Friday, December 19, 2008

The Testa's go Elf

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

AMAZING Gourmet Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Pear

Ok, so I HAVE to post this recipe that I made up because it is that AMAZING!  One of my favorite pizzas here in Italy is with Gorgonzola and Pear, so I thought, why not on pasta.  If you want to impress your company or your husband, just try this VERY EASY recipe:

Gourmet Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Pear
(Gnocchi alla Gorgonzola e Pera)

  • Gnocchi (I used chicche tricolor with tomoto and spinach- little gnocchi that are colored red, green and white)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • salted water to boil gnocchi
  • 3 oz. Sweet Gorgonzola
  • 4.5 oz. of mild cheese (I used fresh mozzerella, but a gouda would be good too)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmeggiano reggiano
  • 1 pear cut into small pieces (preferrably not cubed, but more like little chunks)
  • Pepper to taste

  • Make a rue by melting the butter in a pan and adding the flour.  Once it is boiling, add 3/4 cup milk.  Warm the milk and then add your cheeses.  Keep stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce begins to thicken.  Add the chunked pear into the sauce just before serving to warm it.
  • Meanwhile, boil the gnocchi in the salted water (about 2 minutes until they start to boil to the surface)
  • Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and serve!

Easy and delicious!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Trip to Amsterdam

Our trip to Amsterdam was a whirlwind (symbolically and physically with some crazy winter winds and snow).  We started the trip by knowingly forgetting our passports, thinking that our Italian identity cards would be sufficient to travel within the EU.  But, we found out the hard way that one should ALWAYS take their passport with them when traveling anywhere!  We drove two hours to the airport, parked our car off-sight and took a shuttle to the airport, and then had to turn around and catch the shuttle back to our car and drive back another two hours to home.  

Before we had left home, Anthony and our colleague Paul sprayed down our bedroom walls with bleach to kill the black mold that had taken over.  So, we had to kick out our roommate, Candice, to the couch and sleep in the guest room that night.  We woke up at 3:30am, woke the kids up at 4:00am and drove back to the airport another two hours to catch a 7:15am flight.  It was a nightmare!  And, not to mention, it cost us 150 euro more and Siena had a 100 degree fever the whole time.  Needless to say, we will never do that again.

Once we got to Amsterdam, we met Candy, Anthony's second cousin, and went to The Hague to visit them for the day and spend one night together.  It was a joy to be with Ken and Candy in their beautiful home.  Unfortunately, we didn't get any photos, probably from our total fatigue!  Siena continued to have a fever and was struggling to sleep because of the nightmares she was having.  Anthony got to visit the Tribune with Candy to see Ken in action during a trial at the United Nations for the Bosnian War Criminal trials.  It was quite an experience!  Then, we enjoyed a wonderful Mexican dinner and some great conversations.

The next day we ventured to Amsterdam to visit our friends.  Anthony and our friend from il Rifugio attended a conference on church planting.  It was very inspiring!!!  Nik and the kids stayed with some friends who have kids.  It was an adventure staying in their basement (Dutch stairs are CRAZY narrow).  Then, finally on the last two days we spent time with Siena's best friend, Ameli.  The first day we went to a fun indoor kids' center called TunFun.  The kids had a "ton of fun".  Then, the next day, before we left, we spent some time at their home.  It was a true gift for Siena to see Ameli again, since Ameli and her family will be returning to the States this coming May.  

Here are some fun photos from our time:
Anthony and Leo (our friend from il Rifugio)

Dinner with our dear friends who are missionaries in Amsterdam

Great Amsterdam architecture...always on a slant!

Having Tons of Fun at "TunFun"
Sammy loved climbing up and sliding down again and again

Sliding down...or should we say running down

Siena and her best friend, Ameli

Ameli's bro, Gabrien

Ameli and Siena on the trampoline

As the Wiggles always say, "That's our Sam!"

Hanging out at our friends, Todd and Lindy's, home before heading back to Turin.

Family Day at Palazzo di Venneria Reale

Hello everyone!  These are some photos from a family day out to one of our favorite Turin sights, called Venneria Reale.  There is a beautiful palace and gardens.  It was a fabulous, crisp, blue sky, fall day.  We caught some real fun photos.  Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Siena's a flower girl

This past Sunday, Siena was the flower girl in the wedding of our teammates and dear friends, Ben and Erin.  They have known Siena since before she was born and are regular babysitters for Siena & Sammy.  It was so much fun to be a part of the wedding and to celebrate these two precious friends on their special day.
Siena is in a very shy stage right now, so when she reached the aisle she didn't want to let go of mom's hand.  I kept trying to coach her to drop her flower pedals on the ground as she walked and to go to daddy, who was positioned at the front of the aisle.  She proceeded to take huge handfuls of pedals and dump them all out in her first four steps and then sprint for daddy.  I think she could have won the olympic 50yd dash.  It was too cute though and everyone smiled and laughed.  Here are a few photos that a friend took.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Family Day

Last week we decided to go out for a yummy chocolate brioche and cappuccinos (for mom and dad) and then tot he park for our family day.  We had so much fun!  The kids love being together as a family.  In fact, Siena regularly asks if we can go somewhere "like a family."  It is so much fun building memories!

Siena goes on a date with her daddy

Here are a few of the photos from Siena's daddy-daughter date.  Anthony took Siena to our favorite park here in Torino, Parco Valentine, and he did a photo shoot with her for fun in the gardens.  You can definitely tell that she loves being with her daddy from her smile in these photos.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Krakow is a beautiful, hidden treasure, an eastern european jewel, and it is the city of Nikki's ancestors.  We had the great privilege of visiting Krakow for the second time at the end of September for a European Pastor's Conference with GCM.  It was the first time in four years that we have been childless.  The Lord provided a nanny for us miracuously at the last minute and we were able to enjoy six days of wedded bliss, plus a few long meetings in between.
By far, our best day was a trip into Krakow and to the Salt Mines.  These salt mines are some of the largest in the world.  Only a few short years ago they stopped mining and opened the mines for tourism only.  But up until that point the mines had been in operation for more than 600 years.  Here are a few photos of our tour.  They are not the best photos, as the mines are quite dark.  The most incredible part of the salt mines was the cathedral carved out of the salt completely within the earth.  Even the chandeliers were made from salt!  The sculptures were all carved out of salt, an incredible demonstration of God given talent to men.

This is the group of friends and fellow GCM missionaries that we visited the salt mines with.

After visiting the salt mines, we went into the city of Krakow to enjoy an afternoon and evening together, just the two of us.  We enjoyed the beautiful architecture, the search for precious amber jewlery and an amazing dinner of polish dumplings and soup.  Enjoy our pictures of the amazing sights of Krakow.  We would highly recommend a visit to this city to anyone visiting Eastern Europe.  (Mom, the architecture photos are for you!!!)

Nik 4 months pregnant with #3.