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Cooking with Simona

After the dinner, next up for Simona and Nick on their American and Morganton adventure, was a cooking class at the Reihl’s house on beautiful Lake James. Dianne had set up two gorgeous tables on which to eat and her kitchen lent itself perfectly to the 12 in the class.

The menu was a fava bean/ricotta/mint crostino, a pear and Gorgonzola risotto with salad and roasted potatoes, chicken cacciatora, and panna cotta with coffee caramel and raisins steeped in wine.

Taste of Orvieto

One of Dianne’s 2 beautiful tables

Adventures in Italy

Ready for the cooking students

Cultural adventures

Assembled and ready to begin

Bill Steiner

Peeling pears to be cooked in wine and added to the risotto

Kristi Steiner

Watching Simona demonstrate

Art in Italy

It was fun with much laughter

Adventures in Italy

Some of the men prepare the crostini

Art classes in Orvieto

Look what a good job they did!

Food, wine, culture

Preparing the coffee caramel for dessert

Cooking classes in Italy

Dessert

olive picking in Italy

The Reihls and Simona

Cheese making in Italy

The class!

What fun it was. It was sad to see Nick and Simona leave, but they were off for more cooking in Boston. Such a treat for us to have them here. You can cook with Simona at her farmhouse in October via our Taste of Orvieto trip!

Nick and Simona may return for another round. We have encouraged Nick to teach some photography while he is here, if they come. To see his incredible work go here. And to learn more about Simona visit her website.

Dinner with Simona

The prepping continued in our kitchen before heading over to our dinner hosts.

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Green beans tied with a chive

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Kristi and Simona flank Nick after the car is loaded with all the food and wine.

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The hosts, Sharon and Phil, with Simona and the beautiful tables

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Nick and Simona as dinner nears.

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Different parts of dinner being prepared. The starter was a roasted red onion, arugula and walnut salad with ciabatta bread. The “primo” was a pork ragu made in a white sauce of wine and herbs, including dried fennel flowers. The “secondo” was a chicken breast stuffed with sundried tomato, pistachio, and walnut pesto, and wrapped in prosciutto, served with the green beans and roasted cherry tomatoes.

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21 people enjoyed the feast! But wait, there is dessert.

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This is a torta caprese made with 75% dark chocolate, ground almonds, served with a cappuccino whipped cream and berries cooked in wine. Mamma Mia!

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After dinner Sharon introduced Simona, who explained the ingredients to the guests. Next up, a cooking class.

You can learn more about Simona at http://www.sagraincasa.com, follow her on her blog, and she is on Twitter and Instagram.

Simona Fabrizio, with whom we cook in Orvieto, is in the U.S. on her first cooking tour here. We are so lucky to have her here along with her cooking stops in Cincinnati and Boston. She is doing a dinner for 22 and cooking class for 14 here.

Simona and her photographer husband Nick Cornish, arrived yesterday and immediately began cooking. Kristi and I made dinner for them and our two host couples.

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Chocolate torta caprese

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After prepping yesterday for dinner tonight we sat down for dinner last night.

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Coffee to start the day this morning and back into the kitchen to cook.

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Sofrito and frying pans to brown the pork for the white ragu.

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Fava beans peeled for bruschetta and a machiato to help along the work!

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More to come!

A Week with Misty Mawn

For the third year Misty brought her magic to Orvieto this fall. She had new students and half who had been with her and us in Orvieto before. Such fun! Here is the group and a taste of their beautiful work.

Misty with her group

Misty with her group

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe also had a group doing Discover Orvieto during the week. We did many things, but one was to travel to Allerona to cook with our friend Simona. She is a wonderful teacher, and we had such a good meal!!

Simona got us all involved

Simona got us all involved

We went into her garden at her house in the countryside to pick fresh ingredients

We went into the garden at her house in the countryside to pick fresh ingredients

One of the dishes we cooked

One of the dishes we cooked

Could you guess we were in an Italian home?

Could you guess we were in an Italian home?

The Discover Orvieto group

The Discover Orvieto group

There were spouses and friends of Misty’s group in Discover Orvieto. We all shared in meals, wine tastings, vineyard tour and more.

Here we all are together

Here we all are together

Great memories, and future trips to look forward to!

We had a beautiful week with Tracie Huskamp. She led her group in creating beautiful journal pages, while a Discover Orvieto group explored other places. Here is some of the art from the group.

Italy Art Trips OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen there were the other activities.

Unloading grapes at the harvest

Unloading grapes at the harvest

Just bottled Orvieto Classico at Palazzone

Just bottled Orvieto Classico at Palazzone

Delicious food at the olive orchard

Delicious food at the olive orchard

Visit to magical Civita

Visit to magical Civita

Incredible food every day!

Incredible food every day!

Sheer bliss! Thank you Tracie and to all who traveled with us this week!

Replacement Statue

The Duomo has received a new statue to protect the original.

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The new one had been covered for several days after it was put in place. The band played, speeches were made, the police were there.

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And there it is.

Spectacular Day

Yesterday was glorious, from morning through to the evening.

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Earthly morning shadow of St. Andrea

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It stuns in every light

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And today is every bit as beautiful!

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