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Making fresh Pasta with Casa Artusi

Making fresh pasta with the wonderful women at Casa Artusi was one of the highlights of our time living like a local in Emilia-Romagna.

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Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

As you might know, Food is a pretty big deal for us. We basically only travel for crazy adventures or so that we can indulge our taste buds with various sweets and savoury treats from foreign lands. In particular we love to learn how to cook with the local ingredients.

Food is the sole reason why we chose to travel throughout Italy.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

One of the things we really wanted to do in Italy was visit a cooking school. Arranging it with the Emilia-Romagna tourism board was simple and when they told us that not only would we be learning from some of the best cooks in the world, but we would also be learning in the town where Italian cuisine was born, it’s fair to say we were a little excited.

Giggling like school girls we exchanged a few high-fives before reeling in our joy.

Casa Artusi

Casa Artusi was created in Forlimpopoli to honour its most illustrious citizen, Pellegrino Artusi, who is recognized worldwide as the father of Italian cuisine. Artusi dedicated his life to creating a cookbook for the kitchen at home called La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene” or “The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well”. The cookbook is still published with the old recipes with a few new ones added each time.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

Pasta Making Class

Greeted by our very own Marietta (the wonderful women who teach Italian cooking at Casa Artusi) we donned our aprons before being shown a very quick demonstration on how to make fresh pasta.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

It turns out that it’s not all that hard and even a amateur like myself can whip it up a batch of fresh pasta in no time at all. Just mix 200g of flour and 2 eggs together and then knead, knead, knead and roll, roll, roll it out.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

I would have made an absolute mess of it all if I didn’t have my wonderful Marietta encouraging me with the odd pat on the back and “Bravo”. She actually seemed genuinely impressed with my skills in the kitchen. And considering I usually leave the cooking up to Adela I was secretly proud of myself as well.

Pasta cooking at Casa Artusi, Emilia Romagna, Blogville

By the end of it we had made all of this and earned the right to be inducted into the Casa Artusi alumni.

Definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Italy and it was such a treat that night to be able to boil up our own homemade pasta and taste our own creations.

Check out our awesome pasta cooking skills in our video:

If you get the chance then we highly recommend you go and try out Casa Artusi yourself as the school is open to everyone whether you are a professional masterchef or an enthusiast who just wants to practice the art of home cooking.

Disclaimer: We were guest at the #Blogville apartment with the Emilia-Romagna Tourism Board. However, as always our words (and pasta) will always be our own. 

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Laurence

    August 15, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    I love pasta, but have always assumed that making it was a dark art involving midnight rituals and naked dancing by moonlight. I still think that is the case, and this post is leaving out the raunchy stuff. But well done on making it seem so easy 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      August 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      At 1.02 in the video we actually stopped filming to perform the dark arts before switching it back on. Very sneaky 😉

  2. London4Travelers

    August 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Thanks a lot for this post. There are so many valuable tips. Now I know how to make pasta 🙂

  3. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    August 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Hungry.Suddenly the endless plates of gallo pinto here in Nica and Costa Rica seem a bit less interesting….

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      I always seem to read food posts around breakfast time and makes me so hungry!

  4. Iain Mallory

    August 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Wow guys who would have known you were such great budding chefs, good job!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Hahaha luckily pasta is probably the easiest thing to make in the world!

  5. Callie

    August 15, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Homemade pasta in Italy, can’t get better than that! Looks delicious…

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      So delicious! Would have saved you some but… oh well 🙂

  6. Pinky Jindal

    August 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    while reading this , feeling to eat …

    • Cole Burmester

      August 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Haha we are always hungry after reading food posts.

  7. Jeremy Branham

    August 17, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I like eating pasta. However, I have to admit the idea of cooking it doesn’t appeal to me. I am not a big fan of the kitchen so I rarely cook meals. I even stated that I would never taking a cooking class as part of my travels. However, I appreciate and respect the skills of those who work hard to produce good food. I always enjoy eating it 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      I love cooking but just not very good at it so leave most of it to Adela 🙂

  8. Suzzy Matts

    August 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Pasta looks really delicious…Yummmy..
    Really feel like having em…

  9. D.J. - The World of Deej

    August 17, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    For once, you’re the one making me jealous of the food!:) Nice one!

  10. Alexandra

    August 21, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    I can’t wait to get back to Italy in the fall to EAT!!!!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 21, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      The fall would be the perfect time as the weather will still be warm while the crowds will be gone. Good choice!

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    August 21, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Freshly made pasta is the best! Wish we had time to make it from scratch every time. Yum! yum! yum!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      I was surprised that it doesn’t take that long to make. However, so easy to get it from the shop.

