macros…

Week 30: Macro
well since I do not have a macro lens I just pretended πŸ™‚

I love both of these….I think they would look great framed in our kitchen!!
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Roma…Ostia Antica

one day while we were in Rome we caught the train to Ostia
Ostia is probably 15 miles away from Rome and on the Mediterranean Sea.  
We went to Ostis Beach first then to Ostia Antica, which is a ruined town.
The beach…was not like the beach here in SC
definitely not as much beach, definitely a little dirtier, and the swim suits were definitely a little smaller or non existent πŸ˜‰

we just stayed out there long enough for me to find some shells and stand in the sea…
it was a pretty hot day and we had lots of walking still to do
we hoped back on the train and got off at the Ostia Antica stop

The ruins were impressive…
it was an entire town
houses…
shop lines streets…

and even fast food restaurants πŸ˜‰

we are glad that we took a day trip to Ostia
it was packed full of history and I even got to see the beach!!!

Roma…Appian Way

on our anniversary we went to Appian Way.  It was the only road into Rome back in the day. 
We rented 2 bikes and just rode and took in all of the sights!
our bikes

it took me a few minutes to re teach myself how to ride a bike…it has been a few years since I have ridden one πŸ™‚  Those rocks were killers too!!!  I though I was going to bust all of my teeth out…good thing I didn’t

the sights

appain way was so peaceful and beautiful
and riding bikes with my husband made it even better!
would be a perfect place to have a picnic!!!

Roma…the ruins

Roma has plenty of ruins…just in the middle of the city.  They are everywhere….I think that is one thing that really makes Rome unique.  
We made sure to soak in lots of the Roman history while we were there.
We visited Palentine Hill, the Forum, and the Colosseum one of our days.  
Definitely worth the time and little bit of money.  I would suggest going to see them in that order as well…the lines are SO much shorter at Palentine Hill and the ticket you get there will get you into all three places! (and you get to skip the LOOOONG line at the Colosseum!!  
Trust me you DO NOT want to stand in that line!
Palentine Hill

the beautiful view!

the forum

I just love all of the old  columns

the colosseum 

the ruins are a must see part of Rome in my opinion. 
 It is amazing that they have been preserved so we can see them today!  
more trip updates coming soon!

the cooking class

Andre signed us up to take a cooking class while we were in Rome…and anyone that knows me knew that was music to my ears.  Since I LOVE food, cooking, and of course eating!  
This cooking class was held at Chef Andrea’s restaurant Le Fate (in the Trastevere part of Rome). 
One of the best parts of Andrea’s restaurant is that it is a 0 km restaurant (meaning that he gets all of his food locally… grown and made!). We had such a great time cooking, laughing, and talking…not to mention that I really learned so much about Roman cuisine.  
Like did you know that, the skin of garlic is where all of the nutrients are found!?!
Well I know all of you are wondering just what we made…
all of the ingredients…all fresh from the market that morning

after admiring and taking lots of pictures we started cooking…
I sliced tomatoes and then fried some eggplant…yum!
the tomatoes, arugula, and eggplants
up close of the fried eggplant…
the colors are just SO pretty…tomatoes, basil, arugula, and eggplant

and of course we made fresh pasta…this pasta is called “priest choker” πŸ˜‰
Andre rolled lots of this pasta…he was a master pasta roller!!!
we stuffed some zucchini flowers with prosciutto and mozzarella
my mouth is watering just looking at this picture!
one of the tomato sauces that we made…I helped a lot with this one πŸ™‚

 so after all of our hard work we ( all 12 of us) sat down at a table out in the restaurant
the place setting

the appetizer: zucchini flowers with prosciutto and mozzarella and Southern Style pesto
also know as …Fiori di Zucca dorati e ripieni con prosciutto e mozzarella con Pesto alla Trapanese
the pesto sauce

man were these good!!!!

then for the first course: fresh homemade pasta with a fresh tomato, basil,and ricotta cheese
Strozzapreti al Pomodoro fresco, basilico e ricotta 
*didn’t andre do a great job with the pasta πŸ™‚

second courses: paper thin beef with arugula, cherry tomatoes and shaves of parmesan
Straccetti di Manzo con Pachino, Rughetta e Scaglie di Parmigiano
the steak was so tender and sweet
Eggplant Parmigiana
Parmigiana di Melanzane
then a side dish: sauteed flat bean with cherry tomatoes
Fagiolini Corallo ripassati in padella

and of course DESSERT: Tiramisu
TiramisΓΉ

us during the meal

the entire group…a couple from Murells Inlet (SC), us, a couple from New York City, 2 friends from Estonia that just graduated from medical school, a couple from Canada, and a mom and son from Sweden
we had such a great time together!!!

my two new friends from Estonia!!!
this cooking class was amazing and one of the highlights from our trip!  Go “here” to see more about Andrea’s restaurant Le Fate and “here” for more info on his cooking classes!
and by the way…we loved this restaurant so much that we went back twice for dinner during our stay. The food was extraordinary both times!!!!
Us with Chef Andrea

and Chef’s mom with me!!!
if you are visiting Rome this is a must go place for dinner…you will not be sorry!!!
**by the way I am cooking the zucchini flowers, eggplant parmigiana, and the tiramisu tonight :)**

We are back!

