Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

La Festa al Fresco Round Up Part 1

This has turned out to be an outrageous party - all thanks to you guys and your creativity and total awesomeness! Ivonne and I can not thank you enough for participating in La Festa al Fresco - you have made it the best end of summer party EVER! :D

I also want to thank my dear, dear Ivonne for hosting this party with me.. I, honestly feel that it wouldn't have been the success that it turned out to be without your input, creativity, support, laughter, warmness and thoughtfulness. I think I can speak for all of us.. we're awfully lucky to have you in our lives - even if it's "virtually". Many hugs and much love!

Because so many talented cooks joined in on the festa, we had to split this round up into two parts! I will present part 1 and My favorite Cream Puff will present part 2.

Now, without further ado, let's get this party started..

Honey-Cress Salad with Proscuitto
A tantalizing salad of sweet honeydew melon, spicy watercress and salty prosciutto ham was brought to the Festa by the lovely Julie of A Mingling of Tastes

Grilled Pepper Salads
The very talented Alanna of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture brought to the table wonderful salads made of grilled sweet peppers.. yum!

Garden Peach Margarita
Kevin of Acme Instant Food, who I lurve dearly and is one of the most amazing home chefs, came to the rescue of our parched throats with his Garden Peach Margarita concoction.. to die for!

Plum Kuchen
Plum Kuchen made by Emily of Appetitive Behavior is our first dessert laid upon the Festa table and as you can see, this dessert will go fast! Is anyone else salivating yet? Anyone got a napkin??

Pomelo Salad
Karen, a/k/a Baking Soda, of Bake My Day shares with us this amazing salad made of Pomelos, chicken and bacon served on a fresh bed of mixed greens topped with an Asian inspired dressing.. ohhhhh how good does this look and sound?!

Broad Bean and Sun-dried Tomato Crostini, New England Seafood Soufflé, Sagaponack Corn Pudding and Bon Ton Chicken Marinade
A dear lady by the name of Beverly who is just starting work on her up-and-coming blog, has sent in 4 recipes for our Festa! Yes, I said FOUR! Hehehe They all look completely delicious and I look forward to trying them myself one day!

A Pampering Feast for One
Britt-Arnhild of Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods pretty much summed up what I think is the perfect way to pamper yourself.. lingering at the market, relaxing at home with delicious, fresh foods and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. Just a lovely post to read, in my humble opinion! =)

Fresh Peach Tart
LouLou of Chez LouLou brings, what sounds to be, the perfect Fresh Peach Tart to our Festa! I can just imagine the creaminess of the filling and the tart/sweetness of the peaches and berries on top.. Delish!

Beetroot Hummus
Sweet Jasmine (who I hope is feeling better) of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict brings a jewel toned Beetroot Hummus that I think is one of the prettiest dishes brought to our Festa! The color is amazing as I'm sure is the taste!

Plain Cake Doughnuts with Raspberry Skillet Jam
Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody has decided to make us all *swoon* by bringing these amazingly tantalizing Cake Doughnuts (rolled in cinnamon sugar, no less) with her Raspberry Skillet Jam on the side for dipping (or as I'd prefer, just immersing myself in). I just can not speak. Must. Eat. Now.

Basil Pasta with Mozzarella and Tomatoes
Stephanie (I hope you're feeling better too!) of Dispensing Happiness actually found time between getting over a nasty cold, hosting Blogging By Mail, the monthly Blog Party (which I shall contribute to one day!) and tending to her adorable son to make this incredibly beautiful Basil Pasta! I have never seen such a vibrant green pasta before.. it's gorgeous! I can just taste the fresh basil in it.. yum!

Zucchini Lasagna
Chris, a/k/a Chrispy, of Experimentation of Taste brought along a most tasty looking Zucchini Lasagna! Mmmm Mmmm how I love me some zucchini! Layered in with cheese, pasta and sauce... hello! How could you go wrong? Fantastic!

Peter Piper’s Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Pickled Raisin-Corn Salsa and Chile Mole Drizzle
Not only has Callipygia of Foodchair brought a tongue twister to our Festa, but she's also brought a delicious spicy dish that, to me, looks good enough to justify the licking of my monitor! Not that I really did that *cough* when I saw her dish. Callipygia's blog is new to me.. and is becoming a fast favorite!

