Italian Farmer’s Market – Cortona

This weekend I went to my favorite market in Harrisburg and as I was strolling around I was thinking about my time in Italy and one of my absolute favorite days there! Of course all of my Italy days were some of my most favorite ever, but this one particular day is definitely up there in the books!

As a farmer’s market lover and designated foodie, I of course always look for fresh, local, yummy food places wherever I go! And Italy was no exception. My goal was to go to a little Italian farmer’s market on the side of the road…and I succeeded.

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It actually wasn’t that much different from our farmer’s markets here. All of the colors just seemed brighter and more colorful! I felt like a little kid in a candy store 🙂

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And why yes, that is a 30 pound watermelon!!! And yes it was delicious 😉

 

Next stop of the day was my favorite Italian town, Cortona! Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t love the bigger cities like Florence and Rome (I am still a city girl at heart 😉 ). We were in Italy in August, unfortunately during high tourist season, and the cities were jammed packed with tourists wherever you looked. So I loved the quieter, less crowded feel of the smaller Italian towns. And Cortona was my absolute favorite, but that could just be because that’s where I got my favorite pasta dish of the entire trip! 😉

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I mean doesn’t that just look heavenly!!!! Ravioli with pecorino cheese, olive oil, walnuts, and sage. I got it at Cortona Craft Brewery down a little side street just off of the center of town. (My mouth is watering, just writing about this dish! haha).

I’ve since tried to recreate it and here’s how it turned out:

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It was good, definitely not as good as the original, but good. I am still not completely happy with it though. I am thinking that I will just have to make my own ravioli and I definitely need to use pecorino cheese; I used parmesan cheese and it just didn’t have the right flavor! I will keep experimenting and share my recipe with you all when I perfect it 🙂 I know that I will never get it to taste as good as on that little side street in Cortona, but I would like to get it pretty darn close!

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We of course had to finish out the day with some gelato! I believe at this stop I had the strawberry, although the lemon everywhere was my absolute favorite. I enjoyed the fruiter flavors best, because it was just so hot!

And yes those are the nutrition facts, so of course I had to pose with them 😉

 

Hope that you enjoyed my latest post 🙂 I just have Florence and Rome left to share and then our tour of Italy will be over 😦

But, we will head back to America for more yummy Picky Girl recipes and adventures, so stay tuned!

Todi – Perugia – Arezzo – Siena

Hello everyone! So, I was on a foodie bus trip to NYC last weekend (yes it was just as amazing as it sounds!) and as I was walking around Eataly I realized that I really needed to catch up on my Italy posts for you guys! So, here you go:  “Italian cities blog tour part II!”

**Side note:  If you have never been to Eataly you need to go right away! It was amazing; I felt like I was back in Italy (well almost haha). We ordered a Spritz and cheese board and just soaked up the wonderful smells/sights. I also picked up a lot of yummy goodies of course. 😉 Including, homemade pasta, treats, and of course cheese!

Todi

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Todi was the cutest little town with both amazing food and views – a common theme in Italy! It sits on a hill and you have to take a trolley up in order to get to the top 🙂

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Perugia

Quick stop in Perugia for some chocolate (what they’re known for)!

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Arezzo

Arezzo, complete with a beard groomer in the square, delicious pasta, cute little shops, and the best souvenir ever (currently have it hanging in my office 😉 )! We also were there for a huge antique market that spanned down almost every street; it was fun to look around, everything from furniture to toys to clothes to doorknobs!

**If you recognize the name of this town, it was where some of “Life is Beautiful” was filmed; they have movie posters/pictures in a few spots around town.

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Siena

Gorgeous city! Took a little while to get to, but well worth it. Make sure to wear your walking shoes 🙂

**Tip:  when driving to Siena, you have to park on the outskirts of the city (you have to do this a lot in Italy). If you get there too late, the parking lot that you are trying to get to may be full, so without knowing where another lot is you may get a little lost. We also completely missed the escalators that go up to the top and did A LOT of extra walking…definitely got our steps in that day!!

