Monday, November 28, 2011

how to: make the best zucchini "pie" ever

The other night, Sheri's roommate, Valentina, had her friends over for a dinner party.  Sheri and I watched her as she made this amazing looking zucchini dish.  We had her walk us through it, and two days later, we made one of our own!  It was so easy, and it tasted so good that I am still craving another bite.  
See below for instructions:

Step One: buy three zucchinis, a container of ricotta cheese, flaky dough, and two eggs.
Step Two:  Make slices of the zucchini.
Step Three:  Let the zucchini sit in oil and cook.
Step Four:  While it's cooking, crack two eggs open and fork/whisk them until you can't see the difference between the yolk and the egg whites anymore.
Step Five: Once the zucchini appears cooked, add in the ricotta cheese.  And then the whisked eggs.
Step Six: Lay the soon-to-be flaky dough onto a oven-safe dish. Then place the mixture you just made in the middle.  And if you like it spicy...add some crushed red pepper flakes!!
Step Seven: Make the pastry look pretty by scrunching the sides and making the dish appear more "pie"-like. 
Step Eight:  Put it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (I'm guessing because we used a Celsius oven).  Keep your eye on it, and when it is GBD (Golden Brown & Delicious), take it out and enjoy!! :)

Courtesy of your favorite chefs: Brooke & Sheri

Friday, November 25, 2011


I've been seeing this on quite a few blogs lately, so I thought I would make one myself <3

current guilty pleasure:  I'm re-watching the Twilight movies.
current nail color: Charcoal Grey
current playlist: my own "just relax" playlist
current read: only school books :(
current drink: green tea, peach tea, espresso, and cappuccinos <3
current food: ortolano pizza: margherita pizza + zucchini, red peppers, and eggplant
current favorite show: Revenge & Gossip Girl
current wish list: for Kel to get a new car, so we don't have to share anymore with our busy schedules!
current needs:  a new iPhone, since mine mysteriously disappeared
current triumphs: waking up before noon
current bane of my existence: group projects.....
current celebrity crush: Andrew Garfield, Josh Bowman, everyone under the sun haha
current indulgence: triple chocolate ice cream
current blessing: having a best friend in milan, and my friends & family at home
current outfit: zildjian t-shirt, striped pj shorts, urban outfitters slippers <3
current excitement: the reunion i'm about to have with everyone in a month :)
current mood: hungry and sick with a cold...but happy!
current link: i'm obsessed with tumblr. check mine out HERE.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

the past two turkey days


I've got to admit, I haven't had a "traditional" Thanksgiving for the past two years.  Last year, my Dad was out of town.  But we still managed to make it to my Aunt's, and then Thanksgiving night consisted of Spinach dip and Keeping Up With The Kardashians with Mom, Kelcy, her boyfriend (Nick), and moi.  
The kitchen can be a dangerous place :)
This year, I'm in a place where they don't even celebrate Thanksgiving!  Luckily, the friends that I've made living in the international dorms, Arcobaleno, organized a pot luck Thanksgiving dinner.

I hope you all have a great day! Enjoy the time you have with your friends and's on this day that I realize how important that is :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

spontaneous village trip

This past weekend was incredible!
Sheri and I received a text from our friend, Lorenzo, on Thursday morning inviting us to his hometown from Saturday until Sunday!  We decided to take him up on the offer, and we boarded the train for Arona on Saturday afternoon!

Once we got there, we visited the town of Arona, Lago Maggiore, and then made our way over to Orta Lake! 

Once we got to our friend's town, we started preparing a classic, Italian dinner: risotto con i funghi.  It was complete with red wine from their personal wine cellar!  After all, in Italy "you cannot cook well without a good glass of wine in your hand." We continued to have a dance party to our favorite songs (including Demi Lovato: our latest guilty pleasure).

The next morning, we got our things together to head to the Alps!  We thanked Lorenzo's grandpa for letting us stay at his place, and he showed us his old American Western movies and the shrine he had set up to commemorate his late wife.  It was precious.  Once at the base of the Alps, in a town called Premia, we went to a thermal spa!! It was a huge public swimming pool (indoor and outdoor) that had natural hot water!! It was amazing!  We did a bit more exploring, and then boarded the train back to Milan.

It was an unbelievably spontaneous trip, but I am so glad that we got to experience "Classic Italia"!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

bella roma

This past weekend, Sheri and I went on our first trip EVER with ESN (the exchange student group).  After magically making the bus at 7am, when we didn't wake up until 6:30am, we had ten hours of sleeping, listening to music, and being awoken for food and bathroom breaks.  And then...we were finally in Rome.  Here's a recap day by day :)

We embarked on our 10 hour bus ride to Rome.  Once in Rome, we went on a walking tour, and ended up at our restaurant in Piazza Navona where we enjoyed an all inclusive, delicious meal.  After arriving at the hotel, we had literally 10 minutes to get ready for a night out with 2000+ exchange students from across Italy.  We rode the metro to where the busses would be transporting us to the club.  There were was a huge student to bus ratio, and so we ended up waiting in the cold for 2 hours! After getting pushed, shoved, and trampled by people running to get into the new busses, we decided to take a cab back to the hotel and call it a night.