Pan di Spagna
Francesca of Francescav brought a most awe inspiring Pan di Spagna that I can't stop staring at. It looks airy and creamy and fruity all at once! I am so happy that you've shared this luscious dessert with us!

A Boiled Dinner
Kristina of From the Branches of an Olive Tree brought one of the dishes that I got really excited over. It is this simple dinner of boiled potatoes, green beans and hard-boiled eggs that brought back so many memories of what my father would cook for us when given the reigns by my mother. Simply dressed and seriously, simply delicious!

Summer Fruit Compote
The incredibly talented Gattina of Gattina brings a sinful looking dessert that I suspect might not be so bad for you. At least I hope not, because I believe I could eat buckets full of this gorgeous fruit with honeyed walnuts! I absolutely love her hard caramel decoration as well.. just beautiful!

Tomato Tart
Sara of i like to cook, found time to make us lucky party goers TWO tasty treats for the Festa table! The above pictured Tomato Tart, which I think is quite beautiful and also a Double Tomato and Prosciutto Panini that sealed my resolution to finally buy that Panini grill I've always wanted!

Chicken Penne with Creamy Pesto Sauce
My dear friend Ed of Is it EDible? (who I'm trying to talk into adopting me) created this seriously tasty pasta dish when he combined two sauces together - how cool is that? My mouth waters each time I think of the creamy bechamel sauce mixed with vibrant basil pesto - I am so packing my bags and moving in! As a personal aside.. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Eddddddddddd Happy Birthday to you! And many mooorrrrrre! (am so happy you can't hear my terrible singing voice)

Rainbow Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Stacey of Just Braise brought her stunningly colorful Rainbow Salad to the Festa table. The ingredients in this salad: peaches, avocado, green beans - just to name a few - scream summer deliciousness! I'd like seconds, please!

Red Wine Beef and Avocado Salad
My dear, sweet Ellie of Kitchen Wench, created this beautiful and truly delicious salad for our Festa table! This incredibly adorable gal from Down Under definitely knows the way to my heart, err.. stomach! Chunks of tender beef marinated in all kinds of goodness then combined with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados is a meal all unto itself! A perfect summery meal that I can't wait to dig into!

Muffins au chocolat blanc — White Chocolate Muffins
Béa, the awe-inspiring chef of La Tartine Gourmande, decided to bake for us. And ohhh did she bake.. White Chocolate Mini Muffins will have every last party-goer begging for more. White chocolate muffins, white chocolate slathered on top with a sprinkling of fresh pistachios, and they are of the mini size therefore I can eat a dozen all. by. myself.

La leche helada è latte freddissimo aromatizzato con cannella e limone
Cannella of La Zuccherierait responded to the call from her friend Ivonne with this rich and oh, so satisfying gelato! Oh so creamy! Oh so sweet but with a hint of lemon! Oh so, where the heck is my spoon?! Although I can not read Italian, I am a true ice cream/frozen custard addict and I can tell that this gelato would become one of my favorites.. if I could just find that damn spoon? Anyone?

Shrimp with Tomato and Basil over Polenta
Another dear friend of ours, Laura Rebecca of Laura Rebecca's Kitchen brought this delicious plate of salty-sweet shrimp cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, basil and garlic spooned over creamy polenta.. this gal does it right! I'm thinking I'm going to need a bigger dish or would it be rude of me to to have several dishes full to the brim with all of this amazing food? I'd be forgiven, right? Right?

La Festa al Fresco Frittata
Yes, we've had a frittata named after the Festa! Anni of Life is a Banquet has created, what I think, is the fluffiest frittata I have ever seen! Now fluffy is one thing.. but how do you suppose this tastes? Just by looking at that incredible photo and her list of ingredients, this is most definitely a frittata that I'd be willing to nosh on morning, noon and night!

