Why you should bring your Mom to a La Fortezza Workshop

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Mother Daughter Truffle hunting excursion

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These sisters brought their Mom to paint with Steve. It was on the bucket list, and they ticked it off the list last year.

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Enjoying the sunshine with a picnic in the olive groves

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Hiking and photography with Emily in the hills above.

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Pasta making lessons in our commercial kitchen.

It’s been brought to my attention that we have a lot of mothers and daughters that join us on our workshops and retreats. I had never thought about it before, but I was chatting with someone about bringing her Mom to our Steve Mckenzie’s Artist in Residence Program in July. I realized how many Moms and daughters had joined us in Italy over the years. There are lots of benefits to traveling with your Mom according to Psychology Today:

“Travel, in and of itself, offers a chance to get outside of our normal, everyday self. When two women who’ve known each other as long or as intimately as a mother and daughter have head out together, they are able to shake off the cobwebs from home as they stir up the dust of adventure down a new path.” 

La Fortezza seems like the perfect place to enjoy some down time with your Mom or your daughter all while learning how to cook Italian foods, visiting our secret places like flea markets and beautiful open air markets in chic destinations and painting lessons in the Italian countryside.

Mother daughter vacations seem to be our thing, and I could not be more thrilled. Book an adventure today and make some amazing memories with your beloved Mom or daughter and bring your sister along as well. You won’t regret it. I am hoping this is a something La Fortezza Workshops and Retreats become known for during the coming years. Encouraging generations of women to explore together is a mission I am focused on. We would love to welcome you and your Mom daughter or sister, head to the site and grab your spots. NOTE* If your Mom is not participating in the workshop you will get special pricing, email me for details before you check out to save.

xx Annette

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2018

Gift guides are always one of my favorite posts to write, but this one for Mother’s Day might be the most fun. I had a blast rounding-up items that not only I would enjoy receiving, but I thought you might like to receive as well. Dads and kids, use this list as a guide for choosing the perfect gifts for the moms in your life. Moms, feel free to pass this post along to anyone you think could use a little push.

This year’s guide includes everything from books to chic summer accessories. Some of the items would even pair nicely together for one amazing Mother’s Day gift. Let me know what items are on your wish list in the comments. Who knows? Maybe I need what you want!

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Onyx Magnetic Mask: I use this, and it’s amazing.

Gucci Belt Bag: Talk about a fanny-pack improvement.

Hermes Cleansing Gel

Gucci Sunglasses

Hermes Silk Scarf: I’ve been eying this for months!

Anthro Passport Holder

Zara Straw Bag

Beaded Keychain: Pair this with the bag above for a fun present

Italian Workshop Gift Card: I think mom would love to join us in Italy, don’t you?

Cocktail Italiano

Smith & Cult Nail Polish

xx Annette

 

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Ricotta Spinach Quiche for Easter Brunch

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With Passover starting later this week and Easter being on Sunday, I thought this Ricotta Spinach Quiche would be a fabulous recipe for today’s blog post. Not only is this recipe something that you can easily bake ahead, it’s a beautiful presentation filled with vibrant colors for spring. Prepare it completely and then bake it at your destination, or pop it in the oven just before your guests arrive.

One note: if you don’t have time for making your own crust (which I highly recommend, but I know life happens), a frozen crust works just fine. Just check out the crust directions before you get started.

*note for passover just leave off the crust, the Quiche will be more like a frittata, which is fine.

Ricotta Spinach Quiche
Serves 8

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Note: If you’re using store bought crust, skip the directions for Pate Brisee. 

For Pate Brisee:

You will need:
– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 stick butter chilled and cut into cubes
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ to ½ cup ice water

To prepare:

Place flour, sugar, butter, and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a mixing blade. Mix on medium until small crumbs form, add ice water until the dough pulls together and away from the side of the bowl.

The dough should be a soft consistency.

Place dough in the fridge to rest.

For the Filling:

You will need:
– 6 eggs
– 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
– 4 cups of fresh spinach
– 1/4 sliced red onion
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup of cubed speck ham
– 1 cup cubed buffalo mozzerella
– 1 Pate Brisee (recipe below)

To prepare:

Whisk eggs in a large bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzerella cheese, and salt, set aside.

In a frying pan, add the speck ham and saute for 10 minutes until the ham becomes crispy. Pour off any excess fat and set aside.

In a saute pan, add olive oil and saute spinach and onion until spinach is wilted, about 10 minutes, set aside to cool.

Once the spinach is cooled, in batches squeeze the excess liquid in your hands into the sink. Place into the bowl of eggs and cheeses, add speck, and combine completely. Your filling should be green.

Roll out the Pate Brisee into a disk, and fit into a 9 inch quiche pan, add the filling. You may also blind bake the crust if you wish; it’s definitely an option.

