Posts Tagged ‘Kathryn Stolarz’

Jamie and Kathryn enjoying the fruits of our labor with Maureen Fant

Jamie says:  For photos and stories of our day of cooking lessons with the infamous Maureen Fant (who wrote the William Sonoma Rome cookbook) and to see our homemade Roman lunch, please see Cooking Lessons in Rome on Two Sisters, One Kitchen.  See you there!

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Muesli with hot milk, nocciola yogurt, kiwi, and Nocita chocolate hazelnut spread

Jamie says:  The kind woman in charge of breakfast at Hotel Maxim again presented us with four of the coveted nocciola (hazelnut) yogurts. (There were still none in the little refrigerator at the breakfast bar…she must have been saving all of them for us.)  I enjoyed one along with muesli (uncooked oatmeal and dried fruit) with hot milk (no low fat or fat free milk options here).  I saved the kiwi and Nocita chocolate hazelnut spread for for later.

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J's salad

J's arugula pizza

K's antipasto

Jamie says:  We ate dinner at on a side street (at the restaurante Giannino) not far from the Duomo and our Florence “home” (aka hotel room).  I ordered a salad which turned out to have a rainbow of  veggies on top and an arugula pizza with some black olives. The pizza crust was  thin compared to American pizza.  We enjoyed eating outside.

Kathryn says: I was craving meat and cheese, so I ordered the antipasto platter for dinner. It came with thick slices of salami, paper-thin prosciutto, two blocks of provolone, arugula, bruschetta, chicken liver pate (which I gave to Mom since I’m not a fan of liver) and a little bowl of artichokes with olive oil and cooked mushrooms on the bottom. It was salty and oily and pungent – everything I was looking for (except for the liver, of course). Afterward, J and I met some nice Italian locals and chatted on the steps of the Duomo. We picked up a few more Italian words, like tesoro, which means darling.

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Coffee, mint chocolate chip, and Bocci gelato

Jamie says:  We stopped at a gelateria called Gelateria Brivido (Via Pellegrini 1), right off Piazza del Campo in the medieval town of Siena. We agreed upon coffee, mint chocolate chip, and Bocci gelato.  Again K and I had our favorites and found them delicious!  I’d definitely recommend the place!

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Nonna's handwritten menu

Bread and Pellegrino

Gnocchi in secret sauce

Greasy, garlicky chicken and roasted veggies

Sausage (Siena, Italy)

After meal liquors

Osteria Nonna Gina

Jamie says:  I navigated our way to Osteria Nonna Gina (Piano dei Mantellini 2;  by Hotel Duomo; tel. 0577-287-247;) in Siena using our Rick Steves guidebook.  Oh, lunch at Nonna’s.  It was a favorite, if not “the” favorite, meal of the trip for sure.  The gnocchi, pillows of soft goodness in a secret sauce (the only hint we got was that it was vegetarian) was to die for.  The greasy, garlicky chicken with veggies was just like my Grandma’s, meaning it was amazing. K enjoyed some of her sausage, but it was “very, very salty.”  With the bill came-surprise- two large bottles of liqueur and four little shot glasses.  We poured ourselves some amaretto and grappa, . Thank you Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook for the restaurant recommendation.

According to one of our waitresses during the trip, the word “osteria” means “one of those restaurants where the woman is working in the kitchen” (I took this to mean a family restaurant with good home-cookin’).  Nonna means Grandmother in Italian.  Since my cousin Ashley is pregnant and the first one to be having a baby among my first cousins, we started to think that maybe we would call my Grandmother “Nonna.”

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Nocciola (hazelnut) yogurts

Hard roll with Nocita chocolate hazelnut spread

Jamie says:  After expressing our love for the noccola yogurt, the kind woman who worked the kitchen of Hotel Maxim made special arrangements for us.  She saved us four nocciola yogurts and brought them out to me as soon as I arrived for breakfast.  I felt lucky.  I also enjoyed a hard roll with Nocita chocolate hazelnut spread and a kiwi.