We are finally back from our anniversary trip to Rome, but not with out some great stories.  We had such a great time and I will do some recaps in the coming weeks!  Everything did not go as planned but I guess that makes for good stories πŸ™‚
I have so much to catch up on.  I was a little (maybe a lot) overwhelmed when I opened up my google reader!  I also took SO many pictures that needed to be edited…that may or may not happen πŸ™‚
SO here is just a sneak peak of our trip πŸ™‚

now to get caught up on my project 52…
Week 28 – Light

Week 29 – Night
Now off to get caught up on life!

guest post: tiffany



Hey there, friends!  I’m Tiffany and I blog over at Figuring Out The Plot  !  I am SO excited to be here guest blogging for Kit as she is off galavanting around Europe!  And because I’ve been watching her countdown to her trip with envy, and because she said I could write about anything I wanted, I thought I’d share a part of my European adventure circa 2009 with you!

I had always wanted to go to Europe, but never had the money/time/courage to do it.  Well, after I took the dreaded bar exam was the perfect time for the trip!  My cousin Whitney and I headed off on the trip of a lifetime.  Where was our main destination?  Switzerland!  Now, you might wonder why Switzerland?  And I’ll be honest, it was not the first European country on my list (I was more of a Tuscany, Greece, South of France kind of girl!)  But….my dear cousin Sean lived in Switzerland and that equated to a free couch and breakfast every morning.  Switzerland it was!

Let me tell you, that free couch was the least impressive part of our trip!  Switzerland was completely beautiful and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.  I would go back in a heartbeat!  Here were a few highlights:

Swiss National Day

We happened to arrive in Switzerland on August 1, which is Swiss National Day (sort of like their version of Fourth of July).  My cousin lived in a tiny village, Cully, along the shore of Lake Geneva.  Well for the holiday, his village went in with three other villages and chartered a boat to take everyone from the villages on a sunset cruise.  So. Much. Fun!

Chocolate and Cheese

I mean, the subtitle there really says it all, doesn’t it?  We took a train ride up into the Alps where we toured (and had lots of free samples!) at a chocolate factory.  Then, on the way back, we stopped at Gruyere and had some amazing fondue.  While there we checked out the countryside and the adorable houses.

Montreux and a Castle

We also spent a day in the city of Montreux–famous for its annual Jazz Festival that we missed by a month.  Even without the jazz music, it was a beautiful city and we had so much fun exploring the streets, the water, and the Castle de Chillon!

The Olympic Museum

Our final day in Switzerland we had debated taking the train to Paris, but then decided we were trained out.  Instead, we headed to Lausanne to check out the Olympic Museum.  This was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip!  If you’re a sports fan, this is a must see for you!

So….if you are planning a European vacation, I can’t recomment Switzerland enough.  It was beyond amazing!  Come on over to visit at Figuring Out The Plot , and feel free to read more about the rest of my European adventure

****

thanks again Tiffany!

I would love to visit Switzerland!!  Wouldn’t you!?!

I hope that you all have enjoyed these guest posts as much as I have! 

I will be back to blogging probably tomorrow!!

guest post: becky




Hi everyone!  I’m Becky from Welcome to the Good Life!    I want to tell you a little bit about myself, but first I want to wish Kit and Andre well on their trip to Italy!  I know they will love Rome and I can’t wait to hear about all of the fun (and food!) they had while on their trip together!  I love reading Kit’s blog for so many reasons, but especially to see her cooking skills and her sweet pups!

So, a little bit about me!  I am a newlywed (almost 4 months now!) and truly have found the love of my life!  Our wedding day was absolutely the day of our dreams and I’m working my way through the wedding recaps on my blog, even as we speak!  

Between the two of us, Rob and I have four furbabies–two cats and two dogs!  Our household is never, ever dull that is for sure!  This is a picture of just one of our brood.  Rex is my walking companion and a mama’s boy through and through!!

Because Kit is such a great cook, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite appetizers!  During the summer, these jalapeno poppers are in constant rotation at our house!  They are delicious when cooked out on the grill! 


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 jalapeΓ±o peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

To Prepare
1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

  • 2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Spoon about 2 teaspoons cheese mixture into each pepper half. Place pepper halves, cheese side up, on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill peppers 5 minutes or until bottoms of peppers are charred and cheese mixture is lightly browned. Carefully place peppers on a serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro.


This recipe is courtesy of Cooking Light, one of my very favorite recipe sources!

Thanks Kit for letting me take over your blog for a day!  I have loved the opportunity to guest post!  Buon viaggio!


*********

all i can say is YUM!!!

This recipe is a must make!!!

Thanks again Becky!

Make sure you check out her blog!

guest post: allison



Hi Everyone! I am Allison and I can be found at The Diary Of A Mrs. and I am so excited (and a bit jealous) for Kit and Andre as they go on their trip to ROME! I was having trouble trying to find something to blog about so I just decided to go with a little about me. I hope you’ll stop by The Diary Of A Mrs. and say hi. πŸ™‚

  • My name is Allison
  • My husband and I have 2 wedding anniversaries, October 21st we got married at the justice of the peace, only 13 days before he left for Air Force basic training. AND July 17th when we had our official wedding, white dress, tuxes, the whole shabang! 