Pomodori Ripieni Di Zucchine or Zucchini Filled Tomatoes
The incredibly talented Ilva of Lucullian Delights, brings to our table these tomatoes stuffed with zucchini. Personally, I think they couldn't possibly taste as good as they look. They are too pretty!! But, for the sake of quality control.. I will test my theory and taste one (or 15).. and get back to you.
No really, I have to hold onto the platter, in the name of all that's holy and for the goodness of Quality Control, leave me and my platter of tasty zucchini stuffed tomatoes alone!!

Summer Fruit Oat Crumble
The gorgeous Dianka of Na Zdravi! is going to make many a party goer happy with this dessert! This isn't your ordinary crumble, kids! There be rum in this fruity delight! How much do you want to bet that Kevin will be standing over this dish most of the night? ;)

Somen Salad
Kat of Our Adventures in Japan has created a most interesting salad made up of so many wonderful components.. there is the Somen (which is a very thin spaghetti type noodle), scrambled eggs, char siu (chinese roasted pork that I lurve) and something I'd never heard of called kamaboko which is, and I quote Kat: "a fish cake paste that is steamed onto a board or bamboo rod" along with many other yummy items.. The colors are beautiful and the tastes have got to be outrageously good! Now this is what I call "big D little licious" ;)

Peachy Caprese
Bree who is the fantastic co-author (along with her lovely sister, Devorit) of Peanut Butter and Purple Onions a fantastic blog which I so look forward to reading with each new post, has went outside the "box" and found a way to enjoy a Caprese salad although she is not fond of raw tomatoes. What is a girl to do when faced with such a beautiful dish of fresh mozzarella, basil and garden tomatoes that kinda squick her? She substitues fresh, juicy peaches for the tomatoes and voila! She's got herself a unique Peachy Caprese that sounds just heavenly.. Sweet peaches.. vibrant basil.. salty and creamy fresh mozzarella.. *swoon*

Wilted Vlita with Feta Cheese
Susan of Porcini Chronicles has introduced me and I'm sure a few of you to a wonderful warm salad of wilted Vlita and Feta Cheese. I have never had Vlita before but Susan says it's comparable to spinach - and I loves me my spinach! A simple preparation to let the fresh ingredients shine through, this salad would be fantastic on any table - but especially our Festa table!

Mojo Verde
And last, but not least on this first list of amazingly beautiful and delicious dishes, comes Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums! bearing a big bowl of her Mojo Verde or "green sauce" that is traditionally served with fish. The ingredients are many, including green peppers, herbs and spices and toasted bread all mashed together to create this spicy condiment. Rosa says that this sauce is so good that it goes with just about anything and not just fish. Quite frankly, it looks so good to me that I'd be happy to pair it with just my spoon!

Speaking of which.. I still haven't found the damn thing yet! Anyone? Has anyone seen my spoon? No? Well then.. I'm headin' over to Ivonne's to check out the 2nd part of this Festa - maybe she's hiding my spoon? I know we've already been fighting over more than one or 57 (FIFTY. SEVEN.) dishes presented to our table(s)! So it wouldn't shock me a bit ;)

Ohh.. wait a minute.. *blush* I forgot one.. teeee! Then there was me.. the dork from Ohio.. it's the hunger I tell ya! I blame the hungerrrrr!!

Fresh Garden Tomatoes & Shrimp Linguine
The very lovely and talented and sweet and gorgeous and lovely and complete dork, Lisa of La Mia Cucina presents her dish of Fresh Garden Tomatoes & Shrimp Linguine for your dining pleasure. Lisa (the lovely Lisa) considers this dish the ultimate in comfort foods as the aromas, taste and preparation brought her memories of her parents cooking in the cavernous kitchen of their restaurant when she was a child.. And then the linguine was al dente and the shrimp was opaque and she forgot about everything else except the delicious dish in front of her and her fork! Thank God for the fork and not that freakin' spoon! ;)

See ya at Ivonne's!


Comments on "La Festa al Fresco Round Up Part 1"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/05/2006 7:42 PM) : 


You are such a sweetheard and I'm so glad I met you. Believe me when I say that I was more than happy to host the festa with you and am already looking forward to next year's.

Your round up is fantastic! I can't believe all the amazing food that people brought to the table.



