Tourist Tuesday: Rome

DSCN2678I don’t know how to start this post other than to gush. I love Rome. Being there makes me so happy. Yesterday was Ryan and my two-year wedding anniversary and we celebrated with a long weekend in Rome. It was wonderful. Yes, the traditional gift for this anniversary is cotton (in Rome he got a sweatshirt and I got a tea towel), but I think maybe the second year anniversary gift should be pizza and gelato instead.

Part of the reason I love Rome is that I studied abroad there seven years ago during my junior year. Living in Rome was the first time I was away from home for so long and the first time I lived in a city. I ate so much pizza, pasta, and gelato. My roommates and I also cooked dinner together almost every night and befriended the local shop owners. We’d buy the fresh pesto and the guys in the store would give us free chocolate. My roommate Inga became one of my best friends, and with our upstairs neighbors Charlie and Michelle, we tore up the city. Continue reading

Baked Rigatoni

photo 5If your Thanksgiving was anything like mine, you might still be feeling stuffed even a few days later. Ryan and I had three Thanksgiving dinners: one with my college friends, one with my family, and one with his family. On Thanksgiving day during dinner with my family, I told them baked rigatoni was my next intended blog post, but then after all the eating I felt wary. Would anyone be interested in such a hearty dish right after Thanksgiving?

But I thought about it and said, why not?! Let’s lean into the holiday season of hearty foods, decadent meals, and rich desserts. Now, don’t get crazy and give up your exercise routine, but let’s wait until January 2nd to worry about our meals. So here’s a great meal that will make you feel cozy on a cold day, that’s great to serve to holiday house guests, and will provide you with workday lunches you’ll eagerly gobble up. Continue reading

Mozzarella Sticks

image (1)I feel guilty because I haven’t posted in awhile. Yes, there have been times when it’s taken me over a week to post, but usually it’s because I’m working on something and I have a recipe waiting in the wings.

Recently, I’ve had nothing! I’m in an inspirational drought. I don’t know what I want to cook next. My excuses are first, that I’m obsessed with the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, but I don’t want to just post a thousand cookie recipes from one book. And second, being a real working person is getting to me. Oh, I still cook throughout the week – but I’m trying to hone my 3-4 best after-work-doesn’t-take-that-long-meals. And when I do get those down, I’ll be sure to share. But I haven’t been making anything I find truly exciting. Continue reading

Make Your Own Mozzarella

Everyone has dreams. Couples too. And I’m sure, some of the dreams Ryan and I have are pretty common. Buy a house one day, have a kid, maybe a dog or two. But we also have some dreams that are a little unusual. The kind of dreams that could happen, but are more od things we imagine and talk about but won’t actually happen. Like buying a herd of water buffalos and a huge piece of land and starting a cheese empire that introduces America to Italian-style mozzarella di buffala (buffalo mozzarella). No, that’s not your dream? Well it’s something Ryan and I talk about on a regular basis.

Cheese from Rome and a little key chain for scale

Cheese from Rome and a little key chain for scale

Ryan and I have been crazy about mozzarella since we studied abroad in Rome (we were there at different times). What’s crazy fancy and expensive here in the states is all over the place (and not expensive) in Italy. My roommate and I would buy huge balls of mozzarella at the grocery store and then eat it with a fork as an afterschool snack. It was creamy, gooey, salty, and terribly indulgent. Who just eats a ball of cheese for a snack? Answer, cheese lovers and twenty-year-old girls. Continue reading