Monday, June 30

A Bellissima Italian Wedding

Our first Italian wedding - Fabio & Sami - it was perfect!
Fabio is not only a friend & saint (he has helped us with many many things & made it possible for us to be in Italy with a proper visa) but he is also our commercialista (tax, lawyer-like, advisor on all things business related) as well as super techno savvy - loves sms (text messaging)..
He has married the lovely, sweet Sami. She is just adorable & has always been sooo kind to us!

The ceremony was held in the prestigious Duomo di Urbino

Then off to the Furlo gorge -an incredibly beautiful & romantic spot! Mangiamo! (Let's eat!)
Oh & eat we did. Jason prepared & went on a hunger strike for about 24 hours before the big day - ready to eat! We had heard so many stories about the legendary Italian weddings that go on for hours & eat like 9 courses...was this to be true, we were prepared to find out!
We can happily report- they did not disappoint!
The food - oh where to begin - the antipasti! Oh I could have had that all night - fresh fish: lobster, scallops in the shell, frutte di mare (mixed seafood)...too much to even list - let's just say it was good eats!
After antipasti we had to rally back because not only were there 2 different pasta dishes, there were 3 (yes 1, 2, 3) meat courses!! It's called pacing yourself, and it's hard when everything is sooo good! You think, OK I'll just have a bite of that one, then when it hits your lips, you're thinking - oh man, that's not bad at all. This is were the trouble is - because the whole time I kept thinking - dessert will be coming, dessert - 2 dessert courses- will be coming soon!!

9 hours & 9 courses later....

The funniest part of the evening was when their group of close friends put on a sort-of-skit with the bride & groom acting out scenes.
Here Sami had to "Prove you can Cook" she had to make pasta - and as you can see in the picture Fabio couldn't even watch! It was really hysterical to see her in this apron over her bellissima dress, with dough all over, making pasta right there in the middle of their reception! Other skits had the bride & groom jumping rope and chopping wood!

We had a wonderful evening - had a chance to meet new people, catch up with new friends, and experience another memorable night in Italy!
Grazie mille Fabio e Samantha per tutto ~ Tantissimi Auguri!!

Wednesday, June 25

Amore in Le Marche ~ Romantic Getaway Package

3 Nights, Dinner with Wine, Horseback Riding, Culinary Lesson & Wine Tasting - 460 Euro

We will welcome you to bella Italian with a glass in hand of local Prosecco!  Relax by the pool, watch for shooting stars at night, follow the winding river or hike into the woods - enjoy the tranquility and be in a hurry to go no where....
Apartment Pesca is yours for 3 nights & 4 days - Kitchen (stocked with pots & pans, serving & kitchen staples for cooking), bedroom & ensuite bathroom with private entrance.  The Farmhouse is classic rustic Italian country with wood beam ceilings, tile floors, exposed stone & cozy fireplaces.
Candle-lite dinner for 2 with complimentary house wine.  Four course feast includes vino, antipasti, primi, secondi, dolce, digestivo & caffe.  
Heat it up in the kitchen with a custom cooking class from hand rolled fresh pasta, tiramisu or firing up the outdoor wood oven!

Saddle up & head into the hills of Le Marche on horseback for breathtaking views.

Have your glass & filled again at our local enoteca for a wine tasting of local Marche wines - Bianchello del Metauro, Rosso Piceno, Lacrima di Morra Alba, Verdecchio di Jesi and more!
*Subject to availability. Includes apartment rental, cleaning, lights, dinner, wine with dinner, horseback riding excursion, wine tasting & all taxes. Price is high season rate.

For more information:

Wednesday, June 18

Lentil Salad

Everyone loves this dish - even if they don't think they like lentils. It light & fresh - perfect for summer!
Serves about 6
1 1/2 cups green lentils
1 seedless english cucumber
1 medium red onion
Handful of mint & parsley (cleaned & picked off the stem)
Juice of one lemon
Salt & pepper
1/2 of a yellow onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil

In a pot, place lentils, 1/2 yellow onion & garlic cloves with skin removed.  Cover lentils with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce flame & simmer for 25-35 minutes until lentils are tender - BUT NOT MUSHY. It might be necessary to add a little more water during cooking process as lentils absorb the water.

