Where the Romans Choose to Eat

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1. the first and most important thing i have learned is in order to find good food, you have to find the locals. wherever they are eating are usually the best places in town. not the ones jammed pack with tourists and study abroad students

2. my step dad was right…freshly grated cheese is the only way to go. no more of that packaged stuff

3. Italy is so much more relaxed than the states. no one is ever in a rush. this means that dinner could last hours because no only do you have to wait forever to get your food, your bill takes almost twice as long! (kind of a blessing in disguise though. it has forced me to slow down)

4. i always thought bread here would be amazing but actually bread here doesn’t taste that great. the reason for this is because Italian’s eat bread with their dinner and they don’t want it to take away from the flavors of the meal

4. a common rule here is to have a cappuccino in the morning and then any time after noon you are supposed to only order espresso

6. the easiest meal to prepare on your own…scrambled eggs. yup. all day, everyday.

7. the best gelato isn’t stacked high. if it is then it isn’t real because real gelato would melt and not be able to hold up. therefore, when you see gelato that is flat the container then you know you have found the good stuff

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Buon Appetito!

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i always thought i would have to leave all the amazing food in Rome when i returned home to the U.S., but thanks to Chef Andrea from Cooking Classes in Rome i no longer have to! i went to a cooking class of his the other day and learned so many new things. for instance he told us we shouldn’t be ordering anything with pesto right now because its not in season so its most likely coming from a jar (he said only americans order it in the winter…good to know since i’m trying to fit in as MUCH as possible here). also i learned how to hand make gnocchi which is awesome and i can’t wait to re-make it when i get home. all you do is mash potatoes and add some flour and then roll the dough into these strings the size of your finger. then you cut up the pieces and drop them in a pot of boiling water for like 30 seconds and voilà! you made yourself some gnocchi.

image1 { before the cooking began…loved all the fresh ingredients }image3{ hand rolling gnocchi }image5 { where we got to eat our culinary masterpiece }image6 { waiting anxiously… }image7 { gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce & basil }image8{ chocolate & pear soufflé }

Tuscany, Florence, Rome 2.9.15

image3This weekend we decided to stay local since we were still pretty tired from the last two weekends of traveling. It was nice not having to pack a weekend bag for once!

friday: we took a morning train to Tuscany and did a wine tour in the Chianti region. We got to see the vineyards, the wine cellar and even wine from 1904! After the tour we got to sample lots and lots of wine.

saturday: we spent the day shopping in florence and spending way to much money….oops. for lunch we went to a pizza place called Gusta Pizza. omg. literally the best pizza I have had in Italy so far. I also got to see the Duomo for a little bit but I plan to climb it when I go back in a few weeks.

sunday: although we had a slow-moving morning, we managed to make it to the Jewish Ghetto and find the best tasting doughnut of my life. almost bought ten.

image5 { the Chianti region }image6 { this wine bottle was calling to me }image7 { eat. drink. love. }image8 { friends do wine tasting }image9 image10{ found this wall in Florence covered in dollar bills }vscocam-photo-1{ Gusta Pizza. omg. so doughy }image12 image14image13{ i think this was a doughnut? either way so yummy! }

&& We’re Off!

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i have been in Rome for almost a week now and here are a few things to note…

1. not everyone speaks some english like i had thought

2. if you order a grilled cheese you will LITERALLY get a plate of boiling cheese

3. water is anything but free (but the wine practically is)

4. when Italians say ‘prego’ they aren’t talking about pasta sauce and in most cases they aren’t really talking about anything. prego can mean anything from what to you’re welcome & it can also mean absolutely nothing (like in the case where the man at the sandwich shop is yelling prego at you…he just wants to take your order)

5. EVERY building is beautiful here. They don’t build anything new instead they just restore all the old buildings.

6. the men here are convinced that I am from california (not gonna argue with that though)

7. SELFIE STICKS ARE A THING HERE. like literally they are everywhere.

8. breakfast almost doesn’t exist here. I am beginning to think Italians only drink coffee for breakfast (and maybe a croissant).

9. i am extremely thankful for the riposos (like siestas) that happen here. I have taken a nap EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. happy happy happy

10. the best pasta I have had so far was take-away from a bar…not a joke.

image7CIAO for now!!

Giving Thanks

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI love thanksgiving. It comes at the perfect time in the semester when I feel maxed out and all I want to do is hang with the family. Being able to regroup is always a good thing, especially after some things that have happened in my life in the past few months. Thanks is definitely needed. These things have made me realize just how precious life is and to make sure I appreciate every part of it, big or small.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset{ the famous sweet potatoes }

There has been many years where these bad boys have caught on fire…luckily I think we are getting better at finding that perfect ‘toast’

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset{ cute little chocolate turkey suckers for the kids table }

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset { pumpkin bread made with applesauce }

This is a relatively new tradition but I can easily say its the best part of my Thanksgiving meal…even better than the pie!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

There is something so comforting about good food and warm talks that I wish thanksgiving happened more than once a year.

Summer Booties

1{ Shoes: ALDO/ Dress: PacSun / Sunglasses: Anthropologie }

My feet go through a lot during the summer because most of the time if I am not barefoot, I am usually just in a pair of cheapo flip-flops. I wanted to give my feet a much-needed break and find some nice closed-toe booties. I have been trying to find the perfect pair since spring and I FINALLY found some!! I wanted boots that were a little bit western/a little bit distressed/ and A LOT comfy! These booties from ALDO were just the thing I needed and the best part is…they are on sale right now!

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Lace & Lavender

3{ Dress: Xenia (no longer available)-similar dress here/ Shoes: Steve Madden (old) / Necklace: Tiffany&Co (old)  }

I wore this dress to my mom’s wedding rehearsal dinner at Trattoria da Vinci (supposedly The Minnesota Wild comes here a lot before games!!). It is located in downtown Minneapolis next to this cute little park. I remember taking pictures there my senior year prom and kids threatening to throw each other into the stream that runs through it (good times haha). The dinner was amazing though! I wish I had taken a picture but I highly suggest that at least once get the create your own pasta. You get to go up to this pasta bar that has endless bowls of fresh ingredients and pick anything your heart desires for the chef to cook. I got whole wheat pasta with spinach, tomato, garlic, and peas (idk why but I think these are so good in pasta). Then I had them dress it in olive oil since all of there other sauces had cream in it, which my stomach never agrees with sadly. The portions were so big I ended up taking leftovers home and having them for lunch AND dinner the next day.

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