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April 2008 Archives

April 1, 2008

Our Exciting News

So much excitement going on!

Come check out our brand new website! Yes, we've decided to try finding a way to share our love for Italy with others! Come and see what we've been planning.

www.PalmabellasItaly.com

The next time I blog, we'll be in Savannah for the Great Slow Travel Gathering!

April 2, 2008

Andiamo...a Savannah, Y'all!

3:30 AM. We're off to the airport in an hour! I am caffinating.

My next post will be LIVE from Savannah! SO EXCITED!

April 5, 2008

The Great Savannah Gathering

I'm having SO much fun, I have been a very busy, naughty blogger! We arrived in Savannah Wednesday night, and have been going full speed since! Thursday we had lots of party preparations, and happy greeting of our planning team. We arrived at the rental house we are all sharing, right off Washington Square. Jan and I shopped for Thursday's Pre-gathering Gathering, met with Herb at the Gingerbread House, and waited for everyone else to arrive. Kathy, Charley, Kelly, Terry and Leslie were soon in town, and we all went out to lunch.

Brad and I are sharing the Carriage House part of the rental, a great 2bed/2bath apartment across the courtyard, with Jerry and Paul. It is a calm refuge from the busy main house.

We were all ready! A quiet moment in the garden:
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Food was on the table.
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We soon had 68 people milling about with wine and appetizers. I'm still not sure how so many fit, but it was a lovely way to start the weekend. Slow Travelers LOVE to get together and party. The crowd was ready for the biggest GTG in Slow Trav history, complete with a Web cam set up by Steve and Pauline!

Here are Jane, Shannon, Jan and Kim:
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Pokey (Mindy) got "forked":
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The Montisi in May sisters "practiced" having fun!
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After the cocktail party, we had a great dinner at Cha Bella, came home and then filled the "Welcome Bags" until almost midnight. Another busy day ahead, but it was a great kick-off to the weekend festivities. We are all just SO happy to be together!

Friday Afternoon in Savannah

Friday:

We had some free time today to enjoy the wonderful city of Savannah. We took a nice sunny walk with Gail, John, Sandi and Bill, down to the river. The Spanish moss on all the trees is wonderful.
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We were joined by Colleen K, and Kim and Kevin, for lunch at B. Matthews.
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We did a few Gathering errands, and were able to get in an hour nap before the big night ahead at the Gingerbread House.

April 7, 2008

The Gingerbread House: Friday's Venue

Everyone has arrived in Savannah! (well, Charisse is almost here!)
Friday evening's event is at the beautiful Gingerbread House.

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Here are a few shots before the crowds descended:
The living room:
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The Garden:
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The food table is ready:
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We're READY!

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The Gingerbread House Party

I'm still WAY behind on blogging the Gathering, but here are a few highlights and photos of the Gingerbread House evening:

Guests were greeted at the door with a glass (or two) of prosecco:
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Passed hors d'oeuvres welcomed the crowd:
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The open bar began, and a lovely spread of hearty foods was served. Pauline gave a history of Slow Travel, and introduced the Planning Team.
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Our very own Ginger sang a wonderful Johnny Mercer, "Come Rain or Come Shine"
(as it turns out, quite an appropriate song!)

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A wonderful evening with friends was a great way to begin the weekend celebration!
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More Gingerbread House Fun

Here are a few more photos of friends at the Gingerbread House:
Brad and Gail
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Pauline and Jan
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Randy, June and Marcia
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Shannon and John
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Barb and SandraK
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Sandi and Bill
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Nancy, Gail and Palma
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Wow! What a fun night! We stopped by to continue the festivities with our "neighbors" Shannon, Kim, Marcia, and Dave. We never seem to run out of wine and friends to drink it with! We even welcomed Chris in from the airport sometime around midnight!
Savannah is definitely starting to feel like "home".

