I know it has been forever since I have posted a blog. This whole baby thing has kept me busy. Fall is my favorite season though, and I have been busy in the kitchen lately with a bunch of apples and pumpkins. A couple weeks ago the Fam and I went to Apple Hill in Placerville, CA. We started this tradition just a couple years ago, but it is one that I love. I would like to say we drive 2 hours to California and pick apples at the orchards in order to have the freshest, most organic, and local apples at home for the rest of the season. I guess that is part of it, but really it is to gorge ourselves on apple cider doughnuts, apple fritters, and to drink local beer (well not this year for me) and apple cider. This year we took Luigi’s mom and grandma who just moved to Reno this past month (yay for more babysitters!). They moved from Denver where there is not a lot of apple growing. I think they were impressed with the amount of apples (and people), but not with our foliage. Don’t get me wrong, the drive through Tahoe in October is beautiful, but the Aspens in Colorado this time of year can’t be topped.
Look at that face! It’s almost too cute to eat. I know that sounds wrong, but I love lamb (don’t worry, the sheep in the picture is too old to eat, he’s safe). I don’t usually get to meet my food before I cook it (or eat it), but living on a farm brings new meaning to the phrase “farm to table.” During my vacation earlier this month I spent 3 days on a farm in Pennsylvania (click here and here to read more about my trip). Even though I went to an Ag College (UCDavis), I am an urban girl through and through, and know very little about farm life. My mom’s cousins though live in a farmhouse built in the 1800’s in a small Pennsylvania town, and they raise a menagerie of barnyard animals. Since becoming a chef I have gained a new appreciation for how ingredients are grown and raised, and I was really looking forward to this part of my trip. Continue reading
Life this past month has been extremely busy: a new house, three states, old friends, distant family, cocktails, ice cream, grits, baby lamb, spring asparagus, bagels, udon, pizza…the list goes on and on. After just nine days of frantically unpacking as many boxes as possible at the new house, I packed my bags and headed to the east coast to vacation in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Manhattan. The first part of my three leg tour was a long-awaited trip to catch up with my closest girlfriends from high school. Although it has been 13 years since our days at Reno High, it felt as if we were all 16 again and times hadn’t changed (well, except for maybe the addition of liquor (legally) and no curfew). The three days we spent together on the coast were filled with old memories, laughter, giddiness, new memories, and of course food. Continue reading
Did I drop off the face of the Earth? Just about. This past week has been devoted entirely to moving and I have not had a spare minute to get in the kitchen and make a single thing. So much for my Italian Challenge. I guess I will have to extend my self imposed deadline on recreating dishes from my Italian honeymoon and give myself the entire Spring Season! The kitchen at my new house is finally put together though, and I am ready to
eat cook. Continue reading
Exactly one year ago, my husband and I were in Italy for our honeymoon. Even though we were married in October 2010, we waited 6 months to travel in hopes of warmer weather in Italy. Thankfully our plan panned out, and we had glorious weather for the two weeks we were there. Although I had been to Europe a couple times in the past, I hadn’t had the opportunity yet to visit Italy and I had been dying to experience la dolce vida and of course the delicious cuisine. Continue reading
One of the best things about living in Reno is how easy it is to leave Reno. Within 30 minutes I can be at Lake Tahoe, within 2 hours visiting my college friends in Sacramento and Davis, and within 3 hours saddling up to a tasting room bar in Napa sipping on some wine. Usually my sole purpose for going to the Napa Valley is to drink great wine and eat amazing food. Recently though, I have the added excuse of visiting more frequently because I am helping my cousin and his fiance plan their Labor Day weekend wedding at Beringer. Continue reading
My trip to Denver this past weekend meant that I could hit up all my favorite restaurants from when I used to live there. It might come as a surprise, but one of my favorites is a breakfast spot – Gaia Bistro. Of all the great restaurants in Denver, my heart (and stomach) goes out to Gaia. I think my husband and I lived in Denver for about a year until we found this place, but after that it became habitual. The restaurant is a small house nestled on Pearl Street. They have a large garden in the back and a wrap around deck and patio for summer dining. In the winter you have to get there early since there are only about nine tables inside and a wait list forms quickly (no reservations). The decor inside is all about food, and their lights are made using large egg whisks and colanders. Continue reading
I started my morning with a cappuccino brewed with Amante Coffee Beans from Boulder, CO. I sort of have a thing for good coffee. What would you expect though when you grow up with parents that don’t own a regular coffee pot but rather an imported espresso maker from Italy? I have known from the age of 9 how to pull a shot of espresso and how to steam milk with the proper consistency of foam. My fixation with coffee only grew when I lived in Oregon. Since then my husband and I spoil ourselves by buying beans from our favorite coffee shops when we can. My Amante coffee this morning though was a gift from my mother-in-law for my birthday. She lives in Denver (we live in Reno) and knew we would appreciate the imported beans. Amante’s beans are roasted in Italy, which is where my husband and I spent our honeymoon this past April. Their medium roast coffee is super creamy and reminds me of the espresso at the cafe’s in Rome. As much as I would love to be in Rome, my husband and I are doing the next best thing and flying to Denver this weekend! My husband is originally from Denver and we lived there together for a couple of years. So although our trip is to visit family and friends, most of our plans revolve around what restaurants we will eat at while we are there. Hopefully we will even get up to Amante, where at least for five minutes, while we sip our espresso, we can feel that we are back in Italy.