Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Italian cooking class + tiramisu recipe

On Monday, a few friends and I attending an Italian cooking class. It was hosted by a lovely Italian woman and her daughter at there beautiful home. It was the first Italian cooking class I have attended and it was fabulous. It was really hands on as well and the ladies had paper and pens for us to write down the recipes and I brought my camera to document some of the process. The first thing we made was tiramisu because you have to refrigerate it for about 2 hours. See recipe below. We also made meatballs, pasta, ragu, eggplant parmesan, and bruschetta. 
Tiramisu You'll Need:
Espresso coffee (8 servings) let cool
4 Eggs
Lady Fingers about 50
Sugar - 4 heaping Tbsps
Mascarpone 500g (Italian soft cheese)

1. You'll need 2 bowls. Separate the egg whites into one of the bowls and the yokes into the other. 
2. 2 of the Tbsps of sugar in the yoke bowl and the other 2 in the egg white bowl
3. Egg white bowl. Mix really well with mixer until frothy. About 5 minutes. 
4. Stir yoke bowl with mixer and add all Mascarpone to bowl and stir well. 
5. Add egg white bowl to bowl with egg yokes. Stir well to make a cream. 
6. Use a glass 13x9 inch pan. Spread a layer of the cream on bottom of pan, just enough to cover. 
7. Fully dip Lady Fingers (one at a time) into the espresso and put on top of layer of cream. Continue until there is one layer of lady fingers on the bottom of pan. About 25 lady fingers. 
8. Spread a thick layer of cream on top of the lady fingers. 
9. Do step 7 again for another layer of lady fingers. 
10. Spread another thick layer of cream on top of the last lady finger layer. Use all the cream. 
11. Sprinkle cocoa power on top of cream. A sifter would work well. 
12. Add chocolate shavings to top. 
13. Refrigerate for 2 hours. 
I know it seems like a lot of steps but the recipe was actually super easy and turned out so yummy! 
love, Carlee

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trip to Rome

When my family was here back in June we took the train to Rome and spent one night. Last time Clark and I went to Rome we went one day and came back the same day and spent 12 hours wandering around the city. It was a lot. So this time we definitely wanted to stay the night and my family wanted to make sure to get the most out of their trip to Rome. The second day we were there we spent the morning at St. Peter's Basilica which I already did a post on and then my mom and little brother headed to the vatican museum. This post is all about the first day we were in Rome.
The first thing we did once we arrive by train station to Rome was catch a cab to the Colosseum. We took the fast train from Naples to Rome and it's about a 55 minute trip. Unfortunately, for us a lot of the Italian public transportation was on strike the day we went which meant the metro was not running but what is fortunate is here in Italy they schedule strikes well in advance and give people the heads up so we were prepared. We took a tour of the colosseum and got to go out on the gladiator floor which is a new feature. We wanted to do the underground tour but it was sold out but this tour was really good too. We booked it through City Wonders and highly recommend it, our tour guide was very good and informative as well. Last time Clark and I went to Rome we didn't do the Colosseum tour so it was fun to do it this time. We were told you can't conquer Rome in a day so we didn't try on our first visit haha.
After the Colosseum, we explored the Roman Forum a little bit on our own which was fun. Then we got tickets for the hop on hop off bus and made our way around the town to check into our hotel. We stayed at Charming Nuova. We needed enough space for 4 adults so this was a really good option. There was no AC which wasn't the best but it was a good hotel in a good neighborhood. It was very close to Piazza Nuova and about a million gelato shops. We also hit up the Pantheon and got in right before closing time, lucky us. 
We then got back on the hop on hop off bus and made sure to see the Spanish steps, Trajans column, where Julius Caesar died which is now the home to 157 cats, and lots and lots of fountains. Luckily when we visited in June all the fountains were still running. I heard that the last few weeks they have shut them off because of the drought that is happening in Italy. I think at some point on the bus we each had fallen asleep. See pictures below, haha. We also used the company Big Bus Tours and just bought the tickets when we boarded the bus. This tour company had the best reviews for hop on hop off experience. The first time Clark and I went to Rome we used the company City Sightseeing bus and we thought it was just fine. 
Another must see was the Trevi Fountain, of course. We saw it on our first visit to Rome but it never disappoints so we went back. It is so massive and amazing. Go through a coin in it and make a wish and hope that an Italian pop star thinks you are his singing partner alla The Lizzie McGuire movie. My little brother had never seen that movie so once we got home we watched it and he thought it was so cheesy haha. Clark and I were like this is our childhood!!! I think it came out when we were around 11 or 12 years olds. 
love, Carlee
Tank top: Old Navy
Leggings: Nike
Nike Shoes: Famous Footwear
Purse: JCPennys

Monday, August 7, 2017

Knox's 4th birthday + dog cake recipe

I need to give a giant shoutout to my favorite dog Knox! We celebrated his 4th birthday on August 1st. He was born on August 1, 2013 and we got him on October 4, 2013. I love celebrating his birthday every year even though he probably has no idea what is going on. He does get excited about a yummy treat and a couple new toys. He really is such a sweet dog. I wish he wanted to cuddle more and come up on the bed with us sometimes. But he is really independent. I love how excited he gets when we get home. We could be gone 4 hours or 10 minutes and he is always very excited to see us. So sweet. 

Dog Cake Recipe

1/2 cup dry dog food
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup coconut flour

2 over ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter

1. Mash up dry dog food into little pieces. 2. Poor hot water into crushed up dog food and let soften. 3. Mix in applesauce, egg, peanut butter, oats, and flour. 4. Stir really well. 5. Bake in oven on 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes. 6. For topping mash up ripe bananas and stir in peanut butter really well. 7. Let the cake cool completely before putting the frosting (topping) on the cake. 

Note: I used a bread pan for one of the cakes and cut in into four pieces and layered the cake with the frosting in between each layer. You can also use a cupcake tin or regular cake pan. 

Another note: The recipe makes about 4-5 cupcake size cakes. 

It should also be noted that Knox really has to be coxed in order for him to smile for the camera so you are seeing about 6 of the photos that Knox is actually smiling for. The other 100 photos I took of him look like this:
Let me know if you have any questions about the recipe. Knox absolutely loved his cake. Of course, I didn't let him eat it all in one sitting. I let him eat about 1/4 of the cake and I put the rest of the cake in the fridge for later. 
love, Carlee