted a summer BBQ Pool Party for my interns. It started out as a "Buon Viaggio" Party for Senorina and I. (She and her husband are joining our GrapeHops-Palmabella's Italy group to Bologna and Venice.) Last week, our amazing Clinical Director, Lena, announced she is leaving our agency, so we wanted to honor her and spend some time time hanging out together.


The menu had an Italian theme! I made some home made pizze, some sausage pasta from Bologna, and served some parmigiano with balsamic honey, and prosciutto. Everyone brought the rest, and we drank wine all evening.



For dessert, I made a simple, do-ahead, refreshing lemon ice-cream cake.


Make a lemon cookie crust (3 c. lemon cookie crumbs, 4 oz. melted butter in bottom of a 9x13 pyrex. Bake 10 min. at 350. Cool)

The next layer is 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream mixed with 8 oz. lemon curd. Freeze.

Next, 2 pints of lemon gelato, softened and spread over ice cream layer. Freeze.

Top with lemon curd before serving!


June 27, 2014

Over 50

For my friends over 50: Enjoy!

June 22, 2014

Blueberry Cobbler


For the Blueberry Filling:
4 cups fresh blueberries, sorted, rinsed and dried
2/3 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (4 grams) freshly grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons flour

For the Buttery Biscuit Crumble Topping
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons
6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons (7.2 grams) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, chilled & cut into bits
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, optional


Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly butter 1 2-quart baking dish.

Prepare the Blueberry Filling: Place blueberries into prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Add the flour and whisk until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle mixture evenly over berries in prepared baking dish and toss gently. Make sure the sugar and flour mixture is evenly distributed over the fruit. This will ensure the sugar will caramelize and the flour will thicken evenly throughout the cobbler with the berry juices. Set aside.
Prepare the Buttery Biscuit Crumble Topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal with small pea-sized pieces of butter. In a small bowl, whisk vanilla into beaten egg using a fork. With a fork, gently toss beaten egg and vanilla into flour mixture until moistened and dough starts to hold together. Continue to toss and blend gently with fingertips until well combined yet taking care not to overwork the dough.

Assemble the Cobbler: Sprinkle biscuit crumble topping evenly over fruit filling. Sprinkle biscuit crumble topping with sugar and, if desired, dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Alternatively, dust with cinnamon-sugar.

Bake the Cobbler: Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes. To prevent over-browning of topping, cover with sheet of aluminum foil after 25 minutes of baking. Remove foil and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.

Serve the Cobbler: Serve cobbler warm a la mode or with whipped cream.


June 19, 2014

Federico Update

I miss him SO much, it HURTS! I haven't seen Federico since October. I speak with him weekly on Skype, and sometimes text or Facebook in-between, but it is not the same as seeing his smiling face in person!

Last weekend, Federico got a quick 24 hr. break from studying for his finals (all of June), to go to Bergamo, where his brother, Luca attends the Academy for the Guardian of Finance officers. It was their annual big dance, and the whole family attended the event.
Federico, Luca and Lelio looked quite handsome on their way to the ball:


Luca looks dashing in his uniform, and Lelio is a doll, but Federico, in our eyes, is the "fairest of them all."



The whole family is pretty stunning, don't you think?




I will get to see Federico in 29 days!!!

About Me

I am a Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist with a private practice in Palm Desert, California. My passions include travel, especially annual trips to Italy, food, and all things Italian. I drink LOTS of coffee, love to cook, entertain, shop and decorate. Read More
Living Better at 50

July 2014

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