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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What led me to do a tribute to this music legend?

Dear readers of my BLOG,

It is always a pleasure to share with you my favorite recipes and fun facts about my beloved Venice, and also my music adventures.
I always enjoy to receive your feedback and your comments.

Lately I was asked by a journalist why I have learned 5 languages and why I’m learning another one, as I’m learning Spanish.

I always thought I learned them because I love to talk and I think communication it’s very important.  But thinking better I came to realize that learning languages is something that comes to me by some attraction, you can say moved by love.

If you have been to my Concerts you may know already that I have learned French because I was as a child in love with the songs of Edith Piaf and French music. I could sing La Vie En Rose when I was 4 years old phonetically without knowing what the song was about it. So, when I was asked at school which language I wanted to pick up, choosing between English and French, I chose French of course. I wanted to understand the lyrics of the music I LOVED so much.

I have learned Dutch because I fell in LOVE and married a Dutch man and moved to Amsterdam with him. I have learned English following my LOVE for music that brought to write songs in London.

Ever since my television special From Venice With Love has been broadcast on PBS around the USA, proud to say so far more than 1,000 times and still going, I have noticed how many of my new audience members are Spanish speaking people. They started to request me also Spanish songs and while visiting a PBS station in El Paso TX, I was suggested to sing a song of Selena when back there with my Concert.

I remember seeing the movie Selena with Jennifer Lopez a while back and feeling so sad for that tragic story. But it was not until recently, while getting more and more familiar with Spanish music, that I came across a video of Selena. I started to read all I could find about her. I was suddenly fascinated about her, her beautiful smile, her driven personality, her passion for performing and for music.
I started to see why after 25 years after her tragic death thousands of people still love her like she has never left. I realize how Selena was an inspiration to all the Latin female singers after her. She was the first to break so many barriers. The first Latino female singer to approach as well as Spanish as English songs.
They told her it was impossible but for Selena impossible was not a possibility.

I started to see how so many of my obstacles to overcome were very similar to hers. I have been told too so many times what to do and what not to do. What is realistic and what is impossible. And yet just like Selena I don’t see that as an obstacle but more like a challenge to overcome.

I found myself falling in LOVE for Selena’s music, her personality and somehow finding another myself in her. I found myself inspired by her like she was still here with us.

And so, 6 months ago I bought myself a Rosetta Stone on line course and now I’m learning Spanish to understand better her music.

Being Italian I can understand Spanish but to speak is an all other ballgame.
I really love the passion and the vibes of Latin music. It’s so close to my personality and heart. It’s so close to the music I grew up:  the Italian music.

To start experimenting my Spanish, a few weeks ago I went into a recording studio here in Los Angeles with a great young producer, Jorge Velasco. I had worked with Jorge on my PBS special. He brought in some awesome musicians and we have recorded my first two Spanish songs.

We recorded my own spin of “Como La Flor” of Selena, as a tribute to her and as a thank you to her for inspiring me. 



And “Gracias a La Vida” of the Chilean musician Violeta Parra, a beautiful song that pays tribute and gives thanks life for his gifts.




I always sing about LOVE and now I have learned that I also learn languages moved by LOVE.

I cannot wait to share my new music with all of you.
The recording of the songs turned out so very nice and two weeks ago we have also filmed a video clip on the beautiful Antilope Valley in California that we will share in the next two weeks on YouTube. Here below some pictures from the video.












This new addition to my music will hopefully bring my music also to a new audience that just like me loves the romantic vibe and the passion of the Latin music. And who knows, maybe one day soon I will be able to bring my music also to South America. So far I can say I love this new language and their music. And my Latin audience is so kind and so loving my effort to bring their music to them with my own flavor and love.

I hope to see you all soon at one of my concerts and share with you also on a stage this new passionate music.

Music speaks the language of LOVE, gives emotions, create unforgettable moments and a lifetime of memories. I feel so privileged to be able to bring it everytime on a stage to my incredible wonderful audience.

From Venice With Love,
Giada

Join me on my official mailing list www.giadavalenti.com  to be part of my world of lovers of love and to to stay connected with me.


