Engagement Grand Canyon WeddingFor many months my brother meticulously planned his proposal to his girlfriend. They live in Las Vegas and he knew from the get-go that he wanted to take her on a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, pop the question and then, when they came back to the house, there would be a surprise party waiting for them. There were a lot of moving parts to this equation most of which involved coordinating the surprise party guests’ arrival from out of town. Needless to say, it all went off without a hitch! I’m thrilled that the cat is finally out of the bag because 1. we can celebrate!, 2. I don’t have to keep this plan a secret anymore (I was so worried someone would slip up at our wedding just 2 weeks ago!) and 3. we have another wedding in the family!! Felicitazioni, Dave and Keath!

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El Encanto Santa Barbara California HoneymoonI’m now officially a Mrs.!! Wow, what a whirlwind, amazing wedding weekend! I’m still digesting it all! Since it isn’t quite time for us to take off on our honeymoon, we’re taking a “minimoon” — a.k.a. few days to relax and catch our breath! This is our view (pictured above) from El Encanto — nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara. Not only is the view stunning but the food is spectacular and the spa is magnificent too! Couple all of that with a glass of wine and my new husband by my side… è perfetto!

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The Final Countdown

Wedding Detail Plan Decor PaintWe are officially in the final countdown! We leave for our wedding exactly one week from today (eek!). You may have noticed, my blogging schedule has been a bit spotty as of late. The days are flying by and it feels like for every two things I cross off my “to do” list, three more appear! As I shift my focus to wedding related projects (like the little sneak peek pictured above!) please rest assured that there will be plenty of posts in the future to fill you in on everything that has been keeping me busy… all in due time.

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Ti amo, Mamma!

Mothers Day Mom MamamiaRita Rachel Lupa Pepi New York Ace Hotel PhotoboothLast fall when my mom (known around here as MamamiaRita!) met me in NYC to go wedding gown shopping, we took these photos (above). They’re from the photobooth in the lobby of the Ace Hotel. In case you couldn’t tell — we had a ball! Honestly, it’s hard not to when MamamiaRita is around! I just so happen to be back in NYC right now to have my gown fitted (we had a successful trip in the fall!). So I’m thrilled to be celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom this year which is a rarity when you live on opposite coasts. Cin cin, Mamma! Ti amo!

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Frittata Cuffone

Frittata Cuffone Recipe MamamiaRitaThere are two things you should know about me:
1. I cook too much food.
2. I hate to throw food away.

Hence the name “Frittata Cuffone”. A frittata is an omelette made with leftover food.  And a “cuffone” is somebody that is not very special. Once a week I will go to the fridge and take out every leftover that I planned to eat later but never did. Veggies, cheese, ham or fish, potatoes, whatever. You can even throw in the frozen veggies you kept on hand in case a snow storm hits (not applicable to those of you reading in LA).

Here’s how to make a Frittata Cuffone:

Sauté garlic and onions in oil.

Add leftovers.

Add a 16 ounce carton of Egg Beaters*, 3-4 fresh eggs and beat together with a little milk.
*I use Egg Beaters in an effort to watch cholesterol—something my ancestors never did and most lived into their 90′s, go figure!

Add your favorite seasonings fresh or dry then cook until liquid sets.

My Zia Antonietta (Lupa) made a perfect frittata pie every time. It was cut & served in wedges. She used an iron skillet that was so heavy she could hardly pick it up. It was seasoned from so much use that the frittata “came good” every time. I always start out with her in mind but rarely is my frittata perfect. It usually breaks up & becomes a mere omelette. So what, it still tastes good!

Always remember that presentation is important. Transfer the frittata into your serving dish then shake on paprika, chili powder, parsley, etc. Make a point to decorate the plate, this touch makes it look very professional.

Last but not least, add fresh cracked pepper over it all.


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