this is our Christmas cake

*3-layer cake for Christmas dinner
*1: chocolate torte (bittersweet chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, flour)
*2: nutella mousse (nutella, heavy whipping cream, coffee powder)
*3: peppermint creme (heavy whipping cream, mint extract, confectioner's sugar)
*blackberries, hershey's candy cane kisses

this is caramel popcorn

*on Christmas day, Naomi and I made caramel popcorn
(yellow popcorn kernels, oil, salt, sugar, butter, toasted pecans)

this is christmas eve breakfast

*Christmas "latkes" (potatoes, egg, flour, salt); stovetop Lavazza espresso

Note: My trip home from Europe was a huge ordeal because of the weather conditions. I was stuck at the airport for 3+ days and in the process, lost all of my luggage, including my laptop, cameras, and hard drives with every photo I've ever taken. I am trying to forget about this and just move on. Back to square one.


this is one treasure of the Italians

*what we call espresso, they call caffe. what we call coffee, they call toilet water.

i will miss standing at the bar with Italians taking my espresso. i will miss the ubiquity of the small espresso cups. i will miss always having frothy espresso.


this is how i entered the world

*exactly twenty years ago on this day, she was my vessel into this world...

...and it was not an easy task - so I am turning the tables and saying it to you Mom - Happy Birthday.


this is blue

*today feels a little like this. it is really cold in Firenze right now.


this is starting to look a lot like Christmas

*small German Christmas market at Santa Croce (more pictures at my tumblr)
*spice booth = heaven on earth.

favorite things list:

*on a side note, the Italian word for Christmas is Natale, and as that word is very popular during this season and I frequently mistake that word for my name, Natalie, I am going little crazy thinking that I am seeing my name everywhere, on billboards, storefronts, posters, etc.


this is a hot bath before dinnertime

*May 2010, in Hokkaido, Japan, touring the hot springs in the area. Every day we bathed three times - once upon waking, once before dinnertime, and once before going to bed. The biting cold weather made the hot springs feel extra nice. It was so lush and green and rainy at the time.


this is gratitude for the immaculate conception

*today is an Italian holiday, Festa dell' Immacolata Concezione, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, so we have no school, thank goodness
*slow morning reading Crimson FM, random tidbits about Michelangelo, and other miscellany
*apples, yogurt, muesli, granola, seeds, cinnamon, raisins, hazelnuts, lots of chocolate; orange-cinnamon black tea


this is an acceptable way to start the day


*English breakfast at Aster House in South Kensington, London
*poached egg, scrambled eggs, baked beans, salt & pepper
*wheat toast (i would like a toast rack)


this is atypical but good


*cheese fondue at dinner. i like the flavor of cheese and white wine together.

*federica eats like an american: frozen chicken nuggets and mayonnaise.


this is la gioia del mio cuore


*precious hours spent with my favorite person in the world eating and talking and watching and loving and listening on the Giudeca Canal waterfront in Dorsoduro, Venice (at La Piscina restaurant)


this is vendredi in paris


* a cloyingly sweet macaron au chocolat et aux noisettes from gerard malot. brace yourself for a shocking and heretical statement: i do not like macarons.

* good ole mona at the louvre

* beautiful french katrine, the 70-year-old version of me with whom i can only mime and gesture

* light earl grey for afternoon tea in the parlor room

this is my daily bread

* bread platter in Rome