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Italian Coffee Dance

Been thinking a lot about Italy lately, and how much I miss it, and my dear friend who lives just outside of Milan. Strangely, when I think of our trip to northern Italy, the food that comes to mind isn’t pasta or wine or even risotto — it’s chocolate croissants and cappuccino. Each and every morning began at a coffee bar, usually at Milano Centrale train station, where there were no tables or chairs — something we are acutely  unaccustomed to here in the states. The ritual began as we lined out the door to wait to order and pay, then…shuffled to the next line for our pastry…shuffled to the next line for our cappuccino…squeezed our way up to the bar for an uber-quick consumption, then we were on our way as the next coffee monsters pushed their way up to the bar. It’s one of the most efficient processions I’ve ever been in!

Fashion and the Foodie:

How to pack for the IFBC
(International Food Blogger Conference)

It’s just a matter of weeks until the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle, and on my travel to-do list, that means it’s about time to start thinking about what I’m going to pack.

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A little bit about this conference: the IFBC is presented by Foodista.com and Zephyr Adventures. This will be the fifth iteration of this conference, and my second attendance. The agenda focuses on three themes: Food, Writing, and Technology for the food and lifestyle blogger, and is populated by some big names in food journalism and photography: Dorie Greenspan, James Beard award winning cookbook author; Andrew Scrivani,  New York Times Dining section photographer; Kathleen Flinn, best selling author and food writer; and many more folks on the genius scale.

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Easter Eggs & Powdered Strawberries

Easter, for some, is a sacred and religious day. For me, not so much. Like Thanksgiving, I see Easter as being a day to bring your family together, enjoy a good meal and reconnect.

What I remember from childhood was a house bursting with children and adults, family and friends. “The Red House”, as it was coined many years ago, is a two-storey red farmhouse built by my great-grandfather in the early 1900’s. Generations have come and gone, and when I was a child, my grandmother and her sister lived there together. This was the site of many Easters and Christmas Eves, and as I was making strawberry cupcakes for my own Easter this year, the luscious smell of fresh strawberries took me back to those gatherings gone by.

Every year my grandmother would pile fresh strawberries on a glass cake pedestal, all surrounding a small bowl of powdered sugar. That was it. Strawberries and sugar. So simple, so enough. Small hands and faces would be dusted in powdered sugar all day long, as the pile of strawberries seemed to be magically endless.

I also remember hunting Easter eggs before any food was consumed. There were nine of us grandchildren for most of my childhood, and after hunting all of the eggs, my grandmother would have us line up out the front door in an orderly fashion, and she would come along and take two eggs from each of us for deviled eggs and potato salad. We were never happy about this, after all, we just worked so hard to find them! But it was Grams, and you didn’t argue.