July Happy Hour is everyday! From 3-6 pm with new bar menu and drink specials!

Have a Sparkling Sunday ... and Summer!

May 27, 2018

In Oregon, Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off the wine touring season and this weekend is equally as popular here in Italy.  Nearly 100 wineries in Le Marche are throwing open their doors for special tastings and tours to mark the beginning of summer. So, why not make it a sparkling one? Many Oregon producers are now making sparkling wines and at our Dundee location at Fratelli Ponzi Fine Food & Wine, a wine bar and retail shop, we have three wine flights daily with one solely dedicated to sparkling, currently featuring selections from Oregon, Italy, and France. What a way to taste and compare! Learn and celebrate all in one sitting. My favorite kind of moment.

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Gracious Guests

May 17, 2018

Our team is literally walking miles to bring a smile to your face.  In one day, our server's pedometer logged 16 miles within our restaurant hustling food and drinks to our celebratory guests.  Whether its an engagement announcement, birthday, Mother's Day, work lunch or it's a "I am treating myself" moment, we are in the business of happiness with great food in a beautiful and relaxing environment and an upbeat team to make it all happen.

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When Work is Love

May 07, 2018

When was the last time you fell in love with something so much it consumed you? Did it change your life and propel you into an unknown universe? Did it become an intense hobby, work or the very essence of you? I was reminded through out the week of when work is love ... it is one.

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A Liberating Life

April 29, 2018

Today, on April 25th, I sit on my sunny veranda and the wild birds are so noisy and happy.  They are chirping, cawing and singing all at once.  Each species toot their own horn, as if to say … “hey, you are not the only free bird flying around these pretty blue skies” … over the Adriatic Sea in central Italy.

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The villa we call home in the region of Le Marche and a place that provides endless inspiration for our endeavor with Fratelli Ponzi and Casal Cristiana EVOO.

The International Super Commute

April 22, 2018

We didn't ever intend on commuting 6,000 miles to work, but this is the new normal for me and my husband Michel. A sabbatical in Italy during the summer of 2012 turned into an international move that would take us on a roller coaster ride of a lifetime.

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Give Thanks ... That's All

November 24, 2016

Today is one of America's greatest holiday's when workers get the day off, cooking and eating is main stage, and prods us all to give thanks.  Here in Italy, I'm in Milan and the holiday is barely noticed and everyone is bustling about their normal day. What I would give for a big piece of pumpkin pie right now!  But instead, I'll be making pumpkin gnocchi tonight with cream sauce for dinner.  But this Thanksgiving is not particularly a normal one for me, as I am away from my beach town Porto San Giorgio (PSG) and my children so I can attend to some medical issues.

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Memory Lane: My Path to Intuitive Cooking

July 25, 2016

In my youth I was such a Betty Crocker baker.  My mom was a scratch cook and everything tasted delicious!  I wanted to cook like her.  It wasn't fancy food. It was food homemade.  She would bake cookies and cakes on a regular basis to satisfy our sweet tooth and the photo here shows she hasn't lost her touch with my birthday cake this year.

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Five Summer Recipes for Relaxed Dining

July 12, 2016

Italians have mastered the art of dining alfresco with incredible simplicity, but yet sophistication.  It comes down to having the freshest and best ingredients available.  You don't need more food, you need better food that will leave your taste buds singing and your body fueled for all the fun things you want to do this summer!

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The Ideal Place for a Better Life

January 24, 2016

The ideal place for a better life includes days filled with sunshine, but a year with four distinct seasons; an area with easy access to big cities, but not so close population, traffic and pollution infringes on your daily life; a place where old traditions still reign while new technology is catching on; acres and acres of farmland secure fresh, clean food to eat within zero kilometers....and the best Italian extra virgin olive oil!

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Earth Day is Everyday

April 22, 2015

Everyday is Earth Day at Casal Cristiana Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil here in Italy .....  There is no excuse to not conserve energy.  It's practically handed to us with this climate, Italian ingenuity and common sense.  How can we not celebrate?

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Cook Like the Marchigiani

February 01, 2015

Cook like the Marchigiani.  You may be asking yourself .... who or what is the Marchigiani?  It is the people of the Italian region of Le Marche of course!  Now that we have that cleared up, the one thing culinary enthusiasts know about Italian cuisine is that top quality and seasonal ingredients are critical for simple, but spectacular meals.  There are actually very few rules when it comes to cooking Italian food, however a tremendous number of opinions exist depending upon who you ask, what region you are sourcing, and of course, tradition.  This may have you contemplating methods and ingredients but as far as I'm concerned, that's what makes cooking fun!  It's a shame when dishes become so complicated it puts you off and even in Italy, we don't have all day to cook.

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Living and Working Italian Style - My Life Now

January 06, 2015

So, when someone asks me, what's different about your life in Italy and how has it changed?  The following comments are a few indicators in how I may answer that question ... "You know your life has changed when ........"


Your favorite thing to do is the laundry.   Nothing beats a warm, sunny day overlooking the Adriatic Sea .. clothes hanging in the sun with a gentle breeze against a medieval wall.     

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