Double Snickerdoodle Cookies

This recipe takes the cinnamony-sugary goodness of a sugar cookie and stuffs another one inside of it. Why eat one when you can eat two…or rather one riddled with the innards of a cinnamon roll. Perfectly chewy, right from the freezer…if they last that long to make it there… Double Snickerdoodle Cookies For the filling:…

Strawberry Margarita Pie

Refreshing. Frozen. Boozy. Salty. Sweet. Easy. Dessert. You’re. Welcome. Strawberry Margarita Pie CRUST: 2 c. crushed pretzels 1 stick of butter, melted 1 T. sugar PIE: 16oz. cream cheese 1/3 c. lime juice 14 oz. sweetened, condensed milk 8-10 strawberries, diced 1/4 c. tequila 2 T. triple sec Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all crust…

Ina’s Spinach & Artichoke Dip

The first fall-like day of the season brought with it rain, wind, and Ina’s Spinach Artichoke Dip. Simple to make, indulgent to snack on without being overly so…sure to be a hit with the friends you’ll entertain this fall. Dare I say, it was even better the second day, so make it in advance and…

DaV Mare- Portofino

Despite my love of Camogli, the best meal that I had was just a single course from DaV Mare in Portofino. This unassuming terrace of the Belmond Splendido Marina hotel made for the nicest lunch tucked away from throngs of cruise ship tourists. Service was friendly and the food was absolutely phenomenal. The website describes…

Portofino

A jewel box of upscale boutiques and cafes surround the U-shaped Portofino harbor. Come early to enjoy a short walk away from the throngs of tourists who will undoubtedly disembark from a tendering nearby cruiseship. While Portofino is lovely for a few hours, the real gem of this section of the Ligurian coast is Camogli,…

Vistamare- Santa Margherita

Vistamare, the signature restaurant of Grand Hotel Miramare, is the perfect ambiance for a special meal, or just a glorious place to dine and gaze into the eyes of the sea and twinkly lights along the Ligurian coast. Of course, you’re obligated to start with champagne and a 21 EUR glass in this location feels…

Grand Hotel Miramare- Santa Margherita

Situated in the center of the Santa Margherita strip is the gorgeous, grand dame Grand Hotel Miramare. The hotel has a slightly old world vibe, but manages to feel well-kept and modern at the same time. It reminded me a bit of Grand Hotel Tremezzo, on a smaller scale, and much simpler to enjoy without…

Vineria Macchiavello- Santa Margherita

Tucked away on one of Santa Margherita’s adorable, cobble stone side streets is Vineria Macchiavello. Not packed as the fococciarias were down the street, we landed here one very hot afternoon for a quick snack and it proved to be an excellent choice. The old timey entrance, chalkboard menus, and full window display were most…

Camogli

Holy Camogli- this is the most magical little town on the Ligurian coast! Bright buildings, a packed marina of fishing boats (not super yachts!), and steep streets lead to pebbly beaches, charming artists’ shops, and one old dame of a hotel. The vibe is absolute magic and far more enjoyable that the acclaim that Portofino…

Divino Wine Lounge- Santa Margherita

If you’re looking for an early bite in Santa Margherita and had the poor foresight not to make a reservation for anything…Divino Wine Lounge is an excellent choice. We settled here after a long day of travel and no food. There was one other couple enjoying a bowl of pasta at this off time, so…

Santa Margherita Liguria

“We got Santa Margherita by the liter. She knows if I’m ‘messing around’ with her, I don’t really need her.” This classic Drake lyric was trapped in my brain on repeat during the four days we spent based in Santa Margherita. Nary a liter of pinot grigio was actually consumed. Travesty. Santa Margherita is the…

Hotel Regina Elena- Santa Margherita

After winding our way between the French and Italian rivieras, Mum and I crashed at the Hotel Regina Elena which seems like an old villa turned budget(ish) hotel, but in reality is part of Best Western. We booked a week in advance and this is what the charming town of Santa Margherita could offer us…

Horizon Rooftop- Monte Carlo

After being hard pressed to find a rooftop bar open during the day time in Cannes, it was a must for us in Monte Carlo. And thus we landed at the Horizon Rooftop at the Fairmont hotel for a very lovely and leisurely lunch during our day trip to Monte Carlo. The tables were so…

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Just an hour train ride from Juan-les-Pins is the absolutely gorgeous principality of Monaco. Hills filled with pastel hued classic buildings greet you as you trek down toward the yacht-filled sea. Shopping and wealth is ludicrously abundant with tourists snapping it around every corner. The famed casino costs 17 EUR just to enter, but you…

Pam Pam

After walking by a crowded Pam Pam (!) many times the last two summers, I finally made my way into the tropical tiki joint (verring toward strip club)…with my mother! I couldn’t see the draw from the overly themed slice of “Brazil” from the street (odd, being that I love a theme), but was instantly…

Antibes, France

Antibes is home to the brightest, bluest water I’ve ever seen, a Picasso museum with the fewest Picassos, and maybe some of the cutest old-timey alleyways on the Riviera. The views from the top of the old town are shockingly gorgeous, cameras not doing them justice, while the Provencal market below ignites every sense. An…