Blogger Acme Instant Food said ... (9/05/2006 8:00 PM) : 

What an amazing party this would make. Congratulations on the great number of submissions! There are many recipes I'd love to try and lots of good eye candy too.


Blogger Ed Tep said ... (9/05/2006 8:47 PM) : 

Lis - What a party! And all of the food looks amazing! Thanks so much for hosting this.


Blogger Callipygia said ... (9/05/2006 8:49 PM) : 

Lis, Hey I am heading towards the buffet table now everything looks so wonderful. Thanks so much for co-hosting, it was a great idea and I look forward to checking out everyone's dishes.


Blogger Sarcomical said ... (9/05/2006 8:54 PM) : 

i want to thank you so much for inviting me to do this! but unfortunately i got bombarded with other stuff and couldn't play. :( however, i'm going to bookmark this so i can pore over it even more later - everything looks SO good!

great idea!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/05/2006 9:10 PM) : 

So many things I want to try! True to myself I might start with desserts! Thanks for hosting such a successful event! I was a great idea!


Blogger Lisa said ... (9/05/2006 9:27 PM) : 

Wow, I can't believe what a party this has been. A little bit of everything, from appetizers to desserts to drinks -- nothing missing! Your roundups were just wonderful, too -- the write-ups, the thumbnail photos -- absolutely fabulous (where've I heard that phrase before?). Thanks for doing this, and though I'm stuffed to the gills, by next year at this time I'll probably be ready to celebrate the end of summer with food once again.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/05/2006 9:51 PM) : 

Lovely, lovely, Lis! I'm so happy to have been invited to such a delicious party. This food will keep me drooling over the end of summer for quite some time. Thanks for being such a gracious hostess!


Blogger barb said ... (9/05/2006 9:59 PM) : 

wow what a great event you two ladies have hosted. And what is this we have to wait till next hoo!!! Both of your roundups were so very good and makes me wanna go cook it all. Thanks for stopping by PBE.

doodles on of three at


Blogger Kalyn Denny said ... (9/05/2006 11:23 PM) : 

What a great job you have both done with this event. I really enjoyed seeing all the dishes and finding some great new blogs too.


Blogger Kalyn Denny said ... (9/05/2006 11:24 PM) : 

What a great job you have both done with this event. I really enjoyed seeing all the dishes and finding some great new blogs too.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/06/2006 1:22 AM) : 

So many great little room to loosen my pants to fit it all in.


Blogger Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said ... (9/06/2006 1:38 AM) : 

Thanks to Ivonne for introducing me to your blog as well....more food to drool over!


Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said ... (9/06/2006 2:00 AM) : 

Lis, thanks for hosting this event and for the highly interesting round-up! There are so many good things listed there that I don't know where to look ;-)))!

It was a very good idea!


Blogger Ilva said ... (9/06/2006 2:24 AM) : 

Lisa, thanks for 1)the invitation 2)the joy it brought me preparing my dish 3)the wonderful roundup 4) all the tasty food and 5) for making me meet all this people! How great it would be to make a real party together!


Blogger Lis said ... (9/06/2006 6:44 AM) : 

Ivonne - I feel hungover today.. it must have been a smashing success! *hugs*

Kevin - Thanks! Your delicious margaritas were the perfect addition!

Ed - Thank you dear! How was your birthday??

Callipygia - It was my pleasure! Thank you for joining us!

Melissa - There's always next year.. I'll be asking you again =)

Helen - Plenty of desserts to be had! Thanks for joining us =)

Lisa - (what a pretty name!) Thanks so much for bringing your sauce - it was delicious! :D

Jennifer - aww thank you! And I'm just tickled you joined us!

doodles - Thanks! I love your blog - so glad you gals joined the festa!

Kalyn - Thanks! That was one of the best things about this festa for me.. not only the fabulous dishes all of you guys brought, but finding so many new blogs I wasn't aware of!

