Archive for the ‘1st of the month featured bloggers’ Category

1st of the month featured blogger: november

Yes I know it’s already November 3, but it’s never too late for the 1st of the Month Featured Blogger, is it? Besides, I’ve been busily working on my NaNoWriMo novel–you can keep up with my word count in the sidebar (and if you’re wondering, I decided to go with something brand new and left last year’s novel for another month…but that’s all I’m saying for now!).

This month I’d like you to introduce you (or re-introduce you as the case may be) to Diana Strinati Baur of the blog Creative Structures and of the Baur B & B in Piemonte, northern Italy.

Diane is a wonderful potter and writer who I’ve gotten to know better through an online friend of mine and a real life friend of hers–Gina DePalma, who you’ve already heard a great deal about here through the Dolce Italiano and O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Contests.

Diana’s attitude toward life is so inspiring and refreshing, but if you’ve caught any of her comments here, you probably already know that. She recently wrote a great post about life after 40 entitled “Sister Girl Tales,” inspired by another of my favorite bloggers, NYC/Caribbean Ragazza.

Here is a snippet of Diana’s post:

I look at myself now and realized it took all of that to become the kind of person who can be content sitting on a hill and creating. I am content with the person I am today. I also wish for myself less work and more joy.

Over the years, [my sister] and I both have started untying the knots of our complicated selves. We both do truly see that getting the most out of these days we have now is of utmost importance. This knowledge forges us together in the strongest of ways.

Staying healthy and happy in mid life is easier with a sister to lean on. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Here are some of Diana’s gorgeous creations, Japanese drinking bowls:

And a glimpse of her life in Piemonte:

Now go visit Diana and tell her I sent you!

1st of the month featured blogger plus a pesto sandwich

Yes, today is What’s Cooking Wednesday, but it’s also the first of the month, which means it’s time for a featured blogger, and who better to feature than Shannon of Tales from the Fairy Blogmother, creator and host of What’s Cooking Wednesday?

Shan’s was one of the first blogs I ever read, months before I had one of my own, and since then, I’ve always looked forward to finding out what she and her family (includes two adorable little girls!) are up to. Shan writes about her life as a mom and wife and active fundraiser for many good causes (and so much more!) with such honesty, I can’t help but feel like we just chatted on the phone after reading her posts. And I just *love* when she shares family memories as well.

So what I’m saying is, you should visit Shan on Wednesdays for sure to check out all the lovely WCW recipes, but hang around the rest of the week too, and you’re likely to find yourself wondering what the fam’ is up to this weekend.

(I hope that doesn’t sound creepy Shan, but I really do wish I could come to your parties and family get-togethers!)

Now for those of you who expected a recipe today, I’m going to cheat a bit–I *did* post two recipes last week, you know.

Here is what I had for lunch yesterday:

You want a closer look?

That’s prosciutto cotto, mozzarella, tomatoes, and pesto on a fabulous, fresh “rosetta” roll. The pesto recipe can be found here, and this panino was a great way to use up pesto left over from the previous night’s pasta.

If even after the pesto, you’re still feeling recipe-deprived, be sure to come back Friday when I’ll be posting my part of the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest round-up (including prize winners). Lots of great O Foods coming your way soon, so stay tuned!

1st of the month featured bloggers: september

These days there are a lot of us expats from various home countries blogging from Italy (check out my list of links here), but one of the absolute best and one that I always look forward to visiting is Julian and Amanda’s A Tuscan View – from Umbria.

Amanda and Julian alternate with fabulous posts on this blog, which also features gorgeous photos. Both write with amazing clarity and share such keen observations–what a lovely, interesting couple they must be to meet in person. I certainly hope to do so someday soon!

Amanda never fails to invoke gorgeous imagery and deep emotions with her words and photos; Julian’s posts are cleverly crafted and laugh-out-loud funny. My favorite of his is called “Sopranome” and tells the tale of the time he nutmegged Jesus, who, not surprisingly, “didn’t like it. Not one bit.”

One of my favorite posts of Amanda’s and one of my favorites of anyone’s anywhere is called “The colour of earth” and includes these lines (and the above photo):

Since I first visited Italy, years ago, I have been infatuated with its colours; the warm rosy apricots and rich terracottas of the peeling stucco in the piazzas. Faded frescos with the soft tinctures of the Renaissance, ghosts of vivid lapis blues and true clear reds.

In the countryside, the ever-changing grey green olives and inky dark cypresses stand against the ripened gold of wheat. And the land itself, its ploughed and fallow fields with great clods of soil like raw siena, the fertile colour of earth.

