Monday, March 7

Podcast from Italy: Interview with Villa Cappelli in Puglia


 We always joked that we live 'off the guidebook grid' here in Le Marche and if that's the case - then Puglia is the Wild West, yet to be discovered! 

This week's podcast is an in-depth interview with Villa Cappelli owners Steven & Paul. Away from the tourists in one of the most beautiful undiscovered Regions in Italy, we hear from two American expats about life in Puglia, their favorite local recipes and restoring a centuries old villa! 

 
The property is just stunning especially how they have paid homage to the history of the house. Getting married here would feel like you a straight out of an old film, tucked away in your own little borgo (village) and swept away by the old world charm of it all!
 
 The couple also produces olive oil and wine and we delve into the infamous olive oil scandal happening in Italy!! (Do yourself a favor and hop over to their site and pick up a liter or two of their beautiful Extra Virgin Olive Oil - it's the real deal!) 

 
For more on Villa Cappelli listen to Paul & Steven's podcast - Living Villa Cappelli - available on iTunes.  www.villacapelli.com

 
Thanks for listening!!!
 PODCAST FROM ITALY: #88-Interview with Villa Cappelli
available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Wednesday, February 17

Introducing the NEW Owners of La Tavola Marche




Drum roll please....we are excited to finally announce the NEW owners of La Tavola Marche (farm, inn & cooking school), Tony & Danielle.  Jason and I have no doubt that you are in good hands - from their kind hearts and big smiles to the amazing food they will share & more than just being 'hospitable' they instantly make you feel like your hanging out with old friends, lingering at the table long into the night!

2016 will be a year of exciting changes not only new owners but a NEW location in Le Marche as well!! Jason and I will be working closely with Danielle & Tony to help ensure a smooth transition from sharing recipes to painting walls and starting a new garden - we'll do it together and share the journey with you here! You will see still a few posts from me here and there thru 2016 but soon Tony will take over and you'll get a chance to read their story of moving to Le Marche and the local traditional food they will cook.

Get to know the new owners...
Tony and Danielle came together with a shared love for adventure in travel and an appreciation for the people, customs and the foods that are unique to the places they visit. One of those places was Le Marche, Italy and together they have decided to become a part of the fabric of this region.

Danielle’s passion for cooking comes from her father who loved preparing food for family and friends. As a chef and a teacher, Danielle has been involved in the kitchen, catering and event planning for 15 years. Her engaging, warm hearted, happy nature allows for Danielle to connect with others and share all her experiences through food.

Tony grew up in London and moved to the US to play soccer in college.  Living two such diverse cultures at a young age, Tony found it enjoyable to welcome new experiences.  Throughout his career over the past 25 years, Tony has been able to connect with new people and places.  During these travels, he has grown a love for wines and the artisans who create them, and continues to learn about their varieties around the world.  Combined with his magnetic and easy going personality, Tony is always the perfect host with a great sense of humor!

Danielle and Tony are excited and ready to welcome everyone as they embark on their new chapter at La Tavola Marche. Send them a note to say CIAO! and welcome them to the family info@latavolamarche.com 


 


Monday, February 1

Innovative Study Abroad Program for Filmmakers & Photographers


I was asked to share a bit of information about this incredible study abroad program and couldn't help but want to go myself!


Alt Studio is pleased to announce the inaugural year of its alternative study abroad experience. Taking place this summer in Lucca, Italy, this intensive five-week study program will allow students to learn photography and film making from leaders in the field; all while using Tuscany’s culture and beautiful landscapes their muse.

Focusing on still and moving imagery, Alt Studio Tuscany features one-on-one instruction in an intimate group setting limited to just thirty students. With weekly classes, critiques, screenings and travel to nearby Tuscan destinations, students are completely immersed in Italian culture, enabling them be immersed in the rich and timeless surroundings of timeless beauty. Courses include digital video, photography, sound for video, and Italian Cinema History. Each Friday students will travel to destinations such as Siena, Florence, Bologna, The Gori Collection, and Rome where they will document their experiences as part of their coursework. Sounds incredible!!





