I’m excited to announce that this month, Ms. Adventures in Italy has been honored as one of the winners for Best Originality, in July’s Does My Blog Look Good in This (DMBLGiT) contest!
This is the winning photo, first published on Watermelon Sorbetto Granita! Thanks so much for the honor and check out the other winners and entrants here – every month there are some amazing photos, and very inspiring. Plus, then you get to discover some delicious new sites and recipes.
This weather has got me all mixed up! This past weekend it was so hot, I just wanted to eat only really icy things and keep the house as cool as possible. Then the weather changed. Two days ago, I witnessed one of the worst hailstorms I’ve seen in years! Here are some of the hail that remained after it finally cleared up hours later. They look like little ice bullets!
During the weekend, I made another few rounds of icy treats, this time a multi-layered flavor mix that I treated as an ice pop instead of a granita or sorbet (which it could be easily made into). Again, using David’s The Perfect Scoop as inspiration, I made a Kiwi Sorbet and a Cantaloupe one, and then for a third flavor, I mixed the two of them. In my opinion, this mix was the best flavor of all, since the tartness of the kiwi was set off by the subtler cantaloupe.
Kiwi and Cantaloupe Ice Pops
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1 pinch salt
Blend the melon pulp along with 1/2c. water, 1/2c. sugar and salt. Add one squeeze of lemon to the mix, taste. To make the mixed flavor, I used about 1 1/2c. of the melon mix with 3 kiwis (and no additional sugar) in a separate container. In a third bowl/container, peel and chop up the remaining kiwis, removing the hard ends. Add 1/4c. sugar and a squeeze of lemon, tasting to adjust for tartness (I like mine tart!)
To freeze, pour your first layer into the ice pop mold or some plastic cups (note: try some ice cubes for fun!). After 30 minutes or so, the mixture will not be frozen, but solid enough to not mix with the additional layer. Spoon it in gently. Rinse and repeat until you have the layers you desire! You can use a wooden stick to make ice pops or cut the forms with a sharp knife after releasing from the molds.
If you ask many Italians when they read most during the year, you will hear: Summer vacation.
Today, my vacation officially begins, so what better way than to talk about reading? I’ll be spending the next two weeks bouncing between Puglia and Sicily, so that means a lot down time traveling and (hopefully) laying around with a book in my hand. Or ebook reader, to be exact.
If you remember from my 2006 year-in-review, I love to read. A lot! In 2006, I read 52 ebooks (about 95% available also in print) and I’m a big advocate of ebooks – I’m continuing that trend and staying as “mobile” as possible. Of course, there are some books that just have to be touched, and in some cases, licked, if you remember the cookbooks I bought in June, and I still prefer to buy business-marketing type books in paper version so I can make notes, but I save quite a bit of money buying ebooks, being abroad.
If you’re interested in purchasing ebooks, Dearauthor.com just did a recap of how-tos about ebooks and a price comparison of some ebooktailers and their prices, including some of my favorites, eReader, Fictionwise, SimonSays, and newcomer Books on Board. The NY Times also jumped on the bandwagon yesterday with an article yesterday on ebooks and digital libraries, so you know things are getting serious. TeleRead is also a good blog focusing on ebooks and devices.
This year’s reading has “suffered” since I haven’t had the commute to work I did most of last year and therefore not as much time. Lately I have been using an old Palm Zire that my Dad sent me to read electronic books. I always have a book “at hand” and my reading rates have increased once again.
Some of my summer reading picks:
- Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen – I’ve pretty much finished with this book, now I’m going to review some of my notes about it.
- Good to Great – Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t – by Jim Collins – This has been on my TBR (to be read) list for a long time.
- Made to Stick Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die – by Chip Heath, Dan Heath – A good follow-up to the Tipping Point, it examines ideas and how to make them stick (read: be successful).
- Birthday Stories and Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami (I really enjoyed his Kafka on the Shore earlier this year)
- Eclipse (Twilight, Book 3 ) by Stephenie Meyer – it’s no Harry Potter, but selling more than a million books ain’t bad, either. All three of her books (Twilight, Book 1; and New Moon, Book 2) are in the top 20 right now at Amazon. I got a hold of the electronic version and “saved” quite a bit since I saw the hardcover version here for 22 euro. People are crazy.
- Kitchen and Hardboiled|Hardluck by Banana Yoshimoto
I also have a ton of romancey-beach reads I’m loading on my ebook reader. If you’re a lover, too, send me an email and we can exchange lists.
Interested in reading some books about Italy or living in Italy this summer? Here are a few of my picks – you can find more in my Amazon Store:
- Living, Studying, and Working in Italy: Everything You Need to Know to Live La Dolce Vita by By Monica Larner – probably the most “practical” book on this list – you can start investigating a temporary or permanent move here!
- Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes – The book that is probably most famous about picking up and moving to Italy. Though I don’t really relate to much of her experiences, the scenery resonates with me as I studied in the town next to Cortona.
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia By Elizabeth Gilbert
- Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany By Bill Buford – a foodie book – a cook apprentice in Italy – Kitchen Confidential meets Under the Tuscan Sun!
For another holiday reading list, check out How to Italy’s Holiday Reading post.
What are you reading this summer?? It’s not too late for me to stick something in my ebook reader – give me a suggestion!