Ti Toques- Juan-les-Pins

Ti Toques was the choice for fancy lady dinner in Juan-les-Pins and it seemed like many other people had the same idea as we enjoyed watching a wedding at the venue next door throughout the meal. In a nutshell, Ti Touqes had very nice food and a beautiful view if you were lucky enough to…

Yolo Plage- Juan-les-Pins

After watching Effet’s staff smoking in the restaurant lounge area after the restaurant was meant to be open for our reservation, we said forget it (they were rude taking the rez too, and we know when to cut our losses) and headed to Yolo Plage. Yolo treated us well earlier in the evening for an…

Juan-les Pins

Juan-les-Pins is the hidden gem of the French Riviera, a spot of beach normalcy situated between pilars of pomp and wealth like Cannes, St. Tropez, Nice, and a million others with nicknames like “billionaires’ bay.” No thanks, give me a pretty beach, a handful of restos, and a slight grittiness that makes anything feel possible-…

L’escale Brasserie- Juan-les-Pins

The first evening on the coast brought a ludicrously early dinner thanks to an equally as early flight. After stumbling around the beach reading menus, somehow we settled on L’escale because it’s always crowded as it was early this evening. We were so early in fact, that we were seated a table reserved for 8:30,…

Pirate Beach- Juan-les-Pins

After a very early morning flight and not the longest walk in the sun on an empty stomach, but just enough of one to add an element of hyperventilation into the morning mix, we found ourselves at the Pirate Beach / Restaurant in Juan-les-Pins. After some really annoying staff and lack of service at Hotel…

Hotel Helios- Juan-les-Pins

I’m not sure if the French Riviera was the right vacation move for the first mother/daughter trip since the three years of Covid, but the ease and cost of the flight made it pretty much non negotiable. We ended up at Hotel Helios as we booked the trip just a week in advance and the…

Ina’s Chocolate Cassis Cake

It’s been ages that I’ve been wanting to try Ina’s Chocolate Cassis cake after learning that Giada requests this every year for her birthday. It must be good if you’re using another chef’s recipe for your celebrations. And…it was SO good! While cassis is throughout all components of this cake, it really has no boozy…

Yvoire, France

One very easy day trip from Nyon is to hop on a ferry across the lake to Yvoire, France. Expect an afternoon full of meandering lanes that lead you down toward a castle and active fishing village or up the hill towards gardens and tourist shop after tourist shop. It makes for a truly lovely…

Neuchatel, Switzerland

Ah, Neuchatel- people just love this place! I had to find out for myself as it had been on the short list for some time. Perhaps it would have been better with a local or an activity in mind, but Neuchatel was some old buildings not so far from water. Charming, for instance the one…

Morges, Switzerland

A meandering park along the deposits you in one of two flower festivals held throughout the year. Pass old homes, a casino, and plenty of dining options along the way. Opt for a less stuffy lunch by dining in the town center just a block behind the grand dames of the lakeside and find yourself…

Ina’s Peach & Almond Torte

My girl Ina claimed this was an easy one and I needed something simple to take to a small dinner party so I put my quest in her capable hands and she delivered as always. Ingredients on hand plus seasonal fruit was an astounding success that resulted in requests for seconds as well as the…

Venice, Italy

Is there anything more classically Italian than a boat ride zipping down the Grand Canal in Venice with its colorful world passing you by and the country’s flag waving proudly in the background? Perhaps more so are the colorful buildings, meandering alleyways, and countless canals (and cannolis!) that await your disembarkation.

Mazzorboro, Italy

The sleepiest island just a stroll over the bridge from Burano. You could easily miss the gorgeous grounds of Venissa by walking the main pedestrian way on the perimeter of the island, but if you hit the entry just right, you’ll find yourself in this enchanted garden. Filled with modern art, fruits and vegetable plants,…

Flores- Yvoire

There’s not much to do on the weekends in Nyon, but one thing that always draws a crowd (with good reason) is the twenty minute boat ride across the lake to Yvoire in France. A charming medieval town chock full of flowers, hilly streets, and the obligatory castle, it’s the perfect place to spend the…

Central Como AirBnB

This might be my first AirBnB review and was probably the best experience to date with their properties. The home looked exactly like the photos and I’d whole-heartedly recommend the space to anyone visiting Como. Here’s the listing as well as some highs and lows: PROS CONS Pictured exactly as shown on the web Have…

Ausonia Hungaria- Lido

After staying at the gorgeous Ausonia Hungaria in 2019 I fell hard and fast for this oasis perfectly situated between the touristically crowded Venice and the Adriatic Sea. Despite more of a last minute booking during high season, I knew my parents would enjoy the property as well and insisted it would make for an…

Al Cavaliere- Lido

Travel days are always weird ones in terms of meal timings, especially with two parents in tow, so the day we arrived in Lido was no exception. In desperate need of a 17:00 dinner, we stumbled across Al Cavaliere who thankfully was serving nonstop for folks like us. Upon entering, I realized I’d dined here…

