Tuesday Travels: Borgo Argenina

Welcome to Borgo Argenina, a truly magical stone estate in the hills of Chianti. IMG_2414.JPGIMG_2419.JPG

Visiting Borgo Argentina was an experience like no other and my absolute favorite part of our Newly Newlywed Italian Adventure. The 998 AD Peasant Farmer home had been abandoned for years when, now owner, Elena Nappa, discovered the property while on a holiday from Milan. A former fashion designer, Elena quickly fell in love with the estate. She knew in her heart it was a calling for her to restore the hamlet into a stunning seven room Bed & Breakfast and that is exactly what she did. Her story of how she transformed this property without electricity and running water into a fully functioning Bed and Breakfast is really remarkable. IMG_2416.JPG

Adam and I drove from Florence to the Chianti hamlet. Passing thousands of grape vines and olive trees, around curvy bends, narrowingly escaping head on collisions with Italian drivers and through the rolling hills to get to Elena’s. Upon arrival at Borgo Argenina we were greeted by Elena’s four-legged friends, Giuseppina and Pasqualina along with other guests who were sitting on the grand stone patio, enjoying a glass of vino taking in the sunset over Chianti. IMG_2420.JPG

“Welcome! You must be new! Elena is upstairs in the Kitchen.” one guest said. Instantly we were family.

Our journey at Borgo Argenina began as we passed the bell to ring for Elena if you arrive after hours and opened the original wooden double doors adorned with iron locks and handles. IMG_2415.JPG

Once inside the main house, up the narrow stone stairway with one tiny window over looking the garden, we found Elena, tooting around her kitchen. IMG_2433.JPG

“Ah! Bella! Benvenuto! I’ve been expecting you! Fett, si?” Elena asked.

She grabbed the keys and escorted us to the Piccola Suite, our home for the next four days. We had a quaint sitting room adjacent to our bedroom, an attached private bath and views of the rolling Chianti Hills and Elena’s garden. PicTapGo-Image-5.jpg

Each room is equip with a mini bar and tea kettle that is refreshed daily, wifi and a hairdryer. (Yay! One less thing to pack!) There is no air conditioning at Borgo Argenina, thankfully, even during the Summer months the nights were cool and a flowing breeze filled our room. Elena took us downstairs, showed us the Parlor and Breakfast Room before heading outside.PicTapGo-Image-2.jpgIMG_2434.JPGIMG_2423.JPGIMG_2422.JPG

After a tour of our suite and parts of the property we sat down with Elena on the stone patio outside. She shared some of her favorite places in Tuscany with us over a glass of wine. PicTapGo-Image.jpg

We chatted for what felt like hours of friends catching up before we realized the time and that we were late for a supper reservation she made for us at Giorgio’s. We will share that experience with y’all a little later. Delizioso!

Every morning, Borgo Argenina guests are greeting to a beautiful breakfast spread prepared by two of Elena’s three employees. On the daily menu: Fresh Coffee, homemade Yogurt, local meats, cheeses and honey, fresh fruit, and varieties of Elena’s Coffee Cake.  PicTapGo-Image-3.jpgPicTapGo-Image-1.jpgPicTapGo-Image-4.jpg

Elena also invites her guests to a nightly Cooking Class at Borgo Argenina. If you’re staying with her, this is a MUST! It was by far the best food we had during our time in Italy and if she had extra room we would have taken the class a second time! Each guest is gifted with her Borgo Argenina Cookbook-filled with Elena’s family recipes and traditional Italian dishes. The time we spent in the kitchen with Elena and other guests was a highlight of our trip. Pop over next Monday to see what was on our Menu! IMG_1196.JPG

Y’all, I really can not express how much HeliHubby and I enjoyed our time at Borgo Argenina. It is in a perfect location to be a “home base” for Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena and more little Tuscan Wine towns. It’s truly an enchanting, one of a kind Italian escape. Elena is absolutely wonderful. She is warm, welcoming and lovely. We felt like we had known her for years and yet we just met. Leaving we all three got a bit teary eyed as we said our “goodbyes.” I don’t know when the Newly Newlyweds will get to return to Chianti to visit Elena, but I do know HeliHubby and I both left a piece of our hearts in Tuscany at Borgo Argenina. It is just magical.