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I hope that you enjoyed 🙂 Stay tuned for more; up next are some of my favorite adventures from the trip! Hint:  they have a lot to do with food 😉

Italy – Titignano

Happy Labor Day everyone (I just love days off, don’t you?!?). I am excited to share with you the first part of my Italian getaway:  Titignano! It is a beautiful castle near Orvieto with gorgeous views that of course include vineyards!

[Get ready for a long post with lots of pictures! 🙂 ]

 

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We got extremely spoiled with food and wine while we were there; it was hands down the best of both I think out of the entire trip!!

And I got to get in on the action too while I was there, I got the pleasure of taking a pasta-making class with the cutest Italian woman – 85, didn’t speak any English, and had made so much pasta that morning that she had to use 24 eggs!! I even got to keep my rolling pin 🙂 I want to try to make homemade pasta by myself, so stay tuned to see how that goes!

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The main (wonderful) reason as to why we were in Italy was to celebrate the wedding of two of my favorite people: Ed and Monica ❤ And let me tell you what…Italians know how to throw a wedding! It was amazing:  amazing food, amazing people, and an all around amazing time.

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And yes I ate wild boar and pheasant….can you believe it?!?!?!

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During the appetizer hour there was a chef making fresh mozzarella right there (middle, right picture)! It was so cool and I now really want to try and make it myself, so stay tuned for that as well! 🙂 Check out my Instagram for a full video!

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Congrats again to the beautiful couple! Thanks for sharing your special day with us 🙂 Love you and miss you both! (Come visit soon!)

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Italy

Buongiorno everyone! Finally back from Italy, over my jet lag, and ready to share all of the amazing details from my trip with you 🙂

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already gotten a little preview 😉 . But, stay tuned on here; I will be sharing with you all of the places that I went and of course all of the delicious food that I ate along the way! Here’s what to expect:

Titignano
Todi
Perugia
Arezzo
Siena
Italian Farmer’s Market
Cortona
Pienza and Montepulciano
Florence
Rome

Can’t wait to share it all with you 🙂 Also, I have some Italian recipes on the way too, so stay tuned!

Ciao,

Kristen

 

Burrata Caprese Salad

Happy Sunday friends! Lately, I have been loving making Caprese salads. Did you know that its colors are supposed to resemble the Italian Flag? They are super easy to make, light, fresh, and of course delicious! This Picky Girl still doesn’t care for raw tomatoes too much, but when you put them with any type of cheese – mmmmm mmmmmm good! Caprese  salad is just as delicious if you switch out the mozzarella for burrata, if not even more! Burrata is a cheese made from mozzarella and cream.

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What you need:

-Burrata
-Tomatoes
-Basil
-Salt
-Balsamic Glaze (You can add olive oil instead if you want to!)

It’s just that easy! Enjoy 🙂

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A Dietitian’s Review of HelloFresh

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Hello everyone! For the past few weeks we have been trying HelloFresh. Companies, like this one, have grown in popularity recently, so I’ve been wanting to try one and of course share with you what I thought about it! If you aren’t familiar with how HelloFresh works checkout their website. However, the gist of it is that they send you a box full of all of the ingredients you need to make a few recipes each week. The only ingredients that you need to provide yourself are salt, pepper, sugar, and oil. You can pick the Classic, Family, or Veggie plan. Each are about $10 per meal per person.