Burano, Italy

Little pink (and blue and green and yellow and orange…) houses for you and me… Astute and crumbling crayon-colored houses line the sleepy canals of Burano in their various states of disarray. A microcosm of the best parts of Venice, the tiny island is awash in colorful meandering streets sprinkled with old churches and shops…

Salami Bombs

Salami bombs…otherwise known as pepperoni bombs or prosciutto bombs, depending on your fancy. I personally shall stick with salami bombs for the chuckle it elicits as they sound like perhaps they should be on another website. 😉 Really, tough these were the simplest appetizer and froze well too. What could be easier than prepping these…

Lemon Mascarpone Berry Tart

Turns out chemo-taining (yes, that’s a word) is something you really want to do, because, well you have the time to experiment with recipes. You are also going to want it to be simple, because, well, you’re exhausted. But, you’ll want it to look nice, so you just move to Switzerland and take advantage of…

Chicken & Zucchini Crepes

This recipe is so simple, feeds a crowd, and probably seems a lot fancier than she really is deep down. Inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe, I’ve gone rogue and made it even simpler after an incident that we’ll just call the “incident of the very unfortunate Swiss spinach.” Now, let’s leave it there and…

Figgy Goat Cheese

If your figgy pudding is a labor of love for the holidays, let your figgy appetizer treat you easily! This is really a no-recipe recipe, just perfect in a crunch (and it even has a crunch!) Flag this one for the holidays. Figgy Goat Cheese One log of goat cheese (even better if it’s goat…

Ina’s Mustard & Gruyere Batons

If you’re looking for the simplest, most savoury apero snack, look no further, Ina’s got you as always. I’ve made this recipe twice in the last few weeks now and I think it’s safe to say this will be in further rotation. The first time, I went by the book (literally) with Ina, the second…

Fruity Cobb Salad with Ina’s Orange Vinaigrette

During a recent Sunday brunch hosting, I opted to commandeer the orangy vinaigrette of Ina’s Orange & Roquefort Salad, but made it a bit my own. It was fruity and springy and my guests loved the vinaigrette. Shall we call her a “fruity cobb?” I don’t think she’ll mind. That’s the salad, not Ina. Fruity…

Ina’s Crispy Mustard Chicken

This recipe has been on my “to-make” list for far too long. As soon as a I made it, I realized why! It’s so simple, yet so delicious. Don’t tell my mum, but it’s sort of a better, grown-up version of the dijon chicken that she made for us often as kiddos. While I made…

Thanksgiving Salad- An Ina Specialty

Recipe from Ina’s “Cooking for Jeffrey,” a favorite cookbook. Ina claims this may be her favorite salad ever. While, I won’t disagree, it’s a bit different than the standard salad and was a nice change, something about it just screamed “Flag this for Thanksgiving!” so let’s go ahead and do just that. Ina’s Maple-Roasted Carrot…

Le Bologne- Geneva

After my first week of “hard” chemo, an easy treat seemed to be a fancy lady lunch out at Le Bologne, a Geneva resto that’s been on my list for some time. The real plan was to follow this with a trip to the art museum (finally) but just couldn’t seem to get myself there!…

Grand Hotel Tremezzo & T Beach

Grand Hotel Tremezzo holds such a special place in my heart after spending several afternoons and evenings there a few years ago. While I was just staying down the road, the hotel was such a fun mix of high-end hospitality and whimsy that I absolutely could not resist it. I was so grateful that T…

Hotel Bazzoni- Tremezzo

Another day, another chance to check out a new hotel! Since Grand Hotel Tremezzo was not in the (credit) cards for this trip, we checked into the Hotel Bazzoni, just a skip across the dock at Tremezzo. It’s also directly on a (car-sickening) bus route back to Como. We were kindly able to check-in early…

NYX Milano

On the quest for an inexpensive crash pad the night before a train trip out of Milan, I met my friend at the cheap and cheerful NYX Milano. Service was top notch, the locale was just across from Milano Centrale, and brekky was included. What more could you ask for for a few hours rest?…

Terrazza Calabritto- Milano

Another day, another outstanding Milano dining experience…or maybe it was just really great to get away from Swiss cuisine, either way, Terrazza Calabritto was an absolute standout. I wasn’t expecting it to be so mind-blowingly gorgeous or have such attentive, but non-intrusive service. This is the place you go where your partner proposes at home…

Ristorante Caruso- Milano

On Easter Sunday, on my own in a new city, I enjoyed Facetiming with my family, but also decided to pay homage to them by dining at Ristorante Caruso, part of our namesake. While the hotel of the restaurant, Grand Hotel et de Milan, was positioned for old world charm, maybe it was just a…

Il Liberty- Milano

The best day of a solo vacation is playing fancy lady day which usually includes an epic meal (and possibly a jewelry purchase). Today was just that with a nice ending at Il Liberty in Milan. The whole experience was extra exceptional as the people-watching was top notch. I was seated in the second-floor, like…