Monday, May 16, 2011

Buon Appetit!

Last year we had planned a trip to Spain for our anniversary and just a few days before we were supposed to leave, Dave had to cancel because something came up at work. So, this year he pulled out all the stops and arranged a for private chef to teach us real Italian cooking for a day. It was great!

Chef Mario, me, and Dave

At the Academia

We took the Metro to the train station and took a 7 am train from Milan to Parma, then we took a bus to the Academia Barilla and met our chef for the day, Mario Grazia. We cooked ourselves crazy from 10-5, with only one little break, during which I immediately fell asleep. (see me sleeping in the sun below)

Our Menu
Arancini di Riso

Escaloppe di Salmon

Risotto Primavera

Cheese and Egg filled Pasta

Saltimbocca alla Romana

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Amatriaciana Sauce

Making sure it's safe :)


Bolognese Sauce

Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Ravioli with Thyme

We made 3 shapes of pasta

Tartufi Dolci Neri

Hazelnut Cake with Sugared Hazelnuts

I really did fall asleep immediately during our 10 minute break. It was a beautiful day!

One of my personal favorites!

We tasted everything and started out eating as if it were a meal but we were so full at the end we could barely even take a taste. It was so fun to cook with Dave! And now he can't tell me he doesn't know how to make anything...
Thanks for a great trip, honey!

Monday, May 2, 2011


On April 20 Dave and I took a quick trip to Northern Italy for our 19th Anniversary and to celebrate the his entering the mission field in Milan 25 years ago. We stayed at the beautiful Hyatt Park Milan Hotel, right next to the Duomo. The first night we ate at Trattoria Arlati dal 1936. It was delicious! Never a bad bite in Italy. We took a bike tour of the city, guided by Dave, and went to Giardini Piducci (Public Garden), then we went to Sforzeso Castle. Everything was so accessible.

Right after I took this picture of the famous Pieta, the guard said no photography I got lucky. The armor was really interesting and looked so heavy. The horses had armor, too! We saw the remains of a Saint that died in 397 AD. It was amazing. (The big event of the trip was a day with a private chef. Next post...)

The architecture was beautiful and it was great to just walk around and not be in a hurry. We only had gelato once because we were too full for dessert most of the time. Dave's mom came from Idaho to watch the kids for us and they had so much fun with her. It was tough to check in with them because of the 9 hour time difference, but I got some very early morning texts...'how do you hard boil eggs?' at 2 am. I loved hearing from the kids, though.

We took the train to Como and rode the ferry around the lake to Bellagio. It was cloudy, but I was grateful for only a few drops of rain. We walked to Villa Melzi and toured the gorgeous gardens. The hillside around the lake was dotted with beautiful villas and mansions. It was so much bigger than I thought it would be.

We rode the ferry to Cernobbio and had lunch at the Tavern. The restaurant is in the 'best hotel in Europe', but it didn't look that amazing. We ate next to an older man with two Russian blondes...we couldn't quite figure our their story... We had a great day and took the train 1 1/2 hours back to Milan.

Easter Sunday we went to church in a place Dave served for 3 months and he translated for me. I think it's amazing that his Italian is still perfect.

On Monday we just had a few hours before we needed to get the train to the airport and Dave had found out about a market that only happens the Monday after Easter and is supposed to be full of crafts and things that monks make all year. We went and they only had flowers! They were pretty, but not Monk crafts. So we went to the market by the train station to get the kids and Marcia gifts. What a fun anniversary!

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