  12. Ali

    August 21, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    I’m not sure I’d ever want to make my own pasta at home, but if ever there was a place to learn how it’s Italy! Sounds like fun!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      If I had a bigger kitchen that was as clean as their one then definitely would make it all the time haha.

  13. Cheryl

    August 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    I’ve done similar classes and ohhh what fun! And so yummy to eat afterwards. =)

    • Cole Burmester

      August 23, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Tastes so much better when it is made from your own hard work 😉

  14. Serena

    September 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Great article and it looks like the cooking class was lots of fun – check out my vesrion of fresh handmade pasta on my blog.

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Europe

Tips for Making Any Overseas Trip a Romantic One

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Vacations are a great way to leave our everyday lives behind to spend some stress free time with the one we love. Travel in itself can be quite romantic but there are definitely ways you can spice up your holidays even more.

Follow these helpful tips to make sure your romantic holiday gets off on the right foot and continues to head down the tunnel of love and passion. You can easily turn any part of your travels into a special romantic affair.

Choosing the Right Destination

A romantic trip starts with selecting the right destination. There are definitely cities and regions which are much more prone to sparking romance than others. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but generally destinations such as popular European cities, beach getaways, Asian resorts, luxury ski resorts, or tropical islands make for a good choice.

Couples should pick a destination which they both will enjoy as this will of course make it far easier to express their love for each other.

Choosing the Right Time

It is a good idea to select a time that will be most appropriate for your holiday. Choose a time that is easy for you in regards to taking time off work or from household duties. This will make it far easier to feel relaxed while on your holiday, allowing you to focus more on fuelling the romance.

You may also want to research when the best time is to visit your chosen destination so as to avoid peak crowds or unideal weather conditions.

Choosing a romantic date to travel such as an anniversary, honeymoon, or birthday can also turn any holiday into one filled with more passion. Travelling during Valentine’s Day can make for an especially romantic holiday of which there are many perfect Valentine’s Day destinations.

Fly Business Class

Although your destination may be exhilarating, the flight or flights to get there can be stressful. Minimise the stress of flying by booking business class where you’ll enjoy the VIP treatment with far more comfortable seats which many times convert into a bed allowing for a decent rest while in the air.

As a bonus you can many times be granted access to luxurious airport lounges when flying business class which makes waiting for your flight much easier as you are treated to free food and drinks along with clean bathrooms and seating areas.

Private Transportation

Public transportation can not only take longer to get to your hotel or attractions in your chosen destination, but they can also kill the mood for you and your loved one. By booking private transfers via your hotel or on your own, you can avoid buses, trams, and trains which can be crowded and noisy.

Choose a Nice Hotel

It may be difficult to find romance if you are staying in a dodgy motel or hostel. Be sure to book quality accommodation which has private en suites and clean furnishings. Remember that your vacation is supposed to be an escape, so make that escape the best it can be with premium toiletries, fancy marble bathroom floors, plush pillows, quality linen, and a nice hotel room view. All of these luxuries will make for a far more romantic getaway.

Eating Out

Nothing can ignite romance more than delicious food although preparing it isn’t always that much fun. One of the best aspects of travelling is that it gives us an excuse to not have to cook.

Seek out popular restaurants that offer a romantic setting, quality service, and mouth watering flavours that will leave you passionate for more than just satisfying your hungry stomach.

Get Dressed Up

Although you and your loved one may look good in any light and attire, it is never a bad idea to put on your Sunday’s best. It can sometimes be difficult in our everyday lives to find occasions to get all dressed and made up, so why not make your holiday abroad an excuse to do so.

Although clothes may not necessarily make the person, a nice dress or suit and tie can go a long way to giving us a little extra special glow to spark a bit of romance.

Log Off and Put the Phone Away

Nothing can kill a romantic dinner or event than the sound of message notifications, phone calls, or emails. Any holiday should be an excuse to remove the stress of the online world or work and with romantic holidays this becomes even more paramount.

You want to be focusing your attention on the love you and your partner share or if travelling solo you want this time to focus on the beauty of the destination you have selected which may in turn bring you a bit of romance. Disconnecting is all about reconnecting; so log off and put the phone away!

Reduce the Risk of Stressful Situations

Stress can kill romance very quickly. When we are stressed we can easily find ourselves getting into silly arguments or bouts of criticism. Your holiday is supposed to be an enjoyable experience so don’t let it turn sour by making the possibility of stress to creep on in.

Don’t try to overload your itinerary with too much and avoid setting too rigid of a timeline. Prior planning is important to avoid any unwanted surprises or disappointments when it comes to securing reservations for flights, hotels, or activities.