April 8, 2008

Lady and Sons

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Saturday at 12:15, we met for lunch at Paula Deen's restaurant, Lady and Sons. 34 of us hung outside, happily waiting for our reservation that Marcia had organized in advance. I love the awning above us that says, "Savannah Style"!

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How could we be hungry AGAIN? Mmmmmmm, here comes the "BUTTA"!
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We were accommodated at three large tables, and were even given separate checks.
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I really enjoyed the fried chicken and carbs from the buffet. I was gearing up for another evening of alcohol consumption, since I am such a "lightweight" in that department! OMG! I don't remember the last time I had crunchy, yummy, chicken skin. The calories consumed in Savannah STAY in Savannah, right?

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Brad really enjoyed his spicy blackened tilapia sandwich.
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OK, I found the "Oooey Gooey Butter Cake" completely orgasmic. I bought the appropriate cookbook next door at Paula's store. What a fun lunch, and I wasn't in charge of a thing!!! Thank you Marcia! I even managed a 5 minute shopping fix with a necklace from Savannah.


April 9, 2008

Saturday Night at the History Museum

Saturday was quite a day! I was caffinating by 7 AM after a late night of wine, and 4 hours sleep the night before. "Behind the scenes" we dealt with preparing all the door prizes to transport to the fort...no, to the History Museum. Leslie, Brad, and I heard of the change around 8:30 AM. Jan and Terry were at Pilates, and Kathy was at a Mod breakfast. We delivered the news as they got home. Charley, Brad and I put together the globe/"little people" centerpieces on an assembly line, and explained the change as the others came back to the house. Everything was ready, and Terry was in constant communication with Old Savannah Tours, the drivers and trolley captains. We enjoyed a break for lunch at Lady and Sons, then came back to shower, change and have an hour of down time before Jerry's "martini hour" began at 4.

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We gathered in Washington square, picked up the others on Trolley #2, and headed to the museum. The bar was open, and boiled peanuts and veggies were served before dinner. It was a festive mood, and all those wonderful prizes were soon to be given homes.

Jill, Brenda, and Karen are lookin' good!
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Joan, Kathy, Ginger and Marcia are ready to win a prize.
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The Mods are a smiling group with Pauline!
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After dinner, Brad MC'd the door prize drawing, and made it through 58 wonderful prizes in 45 minutes, as promised. I know I'm partial, but I think he did a GREAT job. Hope someone took a photo, as I was busy as a runner!

Pauline and Steve finally got to win a prize...a GRAND prize to France!
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Mary and Tome were also thrilled to be GRAND prize winners of a week at an Italian villa!
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New members Kathy G, and her husband, Lou, were happy recipients of two great books! Kathy certainly has a winning smile!
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And speaking of smiles, here I am with my friends, Gail, Jerry and Sandi, excited about playing together for another week soon in Italy!
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Following the party, we enjoyed the Ghost Tour, through Savannah's haunted areas, and had a chance to see all the beautiful squares and Colonial cemetery at night. On our way home from Washington Square, we saw that our neighbors, Shannon, Kim & Chris and Marcia & David were still up. Jerry and Brad scared the **** out of them by tapping on the window. Despite our disturbance, we were invited in for wine, chatting until 1AM. I love being in Savannah with friends!


April 10, 2008

Sunday at Vic's: Behind the Scenes

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Here is the "Behind the Scenes" version of Sunday morning.

Kathy, Brad and I went to Vic's at 9:15 to do a run through with the projector, laptop and THE MOVIE. We had tried it on Friday. Everything worked, but we needed to hook into the restaurant's speakers for amplified sound. No sweat, right? On Friday, Brad and I made a stop at Best Buy, and bought every conceivable cord and cable for a PC, a MAC, input, output, etc. LOTS of back up plans!

We walked into the upstairs dining room, and the whole set-up of tables and buffet was WRONG (not like Kathy and Jan's walk through instructions on Friday). There was no way everyone would be able to see the movie with their configuration. We firmly asked them to MOVE EVERYTHING including the buffet tables, chairs, set tables and flowers. They efficiently did so in about 15 minutes.

