How I Travel: Using Google Maps to discover and map out a city

June 10th, 2013 · Tags: Tech Talk · Tips · Travels Abroad

Are you a subscriber to my newsletterI’m also on Twitter @rosso and I’m rossosara on Instagram.

I’ve talked a bit about how I don’t really enjoy some of the planning parts of travel – I don’t like price comparing flights, searching out deals, or spending tons of time on ratings websites. But one thing I do love doing is sussing out the place I’m going to stay and start to get a sense of the surrounding area even before I get there. That’s when I open up Google Maps and create a custom map for the trip. I have some Google Maps which have been around for years, and with each subsequent trip I add more landmarks, more suggestions, and often discover and chart out a new area in the city.

Here are some tips I have if you want to get started with it yourself – read on!

New York map

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Lemon Almond Cake (Gluten Free) Recipe and Making a Recipe your Own

April 17th, 2013 · Tags: Dessert · Food · Recipe

Michael Ruhlman RatioDo you feel confident enough to create a recipe from scratch?

That was one of the reasons I bought Michael Ruhlman’s “Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everday Cooking” so I could feel more confident dissecting a recipe and making it my own without messing up the right ratios (and turning a cake into a pudding, for example) or playing with some basic ingredients and building them up into a recipe that is all mine.

Don’t expect a big colorful cookbook from Ratio. It’s more like a science textbook, analyzing ratios and providing some basic recipes, and it’s one I see myself referring to more and more in the future. I would even suggest the ebook version as it’s more of a reference and the photos are black & white in the hardcover version anyway.

The weather this winter in Milan was unusually rainy, cold, and grey. It can often be rainy, cold, and grey in Milan, but it was for far too long. I say was, since we’re technically in spring for more than a month, but it’s only been warm this past week that I’ve been able to feel it at all. For a while, I rebelled in my own “American in Italy” way – nixing the omnipresent scarf (which I love) but still having a completely zipped-up jacket, or trying not to wear 2 pairs of pants to the gym (like I do in winter) during my 100m walk out in the “elements.” Finally it looks like I can shed that heavy winter jacket for good.

But while I was deep in the still-in-winter-blah (only last week), I started obsessing about lemons. Lemons are one of my favorite ingredients, and scents – I rub a lemon beeswax hand salve on my hands every day in my form of aromatherapy – and I wanted a lemony cake to snack on. LEMONS! I couldn’t stop thinking about lemons.

I started jotting notes down in a moleskine (I have a small cahier where I write down weekly menus / recipes which you can see below) just to try and get it out of my head. But the lemons wouldn’t go away. I made a special trip down to the store to gather a few ingredients and over lunch, in a frenzy, I whipped up this Lemon Almond Cake.

Lemon Almond Cake preparation by Sara Rosso, Ms. Adventures in Italy

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Discovering Italian wine in an Enoteca Regionale – Piedmont

April 3rd, 2013 · Tags: Discovering Italy · Italy · Piemonte

Are you friends with me on Instagram? I’m rossosaraAre you a subscriber to my newsletterI’m also on Twitter @rosso

My other half is now a sommelier through the AIS (Associazione Italiana Sommelier) and that means that wine has now, more than ever, been a big part of our culinary experience. Since we only got a car 3 years ago, it’s been a great excuse to get out and discover the countryside where few buses and trains will go.

Tasting #Barolo in Barolo. Borgogno 1998. Heavy mushroom & meat/stall undertones #italy #vino #wine

Tasting Barolo in Barolo, Italy.

This Easter weekend we went back to Piemonte. We spent Easter there three years ago (you can read about the delicious Easter lunch we had) but this time we went to a different part of the region and focused solely on wine and countryside. I did drive by the Ferrero factory (makers of Nutella) but they don’t allow visits, so you can leave that off your itinerary for Piemonte.

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March Favorites: Italy edition

March 11th, 2013 · Tags: Favorites · Italy

Are you friends with me on Instagram? I’m rossosaraAre you a subscriber to my newsletter? I’m also on Twitter @rosso

Here’s some of the favorites I’ve seen lately in Italy.

Favorite work-turned-reward in Italy: Not only was cutting my own chocolate so cool, the cremino from Domori was so delicious and my favorite thing from an evening out. They could tell I liked it – they gave me one just for me! I broke it open on a trip down south, and it was gone in 24 hours. 500g of chocolate, gone like that. Boom! A cremino is three layers of chocolate, the two outer being gianduja (hazelnut + chocolate) and the inner layer is often hazelnut or coffee.

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How I Travel: What’s in my Carry-on Bag

January 31st, 2013 · Tags: Me · Tips

I travel a lot. Last year I spent 155 days away from home (that’s 42% of the year!) I don’t do a lot of carry-on-only travel and that’s mainly because I’m a pack rat and I love buying things to bring home or bringing presents to people, and most of my flights have free baggage allowance. I actually just bought a new carryon suitcase and I’ll be experimenting with doing carry-on only on some of my shorter trips.

So I usually check one or more bags and bring my Timbuk2 WordPress messenger bag (don’t you love the fake brown leather?) or my SwissGear backpack as my carry-on. A lot of my travel is flying, but this bag is close to the same for train travel, or even a road trip.

Let’s look inside!

How I travel - my carry-on by Sara Rosso

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