Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A few shots from Two Girls in Tuscany ~ 2017 Village Tour

                Welcome everyone, to view a few of our photos from the 2017 tour of the Tuscan Hilltop Villages! It would be a pleasure to have you join us on one of our tours. Our 2018 schedule has been posted on our web site:  We specialize in holidays for women only in  Italy and France.  Our groups are limited to no more than six guests.

         Stephanie and Carrie, returning guests, are enjoying the scenery and local wine from on top of one of those Tuscan hilltops. We traveled on a very bumpy ancient Roman road, up and around the hills and were certainly ready for a drink! Did I mention opera music? Well, we all enjoyed the talent of our driver...

   We love to visit the local artisans ~ Our friend Dr. Nora Kravis, the goat whisperer, owns and operates Chianti Cashmere. The products you see here are made from the cashmere fibers from the goats she raises on her secluded and peaceful property. The goat farm is a small, private agritourism located not far from Siena.

 Of course we always have cooking classes on our adventures and here the girls have just prepared pasta for the ravioli that was stuffed with ricotta and spinach.

 What would Tuscany be without the wine? We do tastings and enjoy lectures along the way. Below is a photo taken in one of the gardens located at the winery....we enjoy visiting the gardens, depending on the season in both Italy and France.

A truffle hunt is always a highlight on our trip in Italy. We usually find a few, this year, not so many...was so hot and dry this season. We let our chef prepare a meal with our find...never a disappointment! 

      This is a photo of our group this year. We were very blessed to have my associate and dear friend, Monique from France, join us for a few days in Florence. Monique is standing at the far left. Roberta, on the far right. My associate Robin and loving sister, is dressed in pink! This was an incredible group of ladies this trip!

     We always try to get in a few museums and guided tours using friends who are local tour guides in the cities we visit. Here we are on tour in the Duomo Museum in Florence.

     Always a lot of food on our trips....this was one delicious pasta dish we were served on our farewell dinner. Yes, that is fresh apple you see served on an incredible cheese sauce.

     I am getting ready to take some shots of our guests...below, Toby-Ann, return guest, and Ellen Sue from Florida.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Irish Brown Soda Bread

On a recent trip to Ireland, each morning I anticipated and waited patiently for a slice of this bread. I could not get it toasted fast enough and then just slathered the heck out of it with some of that delicious Irish butter. This is a super interpretation of the classic bread recipe found from Cooking Light.

Whole wheat flour, wheat germ and steel-cut oats makes this a really healthy "all-you-need-quick breakfast." You will get about 12 servings with this recipe. I didn't slice too thin....

(Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

2 1/2 cups King Author whole-wheat organic flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1 T. wheat germ
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 cups of whole buttermilk or if you prefer, low fat buttermilk
1 large egg, slightly beaten.

Combine flours and dry ingredients. Add buttermilk and egg. Mix well. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for around 1 hour. Cool on wire rack.
The easiest and most tasty bread I have made in ages. I feel no guilt when I slice my second piece, especially when it is still warm.   (160 Calories per slice.)