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Showing posts from April, 2009

Day 11: Florence, Italy....A Day of Gorgeous Museums!

Ciao! Day 11 was another fabulous day in the gorgeous city of Florence, Italy. It was kicked off with a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel - prosciutto, salami, croissants, boiled eggs, peaches, and coffee...yum! After breakfast, we grabbed our Florence map and headed towards the Uffizi Gallery to see some amazing artwork. The concierge at the hotel was nice enough to make us a reservation. So, once we walked to the gallery we could spend our extra time taking photos of the square instead of standing in line. The gallery was very pretty. I was most excited about seeing Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" and "Primavera", as well as Titian's "Venus of Urbino" and several works by Da Vinci. I love Botticelli's work. He's known for his beautiful faces, and I can certainly see why. His paintings were even larger than I had expected. Uffizi Gallery! They didn't allow any photography in the Florence museums...I wish we could have taken some photo

The Daring Bakers Conquer Cheesecake!

***The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes . She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. Before this month's Daring Bakers Challenge, I had only made cheesecake a few times. There's something about cheesecake that makes you think it's complicated. However, it really isn't hard at all. The trick comes in getting the cheesecake to be the perfect consistently, while keeping it from cracking. If it's over-cooked, it's sure to crack...be careful! This recipe truly is delicious! It is smooth, creamy, and simply scrumptious! You can get as creative as you want with it. I topped my cheesecake with a simple blueberry pie filling, and freshly sliced lemon was the perfect finishing touch. I loved the color contrast of the blue and yellow on the top of the cake. If you're a cheesecake fan, you've got to try this recipe!*** Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake: CRUST: 2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs 1 stick / 4 oz butte

EASY Spinach & Ricotta Tortelloni with Meat Sauce

Alrighty friends...this dish was inspired by my lunch at "I Ghibellini" in Florence, Italy on Day 10 of our European trip. I wrote about it in the post below this one. I came across Barilla's Spinach & Ricotta Tortelloni in the grocery store the other day. It reminded me of my wonderful lunch in Italy, so I bought what I needed to re-create the dish. Although it was tortelloni instead of ravioli, it was still stuffed with ricotta and spinach...just like my yummy dish in Italy. This one was incredibly easy to cook...it was finished in a flash! The taste was wonderful. The main criteria was a meaty sauce that wasn't too thick. I think I achieved that with this dish. If you need a quick , satisfying weekday meal...try this one! You'll love it!!! Ingredients: 1/2 lb. ground beef 1 small onion 1 tbsp. parsley, minced 1 package Barilla Spinach & Ricotta Tortelloni 1 can Hunt's Tomato Sauce Garlic Powder, to taste Directions: Brown ground beef in a ski

Day 10: Florence, Italy!

Wow...Florence is beautiful! Our train arrived right on time and we caught a taxi to our hotel - Hotel Monna Lisa . It was only about 5 minutes from the station. This hotel was probably my favorite...it is SO gorgeous. As you walk in, there are tons of different "Mona Lisa" paintings. Each one is different from the last and some of them are very funny. We stayed in Room #43...it was beautiful! It had red fabric on the walls instead of wallpaper (very classy!), pretty furniture, a red/white tiled bathroom and a balcony that overlooked the gorgeous courtyard. The courtyard smelled divine as we walked through...even though it was cold outside. On the train...Florence, here we come! Our room at Hotel Monna Lisa...we loved this hotel!!! The view from our balcony... After we got settled in our room, we went down and asked the hotel staff where we could grab a great bite to eat for lunch. They suggested a place called "I Ghibellini." Wow...our meal there was incredible