Then we started hooking up computers to projector to speakers. We got movie, but no sound with Kathy's laptop. We got the same with my laptop. We brought Steve in to see if he knew something we didn't. We decided it was the speakers that were the problem. The restaurant had another set. NONE of our cords worked. The crowds were gathering outside. We made them wait. I tried not to cry. I went out for a cigarette, praying it would all work when I came back in. It didn't.

We tried 4 laptops, two projectors, two sets of speakers...still no sound. We let in the guests. I smiled and greeted everyone. The breakfast buffet began. I was too heartsick to eat. Believe me, THAT doesn't happen often. I have only been too upset to eat, ONE other time in my whole life. It was inconceivable to me that after over 325 hours of time and love went into that movie, and now we wouldn't be able to show it???

Keith, the AV guy at Vic's, saw my distress. He PROMISED me he would have sound and we would be able to show the movie. At 10 minutes before show time, I went outside for the last prayer and smoke. Brad's food looked good, but I had priorities. I returned, Keith gave me a thumbs up, and we watched the movie. My tears were a mixture of relief, love of Slow Travelers, and the release of weeks of anticipation.
After the movie, I hugged and kissed Keith, Brad tipped him $40 (if there had been a hundred dollar bill left in my wallet he would have gotten that too!), and I realized I was hungry! Oh well, all's well that ends well. I could eat later at the airport! It was SO rewarding to share our movie with everyone in Savannah!

Here are some photos at Vic's: (I kept myself busy with the camera so I wouldn't cry!)

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MY Highlights of Savannah: My TOP 10

Where to start? There were so many!

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I will start with my own personal hero:Brad!
My very dear husband, always a treasure, has been amazing this whole past year with regards to the Gathering. He listened as our plans progressed, he helped whenever possible (printing name tags, door prize tickets, magnets to put in the Welcome Bags). He agreed to MC the drawing (I sort of volunteered him without even asking first, but I think he was honored.), buy all the wine, pour prosecco at the Gingerbread House, and schlep all weekend. He was calm and cool during the "projector-sound crisis", and offered to go to Radio Shack during brunch to BUY speakers!

He inputed ALL the music in the movie, upgraded my computer memory 2G to hold a____ file, purchased every song I needed from I-Tunes, and figured out the fastest way to copy 60 DVDs. He printed and put on labels and inserted jewel case covers ALL day, before we left for Savannah, and had a disagreement with his boss about time off from work (we were originally going to stay a week, then she said he couldn't go AT ALL, but he made it work.)! He is MY Gathering Hero!

Spending time with Pauline and Steve:

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Being around Pauline and Steve is always a treat. I have missed Pauline's presence on the boards, and I LOVE to hear her laugh! It was great to see her 4 days in a row. It was truly delightful to watch Pauline watch the movie and laugh. It also made her cry, but those were tears of love!

Dinner at Cha Bella:
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After Thursday's kickoff "Pre-Gathering Gathering", the Planning team, and Pauline and Steve had a fabulous dinner at Cha Bella. Some of the food was really amazing! Brad's scallops were the BEST I have ever tasted, and when we ran into another table of Slow Travelers, I tasted Kim C.'s pork chop over parmesan "polenta" (but I think they were grits)! OMG there was sugar cane in the meat jus that made me HAVE to hunt down the recipe! I have emailed the chef, and as a back up, I found sugar cane syrup on the internet, and a marinade that might just recreate this flavor! If none of that works, I will be writing to Bon Appetit!

Hanging out with my friends on the Planning Team:
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It was an amazing feeling to see our months of planning come to life as each event was successful. The Thursday Pre-Gathering Gathering at our rental house had everyone excited about being together and about what was coming. The Gingerbread house was a wonderful beginning to the "official" events. It was a treat to see and feel the enthusiasm and the sense of community. New members, seasoned members, all together in a wonderful setting! Saturday, we enjoyed various activities during the day, then were taken by trolley to the museum for a low country boil, an exciting drawing for prizes, and an entertaining ghost tour. Sunday we wrapped up the Gathering with a brunch at Vic's and the movie! The teamwork all paid off!

