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Happy Easter (Buona Pasqua) to those who celebrated! My in-law had organized a big lunch for a family get-together. It was wonderful! 12 of us did enjoy a special time during Easter feast. Hope you all did too.

Here our dining table… ready to receive everyone in the family (12 seats)
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Name tag (handmade) — my father in-law made these and put them on each seat! They are cute, love them!
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Primo (first course), it was lasagna.
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Secondo (second course) : grilled lamb with rosemary
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Side dish — it is called “Sformato di Verdure”. Mashed potato with green beans, eggs, grated parmesan … mixed all together until it become creamy, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and baked in the oven.
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Another side dish – baked potatoes
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Before dessert we had “madedonia” (mixed bowl of chopped fruit such as pears, apples, strawberries, kiwi, etc.)
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As Italian tradition – people exchange chocolate eggs … each egg weighs around 300-400 grams (standard size). They are wrapped in colorful papers.
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Some prefer to give gift set instead of one big chocolate eggs (chocolate and traditional Easter cake called “Colomba”)
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We were in the middle of exchanging eggs in the family… fun fun!
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There they are!… chocolate eggs for Easter
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Inside chocolate eggs there are little gift (or souvenirs) hidden, you need to break or tear all eggs to see them.
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This cake is called “Colomba” (English = Dove). It is considered to be Italian Easter Cake. The texture is like sweet bread, topped with baked almond and sugar. The shape is like “dove” with head, tail and 2 wings.
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Our gifts for the family — nice package of chocolate eggs and little baskets from Lindt… good quality chocolate and beautiful package design, love it!
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Hope you all had a great Easter… it is huge family get together event here in Italy (beside Christmas). Have a great day, everyone!

Wish you all had a very merry Christmas… December is such a month of celebration… the birth of Jesus Christ and time to be together with our family. We really did had a great time on December 25th. My in-law hosted a grand Christmas feast, food is all Italian… delicious!

This year Milan has a very bright and shine weather… 2-6c with sunshine throughout the week. We didn’t have a white Christmas but it was alright. The time with family was more precious… what a year we had.

Our Christmas feast… lunch of December 25th, 2011.


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Antipasti (starters) : we had different kinds of cured meat, salami and hams.
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Side dished: pickles and different kinds of vegetable.
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Anchovies
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Tartine al Salmone: toasts with butter and salmon
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Tartine: little square pieces of bread, spread with patè (spreadable meat paste) and garnished with vegetable or pickles
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Patè: a mixture of ground meat with herbs and spices into a form of spreadable paste. The recipe of my father in law was to cover with gelatin and chill it in a fridge for a couple of days.
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Salsa Verde: vegetable paste made with fresh parsley, anchovies, onions, salt and vinegar.
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Primo: our first course was ravioli stuffed with ground meat.
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Secondo: chicken with potatoes and salsa verde. On Christmas day, chicken meat is preferred to be from female chicken (hen), in Italian it is called “Gallina”.
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Grandmother of my husband loved this part of chicken, yes… it is bottom! She said, back in the old days it was not easy to find. You would have a buy a whole chicken to get this part. I think it is true until these days. They don’t sell chicken’s bottom in the supermarket, you will need to buy a whole one… the question is “how many people want to eat that part (chicken’s bottom)???”
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Another side dish: Gallina in Gelatina
It is chickent torn in pieces and soaked in gelatin… garnished with pickles.
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Gorgonzola and mascapone cheese mixed together, garnished with walnut: It is cream spread, which is quite popular in North Italy.
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Dessert: Panettone pudding
It is made from Italian festive bread “Panettone”, sliced in to pieces, layered with chocolate and vanilla pudding.
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Pandoro (big loaf of bread covered with icing sugar): it is traditional bread in Italy, which is widely sold during Christmas and New Year.
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We love to have Pandoro with sweet mascarpone cream.
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We exchanged our gifts after finishing our big meal… what fun!

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Our Christmas lunch was very long… lasted from 12:30pm until 6pm with 14 attendees including hosts. It was a long hard work to prepare but I bet the joy that came out of it was paid off wonderfully. Wish you all a great time during holiday season… Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2012!

