Tag Archives: Pizza in Italy

FRIDAY FEAST with Fiona Palmer

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WHAT A FRIDAY! Can you feel the excitement, the buzz, the utter thrill of it? As you might guess I’m beyond excited. Not only is one of Australia’s most loved rural romance authors on Friday Feast today, with a great giveaway, my darling boys, the Sydney Swans, are into the AFL Grand Final. One sleep and it’ll be CHEER, CHEER, THE RED AND THE WHITE crazy time. Rah!

Author Fiona PalmerI really, really want to post an awesome video of them being magnificent but I’ll refrain and bore you with a paragraph of Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news instead. Despite a very wobbly start and two balls torpedoed into dams, I managed to do some good things over the weekend and dropped a little bit off my handicap. No idea what caused this turnaround. Must have been the Swans excitement.

But now to our guest..

Fiona Palmer is one of the queens of rural romance, hitting best-sellerdom with her debut novel, The Family Farm, and never looking back. She’s also a golfer, which surely has to make her even more fabulous. There is a whole lot of buzz about Fiona’s new release, with good reason. Rachael Johns calls The Sunnyvale Girls a heart-warming tear-jerker, and the blurb sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to read it too.

THE SUNNYVALE GIRLS

Cover of The Sunnyvale Girls by Fiona PalmerThree generations of Stewart women share a deep connection to their family farm, but a secret from the past threatens to tear them apart.

Widowed matriarch Maggie remembers a time when the Italian prisoners of war came to work on their land, changing her heart and her home forever. Single mum Toni has been tied to the place for as long as she can recall, although farming was never her dream. And Flick is as passionate about the farm as a young girl could be, despite the limited opportunities for love.

When a letter from 1946 is unearthed in an old cottage on the property, the Sunnyvale girls find themselves on a journey deep into their own hearts and all the way across the world to Italy. Their quest to solve a mystery leads to incredible discoveries about each other, and about themselves.

Doesn’t that sound intriguing and with Italy in the equation how can anyone resist! You can buy The Sunnyvale Girls right now from Booktopia, Bookworld, QBD the Bookshop, Angus & Roberston, Collins Booksellers, your favourite bookshop or chain store. You can also buy direct from Fiona via her website. If ebooks are your go, try Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play,  JB Hi-Fi or your favourite outlet.

Now enjoy something buonissimo from Fiona!

Sunny Food!

Ah my good mate Cathryn, I’m back with you again for the awesome Friday Feast! Thanks for having me. Now I’m not the best of cooks, I leave my creativity for my stories and not the kitchen, but we still have to eat. And seeing as my characters travel to Italy in The Sunnyvale Girls I thought I’d share my simple pizza’s with you.

We aren’t big bread eaters in my house, I try not to eat it and prefer to use wraps. So this is what I use for my pizza bases. (I also like to put them in my toastie press and sandwich them together with all the yummy stuff inside)

After travelling to Italy myself I realised I was making my pizza’s all wrong. Actually all the Italian food I made was all wrong. They stick with less ingredients and less toppings. (Maybe it came from having fussy kids and making a spag bol with all the vegies I could find finely diced up was just how went.) But I also made my pizza’s the same, more topping just seemed to be the go. Maybe I thought it was healthier??

Pizza at Gubbio

I ate Pizza in Rome, Gubbio, Pisa and Florence and they all only had a few toppings, so that you could taste those flavours. Melt in your mouth divine pizza’s. Even the pasta we had in Pompeii looked like just pasta and a tin of crushed tomatoes on top but by crikey it was heaven.  (I think all those tomatoes grown in volcanic ash makes a hell of a difference!)

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, back home. My toppings are still on the more side of things but I use what I can from my garden. Tonight’s pizza was cheese, ham, onion, spinach, kale and sundried tomatoes. Yum. The good thing about having wraps as a base is that you’re not full on the thick base. You can also fold it over and eat it without having toppings falling off (great for those kids!).

