food. family. life.

what i was reading… 17.september.2013

Ciao tutti!  My weekend was very busy so take a peek at some of the great new things I have to share with you on this new week in September. Here is what I was reading…

1. FOOD. I recently found an article about cheese and the desire for chefs and cheese makers to find and recreate real authentic versions from each culture and country’s food backgrounds and traditions. I adore cheese. Not surprisingly, I love all Italian cheeses.

This ingredient is important in Italia’s food history and current food culture. Each region is known for its own type of cheese for eating as and incorporating in traditional local dishes.

This favorite of our famiglia, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, is a very traditional cheese made of only cow’s milk, salt and heat. The authentic version of this amazing hard grating and eating cheese is found in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantova (in Lombardia), Italia.

Close-up of authenticity label on round of Parmigiano-Reggiano (photo courtesy of

Close-up of authenticity label on round of Parmigiano-Reggiano (photo courtesy of

This hard granular cheese is blended and then cooked, not pressed. You will find this cheese in many traditional dishes in Italia like eggplant parmigiano and regional baked pasta and vegetable dishes.

For Italians, there is only one true Parmigiano-Reggiano; Italian law regulates its production with strict inspections, approval ratings and a unique stamped label. Research your local area markets or order this authentic cheese online. I know you will see and taste the difference in your favorite recipes, pasta dishes and more.

2. MUSICA. A bit of music from Italia. This is a singer and songwriter I have been a fan of for many years now. Eros Ramazzoti is a hip pop musician loved by all ages in Italia as well as around the world.

I make it a point to listen to all kinds of European and world music often, you do not need to understand the words to appreciate the lyrics and unique music. Listen to this song by Eros called “Per Me Per Sempre; I hope you enjoy his lovely voice and lyrics as much as I do.

NOTE: Plan a dinner party or cocktail party soon and prepare a music mix of European and world music that appeals to you. You will find it adds a very interesting vibe and flair to your party and you will want to create more in the future. You can plan a themed event using food and music to transport you to a different time and place… you and your friends will love it.

3. ART. I love foreign films. This is sometimes a burden for my famiglia as the girls are forced to watch what they call “confusing movies”. Dan and I love them and in our lifetime have independent and foreign movies as often as possible and we still try to find interesting ones to watch these days.

The stories can be unusual; foreign movies for me are much more of an art as they seem to capture their audience making them watch and follow the director’s sometimes scattered and unusual techniques in storytelling. This particular movie is well-known as an award-winning piece of cinema created in 1948 takes place in Rome called “The Bicycle Thief“.

This is a film from my youth as I seem to remember Papa Pierino and Mammina Loreta watching this vintage classic one evening at home in upstate NY. Take a moment to check out foreign films playing at your local theatre or visit NetFlix for a great list of foreign and independent movies from all over the world.

4. FASHION. As the cooler weather starts to come into your world, no matter where you live, it’s time to put away your summer beach wear and bring out your fall clothing and footwear. Take a moment to remove items you know you will never wear again (remember to always donate castaways to your favorite local cause.)

My inspiration for the new fall season this year comes from visiting online style books by each designer from their Ready to Wear lines and more. Take notes on the colors and styles you love and that you find most flattering and then make a date with your shopping friends and hit all the local fashionista stores in your hometown.

I loved reading about what Chanel, The Row and Prada are showing for the fall. I am doing my personal best to find color pieces to invest in and not buy another black article of clothing… it is just so difficult for me.

ciao per adesso!

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