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Red house wine

Fried zucchini flowers

Grilled vegetables

Pasta dish with olives in red sauce


Pear pecorino balsamic ravioli

Trattoria Da Garibardi

Jamie and Kathryn say: We were delighted to show Mom and Dad to a charming restaurant we found- Trattoria Da Garibardi (Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 38r – 50123 Florence, Italy; tel. 055212267; website: www.garibardi.it; email: info@garibardi.it). It served gluten-free pizza and pasta too – a rare find in the United States and in Florence. We sat outside under the cloth umbrellas. We shared a half liter of red house wine. We were also thrilled to order our first fried zucchini flowers, which Elizabeth Gilbert raved about in Eat, Pray, Love. The zucchini flowers were paper-thin with a light, salty fried coating.

J says:  I ordered grilled vegetables (it was nice to have some more veggies in addition to all the bread/pasta in the Italian meals) and a delicious pasta dish with olives and a red sauce.  With some parmesan cheese on top it was moto bene (very good).

K says:  For my appetizer, I ordered a salty, flavorful caponata of small chunks of oily eggplant, red peppers and green olives. For my main dish, I enjoyed pear pecorino balsamic ravioli. It was a nice, thinner pillow pasta with a savory mix of pear preserves and ricotta cheese drizzled fancily with light zigzags of balsamic vinegar reduction. Afterward, we wandered through the nearby paper store

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Cafe' Zero

Jamie says:  Mom ordered a Café Zero when we got our gelato.  She let us try some.  It’s a frozen, slushy coffee drink.  It was so good- just like a Starbucks Frappuccino!  K and I started looking for Café Zeros at other places and couldn’t seem to find them whenever we wanted one but  found them all the time whenever we didn’t want one.  They looked like they belong in a McDonalds (which we later discovered, some McDonalds do carry them).  I hope they sell them in the States, too.

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Pistachio, lavender and hazelnut Gelato

View from the top of Florence's Duomo

View from the top of Florence's Duomo

Climbing down the 463 steps of Florence's Duomo

Kathryn says: We were sitting on a bench facing a gelateria, and the little boy next to me was devouring a cone of vanilla in the mid-afternoon heat. Before you knew it, I was in the shop ordering myself a cup. The store is called “Perche No!,” which translates to “Why Not!” It claims to be Florence’s original gelato shop, open since 1939.

I always like to get two or three flavors for variety. The lavendar was my favorite yet – it had hints of vanilla and was light and refreshing. The pistachio had an intense nutty flavor, which Mom liked best; and the hazelnut was creamy with a subtle nut flavor. My taste buds were delighted.

Soon enough I was burning off the calories. Mom, J and I climbed 463 steps to the top of Florence’s gorgeous Duomo, where we had a towering view of the city – and then we climbed back down of course. Talk about the ultimate stair-stepper workout. Now, I have room for dinner!

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Fratellini in Firenze (sandwich shop)

Fratellini in Firenze (sandwich shop)

Wine shelf on storefront wall

Prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich with lettuce and arugula

Salami, artichoke and goat cheese sandwich

J & K and our sandwiches

Our family eating lunch on a bench

Jamie says:  After strolling through the Uffitzi Museum (my favorite piece of art was The Birth of Venus), we grabbed lunch at a tiny sandwich shop called Fratellini in Firenze (not far from the Duomo in Florence).  Walking by, if you blink you might miss it.  It was so charming and bustling with people.  The customers sat on the curb of the street and ate their sandwiches and drank wine.  The wine glasses were then returned to a little shelf built in the exterior of the wall of the store front.  Quite charming indeed.  There was a line; we got in it and someone from the restaurant passed out a little piece of paper with the menu on it (one side in English, the other side in Italian).  I ordered a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich and asked for lettuce or arugula on it (surprisingly, the man was happy to give me both).  Kathryn ordered a prosciutto sandwich with provolone, artichoke, and arugula.  Dad found a nice bench on the next street and we sat, ate our tasty little sandwiches, and made friends with a couple from Miami who were on vacation with their young boy.  He was eating a gelato; we would soon be, too…

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