Catching up with Cousins, Lots of Cousins

At our family picnics, there are so many cousins and children of cousins and their  children, it can be a challenge to meet and greet everyone. My Aunt Joleen has the system nailed down though, as I witnessed at our recent gathering. “Now, who are you?” she simply asked, as she made the rounds. And that’s …

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Summer trip: the beach and a detour to the Abbey of Pomposa

There’s nothing like taking a detour while traveling in Italy.  I’m not talking about an accidental detour because you get lost, although those can be an adventure as well. No, this is when you’re driving out and about along the Adriatic coast, passing by myriad beach towns, and then your friend says, “Hey, let’s go …

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Christmas With Mom: A Pot of Sauce, Cookies and Laughter

*This is a post from December 2012 that I wrote on Huffington Post. I've reposted it here with photo updates and annotations from this year. I still make the cookies, I still cook for friends and family. I know Mom is watching, especially when I’m making the meatballs.   “I’ve got the sauce and meatballs …

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A Weekend in the Langhe: Barbaresco, Barolo and Alba

My Italy adventures continued this summer with a trip to Piedmont, in the wine region of Langhe, home to two of Italy’s most famous wines, Barolo and Barbaresco. It’s the classic picturesque Italy I’ve come to expect – small hilltop towns that look like they’re right out of central casting for a romantic movie, manicured …

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