Category Archives: winter holidays

I ♥ cappuccino

H♥ppy V♥lentine's D♥y!

“My barista skills doth not exist, but sans heart today would be remiss”

Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal for us, but I’m always for something fun, especially when the weather outside is not the most…heartening. I just hope my barista skills will be a lot better by the time February 14th rolls around next year.

The last sunset of the year

December 31, 2016

My significant other is down with a nasty winter bug that has been going around, so tonight is going to be very low-key with movies lined up for viewing. Poor MotH. I had escargots à la Bourguignonne, foie gras, a platter of cheese, ham hocks, and lentils on the menu, but what the heck. If he feels better tomorrow, we can have all of that for breakfast. 🙂

As is the tradition on the last day of the year, we go for a hike somewhere. That wasn’t going to happen today, so the Dynamic Duo and I took a short stroll for the “lasts” of the year. Does it matter to pets if it is day 365? I think not. But I find it odd that they both insisted on taking a crap in the middle of the walk (we live in the country, it’s all natural) instead of doing their business at home. Wishing you all a Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

Dogs last walk of 2016
Last walk of the year

Dogs last sniff of the year
Last sniff of the year

Somebody come over here and help me finish the cheese! L-R: raschera d’alpeggio, Beppino Occelli’s Frutta e Grappa di Moscato (sheep and cow’s milk cheese topped with dried fruit and soaked in grappa), and toma di Murazzano. Everything purchased at Salumeria Olivero in Dogliani on via Guglielmo Marconi 4. Excellent place to shop for quality local products.

Cheese platter 2016

A white Christmas in Dogliani

View of Monviso
Early Christmas morning: view of Monviso

Well, that went by fast! I hope you all had a nice Christmas and wish you a Happy New Year. As you can see, we decided to find us some snow (since it didn’t look like any was gonna fall in Lecco), and headed to our 2nd favorite region in Italy: Piemonte. There was just enough snow on the ground in Dogliani to make it worth the trip, but the surprise was that Dogliani is also a great place to base ourselves for future visits to the Langhe.

Agriturismo Minaldo
Italian farmstay in Dogliani: Agriturismo Minaldo

Out in the countryside and flanked by vineyards, the agriturismo is perfect for small families and couples. We took the apartment with kitchenette and ate in for Christmas eve and day. Breakfast is included in the daily rate and free wi-fi. The owners are wonderful, and their 3 little doggies make up the rest of the welcome committee.

Agriturismo Minaldo lane
Early morning walk for the pooches

Xmas with the kids in Dogliani
These two are out of shape. They were all worn out after a good romp in the white stuff.

Of course we had to stop in at all the wine shops that we had time for, and Cantina La Morra was the only one open on xmas eve. More Barolo than you can shake a stick at!

Cantina La Morra

I did not miss cooking one bit this Christmas, and from now on I think we’re going to do it like this if no snow falls in the chestnut forest: go on a little vacay. No fuss, the “kids” get to be snow bunnies, and zero stress. I almost feel like I was cheated out from not getting super stressed!

Xmas aperitivi 2016
Assorted tidbits from Picard grocery store, just heat and serve.

Xmas lunch 2016
Fresh agnolotti al plin pasta (3 minutes tops in a boiling pot of water) and tomato-basil sauce from a local market – just the thing to go with the complimentary bottle of Dogliani from the agriturismo.