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Archive for the ‘italy’ Category

Happy Friday!

yellow, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

TGIF! Another gorgeous Friday! When I need a smile, all I have to do do is look at these photos taken in the Maremma region of Italy in June of the this year! A Sunday quickly turned into a photographic event. A sea of yellow surrounded us from all directions. I sight that will never be forgotten. Happy Friday!

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Happy Friday!

 

Cortona, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

As you can see, I am on a gelato kick once again. Another sweltering day here in New England and we are suffering form the heat and humidity!   During our recent return to Italy, my husband frequently enjoyed Staciatella Gelato, here is a recipe to try at home!

Straciatella Gelato
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Preparation
Place milk in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a simmer, whisking often. Whisk sugar, yolks, and salt in a medium bowl until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return to saucepan; stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and a thermometer registers 170°F-175°F, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain into a medium bowl. Stir in cream. Chill custard until cold, at least 2 hours.

Stir chocolate and oil in a small sauce-pan over low heat until melted; let cool.

Process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Slowly add all but 1 tsp. melted chocolate during the last 30 seconds of churning (chocolate will form small chips). Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle remaining chocolate over gelato in zigzag lines. Serve immediately.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Stracciatella-Gelato-365289#ixzz1SqfH8bwI

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San Gimignano, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

We are in the midst of summer’s heat and some days there is no way to escape. I always come back to thinking about my favorite Italian Gelato! Much better than out American version of ice cream, although a close second. Ice cream brings me back to my childhood, walking a across the street to the small neighborhood store to get a .25 cent ice cream on a stick. After my first excursion to Italy nine years ago I am hooked on gelato. You see gelato is a much more flavorful, somewhat softer, less heavy and sweet, than our ice cream. Tantalizing flavors await the palate. Pistachio, pear, marscapone, chocolate, rosemary, lampone, Nutella just to name a few!

Gelato is different from some ice cream because it has a lower butterfat content. Gelato typically contains 4–8% butterfat, versus 14% for ice cream in the United States. Gelato has a higher sugar content than ice cream. Dairy based gelato contains 16–24% sugar and water and fruit based sorbet contains 24–30% sugar. Most ice cream in the United States contains 12-16% sugar. The sugar content in gelato is precisely balanced with the water content to act as an anti-freeze to prevent the gelato from freezing solid. Types of sugar used include sucrose, dextrose, and invert sugar to control apparent sweetness. Typically, gelato and Italian sorbet contain a stabilizing base. Egg yolks are used in yellow custard-based gelato flavors, including zabaione and creme caramel. Non-fat milk solids are also added to gelato.  ~ Wikipedia

Have you ever had the luxury of eating Gelato? What is your favorite flavor? 🙂

 

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Giant Lindt, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

I’m in a blogging funk. It happens to the best of us. I’m sure I will be out of my funk shortly, but one can never judge exactly how long theses things last. I am also suffering form post travel blues, that I always succumb to after my worldwide escapades. I wait anxiously all year to return to Italy, and the *poof* it came and went as quickly as that! Gone! Nothing left but wonderful memories and great photos.

Today’s photo involves a trip the Lindt Store in the Barberino Outlet Mall in Italy and holding a GIANT Lindt truffle…too bad bad life couldn’t be that sweet everyday!

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Pizza Margarita, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Sorry, I have not updated my rantings in a few weeks. Time has passed rather quickly, but stay tuned for some travel and food stories over the few few weeks. We (The Rambling Rountrees) traveled back to Italy for the ninth season to Italy via Swiss Air from Boston-Zurich-Florence June 4th- 16th. We explored Florence, Bologna, Follonica, Grosseto, San Gimignano, Siena and Cortona, and Lugano Switzerland staying in Tavarnelle Val Di Pesa as our home base. We ate, walked, photographed, filmed and enjoyed each others company and the company of the locals. Once again our adventures did not disappoint us. Stay tuned for our travel tales! Ciao…