Playing with my buddies before we go to Italy together!
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We had a ball! It has been almost six months since Jerry, Gail, Sandi and I have played together. We had a blast in Savannah and with Paul, John, Bill and Brad, and are counting the days until we are all together in Montisi for a week!

Meeting "old" and "new" friends!
What fun to finally meet, in person, so many friends from the boards: Colleen, Ginger, Mindy, Brenda, Marion, Roz, and well, EVERYONE! I am also grateful that so many new members took this opportunity to attend their first GTG, and were welcomed into the community in grand style! When you go to a "normal" GTG, you usually have one day or evening to meet a smaller group of people, but in Savannah, we had days to play, relax, and really spend time with so many!

Being in the HOOD!
I really enjoyed walking down the street, and seeing other Slow Travel friends. A group of us were walking down by the river, and ran into Colleen, so she joined us. On our way to lunch, were "picked up" Kim and Kevin for an impromptu lunch. It was GREAT!

I also LOVED, LOVED, LOVED being in our Washington Square neighborhood, and and
hanging out at the house Shannon, Kim & Chris, and Marcia & David were staying. It was our refuge every late night for wine, snacks, and unwinding from each busy day!

Enjoying the beauty, architecture and amazing squares of Savannah!
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Well, we just didn't have enough time to really explore every bit of this wonderful city, but I loved what we did see. We definitely plan to go back! A charming, friendly city, with great food and much to do!

Down time at the Carriage House:

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It was great to share the Carriage House with Jerry and Paul. They are quiet, neat, and fun to hang out with for morning coffee, blogging, or a martini hour. Jerry had all the fixin's for three types of martinis before we met the gang on the trolley!

Showing the MOVIE at Brunch:
I think I covered this in yesterday's post!

What an AMAZING WEEKEND we'll never forget. It has been an honor to have had an active part in ALL of it! (It might take me a year to scrapbook the Gathering!) I also LOVE my new flower under my name on Slow Talk!

April 12, 2008

Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

I tasted this at Lady and Son's in Savannah, and promptly bought Paula's cookbook:

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I needed a quick dessert to take to a Good-bye party at work, SO..........

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Sweet, rich, tastes like butter, cream cheese and sugar (it IS butter, cream cheese and sugar!) This can be made with any flavor cake mix, and Paula gives lots of ideas of tastes to try including chocolate, lemon and pumpkin! A small square goes a long way, but two of those little guys somehow ended up staying at OUR house!

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HERE is the recipe. Yields 20 bars.

April 13, 2008

Sunday Slow Bakers: Italian Crumbly Cake (Sbrisolona)

I joined the Sunday Slow Bakers in trying this Italian Crumbly Cake (page 82 of Dolce Italiano).

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My 10" springform pan died in it's last use (spring no longer works, so bottom falls out), so I used a nine inch springform. I tried CAKE FLOUR instead of 00 flour, and used Trader Joe's almond meal. The recipe was quick and easy, and all I had to do was adjust the cooking time to 45 minutes. I love the flavor of almonds, and the cake has a nice texture and leaves a delicious scent in the kitchen. This is a great cake with a second or third cup of coffee!

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April 14, 2008

Out to Dinner with Amici

Saturday night, after the official opening of "Pool Season" (I got raft time today, and oh, it feels SO good to be in that 87 degree water!), we gathered at Fiona and Steve's with Jan and Les to watch the Slow Travel movie. I am sure we will have four more Slow Travel members soon! They wanted to know when the next GTG is?

Jan and Les are going to Savannah in May for their anniversary, so, we gave them the full report of everything they MUST do and see there. I can't wait to return to Savannah, but it was fun to bring them maps, brochures, and recommendations!

