A Taste of Italy: Slow Wine 2014 US Tour

Have you ever heard of Slow Wine?

In fact, did you know that Slow Wine is a branch of the famous non-profit Slow Food, an organization committed to linking the pleasures of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment? Slow Food is presenting the 2014 edition of its English-language wine guide, Slow Wine, in San Francisco, Chicago & New York on Jan 27th, 29th and Feb 3rd respectively. The Slow Wine Guide makes it easy for consumers to learn about Italian wines- from the grapes, to the terroir to the producers.

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This is a great chance to enjoy an evening of wine and discovery, at the Slow Wine US Tour: 3rd Edition. With the Slow Wine guide, a value of $25 – included in the price of each ticket – you can taste your way through the regions of Italy, learning more about the quality, terroir and value of each wine, discover new wines and meet the people behind 50+ selected Italian producers who represent the Slow Wine values.

The third edition of the wine guide in English, Slow Wine, adopts a new approach to wine criticism and looks at a variety of factors to evaluate wineries in their entirety, taking into consideration the wine quality, typicity and adherence to terroir, value for money, environmental sensitivity and ecologically sustainable viticultural practices. The guide uses three symbols to evaluate each winery:

The SNAIL, the Slow Food symbol, signals a cellar that has distinguished itself through its interpretation of sensorial, territorial, environmental and personal values in harmony with the Slow Food philosophy

The BOTTLE, allocated to cellars that show a consistently high quality throughout their range of wines

The COIN, an indicator of great value

* The Slow Wine Guide is produced by Slow Food International. Currently, the Guide covers exclusively Italian wineries.

Tickets are $45, including the Slow Wine Guide (a value of $25), unlimited Italian DOCG wines and premium food.
Tickets can be purchased on eventbrite:
Slowwine2014chicago.eventbrite.com
Slowwine2014sf.eventbrite.com
Slowwine2014nyc.eventbrite.com

P.S. Enter promotional code ‘SWSANF’ for a $15 discount!

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Wines of the Veneto in NYC

So remember back in October when I was getting ready to relocate to New York City…? Well, I have now been living here for 4 months and I can tell you this city is INSANE! The people, the places, the atmosphere is just fizzing with excitement. Speaking of fizzy, here in NY I have been working for a PR agency specializing in Food&Wine (doesn’t get better than this!) and I am becoming quite the connoisseur, if I may. I get to taste some incredible wines and attend great events!

My latest outing was for an evening class at Eataly’s La Scuola for a dinner dedicated to Prosecco wines! Seven bubblies to pair with a delicious 3-course meal to warm this chilly Friday night. The class is part of Eataly’s month of December dedicated to the Wines of the Veneto, promoted by U.Vi.Ve., the Union of Consortia for DOC wines from Italy’s number one wine-producing region.

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The Parisian Dream: Bread, Cheese & Wine

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Back in 2005, I lived in Paris’ world-famous 5th arrondissement, commonly known as Le Quartier Latin. One side of my incredibly parisien apartment overlooked the elegant St. Etienne du Mont church and the white marble Pantheon. The other had a view of the sloping rue de la Montagne Ste Genevieve, a Parisian street that hasn’t changed much since the Middle Ages, whose quiet and subtle presence is broken only by the weekend nighttime crowds.
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Quattromani Divides and Conquers!

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Hear Hear! There’s something brewing in the Quattromani pot.  And here’s a hint for you: we’re changing our look.  Any guesses as to why? Remember in the ‘About Me’ section when I mentioned we were Italian Americans, and said

you’d find out the importance of that at some point?  Well, 10 months later, here’s the mystery solved.

As the Romans once wisely said, “divide et impera!”.  Divide and Conquer!  We thought it was time we sent two of our hands to check out what’s cooking on the other side of the pond.

QUATTROMANI IS GOING GLOBAL!

So here’s how it’s going to work.  While I, Dalila, stay here in Rome working with the Rated #1 Food Tour Company in Rome, Eating Italy Food Tours, Marta is slowly but surely making her way across the pond.  First stop, Paris for a few days.  Say ‘au revoir’ to some good friends and some great memories.  Final stop, New York Citaaaay!! The Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, and home of Colangelo & Partners Public Relations.  Who knew, when we started this bog for fun, that less than a year later we would both be working in the food business and chasing our dreams one step at a time.

