Gelati a Piazzale Michelangelo

Sunday, April 23, 2017

20+ gelato flavors were on the dinner menu at Piazzale Michelangelo last night for Colleen, Vasudha, Louis, Steven, and me! I didn’t get a chance to go to the gelato festival that happened when we first arrived in Florence, so I made sure I went to the Firenze Gelato Festival Europe 2017. We each paid 13 euros for a wristband and a list of gelato stalls to check off. We took breaks from testing small cones by watching the golden sunset with hundreds of others. The view from up there never gets old.

My favorite flavor was mango, because it was so powerful; I felt like I was eating a legit mango. The oddest flavor I tried was curry. All the flavors were unique in taste and texture! It was really fun trying so many. We all experienced a sugar rush and decided to take a cab home which was silly but out of the ordinary.

Aside from the gelato and mass amount of people, there were fun games to play, upbeat music, and people juggling scoops of gelato. I would recommend attending this iconic event in the future! xo ~ e.

Top CheFFE Champion 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I had another ‘dream come true’ moment tonight when I was crowned Top CheFFE Champion! The Marist Italy student workers threw a friendly (but oh so serious) cooking competition that four teams participated in. It was set up like “Chopped.” We had to include:

  • lemon
  • chicken breast
  • raspberries
  • zucchini
  • cheese
  • secret ingredient (pickled cabbage)

in one master creation within 75 minutes!

I am embarrassingly very bossy in the kitchen, but Colleen could handle the heat; she was the perfect sous chef! She helped clean while I cooked, tasted everything, and mashed the cheesy mashed potatoes before forming two perfect quenelles of them.

I didn’t plan the dish before I started cooking at 7 PM; the inspiration just came to me! I served the three judges a plate I called “Chicken Two Ways.” Mom’s breaded chicken tenders on a bed of cauliflower rice with caramelized shallots. Baked zucchini on a pickled cabbage purée. Cheesy mashed potatoes. And shredded lemon chicken with pepper on top of a raspberry compote with Granny Smith apples.

It’s so nerve-racking watching people eat your food then give you feedback! The judges said it was delicious. ‘Restaurant quality.’ I especially loved the compliment “I’m impressed you didn’t hide the secret ingredient; it wasn’t just a garnish. You turned it into something really tasty that worked with the dish.”

I ran out of time, so I didn’t take a picture of my dish, but it’s the one on the bottom left in Marist Italy’s Instagram post. The prize was an adorable apron with the Top CheFFE title! When they announced ‘Emma and Colleen’, I immediately thought of the cookie bake-off at Emma Willard (that Nicki and I never officially won). This victory was much sweeter than losing two years in a row over chocolate chip cookies! xo ~ e.

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Foody Farm

Thursday, April 6, 2017

One week down of second quarter! This week I have been so busy trying to get organized and back into the groove of things; I didn’t have much time to do actual schoolwork! I’ll catch up this weekend though.

This morning in philosophy class we had a debate on whether God is the intelligent designer of the world. I was assigned to the pro-God group, and for the first time, I was forced to directly think about how things came to be and if God did create the first form of matter. According to Aquinas’ Five Ways, God is the…

  1. First mover
  2. First cause
  3. Necessary being
  4. Greatest being
  5. Intelligent designer

My group used these factors as the main points for our argument. After the debate, our professor asked us for our personal opinions. Science and evolution can only prove so much. I think that there had to be someone/something that created the world, a systematic society, and gave things purpose; however, I’m not sure I would link it to a biblical figure. I did some journaling about it after. Philosophy definitely makes you ponder!

Letters are en route to Granny, Caroline, and Gracie after an hour at Café Oblate! The Duomo looked stunning against the overcast background.

