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“You’re going where?”, one of our guests was asked by a friend. “Lake Como? Say hi to George for me (chuckle, chuckle)”. “No”, he replied. “We’re going to Lake Garda.” “Where’s that?”, responded the friend. Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know that Lake Garda is the largest lake in […]

Travel

Postcards from Lake Garda 2016

Group at San Rocco

Mother Nature is a strange bird – one year ago the grape harvest was in full swing for our Prosecco Tour. This year, the long hot summer delayed the harvest a week which the experts say will make for an excellent Prosecco year. Seeing the vines full and heavy with juicy grapes ripening in the glorious Italian […]

Travel, Wine and Cocktails

Postcards from Prosecco Tour 2016

Group in Prosecco Vineyard

A meal is not complete in Italy without drinking a “digestivo”, or an after dinner drink at the end of the meal. A good Grappa, Amaro, Sambuca or Limoncello sipped after dinner is thought to help one’s food digest and settle the stomach. Everyone has their favorite and Limoncello, a lemon liqueur produced mainly in the […]

Dessert, Recipes

Biscotti al Limoncello (Limoncello Cookies)

I’m not a book club person. Not for any particular reason.  I enjoy reading, but just don’t like discussing a book for more than about 20 seconds. However… a cookbook club? Now we’re talking, since cookbooks and recipes I can discuss ad nauseum. My friend Roseann, an amazing cook, is always planning parties and events.  She […]

Books

A Cookbook Club And Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Last summer, on a very hot and steamy July night, my daughter and I arrived a few minutes early for our reservation at Scarpetta on West 14th Street in New York. The restaurant had been on our list for quite a while but for some reason we just never quite got there. I was looking […]

Recipes, Wine and Cocktails

San Remo {The Cocktail} and a Simon Pearce Giveaway

San Remo Cocktail

The year I graduated from college and moved to New York, I had a fall ticket series to the New York City Opera with a work friend. I didn’t know much about opera and still don’t, but seeing the magnificent performances of Madame Butterfly and Tosca at Lincoln Center are forever etched in my memory. […]

Brunch, Dessert, Lake Garda, Recipes, Travel

La Torta Paradiso (Paradise Cake)~Maria Callas Style

Paradise Cake

From drinking Prosecco in the vineyards of Valdobbiadene to boating through the Venetian lagoon, we experienced it all.  Prosecco was the theme of our trip and included many glasses of the sparkling wine, but we also dug a little deeper into this extraordinary region, northwest of Venice. We had an absolutely fantastic group of people who experienced first hand […]

Travel, Wine and Cocktails

Postcards from Prosecco

Vineyard

  My trip through the Venetian Lagoon was phenomenal and the stunning sites and scenery will be forever etched in my mind. Especially the food. And of course the Prosecco. When I see something wonderful to eat, my heart beats just a little bit faster. In the case of the sensational Fritto Misto (fried squid and shrimp) served on the boat, it […]

Dessert, Recipes, Travel

Esse Buranei and Bussolà (Cookies from Burano)

Esse Buranei or Bussola

First, a bit of Italian geography – the 57 mile long Sile River in northern Italy flows through beautiful countryside, the historical city of Treviso, and empties into the Venetian Lagoon. The Venetian Lagoon is an enclosed bay in the Adriatic Sea where the city of Venice is situated among 118 other islands and archipelagos. […]

Travel, Wine and Cocktails

A Day on the Venetian Lagoon

Fritto Misto

If you’re on Facebook and follow Ortensia Blu (you do, right?) you’ve seen lots of really nice photos and videos from my trip to the gorgeous Prosecco region earlier this month. And if you’re not on Facebook, I don’t want you to feel left out so I’ll catch you up on a few things. First of […]

Food Production, Travel, Wine and Cocktails

A Glass of Prosecco Awaits You

Le Volpere Prosecco

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