The Kitchen Window

The Kitchen Window
Antique Milk Bottles with Herbs and Flowers


Welcome to the Frog Hollow Farm blog! I've been blogging since January 2010 and have switched from Blogger to Word Press, but I'm back to Blogger because, for me, it's easier to use. My husband and I live on a little farm in Northwest New Jersey. We have some chickens and a very large vegetable garden with asparagus and raspberries, and rows and rows of sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias. Traveling, entertaining, gardening, spending time with family, studying Italian, blogging and reading keep us busy and happy. With all of this going on, moving towards a simpler life seems almost impossible but it's definitely a daily goal.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Too Much Anchovy!!

There must be about 50 Italian cookbooks on the shelves of my stepback cupboard, and I have been working on looking through some of my favorites to develop a collection of recipes for Italian aperitivo.
Yesterday's asparagus and anchovies was okay but a little rich - which is the last thing I was looking for since I've been trying to focus more on aperitivo based on vegetables. Otherwise, my husband and I would be stuffing our faces with salty pecorino cheese and delicious sliced salamis, defeating the purpose of trying to live a delicious but healthy life. Although aperitivo can easily consist of a simple spread of olives, salamis and cheeses, I have been looking to explore alternatives and match some of the delicious dishes found in the bars and restaurants I've seen in Florence and Bellagio. Milan is considered to be the capital of the aperitivo, but I haven't explored that city yet. I've also discovered some more things about aperitivo. It can apply to all types of small Italian foods(cakes, fruits, pork butcheries, cheeses, etc.) which are served along with drinks, corresponding to the Spanish concept of tapas and Russian zakouski. Aperitivo can also refer to a social occasion involving cocktails and a light meal without a meal afterwards - which is what ours seems to be developing into, depending on my choice of recipes. Tonight's recipe will be one simple dish, as we have leftovers from last night's aperitivo. I've decided on Fagioli Cannellini in Umido (Cannellini Beans Braised in Tomato and Herbs) - again from Viana LaPlace's Verdura cookbook. This dish is very simple, 'peasant food' as an acquaintance of mine used to say. I'm able to use some of the cute dried Diavolino Napoletano peppers purchased at the Mercato Centale in Florence and a sprig of fresh rosemary from a potted bush in our conservatory. The pottery shown in the upper left corner was purchased in Florence on a quick trip with two of my very good friends several years ago. One of my traveling companions, Teresa, is a consummate traveler, and had been to Florence many, many times. She was a great tour guide as well as someone who encouraged me to purchase the whole set of pottery, plates, dishes, bowls and pitchers (believe me, it didn't take much encouragement, but it's always good having friends support your purchases!) The entire pottery set was shipped to my home and arrived several weeks later in a very large box packed carefully with shredded straw and bubble wrap - nothing broken, chipped or cracked. My husband was surprised at first but eventually came to love the pottery, and my friend Stephanie has shared that it is her favorite of all my pottery. On another note, I was able to solve the problem with my HP mini this morning - HP is sending me the packaging to send it in for repairs, at no cost to me! Hope it doesn't take too long for this - I will miss that little mini! Ciao Bella!


  1. Ciao!
    Thanks for stopping at my Rome photoblog and leaving your lovely comment about love and romance.
    The story of the Monster of Florence is horribe, mostly because it really happened.

    If you're interested I also author an Italian food and lifestyle blog. Come visit, stay for a glass of wine, and perhaps by digging in my archives, you can find some aperitivo/antipasto recipes... Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino


  2. Hi, The pottery is beautiful, I love purchasing special finds on my travels. I am confused a bit about 'Apertivo' I thought it is a drink?? or is it and appetizer? or both...I'm not sure.
    I hope all is well, your blog is wonderful

  3. Hi Bunny, since you are the author and designer of The Paris House, maybe you are thinking of the French 'apertif'?

  4. Hi yes that is what I am thinking, I'm confusing them but now I'm understanding it better, thank you.
    Its funny about the accessory question because I have been thinking about doing a post on it. I don't know if I should leave all this info in a long comment on your post??? But if I can only have one accessory this Spring I love The Gatsby bag from Longchamp, But I need to save up for it. ( although it is expensive it is still half the price of most Prada etc. handbags) I love satchel handbags, over sized sunglasses, even if my hair is a mess I still feel put together, I think it is a timeless classy chic look. Tory Burch also has some cute handbags and there is a travel tote from Longchamp that is reasonable. I'm not really into the hobbo bags I like timeless classic bags. Coach outlets have great sunglasses at reasonable prices, that is where I bought mine and I live in them. Also over size clutch handbags are fantastic, Tory Burch has a purple one with faux gemstones on it that I am loving...a bit more trendy and great for dinner out. I probably should have just put this on your facebook but I forgot until now!!
    If you have any questions let me know.

  5. You have a beautiful blog! And I love the name "Frog Hollow" ~ very cool!

    Sounds like your vacation was lovely and came at just the right time to escape some of the winter weather.

    I am not very techie minded either. I am blessed to have a son and a "son-in-love" who I rely on to help guide me over the bumps!

    Stop by sometime.
    ~ Cheryl

  6. Hi, I just want to say that I also love the 'Citrine' color in the Gatsby bag...I haven't decided which one I'm getting yet, I need to go see them in person.
    take care


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