A huge thank you goes out to Martina, one of Brent's colleagues at Kaiser, who had us over to her house outside of Baltimore on Sunday for a fantastic Italian feast. Martina grew up outside of Venice and can cook like nobody's business. The food was squisito and the company magnifico. Aside from the many cheeses, olives and breads to sample, there was zucchini and gorgonzola soup, polenta with mushrooms, eggplant parmesan, risotto with radicchio - so mouthwatering you probably haven't noticed it was entirely vegetarian fare. And plenty of vino to go around the tavolo. Mmmmm!
In order to work off some of those calories before dessert we went for a lovely walk in the snow covered woods around her property.
Joseph loved Martina's dog Peanut who came along for the walk. Can you spot her in the lower part of the picture with Joseph? Her white and brown coat blended right into the scenery. We saw many deer and even a little fox running through the woods.
Back inside we warmed our feet in front of a roaring fire and sampled the new cheesecake recipe I tried out from one of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. By far the best cheesecake I have ever made and probably ever tasted.
We were sent home with lots of leftovers and a trunk full of wood that Martina had chopped herself from trees on her property that had fallen or needed to come down. My only regret is that we ran out of time to try out some wood chopping ourselves. Hopefully there'll be a next time!