Then we all went out to dinner. We began with a large Greek salad for the whole table:
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I ordered halibut, and Brad had sea bass. Both were great!
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We always have a good time with this bunch! We have also traveled to Italy with both couples. Fiona and Steve will be exploring northern Italy with us in September, and Jan and Les will be on the maiden PalmabellasItaly adventure!

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Dessert was so huge, the six of us shared one apple strudel!
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Chicken Under a Brick

I made Diva's (Judy) "Chicken Under a Brick" (Pollo al Mattone) the other night. You can read how on her website.
It was delicious with creamy polenta and sauteed zucchini. I first ate this dish in Lucca on my first trip to Italy in 1987. I used LOTS of fresh sage, and boned chicken thighs, and cooked it on the stovetop. The skin was crispy and delicious, the chicken stayed juicy.

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April 16, 2008

Fiori

Yesterday, Sandi made my day with this:

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Spring is a beautiful time for flowers. As I save for Italy, I have to FORCE myself to walk by the gorgeous flowers in the grocery store. Sometimes, I give in and by some daffodils at Trader Joe's fro $1.29 a bunch. Sometimes I just cut roses from my yard!

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Sometimes, my camera is with me, and I snap a shot of some beautiful blooms when I am out and about.

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April 17, 2008

Rome in a Month!

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One month from today, we will be in Rome! Our last visit to Rome (my second and Brad's first) was in 2001 for our first anniversary. In looking back on some of those photos, two things are obvious: We have AGED, and there was a lot of KISSING going on during that trip!

Of course, we did all the usual tourist things you can cram in to 4 days of our FAST Travel grand tour of Italy! St. Peter's, the Vatican Museums, Forum, Colosseum, Borghese Gardens, Trastevere, all major piazzas and fountains, and even a half day trip to Tivoli and Hadrian's Villa.

Here are the more youthful Palma and Brad enjoying their delayed honeymoon:

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Continue reading "Rome in a Month!" »

April 18, 2008

Chuckle of the Day

This just makes me laugh. It is true. I don't have a "nothing box", but Brad does!

April 19, 2008

An Ugly American

Looking back through my photos of Rome reminded me of a story that made us both cringe and laugh during that trip to Italy. It was two weeks after 9/11 when we were in Rome. Soldiers with machine guns were all over town. Our hotel was a modest 3-Star near the top of the Spanish Steps. One night we decided to go to the luxurious Hassler Hotel for a drink. We began speaking with an American couple from Florida in the bar. George Bush Sr. had been there with his entourage of secret service people, earlier in the day.

At the bar sat a VERY annoying American woman on a cell phone. The whole lounge could hear her conversations: mostly her political views, her need to move "HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of DOLLARS" with her financial consultant, what would happen to her stocks and how her "republican sensibilities" were effected by this terrorist attack! The bartender asked her twice to get off the cell phone, as other customers were complaining, rolling their eyes, etc. She was also hacking and sneezing all over the bar with a nasty cold. Finally, the bartender courteously asked her to leave the bar.

Fast forward a week of our trip. We had been to Positano, Ravello, and we were on our last three nights in Italy, and had splurged on the fabulous Quisisana Hotel in Capri.
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Continue reading "An Ugly American" »

April 20, 2008

Sicilian Pistachio Cookies

This week's recipe was quick and easy pistachio cookie bars (page 60 of Dolce Italiano.)
The dough is spread into a baking sheet with chopped pistachios and some sugar sprinkled on top. Wonderful scents of pistachios and almond extract will fill your kitchen. I reduced the baking time to 30 minutes. Here they are out of the oven cooling:

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Ready to eat!

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Enjoy a cup of coffee...and put the rest in the freezer to take to work on Monday!

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April 21, 2008

Ricotta Sformata

I ate this as a first course last summer at Cibreo in Florence. It was their potato-ricotta version. Judy posted a recipe for me on her blog, Under a Tuscan Stove. I served it to our guests last night for a first course, garnished with some pesto, parmesan and sage.