Should anything go wrong during your travels, you want to have the peace of mind you are protected by travel insurance from InsureandGo. Travel Insurance can help when the unforseen happens while you are overseas.

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Europe

How to Plan a Trip to Iceland

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If you have ever heard the amazing stories about Iceland, they are all true!  If you’ve come this far into doing research about how to plan a trip to Iceland, I’m here to help you cross the bridge and fill in gaps so you can make your dream a reality.

As someone who has done this trip, I’m able to assist in every step of the journey.  I’ve boiled this down into cliff notes so you can do your own research after reading them and dig deeper into tours that will fit your personal preferences and budget.

First off, you are going to need to trust the Internet.  It’s a big place with a lot of information that can help you get there in one piece and not be stressed out.  Long gone are the days of visiting a travel agency and having someone plan everything for you – for a fee!  It’s your adventure, and you can know that every item is covered online, you just need to know how to look for it.

The best tip I can give you is to leverage the various Facebook Groups about Iceland.

Resource:  When In Iceland Facebook Group.

Next, you’ll want to decide when to visit Iceland.

The winter months will allow you to have more freedom as the tourism numbers are down.  However, this comes with the caveat that it will be below freezing and there will be very little sunlight!  The sun is only out for approximately six hours during the month of December!

On the positive side, this allows you a great opportunity to view the Northern Lights, which is a marquee attraction in Iceland.

Conversely, the Fall and Spring will bring you better temperatures and less snow, but there will be a much slimmer chance of viewing the Northern Lights.

Lastly, there are the Summer months.  While you will see a greener country and experience a lot of beauty on that end of the spectrum, it does come with a much higher price tag.  Be prepared to spend more money if you choose to visit Iceland in the Summer.

Also, you’ll want to have an agenda.  If you are one to take things in on your own and adventure into the wild, Iceland will be a perfect escape for you.  There are also guided tours that you can hire and they will accommodate to your every need or desire.  Simply ask anyone in the aforementioned Facebook group and they can steer you in the right direction.

You can of course, do public transportation in Iceland.  It’s entirely safe and used by many people.

Iceland is a fantastic, unique place to visit.  If you need any help planning your trip, please visit my Iceland Tour guide resource and leave a comment.  Happy Travels.

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Europe

Overlooked and Underrated Euro Vacations

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Here’s a quick list of places to possibly include in your next European itinerary. 2018 is the year of the underrated vacation spot in our humble opinions, and we want to honor it.

Basque Country:

This place is in this author’s humble opinion easily and hands-down the most underrated little corner of Europe.

And honestly, between the two, the Spanish side of Basque country is going to cost you probably around 50% what the French side will, and most people in the know will agree that the Spanish side is at least 100% more fun!

 

Canary Islands:

There are two ways to do the Canaries: simply fly in and enjoy them, or treat yourself and a loved one to a romantic Canary Island cruise.

Best time to visit is definitely either spring or fall, as it does get quite cold in the winter and quite hot in the summer. If you are a beach bum, on the other hand, summer is best (but there will be a lot more tourists in the summer).

 

Siena, Italy:

This city is often overshadowed by Rome, Florence, and Venice, but it actually is arguably the best-preserved city in Italy and has the best historic city center. The cuisine here is absolutely to die for, and you won’t have to pay inflated tourist prices like you will in the aforementioned places either!

If you can, try to make it for the famous Palio, a horse race that has been going on literally for centuries.

 

Brussels:

Just as Siena is overshadowed by other bigger Italian cities, Brussels tends to stand forgotten next to London and Paris. But Brussels has key elements of the two metropolises, as well as its own unique and delicious cuisine, its own beer (considered by more than a few experts to be the worlds best), and easily the worlds best chocolate, both in solid and drinkable form. Belgian chocolate will seriously change your life forever.

 

Istria, Croatia:

This is one of the world’s best summer beach destinations. It’s incredibly beautiful, and by Western European standards, almost outrageously cheap.

Hipster tourists are starting to come in and drive prices up, but it still remains a great bargain by any standards, and most importantly, it’s a bargain without really having to give up any of our beloved amenities.

 

Budapest:

Budapest could be called the poor man’s Prague, but in reality that name isn’t very fair. For one thing, Hungarian culture and Czech culture are actually extremely different (for one thing, the Hungarian language isn’t in the same family as the rest of Europe, it’s its own thing completely, like the Basque language).

Prague is gorgeous, but it’s getting almost as expensive as the rest of Europe too, and honestly Budapest’s history and culture is much more interesting, especially for the seasoned traveller.

 

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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