Holiday Menus 2019

We are getting there! The nights are cooler, the days are shorter. Let’s get ready for an L.A. winter and celebrate!

We love the holidays over here in the commissary, because… Parties!

Now listen to me, we make everything! These are simply my favorites of all time. I switch it up every year but winter for me is all of the following: roasted chestnuts, hard squash ( heirloom preferred!)  cranberries, brussel sprouts, and slow roasted meats.  How about you?  Do you see your favorite? Lest we forget…

Sticky Toffee Pudding!  Let the gaiety begin!

(then give us a call and book that date!)

The Sixty-Forty Honeymoon Interlude ~Praiano, Italy Part 2

To give you a little backstory, this is the place I’ve been dreaming of since Brian, one of my all time favorite hospitality professionals, and his wife Diana came back from their Amalfi honeymoon back in the nineties. He told me Italy stories and it sounded like a perfect European holiday.

I tempered my expectations as we drove through sad, little working villages on the way down the coast from the train station.

 Maybe it wasn’t going to be great, just okay.

But then, we get dropped off in a parking lot, perched on a cliff, on the side of the twistiest road ever (over three thousand curves to be precise),  take an elevator down six floors, and walk through a rock tunnel.

Here’s the view from our room.

I love it here.

It was a series of five villas, connected into one hotel, the Onda Verde – The Green Wave.

We’re perched over the Tyrrhenian Sea, in a bright white room, with a little Juliet balcony, making all my dreams come true.

Sfogliatelle every day. Lots of fresh fruit, toast and ham products.

Also, fruit pastries, for breakfast. These are my people.

I love Italian breakfast.

We took the water taxi to Positano for some fun, lunch, and to see the sites.

The coastline is magical and completely vertical.

I was amazed by the density. Enchanted by the architecture. In awe of the natural beauty.

We walked to the top of the town, dripping with other Americans around our age, doing what we were doing, and it didn’t bother me one bit. Everything about everything was charming and new and delicious.

Lemon slushies, yes, please.

There are cats everywhere. The city pays for twenty of them, covers their  expenses and keeps them healthy. I loved sharing the remains of my meal with them. They liked me, too.

We hung out on the docks for a while, waiting for our boat back to the hotel. This class of local high-schoolers on a camping trip warmed my heart.

Just like old times, Sequoyah!

 

This little secret cove can’t be seen from the hotel, but there are six restaurants tucked in here, and we got to three of them!

I had a simply grilled sea bass under that blue awning cooked by an eighty-five year old lady chef. It was the first of many, and also the most delicious.

We watched brave fishermen in tiny little boats night-fishing for cuttlefish.

It didn’t look very safe, but it’s the way its always been done.

Also, loved this. In all the hotels, the room key had to be inserted into this thing-a-ma-bob for the electric to go on in the room. Likewise, the air conditioning would turn off if the door was open. Very clever Italy, I like it. Good practices.

Our stay at our new favorite hotel, the Onda Verde was short, and oh so very sweet, only two nights.

Then we were off to The Reginna Palace Hotel in  Maiori, to meet up with the food tour crew, and old friends!

We had a light lunch while everyone drizzled in and introduced themselves – an even split between CA & PA people.

 They grilled Provolone (which is aged mozzarella) in between lemon leaves. Don’t eat the leaves! Except the little ones. (lemons are everywhere)

We had a dessert demonstration by the local celebrity in the town square the first night. The locals were thrilled to see him in action.

Lemon Delight is his creation, a nod to the Amalfi lemon!

Johnny and I took a dip in the sea when we arrived a wee bit early, and also did some shopping. I found  some things I like.

We ended the evening as we did the next nine nights, together around the table.

Let the eating begin!! But… there’s so much more.

So many stories about the people.

I’ll tell you about the handmade shoes, next…