Milan Per Un Giorno

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I apologize for my lack of posts. Since I got back from Europe I have been catching up on summer activities, hanging with friends, and also catching up on sleep. With all of that meant no posts for a little over two weeks. It has been a nice little non-posting vaca but I am back and ready to share my time in Europe with you. My first post is what to do in Milan when you only have 24 hours.

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1. Start with Coffee

If you are smart you will start you day off with free breakfast at your hotel/hostel but if you are like me and can’t seem to get out of bed instead head into the heart of Milan and get yourself an Italian coffee. I headed into tourist central and decided to have coffee in the Galleria next to the Duomo. Some might not suggest this but I found an infamous spot, Camparino, to sit at.  When you sit down and have your coffee you are removed from the hustle and bustle of all the tourist. I started my morning with lemon pie and a cappucino.  Perfetto!

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2. Visit a Church

My next plan was to go into the Duomo but I quickly learned that it is not just shoulders you need to have covered but also your knees so I could not get in with my shorts. My advice for anyone visiting Italy and wanting to go into any Churches come prepared with a pashmina to either wrap around your shoulders or legs, depending on which one isn’t covered. Some churches will sell covers too.

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3. Explore

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A perfect way to see a city is by bike. If you want to bike around Milan you can rent one from BikeMI. You have to create an account online before. It is € 2.50 to create the account and then it gives you a user name and password. You go up to one of the bike stations (that are everywhere) and put your information into the kiosk then go get the bike that it tells you to. The first 30 minutes are free then € .50  per 30 minutes after that and you can only use it for two hours at a time. This is a great way to see the city but also scary because you are biking around not really knowing where you are going and you have to be careful of cars. I was trying to go see the Navigli District but no surprise I got lost. I finally just put my map away and biked around for a bit. Then I found someone nice enough to just show me where I was on my map so I could find my way back.

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4. Public Transit

Use the subway system in Milan. So, so easy. I am serious if I can do it and I didn’t get lost once then anyone, including a four year old, could do it. Not sure if I was buying the correct ticket but it was € 1.50 a ride.

6. Find a Hidden Spot

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For lunch I went to Panzerotti Luini and I highly suggest you do to. Italy is expensive, but this little lunch spot was cheap. It was great to watch the business men and women stop by for a quick lunch. They serve panzerotti’s that are sweet and savory; these are similar to calzones but much better. I almost feel like I am insulting it by comparing it. The dough is similar to an elephant ear dough; light and fluffy and a very simple dough flavor. Then you get the fresh tomatoes and the salty creamy mozzarella taste and voila you have magic. Be prepared for a line but it moved quick.

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5. Don’t Miss Apertivo

This was my favorite discovery about Italy. Apertivo is basically happy hour but much better. Starting around 5 pm most bars/restaurants start apertivo hour. You order a cocktail like normal but you get a buffet with it for FREE! Seriously this is no joke. I couldn’t believe it was real. It was like I had died and gone to happy hour heaven. I ordered a negroni and it as € 9, yes expensive but I got dinner for free; cheese, olives, bruschetta, salad, rice, meats. I had happy hour at a bar in the Corso Como area. So so good and so so amazing.

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6. Mushrooms

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This is my final suggestion. If you love mushrooms go to Antica Trattoria Della Pesa and get the funghi porcini pasta. This was defineitly a fine dining situation (I spending about $50 by myself #sorrynotsorry) but it is worth it. This tagliatelle pasta was the most perfectly cooked homemade pasta I have ever tasted and the sauce though no cream was incredibly creamy. Perfect bites of mushrooms that still have a bite to them. I am becoming depressed just thinking about it knowing I don’t know when I will have it again…

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Midwest Tour

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(The Wit rooftop bar where my cousins wedding was at.)

Last week I did a little midwest tour. I started in Chicago, then made my way to East Lansing, then headed to Grand Rapids, and ended the trip in good ole Lapeer Michigan. Here are pictures of some of the things I ate.

Chicago – The trip started in Chicago for my cousins wedding. The reception was held at The Wit. We ate a lovely brunch before though at a restaurant called Summer House.

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East Lansing – We got to hang in my old college stomping grounds with my mom. If you are in East Lansing for an amount of time you should make your way to Grand River. This is the Main Street that runs outside of campus. On Grand River you will find a lovely spot called the Peanut Barrel. Here they have a killer olive burger. They way to get it: on rye bread, with lettuce tomato and onions, no cheese. You heard me correctly no cheese. This might be the only item in the world that I don’t request cheese on. I’m already starting to rethink my decision…washing it down with a Michigan beer like Oberon is the icing on the cake or shall I say olive sauce on the burger.

