Late Summer Favorites List

Late Summer Favorites List


No recipe today, just a quick list of some of things I'm excited about this summer.

- Rome! I finally got my passport back from the renewal office, and the thing I'm most excited about right now is traveling to Rome later this summer/early fall. Rome was the first big European city I traveled to in my younger years, and like many firsts in life, I fell for it hard and can't get back often enough. That being said, I'd like to ask a favor of you - if you have insights or leads on apartments to rent in the Eternal City please send me an email. I'm hoping to get a place with a kitchen and internet connection in either Trastevere or near Campo de' Fiore. Once I get that little detail ironed out, I'll certainly be on the quest for off-the beaten-path places to seek out and visit. Many of you offered up great suggestions with I visited New Zealand and Amsterdam last year, so let me know if you have any particularly special Rome suggestions. Many thanks in advance.

Other things I like right now:

- The Hiroshi Sugimoto retrospective at the de Young museum - the seascapes, the seascapes.....stunning.

- Japanese Tea: Ice Infusion For those of you looking to take your iced tea to new heights, I suggest turning your attention to this week's installment of the (always informative) In Pursuit of Tea newsletter. This week Amanda Mayer-Stinchecum contributed an article that completely changed the way I think about brewing iced tea, she goes into detail about cold brewing..."infusing green tealeaves with cold water brings out their innate sweetness, enhanced even further when you pile your glass or ceramic kyusu (the traditional small Japanese teapot, made of earthenware, stoneware or porcelain) with ice on top of the tea leaves. When the ice has melted, drawing flavor from the leaves, the resulting liquor is the green of peridot, intensely flavored, grassy and sweet." (read more)

- Gary Winogrand on photography (video)

- Coudal Partner's Jewelboxing system is a great way to make your CDs/DVD look slick (for clients or friends and such). I also like to check in regularly to see what they have listed for sale in The Swap Meat - I picked up this vintage camera print a couple months back.

- Pebble beans! I couldn't believe my eyes when Steve at Rancho Gordo showed me his new pebble beans - colorful, petite legumes in shades of pink, yellow, ivory, and brown - all from the same plant. I should also mention the monster white beans he also just started selling - huge, white Peruvian lima beans- thin-skinned, buttery, tender and delicious.

- Handwriting: My report cards in elementary school were often marked with a letter U in the penmanship column - unsatisfactory. I chalked it up to the left-handed drag-and-smear problem. The queen of amazing penmanship (and calligraphy) is Betsy Dunlap. She will do all sorts of custom work - I sit around and think about how great her writing would be on everything from labels to storefronts, menus to jam jars. (via Grace at design*sponge)

- Merken: I'm always on the lookout for interesting spices and spice blends. After a recent trip to Chile my friend Gwen delivered to me a tiny bottle of copper-colored Merken. It's a traditional spice blend made of dried and smoked aji cacho de cabra chiles, toasted coriander seeds, cumin, and salt - good on just about everything. You can use it in place of black pepper in many of your favorite recipes for a unique jolt of smoky heat. I've been using it to season all sorts of egg-based dishes, savory yogurt sauces and dressings, soups, marinades, potatoes, and on and on. Chileangourmet exports a nice Merken, I believe retailers can order it from Zocalo Gourmet, not really sure about individual orders though.

- Blogs I've recently added to my reading list: Oh Joy!, cook eat FRET, Fez Restoration, Magnum blog, Real Estalker

- Favorite recent cookbook acquisitions:
Claudia Roden's Arabesque, Peter Berley's Flexitarian Table, Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Supercook - and hot off the presses, Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads (I just baked our next entry from this one!)

- Favorite summertime recipes from the archives:
Special Zucchini Bread, Roasted Tomato Salsa, Bulgar and Spinach Pilaf, Thousand Layer Lasagne Recipe, Frozen Yogurt, Cheesy Heirloom Panini Batons, Corn Quiche in a Tef Crust, Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes, Jamaica Flower (Hibiscus) Iced Tea

For those of you who are curious, the lead photo was shot from our campsite on the California coast near Cambria a few weeks ago.

