Friday Favorites # 15

We’re back on the blog after taking time off to be with Alessandro’s parents who were visiting us from Italy! We ate lots of homemade Italian food (thanks Mamma Lella!), walked around the marina and canals close to our home, went to the beach and enjoyed their company.

Fun– Hiked this short but intense Chumash Trail with my Dad. It’s just two hours round trip at a steep incline. Best part was climbing th American flag at the peak overlooking Point Mugu Navy base.

Family– Funny times between foreign families! Italian parents meeting the American ones with two translators in the middle to go back and forth!

Find– We made one of our favorite pictures of us walking the Brooklyn Bridge into a metal print to hang on the wall. Shutterfly did a nice job and this option is a nice sleek alternative to a traditional framed photo. They are offering 50% off right now with code word SUMMERTIME.

Friday Favorites # 14

Find–  Bought longboards at Play it Again Sports to surf the sidewalks and cruise around the channels near our house

Fun– First Dodger game of the season and first live baseball game for Alessandro!

Friday Night Fireworks– Beautiful fireworks after the Dodger win!

Foto– Hiking around with my crew and capturing the big skies of Montana

 

Have a great weekend!

Friday Favorites # 13

Hi everyone, I am back again with my new series I share every week with all of you. We are on episode #13 and these are my top picks of the week in the F category … F like … Friday. Food, Foto, Fun, Fashion, Ferry, Find.

 

Fun- Celebrating international yoga day and summer solstice outside at our new favorite daily yoga spot at the beach, Yoga by the Sea. You couldn’t have a better setting with bunnies hoping around, and palms swaying overhead while you reflect and stretch. Check out Meetup.com for free local yoga in your area.

  

Flick- Just watched Wizard of Lies which came out in May on HBO about the Bernie Madoff scandal/largest Ponzi scheme ever pulled off in America. Robert de Niro is uncannily mistaken for Madoff himself and Michelle Pfeiffer nails Ruth Madoff’s thick Queen’s accent. I just had Pfeiffer on a flight recently and she is still so youthful and beautiful and much different from the older Mrs. Madoff she played on screen.

Food- It’s cherry season! There are cherry stands popping up everywhere from farmstands to people selling them out of their truck roadside and this deep-dish pie from FOOD52 caught my eye. This Pistachio, Cherry and Chocolate Tart also looks good.

Find- This article about the Woman who made Anthony Bourdain a t.v. star was interesting especially since I just read his best-selling book Kitchen Confidential : Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He leaves no gaps in your imagination as he details the good, the bad, and the ugly of serving people and running a kitchen.  I have to say I have so much respect for the people in the restaurant and food industry especially now that the general public demands so much more, thanks to the foodie-culture and fine dining and critiquing that became everyone’s full-time hobbies, seemingly overnight.

 

100 Anni

As I popped in to Walmart late one night recently, I never expected I’d leave there with a new friend. 

I was asking a sales associate for help, when this older customer wandered over to me an struck up a conversation and didn’t want to let me go. She brought up the fact that she was Italian, no Sicilian actually, and started retelling me stories of growing up in an Italian family. Interested, I asked her what brought her to Ventura, California and more about her life. She had a firecracker personality, sharp wit, still very agile and lucid and was determined not to slow down. Which is why she drove herself to Walmart at 8 o’clock that night.

She then encouraged me to guess her age. I couldn’t believe it when she said ONE HUNDRED! 100 years old and still driving, but what’s more shocking is she’s self-sufficient physically and mentally carrying on interesting conversations and shopping for herself and by herself at Walmart.

Not believing her, she then proceeded to whip out her CA drivers license to prove to me her real age and sure enough, she had just turned 100 in April. We exchanged numbers and she posed for a picture right in front of the clothing aisle! Teresa Piano, the coolest Italian centennial nonna I’ve ever met, that said her secret is “not taking shit from anyone and eating anything you want”!

I’m really happy to have met a living legend and would like to pick her brain one day and hear more stories on what it was like being born in 1917 and growing up during the 30’s in an Italian family.

For those of you who don’t know the origins of the sign she’s giving, it means cornuta (which also has another meaning which we won’t get into) “horns or malocchio “evil eye”  which when flashed is a superstitious gesture to ward off bad luck.

Friday Favorites # 12

Hi everyone, I am back again with my new series I share every week with all of you. We are on episode #12 and these are my top picks of the week in the F category … F like … Friday. Food, Foto, Fun, Fashion, Ferry, Find.

FOTO/VIDEO– I can’t get over this beautiful  time-lapse video of Rome! 

*It makes me home-sick for my former home in Rome.

FUN– A day without June gloom and partial sunshine calls for a picnic at the beach.

FIND– New project making curtains. It reminds me of how much I used to like making things with the sewing machine.

FOODThis recipe is a great antioxidant tea accompaniment that can keep well in the fridge for a week. It’s perfect as is with hot water and a little lemon and honey or added to any tea for a spicy kick.

Friday Favorites # 11

Hi everyone, I am back again with my new series I share every week with all of you. We are on episode #11 and these are my top picks of the week in the F category … F like … Friday. Food, Foto, Fun, Fashion, Ferry, Find.

FUN– Perfect day sailing with our friend Paul on his beautiful boat with beer and sandwiches in tow, not far from our house at the Oxnard Harbor on a particularly windy and cloudy day.

FIND- Costa Rican coffee! Adding to my collection from the some of the best coffee purveyors around. Perhaps one of the coolest perks of this job is getting to sample local products and bring back goodies from all over the world! Dark Chocolate covered coffee beans and roasted drip whole coffee beans!