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One of my favorite places to write

I made dinner reservations earlier this week at Foody Farm, a place I’ve always wanted to try. Julia and I (UVM study abroad student from home) caught up and filled each other in on our spring break travels. She went to Sicily! The food we had was really good– a healthy spin on American classics. It’s the same owners as Fishing Lab, I believe! I got fried ricotta ravioli, a pulled pork pancake sandwich, and a custom, fresh salad. Couldn’t say no to the 2.50 euro glass of vino rosso! Spending two hours over a good plate of food and conversation buys much more than an outfit at Zara ever could. xo ~ e.

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16.78 Miles in Amsterdam 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

This photo blog features a full day of walking all over Amsterdam! We ate a delicious breakfast at one of my all time favorite cafes I’ve been to thus far in Europe. I was in a Holland(aze)! We saw people exercising in the park, dogs in baskets enjoying a bike ride, and people buying flowers to welcome spring. Sasha’s friend from high school met us for the day; he’s studying at university a couple hours away via train. We had a coffee pick me up at the cafe in our hostel. We really lucked out with our accommodation! Had to stroll through the Red Light District. Tomorrow we will check out the Anne Frank House. Clocks change for us tonight! xo ~ e.

Mara’s Crocodile Soup

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Happy March 1st! How is it the third month of 2017 already?! Spring is near, friends. Mara and Gerhard generously recently shared the best recipe for crocodile soup with me. My project yesterday was shopping at two local produce markets (Sant’Ambrogio Market and the Mercato Centrale) and cooking soup in my apartment. I managed to scrape by with my basic Italian (granted I had to use Google Translate in order to say ‘leek’ and ‘celery’). Nevertheless, I was proud of myself! I was even more proud of how the soup turned out. I stuck exactly to the recipe, and it paid off. Lunch & dinner for the next couple days!

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Produce fresh from the markets

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Flavors meshing

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Mangia, mangia!

I also wanted to share the history assignment I turned in today– a one page reflection on Alexander Stille’s “Double Bind.” Today we started watching Life is Beautiful in class. Not the most uplifting movie to start your day off but it is a film worthy of watching. xo ~ e.

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Mamma Mia, So Many Pizzas!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Short blog post today since it’s 11 PM, and I am ready for bed! Today was great though. I participated in my Holocaust class (my goal is to raise my hand in every class), had a cheap brunch at Le Vespe Café with Sarah (toast with Nutella for 2 euros), finished The Matrix, worked on my fashion project, attended two career services meetings, and ate pizza (with Colleen, Sasha, Jill, and Colleen’s very sweet parents)! Not too shabby for a Wednesday. xo ~ e.

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My fashion adaptation project in the making

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Santarpia

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Love at first bite

Acqua al Due

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oggio ho mangiato pasta con mi amica, Julia. Noi mangiato a Acqua al Due.

Today I ate pasta with my friend Julia. We ate at Acqua al Due.

It was delicious; we’ve both wanted to go there for a while! We chatted and ate our pasta dishes followed by a dessert sampler for two hours. It’s really nice having an older friend (and fellow Vermonter) outside of the FFE Program. We didn’t know each other during our time in Manchester, but we’re getting to know each other in Florence! It’s pretty cool. She recommended Cortona to me, and I gave her some tips for Budapest this weekend. We might make weekly lunch dates a thing, trying somewhere new every week! I told myself I would expand my eating out budget this semester so I can check out more restaurants and cafés in Florence while I can. There are so many in Florence, and I haven’t tried close to half.

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Dinner tonight consisted of a small cone of chocolate and peanut butter gelato at My Sugar! I was still full from my big bowl of pasta, and My Sugar is finally open after a winter break. Sasha and I had a nice walk before though to burn a few extra calories 🙂 I’m sore today, so it feels good to walk and loosen up.

In Philosophy class, we’re learning about Plato and his Forms theory. Part of our homework assignment is to watch The Matrix. I recall this to be a frightening film, but I am going to watch it with my classmates (and blanket of course).

This Tuesday was especially terrific with some Italian cuisine! xo ~ e.