La Dolce Vita

posted in: Inspiration | 8

     This is how I get my New Year started.

I think we often get so caught up processing the gaggles of information around us, that we forget just how truly authentic and unique we each are.  I love the inspiration I get while reading fellow bloggers and their perspectives on life and their passions.  With that in mind, I also try to stay true the purpose of my own blog.

 So pull up a chair and let’s chat.


When I first began this blog, less than a year ago, I knew I wanted it to be a reflection of the things I am truly passionate about:

 My Family, the Celebrations and Food that bring us together, and the Inspiring people and things that bring magic into my World.

For me this becomes a quintessential triangle for

La Dolce Vita.

 It’s the Sweet Life where

Life is about the journey and living it to the fullest.


Paglamas by JennaferGrace for Chateau Bel Age


We rang in the New Year quietly this year.  My husband and I survived the old year and decided that New Year’s Eve in Pajamas and Robes was far more enticing than a night on the town.  We shared a simple dinner of Orchiette Pasta with Sautéed Shrimp and Canellini Beans. This was accompanied by a beautiful bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne.  We toasted to all the dreams and hopes still bursting forth from our hearts.


I always love to set a pretty table, even if it is a relaxed night at home.  The holidays are always a good reason to use all the varied pieces that I have collected over the years.  I always laugh a little when my husband asks me if this or that piece is new.  My answer is usually, “no, I just haven’t used it in awhile”.  Although, these Russian red crystal stems were a new purchase from last year, I just couldn’t resist their color and chiming sounds.



And while we didn’t quite make it until the midnight bell, we did look to the New Year with all the hope and clarity that a new beginning can give.



 There was that big full moon coming to pass.

It awoke me very early on New Year’s Day morning.

  So instead of waking everyone up, I went to the kitchen and made this Fresh Blueberry and Almond Cake.  It’s a simple gluten-free recipe that is moist and delicious.  It provided a wonderful smell in our home and was a nice treat for breakfast.


Fresh Blueberry Almond Cake (gluten free)

1 cup gluten free flour

1 cup Almond Meal

1 egg

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup chopped raw almonds

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

powdered sugar for sifting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a round cake pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly the gluten free flour, almond meal, baking powder, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt, making sure there are no lumps.  Making a well in the center of the bowl, add the egg, applesauce, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts.  Slowly stir to blend.  Gently mix with a large fork. Incorporate into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.  You do not want the batter to become tough.  Fold in 1/2 cup blueberries and almonds.  Pour into prepared cake pan. Top with remaining blueberries.  Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then place upright on a cake plate.  When completely cooled, sift powdered sugar on top of the cake.

This was the perfect start to our New Year!  Not too sweet, and super healthy.




New Year’s Day for as long as I can remember with my husband, has always been about this very Southern meal.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Blackeyed Peas with Ham Hocks and Collards, and Jalepeño Cornbread.


While neither one of us has Southern Roots, there is a lot of comfort and nostalgia here in this dinner.  Our son looks forward to this meal with great excitement and a huge appetite.  We always hope there is enough Good Luck packed into the blackeyed peas!  No one is allowed to throw any of those peas away on New Year’s Day!



A New Year means a new calendar!

This is my favorite yearly wall calendar that has a prominent hanging spot in my kitchen.  I’m usually wearing flats or slippers while I’m cooking, but these images are all about Inspiration for me.  Thanks to my daughter, who always remembers to gift me this each Christmas!


As we begin this New Year 2018, may it be filled with the good harvest of our intentions of the year gone by and may we see the prosperous developments of all our dreams coming true!


La Zingara is an Italian Gypsy Woman, one whose Spirit yearns for a connectedness to the World around Her!  That’s me!!!

8 Responses


    I want THE BLACK EYED PEAS with HAM HOCK recipe!That looks delicious!
    I have never ever done FRIED CHICKEN………….can you believe that?
    Do you do it stove top?How long does it take for the chicken to cook that way?
    I spy my greens and pine cones on the tables outside!WHAT A FUN NIGHT That was!
    TO A HEALTHY HAPPY 2018………..and those shoes YOU have on are FANTASTIC!

    • 93zingara

      I will share that recipe next. It is so, so good! Fried chicken takes 20 minutes +/_ on the stovetop. If you have a large enough cast iron fry pan it is quite simple. It’s the cleanup, as always, that’s the time killer. And yes! The greenery and pine cones lasted well past Christmas. It was a good idea of yours to leave them there after the party. Actually, I just washed the tablecloths yesterday. Cheers to many more parties together this year!

    • 93zingara

      Happy New Year to you! Cheers to a Fabulous year for everyone! Let me know how you like the cake.

    • 93zingara

      Happy New Year! Yes! It was quite a food celebration around here for the Holiday season. Next time you are in town we will plan on you coming over for dinner!

    • 93zingara

      Thank you for taking the time to READ THIS! I know we all get so busy, but it is really fun for me to do this! It makes me happy to know that you’re sharing this with me!

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