Umbria, Italy

After lounging by the pool the last few hours, I’ve just jumped out of the shower and now sipping on a glass of cold white wine that my hubby brought me to the bathroom.  I’m wrapped in a soft blue towel and admiring the view from our window as the bees hover over the lavender and olive trees cast shadows on the stairs. My feet are pressed against the stone tiles that are lovely and cooling for my feet. Occasionally this cat comes and says hi behind the window but I never seem to see it when we are in the backyard. It’s time to slip on a lavender blue dress and start preparations for dinner, al fresco of course. This is what Umbrian dreams are made out of…

The sun slowly begins to set and our char grill is warming up and the table is set with olive branches, a white cloth, candles and we opened a bottle of barolo wine to let it breathe. On the menu we have some T-bone steaks, garlic tomatoes and a refreshing spinach salad with an acidic vinaigrette. Our men are in charge of the steaks and us ladies prepare the side dishes. For dessert we have a cheese platter with caramelized peaches that is my ultimate weakness! The views from under the pergola of the green hills are a calming backdrop for dinner and a magical evening awaits as we begin to sear the steaks…

Grilled T-bone steak

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 twigs of rosemary
  • ground black pepper/ Maldon salt
  • 4 T-bone steaks

Cooking the perfect T-bone

First and foremost, make sure your steaks are thick in cut as on the grill you want to create that dark, crusty sear while keeping the inside a nice rare to medium-rare. Begin by marinading the steaks in ground black pepper, rosemary and olive oil in room temperature for about an hour of so. Once your grill is set up ready to go with lots of red coal on the base, place your steak to sear over high, direct heat to get that lovely crust. Then move it to indirect heat to finishing the cooking.

The T-bone is to sear over direct heat for about 5 minutes on each side then move it to indirect heat to finish cooking. Add salt and ground black pepper on both sides. The tenderloin part of the steak faces the cooler side of the grill and the bone towards the warmer side so the cooking is proportional. Cover and cook for another 6 minutes and turn over midway through the cooking. Remove the steaks from the grill, cover with foil and allow to rest for a good additional 10 minutes. The desired temperature for the steak to our liking is about 52 °C for a lovely pinkish medium-rare steak. Add more black pepper and salt and a few twigs of fresh rosemary and enjoy with a full-bodied red, after all we are in Italy.

I even through stepped into a pair of heels for this picture, in all honesty.. I was comfortably barefoot throughout the entire evening! I wrapped a woolen knit around me as the evening went on and darkness came upon us. We sat eating our cheese platter in pure candle light and talked the night away as the crickets sang in the background.


Spinach salad

  • 2-3 large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
  • salt/ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon strong french mustard

For a lovely acid summer salad, make the dressing by mixing together the olive oil, mustard and lemon juice. Coat the spinach leaves with the dressing and add some ground black pepper and salt on top.

Roasted tomatoes

  • 4 steak tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic chopped
  • Ground pepper/ pinch of salt

Make a dressing by mixing the olive oil and garlic and black pepper. Slice the tomatoes in half and coat them with the oil. Place the tomatoes on the grill and let it cook throughout. Add a pinch a salt and drizzle the remaining of the oil on top.

and of course a rustic cheese platter for dessert.. the crown jewel of any dinner party!

Caramelize some peaches in the remaining heat of the grill by coating them in sugar and butter and let them become tender and soft over the warm heat. Serve with figs and hard cheeses and a few sprinkles of herbs.



A fashion & interior lover who enjoys cooking and traveling. I have a nordic way of thinking, where I believe in the beauty of simplicity.

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