And if you want to join me on the Giada Valenti “From Venice With Love” Cruise on the MSC Musica leaving from Venice on July 9, you can visit www.giadavalenti.com/Cruise to register and more info.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Venice on a dish : Sea Bass Mediterranean style


Slowly but surely springtime is here and summer will be coming soon. Never too soon for people like me that love the warm weather and love to feel the  sunshine on the skin, walking on a beautiful beach and feel the sand on the feet. 





I actually moved 2 months ago to Los Angeles after 10 years in NYC and it is already summer time here. Even thought I still love the NYC vibe, I really love the incredible great weather they have here in California. I also love the landscape that reminds me of Italy, with the hills and cypresses all around. I love to take walks and discover everyday new jewels of the nature. I feel so calmer and centered when in contact with the beauty of the nature, and even if Los Angeles is a busy city, you can be in 15 minutes ride in contact with the totally nothing but nature. And I have found for myself a beautiful place to call home, near the action and yet quiet and immerse in the nature.

With the summer coming I guess we are all thinking about loosing some extra pounds we all gain in the winter. 
I surely do, because as a food lover that I am I always tend to eat some extra delicious food in winter, thinking that all the clothes we are wearing makes us extra puffy anyway LOL.

Spring somehow also always makes me feel like its time to renew and get back on track with things I may have let slip a bit in the winter time, like for me my diet.

So I asked my dear friend and celebrity chef Marika Contaldo Seguso to share with us a recipe that is beside delicious also perfect for staying on healthy diet, perfect to feel better and lose some extra pounds.

The whole roasted Sea Bass Mediterranean style flavored with rosemary, cherry tomatoes, olives, oregano. A real Venetian recipe with the savors of the lagoon of my hometown.



Here are the ingredients:

6 Servings
1,5 Kg (3,4 lb)  of Branzino di Valle (particular fish that you find just in Venice, can be substituted with Red Snapper)
6 small potatoes cut in 1/8 inch-thick slice (or zucchini, or eggplants)
20 small cherry or grape tomatoes

1/2 C of black olives (“Taggiasche” kind) 
1/2 C of Capers preserved in salt
1T Oregano chopped
2T of Parsley chopped plus

1Tbs of chopped Rosemary
To stuff the Branzino:
2 Parsley sprigs
2 Rosemary sprigs 

4 Sage leaves
2 cloves of Garlic

To season:
3T plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil 
1/2 C of white wine
Salt and Pepper


PREPARATION:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (medium–high temperature).
  2. Toss the potatoes in a large roasting pan with the tomatoes, olives and capers, 3 Tbs
    of olive oil, salt, pepper , rosemary, parsley and oregano.
  3. Spread the potatoes in an even layer in the pan and leave a few potatoes on the side.
  4. Season the cavity of the fish with salt and pepper and stuff the garlic, the parsley
    and rosemary
  5. Lay the fish on the potatoes and cover with the remaining potatoes.
  6. Scatter the tomatoes and olives all around the fish.
  7. Rub the surface of the fish with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper
    and the white wine.
Cover the roasting pan with parchment paper and bake the fish for the first 20 minutes cover and for 20-30 minutes approximately uncover until completely cook trough.
Discard the foil and baste the fish with the pan juices. Baked the fish for about 20 minutes longer or until it is cooked trough and the potatoes are tender.


Buon appetito and happy cooking,

Giada



Join me on my official mailing list www.giadavalenti.com  to be part of my world of lovers of love and to to stay connected with me.



And if you want to join me on the Giada Valenti “From Venice With Love” Cruise on the MSC Musica leaving from Venice on July 9, you can visit www.giadavalenti.com/Cruise to register and more info.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

10 things to do while in Venice

My hometown is one of the most loved cities in the world. It's famous for being the floating city and the city of love. 
When I look at the tourists rushing through the calli with their maps and only looking for the signs that will bring them to Piazza San Marco or the Rialto Bridge, I wonder how many of their really see the magical beauty of Venice. I feel bad, I feel like they are all missing the point. They are missing to experience Venice. 
So here are my top ten things I recommend you to do while visiting, in place of rushing from one place to the other, to make your visit to Venice one to remember and to repeat.
1. Stop to marvel every canal you encounter.
Every Bridge you cross looks somewhat the same. But take pictures of all of them.....they are all in their own way magical and unique.

