Our Trip to Italy--Part 3

I wanted to share the last part of our trip, as well as some pictures of the incredible places we saw during our travels. I will tell you right now, you'll want to stick around to the end--I'm ending it with pictures of my nephew. *Warning*: you might get baby fever. I cannot be held responsible for any actions you may want to take regarding adding numbers to your family ;-) 

After getting back from Austria on Monday, Isaac and I spent the rest of our trip hanging out with Kate and Matt (my sister and brother-in-law) in their home city, Vicenza. We got to experience what living in Italy is really like. We visited the fresh markets on Tuesday and Thursday, bought groceries at the Eurospar, wandered around their streets, bought gelato one night, hung out in their apartment, and learned how to make gnocchi. We got to watch Luca a few times so that Matt and Kate could go on a date or workout together on base. We really enjoyed the slower pace while still getting to experience another place and culture. One of the days we took an afternoon trip to Venice, but since it was so cold, we cut the day short. Friday morning we headed out to fly back to the US. I was SO sad to leave. Until next time....

 
The first night we got into town, we went for a walk in the town my sister lives. Such a cute town, that was beautiful at night with all the Christmas decorations. 

The first night we got into town, we went for a walk in the town my sister lives. Such a cute town, that was beautiful at night with all the Christmas decorations. 

A building designed by the famous architect, Palladio. The buildings in Italy just blow my mind.

A building designed by the famous architect, Palladio. The buildings in Italy just blow my mind.

This is what ALL of the streets look like there...NBD

This is what ALL of the streets look like there...NBD

We hiked up to the top of a hill that overlooks Vicenza. This church, Church of St. Mary of Mount Berico, was near the top. 

We hiked up to the top of a hill that overlooks Vicenza. This church, Church of St. Mary of Mount Berico, was near the top. 

Oh hey there, Colosseum. This is well known, right??

Oh hey there, Colosseum. This is well known, right??

The arch of Constantine right by the Colosseum. Thanks Rick Steves for telling us the history behind it, and thank you whoever left your city map on the rock we were sitting while we listened to it. That map saved us! 

The arch of Constantine right by the Colosseum. Thanks Rick Steves for telling us the history behind it, and thank you whoever left your city map on the rock we were sitting while we listened to it. That map saved us! 

 
This is the square in front of St. Peter's Basilica. So incredible. I wish this photo did it justice....

This is the square in front of St. Peter's Basilica. So incredible. I wish this photo did it justice....

 
St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

Inside St. Peter's Basilica. Did you know they have embalmed popes in glass boxes that you can see? Creepy...

Inside St. Peter's Basilica. Did you know they have embalmed popes in glass boxes that you can see? Creepy...

The famous Duomo in Florence, Italy. 

The famous Duomo in Florence, Italy. 

The view from Ponte Vecchio, the famous bridge in Florence. 

The view from Ponte Vecchio, the famous bridge in Florence. 

The steps up to the Piazzale Michaelangelo, a lookout spot for Florence. 

The steps up to the Piazzale Michaelangelo, a lookout spot for Florence. 

We stopped for lunch at Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. So stunning...side note: I had a pizza here with smoked salmon, strawberries, and a balsamic glaze. Mmmmm

We stopped for lunch at Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. So stunning...side note: I had a pizza here with smoked salmon, strawberries, and a balsamic glaze. Mmmmm

The Grand Canal in Venice. 

The Grand Canal in Venice. 

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy. 

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy. 

 

I really tried to limit my pictures. I didn't include like 15 that I originally planned on putting here. Hope you enjoyed experiencing a little bit of what we did while we were there.

And without further ado, the moment you all have been waiting for.....sweet baby LUCA!!

Adios Amigos!! Or as they would say in Italy, "caio!" or "arrivederci amici!"

Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets

 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

Finally! It's about time I shared another recipe here. I mean, it IS a food blog after all. Tiny confession: I have one more blogpost for our trip to Italy. I have to share the rest of our trip, some photos of what we saw, and my sweet, sweet nephew (let's be real, the best part is pictures of him!). But in the meantime, I thought I'd share this with you.  

 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

I found this recipe several years ago and tweaked it for my dad who is gluten free. You are more than welcome to use bread crumbs, but I've only ever made it with rice chex, and have loved it every time. I made it for a dinner party once and got rave reviews. 

 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

I've got to be honest for a second. I'm terrible at cooking chicken. I pride myself in being a pretty decent cook, but along with trying to fold fitted sheets, I fall short every time. I've tried multiple "tried and true" methods and even use a meat thermometer, and yet somehow ruin it every time. Poor Isaac. His favorite meat is chicken and I always end up making it tough and dry. How is that possible? 

But wait! Somehow this chicken turns out super tender and juicy! Why? I don't know--and I'm not going to question it. All I know is that this oven fried chicken is super flavorful from the spicy mustard and fresh rosemary and that it doesn't end up tough and dry. And then it's got walnuts and parmigiano reggianno, which happens to be my current obsession right now. 

 
Gluten free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

The original recipe is for whole chicken breasts, but I thought I would turn them into chicken nuggets for this post because anything miniature is super cute. Show me small bowls, spoons, cups, etc and I automatically want them. Dolls houses? They are the CUTEST!!...Depending on the occasion, you can choose which version you would prefer to make/eat. 

 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

I'd love for you to make them and let me know what you think! 

