Happy New Year Friends!
The date is set for my 2019 culinary trip to Italy! I am inviting anyone that would like to join me to come with! I know many of you said you wanted to join me this year. A dreamy week of the best food ever (no exaggeration!), daily Italian cooking lessons (learning how to make more dishes that you can count… including of course, fresh pasta, wood fired pizzas, gelato, more amazing desserts and so much more!), a day of hunting truffles that includes a “truffle everything” lunch to follow (it was seriously my dream come true meal!) and daily tours to beautiful towns throughout Tuscany (this year will include Lucca, San Gimignano, Montepulciano and Civita di Bagnoregio… the beauty and charm of these towns will blow you away!)! Yes, it really is as amazing as it sounds.. that is why I am returning for another year!
The name of the cooking school is Toscana Saporita and the classes are taught by Sandra Lotti (super fun, funny, endearing and amazing instructor and owner of the school) in the town of Massaccuoli, Italy. You can find reviews of the school on Trip Advisor. I am not one to repeat trips, but I had such a phenomenal time and want to explore more places in Tuscany… so I am returning again for the third time! The experience is that amazing!
In case your wondering…. the school is for beginners to skilled cooks. Or even for those that just want to feast on amazing, authentic Italian food and explore Tuscany at its best with a local to show us things that we wouldn’t experience on our own.
Here is the low down so far. I am booked to go the week of September 22- 28th. With Italy being 8 hours ahead, I will be flying to Florence (I won’t book my flights until a little closer to the date, but will let you know my flights in case you want to be on the same flights) on the 20th, spend a day and a half in Florence (first, because I adore Florence and second, its less expensive to fly to Florence than directly to Pisa.. win win!), stay a couple of nights in Florence and take a short train ride to Pisa Sunday morning where we will be picked up (arranged by Toscana Saporita) and taken to their school. The cost for the week is $2,890, which includes all transfers to and from Pisa (either the train station or airport), accommodations on their estate (double occupancy, there is an additional fee if you want single occupancy), daily cooking classes, all your meals and daily tours exploring Tuscany, including the day of truffle hunting and eating! For those of you that drink… all wine is also included with your dinners. Male and female, single or couples are all welcome. I am hoping my hubby can join me this year! And I am looking forward to the amazing company with you! We have such a great time as a group all week! The spots go quickly and there is a limit to how many she will accept for the week. Let me know ASAP if you’re interested… I hope you can join me for this fabulous trip… we’ll have the time of our lives!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Have you tried chilaquiles? It’s only my favorite breakfast (or lunch or dinner) dish on the planet! So savory, full of flavor and the ultimate comfort food. My friend, Katelyn Jones from @katelynpjones loves them so much she did a post about this amazing dish! It’s an absolute must for our traditional Christmas breakfast. If you want to wow your family and guests you can find the recipe HERE. Happy eating friends!
Turkey day is coming and if you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner and have attended my Thanksgiving class (although many of these helpful timeline tips will help with most recipes)… here is a helpful timeline for you. I am also including a timeline on how early you can prep and make some of the dishes. After all…. the more you can do before the big day… the easier your day will be!
First and foremost… you need to order your turkey from El Toro Gourmet Meats if you haven’t done so! Remember they are the only source I can find that sells all natural turkeys that have not been injected with a sodium solution. You will need at least a day to thaw the turkey.
- Thaw the turkey. Refrigerate after it is thawed.
- Make brine rub
- Make vinaigrette for roasted green beans and mushroom dish (or any salad dressing). Or this can be made as late as the day of.
- In and a.m. brine your turkey and follow instructions in your recipe page. **Save the neck and giblets for making the turkey stock for the gravy.
- Make reduced chicken broth for the stuffing. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. You can start it as early as today, Tuesday, Wednesday or as late as the day of.
- Make the turkey stock and keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator. You can make this as early as today, Tuesday or as last as the night before the big day.
- Pan fry the pancetta, Italian sausage, mushrooms, shallots and celery and store in a sealed container or ziplock bag. You can do today, Tuesday, Wednesday or as late as the day of.
- Take turkey out of the bag to let the skin dry out a bit.
- Cut and bake the cubed bread for the stuffing. Let cool and store in a sealed bag. You can do this today or the day of.
- Follow instructions in my recipe to prepare the turkey for roasting. Roast the turkey.
- Make and bake rolls. You can keep them intact on the jelly roll pan and cover them with foil when they are fully cool.
- Finish and bake the stuffing.
- Boil the potatoes and finish the mashed potatoes. Cover and keep warm.
- Roast the green beans and mushrooms. Finish the dish. This dish can be served at room temperature.
- Lastly, make the gravy with the prepared turkey stock (it’s important that you reheat the turkey stock and keep it warm in a pot on the stove) and the drippings from the roasted turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving friends!