Guess who’s back?

No, not the slim shady, just me, your fearless foodie writer. Back from my Italian adventures and eager to hit the keyboard. I’ll spend a few minutes sharing about my trip and then we can get back to business. And how can I not thank the tireless efforts of my fabulous guest blogger Dan Doern? Was he great, or what? If you didn’t get a chance you should check out some of his inventive recipes, like roasted edamame, or breakfast pizza. I hope Dan will continue to contribute to the blog.

The trip was great: lots of carbs and vino were consumed, few churches were visited, and I honestly didn’t hit the pots and pans once. I visited friends in the Alps, and then spent the rest of the trip at the Tuscan seaside. We took advantage of Italy’s love of children to bless restaurant owners and casual diners with our son’s vivacious presence at mealtimes, dinner included. And when we dined at home, it was a simple preparation, more assembly than anything else. This picture of Sam reaching on his tippy toes for freshly baked focaccia sums it up.


Sam reaching for freshly baked focaccia – San Vincenzo, Tuscany, Italy

I took advantage of the delicious, locally grown, seasonal fruits with daily pit stops at the nearby fruit stand to stock up on peaches, plums (from green to fuschia to purple)  like these,

Reine-Claude plums


grapes and tomatoes of every color, size and variety. And also made daily pilgrimages to local bakeries and focaccerie.

For lunch there was usually bruschetta (or crostini, a local version), insalata caprese, freshly baked focaccia and an assortment of local cheeses like pecorino and thoughtfully prepared meats and salamis. We did have pasta at home a few times, but only in it’s simplest form. I prepared some store-bought hand-made ravioli on a few occasions, drizzled with olive oil and grated parmigiano. But I don’t really count that as hitting the pots and pans. No sauces were cooked, no ovens were heated, and no recipes were used on this trip. And that was just fine.

So, stay tuned for more recipes and musings from yours truly. And let’s give it up for Dan – woot woot!

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