Traveling to Italy has always been my dream. More like a misty dream, never quite clearly seeing through the fog to when it might come true. A single mom, carefully budgeting my way through life and cleaning up after storms along the way. But honestly, I can now say, my storms have all been a blessing. In disguise, of course.
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.”
– Helen Keller
I’m going for a daring adventure. Personally, I’m gently reserved, geared more toward intimate one-on-one conversations than free for alls; I cherish solitude, my home, and always thoughtful in my decision making. Though so driven by comfort and security, I’m easily seduced by change and adventure. Sometimes successfully, as in my life move to Florida, and other times not so great, as my move to Atlanta. But regardless, in both circumstances, I grew, and I have no regrets.
Call it Chapter 4 or Season 4, it’s a new time for me. This honestly would not be happening if not for someone very special in my life who gifted me with this chance of a lifetime dream. We’ve known each other f o r e v e r. He’s always encouraged me to step past my comfort zone. Through the ups and downs of life; there always remains a caring and loyalty that we are in this together.
Sealing the deal also involved another person who constantly enticed me with stories of his travel; suggestions of Italian foreign films to watch and gently reminding me that life is short and health is precious…yes, he’s a doctor.
I decided to blog this trip partly because I greatly missed blogging but also, my food friends, my trip to Italy is a culinary/cooking tour on the Amalfi Coast and I’m excited to share it! I’m planning this trip through Cooking Vacations. I looked into a few culinary/cooking tours and settled on this for several reasons but mostly due to the personal attention the owner, Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli gave me. She was quickly available to chat on the phone and truly listened to my situation, never having been to Italy, single woman, traveling solo. She made suggestions directing me to the appropriate program, one that would not be remotely located so that I could easily get around and not “couple” oriented so I would feel out of place. Her team of Guilia and Gemma promptly returned my endless emails, Lauren always following up with a call, and after a bit of tweaking, my personalized tailor made program was booked!
My planning list is long; what to pack, how to pack, jotting down tips along the way. I’ll be leaving in a short few weeks; not big on planning too far in advance! Did I mention I love instant gratification?
Salad on a pizza is my favorite. A play on the hot and cold, taste and texture. It’s one of those quick meals when I need instant gratification. No recipe needed. Follow my Napolitano Pizza Dough recipe, top the crust with a brush of olive oil and a sprinkling of vegan parmesan cheese or lightly with shredded vegan mozzarella. Bake the crust till crisp and top it with a mixed of salad ingredients of your choosing!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.