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    Sushi, Caipirinhas and Dancing at Mercedes

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    My last night in Milan (and first night in Greece) may have been the most memorable of my 2 weeks in Europe – besides for of course Mindee and Peter’s wedding!

    I’m a pretty easy going traveler – I really do not care where we go, what we see, where we eat, how we get there, when we get there or really anything at all…I’m just along for a good time!  So for my last night I was not expecting much but was thrilled when Cecile got us a reservation at Temakinho and on the guest list to a party at Mercedes! Temakinho, is a snazzy sushi place famous for their fresh fish and Brazilian cocktails, Caipirinhas.

    Mercedes launches a new car (don’t ask me what it was) and turned their dealership into a giant discoteca 🙂

     

     

    Bread Sticks with Fabrizio

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    About 40 minutes outside of Milan lives my friend Fabrizio.  Apparently, he is a famous chef in the region – how exciting.  We met last summer in San Francisco through a mutual friend, Daniella.

    Anyway, I promised him I would stop by his restaurant the next time I was in Milan… donna della sua parola…

    Daniella’s and my intentions were to help him in the kitchen and learn a few tricks… but to our pleasent surprise he insisted that we sit and enjoy a 3 course lunch – all ingredients locally sourced from within 20 miles!!!!

    It was just Fabrizio, Daniella and me in his restaurant, enjoying lunch and broken conversation (Fabrizio does not speak a work of English!) while his sister and momma cooked and served for us!

    After 3 hours, 2 bottles of wine, more gluten and pork than I’ve eaten in the past 5 years (seriously!) we slowly wobbled into the kitchen to learn how to make these amazing bread sticks.

    Ingredients:

    1 kilo flour

    200 grams extra virgin olive oil

    25 grams of salt

    25 grams of lievito

    500 grams of water

     

    kneed

    let rise

    roll out into cornmeal

    bake at 300 for 20 minutes and then at 200 for 10

    (I think! This was about 2 weeks ago – I should have written it down)

     

    Milan and a Moscow Mule!

    I just spent a week in Milan, soaking up the Euro energy, roaming the cobblestone streets and enjoying long nights on the Naviglio!

    I’ll admit, Milan does not have a ton to offer… the city is crowded, polluted and well, not so glamorous.  But despite it’s rough edges, Milan is one of my very most favorite cities in the world.   Not only because I spent a chunk of my early 20s living there, but because it is a city with so much life, energy, possibilities, culture, beauty, architecture, art and not to mention amazing night life and food!

    I was staying with my best friend who has a wonderful apartment right next to the Naviglio.  The Naviglio is a canal that runs through the city, lined with bars and restaurants, where at 7pm the Milanese go to unwind and meet friends for an aparitivo (photo, top right). This is quite possibly my favorite Italian tradition!  I could get used to this custom, no problem.  Cape Town is a neighborhood favorite where they are famous for their Moscow Mules (photo, bottom right)!

    I now keep Moscow Mule Makings in my fridge at all times, and I think you should too – they are so simple and refreshing on a hot summer day:

    Moscow Mule:

    Vodka, Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale, Fresh Ginger Slices.  You can even get fancy and add some cucumber of mint.

    Late Lunch (top left picture)

    Traveling is the best diet for me because I roam around cities for hours and completely forget about eating until I am famished and faint! One afternoon, just as I had been starting to feel HANGRY (hungry and angry) I stumbled across Botega Caffe Cacao.  9 euro included salad of choice, drink (I chose sparkling water), an espresso and a little in-house made dessert (strawberry slushy and a chocolate dipped wooden spoon).  I’m telling you, it is not expensive to eat well and healthy in Europe.  It’s not a class or status thing like it is made to be here in the states!  Everyone can afford to eat their veggies in Europe – the way it should be (shame on America and our subsidized, corrupt food industry)!

    Salad in a Bread Bowl

    Well, not really bread, more like a giant crispy flat bread! And look at the adorable oil and vinegar packets.  Italians also keep it light and simple with the dressings.  Ranch is NOT found in Italy – see more secrets to staying slim living the Italian life here

    Nicoise is my absolute favorite salad to get out at lunch – it has the right amount of protein to keep me fueled until dinner, but not too heavy leaving me feeling blah.  Of course they added the mozzarella balls 🙂

    Morning Coffee (bottom left picture)

    Every Morning Cecile and I would enjoy a cup of coffee (American style – my style – big cup) at an adorable cafe downstairs from her apartment called That’s Bakery.  By the end of the week our regular server asked me to stay and marry him, or he would move to SF –  ha you gotta love the Italian men, so passionate!

    Viva la Vita!

    Back home and having Mule Parties yeah!