Tag Archives: family

My Life in Photos, March

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you. This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

As you know, photography is a huge part of my life professionally.

I love teaching workshops about how to style and shoot images.

You can find some of my favorite images popping up a few times a day on my Instagram.

Did you know I have two accounts? You can follow me here and my workshops here.

In the meantime, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into my life through my photos.

This month is full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number 2. I hope you log on an follow along as I am a massive over-sharer. LOL

xx Annette

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

In my element. I’m so grateful for the harvest in my kitchen garden.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Our tub arrived from Marrakech and is the talk of the village!

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Antique pavers being laid in the kitchen at the Fortress.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

An extra large charcuterie platter and some cocktails with friends one weekend.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Most March days were spent writing about drinks all day long. Cheers to book 2!

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Spicy Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Rice Bowl

Today’s recipe was created by Sydney, my son’s girlfriend. She is studying to be a dietitian at The University of Texas in Austin. You can imagine we have a lot in common. When I told her about Juice January, we had a long discussion about nutrition and the benefits of eating clean. Sydney and I wound up in the kitchen making lunch. Full disclosure, I had no idea how to prepare tofu. Sydney said she would show me how to make a cauliflower rice topped with curried tofu. Of course I took her up on her offer. We had a fun morning putting together this Spicy Cauliflower Rice bowl. What a perfect recipe to share during Juice January. Thanks Sydney for sharing this recipe; I finally feel like I know how to work with tofu.

Spicy Cauliflower Rice Bowl
Serves 2

Preheat oven to 375 F

You will need:
– 1 block of firm tofu
– 3 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 cup carrots
– 4 cups cauliflower
– 1 1/2 cups snow peas
– 1/2 small onion finely diced
– 1 large garlic clove minced
– 1 tsp tumeric
– 1 tsp ginger
– 1/2  tsp ginger
– 1/2  tsp chili powder
– 1/2  tsp salt

To prepare:

To prepare tofu: Place tofu on a paper towel or dish towel, wrap and then place a heavy book on top of the tofu and press gently, Allow to drain liquid for 15 minutes. Set aside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In a food processor fitted with a blade, place cauliflower into the bowl and pulse until cauliflower becomes the consistency of rice.

Once the tofu is drained, cut into 1 inch cubes. In a medium frying pan, add oil and toss the tofu cubes with the curry powder and fry on both sides about 10 minutes. Place the cubes on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place into a 375F oven. Bake for 10 minutes until tofu is crispy. While the tofu bakes, in the same pan, saute the onion, garlic, carrots and snow peas, about 10 minutes. Set aside veggies and in the same pan, toss the cauliflower rice with spices and saute for 10 minutes until cauliflower is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

To Finish:

Place rice in a bowl top with tofu, veggies and serve.

Optional toppings*

*Fresh Basil
Sriracha

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House hunting in Italy:: Finally the one!

IMG_0040 The Medieval Fortress

As many of you have read over that last 3 years, Frank and I have been house hunting in Italy.

Although we loved living on the Italian Riviera for the last 10 years in our gorgeous flat, the truth is that we are ready for a little slower pace and a big chunk of land. We have been hunting all over northern Tuscany in a place called the Lunigiana. It’s a very quiet place full of mountain ranges and olive groves, chestnut trees, fruit orchards, and general greenness everywhere. We’ve had many ups and downs, trails and tribulations, and many disappointments over the last 3 years. Turns out buying property in Italy is the opposite of “Under the Tuscan Sun.” In fact, no bird shitting on my head could make the sale of a house go any smoother. It’s just a battle until the end. You have to be focused like a laser beam as a foreigner buying in this beautiful, and always complicated, place.

We’ve bought what once was a medieval fortress; it was a lookout tower in a land that had over 120 castles and kingdoms to protect. We found the fortress about 2 years ago; it’s on 27 acres with a working vineyard (yes we will have our own wine). This was one of the first properties I visited when I began our search. Since the time of my first visit, we visited at least 75 properties and had 3 properties we loved fall through. 3 years of solid searching brought us right back to one of the first I ever saw. I loved this house as soon as I saw it. With 3 outbuildings, a vineyard, a massive terrace, and a private living quarters for Frank and I, how did we not grab it at the get go?

