Bonus Sunday actually the last food pics for realz this time

In case you were wondering if they were going to completely skip cooked tomato sauces and pizza, they waited to do that until the last day.  (Not quite accurate– there were pizza and calzone that did not get photographed because apparently #2 is too hungry at lunch most days to remember to take out the camera!)


Fresh fettucini with artichokes (front) and with mushrooms (back)


Simple pasta with tomatoes


Simple pizza with fungi

And that’s it! Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!

Some (almost) final food pics

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday (with a money post).

In the mean time…


Arrabiata with house-made pasta


Carbonara with house-made pasta. Eat all the carbonara. The pasta was toothsome!


We eat a lot of caprese.


gnocchi baked with mozzarella


a big salad with things in it, also I had bread and olive oil


Wild rice salad with eggplant.


some kind of pasta

Also saw many dead saints bodies and churches.

Roman cheeses and other foods.


For dinner we got the grand tour of cheese from soft bufala ricotta in top left progressing in strength to stronger and then smoked mozzarella.  We ate all the cheese in Rome.


eggplant slices grilled with zucchini and pesto


tomatoes with pesto


Artichokes, eggplant casserole





We have conquered Rome.

A single link.

Food pic Friday!

In the Campo de’ Fiori is a mozzarella bar/ cucina. The cheese is as amazing as you think.


First an “intense” bufala mozzarella with a side of tomatoes and pesto. Delicious!


Yummy pasta


Grilled eggplant covers a ball of cheesy rice. Pesto on side. Smoky mozzarella. Sooo good.


Overhead view


Dessert was creamy ricotta with honey, pine nuts, and orange peel.

So far this meal wins!  We will go back.

Lunch in Rome


Bucatoni amatriciana (tomato sauce with black pepper, bacon)


Eggplant parmigiana made with burrata


Arrancini, Sicilian style

Special Thursday edition of food pics!

Campo de’ Fiori has many restaurants.


Artichoke ravioli

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Lunch near Vatican City.


Tagliatelle with porcini


Penne with onion sauce


Basil sorbet

Didn’t take pictures of gelato by Vatican Museum.

Food and #2 provides some ponderings from overseas

Everything in Florence is so gorgeous.

Why do Europeans smoke so much?

Every street musician in Rome plays My Way.

Here is some foodstuff.


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I forgot to take pictures of gelato before it went in my tummy.

Here’s something from near Santa Croce.  This dish isn’t complex so you should try making it. Burrata and very thin slices of eggplant marinated in olive oil.  Delicious!!  Santa Croce amazing.IMG_0117

We have been eating lots of salads.


Italy is gorgeous.

Food from Firenze


Insalata Caprese



Spaghetti carbonara



Tagliatelle with tomato and porcini



Peposo (beef cooked in tomato and pepper, with roasted potatoes)



Affogati caffe


OMG I wish I were in Italy too



Spinach gnudi with Parmesan in sage butter sauce



Ravioli with ricotta, nettle, and aromatic herbs

Not sure where these are from


Panini with salami and cheese



Insalata Fra Angelico- burrata, zucchini, avocado



Insalata Caprese



Gnocchi with pesto and green beans



Tagliolini with black truffle



Tartuffo affogato caffé



Apple strudel

Not really a money post… but man, how much would you pay to spend two weeks in Italy eating stuff like this?  Have you spent money on an amazing vacation before?

Link love

Surprise!  John Kasich is out of touch!

On sexual harassment and public discussion

And here’s some other link love posts from around the web since um, #2 is busy sampling the delights of Italy and #1 has been traveling.

weekend reading

just a little link love

Any other suggestions for links?

Ask Leigh Anything! (Here, now, do it!)

While #2 is enjoying pasta from the source for two weeks, we’re running guest posts.  Since it’s Friday, instead of Ask the Grumpies, we’re helping Leigh to introduce her new feature:  Ask Leigh Anything.  Leigh gives amazingly great financial advice and brings wonderful insight in comments when we discuss financial matters– I would trust her with any money question, and I’m curious to see her take on non-monetary questions as well. 