Back to the blog. While our original mission was to cook up, photograph and present to you the most mouthwatering and delicious dishes of our two favorite cuisines, Quattromani is now going to tell the story of two sisters, divided by an ocean, but held together by their love for everything edible, photographing and sharing all our foodie experiences, with each other and with all of you, one hot dog at a time! I can’t wait to start.

Keep following if you’re as curious as I am!

Happy Eating! 

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Lemon Drizzle Brownies

DSCN9994My sister calls me crazy because first thing in the morning, unlike normal Italians who have a foamy cappuccino and a cornetto or sugary doughnut, I squeeze an entire lemon and a whole grapefruit into a glass, add NO sugar or honey, and I down it like a glass of water! I  can’t even explain how good it feels on the back of your throat, especially when you wake up a little (ok a lot) groggy and quite unmotivated about going to work.  If that burning (yet divine) sensation doesn’t wake you up, well then I fear nothing will.

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Heavenly Strawberry Cake

DSCN0104Wow! It’s been so long I almost forgot I owned a blog! It’s not always easy to shuffle all your duties and give each one the same amount of attention.  Sadly, as much as I regret to say this, this one often comes last.  But I’m back and hungry so for today we decided to bake something not just amazing, not just delicious, but something so wonderful it will literally knock your socks off (or if we want to stay in theme with the seasons, it will literally knock your bikini’s off!)
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Rome Food & Wine Festival 2013

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After two successful years in Milan, this years’ annual Food & Wine Festival was hosted in our very own Rome.  The exact location was the third floor of Eataly, home of all things Italian and every foodie’s heaven! For the occasion, 50 of Italy’s best wine producers, from the northernmost South Tyrol all the way down to Sicily’s Pantelleria, were chosen to represent their labels, joined by 20 great Italian and International chefs.  From May 17th to May 19th, the guest chefs took turns to demonstrate and serve their dishes, while the wine producers stood by, helping the guests make the best food and wine pairings, and really offering us foodies the best of both worlds!
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Roasted Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice

DSCN0027Pomodori al riso con le patate (roasted tomatoes stuffed with rice surrounded by delicious potatoes) are a dish that I have adored ever since I was little.  Ever since I can remember, every time we stopped for a quick lunch at one of the many tavole calde (buffet style restaurants) around Rome, I never once hesitated! When it comes to pomodori al riso, I am a very decisive person. For everything else…not so much.
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Strawberry Pistachio Tiramisu Cake and How to Decorate it Beautifully

DSCN9899Tiramisu is truly one of the greatest Italian recipes.  And we’ve turned it into something even greater.

I was born in April, and one of the fantastic features of this wonderful month is that besides the flowers, the birds and the bees, another thing that starts popping out left and right are big, red, juicy strawberries.  I love strawberries.  It’s a love I just cannot control.  And my family knows this oh so well.
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Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Spring Salad

photo-2In my family, we’re all big salad eaters.  Mainly because we’re pretty much always on a diet and working our bums off at the gym everyday. Sure, we do tend to use the word ‘diet’ quite loosely (take for example, the pancakes floating in maple syrup I just had for dinner)! But we do try.

We started by planting about 8 million plants of salad in our vegetable garden a few years ago, which meant that, unless we wanted to constantly throw it away, we had to eat it as it grew.   But as I said, that’s never been a problem for us ’cause we just love it.
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Super Moist Banana and Chocolate Muffins

DSCN9639So far, I’ve told you quite a few stories about my aunt and uncle in the countryside.  That was our Italian side of the family.  Let me introduce to you our American (well, Italian/American) relatives.  Ever since I can remember, they’ve lived out by the sea, just south of Rome, in Anzio.  When Marta and I were young (really young), we would often go and spend the day at the beach, eat at our uncle’s restaurant, and play around with our cousins (and their 7 pitbulls!!! – I kid you not.).  But over the years, although the distance is not all that much, life seemed to get in the way of visiting each other.  So for most of our lives, we’ve had our favorite cool American relatives just a tad too far away.

A few weeks ago, they hopped in their car and paid us a visit.  In honor of our American roots (and my mom and her sisters’ crazy love for coffee cake), we decided to bake one.  They stayed for a few days, and every night they were here we ate till we dropped, and then just before going to bed, I baked something for the next morning (in our house, desserts won’t last any longer than that!).
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What we eat in Italy on Easter Sunday

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I recently wrote an article for Eating Italy Food Tours that explains the wide range of culinary traditions that exist here in Italy, in particular during the Lent and Easter period.  Some might seem odd, like having salami, cheese and red wine for breakfast, but others are classic and delicious!!  So after writing such a mouth-watering article, yesterday was finally our time to eat all that amazing food!