If you’re considering a Tuscan Vacation I highly reccomened you consider Borgo Argenina as your home. Have questions about the hamlet or want help planning your vacation? Feel free to message us- I am happy to help! PicTapGo-Image-7.jpg

Fino all prossima volta, we hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Wednesdays with Walt.

Welcome to Wednesdays with Walt.

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Can you think of a better way to spend a Wednesday? {Other than being at Walt Disney World of course!}

With the latest news from your favorite Newly Newlyweds announced earlier this week, we thought what better way to share our (Holly’s) joy and excitement for her newest endeavor!

“Wednesdays with Walt” will be just that. A weekly blog series about any and all things Walt Disney related. Watch for recaps of recent trips and restaurant reviews. We will of course, share some of our favorite tips and tricks along the way and answer any Disney related questions you may have! Who knows you may get a Walt Disney history lesson one day!

We look forward to you tuning next week Musketeers!

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Until then, we hope you’re enjoying your {Disney} Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are! Ta-Ta for now or  “TTYN” as Tigger would say!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

ps: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Yak&Yeti Dining Night

Adam and I just returned from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. If you know me and follow along our Social Media outlets you’ve probably caught on that I LOVE Disney. This week on the Newly Newlywed Blog, we wanted to share all things DISNEY….starting with our menu today!IMG_7998.jpeg

We literally park hopped ’til we dropped on Saturday. Fourteen plus hours of Park Hopping fun.Before we ended our Disney day we had a fantastic meal (and service) at Yak&Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a park that is quickly becoming a favorite! FullSizeRender-1.jpeg

Yak&Yeti is a favorite in the park spot of mine, especially for lunch. It is a perfect spot for a casual, great tasting meal. They are one of the few in the park restaurants that actually have a bar- which is so nice for those of us that travel alone- especially if you can’t or didn’t make reservations. At the base of Expedition Everest sits Yak & Yeti Restaurant, a table-service eatery serving delicious pan-Asian cuisine. Reservations are encouraged, but if you are unable to score them on your trip, pop by and add your name to the wait list or see if you can grab a seat or two at the bar. If you’re an Annual Pass Holder you are able to use your discount, but sadly they do not accept Tables Cards. Yak&Yeti is a Landry’s Inc Restaurant, meaning if you’re a Landry’s card holder and you don’t have reservations you can get the next open table and you can score dining points! Such a great perk to being a card holder!

{Note: You do have to have a park ticket to dine at this restaurant.}

So what was on our menu for the night? Just a few of my most favorite dishes of course! We did a wide range of sampling, since it was Adam’s first visit after all!

We started with their Dim Sum Basket, a new dish for me! It was filled with Pork pot stickers, shrimp siu mai, cha su bao and pork siu mai steamed on a banana leaf, soy lime dipping sauce. So tasty! The Pork Siu Mai was definitely my favorite part of the basket. IMG_8181.jpeg

After the Dim Sum Basket we snacked on their Ahi Tuna Nachos. This dish is MASSIVE. I often order it as my lunch and can never finish it all. It is Sushi grade Ahi, Asian slaw, crispy fried wontons, wasabi aioli, sweet soy glaze. So delicious! IMG_8261.jpeg

We ended our meal with my FAVORITE dish Yak&Yeti offers, their Chicken Tikka Masala. It is some of the best I’ve ever had and yes, Adam loved it too! It is a Boneless chicken breast dish, marinated in yogurt and freshly ground herbs cooked in a traditional Masala sauce with jasmine rice and garlic naan bread. It’s a bit spicy which is nice. The Naan was tasty, but if I am being honest, not the best we’ve ever had- it was a bit soggy. Our neighbors Neil and Kokil have spoiled us with our Naan! IMG_8255.jpeg

All and all we had a fantastic dining experience. The food was so good, the service was great (Mike the Manager visited our table multiple times) and we left stuffed! This was clearly not a Whole30 day for me, but a day at Disney and 15+ miles of walking, it was a well deserved and enjoyed meal! I am getting hungry thinking back to this amazing meal, aren’t you?

