Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tomato Harvest

It seems like Fall is never gonna come. It's still very hot outside.. but I have to say that I'm enjoying these last days of Summer. I can still dry the clothes outside, before the rainy days come... and I like watering the plants everyday, especially my tomatoes!! It's the first time I have my own tomato-plants! Yesterday I picked and ate the first one... so good! 
Speaking about pomodori reminds me of something fun I did last summer.. I gave a few Italian Lessons to a sweet Denver girl who wants to learn my beautiful language! I don't know how much she learned in the end, I wish I had more time to do more lessons, but time really went so fast. During my lessons I taught her also some simple recipes {we cooked pasta with tomato sauce... and Pizza with Zucchini Flowers.. everything from scratch of course... }. It was fun!!! The best way to learn a language is to be somehow part of the culture and that's what I tried to do. ♥
my student showing off our Pizza! Buonissima!!!

...the blessings of my garden...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Italian Traditions: Croccante Recipe

Today is August 26th!!! And for somebody like me who grew up in Lecce {in Apulia, South of Italy} this day only means "Town-Fair"! It's the day in which the Catholic Church celebrates St. Oronzo, which is the Patron, protector, of my town {each city in Italy has a different Saint who protects the town}. The Fair starts on the 24th and ends the 26th at night with beautiful fireworks. The city is decorated with lights of all kinds and shapes. When you walk at night through the old streets of the city.. it's just a fantastic experience! There is music playing from some of the hundreds of "bancarelle", the stands selling different items... food, books, jewels, clothes... anything! 

These gorgeous pictures were taken the other night by one of my friends from Lecce.. you can see the Roman Amphitheater and all the lights in the back {and St. Oronzo's statue on top of the column!}. 
And down here..some of the lights.

One of things I miss the most every year is the so called "cupeta" {in my dialect} or "croccante" {in Italian}. It's a delicious treat made entirely of sugar and almonds.
So, this morning I woke up thinking of it... and I decided to make it!! I want my children to taste its deliciousness and to learn about some of my traditions...
I have to say that I never made it before.. but it came out really good and crunchy.. as it should be {the word Croccante means CRUNCHY!}. Here it is!!

If you want to make it you just need:
  • 2 cups of sugar 
  • 1 splash of water 
  • 4 oz. of peeled almonds (I used the slivered ones)
  1. Toast the almonds. You can use the oven or you can sautee' them on a non-stick skillet, until golden.
  2. Put the almonds on a piece of paper-wax inside a medium metal container (or a pyrex).
  3. Melt the sugar with the water in a "thick-base" sauce-pan at a medium-low heat. It will take a few minutes. Just be patient. The sugar will crystallize and then melt in a brownish gluey sauce. 
  4. Pour the caramel sauce on top of the almonds RIGHT AWAY covering them completely.
  5. Let it cool down.
  6. Finally, peel the paper off the croccante and cut in pieces. Enjoy!! and don't break your teeth!!!!! :))
Here's the recipe in pictures:


Et Voila'!!

This post is linked to the beautiful blog Create.Craft.Love. 
Please go check out some other great blogs participating in this Party!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Shabby Chic Market Bag

What a beautiful day!!! 
My children just came back from their first day of school and they are so happy and full of enthusiasm! I spent the whole morning by myself with my 3 year old son {SO disappointed to have "nobody to play with"..}. Last year we home-schooled them.. I don't know how we did it! It has been a good experience in many ways, but I see their need to socialize and be with other children. Just look at them right now!! :)

Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon finishing to sew this Market Bag for my Etsy Shop. I designed it.. completely made it up.. and I think the result is not too bad...

What do you think?


Talk to you soon!!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Ring!!!

Hello everyone!!
I'm up early this Sunday {usually I like to sleep in...}, my youngest son came to wake me up! He needed his "bWeakfast" {he still cannot pronounce the R very well :) }. Anyway, I thought to show you something..
Remember when I wrote about those gorgeous hand-made jewels from Hungary? {if you don't, click HERE} Well, the ring that I won in Iren's contest arrived yesterday!! It made me so happy!! It's really beautiful!!! The creativity and precision of the design are incredible!
I took a picture of it! :)

Well, the only thing I need to add is for you to follow her Facebook Page! She will do more giveaways and maybe next time you will be the lucky winner!! ♥

Have a great Sunday!!!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Visiting a good Friend and her lovely Shop♥

Just So You Know... I made it back to California!! It took us 2 days {tot. 18 hours drive}, we stopped in a Hotel in Salt Lake City to rest one night.. we couldn't stand to sit in the car any longer!
I had a great vacation and now we are getting ready for school.. before I blog about that, I want to share with you about a fun day I spent at my great friend Lisa's house. She's also known as Beadsoul. She has an incredible shop on Etsy and I took a few pictures of her brand new studio!! 
Check them out!!