Here’s Leigh with more:
I am a late twenties software engineer who has been a personal finance geek since the age of 16. I’m not a CPA or a finance professional, just a normal person who has been lucky her passion career pays well and has built up her net worth significantly. I graduated from undergrad with $30k in the bank and no student loans thanks to lucrative internships and my parents paying for my degree. In the six years since I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, I bought a car in cash and a condo with 20% down, built strong credit, maxed out my retirement accounts repeatedly, paid down my mortgage aggressively, built up my net worth to half a million dollars by age 26, my boyfriend moved in with me, and I am about to start my Master’s degree, which I will pay for with both cash and employer reimbursements.

I am happy to answer any of your financial questions! Whether it’s about how I did X or what you should do in Y situation.

You can post your questions here [in the comments section] or you can shoot an email to leightpf at gmail dot com.

The Wedding Report

While #2 is off gallivanting in Europe, I thought I’d sneak in a report on her special day.

The eyes!  The dress!  The hat!  The boots!  The socks!  The big glittery jewelry!

Spending the day with #2’s family is sort of like being in a 1939 comedy.  Zing zing zing!

And the snappy dialogue wasn’t the only thing out of the beginning of last century.  In addition to the top-hat fascinator and dangly curls, #2 had the most gorgeous dark purple dress, complete with fancy lace-up back that took three of us to get set to rights.  Her eyes were the kind of smoldering smokey purple one expects out of the vamp in an early Agatha Christie novel or perhaps a mysterious lady from an early noir (not the ingenue!), complete with eye-lashes out to there.  Enormous costume jewelry– two substantial necklaces with huge flat stones layered one above the other from neckline to cleavage.  Big red steampunk boots with bright turquoise socks peaking out above (not that anybody other than the bridesmaids and mother of the bride got to see the something blue).  Everything was outrageous and classy at the same time.

We processed in to the Muppet song.  We started when it was time to get things started.  (As we had not been informed of the processional music in advance, the wedding planner had to shush the wedding party’s giggles so as not to distract!)

The couple had a lovely non-denominational ceremony.  There was an especially nice part where they honored family, including two elderly grandmothers who couldn’t be there (one of them being 99!).  They honored each other and exchanged sweet and funny personal vows.  The officiant was also pretty fun.

We processed out to the imperial march.  There had been some discussion into swapping that out with Everything is Awesome (when you’re part of a team), but the classics are classics for a reason.

They served FOOD right after with hors d’oeuvres trays while the family pictures were being taken.

We chatted with folks we hadn’t seen in ages.  We met new people.  Everyone was all very nice and nice people from high school married nice people.  It was just lovely all around.

Then there was sword fighting.  #2’s fencing instructor challenged #2’s new husband for a dance, but I think that #2’s new husband was defeated (it was a little hard to hear).  Then #2 took the sword herself and soundly trounced a groveling fencing instructor to the delight of the seated audience.

We were served delicious food.  My favorite was the mushroom ravioli in a creamy pesto, but everything was wonderful.  And mashed potato bars are fun.

There was dancing (and the DJ too loud as they usually are, BUT instead of everybody having to congregate in the parking lot to talk as they have at other weddings I’ve been to, there was a lovely patio for people with delicate ears or who wanted to be able to carry on a conversation).

The wedding cake was carrot cake.  Enough said.  The bride and groom’s champagne glasses were from high school prom.

I love weddings so much.  I love family and friends getting together to celebrate a union.  #2 and her husband are surrounded by loving wonderful friends and family.  It’s no wonder #2 has been having all the feels, surrounded as she is by so much affection and fun.

The best weddings we’ve been to have been expressions of the couples as people and as couples.  The worst ones we’ve been to have forgotten that and have focused on stress and posturing (also: see lack of food after the ceremony).  #2’s wedding was the best we’ve been to (in spite of the DJ), and we’ve been to some pretty fantastic weddings.  This wedding was unapologetically who #2 and #2’s husband are as people.  The outfits, the music, the ceremony, the vows, the swordplay, the vegetarian meal… the only thing missing was horses.  (They even had books as centerpieces.  And magic cards were mentioned in the ceremony, if not actually present.)

When I came home and washed the professional make-up off, I realized I was missing half an eyebrow (the make-up lady asked if she could shape them, but I didn’t realize the left one was quite so offensive!).  And I had to ask my sister how to remove false eyelashes (find the corner and peel).  But it was worth it.


Imagine this little fascinator as a tiny black top-hat at a jaunty angle atop shoulder length curls.

(I dunno, what did you think, #2’s sister?)