John Murphy, the program’s creator hopes to transform the participants, "I want to share with my students an experience unlike any other: to work and create in Tuscany. Through Alt Studio, participants will be able to learn from my dear friends, who happen to be exception l professionals in their fields, while completely immersing themselves in Italian culture. Living and working in Lucca, and exploring and documenting Tuscany will be one of the best summers a creative young person could ever have. To spend time, a small part of one's life, shooting in this charmed land will change any artist forever. I know it changed me forever.”

In addition to being inspired by living and working abroad, students will have the opportunity to learn
from accomplished working-professionals in relevant fields. AltStudio’s faculty have been nominated for Academy Awards, worked on projects for The Discovery Channel, History Channel, A+E, and have had work published in New York Times, LIFE Magazine, and The London Sunday Times. 

The Details; 
ALT STUDIO
The program will start on May 31, 2016 and end on July 10, 2016.

Monday, January 4

Podcast #85 - Holiday Wrap Up, House Hunting & How we Travel


Happy New Year from Italy! Buon Anno Nuovo!
The latest podcast is up: This week we share our holiday traditions, including a special segment narrated by Dr. Gaggi! We marvel at the warm winter weather! Plus we're house hunting for the NEXT location for La Tavola Marche...Then the discussion turns to winter travel and the perks of low-cost airlines!

Watch the videos mentioned in this podcast here: https://nohalfmeasureslife.wordpress.com/films/ 

Listen via Stitcher Radio or iTunes Podcast from Italy! 


Saturday, December 26

A Tuscan Christmas Gathering & A NEW Blog!


Over the rivers and through the woods passing thru Le Marche and Umbria along the way, to gather by the roaring fire & meet new friends,  to share a festive table & eat a gorgeous meal. We poured endless red, ate too much and returned home late into the night, thankful for a whimsical afternoon...

The photos and story are posted on my NEW blog for our NEW venture NO HALF MEASURES (consulting & social media/marketing, sustainable tourism)

Sharing stories of travel, food and sustainable living through films & photography hoping to inspire others to live life to the fullest!

If you've been following us since the beginning (THANK YOU!) - don't worry, you can follow us & keep in touch at our new blog No Half Measures LIFE. In the next month or two you will start to see the transition into 2016 - new owners, new posts, new property - same farm to table traditions!


Wednesday, December 23

Cappelletti: A Christmas Story


Year after year I have posted and reposted the recipe for cappelletti in brodo - the most famous typical pasta dish eaten on Christmas Day! This year I recorded a short timelapse video of making kilos of this handmade pasta but the best part is it's narrated by Dr. Gaggi!

  

Christmas celebrated in Le Marche, Italy is not complete without a heart-warming bowl of cappelletti in brodo or little stuffed hats in broth. I was once told is a dish served for only those you love because it takes so much time & patience to make!  In our area this dish is traditionally served on Christmas day for lunch and New Year's Eve for dinner.
Take the time and make it from scratch, buy the freshest eggs (it will make the color of the dough nice & golden) and enjoy this homemade pasta the way it was meant to be eaten - surrounded by family. (Plus they freeze well so you can have them on-hand, at the ready all winter long!)
 


Cappelletti in Brodo
Broth:
 1 whole chicken in pieces
1 beef bone
1 tomato
2 stalks of celery, chunked up
2 carrots, chopped in chunks
2 large onions, chopped in chunks
sprig of parsley
water
healthy pinch of salt
In a large stock pot add all ingredients and cover with water. Bring to a boil, skim the fat and impurities that come to the top.
Then lower to a very low simmer.
Simmer for 3-4 hours.
Strain stock - discard vegetables.
Now you have a delicious stock to be used in an array of dishes & soups.

Pick the meat off the bone & use in the soup, chicken salad or any other dish.
(Stock will last a week in the fridge or you can freeze in usable portions.)