 
 
 
 
For new recipes & inspirations

Your Comments


Heidi, (long time reader, just now unlurking!) - fellow expat and blogger, Shelley, has two apartments in Trastevere that she rents out, with good reviews. I've been there myself and they are quite nice. I think she still had some openings this fall, before she goes to month-to-month next year!

Her blog is Really Rome (.com) with links to the apartments.

Email me if you need more info in finding a place - otherwise I would also suggest checking out the (hotel/apartment) reviews on slowtrav.com

 

Valerio
August 8, 2007

After long time lurkin' in shadows, I've to leave a comment: you like Rome 'cause you don't live here (or not so long to feel how infernal is)...
However, an apartment in center is not so too hard to find...

 

Kev
August 8, 2007

Heidi,

Every now and then I have a look here just to pick up an idea or two and saw you wanted advice coming to Rome ... I see that you're interested in renting in Campo di Fiori / Trastevere, but if you want to see a truly interesting, differnet and upcoming side of Roman life, you might think about renting in Pigneto. Only yesterday, I received notice from a guy who maintains several Italian food related sites (www.romanwineco.com) that he's letting out a large room in an apartment with his (english speaking) Italian girlfriend while he goes abroad for a few months. I'm Irish, have been living here for several years, and if you want to experience something a bit more truly Roman, I'd certainly highly recommend trying Pigneto as an alternative to the well touristed, well travelled Campo di Fiori / Trastevere areas. Anyway, check out his posting on Craig's List, where he paints a really good picture of the area ...

http://rome.craigslist.org/roo/390833827.html

Ciao,
Kevin

 

Sharyn
August 8, 2007

Have a lovely time in Rome!

I cannot recommend places to stay in the city, but I would love to tell you about the town Perugia, which is a daytrip by the train from Rome. It was the birthplace of St Francis Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals, has a lovely hillside of old and beautiful chapels...and the ice cream the stalls sell is of a very high standard! Also had great antipasti dishes in the surrounding restaurants.
Think of me in the autumn if you ever go foraging for mushrooms...I'm always on the lookout for good recipies.

 

Aprille
August 8, 2007

My husband and I rented an apartment near (like half a block near) the Imperial Forums in March, and we were very happy with it. It had a small kitchen, clothes washer, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. I don't know if it had wireless, though I kind of doubt it.

We found it through http://www.rentalinrome.com/ which has a zillion choices, and the people we worked with were friendly, professional, and bilingual--I speak Italian but not so well that I was 100% comfortable conducting business transactions.

There are all kinds of properties, from budget to luxury. Ours was the Madonna dei Monti apartment, but you can search by neighborhood and find what you need. Good luck, and have a wonderful time. As you know, Rome is an incredible city.

 

Lyra
August 8, 2007

That picture just perfectly captures the dreamy warm nostalgic summertime feeling. Now if it wasnt going to be hitting 101 degrees here today (feels like 108, thanks to the big carbon spenders), I might be able to imagine myself in such a beautiful place.

The light is fantastic. Makes me want to get my camera out right now.

 

Julieta
August 8, 2007

Heidi, please answer my emails, their subjects are "Scones" and "Lots of veggies", my name is Miriam Julieta Flores.

BTW, your blog rocks!

 

Emily
August 8, 2007

Heidi,
I'm heading to Rome also-- for a week in mid-September-- and I'd love to hear any insights you have from your travels on great places to eat or wonderful recipes you've found in this amazing city.

Thanks so much!

 

laura
August 8, 2007

Heidi-

I've had luck here in the USA with vacation rental by owner (vrbo . com)- they have all over the world

 

laura
August 8, 2007

Consider staying in the San Lorenzo area of Rome, originally a working class neighborhood for the railroad workers near Termini, now a very groovy district with good markets (including a macrobiotic center) and good restaurants.

 

Hilary
August 8, 2007

I'd second Aprille re: http://www.rentalinrome.com/
We've booked an apartment on the Via Marmorata for later this month and so far have found the company to be fabulous to deal with - excellent english and really helpful.

 

The Cooking Ninja
August 8, 2007

Have a great time in Rome !

I visited Rome 9 years back and I love it very much. I hope to be able to visit it again one day soon.