This is Lisa working at her amazing desk!
 This is the new desk...custom-made by my super crafty husband!! isn't it gorgeous???♥

Here's a little cutie, her most faithful friend always keeping her company..

Lisa's organized tools..

..bothering her while working on an earring... :)

Lisa is very popular on Etsy, she's a great jeweler and she also loves to buy from other Etsy shops. If you look close in the pictures you can see in her studio a few of the items she bought:

cute little birdies decals {not in this pic} from SissyLittle

I hope you'll go check all of these gorgeous shops too!! 
Happy Crafting to ALL!!!
..and thank you to Lisa for letting me enter and share about her world...

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Cupcakes

Happy Sunday!!!
I just found these pics on my old blog... I made those cupcakes and birthday cake on my daughter's birthday last year {all from scratch of course}.. so yummi!! ♥ I especially love the pink cream-cheese frosting! ♥
I hope you are having a great day.. :)





Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On an evening in... Florence!

My vacation in Denver is almost over.. soon we will head back to California. Which place do I like the most? I love both for different reasons... :) What I like about Denver is mostly the beautiful memories that I have and all the people that I love. I try to go see and spend time with everybody! Sometimes it's hard and not possible to do. This vacation I had a great time.. and every time I come to Denver I HAVE to go to eat at Parisi's.. the Italian Restaurant (100% Italian!!) located in the beautiful North-Denver, where I lived for a few years. My husband used to work there {I worked there too!} and we are still very good friends with the owner, a very nice Italian guy from Florence 
{where I was born}. 
The food is fantastic, it's like going to any restaurant in Italy.. even the atmosphere, the quality and the beauty of the environment. I really enjoy going there. Last week we had dinner at Parisi's with our friends. I took some pictures thinking I would blog about it.. of course!!! Italian water... ♥

Schiacciata Bread dipped in flavorful oil... mmmmh

Our happy table!! :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beautiful Jewels from Hungary ♥

Hello everyone!!!
Today I want to show you the beauty, the precision and the absolute creativity of  Irén Jovanovic . She's from Hungary, owner of Florist's Jewelry and she makes handcrafted Swarovski Crystal Jewelry. 
A few months ago, I was looking for beaded rings on Etsy and I "bumped" into her. I'm so happy I did! Now I also follow her on Facebook and Twitter. I just love the way she makes her jewels, how she puts together those shiny crystals and beads to create elegant and sophisticated works of art. I have to share a few of the most beautiful with you! Then you'll tell me what you think....

Star-shaped Pendant Necklace

Drops Earrings

Multicolor Beaded Ring

And last but not least..... a gorgeous ring that I won in a contest she recently did on Facebook!! I'm so excited for that and I can't wait to wear it... Look how Lucky I am!! =)

Padparadscha red beaded ring

And these are just a few of her creations... she makes many many more.. all so beautiful!! Please go visit her SHOP and her FACEBOOK PAGE!! You'll become her fan too!! :)


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fresh from the Garden.

~~~~I can't believe it's already August!!!~~~~ 
One of my favorite months.. it reminds me of the summer vacations spent on the beach in Italy. So, today I looked in my friends' garden and I found 3 Zucchini Flowers!! They told me I could pick them, as they don't eat them.. well... that's exactly what I did!! I LOVE zucchini flowers!! It's an ingredient found mostly in the Roman cuisine, they fry them or put them on pizzas as a topping. 
{So delicious!!!}
I like them fried and I decided to take pictures to show all of you this wonderful and easy recipe. It is a great side dish, appetizer or yummi snack!

(Fiori di Zucchina fritti)

This is what you need:

  • 5 or 6 large zucchini flowers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 splash of water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • vegetable oil 
Wash the flowers very gently, detach the little stem inside the flower (and throw it away). 

Prepare the egg-batter mixing the eggs with a pinch of salt, add the flour and mix well until creamy. Add a splash of cold water and keep stirring until smooth. 

Dip the flower in the batter and fry it in a saucepan with hot oil until golden on both sides.

Let the cooked flowers rest on paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Serve warm.

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