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Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Meg Travels

I saw this display of lace in a shop window in Venice, Italy.  It’s my entry for this week’s photo challenge.


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Extra Virgin In Italia

Mercato Centrale-Firenze circa 1874

So we ventured a little farther today in search of some local incredible produce, pasta, fruits, and whatever else we could put our noses next to.
Don’t worry, we were very polite and mindful and didn’t touch unless we asked and were assured all was well. What delightful people. Here we go with a veritable plethora of pictures;

These little fellas were in more than one stall and the smell was incredible, and seemed oh so edible. Every imaginable type, some packaged, some loose, and even some vacuumed packed for take home. Mmmmm! We love us some mushrooms! And these you can bring home! Hurrah

Meat to Admire

Now for you carnivores, (Update: Thank you Janice – it was something else, but you got me  thinking!!) we do have some tasty meaty treats for you. I believe these are cured hams of different types as far as preparation goes. Some have rubs, others…

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No Oven Necessary: Sun-Dried Tomatoes


As Todd and Diane of White on Rice show us, it is completely possible to make  sun-dried tomatoes using the sun. Once you have your batch try  making this delicious baked  brie with sun-dried tomatoes and thyme.

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This beautiful video by David Kong captures Italy, my part of Italy, so perfectly that I can hardly bear to watch it…it makes me ache for these parts so much.

Portrait of Macerata from David Kong on Vimeo.

My friends live near Macerata and when I spent two weeks with them in 2008 (gosh, how fast the years have passed!) I took the bus down to Macerata every day to take Italian lessons. Before and after the lessons I strolled the city, looked at the sights, shopped at the market and generally took this ancient, bustling little town in. Those two weeks were amazing and this video takes me right back there.
My Italian instructor was beautiful Elisabetta, who has since quit teaching and become a fashion blogger:
That’s the down side of travelling isn’t it? It makes you fall in love with places and yearn for them…

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Stuffed Chicken Breast with a Mediterranean Vegetable Stack, Crispy Polenta Cakes and a Creamy Pesto Sauce

Homemade With Mess

This was one meal I made using the homemade pesto from my previous blog. I have never really been great at presenting food and if I am honest, before I started my blog everything I made was slopped on a plate and it was simply the taste that I cared about. That hasn’t really changed but I do at least now attempt to slightly arrange my food to look a bit better. I really struggled with this meal though as I was so excited to eat it that I nearly forgot to take a picture of it all together! Trust me, if you are looking for a meal to cook to impress then try this. It was one of the most amazing meals I have ever had. I just need some lessons on my presentation skills so that I can do it justice.


For the Polenta Chips

–       125g polenta

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Pesche dolci Italian (Peach Cookies)

My husband and I love to just poke around on the weekend.  One fall day we found ourselves under a train trestle at a farmer’s market in Niagara Falls, NY.  A grocery store sat at the back of the market, it was a chain store I was familiar with of course, with one exciting twist.  The Deli counter was filled with wonderful Italian delicacies; items like garlic marinated fresh mozzarella knots, eggplant cutlets, and fried calamari.  Needless to say I was in heaven, but the thing I remember most about that day was the smell of the ready to eat peaches at the farmer’s market.
Grace at offers some juicy peach recipes that take me back to that wonderful day in Niagara Falls, NY.  Take a peek, I think you’ll remember what real peaches smell like again and how beautiful they are!
Categories: Cookies, Dessert Classics, Fruit, Pesche dolci Italian (Peach Cookies), Recipe | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Home Schooled Baking

Focaccia with raisins

After making a few batches of oatmeal raisin cookies, I had some leftover raisins. So….I thought this might be a good time to try out the Raisin Rosemary focaccia in the Art and Soul of Baking. Unfortunately, I didn’t have quite enough raisins or rosemary. But, that didn’t stop me. I went over and started reading the Sarabeth recipe for rosemary focaccia and noticed that she uses “fruity extra-virgin olive oil.” This reminded me of the blood orange olive oil I got at Del’ Oliva. I decided I would make up for the lack of raisins by using  Blood Orange olive oil. Oh the smell of the dough as it was kneading was devine. I really like how the focaccia turned out, with a light hint of citrus . Which brings me to my next topic – Del’ Oliva

I think I love Del’ Oliva. There is a Del Oliva…

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Bella Bagni di Lucca

We met 2 of Pieve di Monti di Villa’s hundred or so inhabitants when we were trying to raid a cherry tree on the side of the road.



Oriano appeared and with his trusty umbrella he pulled a branch down for us.


Soon his wife Pina joined us and told us a little about their pretty village. Oriano was born in the village and Pina was born in Genova. She was sent to Pieve as a child during the war. She found Genova a little noisy when she went back and eventually settled in the village and met Oriano.


Many of the residents moved away to America, Australia and Canada in tough times in the 20th century. People are slowly coming back to enjoy the peaceful mountain life.

Come for a walk through the village to see why.






The church dedicated to St Julia was built in the 12th century…

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