Like every year for Easter, off we went to the country side to spend it with our famous aunt and uncle (the ones who like to fill us with food-related presents every time we meet!). Continue reading

Wine, Cheese and Fondue party

ImageFamily is a wonderful thing. Especially when they bring you things!

Our aunt and uncle (the same ones who have the pomegranate trees), live up in the mountainous north of Italy during the winter months of the year, in one of the many valleys of the Dolomites.  But when the snow starts melting and the flowers start blooming, they pack up their car and drive back down to Rome, which could not be any more beautiful than it is in the Spring!
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How to piss off an Italian [excerpt] by Eva Sandoval

I came across this article and found it too funny not to share it with you. As much as I would like to laugh and tell you it’s all an exaggeration, I can’t. It’s all true. We Italians are food snobs. But rightfully so, because Italian food is the best, isn’t it? ENJOY!

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Suggest that other cultures’ cuisines might also be delicious.
Italian food is loved worldwide, and with good reason. The Italians themselves are extremely proud of their food, which is why if you suggest other cultures also produce good cuisine, you’ll be setting yourself up for: “Maybe, but nothing is better than our own food.”

“Yes, but Mexican food is also delicious. In fact, I think it’s my favorite.”

“There is no food better than Italian food.”

“Have you ever tried Mexican food?”

“I don’t have to try Mexican food. I know that Italian food is the best.”

“Mexican food is really delicious.”

“Not as delicious as Italian food.”

Press the issue and see the sparks fly. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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Soft and Chewy Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

DSCN9413I am not a sweet tooth.  If you sat me down in front of a slice of cake and a plate of raw vegetables, I would almost always reach straight for the veggies.  But I have a dirty little secret.

In honor of St Valentine’s Day, we thought we would make something that not only we love, but so does pretty much everyone else in the world, guaranteed.  One of our followers actually requested these heavenly treats a while back so we thought, even though every day is the right day to make chocolate chip cookies, Valentine’s Day is just perfect.

And then we went and made it even better.  Continue reading

Beautiful Blogger Award!

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First of all, apologies to our followers for our recent absence.  Due to busy work schedules, we were unable to spend time cooking and posting new recipes.  But what better way to get over the famous ‘guilty blogger feeling’ than to open your email and find an award waiting for you!  Silvia, author extraordinaire of Zenzero e Cannella, nominated Quattromani for the Beautiful Blogger Award.
Thanks Silvia!

Now let’s take a look at the Beautiful Blogger Award rules:
1.  Copy and paste the Beautiful Blogger Award in your post
2.  Thank the blogger who nominated you and create a link to his/her blog
3.  Reveal 7 facts about yourself
4.  Nominate 7 blogs that you think deserve the Beautiful Blogger Award and let them know by leaving a comment.

7 things to know about us:
1.  We are sisters
2.  We are two food obsessed 20-somethings
3.  I try to convince my sister to cook Asian food all the time, but she is (understandably) fixated with Italian food!
4.  We have an ongoing debate over which city is the best: Paris or New York..
5.  We have our own little vegetable and herb gardens
6.  We have two cats, and we let them taste (almost) everything we make
7.  Our ultimate dream is to start our own food business!!

And here are our nominations for the Beautiful Blogger Award:
1.  Zenzero e Cannella

2.  The Craving Chronicles
3.  Not Without Salt
4.  Spicy Ice Cream
5.  Zen Can Cook 
6.  Juls’ Kitchen 
7.  Gluten-Free Goddess

If only we could turn this into a full time job, we would probably have to convert our entire house into an enormous kitchen…but sadly for now it can only be our downtime hobby so keep following and we’ll make sure to update as often as possible.

Toodles!

Freshly Baked Cornetti

ImageThere’s nothing like living in the eternal city.   It’s a perfect combination between the city that never sleeps and the city of romance, but with that touch of magic somewhere in the middle.   Walk by the Colosseum by day and it’s like stepping onto the set of the Gladiator.  Walk by it at night with your special someone and love feels like it will last forever.   At least that’s how I feel.

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