Gluten free oven fried rosemary chicken
 
Gluten Free Oven Fried Rosemary Chicken Nuggets
 

Our Trip to Italy--Part 2

So I'm a little bit late on posting this, but what's new--it's the story of my blogging career. Why can't I get myself together?? After an INCREDIBLE day and a half in Rome (you guys seriously need to go someday, there is so much rich history), we had breakfast in the train station in Rome and then headed out for another day of adventure in Florence.

 
I got the broccoli, egg and cheese puff pastry and cappuccino and Isaac had the sammie. 

I got the broccoli, egg and cheese puff pastry and cappuccino and Isaac had the sammie. 

 

We arrived in Florence, got oriented (I had everything flipped in my mind!), and headed to our air bnb. How cute is this flat?! I felt like we were locals going to and from our flat on the third floor. It's funny, none of the places in Italy have built-in storage, so they all get IKEA storage and decorating items (my sister confirmed this--I'm not making it up!).

After settling in, we headed out to the main square, the Duomo, for another walking tour with good 'ol Rick Steves. Midway through, we found a lunch place nearby called Eataly, which had a super yummy pizza. It was definitely in my top 2 favorites, and I had a LOT of pizza while we were there. Isaac and I split a pizza with olive oil, actual sausage (they lie when they say it has "sausage"), spinach, and cherry tomatoes, and I also got a salad because I was missing my usual veggies.  

 
 

Afterwards, we finished the walking tour, which took us by several massive buildings, famous statues, and an iconic bridge that was the only one that wasn't destroyed during WWII. Florence is just so beautiful and quaint! It was way cleaner than Rome and Isaac and I liked the food better, but it was more of a shopping and museum place, so not quite as much to see (at least not for free!!). After we finished tour, we stopped and got gelato and a cappuccino. 

 
Second gelato stop: mint chocolate chip style

Second gelato stop: mint chocolate chip style

 

We then walked to our flat and took a nap and recuperated before dinner. For dinner we went to a restaurant that a friend had recommended, called Trattoria 4 Leoni. Nicely done, Hannah!! We really liked our waiter who also spoke great English, which was a really great thing because he had to explain the entire menu to us since it was all in Italian. Ironically, almost all of the couples around us spoke English, which was strange because we rarely heard native English speakers while we were in Italy. We split a pear stuffed fiochette (I'm sorry that I don't have a picture...but trust me, it was deliciousI It was a pasta stuffed with pears and cheese and was in a cream sauce with asparagus), massive steak (we're talking it was cool in the center), and a cheesecake. That cheesecake was oh so delicious and fluffy!

 
 

Funny little tidbit, on our way to dinner a man offered us weed 😂

The next day Isaac got some eggs at the grocery store next door and we made breakfast. That day we   walked to a fortress, hung out at a little park, and then hit up the central market. Talk about such a fun place! The first floor of the central market had various vendors selling fresh seafood, meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, pastas, etc and the second floor was a food court. We loved trying samples of all the fresh foods on the first floor and then ate lunch up top. We circled round and round and settled on focaccia pizza, a pastry, and a cappuccino. :-)

 
 

Afterwards, we hit the San Lorenzo market where I got talked into buying a scarf and purse and Isaac got a nice leather belt. I'm such a sucker for a good deal!! (or so I think, when they reduce the price by like 50%!!). We walked around the town some more, went into the Duomo cathedral, then hung out at a library cafe. That afternoon we took the train back to Vicenza and celebrated Kate's bday by going to dinner and opening gifts. 

The next morning (Friday), we packed up their car and drove to Austria for Christmas markets and skiing. Want to know something funny/sad? The Christmas markets were closed and there wasn't any snow. Wah wah. 😂 When we got there, we just walked around Innsbruck and had lunch. 

 
Apparently I chose a really common dish there because I saw it at several other restaurants. Fried potatoes, pork and a fried egg. 

Apparently I chose a really common dish there because I saw it at several other restaurants. Fried potatoes, pork and a fried egg. 

 

After walking around, we needed to warm up and to get our daily dose of espresso.  

 
 

That afternoon we went to our airbnb cabin, which was the cutest thing ever. It was basically a tiny home, which I thought was super fun. That night we just got stuff for dinner at the store and made it at the airbnb--appetizers were various cheeses and proscuittos, and dinner was roasted Brussels, rotisserie chicken, and two differed ravioli's. I've never been a big pasta person before, but after experiencing real Italian pasta, I hope to make it fairly regular. I'm gonna start perfecting my pasta making skills. :-D

 
 

Saturday we woke up and had a slow morning, complete with breakfast. 

 
 

We then headed to a castle in Innsbruck that had a bunch of museum artifacts. It didn't look like your typical castle, but it was cool to look at everything and see things from the 1300s! For lunch we headed to the city and tried various sausages, apple strudels, and fried dough balls. I ended up getting fresh berries and yogurt at a convenience store, which was just what my body needed. We walked around the only Christmas market left and then headed back to the cabin for the evening.

That night was New Year's Eve and since we didn't plan well, we realized we wouldn't be able to get into a restaurant anywhere. Sooooo, we drove a few miles over into Germany, to get pizza to-go, to eat in Austria 😂. We just ate pizza, played cards, and went to bed early. Partay animals!!

Sunday we drove 30 minutes to Garmisch, Germany and the boys skied while the girls hung out around the town. Monday morning we packed up, got lunch at the largest lake in Italy (talk about gorgeous) on the way home, and then just chilled at their apartment when we got back. 

Phew! Sorry for NOT making that short. One last recap is on its way, along with some pictures of actual Italian buildings and such. Hope you all are enjoying these recap posts and your week!