  • From the bullet above, it’s obvious that I am a military spouse and uber proud of my husband. πŸ™‚

  • I have 2 four legged babies who I’m mildly obsessed with, Calli and Rocky. They ARE my children and I think they’re kinda awesome! 


  • I was adopted when I was a baby and I am Korean.
  • My favorite color is black. I know that’s really strange, but it most definitely is, come to my house you’ll see.
  • I’m originally from Michigan, but in May Ryan and I moved to the glorious state of California. I miss home a lot, but we’re trying to make the most of this experience.
  • I am in the beginning stages of opening my photography business “Allison B Photography“. You can check out my website here: allisonbphotography.com

  • I recently graduated from college with my Bachelors in Accounting.
  • Moscato is my absolute favorite wine. I could drink it every single day!
  • Unlike Kit, I cannot cook or bake very well. I have to say I am trying and learning every single day. One thing my husband likes about me blogging is that all you wonderful ladies are always posting yummy recipes for me to try! Keep them coming!!!!!
  • AND since we’re in the dead of summer country music (concerts), rodeos, cowboy boots, bonfires and big trucks have my heart. They remind me so much of home, summer time and the good ol’ days! 


Allison Boutwell

******
thanks Allison!!!
Wasn’t her wedding just beautiful!!!

Make sure you go check her blog out!!!

guest post: jenni

I have a treat for you all today!  
This girl is one of my favorites here in the blogosphere!!!
I mean she lives and works in Germany and has lived all over Europe and here blog is just make me smile…
well…

Hello, A Step Into My Life readers!
I’m the girl behind Jenni Austria Germany, a blog where I post pictures of my life in (you guessed it) Austria and Germany and share travel stories, awkward encounters with Europeans (oh, cultural differences….) and little quotes from my Polish boyfriend (he’s pretty ridiculous).
But today, I am here with you.  And we’re going to talk about Italy.
Yes, I thought that since Kit is currently running around Rome, I should share some Italian love in her honor.
Ready?
Here we go…. 


What I love about Italy

1.  The carbohydrates
Whether focaccia, bruschetta or just plain pasta, Italy does carbs like no other country.  When I take trips, I try to prepare a budget; a column for food, a column for drinks, a column for clothes, a column for lodging, etc.  Well, let’s just say that when I go to Italy, the “food” column gets, shall we say, special treatment.

2.  The pizza
Yes, I realize this should technically be grouped with #1.  But Italian pizza is in a league of its own.  I remember reading Eat Pray Love soon after it was released, bewildered by the thought of Liz Gilbert consuming an entire pizza on her own and then (!) ordering another (????).  Fast forward to 2008: Once I visited Italy myself and experienced the pizza firsthand….well, it just made perfect sense to me.  Liz Gilbert is right – one pizza is never enough.


3.  The Italian pride
In some countries, you walk through the streets, you mingle among the people, you duck in and out of shops and you blend right in.  If you’ve been traveling a lot – backpacking through different countries, for instance – you might even forget where you are.  You might stop and ask your friend, “Wait, where are we again?” or “What country is this, anyway?”.  Well….not in Italy.  No.  This does not, and cannot, happen in Italy.  The Italians are, just, too Italian for that to happen.  And that, in my opinion, is one of the most charming and unique things about the whole country.


4.  The canoli
“Leave the gun, take the canoli”.  I had to throw a Godfather reference in here at some point, right?  But really, when you’re in Italy, you have to try the canoli.  And by “try”, I mean you should allow for 10-20 euro of your budget (if you have one) to be spent on nothing but canoli.  And if you don’t have a budget, then just spend all your money on canoli.  It’s simple, really.


5.  The gelato
Take everything I said about #4, minus the Godfather reference, and apply it to #5.  You won’t be sorry.  Trust me.


6.  The Vespas
Growing up, I thought it would be amazing to be British (the accent, come on), cool to be Romanian (gymnastics, hello) and ideal to be French (Belle from Beauty and the Beast was French, need I say more?).  I don’t think I ever really wanted to be Italian.  My first trip to Italy, however, changed that.  With every scooter that zoomed past me, I cursed my ancestors for not being Italian.  Yes, I know – anyone can ride a Vespa.  I see them in Germany and France all the time.  But not everyone can ride a Vespa and look so….Italian.  Sigh.


7.  The views
The landscape in Italy makes me question if my camera card has somehow turned into the Google Image database.  I’m always shocked to find that my little baby amateur camera took so many postcard-ish photos.  I must give credit where credit is due, however.  Neither my camera’s features nor my photography skills are responsible for the beauty that these photos radiate; that, my friends, is allll Italy.

Thanks for having me, Kit!
Can’t wait ’til you get back.
I’m expecting you to make your own list of why you love Italy, deal?
Deal.



*****
Deal!!!


Stay tuned for my list when I get back!!!


Make sure you check out Jenni’s blog!!!


Thanks again Jenni!