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Cibreo Sformata

500 grams / 1 pound ricotta
3 large eggs
150 grams / 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
nutmeg
150 grams/ 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt

( in cibreo’s cookbook it is made with additional 2 kg of spinach, washed cooked down and finely minced) Now it is made with mashed potatoes. I have made it like the appetizer version which is with chopped herbs
.
Butter a pan, the batter makes either the flatter appetizer one or the higher “flan” first course. Either an 8x8 or a rectangular loaf pan.
Bake uncovered at 350 to let form a film on top about 5 minutes.
Cover with foil and finish baking for 40 minutes for the higher one.
It is like a quiche,when the knife comes out clean it is done!


April 22, 2008

Patio Dining

We had Jan and Les over for a casual dinner Sunday night. I have been promising Les pasta carbonara, his FAVORITE, for months! We started with ricotta sformata, delicious prosciutto-wrapped grilled asparagus that Jan brought, and a bottle of Oregon Pinot Gris.

Next we enjoyed one of my favorite summer salads: spinach, fennel, oranges, and red onion with citrus vinegarette.

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Continue reading "Patio Dining" »

April 23, 2008

Domestic Violence Awareness

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Did you know:

It is estimated that nearly one-third of all American women have been hit, beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during her lifetime.

30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.

Women of all races are equally vulnerable to abuse by an intimate partner.

One in five high school girls report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.

In a national survey, 50% of men who frequently abused their wife, also abused their children.

Studies report that between 3.3-10 million children witness some sort of domestic violence annually.

For more startling facts, see endabuse.org.

What can we do?

Teach children early about violence, and how to express anger appropriately.

Be there and listen. Encourage children to express feelings of frustration, anger and hurt (walk it out, talk it out, or take a "time-out")

Be a role model. SHOW boys how to respect women. SHOW girls how to be assertive.

Support local Domestic Violence prevention programs, and shelters. Educate yourself on what is available in your community.

I supervise a community Domestic Violence Program at Family Services of the Desert. We have several groups for both victims of domestic violence, and male perpetrators of domestic violence and child abuse. These are people JUST like you and your neighbors. The problem crosses all socioeconomic, racial and age boundaries.

Friends often ask me, "Aren't you afraid to work with those guys?" I am afraid NOT to!

These clients are regular men (and women) without the skills to control anger, and express feelings. They are not sociopaths. Often, alcohol or drug use was a factor. Often they witnessed domestic violence in their own families while growing up. They CAN and DO break the cycle, after completing their 52 week mandated counseling program. They learn what a healthy relationship can look like. They learn to respect women as equal partners. They learn how to change manipulative, controlling behaviors and how to show respect, and empathy toward their partners and children. They learn to communicate their feelings, listen, and build (or rebuild) trust and intimacy. Victims learn to be assertive instead of passive. They learn to keep themselves and their children safe. Some marriages are "saved", and families remain together. Others lose everything that was important to them.

If you know someone in this situation (I bet you do!), let them know help is available!

April 24, 2008

More about Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence

I'm still on the soapbox, but I really think these are important graphic videos on an important topic. I will go back to food, fun and travel tomorrow.


Continue reading "More about Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence" »

April 25, 2008

Lunch with Nancy

I enjoyed lunch with Nancy on Wednesday. She came to my house first to watch the Slow Travel dvd, and then we enjoyed salads at a close-by golf culb, Desert Willow.
We had three hours to catch up on Slow Travel, Savannah, and everything else in our lives!

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I had my favorite pear, gorgonzola, pecan salad with chicken (and the other half last night for dinner).

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Nancy had chicken salad in a papaya with nut bread.

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April 26, 2008

Coffee and Planning

Come have a cup of cappucino with me.

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You'll never guess what I'm CONSTANTLY thinking about: Here's a hint!

