Monday, September 30, 2013

Risotto of the Month

When we were on our honeymoon in Santa Barbara, we decided to go on a wine tasting tour one day. We had done a few wine tastings last year in Bolzano, but they were in German, so we were excited to be able to understand what we were learning.

Here's California versus Italy, just for fun:

Santa Barbara

Anyway, at one of the wineries, we stumbled across a cookbook that had only risotto recipes, which we decided to buy – especially in case we didn’t have an oven this year…but we do!

I make risotto quite a bit here, but I tend to stick to the old favorites: lemon risotto, risotto with mushrooms and peas, roasted cauliflower risotto….those are on pretty heavy rotation from September to April. When I started looking through our new cookbook, I announced to Ryan that I was going to try every single recipe in the book this year, to which he replied, “Why don’t you just do one a month?”

And so the Risotto of the Month was created. I got September done just in time, too - I decided to do Risotto with Zucchini Blossoms last night because:

a) I've never cooked with zucchini blossoms before and the whole point of doing this is to try something new
b) They are still available even though they aren't really in season anymore....goodbye summer

I can't find the recipe online because it's only in the book, but if anyone wants it, I would be happy to was delicious, although at this point, I would recommend waiting until next summer to make it, when the zucchini blossoms are in full bloom.

And here are my two happy sous chefs:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Let the Games Begin!

Tonight is the home opener for the 2013-2014 season we are ready to go!! (This is a poster that's floating around town, featuring mio marito).

The first game of the season was actually last Saturday, away in Fassa, and they won 6-4 (half of those goals were scored by Ryan), so they're off to a good start. As always, if you want to watch live updates of the game, they can be found on Point Streak ( and here is the link for the games (and then click on Cortina) :

Forza Cortina!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Neighborhood

Since we still don't have the internet - no big deal, we've only been here for three weeks - lately, we've been taking some time to explore our new neighborhood. Last year we lived in the Savoia which is a hotel/condo building right downtown. This year, we live in an area of Cortina called Chiave which is about a 15 minute walk from downtown. It’s great to be away from hotel life, and be somewhere new where we can get more of a feel for how Italians really live – for example, there are four wine openers in our kitchen, but zero wine glasses, and what we thought was a pull-out couch really turned into two twin beds!

So far we’ve found tiny winding roads that lead to the rink (which is very close this year), a little church, and a few little markets along the side of the road.

There are lots more fields out here, and we’ve found that most of our neighbors have gardens. Obviously we need to make friends with them by saying “nuovi vicini!” so that we can get some fresh zucchini blossoms and scallions.

And of course, we live right next to the Hotel Menardi which is convenient for everything including chickens who lay fresh eggs, lunch and dinner, beautiful window boxes and neighbors who we know and love.

Life is pretty good in old Chiave.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Finally - now that we are fully unpacked - here are some pictures of our new apartment.

We live in a building called Villa Tamarin. There are a few other families who live there, but we have our own set of stairs which lead up to our balcony and in our back door.

Our kitchen is a tiny little thing, but I feel like I've struck gold with six (!!) burners, an oven, and a washing machine. Plus, now we have a much bigger fridge than we had the first two years, which means that I don't have to go to the grocery store every single day - although, that seems to be a habit that I can't get out of because I still do it! That's the Italian way....

This is our hallway - I'm taking the picture standing with our kitchen to my left and the front door to my right.

The hallway opens up into our living room/dining room. There are two tables on opposite walls that fold up into the wall. We leave one down all the time, which is what we eat on, and we fold the other one down when we have lots of guests over.

Our bedroom and bathroom are to the left, off the main hallway.

There is a tiny little waterfall right outside our bedroom window which we can listen to as we fall asleep.

And of course, the view from our balcony is amazing. Being here for three years really has its perks!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wedding Pictures

We need to rewind back to August for a minute because our wedding pictures arrived a few days ago and we can’t stop looking at them. I have to share some of our favorites....

The wedding was starting to fade into the distance of summer and now that we have these wonderful pictures, we are reminded of how amazingly fun/special/perfect 8/3/13 was.

It was a BLAST, so thanks to everyone who made it so much fun....


And it’s not too bad being newlyweds in Italy, either!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Trip

We made it! It all started at 4 am on Monday morning when the alarm went off....we said goodbye to Denver in the pitch black, slept a few hours on the plane, ate hot soup in rainy Philadelphia (and had a glass of wine to celebrate the trip - and to practice for Italy), made it all the way to Frankfurt to greet Tuesday morning in Germany, and then, finally, zipped over to Venice where all six of our bags were miraculously waiting for us for the first time in three years. We were off to a good start.

It got even better when we got to Cortina and realized that our new apartment was fantastic, with a huge, wrap-around balcony that has a killer view of the mountains, SIX burners (big upgrade from the two that we had the first two years), an oven, and a washing machine. All crammed into one tiny Italian kitchen that I am in love with.

Now accepting visitors for the 2013-2014 season!!