Monisha - Thank you, dear! I'm really excited about your blog.. that's my mission this week - to dig into your archives :D

Peabody - You crack me up! And I so know where you're comin' from. Damn doughnuts.. ate a truckload of 'em! ;)

Sara - I thanked Ivonne for bringing your blog to my attention, too! I'm envious of your decision and courage to move to Italy.. I shall live vicariously through your blog until one day I can muster up the same courage and make the move! *I wish*

Rosa - Thanks so much! I couldn't agree more.. where to start? hehee

Ilva - How sweet! Thank you =) I can not tell you how much I love the stuffed tomatoes.. beautiful! :D


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/06/2006 7:52 AM) : 

Lis, this was the most excellent party. You've done a fantastic job on the pictures and your write up is perfect! Thank you so much for hosting, I won't be late next year.
I can see I'm going to be having a much longer list of blogs on my RSS reader. Hope I have time left to eat some of these goodies.
Lovely party!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/06/2006 7:57 AM) : 

Just the images alone {drool} were enough to make me ask myself, "So why don't I ever see THIS kind of food at family get-togethers back home in the islands? You and Ivonne have done such a fabulous event. I am in sensory overload, somebody hand me a paper napkin.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/06/2006 8:15 AM) : 

Hi Lis! Just wanted to thank you and Ivonne so much for hosting such a lovely event! So much inspiration at one table! Grazie!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/06/2006 10:33 AM) : 

Best. Party. Ever.

Look at all this food *weeps with joy* Now if only this darn computer screen wasn't such a hindrance - it won't let me reach through to grab some deliciousness!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/06/2006 3:10 PM) : 

Lis and Ivonne,
Thank you so much for inviting me, this was so fun! Can't wait to see you again next year!! Hugs and Kisses,


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/06/2006 3:20 PM) : 

Wow Lisa, what a turn out for the festa!! It was fun to participate but torturous too since all the food looked so appetizing but none magically appeared as I was reading your post! Oh well, I guess I'll have to get cookin'...



Blogger Gattina Cheung said ... (9/06/2006 5:15 PM) : 

wow wow wow!!! Wonderful layout (framed) to our photos and beautiful write-up! Lis, I'm going to eat like a pig in this Festa!


Blogger Sam said ... (9/06/2006 6:57 PM) : 

All the food looks brilliant. Thanks again for hosting and a beautiful round-up Lis. Btw... I think you blog is pretty fantastic, I've added you to my blog roll.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/06/2006 7:52 PM) : 

what a wonderful event! thanks for inviting me!


Blogger jasmine said ... (9/07/2006 12:48 AM) : 

My darling Lis

Thanks so much for this. It all looks wonderful and I'm sure it tastes amazing.



Blogger Karen Baking Soda said ... (9/07/2006 3:22 AM) : 

Lis, your round-up is lovely, I was smiling all the way! Everything looks so good, what a great party you and Ivonne hosted. I loved participating. Thanks!


Blogger Meeta K. Wolff said ... (9/07/2006 3:39 AM) : 

what an amazing round-up. Glad you and Ivonne invited me to take part in this Festa. I am truly enjoying every bite here .... so where did I put those containers? I need to take some of this food with me home!!

Thank you!j


Blogger Lis said ... (9/07/2006 6:08 AM) : 

Tanna - Thank you so much for the kind words! I look forward to your dish next year.. but in the meantime, I'll be drooling over all your dishes on your blog until then =)

Rowena - hahaha! I thought the same thing as well!

Gilly - Thanks! And I didn't know you were building your house! Congrats! Will there be pictures when it's all done? =)

Ellie - You make me smile (and laugh out loud!)

Dianka - Thank you for joining in! Yet another fantastic blog I've added to my favorites list =)

Bruno - I know, looking at all those pictures did not help my grumbling belly at all! Thank you so much =)

Gattina - You are just a sweatheart, thank you so much!

Sam - Thank you! Wow.. I'm tickled you like the lil blog.. you've made my day! =)

Kat - Thanks for joining! I love your blog!

Jasmine - I hope you are feeling better! Did you ever get your chocolate bar? I looked for it at this specialty store I was in last week, but alas, they had nothing like it. =(

Baking Soda - Thank you! We loved having you =))

Meeta - My sweet Meeta.. don't tell anyone, but I stashed some containers and foil in Ivonne's pantry ;)


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