Please look at my mutant produce.
That would be a tiny ball of bell pepper I found inside the pepper when I sliced it. Someone didn't use protection when this baby was planted...
I think my apple loves me!
It is absolutely amazing how much more awake I feel when the sun is up and shining. I made it all the way through the afternoon before I had to nap! This is a serious accomplishment.
But who has time to be serious? Let's talk breakfast.
Chocolate-covered strawberry oats. I was actually a bit underwhelmed - maybe it needed more cocoa? Nevertheless, it was still delicious. Clearly it just means I need to continue perfecting it. Sounds like a job I'm up for, no?
I met with an Italian student this morning who I meet with once a week, me to practice Italian and her to practice English. Unfortunately the past few weeks have been full of miscommunication and schedule issues, so we haven't been able to meet for a while. It's great though, because she's really cool and very into language. Us language geeks always get along :) I just wish I had someone to do this with EVERY day. It would make such a huge difference!
I went to the market for peanut butter and wandered around a little, and debated wandering some more, but...not to put it too indelicately, my bladder wanted to go home. I made lunch:
...and did some computery stuff with every intention of going out to a cafe to sit and
stalk soak up some more Italian language goodness...but I ended up passing out on the couch. I'm talking some major unconscious dreamless napping. I probably needed it, but still...I don't enjoy feeling productive. But it's fine, listening to my body always takes priority. It keeps me sane. Well, mostly anyway.
After lots of indecisive debating, for this week's Ethnic Tuesday we decided to go...Italian! We weren't entirely sure where the Indian restaurant was (Internet issues) and we have list that gets longer by the day of restaurants we "need" to go to, so we just chose one nearby - ZaZa. We've heard lots of good things from multiple sources, always a good thing. Very cute little trattoria near the market. We even sat outside!
Fagioli (beans) all'uccelletto and crostini al mare (basically a big piece of bread topped with seafood). Note the hot animal-print dishware.
None of the pasta dishes were jumping out at me, and that bean dish was what we were served at Dino, the restaurant I went to for my cooking class (here); it was SO good I was dying to try it again! The crostini was quite tasty - I'm really becoming a calamari addict. It's everywhere here...and it's so yummmmmmy! I really liked the combination of a side dish (the beans) with an appetizer - perfect portion size.
And then the hunt for gelato began. The first place we tried was closed, as it always is when we try to go there. We decided that though it was a bit of a hike, tonight was a good night to hit up Vivoli, rumored to be the best gelato in Florence. Now, I have been to Grom multiple times, and I knew it would be hard to beat - so obviously, this place was at the top of our list. After turning around several times, we found it - and it was open!
Cioccolata Ricca + Riso + Tiramisu semifreddo
The cioccolata ricca was just as it said - rich chocolate. HUGE chunks of dark chocolate in there, which made me oh so happy. I tried the riso (rice) out of sheer curiosity - I think it was essentially rice pudding-flavored. I didn't love it...but I definitely didn't hate it! The tiramisu was...whoa. Whole other level of goodness. Semifreddo is basically like very cold mousse, very light and airy and, um, amazing. This had acutally pieces of tiramisu in it and...well, I'm just relieved that they don't package this stuff in pints, because I would not be able to resist buying it, much less eating the entire thing. SO. GOOD.
The Vivoli verdict? I think I am still more impressed with Grom. I can really taste the higher quality of ingredients and it to me epitomizes what gelato should be. BUT...Grom does not have semifreddo. I think it's less of a comparison issue, and more of a "see what you're in the mood for" type of thing.
I am feeling rather ineloquent this week...mid-terms just take away brain cells. Speaking of mid-terms, I have one tomorrow. At 8 in the morning. Hmm...better get on that.