Pasta Dough Recipe:
(serves 4)
400 grams of flour (type 0)
pinch of salt
4 eggs
To make the dough - follow our recipe - click here
Filling:
6 oz. lean beef cubed
4 oz. pork loin, cubed
half a chicken breast, cubed
1 sausage, without casing, cubed
1 carrot, diced finely
salt & pepper
a healthy pinch Nutmeg
handful of grated parmesean cheese
1 egg
pad of butter
glug of olive oil
salt & pepper

In a pot, melt the butter & toss in all the meat & carrot.  
Cook over medium heat, until meat is cooked & 2/3 of the liquid is reduced.
Set aside & let cool.
When the meat is cool toss it into the food processor & pulse until it resembles ground beef - not a paste.
Add the egg, salt & pepper, nutmeg & cheese - mix with your hands.  (It will hold a ball when squeezed together, but not wet)
Roll out pasta dough into about 2mm thick sheets.

It may help at this point to watch this clip on youtube (fast forward to about 6 minutes in): How to close your cappelletti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYUR8KSY8hI)
Cut into 1 inch squares.  Place a pea size amount of filling in each square.
 Fold the square into a triangle - making sure to seal the edges very well! (Super important)
This is when it gets difficult to explain...Then take legs of the triangle & pinch them together.
Make sure not to over-stuff your cappelleti & to seal them properly - otherwise they will burst when you boil them.
Boil in brodo (broth) until they float - if they are fresh about 2-4 minutes. Jason suggests that when they start floating - try one.
To freeze for later: Let the pasta sit & dry overnight in a cool dry room in a single layer with parchment paper underneath.


  BUON NATALE!!

Saturday, December 19

Podcast from Italy: Roasting Chestnuts While Podcasting & Periscoping!!


Homemade Cappelletti
Today's podcast is a little different - we woke up early to simultaneously record a podcast & LIVE! Periscope video! Thanks to everyone that sent us your questions - both ahead of time and while the periscope feed was live! Jason showed and explained how to roast chestnuts in an open fire while I complained about Christmas in Italy! We announced big new about La Tavola Marche and what's next for us and the business!!

Thanks for listening!! And if you'd like to watch the periscope feed (only available for the next 24 hours...) or follow us for future broadcasts: https://www.periscope.tv/ashleybartner

Listen on iTunes or Stitcher!!
Rolling the dough for Christmas cappelletti
 

Saturday, December 5

Podcast from Italy: #83 - Travels to Spain, France & Sicily...

Agrigento, Valley of the Temples - Sicily

Thank you to all the fans that emailed us to continue the podcast - we were overwhelmed by your kind words!! After our longest hiatus we are back with hopefully a weekly podcast for you about our life in Italy and travels beyond. This week we catch you up on our last season, give you a Dr. Gaggi update, talk about the Holidays and of course what's happening in the garden. Then we get into our autumn travels to Spain, France and Sicily. Thanks for listening!!


 

Saturday, October 10

Apples & Pears


 Each year during our apple harvest I post a handful of apple recipes - this year simply enjoy the photos from an afternoon of picking our trees... I love autumn!


Tuesday, October 6

Apecchio's White Truffle & Local Craft Beer Festival


White truffle season has officially begun in Italy, as usual the festivities kick off at Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco Internazionale in Apecchio. Apecchio (our neighboring villages) is located in the "Truffle Valley" of Le Marche, the festival marks the 'unveiling' of the white truffles and talk begins on how the season will unfold.. Unfortunately due to a hot hot summer with little rain, the white truffles were...almost nonexistent compared to years past. One vender had only 300 grams going for 3,000 Euro/kilo and even he shook his head, hanging low and said 'they are not worth it, there is barely any smell...'

 There's still hope though, the season just began!

The truffles may have been lack-luster but the beer was flowing with countless local craft beer stands from Collesi to Venere, the cantina's were fully stocked and ready to pour.


We wandered the music filled streets hypnotized by the Indian Summer air - 



Nibbling and drinking along the way - just the way I like it...we finally settled down at Cantina Wine-bledon (ran by the local Tennis Association) for a hearty plate of polenta with white truffles & sausage - Jason opted for the go-to festival classic, grilled sausage piadine. We both scored and to top it off - the polenta master himself Franchino stopped by to say Ciao! (He was born in our house!)


 Late into the night the band played on, after my last bag of roasted chestnuts was been long gone,  the warm inviting glow of the cantina drew me in for another round of locally brewed blonde.

Visit Le Marche, Italy
#destinazionemarche


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