Today was the day for sightseeing.  After waking up and grabbing a cappuccino, we went to the Vatican.  It was beautiful!  We didn't sign up for the tour, but we got to see where the Pope comes out and greets the people around Christmas time, etc.  We asked some guards how to get a better view of St. Peter's Basilica, and they advised us to walk around the wall of the Vatican and we would find it.   Unfortunately, we didn't.  But now we can say that we've walked the perimeter of Vatican City.  After, we went to Piazza Navona, had gelato on The Spanish Steps, and tossed coins into The Trevi Fountain.  It was beautiful.  We went back to the hotel, got dressed for another amazing dinner (complete with wine this time!), and got ready to go out on the town.  We opted not to go with the exchange students, so we went to a beautiful club called Art Cafe!  We met some nice people from Calabria studying in Rome, and it was an amazing night!

We woke up bright and early to board the busses for our tour of the Colosseum (Il Colosseo).  It was beautiful!  And so many memories came back from being there 5-6 years ago with my family over Christmas.  The rest of the day involved walking around, grabbing lunch at a restaurant where the waiter LOVED us, and riding the bus all the way back to Milano.

It was a short trip, but it was perfect.  Rome was beautiful--so much more beautiful than Milan.  It was amazing to see the city that made me fall in love with Italy--and brought me to this exchange program.  I loved it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

i pray you

I stole this from the lovely Kristen...check out her blog.
 Not only is she smart, beautiful, and my friend, but she inspires me <3

"I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.  
I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.  
I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.  
I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest joys in life may appear bigger.  
I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.  
I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.  
I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"me" day

If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed that all I've been talking about is the rain.  It's so different from Arizona.  In Arizona, the rain stops.  In Milan? It's been non-stop for probably 48 hours.  And according to, nothing is changing until Thursday.  
Even though I wanted to be a bum in bed ALL day, I ventured out in the rain to do a little shopping.  On the way home, I decided to treat myself to a french manicure.  My nails look so clean now, and it feels great!!  
P.S. I miss my iPhone!! Can't wait to be able to use it as a phone and not just as a wi-fi "computer"
Sometimes it's important to just have a day for yourself.  It's a time to reflect on your past, but also to plan for the future.  
I'll leave you with two quotes that I've been liking recently:

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." 
--Steve Jobs

"Sometimes you need to step outside, clear your head, and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

paris, je t'aime

Paris with Kelcy and Sheri was perhaps the most AMAZING trip I will ever have.  There was nothing to complain about. Everything went flawlessly. And we had an amazing time--plus, we were able to see just about every attraction Paris has to just three days.

Kelcy arrived at Linate airport and I was there to greet her!  There were two doors to choose from, and of course I chose the wrong one, but when we finally found each other it was like no time had passed!! :)
Sheri and I made her our favorite homemade meal [spaghetti with pesto and vegetables] before we headed off to Stazione Centrale to catch the bus to Bergamo Airport.

We arrived in Paris early in the morning.  We checked into our hostel [which was actually really cool! I was so proud of us for finding it] and walked around the city!  We bought 3 days metro passes, which definitely came in handy!!  We went to the Louvre and got in free because of our student visas!  Even Kelcy got in free because we're twins and the lady probably assumed we went to the same school :)  We checked out the Pont des Arts where the heart locks are! [see post]  And then, after taking a much needed nap, we got dressed up for an Italian three course meal! <3

This was our big day.  We grabbed a couple baguettes from the hostel and headed towards the metro stop.  We went to the Eiffel Tower, where a man was playing those Native American-esque flute things to the tune of "My Heart Will Go On".  It was magical.  Then we headed to the Champs Elysee, Arc de Triomphe, and the Jardin des Tuilleries.  We enjoyed Starbucks, nutella crepes, and macaroons from La Duree!!
That night, we went to dinner before heading to the club.  It was incredible!  First, we got sat in the back of the restaurant, but after a couple of minutes we were upgraded to the front table by the window!  Then we headed to The Social Club, which was littered with 16 year olds.  So we got a taxi to Champs Elysee and tried to get into Queen...but we didn't have IDs.  So we're wandering around the Champs Elysee, and stumbled on this hole in the wall place that was insane!! It's called Le Milliardaire.  The bouncers told us to come in, but we were hesitant. When they said free entry, we opted to try it.  And I'm so glad we did! It was gorgeous. Once we entered, we were greeted and sat at a table.  And then the bottle of champagne came, and was opened right before our eyes, and poured into three glass champagne flutes. FOR FREE. Not only that, but the music was perfect.  I swear we screamed, "I love this song!", to every song that came on.  It was a perfect night <3

We wandered over to China Town in hopes of finding fake Louis Vuitton's and Chanel bags.  No luck.  It must be a U.S. thing.  Then we made the journey to Sacre Coeur (so many steps!) and watched these amazing street performers doing the craziest things with soccer balls.  We saw Moulin Rouge, and then headed to Luxembourg Palace.  It was beautiful! And they have chairs there for you to just relax and take the beauty in. We were going to go to the movies at 7:50, but we decided that it might be a good idea to check the bus schedules back to the airport.  It's a good thing we did because we had to book it to the metro station in order to make the airport but by 7:50! We made it, though, and all was well.  

Back in Milan, Sheri and I showed Kelcy around our new city.  We went to our favorite restaurant, walked into the Duomo, went shopping, and had our favorite gelato--Cioccolati Italiani!  We just relaxed that night and had another homemade spaghetti dinner. It was a perfect end to a perfect trip.  And unfortunately, Kelcy left Monday morning to go back to Arizona.  It was amazing, but it ended much too soon.