All About The Affogato

From simple soft-serve cones to over-the-top sundaes, ice cream truly reigns as the American favorite dessert. However, to celebrate National Ice Cream Day, we thought we’d introduce you to a special recipe from our friends in Italy. From the Italian word for drowned, an affogato is a scoop (or two!) of ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over the top. The tastes complement each other perfectly, while the differing temperatures help the ingredients melt seamlessly into one another. Feeling even more adventurous? You can also add a shot of Amaretto, Frangelico, Kahlua or another favorite liquor to your affogato to elevate it even more.

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Try serving your affogato in this gorgeous hand-blown glass for extra elegance.

Ripe For The Picking

Here in New England, the blueberry crops are finally ripe and ready to be picked. Children wander the rows of blueberry bushes with buckets in hand, excitedly staining their mouths with the sweet fruit of summer. These little berries are perfect for pies, pancakes, muffins, and smoothies, but we love using them as a quick and easy filling for crepes. Your guests will be awed by the taste and presentation of this dish, and you can revel in its sweet simplicity.

Mixed Berry Crepes

-Your favorite basic crepe recipe (we like this one from Pillsbury)

-One carton of strawberries

-One pint of whole blueberries

-One can of sweetened condensed milk

First, rinse all the berries. Next, thinly slice the strawberries and add them to a bowl. Gently mix in the whole blueberries and set aside. Next, prepare the crepe wrappers according to the recipe and stack them on a plate. Fill the crepes one at a time with 1/3 of a cup of the berry mixture down the center and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk to taste. Tuck the sides of the crepe in toward the center, creating a tubular shape. Enjoy!

Mother Nature’s Gifts

I have been a member of the handcraft community for nearly two decades now. During this time, I have discovered the common thread that ties artisans from across the globe together: they are constantly inspired to create by the beauty of the natural world.

For me, it’s towering, stoic sunflowers that constantly inspire me. What is it about those beauties? They are anything but delicate. Meaty, strong, and nurturing, sunflowers have provided essential nutritional qualities throughout most cultures and time periods. As they drink in the sun’s rays, they climb and they climb. As I gaze at them, I remember the importance of growth.

Our artisans are inspired by sparkling gemstones, colorful flowers, buzzing bees, sandy shorelines, and so much more. No matter which segment of our lush, green earth they come from, these talented individuals delight in creating treasures which honor Mother Nature.

What inspires you? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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International Kissing Day

As if you needed another excuse to celebrate love, today is International Kissing Day! This is the perfect time to pull your loved ones just a little bit closer and celebrate the human connection. It’s also a great day to re-watch your favorite romantic movies, reread passionate books, or visit loved ones you don’t see very often. Our curated assortment of handmade, kiss-themed treasures will help make this day of love even more special.

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Venetian Glass “Kissing Hearts” Necklace

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Kissing Elephants Figurine

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“Hearts Of Fire” Opal XO Earrings

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“Hearts Of Fire” Opal XO Bracelet

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Pewter XOXO Magnets

Have You Heard The News?

Terri, our CEO, was delighted to spend the day at Nora Murphy’s Country House celebrating the summer season. Our Americana Polish pottery and hand-painted wine glasses perfectly coordinated with Nora’s classic, country style for an impeccably decorated Fourth of July tablescape. If you weren’t able to tune in live, you can watch the segment below to celebrate Independence Day with us! We also hope you’ll visit Nora’s blog to hear her firsthand account of this meeting and admire her breathtaking photography here.

Do you want to recreate this look in your own home? You can shop our patriotic Polish pottery selection here, and see all of Margaret’s hand-painted wine glasses here.

The Proud Leo

As a fire sign, Leos are usually passionate, confident, and a little bit stubborn. These proud lions, who are born between July 23rd and August 22nd, are fiercely protective of their loved ones and will do anything to ensure their safety. Leos are intense, energetic, and full of passion, making them great friends and loyal romantic partners. We’ve created the perfect assortment of gifts for your beloved Leo here.

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Shopping for a Cancer birthday instead? View our curated assortment here.

In Fair Verona

In Verona, Italy, the same city where Shakespeare’s beloved “Romeo and Juliet” is set, our artisan Amedeo and his two sons, Valentino and Roberto, handcraft unforgettable glassware. Our artisans love to create pieces celebrating the beauty of nature and the changing seasons. After applying detailed stucco outlines to the glass, each one is adorned with a layer of gold or silver leaf and brilliant, hand-painted colors for unmistakable elegance. Once completely dry, each piece is hand-polished to a gleaming luster. Your tablescape is sure to be the envy of all your guests with this unique glassware!

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Shop all of Amedeo’s silver-leafed and hand-gilded glassware here.

Cocktail Hour

Looking for the perfect cocktail to help you keep cool this summer? Sangria is just the thing! While there are many fun variations of this fan-favorite wine cocktail, this orange, Aperol, and rosemary sangria recipe from the Food Network will tickle your tastebuds and quench your thirst. While white wine sangrias are not necessarily traditional, they certainly are refreshing. A play on the Aperol Spritz, the signature cocktail of Venice, this sangria will instantly transport you to the small, European cafes of your dreams.

Do you have another favorite sangria recipe you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.

Orange, Aperol and Rosemary Sangria

Ingredients

1 cup orange liqueur, such as Clement Creole Shrubb

1 cup soda water

1/2 cup Aperol

1/3 cup loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves

One 750-milliliter bottle chardonnay or other rich white wine

1 1/2 cups orange juice (from about 6 oranges)

2 oranges, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Directions

Add the Aperol and rosemary to a 3-quart pitcher, and bruise the rosemary with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. Add the wine, juice, liqueur and soda water, and stir to combine. Add the oranges, and cover the pitcher with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the sangria for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

To serve, fill 8 glasses halfway with ice, then pour the sangria, oranges and herbs into each glass.

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We have a hunch this punch will taste even better in our hand-blown Murano-style glasses and pitcher!

Mary’s Coastal Crystals

After graduating from Towson State University, Mary of Baltimore traveled to Florence, where she was able to further her studies of fine art and reconnect with her Italian heritage. Each of her jewelry pieces is handcrafted using inspirations she draws from her Italian roots and the natural beauty around her.

Mary is a jeweler, yes, but a sculptor first and foremost. Just look at the detail in each of her charms! Each tiny work of art begins as an individual sculpture which she hand-casts in pewter, but the sculpting doesn’t end there. She combines the elements in layers by soldering them, applying antique finishes, and enhancing each design with pops of color from gemstones and Swarovski crystals. Her new coastal collection, in shimmering shades of blue and aqua, will have you feeling like you spent the afternoon with your toes in the sand!

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Click here to see all of Mary’s uniquely detailed designs.

Happy Father’s Day

In the handcrafted community, so many artistic traditions are passed down to children by their parents. This way, the younger generation can ensure that their ancestors’ legacies live on, and that these rich practices are not lost to the seeming convenience of manufacturing and mass production.

Today, we focus on our fathers. So many of our artisans carry on patrilineal traditions, from Alessandra and Elisabetta, your favorite handbag artisans, to the Battista family, who handcrafts our delicate glass Christmas trees. All of these artisans have made it their lives’ work to carry on the artistic methods their fathers passed down to them. Every day, with every deft movement of their hands, they honor those who came before them.

Here at Uno Alla Volta, while we may not be artisans ourselves, we still make it a priority to celebrate our fathers. I hope you enjoyed the stories of love and gratitude from our team members as well!

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