Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Family Farm in Tuscany: Zuppa Ribollita

    How delicious is Italian food? When Josh and I go out to dinner, we usually end up going the Italian route. I also enjoy making Italian food at home. When I was given the opportunity to review A Family Farm in Tuscany by Sarah Fioroni, I jumped at the opportunity (disclaimer: I received this book for free):


According to the publisher, “In A Family Farm in Tuscany, Sarah Fioroni, chef, cooking instructor, sommelier, and manager of her family's organic farm near historic San Gimignano, shares stories of family traditions and daily life at Fattoria Poggio Alloro. After moving to the farm in the 1950s to work as sharecroppers, the Fioronis later purchased the farm through their hard work and dedication to the land. They transformed the property into a model of integrated, sustainable agriculture that has been visited by government officials from all over the world and featured in numerous publications, including Organic Gardening magazine.”

What I liked most about this book was the truly unique recipes. The yogurt breakfast cake is next on my list…


For the review, I decided to make the Zuppa Ribollita (Ribollita Soup) which is traditionally made with kale:


I increased the amount of liquid in the soup and used spinach instead of kale (Josh isn’t a kale fan):


Here is the original recipe from the book:


And my finished product:



This was seriously delicious. Warm, comforting, and healthy! Kaylin loved this soup. I wasn’t planning on giving her any, but she was motioning towards my bowl while I was eating it. I decided to let her try a bite and one bite turned into many. 

You can read more about the family farm here. And you can see more reviews via the World Blogging Tour here.  If you’re looking for a unique Italian cookbook, definitely pick this one up.

Two side notes: 1. I hope everyone is safe with this crazy storm, 2. Have a very Happy Halloween! Are y’all dressing up? We’re going as an Eagles football team. Pictures to come ;).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chili, Cookies & Cornbread

It has been a family & football filled weekend over here! On Friday night, I had family over for dinner (parents, sister & her family, Aunt/Uncle/Cousin/Girlfriend & another Uncle). To feed the crowd, I made chili, cookies, cornbread, and roasted veggies. Since I was so busy getting everything together, I didn’t get the best pictures, but:

Cait’s amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (I used semi sweet instead of white chips):




Ree Drummond's beef chili (well..what was left of it):


White turkey hominy chili/soup:


The fresh fruit my Aunt brought over


Roasted eggplant:


and potatoes and butternut squash:


my sister brought over apple and pumpkin pies from Boone Hall for my Dad/Uncle’s birthdays:




On Saturday, a bundle of us headed to the University of South Carolina football game. My Uncle did an amazing job with all of the meat:


Me, my Mom & Aunt:


Me & Josh:


More meat:


I brought pasta salad and more cookies ;)


the boys made what they called meat salad sandwiches:



The game was a blast! It was super windy from the tropical storm/hurricane. Pre-game:




So much fun!

Today, I went for a run and we’re spending the rest of the day watching football and catching up around the house. Dinner tonight with friends! What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes & Komen Run

This post is filled with two things I love: 1. sweets and 2. running. Its all about balance, right?!

First, I recently received the amazing Brown Betty Cookbook (disclaimer: I received this cookbook for free):


Alison Conklin, who photographed our wedding, did the photography for the book and it is just GORGEOUS. Aside from being pretty, the recipes rock too! The authors of the book are Linda Hinton Brown and Norrinda Brown Hayat. This mother/daughter duo opened a bakery in Philadelphia with inspiration from their mother/grandmother, Betty. The bakery is called the Brown Betty Dessert Boutique. The passion for baking was passed down generation to generation and now comes to us in cookbook form. The book contains everything from cakes… to pudding… to cookies. Pure deliciousness. The authors also weave in stories about their childhood and the inspiration for their recipes.

Up first, I tried their chocolate sour cream cake.


I made the cake in mini cupcake form (the same way they do in the boutique). I made some in cupcake wrappers and some naked:



I topped them with a simple peanut butter frosting (excuse the un-pretty job ;)):


These cupcakes are amazing! So light, so tasty. I am usually not a chocolate girl….but these are GOOD! Grab a copy of the cookbook today.

Next up, We did the Komen run this weekend. This is Kay’s second year participating:


My parents:


Cousin & girlfriend, Aunt & Uncle:


and sister and her family all did the walk.

I ran with Josh:


This was our first time running together! Josh has been battling a nasty case of plantar fasciitis and did an amazing job, pushing his way through the run. Love that guy :).

My Aunt is a survivor and she totally rocks:


What did you do this weekend?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Coastal Cupboard- Southern Brunch Cooking Class


Sunday was a fun day! Kay rocked her Eagles cheerleading outfit for the first time (although it didn’t help the Eagles much…)


My Mom and I also took our second cooking class at Coastal Cupboard. The first class we took was a risotto class. This class had a Southern Brunch theme. The menu included a Green Tomato Bisque:


Biscuits & gravy and a Krispy Kreme bread pudding (no, I am not kidding ;)).  Coastal Cupboard has the most beautiful class area:


They served cucumber water and mimosas during the class:


I was hoping for coffee…but no love!

The chef who instructed the class was fantastic. He was easy to follow and totally personable.


Finished products: biscuits & gravy and green tomato bisque:


Krispy Kreme bread pudding:


The bisque was totally amazing! I don’t enjoy sausage, so I brought the biscuits and gravy home for the man. My Mom said it was yummy. The Krispy Kreme bread pudding was (surprise, surprise) very sweet! All of these dishes are great indulgent treats!

I’m hoping to take another class at Costal Cupboard again soon. To see their schedule go here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch

Last year, things were different:


Kay was barely awake for our trip to the pumpkin patch….OK, Josh and I were barely awake too:


This year was a blast! Kay wore her new Minnie shoes:


But didn’t like walking in them:


She prefers bare feet:


And prefers hay to pumpkins:


Good times with Daddy:






…and Mimi and G-Pop:



Boone Hall has a fun patch! They also have lots of amazing produce:




Same question as last year, have you gotten your pumpkins yet?