2. Stop to refuel 

Yes stop often to refuel with Spritz, a Venice quintessential cocktail and the cicchetti, local tapas bites made from fresh seasonal ingredients. 



3. Stop to admire the rainbow of produce at the Rialto markets.

You will find out what’s on season, what’s grown locally, and perhaps even chat with locals to learn a traditional recipe or two. They are very chatty there.


4. Stop to enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Grand Canal 

Stop and buy food from the markets and neighboring shops. You can gather bits and pieces of cured meats, fine cheeses, savory spreads and Veneto wines! 

5. Stop to enjoy the sun

In place of rushing and getting only exhausted, stop to have an espresso or a drink on whatever terrace calls your name. That will make you really enjoy Venice. And don't forget to stop for Gelato. You need to try the gelato while in Venice.

6. Stop and sneak into an out-of-the-way restaurant

Choose places out of the big streets, avoid those with menus written in 10 different languages and with waiters that are outside inviting you in. Find place with locals inside and gondoliers and listen to what the locals order, and then ask for the same thing, in Italian. You will never have a bad meal and never pay too much.



7. Enjoy getting lost in the maze of narrow streets and alleys

Venice is an Island so you can never get too far. You've never been there before so every corner is new for you. Get lost and rejoice when you start finding your way without the use of a map.

One reason to go to Venice: To get lost in the maze of narrow streets and alleys. / FoodNouveau.com
8. Make sure to watch the night fall over the city

When the night fall Venice become even more magical, there is something unique and mysterious about Venice. A charm that cannot be described but needs to be felt. You will find yourself fall in love with the city, then and there. 


9. Make sure to hop on a short ferryboat ride and see Murano

The Island of Murano is  the brightest and most beautiful island you’ve possibly ever seen. Walk around and enjoy the happy atmosphere of this this place. 

10. End you day with a stroll through St. Mark’s Place past midnight

Early in the morning or late at night, when all the tourists are gone and all the locals are home, that's what I love the most of my hometown. It's then that you will feel the ethereal beauty and feel like the city is yours, only your for the night.







Join me on my official mailing list www.giadavalenti.com  to be part of my world of lovers of love and to to stay connected with me.



And if you want to join me on the Giada Valenti “From Venice With Love” Cruise on the MSC Musica leaving from Venice on July 9, you can visit www.giadavalenti.com/Cruise to register and more info.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fried Zucchini Flowers with Mozzarella

Spring is almost here. Nowadays you can find vegetables and fruits all year around. But somehow I love to keep the old  Italian tradition, to eat vegetables and fruit while in season. So I love spring as it brings many delicious of them and among my favorite vegetables, spring brings the Zucchine.

Venice Rialto Market 

It may look weird to eat a flower, but believe me if you try it you will love it. I share today here, thank you to  my dear Venetian friend and celebrity Chef Marika Contaldo Seguso, one my favorite recipe to eat the zucchini flowers: stuffed with mozzarella. A real salty treat .


                                                                           
Serving 6

BATTER :
½ Cup of All Purpose flour
Iced Sparkling water
1 Liter of Sunflower oil or Peanut Oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Whisk 1 cup of flour with iced sparkling water until rich a creamy consistency.
Add 1 tsp of salt and let it rest in refrigerator


ZUCCHINI FLOWERS FILLING:
6 Zucchini flowers
1C  Mozzarella Cheese cubed
2 T Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Preparation:
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
Remove the pistil of the flower.
Carefully stuff the flowers with the Mozzarella mixture.
Close the petals and deep in the Tempura Batter.
Deep the sliced vegetable in the batter and deep fried in very hot sunflower oil.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

TIPS
Seasoning & Presentation
Sprinkle sea salt flakes.
Served with a Cream of Basil and Tomatoes.

Celebrity Chef Marika Contaldo Seguso 
Join me on my official mailing list www.giadavalenti.com  to be part of my world of lovers of love and to to stay connected with me.



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And if you want to join me on the Giada Valenti “From Venice With Love” Cruise on the MSC Musica leaving from Venice on July 9, you can visit www.giadavalenti.com/Cruise to register and more info.