Btw: Love the above photo.

 

ann
August 8, 2007

Claudia Roden is my cooking goddess. If you ever run across it, please pick up her very first book, 'A Book Of Middle Eastern Food' edited by the amazing Judith Jones (who's upcoming biography is a delight to read). The original book is far more comprehensive than any of her later books in regards to the basic building blocks of her cuisine and an utter delight. Not one thing I've ever cooked from there has been a dud.

 

Stephen
August 8, 2007

Heidi,

I know you didn't ask about restaurants and probably have a million places that are already favorites, but definitely check out "Fiaschetteria Beltramme" near the Spanish steps (Google it -- but don't be put off by the fact the one of the first things you'll read about it is that Madonna went there). Let the waiter decide what to order you and you won't be disappointed!

-Stephen

 

sarah
August 8, 2007

Rome=nice! I just saw this in the NYT travel section about 2 BR villas in Florence, maybe they know of places in Rome!
http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/travel/05practical.html?ref=travel

 

Anna
August 8, 2007

For places in Rome, check out www.romesweethome.it It has a lot of options to sift through--of all varieties--and you can search by area (city first, then neighborhood). It can appear a little overwhelming, and I'll admit I wasn't the one to do the booking, but I spent an amazing week on the via del corso with a panoramic roof top terrace. and internet. hope you find something!

 

claudia
August 8, 2007

thanks for mentioning my blog in your post. that was really kind of exciting. i'm having fun with it and hope the readers stay interested.

as for italy - i've been 3x but it's been 5 or so years since the last trip. how wonderful for you... enjoy every moment.

 

sarah mac
August 8, 2007

i brought home an industrial size bag of merken when i went to visit friends in chile in 2005. insanely, the bag is long gone after massive quantities of it were used by myself and everyone i know, especially those who love to bbq - everything from veggies and tofu to tri-tip. i was really excited to see it in your favorites since so few people know about it!

my food favorites for late summer:
nectarine and/or chevre-raspberry gelato (from pazzo gelato in silverlake)
cupcakes of any variety
bourgogne rosé, cuvée
roasted squash (with lavender salt), carmelized onions & goat cheese salad
canteloupe and basil salad
jasmine iced tea

 

Anonymous
August 9, 2007

Hi there!
What about Arco de Lauro which is in Trastevere as well. Not a flat though. More of a B&B.
Am kind of a lurker too- hope to see future posts on your Rome discoveries.

 

Kate
August 9, 2007

We stayed near Trastevere and Campo de Fiore when we were in Rome in 2005. This is where we stayed--it doesn't have internet though.
http://www.rome-accom.com/eng/campo/paradiso.shtml

 

Miz Booshay
August 9, 2007

If you haven't read Pat Conroy's cookbook yet, you might enjoy it now.
He write beautifully of his years in Italy...and food.

 

Sean
August 9, 2007

Hi Heidi,

In the past I've used http://www.sleepinitaly.com/

I stayed in one of their apt's in Trastevere and it was great. Good luck with finding something suitable.

By the way - Beeramisu is one of my favorite deserts of all time.

Sean.

 

Wendy
August 9, 2007

I'm going to Italy in mid-September and found places for both Rome and Venice on this site. It has all sorts of accomodations at all prices. Good luck!

www.cross-pollinate.com

 

Caroline
August 10, 2007

You might want to consider Testaccio as another district to find an appartment - it has a GREAT market, a healthfood store, a spice shop and lots of restaurants.

 

Deborah Dowd
August 11, 2007

I think that just knowing you are going to Rome would make almost anything something to be excited about! I am so envious!

 

 

24S
August 12, 2007

Ah! Rome. You should tell us more about the Grandeur, and feeling that Maximus, the Legion turned Gladiator who made a statement with his sword and helm.

 

AU
August 13, 2007

I spent a semester in college in Monte Mario, check out La Serinissima near Piazza Medaglie D'Oro, down from the Cavelieri Hilton. The owners are charming (ask for the strawberry wine) and everything is fresh off the family farm. It is the most memorable dining experience of my life!
Link to an article:
http://cache.travel.boston.com/columns/anywhere/070101_rome.html