Piazza del Duomo (Milan, Italy) has already been lit up with Christmas tree and lights… It is such a wonderful time of the year!…

Let’s see some photos!
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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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Under the dome of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, there are lights put in a shape of Milan flag.

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Castello Sforzesco – Via Dante

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Christmas tree at Piazza del Duomo (Milan, Italy)

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Christmas tree at night

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Duomo di Milano at night – Lights were on in the evening, reflecting georgous colorful glass windows.

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Navigli Canal in the evening

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A little shop under the Christmas tree at Piazza del Duomo

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Shops around Duomo have changed to festive displays

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Flower stands are selling Christmas theme dried and fresh flowers.

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Coffee shops and bakery are selling festive pastries.

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Wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2012

The weather has changed a lot in the past couple weeks in Milan, Italy. It is getting colder as we are reaching winter season. I do not enjoy the cold…but it somehow gives me a little break from exhausting heat during summer. The sky is sometimes grey… which is very normal… things that keep the city alive is activities, events and people.

Let’s have a nice stroll around Piazza del Duomo (Milan, Italy)… and see some pictures…

A nice café near Piazza dei Mercanti


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Ladurée… their famous macarons are really good!
(Via Spadari 6, Milano)


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Café Victor Hugo also sells “macarons”


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Café Victor Hugo starts displaying many Christmas items


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Piazza del Duomo – Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II — still crowded all year round.


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A restaurant inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II


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Prada displays winter collection 2011


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A little girl with leopard print coat — wow, how stylish!


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Police and vigilants around Piazza del Duomo


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Camomilla Milano displays products from Hello Kitty… pink pumpkins look awesome!


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Mailman’s transportation… moves around with electricity on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.


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Cyclamen – popular flowers duing Fall/Winter (Italian = Ciclamino)


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The season has changed… stay warm everyone!

There is a nice little park in the city area of Milano, Giardino della Guastalla. It is located right near State University of Milan (Università Statale di Milano). During the day, you may see many college students there… sitting in the sun, having lunch, or just resting. Not only students, working people like to go there during their lunch break also. I found it was like a little haven in the busy area of the city, love it!

 

 

Giardiono della Guastalla
 

 
 
 
There is a big pond inside this little park.

 
 
 

Red roses are found around Giardiono della Guastalla.

 
 
 

White roses!

 
 
 

Let’s have a little walk near La Scala.

 
 
 

La Scala (Milan, Italy)

 
 
 

Yellow roses are everywhere near the statue of Leonardo da Vinci.

 
 
 

I have been growing some plants on our balcony, such as Tangerine (Italian = Mandarini).

 
 
 

Hydrangea (Italian = Ortensia)

 
 
 

Hydrangea starts showing colors (purple and blue)

 
 
 

Hydrangea : I took this picture from a little part near our home… nice, aren’t they?

 
 
 

Spring is here! The weather in Milan is getting warmer and warmer. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to go somewhere for a nice day trip soon!

The weather is getting a lot warmer in Milan… we couldn’t help going to buy some flowers and plants for our balcony. One of my favorite places is “Botanic”. A big store, which sells plants, flowers and all kinds of gardening tools, located in Rozzano (suburb of Milan, Italy).

 

Let’s go to “Botanic” store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many kinds of outdoor furniture.

 

 

 

Plants’corner in front of Botanic

 

 

 

Plants on our balcony; sage, oregano, basil
(Italian = salvia, oregano, basilico)

 

 

 

Rosemary and Mint
(Italian = Rosmarino, Menta)

 

 

 

Gerbera – orange is beautiful!

 

 

 

African Violet (Italian = Saint Paulia)

 

 

 

Gerbera — bright yellow!

 

 

 

3 plants — so bright and beautiful on our balcony

 

 

 

One of my favorite icecream shops in Milano— Gelateria Marghera (Via Marghera 33, Milano). This place is quite small but full of people everyday!

 

 

 

Beside ice-cream, they also make ice-cream cakes.

 

 

 

Homemade gelato! So yum, so good!

 

 

 

Gelato – Minth chocolate chips and white chocolate (plus whipped cream)

 

 

 

Have a wonderful week!!!