Archive for category Fiorentina
Just breezing through the freshly pressed blogs and I always get drawn into the food and recipe blogs.
They are so enticing I just want to go home and make each and everyone of them!
But one of them just had me laugh out loud – the name of the blog implies that their recipes are not only fast and easy but also healthy.
So, why did I laugh – well the first four ingredients were:
2 cups ketchup
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
8 pork chops
Doesn’t sound very diet friendly to me, though it does sound quite intringing as far as flavour goes. My menu this evening is quick, easy and simply delicious.
I am going to dice up some fresh tomatoes for a summer bruschetta with some basil, garlic and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
I will be munching on these while I fire up the grill for my bistecca fiorentina and baked potatoes with rosemary.
My side dish is: Frigitelli, sauteed in EVOO with onion, fresh tomato and served with a liberal sprinkling of percorino cheese on top.
All of this will be accompanied with a lovely glass (or two … or three) of my favorite brunello from Montalcino.
Dolce? If I can manage it, gelato . . . but I have a feeling that I will be stuffed way before I get to that . . .
What’s your menu?
With the weekend here it’s the perfect time for a bike ride. The weather in Florence is hot and humid but there’s nothing like an early evening stroll on the bicycle to cool you down, especially if you make the ever so important gelato stop.
One of my favorite places to bike ride is Cascine Park. It’s a park well-known to the locals of Florence but often missed by tourists as it lies right outside of the immediate city center. Having been owned by members of the Medici family (just like evrything else in Florence) it was once used as a gaming reserve and wasn’t until the late 1700′s that the park was restored for public use. Having gone through several changes and remodels, today Cascine Park has everything from a public swimming pool, race track, amphitheater, sports center, horseback riding, bicycle rentals, food stands, a seasonal fair for children, dancing at “Le Meccano”, a weekly open market, and so much more. There is something for everyone.
With nearly 400 acres of space and greenery Cascine Park is the perfect filler for your free afternoon. Sometimes it’s just nice to get away from the cobblestone and city madness. Indulging oneself by going to Cascine and setting up a picnic after an ever so perfect bike ride is what Italian life is truly all about. So the nest time you’re there look for me! I’ll be the girl on the bicycle with a smile on her face and a slice of water melon in hand.
I’ve been in Florence long enough to casually walk around the city as the Italians do, forgetting the fact that I’m walking by monuments and architecture hundreds of years old, visited by millions of people every year. But every now and again, it hits me, you live in Florence. It’s a city filled with absolute beauty and art that can be found in even the simplest of surroundings.
One thing is for sure, no matter how long you have lived in Florence there is always a view of the city that you have yet to discover. Whether you’re enjoying the magnificent view of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo, a must see for tourists, or wining and dining atop the Grand Hotel’s new terrace, the views are always different and always spectacular.
Last night was another one of those discoveries when I saw the evening views of the city from Hotel Baglioni for aperitivo, a luxurious mix of happy hour and dinner. The evening was just right. After a swelteringly hot day, I sat on the rooftop with a fresh breeze, delicious italian food, and great live music, not to mention the sparkling panaramic view of every historical site in the city center of Florence. Just take a look at the Duomo by night, picturesque and perfectly lit up, like from and old black and white film. Florence truly never stops surprising me with it’s history and incomparible beauty. Day or night, from rooftop to rooftop Florence is truly one of a kind.
Since we are headed to the town of Giulietta and love, we are leaning towards something flashy and feminine to grab Romeo’s eye. Our idea is to be colorful and … maybe even just a little bit sexy. After last weeks victory, we are little more optimistic about the future. But if there is one thing we have learned following soccer and our favorite team from Florence Italy, it is that the only thing you can count on is the enthusiasm that you bring to the game.
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Nothing like taking all of my favorite ingredients and piling them high (Blondie/Dagwood style) on some home baked, hot out of the oven, focaccia bread! Tuesday night, in anticipation of the Florentine Derby game (which we will talk NO MORE of) I rushed home to make a special dinner treat for me and my already “nervous about losing the game” boyfriend. Earlier at lunch I had prepared my world famous pizza dough a/k/a focaccia bread and let it rise for the afternoon in my steam heated oven. (500 grams flour, one block of yeast and warm water q.b.)