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marizpan, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Winter is long and cold here in New England. But the sun has gotten higher in the sky and the days a growing longer by the minute, so soon Spring will be upon us once more. My husband and travel companion have planned another summer adventure in Italy this June. Flying into my favorite city Florence and exploring central and northern Italy once again. Soon I will begin the countdown to travel days. But in the meantime I will look at all my photos I have taken of Italy over the last years we have traveled there. Each time I look at them I am reminded of the place that warms my heart. The magical place I have learned call home during those two weeks in June. The photos bring back the sights, smells and tastes of our beloved Bella Italia!

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Two months have some and gone since our most recent trip to Bella Italia! Some days I wonder how that could have happened. As usual most of our great memories are surrounded by great food and meals.This years adventures were no different. One evening, when returning back to the countryside to our hotel, the Hotel Park Chianti in Tavernelle Val Di Pesa, we realized it was late and we wondered what to have for dinner that night. We decided it was late and we were going to “wing it”, so as soon as we left the superstrada we took a sudden turn where we saw some restaurant signs and decided to follow them to see where we would end up!

Well the signs had us driving through the dark Tuscan countryside, as the road winded along some fields and started to climb a steep hill up to a small village. as we approached we were shocked with what we all saw…”A Castle” in the foreground! as it turns out we had stumbled upon Ristoro L’Antica Scuderia via di Passignano in Badia. We soon realized that this was not just any restaurant.

AS we entered the building we where quickly seated outside by the firepit where the chef/owner was preparing meat over an open fire. Huge bisteccas and veggies were slowly as the scent filled the patio. Dinner say at small tables enjoying intimate conversations over wine. We decided we had try to try the grass feed beef and local veggies. Much to our delight the meal arrived quickly and we all sat quietly enjoying every last morsel off bread, food, and wine that was offered to us. Conversation lingered as the night came upon us. At that point, we had decided that we indeed had taken the correct route into the darkness that night and would indeed return to this special place outside “The Castle” in Badia.

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Wordless Wednesday!

Perche No!, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

How appropriate for today’s blog entry. Been back for almost 2 weeks now and I am in need of another extended vacation…back to Italy preferably. While I was gone, my mom who is a diabetic and suffers from diabetic retinopathy, had a bleed in her right eye. Not much that can be done about it, accept surgery to try to clear the blood from her vitreous in her eye. To be done in August, so another complication from her healing from her stroke this past fall.  I think I need a gelato today! Perche No? hehehe

The above is a recent photo from Florence Italy where I enjoyed the best watermelon and cantelope gelato from Perche No!

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vedure di fritti, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Here I sit, having been back for almost two weeks from Italy 2010. As I look back I think, “did it really happen?” Once again time flew past me in an instant! The trip came and went and I am left with more fond memories. Even though eating for me is much different than it was two years ago, I still am a foodie by nature. The sight sounds and smells do not compare to the food! The food is an experience that must be consumed with abandonment. A careless barrage of tastes. This journey made another impact on me. Bistecca that can’t be duplicated, veggies that explode in your mouth, pasta and pizza of course. Cheese that lavishes one in the smell, the sweetness of prosciutto, the tanginess of the fruit…all leave an imprint on the soul. For now I can sit back and bask in the sweet memory one obtains from such an experience. I am thinking about sharing my joys of planning for European Travel with a series of workshops for those who want to travel. I will keep you posted with the details…..

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marizpan, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Well we have been back for almost a week, and I must say that I have been too overwhelmed to blog about it. We had a wonderful trip but as usual it came and went much too quickly. An entire year of planning and day dreamin’. Our adventures included Florence, Venice, the Chianti Region, Pisa, Lake Garda and Rimini. We brought back lots of memories and culinary treasures as well as new travel friends, the Luxon’s. The sights and sounds of Italy will remain close to my heart for the coming year! In the meantime I will write about our travel adventures in the days to follow! Ciao!

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