When lentils are tender drain.  Pick out onions & garlic, discard.

Peel cucumber, slice lengthwise & remove seeds.  Dice into small pieces about the size of a lentil.  Dice the red onion to the same size as well.  Chop parsley & mint.  When lentils are cool, combine with above ingredients.

Juice the lemon & combine with double the amount of olive oil (1 part lemon juice/2 parts olive oil) and dress salad. Season with salt & pepper.

Monday, June 9

Review in Donna Moderna - Hot Off The Presses!

Mamma Mia! We have our first review in a magazine & not just any magazine but Italy's most successful woman's magazine for over 16 years - Donna Moderna. (Think People Magazine mixed with Marie Claire for example, with a full mix of celebrities, beauty, travel & food) The June 11th issue!!
This is just incredible - we can't believe it!!

Translated in English:
A Fairytale Farmhouse 
I am Alessia from Milan and I would like to share about a marvoulous farmhouse Ca'Camone, in the area of Sant'Angelo in Vado, about 20 km from Urbino.  It is managed by a young couple, Jason & Ashley, they came from America after they became enamored with Italy (during their honeymoon!).  The plates presented by Jason, who was a Chef in New York, are sublime, the place is charming and the price is right. The activity has just begun and I hope that passing along by word of mouth is beneficial.

In Italiano
Un agriturismo da favola
"Sono Alessia da Milano e vorrei segnalare il meraviglioso agriturismo Ca' Camone (, nella zona di Sant'Angelo in Vado, a circa 20 chilometri da Urbino (tel.331/5252753).  E gestito da una giovane coppia di sposi, Jason e Ashley, venuti dall'America dopo essersi innamorati dell'Italia (durante il loro viaggio di nozze!).  I piatti preparati da Jason, che era chef a New York, sono sublimi, il posto e' incantevole e i prezzi stracciati.  L'attivita' e' agli inizi e io spero in un benefico passaparola!"
- Donna Moderna, 11 Giugno 2008

Sunday, June 8

A Culinary Holiday - Pizza Class Al Fresco!

Enjoy the recipe below & pics from our recent Pizza making class.
The Students:
Nick & Cynthia - our happy newlyweds from Long Island, NY!
Meet the Maduzia's - a fiercely competitive Mother & daughters trio! (kinda sounds like a reality tv show)

Classic Pizza Dough Recipe
1 3/4 lb. strong white bread flour (Italian type 00)
1 1/2 Cups fine ground semolina flour
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
1/4 oz. envelope active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
just over 2 cups lukewarm water

You don't need an outdoor wood burning oven to make this- it will totally taste better, but why not give it a try at home - just spend about 20 bucks for a pizza stone for your oven or try it on the BBQ!

Pile the flours & salt onto a clean surface & make a 7-inch well in the center.

Add your yeast & sugar to the lukewarm water, mix up with a fork & let sit for a few minutes - then pour into the well.

Using a fork & circular movement, slowly bring in the flour from the inner edge of the well & mix into the water.  It will look like a thick mush - continue to mix, bringing in all the flour.

When the dough comes together & becomes too hard to mix with your fork, flour your hands & begin to pat it into a ball.
Knead the dough by rolling it backward & forward, using your left hand to stretch the dough towards you & your right hand to push the dough away from you at the same time.

Repeat this for 10 minutes, until you have a smooth springy, soft dough.

Flour the top of your dough, put it in a greased bowl, cover with a towel & let stand  couple hours until it doubles in volume.

Roll it out on a floured flat surface.

Let the toppings begin!

Now the tricky part of getting into the oven. 
(Tanja's got her game face on!)

(Notice how Theresa looks like an old pro!)

Watch carefully turning it a bit - then pull out after about 2 minutes!


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