I came home to find that it had risen perfectly and was still rather moist and soft…just perfect. I spread it out high, and following the directions of a pizzaolo that I saw on an Italian cooking show, I didn’t manipulate it too much. If you lay it out and it pulls back, then you should wait a minute or two and re-stretch it so that it “naturally” folds out to the right size.
What had attracted both us of to this recipe was the use of porcini mushrooms (now in season here in Tuscany), mortadella lunch meat and the use of fresh ricotta cheese. So you put some fresh mushrooms on top of the focaccia, a sprinkling of salt and pop it in the oven till well cooked. While you are waiting for the focaccia to become toasty golden in color, you will prepare the remaining mushrooms into a trifolata. That means chopped up rather loosely, add a dash of olive oil, salt, fresh chopped garlic and at the very end a pinch of peperoncino. Sautee till done soft.
Once the porcini fragrant focaccia is taken from the oven and placed on the cutting board you can spread the trifolata on top and then layer the mortadella. The final touch is the creamy ricotta spooned on the top.
Sorry no pictures, we were too eager to taste, to wait for pictures. I only wish that the game had turned out as good as the focaccia.
Sunday lunchtime we will be sitting in Cesena, near the sandy beaches on the east coast of Italy cheering our favorite soccer team to victory. The team we are playing this week is relatively young and energetic having made their first appearance in serie A in 1973 therefore they are eager to leave their mark among historic teams such as the Fiorentina who has been playing serie A since 1931.
So today we are comparing the savvy, beaching going crowd of Cesena to the historic city dwellers of Florence. Nomination, an Italian fashion brand that has catered to the younger crowd has produced several engaging bracelets for him and her using modern material like stainless steel and colored rubber bands. This design is modern and looks good with a casual style. The Nomination GROOVE bracelet is an international success story and to own a piece of Nomination jewelry is like being part of that success. Taking the simple rubber bracelet one step further, you can appreciate the genius behind the design. As well as the 3-way comfortable clasp which bears the Nomination logo, there is an unpolished black and white stainless steel plate topped with a polished plate again with the Nomination logo. In addition, there is a small diamond giving the bracelet an individuality all of its own. Create your own sense of self expression and accessorize with your favourite tee shirt or something more formal. This bracelet will look great for any occasion.
Our historic city dwellers in Florence are more partial to the classic artisan work from Ponte Vecchio and look more to the traditional designs handed down from the Etruscan gold welders. Giglio is the Italian word for lily flower and is the very famous symbol of Florence dating back to Roman times. It is emblazoned on walkways, walls, building and monuments and is a constant reminder of how Florence is steeped in tradition. Hand crafted in 18 carat gold, you can choose this enchanting piece in yellow, white or rose gold. Rose gold is becoming ever more popular and really enhances every perfect detail of this charming pendant.
Another weekend and it’s another game. This time the formidable Fiorentina is hosting Lazio for the 5th game of the season right here in sunny Tuscany. Lazio is the name of one of two teams representing Italy’s capital city. Actually the region where the Eternal City is located is called Lazio, and the name has a mythical derivation given by the ancients as the place where Jupiter “lay hid” from his father, a Roman god, seeking to kill him. Well, here’s hoping that the Viola team manages to squash their opponents better than Saturn (Jupiter’s father) did.
Juptier would have hidden himself poorly if he were supporting Lazio and their colors – sky blue. Lazio’s symbol is a a shield in blue and white, topped with a rather regal looking eagle in gold / yellow. In fact this color is very similar to our Fortunata Suede Leather Designer Handbag in color sky blue with yellow color accents. Of course, he might not have hid very well – but with this suede bag, he would have been definitely very much in style!
Perhaps the Fiorentina would have been more prepared to hide themselves among the vineyards that grace our hilly region since their colors are purple, yellow and red. Any one of these colors are starting to show up with the onslaught of Fall (the 23 of Sept) and the change of season. We would have suggested our Fortunata Leather Tote, Designer Handbag in color sunshine yellow. This bag in a delicious soft and supple patent leather with a light pebbly texture.
