Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hiking at Parco Delle Cascate

Ciao! If you are looking to get outside there is a wonderful "waterfall park" near lake Garda. It is in the beautiful little mountain village of Molina and it takes a little over an hour to get there from Vicenza. We tried putting "Molina" in our GPS and it did not come up. So we put the nearby town of Manune and then followed the signs to Molina from there.

Once you get in to Molina there will be signs for parking. The parking is free (as far as I could tell). Then you get out and walk, following the signs for "Parco Delle Cascate". BE WARNED, it is a LONG walk down to the park. And when I say down, I mean downhill which means you will have to walk back UP to get back to your car. It probably took us a good 20 minutes to get from our car the the park entrance and a little longer to get back UP the hill. I would recommend bringing a child carrier if you are bringing little ones, not a stroller. ALSO, before you walk down that big hill be sure you have 5 Euro for each person in your group that is over the age of six (there is a 50 cent Military discount which they did honor for us, but you never know). They do not take credit card. Maybe bring a little extra Euro to buy some yummy cherries in town too, they grow lot's of them in this area.

Once you get down to the park there are three "routes" you can take. They will give you a map so you will know. There is a half hour hike, an hour and a two hour. We did the hour one and with a little guy walking and lot's of stops it probably took us three hours. But the waterfalls are beautiful, the foliage is thick and provides lot's of shade and there are two waterfalls with swings over them that are lot's of fun.

My personal favorite waterfall was the "Doppio Covollo" or double hole. It was a little different then the others but very pretty and there were lot's of little newts and bugs in the water which my son LOVED.

Their website:
Hours and prices:
Their address is at the bottom of their webpage.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fried Zucchini blossoms

I recently tasted some fried Zucchini blossoms made by a sweet Nonna (grandma) who likes to share with me. She didn't have a recipe but from what she described to me this recipe seems to match pretty closely:

So if you're at the market and thinking about trying to make something with those orange flowers they sell at the produce stands, try it. They are yummy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pineapple Tiramisu

Tiramisu is usually made by soaking the lady finger cookies in coffee, but this recipe uses pineapple juice instead, it's sooo good. I learned it at a cooking class through the arts and crafts center on base, I highly recommend signing up for fun classes like this!

First of all you need to keep in mind that this needs to be done at least 12 hrs in advance. It has to sit for the flavor to be at it's best. 

First step, make the marscapone cream.

Marscapone cream:
2 cups Marscapone cheese (Comes in a tub like cream cheese)
1 cup whipping cream (Italians do not refrigerate this, it comes in a little carton)
3 egg yolks (only two if they are really big yolks)
1/2 cup sugar

1. Blend the egg yolks and sugar well
2. Add the Marscapone and mix with egg beater
3. In a separate bowl whip the cream (until it forms peaks, this will take several minutes on top speed of the egg beater, but don't overdo it, watch it closely)
4. GENTLY fold the whipped cream into the marscapone mix, be delicate.

Next prepare the lady fingers:
1 package of savoiadri (Lady fingers)
2 cans (maybe one...I can't remember) of pineapple (I like the full ring ones cuz they look pretty on top)

5. Pour the juice from the can of pineapple into a bowl. Dip your ladyfingers in it one by one. These cookies will soak things up very quickly so I find the best thing to do is put it in the juice, turn it and then take it out. Less than a second, that's all it takes. If you want to see what I mean, stick one in for 4-5 seconds then squeeze it, it will be completely soggy and dissolve in your hand, it's crazy.
6. PLace dipped ladyfingers in a pyrex dish, until you have covered the bottom of it (this recipe is cake pan size I believe....)
7. Next spread half of your marscapone cream
8. Place a layer of pineapple rings over cream
9. another layer of lady fingers
10. The other half of your marscapone cream
11. More pineapple rings, or whatever pineapple you want in a decorative way. 
12. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. (Italians claim that it's better the longer it's in there, if you try a piece right when you make it and 12-24 hrs later you will be amazed at the difference)

And enjoy! 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Forward...not yet

Time change happens on a different date here in Europe then it does in the states. So don't change your clock tonight just because your friends back home are. We still have a few more weeks until we spring forward an hour on March 25th. 

It also happens on a different date in the fall, which we were completely unaware of last year and ended up getting up an hour earlier than we needed to. Why do we all still change the clocks anyways? I think Arizona (who doesn't do daylight savings) is on to something...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's a bee, it's a it's a moth!

We were out enjoying the lovely weather that Italy has been experiencing this week when we saw something strange. I swore it was a large bee. My husband swore it was a very small hummingbird. Upon returning home and researching the world's smallest hummingbird I found that they only live in Cuba. After a little more google time I found this:
It's a Hummingbird hawk moth. Apparently they are very common in Italy and they have come into Europe from Africa. Who knew? Anyone else seen one?