Author Archives: Rowena

One down, 51 more to go

Dario's birthday cake

And what a great first week it was being that we celebrated MotH’s birthday over the Epiphany weekend. I’ll have to get back to that cake in another post because it was that good, but as the first post of the year, I’m taking it easy.

January 6th 2018

During his time off from work, it was enough for me that MotH made freshly squeezed orange juice, fruit salad, and toast every morning. But birthdays are good excuses for going out and having oversized coffees and pistachio and chocolate brioche pastries.

Weatherwise, the first day of the year itself was pretty ominous – tempo da lupi as we say (which literally translates to wolve’s weather aka really fugly conditions) – and looked like it was going to stay that way for the rest of the day.

First sunset of the year

But by day’s end it cleared up to this beautiful sunset while the rest of Lecco lay hidden in a blanket of clouds. The forecast says to expect another bout of freezing weather which hopefully will include some snow.


2017 bests, books, and better things to come

As much as I’d like to hang around in my pj’s all day and binge-watch episodes of MasterChef Australia, I can’t let the year come to an end without looking back at what made the past 12 months truly memorable. 2017 flew by in a flash, but I think it’s only because we were having so much fun.


View from kitchen window

Definitely all things glamping or anything closely related to a holiday that felt like spending time in the middle of nature. From the little stone hut in Tuscany to the bungalow in Provence and trullo in Puglia, this laid-back style of accomodation really nailed it for traveling with the dogs. Too bad they can’t fly in economy class – I think they would love Africa.


I set a rather ambitious goal this year of reading 1 book per month but managed to finish a puny 6. For 2018 I’m aiming for a more reasonable goal of 8 and staying away from chick-lit. 🙂

Better things to come

Better things largely translates to more creative and experimental cooking (MasterChef style), but what 2018 will really mean for us is the final year of mortgage payments. We have a dream of opening our own agriturismo (Italian farmstay) one day, but we’ve got some saving to do.

Now it’s off to the neighbors for a coffee and a chat. To all of my readers, thank you for visiting and have a happy and healthy new year!

From now on YOU’RE doing the gingerbread house

Gingerbread house 2017

And he was so neat and tidy! To think that all these years I figured piping the icing detail and adding the candies was MY job (since I used to do that sort of stuff at a bakery), but now I know better. IKEA just needs to come up with more designs because the MotH wants to do a village next year.

No snow on Christmas eve and Christmas this year which actually works out for the best when taking the dogs for a walk. We’ve got the whole week to do just that, but while the sun is out and the weather behaves, a bit of exercise helps for every calorie consumed. Happy Holidays!

Christmas eve walk

Christmas eve baccala starter Christmas morning bagels

Christmas eve starter: Roasted Spanish piquillo peppers stuffed with whipped salt cod on chickpea puree. Christmas breakfast: overnight bagels (held in the fridge and boiled/baked as soon as I woke up) with smoked salmon and cream cheese. And freshly squeezed oj – what a treat!