But La Fortezza waited for us to come back and make a claim. Over the next 2 years, we will convert the Fortress into a Style + Photo Workshop location with 8 guest rooms, some with fireplaces, a commercial kitchen, guest lounge, a photo studio/meeting space in the insanely gorgeous barn, and enormous terrace to have breakfast lunch, aperitivo, and dinner, plus a swimming pool and kitchen garden. Our new home in Italy will be a perfect live/work situation.

You can be assured that I will be documenting the progress as we go. My BFF Forrest will be head designer and project manager. Forrest has lived in Italy for 30 years; he’s a local, and he knows the ropes. He’s renovated his 3 houses in the Lunigiana, and he and I worked on our flat together. He’s super talented and wonderful to work with. With a 30 year friendship in our pocket, we are good to go.

We hope to have the first Style + Photo Workshop there in late Spring, so make sure to check for updates on that.

In the meantime, we are over the moon to start this new project. I am working on a book about our Italian adventures called “Italy is my Boyfriend”; look for updates about that as well. I can’t wait to share all of this with you.

La fortezza

Our view!

Ciao xx

 

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Dear Alassio

Dear Alassio,

It’s been an amazing 10 years in your charming Italian seaside town. Frank and I have enjoyed entertaining friends and making new friends. But basically enjoying a very Riviera lifestyle that is sunny and bright, and full of sand, salty waves, and chilly cocktails.

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We loved showing our friends from the US how the Italians enjoy la dolce vita. We loved grabbing morning espresso and a sweet crispy brioche filled to the brim with warm apricot marmalade. We could not do without the salty, oily focaccia, and an abundance of fresh fish doused with local olive oil. The tender octopus and potato salad Ligurian style or the famous pesto slathered on trofie with tender green beans and potato. We will always love the charred and cheesy melted goodness of our local pizzeria.

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We will miss delving into the local crisp chilled white wines of the region, Verimentinos and Gavis. But mostly I will miss the seaside aperitivi everyday on the boardwalk. Where we consumed endless Aperol Spritz for years and noshed on potato chips and a variety of nibbles.

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Alassio, we loved hanging with you. You showed us how to slow down, enjoy nature’s beauty, and soak-in the abundance that is Italy. As we move to our next Italian chapter away from the sea and into the countryside, know that you will always be our first, and therefore have a special place in our hearts.

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We will be back to visit often; just know that we love you.

Love,

Annette and Frank xx

 

 

 

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Where to go :: Barcelona, Spain

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As you all know by now, I spend the summer in Italy. This year, as in many years, Frank and I planned a road trip. This year, I wanted to take Mimi Thorisson’s Manger Workshop in Medoc, France in Bourdeax. So I looked at the map and decided that a trip to Barcelona, Spain would work nicely into the week. I was also interested in visiting Chateau Gudanes for a possible Style + Photo Workshop location. The chateau is located at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, not the south of France which is Provence, very near the Spanish border, in fact. I determined its location would be a perfect halfway point to Medoc, France and work right into our driving plan.

Barcelona Canete is a must for Tapas Barcelona

Barcelona is a place I have always wanted to visit. With all my traveling, I can’t believe I have never been. It’s a lively city with amazing food and wine and is known for tapas (small bites), ham (Jamon Serrao), and fresh fish. It’s a gin drinking country, so my favorite cocktail, a Gin & Tonic, was a must.

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Visiting the Picasso Museum was a thrill; he’s one of my faves, and then heading to Gaudi Basilica, the Sagrada Famila, was incredible. To be honest I did not love it. It’s one of those structures you either love or hate. It’s a very controversial project in Barcelona, but it is a sight to behold nonetheless.

We were true tourists tromping all over the city and taking in the quaint streets and the endless graffiti. We could not get over how much energy this city emotes. I highly recommend a visit.

Barcelona

We also loved our hotel. It was chic and small, and the staff was incredible. It’s tucked into a side street in the Gothic part of town. Hotel Mercer was delightful.

Check out Mimi Thorisson’s Manger Workshop in the next post! xx

photos via: me

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