It’s Easy to Own a Little Part of Italy

Wouldn’t we all like to own a little piece of Italy?

I sure would.

 I dream one day of owning a place where I can spend long lazy summers and holidays with family and friends.

It really is my favorite country.

The food, the people, the traditions.

EEG & Me on the Boat to Ponza

I used to make annual trips to Italy to visit my dear friend Elizabeth, a writer and professor in Rome.

We met our freshman year of life in Chicago, co-workers, roommates, confidants.

She had the most charming Roman flat and friends.  Lunches on her patio, espresso at her 200 year old farm table, dinner at midnight.

The perfect tour guide to the Eternal City.

“Chiarella” Laurie’s House in Italy

Lunch is Served

The other bonus of traveling to Italy was hopping on the train to visit my pal Laurie’s Farm House “Chiarella“. Laurie also happened to be an old Chicago friend of both Elizabeth and mine so she was always on the travel itinerary. Laurie is a smart woman who bought a place  in Umbria (which she rents fyi) when it was still un-tapped by tourists and before the Euro made things costly . It’s a charming old farm-house on 7 acres, with stream, a vineyard and loads of charm.  Many long chats over wine and star-gazing under thick wool blankets on her beautiful property.

Amazing times with amazing friends.

My annual visits have sadly gone by the way side.

 Motherhood has put a stop to my former Prada shopping sprees, eating at midnight, drinking wine at noon,  “single girl” trips to Italy.

I’m not closing that chapter forever, just until my little gal is a little older.

My dreams of owning a little piece of land in Italy have just gotten a little closer.

I have just been let in on a secret.

My friend Jessica (and a member of our Cooking Club) introduced me to Tre Olive.

 Tre Olive is an olive oil company and they have a deal where you can adopt your own olive tree in Italy and reep the rewards year round when you receive the delicious olive oil from the harvest of your own tree.

This is what you get:

Adopt an Olive Tree and you receive:

Cost: $110 for a 1 year adoption + shipping and handling

  • Adoption certificate, certificate/photo holder, welcome letter, brochure.
  • A photo of YOUR tree, with all its graceful beauty and naturally imperfect glory.
  • Your tree is tagged with your name for the adoption year.
  • The Olive Oil from your tree – 3 liters (6 x 500ml tins) delivered in the Spring. Olives from your tree will be pressed, along with olives from neighboring trees (it’s a family affair). Because some trees produce more oil and some produce less, we share the wealth.

The method in which the Tre Olive family makes this delicious olive oil has been passed down through the generations and the care, quality, and love shows in their product.

I quickly used up my can of olive oil and am anxiously awaiting the next. You can also purchase single containers of oil olive in different varieties such as their Early Harvest or Signature Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oils.

 They also have hand made extra virgin olive oil soaps.

This is a perfect gift for Foodie Friends and those folks who stump you after year about what to get them. I think it would be a great wedding gift to adopt a tree in the name of the new couple.  Also, you can hand out the oil out as hostess gifts.

Whatever the case….it’s yummy, organic, and all yours.

And the best part?  To know that I have some roots in Italy,

until I can plant roots of my own!

xoxo Carrie

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Cooking Club

Tonight’s Table

Way back when I was single, had roommates, and worked as a talent agent I decided to start a cooking club with my friend Cornelia. I remember we were sitting in a now defunct restaurant in Hollywood drinking wine, out much later than we should have been on a work night.  Besides having the prerequisite single girls conversation; fashion, boys and work, we found we both had a yearning to become better cooks and entertainers.  We already entertained quite a bit but we wanted to learn more, to master things we were afraid of (for me it was bread dough) and to also create an opportunity to carve out some quality time with good girl friends who were of like mind and wanted to learn some things in the kitchen. And so the Cooking Club was born.

I hosted the first cooking club in my tiny apartment kitchen that I shared with my dear friend Interior Designer Mary Luby and Yoga Booty Ballet Creator Gillian Martloth. I prepared cornish game hens and a wild rice dish.  It was all about quick, simple, sure to wow recipes. We drank too much and though the food was delicious, the evening was more like me conducting a cooking lesson on the Foodnetwork. We have learned a lot in the 10 years the Cooking Club has been in existence and now our get togethers are collborative and themed based.

Sally’s Spread for Spanish Cooking Club

(she had the items sent from Spain)

Alix working on her Biscotti for Italian Night

Stacy and Vanessa cooking up Garlic Flavored Oil for Broccolini

Toppings and Fresh Pizza Dough for our Pizza Night

Lettuce Wraps

Jessica and Clarke Sporting Bindi’s for Indian Night

Indian Night Table @ Alix’s House

Celebrating Lulu’s Book “Lulu Powers, Food to Flowers” with a Table Scape Using Some of her Tips

Our group now consists of some professionals in the food biz which has put the cooking on a much higher level.  We “tease” when someone hasn’t put much time into a dish or if they make the same thing numerous times, but we are all quite serious about our cooking.  Most of us have had a big flop (except the fabulous Caterer Lulu Powers) and great successess.  We have bumped it up even more now by taking special care in our tablescapes.

Lulu’s Summer Table

Clarke’s Favorite Things Dinner

Malibu Beach Food @ Sally’s

The members have changed through the years, but we now have a core group that has been going strong for years. There are some ladies I only see when we get together, others that I see more often, but I adore each and every member and learn so much (not just in cooking but in life). There have been weddings, babies, divorces, job losses, and career changes.  We have lost parents and pets. Members have moved away.  We have even been in national magazines and on television. But the desire to learn, cook, to be wonderful hosts and entertainers is still what drives us all.

Some of the other Cooking Club members have blogs you should check out!

Sally Horchow “Very Good Looking”

Lulu Powers    “Living La Lulu”

Heather Fogarty  “The Foodinista”

I am hosting tonight, so off to go do a little prep.

Happy Cooking Everyone!

xoxo Carrie