Recipes we tried:  (** = favorite)

  • Soy-Marinated Steak with Peanut Sauce and Crispy Broccoli
  • Fun-Day Fajita Bar
  • Gussied up Grits
  • One-Pan Pesto Tortelloni Bake with Asparagus and Parmesan**
  • Spanish-Style Cod with Chickpeas over Zucchini and Arugula
  • Cherry-Drizzled Pork Chops with Couscous Salad
  • Sweet Italian Sausages and Blistered Tomatoes over Cheesy Kale Polenta
  • Speedy Springtime Pasta
  • Penne with Sausage, Corn, and Zucchini
  • Asparagus and Prosciutto Tartines with Lemon Pepper Ricotta and a Potato Hash (tartines weren’t my favorite, however, the potato hash was really good!) **
  • Mario Batali’s Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes, Chorizo, and Basil
  • Italian Sausage and Veggie Skewers over Cheesy Herbed Orzo **
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Asparagus and Prosciutto Tartines

 

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Pesto Tortelloni Bake

 

As you can see we tried quite a few recipes! All of them were pretty good. I can’t say that any were absolutely the best most outstanding thing that I had ever tasted, but none of them were horrible. All were pretty tasty! Especially the Tortelloni Bake, the crispy of the topping was fantastic!

Pros:

  • Each recipe comes with nutrition info 🙂 (As a dietitian, you know that I was happy about this! All of them were pretty good; around 500-700 calories each serving – more info can be found on their website, including allergy info).
  • Step-by-step picture directions (super easy to follow!)
  • Creative, a lot of them I wouldn’t think of myself!
  • Easy, not very complicated recipes.
  • They send you everything, pre-measured, and labeled.
  • The ingredients are actually fresh! (I was really impressed by this!)
  • Well-packaged (includes ice packs, they put the meat on the bottom separated out so it doesn’t leak on the fresh items, and each recipe has its on box with everything you need).
  • We ordered for two people and it was enough for the three of us (for some of the dishes, like the pastas, we just had to add a bit more pasta that we already had on hand).

 

Here are some photos of the all of the ingredients laid out so that you get an idea:

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Fun-Day Fajita Bar

 

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Soy-Marinated Steak with Peanut Sauce and Crispy Broccoli (aren’t those soy sauce fish cute?!?!)

Cons:

  • Their website was a bit hard to use, I found the app to be much easier.
  • Don’t offer a plan for only one person, however, you could order it for two and then stretch each recipes out for two meals (don’t offer a three person meal plan either).
  • None of the tastes absolutely wowed me (all got a good rating though!)

 

It was honestly really nice to come home, grab the box, grab the directions and just get going. I don’t know about you, but in my family by the time we all get home, catch up about the day, and then start thinking about dinner plans it gets to be about 8 o’clock at night. It was awesome to not have to think after a long day; everything was already thought out for you! It was also pretty fun to cook the recipes together (my dad got really into it haha) and then critique them and rate our favorites.

We have stopped our order for now, but plan to pick it back up again in the fall/winter when fresh ingredients aren’t as readily available in our area.

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think (I don’t think that you will be disappointed)!

 

(**These are my honest opinions; I received no compensation for my comments**)

Quincy Market – Massachusetts

Hello everyone! I’m finally back! What do you think of the new look? It is officially summertime for me and I am ready to get back into the blogging world. I am looking forward to new summer recipes and adventures that I can share with all of you!

My first summer adventure was another stop on my 50 by 50 tour in Boston, Massachusetts. I chose Qunicy Market at Faneuil Hall for my Massachusetts stop. My friend and I were still full from a big breakfast, so we just had a few snacks while we were there, but it was still a neat place to walk around. I would love to go back sometime when I’m more hungry to try more yummy treats! We went on a Monday and it seemed like a lot of folks were there on their lunch break; which I would absolutely love to have a place near my office to go to like this for lunch. Maybe someday! 🙂

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They had rows and rows of stands with all sorts of food; everything from gourmet desserts to Italian to Boston favorites to Chinese:

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The inside was so cool!

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Had some Boston ice cream: 🙂

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I also tried some clam chowder, which I did enjoy, don’t pay attention to the look on my face….obviously I was a little hesitate to try it, but this Picky Girl did like it!

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Also, ran into a few old friends 🙂

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