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Right! Italy in 21 days. Three weeks from now I will be in Rome for a week, and then off to

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Today I am organizing all of my "printed material: itinerary, car rental, hotel confirmation for one night in Florence, restaurant lists for Rome, driving directions, and of course my RECIPES to feed the troops at the villa! I have a nice little binder so I will not be shuffling papers in the passenger seat while I read the GPS and ask Brad to "take it easy".

If I talk about something else, will you stay for another cup?

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April 27, 2008

Babbo Breadsticks

Gina's Babbo's Breadsticks, or grissini, are a HUGE HIT at our house! (from Dolce Italiano, page 270)

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I absolutely LOVE this dough! It is cheesy with a kick of picante! The dough is simple to make, and it rose besutifully in two hours. Try these, and a wonderful scent will fill your kitchen.

Last week I ran out of parchment paper (and forgot to buy some), so I baked mine right on the oiled baking sheets.

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I made half sprinkled with sea salt, and half with parmigiano.

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Oh, my lucky staff on Monday will devour these as a mid-morning snack!

I have another idea...I'll let you know what happens!

April 28, 2008

Italian Breakfasts

My typical breakfast at home consists of several large mugs of coffee. I have very little interest in food in the morning...UNLESS I am in Italy!

Breakfast in Italy can be anything from 2-3 lattes, to a full meal!
Last summer in Montalcino I would walk the empty streets around 6AM, and then was there when the caffe opened at 7.

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I enjoyed a bit more on the lovely outdoor breakfast terrace in Torino.

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Sometimes breakfast looks more like lunch. Here is one morning's breakfast plate in Bologna:

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Continue reading "Italian Breakfasts" »

April 29, 2008

Cooking in Montisi

Cooking for Gail's Great Escapes for a week in Montisi will be a new and exciting experience. There will be 16 people sharing a villa for a week, and I am in charge of preparing a few dinners and a party!

Step 1: Plan menus...DONE ( I will be blogging from Italy, but I don't want to give the guests a "sneak peek" of what they will be eating.)

Step 2: Bring my recipes...they are neatly typed, and in plastic sleeves in a binder.
Then it occurred to me...the amounts are in English measurements (cups, ounces and tablespoons), not grams, liters, or ettos, or kilos! Hmmmmmm...

I retyped everything with BOTH measurements, and I will pack my collapsible measuring cups and some measuring spoons. I "practiced" ordering what I will need in Italian.

Step 3: Setting and Equipment
It is one thing to cook for Brad and I or our friends in MY kitchen, with ingredients I know, and all the tools and gadgets I have at my fingertips. I have all the cookware, bakeware, bowls, baking dishes, serving pieces, conveniences, and a stove, cooktop and BBQ I have lots of experience with. Though Brad says I ALWAYS make too much, I am NOT accustomed to 16 or 17 for dinner.

06kitchen-LG.jpg

I was able to peek at the kitchen last summer, and I recently did a little research into the kitchen in the villa. It is GORGEOUS, and since the owner loves to cook, it is well-equipped. There is an island, a 5-burner gas stove with oven, travertine counters, and TWO sinks and dishwashers (not counting Brad)! There is even a wood-burning indoor grill! This is NOT a tiny Italian "one-butt" kitchen!

Continue reading "Cooking in Montisi" »

April 30, 2008

Italian Dreams

16 more sleeps!

I dream of Italy most nights now. I go to sleep imagining that we are in Italy, so when I remember a dream, there is usually a bit of something Italian that pops into the scene.
Sometimes I see countryside. I'm a real sucker for those vineyards and olive trees.

Dreaming%20countryside.jpg

Sometimes I "remember" a certain place or image.
Dreaming%20of%20Italy.jpg

What a surprise...I dream of FOOD!
Dreaming%20food.jpg

Mostly, I think of spending lovely days and nights enjoying Italian life with Brad! (This was our anniversary in Umbria in 2005.)
Dreaming%20Brad.jpg

This page contains all entries posted to Palmabella's Passions in April 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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