Have you tried Yak& Yeti? What’s your favorite dish? Do you have another favorite restaurant at Animal Kingdom? We’d love to hear about it and it to our list to try!

We hope your enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed {Disney Magic} moments as much as we are! Stay tuned for a Tuesday Travels Disney Edition tomorrow!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Bangers & Mash

Y’all this recipe is one of our absolute favorites! Adam has said multiple times he could eat it every day. It’s so delicious and left overs are even better!

We discovered the recipe during our first Whole30 from Melissa’s Whole30 book,  “The Whole30: The 30 Day Guide to Health and Food Freedom,”  and it has become a staple during (and after) our Whole30s.

You’re 29 days in! If you’ve not given it a try, tonight is the perfect night! Enjoy!

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Banger Sausage Patties with Sweet Potato Mash and Caramelized Onions

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For the Sausage (I like my sausage to be full of flavor and add more seasonings than the recipe calls. My notes are in parentheses.) 

1 pound ground pork
¼ teaspoon ground sage (1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon dried thyme (1/2 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon onion powder (3/4 teaspoon)
¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
¹⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt
¹⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
Grated zest of 1 lemon

For the Mash

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
4 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
½ cup full-fat coconut milk
1 onion, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

PREPARE THE SAUSAGE: In a small mixing bowl, combine all the sausage seasonings.

 

In a large mixing bowl, mix up pork and add seasonings a little at a time. {TIP: If you have plastic gloves, they are great to use while you fold in the seasonings and form the patties so your hands don’t get icky.}

Form pork mixture into (about) 8 small patties. (I typically get about 6) Place on a plate and chill in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while starting the sweet potato mash. (I don’t always chill my patties and they turn out just fine.

COOK the sweet potatoes in the boiling water until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the ghee and coconut milk. Using a potato masher, immersion blender, or large kitchen fork, mash and mix the sweet potatoes with the ghee and coconut milk. (I add salat and pepper to the mash.) Cover the pot to keep warm and set aside.

REMOVE the sausage from the freezer and place on the parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake the sausage patties in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, and no pink remains in the middle of the patty.

MEANWHILE, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the ghee is hot, add the onion and cook for 15 minutes, turning them periodically as they begin to brown and caramelize. (Do not rush this step—the browner the color, the more concentrated the flavor will be.)

TRANSFER the mashed sweet potatoes to the plate. Top with the pork and gently set the cartelized onions ontop of the pork. Enjoy!

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This recipe can easily be doubled- I actually recommend it so you have left overs for breakfast or lunch the next day! You can also pre-mix the seasoning mixture and save in little zip-lock bags or in mason jars so you already have it ready when you’re making this dish. It will just save you a little time!

If you make this dish- let us know what you think! What’s your favorite Whole30 Dish? Share them with us!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Falalala Fett’s Final Countdown to Christmas

Day Three is for Thankful.

It’s so easy to get carried away in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and not take time to truly enjoy all it offers.

  1. Did I get enough stocking stuffers?
  2. Did I get gifts for everyone?
  3. Do I have enough hostess gifts for all of our parties?
  4. Did we get everything from the grocery?

The list goes on and I am sure you can relate.

With all that the holiday brings, sometimes we may find our self so wrapped up “checking off our lists” that we don’t take the time to just enjoy the season and be thankful for the little things.

If I have said it once, I have said it one hundred times during our FaLaLaLa Fett Countdown to Christmas….I love Christmas. I thought with creating this countdown it would help me narrow down my favorites, but it has only made the decision more difficult. I’ve realized I do, truly love everything about the Christmas season. While we may not take the time to soak in the season and realize what all we have to be thankful, there is a small simple daily act that helps to remind both Adam and I how thankful we are this time of the year.

Snail Mail. Yep.