In the cavernous warehouse where we have come to buy the paint I feel suddenly nervous, almost overwhelmed by colour, but I know I haven’t come this far to paint yet another stark white wall, so I hold my breath and choose…


As I told Amanda, I wouldn’t mind living in that post.

An added bonus is that Amanda features the “best thing I ate today” while Julian always includes “the stupidest thing I did today.” How can you not love those tidbits about real life in Italy?

And, just in case you aren’t impressed with all of this, consider that Julian is an artist who, along with the help of his lovely wife, runs Artist in Italy painting holidays and workshops in the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside.

You know you want to know more about this spectacularly talented duo, so go visit Julian and Amanda. Just don’t blame me when you spend the next couple hours reading their archives. You’ve been warned.

And speaking of wonderful things in Italy, be sure to head over to Alex’s Blog from Italy this Friday, September 5th, when he’ll be starting up a recipe contest with prizes in the forms of free subscriptions to the La Cucina Italiana magazine. I’ll be on the taste-testing team, so be sure to check out the details!

1st of the month featured bloggers: august

This month I’ve selected five featured bloggers.

This is because Frances of BlogJem has declared Blog About Five Things Week based on an idea from Ben Yoskovitz based on Problogger Darren Rowse’s Group Writing Project from a while back.

Got that?

[By the way, I participated in the Group Writing Project with Top 5 Italian Words You Don’t Want to Mispronounce. There will soon be a new group writing project at Problogger, so stay tuned!]

OK, so the point is that since I was going to feature a blogger or two anyway today, I thought, why not five?

So here are five of my favorite writing related sites–some about the craft, some by my favorite writers:

1. Burnettiquette by Miami Herald columnist James Burnett. The tagline is “Where common sense meets the news.” Love it! I dare you to go visit him and leave without pondering some great social ill, current event or trend. Simply fabulous.

2. NYC/Caribbean Ragazza. This is a gal who packed up her life in Los Angeles as a Hollywood film exec and moved it to Rome where now she’s collaborating with an Italian screenwriter on a new film. Amazing story, amazing woman. Must read.

3. The Golden Pencil by Anne Wayman. So much excellent advice here for writers from technique to the business end, and lots of great job opportunities posted as well. I’d definitely recommend subscribing if you’re a freelance writer.

4. The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick by Christina Arbini. Christina’s was one of the very first blogs I read, and I cannot wait to read one of her books. Publishers, you listening?! Christina has such enthusiasm and passion for writing (and for life), it’s hard to leave her blog without smiling. Don’t you love that?

5. distraction no. 99 by Nova Ren Suma. Nova writes so honestly and openly about her writing process, rejections *and* acceptances that I feel like I’m right there with her. And thank goodness she lets me be–it’s a wonderful ride.

By the way, if you’re looking to spark creativity, making these “five lists” is a great method. You may even find that you want to expand each one and write a whole post about it. Look! A whole week of posts!

How do you come up with blog post ideas?

Buon weekend!

P.S. Can you believe it’s August already?! Gah!

1st of the month featured blogger: july

Mom’s still here and we’re busy enjoying the fabulous weather and company, but I haven’t forgotten about you!

There won’t be a What’s Cooking Wednesday recipe from me today, but I am combining two regular Bleeding Espresso features, keeping your potential WCW cravings in mind. Remember you can always find all my recipes here and be sure to check out everyone else’s WCW recipes at Shan’s place.

So, July’s 1st of the Month Featured Blogger (a day late, sorry) is

Jenn DiPiazza, The Leftover Queen!

Jenn and RobertoLook at that gorgeous, smiling face!

If you can’t tell from the photo, Jenn recently got married (check out her and Roberto‘s wedding story here) and she is truly the foodie of all foodies–as well she should be as creator and keeper of The Foodie Blogroll.

Jenn is one of the very first blogging buddies I made, our bond based on Calabrian heritage, loving Italian men (only one each, of course!), bites from the travel bug and food of all kinds, from all cultures.

As a professional food and travel writer, Jenn describes all of the above topics lyrically and beautifully at both The Leftover Queen and Jenn’s Travel Close Up–and lucky her (and us!), hubby Roberto takes fabulous photos to boot!

Aside from keeping up The Foodie Blogroll and sharing fabulous recipes and travel reviews, Jenn also runs a monthly Royal Foodie Joust competition through her site’s forum. Participants are given just a few ingredients to work with, and wow, the things they come up with. I haven’t played along yet, but one of these months I’ll be there Jenn, I promise!

So please do go say hello to Jenn at The Leftover Queen
and Jenn’s Travel Close Up
and also?

The Foodie Blogroll

Join the 1700+ blogs on The Foodie Blogroll if you’re a foodie yourself!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake