Friday, April 27, 2012

Grilled Eggplant with Mozzarella and Turkey Sausage


Last night, I arrived home late, and was hungry... I needed to whip something up quick, yet healthy and light. 

I searched through my refrigerator and found Eggplant, Mozzarella and Turkey sausage. 

And 15 minutes later.... 


With the warmer weather this was the perfect dinner... light and fresh 
No more heavy dinners for me.. Winter is finished and so is the heavy, hearty meals.. 

This is quite easy to make. 

You will need 
1 eggplant sliced 
1 ball of Mozzarella - sliced 
 ( which you can buy at Trader Joe's or any Grocery Store in the states) 
1 package of Turkey Sausage 
( or pork sausage if you like) 
A bbq or a grill pan 
( I purchased a grill pan at Ikea for 10 bucks) 

Slice the eggplant and place on grill. Cook on each side for 5 minutes, and then turn over and cook on the other side.. 
While, the eggplant is cooking, in another pan cook the Turkey Sausage.. 
After the eggplant has cooked, place a small slice of Mozzarella on top of the eggplant and let it melt while still on the grill pan or bbq. 
When the sausage has finished, cut it up into small bite size pieces and place on top of the Eggplant and Mozzarella. 
To keep everything in place, I used toothpicks.. 

If you like you can drizzle Olive Oil once its finished, for a touch of flavor. 

A great Spring and Summer dish! 
Fresh, Healthy and Light 
AND 
budget friendly. 

I spent six euros for everything :) What a steal! Makes plenty too, even have left overs for todays lunch! 

xoxo

Thursday, April 26, 2012

25th of April ~




 April 25th 1945 is when Italy was liberated during the second world war. 
So, every year on April 25th, Italians celebrate the liberation. 

In Northern Italy, we also celebrate Festa di San Marco. The party of St. Mark. 
If you know someone whose name is Marco, it is only courtesy to say "Auguri" "Wishes" on the day of April 25th. 

Today, we decided to have lunch at a local trattoria by the water.
After we went for a four mile walk. 
Couldn't have asked for a better day, absolutely gorgeous out. 

( side note - sorry for the poor condition of these photos. I forget my camera and all I had was my phone :( I have the iPhone on my wish list, someday soon, I hope ) 

~ View from our table ~ 

 Harley and I enjoying the sunshine :) 


xoxoxo




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Col. San Martino Prosecco Festival

April is the month for Italian festivals.. 

On one Sunday in April, I went to the Col. San Martino 56 annual Prosecco festival in the Veneto Region. 

What could possibly be better than going to a festival about Prosecco? Nothing. The Prosecco was refreshing, and the food was amazing. Best of all, it was totally affordable. 





 Me enjoying my glass of Prosecco with Sopressa, Salami, and freshly made bread. 

 The festival was held inside of an old restored villa... Look at the wood ceilings!


 Sopressa, Cheese, Bread, and vino all under 13 Euros. 

 A close up of the Sopressa I throughly enjoyed. 

 Harley, wanting to try some too :) 
 Begging for more ~ 
 Porchetta, Prosciutto, Sopressa, and Cheese all products made in Veneto Region 
 These 3 lovely ladies were in charge of giving out the wine glasses 
 Another area to sit and enjoy your glass of wine 
 The courtyard ~ Full of people. The rainy weather didn't stop anyone from enjoying a glass of Prosecco. 
 I LOVE this photo! I love seeing flowers hanging from balconies ~ This photo just speaks ITALY. 
 These young ladies were selling the vino ~ Not much left from the shelves... 
Another cantina full of Prosecco ~ 
 Harley, ME, Roby (my brother in law) and Adriana ( sis in law) 
 Marco, Harley and I ~ 
 Beautiful view from outside the festival doors ~ 
Harley enjoyed the Prosecco Festival too :) 


All in all, I had a lovely time sampling the varieties of Prosecco.. This was one of many festivals about wine. I hope to attend more before Spring is over.. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

FESTA DEI OSEI

Sunday morning, we went to the Festa dei Osei in other words, Festival of Birds in Varago, Maserada Sul Piave. 