Pizza ready for baking

Fiona's cooked pizza

Ah, pizza. It’s a food that makes everyone happy. I admit to doing the same as you, Fiona, and overloading my pizzas. Not anymore. We use very few ingredients and make sure they’re the best quality. Great idea with the wraps. That’s how to whip up a meal in a hurry!

Now, my dear Feasty lovelies, because Fiona is such a gorgeous person, she’s offering a…

GIVEAWAY!

Yes, this is your chance to win a signed copy of Fiona’s brand spanking new book The Sunnyvale Girls. And entering couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is share your favourite Italian dish. Simple!

Are you a pizza fiend, or do you prefer a simple dish of pasta or gnocchi? Maybe risotto is your go, or perhaps you have a favourite Italian soup or dessert? Maybe it’s plain grilled swordfish with salmoriglio, or barbecued sardines? Italian cuisine is so rich the choice must be endless. Whatever you adore from the land of amore, share and we’ll pop you into the draw!

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 30th September 2014. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Fiona and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @fiona_palmer.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Silvana who has won a copy of Fiona’s gorgeous new release, The Sunnyvale Girls.
Thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun and shared your favourite Italian meals. Unsurprisingly, there are lots of lasagne lovers out there!

FRIDAY FEAST with Fiona Palmer

Welcome to Friday Feast! I’m very excited about today’s guest. Not only is she a fabulous writer and gorgeous person, she’s taking us on an armchair trip to my favourite country, Italy!

First, an update from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf Weekly, because I know how much you hang on it during my beloved Sydney Swans off season. I’m beginning to believe that all the golf balls I buy are suicidal. Fiona Palmer author photoI can think of no other explanation for why they keep diving for eel ridden dams and blacksnake infested rough. Spookily, it only ever seems to happen to the brand new ones…

Enough of that. Time to say ciao bella to one of Australia’s favourite rural romance authors, Fiona Palmer!

Fiona is a born and bred country girl who shot to ru-ro (as we fondly call it) stardom with The Family Farm, following that huge success up with Heart of Gold, The Road Home and The Sunburnt Country. All best-sellers and complete heart-warmers. Now Fiona has another story for your rural library, and this is being touted as her best yet. Take a look at The Outback Heart.

 

THE OUTBACK HEART

 

The Outback Heart by Fiona PalmerIndianna Wilson is a country girl through and through. She’ll do anything she can to save her beloved home town from disappearing off the map – even if she has to die trying. She brings Troy Mitchell to her tiny outback town, with hopes that he can bring a breath of fresh air to the Saints football club and lift the wider farming community.

He’s just the spark they need in Hyden but it’s the fire that he ignites in Indi’s heart that takes her by surprise. She knows he’s feeling something too – why, then, does he insist on pushing her away? What is it from his dark past that’s preventing them from sharing a future?

As the town rallies together and their fighting spirit returns, Indi and Troy discover that sometimes life offers up a second chance – you just have to be brave enough to take it.

The most heartfelt and moving novel yet from favourite Australian rural romance writer and bestselling author of The Family Farm.

 

Footy, love and the outback, how can you resist? Hie thee down to your nearest bookstore or get that mouse a-clicking. Signed copies of all Fiona’s books are available now from her website, and between now and Christmas Fiona will throw in a stubbie holder with every purchase. Otherwise, for the paperback, try Booktopia, Bookworld, Dymocks, QBD The Bookshop, Angus & Robertson, direct from Penguin Australia, your local independent bookshop or nearest chainstore. For the ebook visit Kobo, Amazon (for Kindle), iTunes, Google Play, BigW ebooks or JB Hi-Fi.

Now enjoy your Italian holiday.

 

Pizza Passion

 

Thanks to my mate Cathryn for having me, I love her Friday Feasts. Today I thought I’d talk about Pizza. (An all time favourite of mine because its easy and my kids eat it!!) This is funny because I hadn’t eaten a Pizza Hut pizza until I was 18. We ate plenty of frozen McCain’s pizzas growing up but I’d never had a fresh made one. I was living in Perth and had part time work (while at College) at the Peppy Grove Pizza Hut and that was the first time I’d ever eaten one, especially hot out of the oven. Then I couldn’t understand why I’d never eaten one sooner.