Bake for 45-50 minutes in a 375 degree F oven.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

xx Annette

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Hi Everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web-manager and friend here again bringing you your last minute Mother’s Day gift guide for any last minute shopping. Just in case you’ve forgotten, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, but with quick shipping, there’s still time to get her something special.

When it comes to shopping this week, think about places you can either pick-up a gift (I love the “pick-up in store” options so many places have now), or have shipped to you (or mom!) quickly. And of course, you can’t go wrong with flowers!

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1. This/That & Bits/Bobs pouches: Anthropologie always has such a great selection of little gifts and things. These pouches would be perfect for traveling abroad to collect loose change and foreign currency.

2. Photography Workshop: What mom wouldn’t love a trip of a lifetime to learn how to use her camera and explore Italy at the same time? Go in with your siblings (and maybe your dad, too) to gift mom one of Annette’s style+photo workshops!

3. Copper Tea Kettle: There’s something about sipping hot tea in the spring and summer that’s so refreshing. This copper tea kettle is gorgeous and can be kept out on the stove for extra kitchen pizzazz.

4. Pool House Candle: Candles are fun to gift because they’re something people rarely buy for themselves. These Lafco candles are large, so they make a great piece for a coffee table, but their size also means they burn for 90 hours!

5. Polish Set + Mani/Pedi Date: Give mom a mani/pedi with you along with a stunning collection of summer polishes to keep her toes beach ready all season.

6. Straw hat: A wide brim straw hat is perfect for the mom who loves to be outdoors. She can use it in her garden, at the beach, or anywhere else she’d like!

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms and moms-to-be out there!

xo, Nicole

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Mother’s Day Book Bundle Giveaway!

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that I look forward to every year; not just because I’m a mom and my kids love to spoil me, but because it’s incredibly important to honor the women that have made the biggest impact in our lives, our Moms. You know by now I love giving gifts, so here’s my chance to give the ultimate book selection to one of you deserving Moms out there. I am honored to call all of these talented authors my friends; I am a lucky girl!

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Here’s what you’ll win: 4 signed books from some of the most amazing tastemakers in the country. And here’s the winner’s tasty selection: my book Picture Perfect Parties Rizzoli NY. You will also win an advance copy of Hugh Acheson’s latest book, The Broad Fork Clarkson Potter (May 12, 2015), Eddie Ross’ yet-to-be-released book, Modern Mix Gibbs Smith (September 1, 2015) and Barbara Westbrook’s newly released book Gracious Rooms Rizzoli NY .This book bundle giveaway is the perfect Mother’s Day gift for you or that special Mom in your life. I hope you win!

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Mobile users, please use this link to enter the giveaway.

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About the Authors:

HUGH ACHESON is the author of the James Beard Award Winning cookbook A NEW TURN IN THE SOUTH: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen and chef/owner of the Athens, Georgia, restaurants Five & Ten and The National, the Atlanta restaurant Empire State South, and the Savannah restaurant The Florence. Hugh’s cookbook titled A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen published by Clarkson Potter in 2011 won the award for Best Cookbook in the field of “American Cooking” by the James Beard Foundation in 2012. His second cookbook is Pick a Pickle: 50 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, and Fermented Snacks. Food & Wine Magazine named him Best New Chef in 2002 and the James Beard Foundation awarded him Best Chef Southeast in 2012. Hugh competed in Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Season 3 and starred as a judge on Top Chef, Seasons 9, 10, 11, and 12. He lives in Athens with his family.

EDDIE ROSS is the East Coast Editor of Better Homes & Gardens, producing home, decorating, DIY and entertaining stories for print, digital and video. He has been a design, decorating and food editor for House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living and Food Network. A trained chef from the Culinary Institute of America, Eddie has styled parties and table settings featured in Southern Living,Lonny and InStyle. His design work has been published in Domino,Vanity FairCountry Living and the New York Times. He also appeared in Bravo’s interior design competition series Top Design and entertaining specials for HGTV. His first book Modern Mix:Curating Personal Style with Chic and Accessible Finds will be publishedon September 1, 2015 by Gibbs Smith.

BARBARA WESTBROOK launched Atlanta-based interiors design firm Westbrook Interiors in 1992 after designing under the tutelage of Southern greats Nancy Braithwaite and Gandy-Peace. her proejcts – homes, second homes, showhouses, large-scale renovations, spas, and her persona homes have been widely published in magazines such as Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Garden & Gun, Better Homes & Gardens, and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. Barbara also publishes a quarterly online mini-magazine, www.workbookbywestbrook.com.

*Note You will be getting Eddie Ross’s book in late July as it releases in Sept, but you will be getting your copy before anyone else.

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