First time for me.. So many different kinds of birds. I can only hope that people bought the variety of birds for show and not for eating. As to me, most of them seemed like "pets". 

No one really knows.. Anyhow, I had fun exploring this small festival of birds of all sorts.. 

A beautiful pair of Pigeons. Never seen white with identical coloring before. 

These pigeons were HUGE. I've never seen a pigeon so BIG before... 
Harley, sporting his new rain jacket :) Ti piace? 

I think these ones were for show... 
I loved the colors of these two.. And look, she even layed an egg! 

101 Ducks... oh my! 
I never knew there were so many different breeds of Ducks.. 
This little guy/girl was my favorite. So colorful. 
A pair of Black Swans.. So pretty.. Black swans seem so mysterious to me.. 
I have no idea what these two are.. If you know, please comment! I love their green beaks.. 



He is quite fancy, wouldn't you say? 
This man was selling Rabbits... 

Have you ever seen a white peacock before? Me neither :) Beautiful. 

I love owls... 

Not sure what this little guy is either.. So, if you are a bird expert, please leave a comment and let me know! 
Golden eagle? Not sure... 
This one is my favorite.. He was starring at me.. 
I would have loved to learn about these three different species, unfortunately the language barrier stopped that from happening, and I could have taken a photo with all three or simply one for free, unfortunately my fear stopped me. If I have the chance again, next time, I won't let the fear or the language barrier stop me. 

xoxoxo 



Friday, April 20, 2012

~ Photo Contest ~




I took this photo on the Alpini Bridge in Bassano del Grappa. It's with this photo that I won. 



About a month ago, I entered one of my photographs for a contest, and surprisingly today I found out that I won!!! Wow, out of hundreds of entries, my photo was in the top 3. 

I am so happy and proud of myself :) 

Here is the link to my photo : 


For more photos of my trip to Bassano del Grappa, please check out my link : 


http://www.inspiredinitaly.blogspot.it/2012/02/bassano-del-grappa.html


A few people have brought it to my attention that they are interested in my prints, and the good news is that I am happy to sell them to you. If you are interested please email me at 
inspiredinitaly@gmail.com 


Grazie mille 


xoxoxo





Thursday, April 19, 2012

An adventure in Padova


An adventure in Padova 


We had an appointment at the University of Padova in the late afternoon, so we were able to spend an hour or so  exploring downtown Padova. Padova is not far from Treviso ~ about a 40 minute car ride on the autostrade or in English "highway". 

A few things Padova is known for : 

Padova is home to Prato della Valle, which is the largest square in Italy and one of the largest in all of Europe. 

Padova claims to be the oldest city in Northern Italy. 
It was founded in 1183 BC 

It hosts the renowned University of Padova which is over 800 years old. 




1 of 78 statues along the Prato della Valle 

A beautiful building ~ Love the colors and the texture. 


Another statue of a famous citizen created in the late 18th Century by none other than Andrea Memmo. 

Harley, enjoying a run among one of the largest squares in Europe. 


Couldn't have picked a better day to explore Padova ~ Just gorgeous outside ~ 

To jump in? Or not to jump in? That is the question ~ 
Harley, taking a break by the fountain after chasing the birds. 
A beautiful Spring day :) 
~ Prato della Valle ~
Do you notice anything different about this building? 
I should have zoomed in with my camera.. Notice the frescoes on the outside of the building as well as under the archways.. 

What an interesting lamp post.. Adorned with dragons.. Not sure what the meaning of the dragons are. If you know, feel free to comment :) 
Harley doing what he does best ~ 



What a great action shot of Harley ~ 
Side view of what locals simply call Il Santo ~ 
Donatello's magnificent equestrian statue of the Venetian General Gattamelata aka "Honey Cat" was completed in 1450. 

Harley and I posing in front of "Il Santo" in Padova ~ 
Love the cobble stone roads in the center ~ however, not so much when I am wearing heels ;) 

Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padova ~ Construction began around 1232, just one year after Saint Anthony had died and was completed in 1301. 

Amazing architectural design 
Beautiful statue made out of  gold ~ 


xoxoxo