Anyway the reason I’ve gone with Pizza for this Friday Feast is because I just recently went to Italy for 3 weeks on a ‘research’ tip for my next book. And I ate pizza. I didn’t go over board while there, I shared it around with the pastas and we cooked for ourselves for 11 nights while in Montone (a small village in Umbria) and we had lots of salads. (Must even up the carb/veg ratio)

But as I was looking back through my photo’s for a ‘Pizza’ pic I was quite shocked to see how many photo’s I had of me eating pizza! Crikey, it makes it look like that’s all I ate!

One thing I realised is that the pasta and pizza’s are really simple in Italy. They are not full of other ingredients. We make pizza’s or pasta at home and have heaps of vegies and herbs in them, in Italy its simple. In Pompeii we had a pasta dish which just looked like pasta with a tin of crushed tomatoes in it and a basil leaf on top.

But you know what? It was soooo tasty. We think it must be the delicious tomatoes grown in the volcanic soils. Maybe we put too much ‘stuff’ in our dishes? I do tend to load my homemade pizzas with every topping possible to make sure I’m getting plenty of vegies lol

Fiona Palmer aunt and cousin eating pizza in Florence

So here we are eating pizza in the street in Florence. We’d caught up with my cousin who just happened to be in Italy on her trip at the same time as us. My Aunty Lorna and I were the Pizza testers. I never pizza’ed alone. (We did wonder if we’d have to attend a Pizza Anonymous group when we got back!)

Fiona Palmer eating pizza in Gubbio

This is yours truly pigging out on a yum slice of pizza in Gubbio. (An amazing Medieval town not far from where we were staying in Montone. We actually found this place by accident. A wrong turn somewhere landed us here. Much to our delight!)

A pizza meal Fiona Palmer enjoyed in Perugia

When we visited Perugia (another town south of Montone) we went to this little restaurant which was down a little alleyway. It was gorgeous with round exposed rock ceiling. And it seemed small but as you kept walking you came to other little eating areas. Just to note, my Aunty and I couldn’t finish these ones but took the rest home to eat later. 🙂

A pizza meal at Brancaleone, a bar and restaurant in Rome

When we were in Rome, we found a fantastic ristorante/pizzeria right behind our hotel. Sadly we wished we had found it two days earlier!! But we went there so often that we felt like locals and the managers were so lovely. Even their little girl was gorgeous.  They had a big pizza oven and the size of our pizza’s were huge. But the nice thin base made it possible to eat the whole lot! One night we had something different (see I didn’t always eat pizza) and they brought us one of the pizza bases which had been coated in oil, sea salt and sprinkled with rosemary. OMG it was delicious and perfect with our meal. They also served their own fresh cooked potato chips while we waited. Brancaleone the place was called. Loved it. I won’t mention the yummo choc cake we had too.

So that was a snippet of my time in Italy. I have since tried making a few of the things we had over there like the basic oil, sea salt & rosemary pizza base. Goes great as a side to salad. 🙂

 

Sigh. My jealousy of you right now, dear Fiona, is ENORMOUS! Italy is such a wonderful place. Gorgeous people, beautiful scenery and language, all that history and art, and the food! Simple and delicious.

Now, Feasters, we have a giveaway, Simply share your favourite pizza topping in the comments and you’ll go into the draw to win a signed paperback copy of The Outback Heart. Easy!

So… are you a traditionalist, and prefer a good old Margherita? Or maybe you’re a modernist and enjoy exotica like tandoori chicken or roast pumpkin, fetta and chorizo? I’ll admit to the youthful indiscretion of loving pineapple on my pizza but now I’m a Margherita girl through and through, although I did once have a wonderful pizza made with tiny slivers of potato, garlic and herbs that I’d be happy to scoff again. So what’s your preferred topping? Reveal and you could win!

Entries close midnight Tuesday, AEST, 19th November 2013. Australian postal addresses only please.

If you’d like to learn more about Fiona and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter.

 

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Melissa who has won a signed copy of The Outback Heart. Thanks to all who took part. I hope you’ll join in the fun again.