Monthly Archives: October 2013

Must do when next in Florence, Italy

I have forgotten to post the name of one of my favorite finds in Florence. The studio of Angela Caputi offers some of the most fun jewelry you will have an opportunity to buy. The  oversize pieces are all made with plastic resin. The selection is overwhelming, after you choose a few special things for yourself you will start thinking about what you can choose for your friends and family. 

The prices are reasonable from 10 to 300 euros. Make this a must do stop, even the men in your family will enjoy the many fun pieces.

Via Santo Spirito, 58r 


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Italian wedding soup

I remember when I was a little girl an d my grandmother made this soup on a cold winter day. It had been years since I had recreated it. We had a granddaughter that was not eating much of anything so I thought of this old favorite and it was a hit. Today she continues to ask for star soup, so I thought I would pass it on.
This is very rich and does not freeze well so plan on sharing it with friends and family.

1/2 cup of butter cut in pieces
1 1/4 cups freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
5 large egg yolks
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
6 cups rich chicken or veal stock, make sure you use low salt stock since the cheese tends to be salty
1 cup dried tiny star shaped pasta
Grate of nutmeg

Combine the butter, cheese and egg yolks in bowl of food processor using a steel blade process until blended. With the motor running pour in half and half.
In a large sauce pan, bring broth boil and add the pasta. Boil until pasta is tender to the bite. If you are making ahead, set pan on side and scoop out pasta but keep enough broth so the pasta keeps for sticking.
To finish the soup bring broth to a boil using a whisk add the butter/cheese/ egg mixture but try not to boil. Now add the pasta back in and heat through.
Serve immediately with a dusting of nutmeg. I also sometime drizzle a little white truffle oil or paste on each bowl if I am serving to adults.
Enjoy for that social occasion.

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Cruising in Turkey on a Gulet

imageWe arrived in Bodrum the day before our departure and checked into a lovely hotel on the hills above the town. The Marmara Hotel,, offers large rooms,  great breakfast on a deck overlooking the valley below. After checking in we headed to dinner at a small restaurant in a hidden alley, Evimiz owned and operated by chef Stephane Leprince. We shared an amazing octopus salad and then selected main courses each one better than the next. Another find in Bodrum was a jewelry store called Brilliant Life Jewelry,, we all found special pieces and encourage others to go on line or in person if you ever go to Bodrum.

the next afternoon we boarded Carpe Diem IV and set sail for the village of Symi. We had some great winds on our first leg of the trip so the crew hoisted the sails and we all settled in. The next morning we had a 3 hour sail to the village of Chalki, this village has no water so they bring all the water in by tankers. We did not do much swimming these first couple of days since we had a lot of winds and the water was not as warm.

we were treated to some of the best Greek/Turkish food I have ever experienced. imageOur chef create fresh fish, local fruits and vegetables served in several courses at every meal. Just when you felt you could not eat another bite a whole fish baked in salt would be presented and no one said no.

Again  the next day after a beautiful sail we arrived at a Greek village of Tilos where we wandered the narrow streets, bought more wine and sat at the water front and drank. Offer. A few of the group went to a church about 20 minutes outside of town.imageWhen they arrived there was a small gallery and an artist that gave them the tour of her studio. Several of the group returned to the yacht with wonderful small paintings.

We work up to calm seas and warmer sun. We had a short sail to the village of  Niryos. We tied up to the shore and walked the small narrow streets. The next morning we rented 2 small cars from a local guy called Dimitris and drove up to the volcano and then stopped at the village of Nikia and hiked up the steep streets to the church that they are so know for. After our local adventure we headed out around noon to the village of Kilmnos where we went to shore to buy bread from a little restaurant  on the beach.

We then went  to the other side of the island for our last night. The last morning we tried to get organized for our departure on the island of Kos, Greece.

We all agree that sailing in Turkish waters is much better than going to Greece. The waters are much cleaner, the winds are less and the villages  are better for exploring, shopping for food and cute shops.image

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Favorite Bistros in Paris

I have so many friends ask what my favorite Bistros are while I visit Paris. It seems that there is a new bistro around every corner. I thought I would give a short list of those that I always seem to go back to:

Chez L’Ami Louis– this crazy bistro is one of the oldest, most famous and hardest to get a table. They are know for their roasted chicken, huge steaks and great fries.

Benoit— 20 Rue St. matin, small room but always welcome.

Chez Julien— 1 Rue DuPont, so good

Josephine Chez Dumonet—117 Rue du Cherche-midi

Bistro Paul Bert—18 Rue Paul Bert great set menu $36,  no air conditioning

Balzar —small neighborhood bistro perfect filet of sole

Le Voltaire— favorite for lunch or dinner on Rue Voltaire

i know there are so many that could be added but this is a great start. Enjoy

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Boston in 3 days

I had a quick visit to Boston and realize once again why I enjoy this city so much. The purpose of the trip was to visit our friend Mapi. Mapi is attending MIT in a graduate program and I felt I could not let her arrive without being there to show her how to eat a whole lobster”Lobster at Browns”.
I arrived late afternoon and checked into Le meridian in Cambridge. Good hotel but great location if you are visiting someone going to school at MIT.  Mapi met me at the hotel and we walked about 20 blocks to the nearest Legal Seafood Restaurant. Legal Seafood does a great job of offering a wide selection of local fish, including lobsters of many sizes.

The next morning I got up early and took the subway to china town and then met friends to explore Boston’s little Italy. We were directed to a great bakery called “Bricco”,  hidden down a small alley (Panetteria) .image

That night we went to a wonderful restaurant called ERBALUCE, 69 Church Street, 617-426-6969, Chef Charles Draghi does an amazing job of creating interesting dishes Using local, seasonal ingredients.  Be sure to make reservation in advance this is worth the visit.

The next morning a friend picked us up and we drove north to the town of Seabrook. No visit to Boston is complete with out a visit to a lobster pound and I think Brown’s is one of the best. Bring your own wine and pick out the lobster so they can cook it for you.Lobster at Brown's

The next day while Mapi was attending class I went to the museums and just wandered the streets stopping for a simple lunch since we had reservations at the hot new spot “Blue Dragon”, 324 A Street—- 617-338-8585.

Time to head home so I ordered lobsters to take home. The James Hook and Co. At the corner of Northern Ave and Atlantic, 617-423-5501. Did a great job of packing 4 big lobsters in a box that I could check through so I had one more lobster feast when I arrived back in Seattle.

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