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You know that box that sits outside of your house with your numerical address on it? The one that probably has a little red flag on its right side? Do you even know what that is anymore?

If you know me in real life you probably know how much I love Snail Mail. I get excited about going to the post office (how many people say that these days) picking out new stamps and sending mail. Ok yes, I love to get it too.

{Adam gets a kick out of me and how upset I was when our mail route changed. Instead of the mail arriving right at 4:30pm our mail carrier comes by…oh whenever he feels like it.}

All that being said it takes me to one of my favorite things about Christmas and something to truly be thankful for….Christmas Cards.

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Y’all I love them!

I get even more excited to check the mail during the month of December than I do every other day of the year. I anxiously await the arrival of Christmas Cards! Who’s will be the first? Will we get new ones this year? I can hardly stand the wait for the mail to arrive!

I love seeing what all of our friends and family are up to, how much my nanny kids have grown and watching our Pier 1 Imports Christmas Card display grow. It is a daily reminder of just how blessed Adam and I are to have each and everyone of you in our lives and how thankful we are to know we may have made a small impact on your family’s lives.

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Don’t worry if your card doesn’t arrive by Christmas. I get equally as excited to get Happy New Year or Valentine’s Day Cards too!

Thank you for reminding us what is truly important during this hectic holiday season. Thank you for taking the time to think of us when you’re mailing out your holiday cards. Thank you for making the Christmas Season special and for bringing a little joy into our daily lives. You may not realize how much it means when you put that little stamp on the top right of your envelope and drop your card in the mail.

Day Two is for Time. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to add more time to your day?

While that may not be a possibility, time is something that is easily overlooked during the holiday season. Samson has recently gotten into the habit of waking up around 6am to go outside. You all know he comes right back inside and gets under the blankets too! The arctic weather we’ve been experiencing lately in Atlanta is not the ideal situation to start your day!

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Getting up at 6am and trucking outside to our frozen tundra might not be at the top of my list, but it does welcome yet another favorite Christmas memory for our FaLaLaLa Fett Christmas Countdown.

(ok I might be exaggerating a little, but this southern gal can not handle these 17* days)

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It may sound silly to some, but I love early mornings when the Christmas Tree is up. There is just something about coming downstairs to be greeted by the lit trees and garland around the mantle when it’s still dark outside. I love sitting in my comfy chair with a cup of coffee or tea having little time to myself to begin my day.

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I may not appreciate the early morning wake up call by Samson or enjoy the brisk morning walks, but it does allow me to take in every moment of the season. Enjoy the little things and appreciate the time we have.

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Day One is for One Day I’ll Never Forget.

“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh, who all knows about this?”

“So…is that a yes?”

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Hahaha! The dialogue between Adam and I when he proposed never gets old. Poor thing he went to so much trouble planning the perfect surprise Christmas Proposal to include everything I could have wanted and I just had to make it extremely difficult for him!

I won’t go into all the details here because we’ve shared the story of our proposal before, but I couldn’t leave THIS day out from our FaLaLaLa Fett Christmas Countdown. Christmas Eve has always been a favorite day of mine- from cooking with mom to wrapping last minute gifts, it is full of family traditions and wonderful memories.

One family tradition, so to say, is one poor Adam only found out about a few weeks before we got engaged. (About the time he bought my ring) Both my grandparents and my parents got engaged on Christmas Eve and it was something I wanted too, when I found my person. Needless to say I was not expecting the proposal to come when it did. Adam and I had chatted about marriage a few times, we had only been dating about a year and since he was buying a house he ensured me it would not be happening in 2013. Little did I know what he had up his sleeve….

A Christmas Eve proposal it was! It was thoughtful, creative and perfect. Besides wanting  a Christmas Eve proposal I also wanted my friends and family to share the occasion with us and of course he had to ask my Dad before asking me. All of which he made happen, even though it was not the cliche “hide a ring in a box under the tree” and my friends and family were not present, he had the whole thing videoed so all could see.

Thankfully he did! Besides me saying “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh, who knows about this?” There is not much more from it I remember. Take a peek at our other post- hopefully you’ve love our story as much as we do! The perfect story to share for Day One of our FaLaLaLa Countdown.