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Grand Rapids – I made my way over to the Downtown Market. It was so cute. The cheese counter, fish counter where you can order raw oysters at their tiny three seat bar, olive oil shop, flower shop, ice cream shop, juice bar, the list goes on and on. I had a green drink because at this point in my trip it was very much needed.

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Lapeer – Visiting my dads house is all about the breakfast and happy hours on the infamous deck. My dad switched things up on me this trip and served banana and raspberry waffles versus banana pancakes. Yum!

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(Sagebrush Cantina! One of our favorite Mexican restaurants)

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End of An Era

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Anyone with a computer has a fear that it could crash and you could loose everything. What everyone who owns a computer doesn’t do is back up their computer because the idea of their computer crashing has yet to become a reality. I unfortunately learn how real your computer crashing can be two years into owning my first computer. I lost everything. When I got my new hard drive I also purchased a back up hard drive and backed up constantly.

Over the past five years of my computer running smoothly I have become more comfortable and the terrible feeling of loosing everything slipped further and further out of my mind and with it so did back up frequently. On Saturday night the fear I dreaded became a reality; I went to turn on my computer and all that would happen was a blue screen. Three Apple store visits later it is official that my hard drive has a serious failure and the only option for saving the files is a data recovery service which can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,200.

Like I mentioned before I have been backing up but I the last time was January 2nd. Luckily though this time around since I knew I had most of my files backed up I made the Apple technicians must less uncomfortable since my visits were only filled with frustration not sobs.

So my poor little MacBook is dead. My first computer. Its the end of the white-MacBook-era for me.

On a positive note I have most everything saved on the backup hard-drive/this blog/my camera. Like I said much less tears this time.

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Denver Eater: Interview with Heather McCormick from Ocean Prime

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(Photo Credit: Adam Larkey)

 On a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night through the revolving glass door of Ocean Prime on Larimer Square live music can be heard coming from the piano in the blue lounge. One thing you won’t hear though when you walk through the door is “no” because general manger Heather McCormick is there to make sure “yes” is the only answer guests get. From a passion for hospitality and a commitment to finding the best solutions to the constant challenges of the restaurant occupies on the corner of Larimer and 15th street, guests, this GM has one focus: the guest experience. Eater had a chance to sit down with her and talk everything from getting a seat at the restaurant to plating fried oreos.

The rest of the interview..

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Food and Drinks in Santa Barbara

This past weekend I went to Santa Barbara for my friend Haley’s wedding. I met Haley studying abroad in Greece and her wedding was basically a reunion for a few of my Greece friends and myself. I was obviously so excited to go to the wedding, be in Santa Barbara, and see my friends, but I was also excited to try In-N-Out for my first time. It was the perfect welcome-to-California burger. I was a little surprised by the animal sauce though. It wasn’t as “saucy” as I imagined if that makes sense; maybe they just didn’t put enough on my burger? With that said though it was a very good burger.

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The wedding was amazing! The cocktail hour was overlooking the water and the bride was stunning. We even got a shout out from the father of the bride during his speech; “Michigan Girls” that is us. We felt so special we all shouted and put up our arms—unplanned. Its fair to say we all think the same crazy way.

Below are the rest of the pictures from the trip. Pictures of brunch and bottomless mimosas, the WEDDING!!!!, biking on the water, and some food. I kept just diving into each meal and forgetting to take a picture till basically the plate was empty.

Brunch at State and Fig

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Drinks and dinner at the Boathouse of Hendry’s Beach

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Scallops on the half shell

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How everyone felt at the end of the weekend.

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Sneak Preview – Chef

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Last night I was invited to a advance screening of the movie “Chef” with Denver Eater. I went in with biased thoughts on the film because I figured I would love any movie that had a plot based around food; I was correct the movie was fabulous. It was witty, creative, fun and heartwarming. Between comments like “amuse-douche” and the relationship between Jon Favreau and his son played by Emjay Anthony, the writer, Favreau, had me actually laughing out loud. When this movie hits your town I say immediately go see it. Oh and make sure you have a reservation at your favorite restaurant immediately following because trust me you will be hungry.

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Denver Eater: Interview with Brian Rossi from Adelitas Cocina y Cantina

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Photo credit: Adam Larkey

Adelitas Cocina y Cantina the restaurant named after a strong female warrior, turned one on April 29. Co-owner and manager, Brian Rossi, took over a space that was home to three different restaurants in two years and managed to shape Adelitas into a Mexican restaurant that is thriving twelve months in. In the kitchen Silvia Ayala, the main female soldadera or soldier, whips ups creations from family recipes from her hometown of Michoacán, Mexico. Her unique recipes give this restaurant the edge to compete against the other Mexican restaurants in the area.

The rest of the interview…

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