If he had been hiding with either one of these bags, he just might have escaped notice, since this is a FORTUNATA bag. What’s in the name Fortunata? Fortunata means lucky in Italian. The “corno” or as it is known in English, the red hot chilli pepper, is supposed to ward off evil and assure the owner of lucky flair in all that they do. In any case let’s hope the good luck charm that comes with this bag will have us cheering for victory. FORZA VIOLA.
There are a couple of things that Napoli is known for all over the world: great pizzas, the Amalfi coast line, its unique talent in music, their truly vivacious soccer fans and the age old tradition of handmade leather gloves. We hope to enjoy a bit of everything this Saturday as the Fiorentina embark on their 4th game of the season as guest in historic city of Napoli.
Friday night will be a delicious pizza out in town and we are relying on the expert information in Simona Piccinelli’s blog to lead us to the perfect pizza. The blog may be a bit old, but the best pizzerias are those that have withstood the test of time. Perhaps it will be possible to take in a concert or catch the Pizza Festival in Campania. Whatever we do, we know that in Napoli between the pizzas, the elaborate desserts and the delicious espresso we will go to bed with a full stomach.
Saturday we will roam the stores and street markets soaking in the colorful, loud and boisterous environment that abounds in Naples. Maybe we’ll do a little shopping. Interesting is the fact that both Naples and Florence have a long tradition in making leather gloves. Using the softest leather these two cities bring the level of glove craftsmanship to an art.
Then in the afternoon it is gametime – so we have no plans other than to cheer our team on to victory… ok maybe I am a little optimistic and certainly the victory last Wednesday has me dreaming a bit but what can I say, I was born this way! FORZA VIOLA!
Sunday we will take a tour to the Amalfi coast to explore the unique and extremely beautiful landscapes. We hear the temps are still toasty warm, so maybe we will even be tempted to dive into this crystal blue wonderland. Today, Amalfi maintains its fishing traditions, and has a number of fully functional, traditional, fishing boats. Amalfitans are also very proud of one of their most famous mariners, Flavio Gioia, the inventor of the compass. But we will probably be more interested in tasting the fish, the m0zzarella and an ice cold glass of Lemoncello before rushing back to Napoli to catch the train home to Firenze.
FORZA VIOLA once again, it’s the second game of the season. This is an away game and they are predicting rain in Udine. For those of you that are a little scarce on Italian geography, we will be going to one of the further-est north eastern corners of Italy so not only rain, but we can expect a dramatic drop in temps. Founded in 1896, Udinese is the second oldest club in the Serie A, so we need to be fashionably on top but with classic touches against this formidable competitor.
As we prepare, it’s good to remember that team colors when they are playing outside of the Florence stadium are normally white and red with accents of purple here and there!
We have pulled out our hipster white leather jacket, along with the classic lines in our firm embossed Pierotucci leather handbag filled with a red leather billfold and key ring (as well as our FORZA VIOLA flag!)
Since they are predicting bad weather, we will be carrying a red nylon umbrella with leather handle! And because we will be driving the wonderful curvy roads up to Friuli, we will add our red leather driving gloves!
Last (but never least) to bring a bit of good luck to the game we will wear a white gold pendent giglio, which is the classic symbol of both Florence, Italy and the Fiorentina team.
E via – the season begins! Pierotucci* and Florence …. are looking forward to the first Serie A Fiorentina soccer game at home against Bologna this Sunday (3PM). And to kick off the season, we will do it in the team colors – Viola a/k/a purple. I don’t know if we would actually show up to the stadium dressed like this – it is still way too hot outside and there is the slight possibility that we would draw attention away from the game, but we could wear it to our first (hopefully) victory dinner!!
Featured above is a very feminine leather hipster in a light shade of purple, paired with a black leather mini skirt, a fun silk scarf from Warner Brothers, and some beautiful gemstone earrings and bracelet from Empowerment Mineral Designs.
* At least most of us a Pierotucci, the one notable exception is my e-commerce colleague who insists in cheering for another team, which for obvious reasons can not be mentioned in the same article as the Fiorentina without bring all kinds of bad luck down upon us