FOOD– real (slow-cooked) polenta with a sausage and wine-rich tomato sauce (similar recipe here) cooked up by my personal chef (aka, Alessandro)! It’s my go-to request  for comfort food lately even if it’s a classic cold-weather dish.

FACT– Interesting article on how Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck wine is so inexpensive and the main factors that differentiate expensive bottles from the cheap table or cooking wines in California.

Friday Favorites # 10

Hi everyone, I am back again with my new series I share every week with all of you. We are on episode #10 and these are my top picks of the week in the F category … F like … Friday. Food, Foto, Fun, Fashion, Ferry, Find.

FIND- This looks appealing especially since we have no t.v. (still deciding what we want to get) and our house is wide open with not much on the walls yet.  It would be great to do yoga in an open space in a different part of the house or move to an outdoor patio for movies al fresco.

FILMFox’s new show LA>Vegas looks like a good laugh. The premise is about an airline crew that goes back and forth to Vegas from Burbank and encounters a variety of crazy passengers along the way. It stars Dylan McDermott as the Captain! Check out the trailer.

I bet I could give the writers episode ideas.

FOOD–  olio piccante  (chili oil) the perfect home-made condiment to put on pizza, pastas, rice, bread or anything where you need a little or big kick. I used tiny dried whole Calabrian peperoncini  but you could use any dried or fresh pepper variety and split them in half and added them to the pretty jar followed by a high quality earthy extra virgin olive oil.


Continue reading “Friday Favorites # 10”

Friday Favorites # 9 (Italian Food edition)

Hi everyone, I am back again with my new series I share every week with all of you. We are on episode #9 and these are my top picks of the week in the F category … F like … Friday. Food, Foto, Fun, Fashion, Ferry, Find.

FOOD– The best midday snack after a motorcycle ride around Lake Como & Lecco at Piadineria Biribrò.  Go see Ambra (pictures below right) and the other ladies for the tastiest piadina around located in a quaint little piazza with views of the surrounding snow-capped Alps in Lecco

 

FUN– Enjoying an aperitivo the Italian way with a spritz (the quintessential Northern Italian cocktail) at Terrazza Aperol bar adjacent to the Duomo in Milano. The aperol spritz is a riff on the original spritz created in Venice of just white wine and soda water. The vibrant color and slight bitterness of the aperol makes this the perfect not sweet and not too bitter or strong drink of choice for aperitivos in Italy.

To enjoy your own colorful happy hour drink at home:

Mix: 3 parts Prosecco

2 parts Aperol

1 part soda

Pour over ice and garnish with an orange slice

Cheers!

 

FAMILY FESTIVITIES – Birthdays in Italy are much tastier! Cheers to prosecco and a torta di mela (apple pie) and to Alessandro

FIND- Brought back two checked luggage full of Italian wine including my favorite prosecco, grappa, olive oil, pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano, homemade Calabrian chili oil (Thank you Melania & family), and many more goodies. With two full trunks we only lost 1 bottle of Aperol Spritz.

 

Friday Favorites #8

Hi everyone, I am back again with my new series I share every week with all of you. We are on episode #8 and these are my top picks of the week in the F category … F like … Friday. Food, Foto, Fun, Fashion, Ferry, Find.

FIND- Passport Habits in Ventura is the coolest boutique that sources products found from the owner’s travels abroad. Think unique colorful rugs from Bahrain, Turkey, Morocco, jewelry from Bali, leather bags, accent pillows and so much more. Michelle, the lady that owns it is so interesting to talk to, was a former flight attendant, has lived all over the world and continues to hand pick items from her adventures that make it to the store. Definitely stop by if you’re in the Ventura area, otherwise you can follow her on instagram (passporthabits) or facebook. You’ll fall in love with all the treasures.

 

FOOD– making this pesto lasagna recipe from The Tuscan Gun website.

FOTO–  beautiful hike not far from home between Malibu and Point Mugu up the Santa Monica mountains where I found my lost twins

FUN–  Florence in New York trade show May 15-17, where Tuscany is celebrated in New York through high end Made in Italy (Tuscany) products like leather goods, fashion and design accessories, jewelry and of course food and wine from the region. If you’re in New York or plan to be there, get your tickets here!

 

 

Friday Favorites #7

Hi everyone, I am back again with my new series I share every week with all of you. We are on episode #7 and these are my top picks of the week in the F category … F like … Friday. Food, Foto, Fun, Fashion, Ferry, Find.

FASHION- I love how Dolce & Gabbana’s ad campaigns transport you right to Southern Italy and beautifully capture so much color and vibrancy that is the Italian, and specifically in this picture below, Capri Island culture. I especially love how they typically incorporate food in their print shots- gelato, lemons, oranges, seafood, but this spaghetti print dress nailed it, artistically! Take a look at their visually appealing publicity campaign from current and past seasons it’s a real feast for the eyes.

{image via}

Above grainy picture is my own taken at a Dolce & Gabbana boutique in Honolulu (love how relevant the pineapple top and bag are In Hawaii)

FUN– I found this article written by a British Airlines flight attendant, and every single tip was spot-on funny!  Click on over to know what 21 things passengers should stop doing on an airplane.

FIND– Mixing it up on my hour-plus car-ride home today and diving  into this interesting new podcast called S-Town  The premise is about a man who calls a reporter to come investigate a small town in Alabama where a possible murder has been covered up. The main character is quite mysterious and I’ll be interested to know more. I tackled two of the 12 chapters and I’m hoping my drives will be a lot easier with interesting material to listen to.