Here we are…our FaLaLaLa Fett Countdown has come to a end. It’s been so fun sharing and reliving a few of our favorite Christmas memories with y’all. We’d love to hear what traditions your family has or your favorite Christmas memory.

From our little family to yours, we hope y’all have the most wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing these moments with us!

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We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts.

 

 

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Roasted Red Pepper Hot Sauce

Last week we shared one of our favorite WHOLE30 recipes, Banh Mi Bowls. This sauce is used to top the Banh Mi Bowls. It is an extra added step, but so worth it! This sauce makes the bowls!
Red Pepper Sauce- WHOLE30
Photo Credits: @sodiumgirl
ROASTED RED PEPPER HOT SAUCE
2 red bell peppers
1 to 2 dried ancho chili peppers
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp olive oil
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Cut the bell peppers in half, remove stem and seeds. Cover a baking pan with foil & place the peppers flat-side down. Place in the oven and turn on broiler. Cook until charred, about 15 minutes. Then place peppers in a bowl and cover with the foil to steam for 15. Meanwhile, steep the dried ancho peppers in very hot water until they soften.
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When cool, slip the charred skin off the peppers. Roughly chop the bell peppers & ancho, and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add olive oil and 1 Tbsp of the chili steeping liquid. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid or oil as needed.
Drizzle over the Banh Mi Bowls and enjoy!
*TIP: This recipe does make more than enough sauce for the bowls. Store some in the fridge or freeze and use later.
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Did you try make the bowls last week? What did you think?

We hope you are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

 

Monday’s Menu: Blue Apron Delivery Part II

Our first of three Blue Apron Meals was a success! Their Fresh Basil Fettuccine  recipe was oh-so good! We plan to make it again! Adam and I both had high hopes for our next two meals.

Next on the menu? Bhindi Masala with Paneer, Naan and Cucumber Raita.

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Don’t worry we had no idea what it was either!

We were recently introduced to Indian Cuisine from Adam’s cousin, Erik and our neighbors Kokil and Neil. We knew we loved Chicken Tikka Masala {a spicy chicken dish served over rice} Chicken Curry {thanks to Neil and Kokil} and thought surely we’d enjoy this Masala meal too.

Well….that is a debatable topic in the Fett Household. Adam loved the dish! Again, very surprising. I on the other hand had mixed emotions. The flavor was fantastic. I could eat the tomato based sauce over rice and veggies anytime. The Paneer Cheese… is an acquired taste. In all honesty, we googled it because we just knew we were eating Tofu! The cheese has a different texture and if you are a texture freak like me, you might want to substitute it for something else, like more veggies or a meat. Other than the texture of the cheese the dish was delicious! We would definitely make it again with a few changes.

Ingredients

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Instructions

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Dice the paneer cheese and onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Core and medium dice the tomato. Cut off and discard the okra stems; slice into 1-inch-thick rounds. Pick the cilantro and mint leaves off the stems. Grate the cucumber; place in a bowl with the yogurt. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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In a small pot, combine and boil the rice, a big pinch of salt and 11⁄2 cups of water. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.

While the rice simmers, in a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the paneer cheese; season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides.

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While the rice continues to simmer, add the garlic, onion and spice blend to the pan of paneer; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato and 3⁄4 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened.

Add the okra to the pan of paneer and vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the okra is slightly softened.

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Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked rice between 2 bowls; top with the finished bhindi masala. Wipe out the pan.

Heat the same, dry pan on medium-high until hot. Working 1 piece at a time, add the store bought naan and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until lightly browned and warmed through. Carefully transfer to a cutting board; cut each warmed naan into 6 wedges. Garnish the bowls of cooked rice and finished bhindi masala with the cilantro and mint.

Serve with the naan wedges and raita on the side. Enjoy!

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The flavors were so good! Next time instead of using the Paneer we would substitute it for chicken.

Are you a fan of Blue Apron? What have been your favorite meals? Share them with us!

We hope you are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!