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Venzone: Festa della Zucca

On the day of Venzone’s Festa della Zucca, I made my way to the train station in Trieste with some degree of trepidation. The last time I had visited Venzone, I had been stranded during a transportation strike. At the end of an interminable afternoon of waiting at the station for trains that never showed up, I had managed to catch the last bus of the day back to Udine. Fortunately, on this particular day when thousands of people would be heading to Venzone, I learned that extra trains would be added to the schedule. I changed trains in Udine and arrived in Venzone around 1:00pm. The streets within the medieval-walled village were packed beyond capacity. Townspeople dressed in medieval costum...
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Read all about this worldwide bestselling book.

The Pussers Cook Book is something of an anomaly. It is a book which satisfies the intent of its concept, yet reaches far beyond. To explain, the original idea behind The Pussers Cook Book was a simple one; to create a book containing the most loved, traditional meals, served from the galleys of the Royal Navy during the 1960’s,70’s and 80’s. These are the dishes the old sailors, the veterans, speak of and reminisce about. This is the food which powered the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the WRNS, the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary for well over three decades.   Apart from giving the recipes for such favourites as Pot Mess, Babies Heads and Train Crash. The Pussers Cook book tal...
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Cormòns: La Subida

My only plan for the day was to take the train to Cormòns for lunch, which left me the entire morning to spend in Trieste. The air was surprisingly thick and muggy, the dark, overcast sky threatening rain. I worked up a sweat as I took a long stroll around the city center, stopping at several food shops along the way. Most memorable was Trieste’s oldest bakery, Pasticceria Bomboniera, founded in 1836. The bakery’s elegant hardwood displays, black-and-white marble floor, and crystal chandelier offered a glimpse into the grandeur of a bygone era. I bought two pastine (bite-size pastries)—sachertorte (chocolate cake with apricot glaze and chocolate ganache) and dobostorte (layer cake with choco...
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Gorizia: Ai Tre Soldi Goriziani

This was the day I had been looking forward to ever since my arrival in Trieste. My baker friends at Pasticceria Penso had invited me to watch them prepare one of Trieste’s specialties, putizza. Similar to the gubana found elsewhere in Friuli, putizza is a spiral cake filled with dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate. When I arrived bright and early at the bakery, however, brothers Antonello and Lorenzo informed me that the big event had been postponed. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed. As consolation, Antonello offered me a few treats: a curabiè (half-moon shortbread cookie dusted with powdered sugar; of Greek origin), a torta granatina (triangle of chocolate mousse), and a tiny mar...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: March 2017

Salame all'aceto
For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Salame all’Aceto (Salami Cooked in Vinegar), a dish served in nearly every corner of Friuli. For my recipe, visit Original link
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Trieste and Udine

ricotta affumicata
The dark clouds that had crept over Trieste the previous afternoon unleashed a torrential storm during the night. It was still pouring when I left early in the morning, getting soaked on the 20-minute walk to the train station. Fortunately, I had plenty of time to dry off on the train, which arrived an hour and a half later in Udine. I had a number of errands to do there, namely to purchase some local products to use in photo shoots for my cookbook Flavors of Friuli. My first stop was Formaggeria La Baita, to buy some ricotta affumicata, a smoked ricotta cheese that serves as the traditional Friulian garnish for dishes such as gnocchi and cjarsòns. Next, I stopped by Macelleria Michelutti fo...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: February 2017

For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Baccalà (Salt Cod Stew). February is the month of Carnevale, and Carnevale brings back so many fond memories of Venezia and baccalà. This recipe, while closely resembling baccalà alla Vicentina, a dish from the town of Vicenza in the Veneto region, is typical of the salt cod stews prepared throughout Friuli. For my recipe, visit Original link
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Trieste and Monrupino

Santuario di Monrupino
It was a picture-perfect day, with crystal clear skies and only the slightest autumn chill in the air. Hoping to explore the Carso a little more, I left Trieste midmorning and caught bus #42 to Monrupino. My plan was to visit the Santuario di Monrupino and then have lunch at Ristorante Furlan. I arrived around 10:00am and wandered up the tree-lined road toward the white campanile towering above the surrounding stone walls. Built on a hill above the ruins of a prehistoric fort, this medieval church is the site of the Carsic wedding ceremony, the Nozze Carsiche, which takes place in August every two years. This rite is based on the traditional marriage ceremony of the late 19th century and tod...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: January 2017

For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Presnitz (Trieste-Style Pastry Spiral). Named after the Slovenian Easter cake presnec, this snake-like spiral of puff pastry is filled with dried fruit, nuts, and spices. For my recipe, visit Original link
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Trieste: Hiking in the Val Rosandra

Val Rosandra
Having lived, at the time, over fifteen years in San Francisco, I sorely missed seeing the gorgeous hues of autumn foliage. So when I traveled to Trieste in October of 2005, I found myself in a perpetual state of awe over the reds and oranges that were beginning to transform the countryside. Longing to immerse myself in the great outdoors, I planned a hike through the Riserva Naturale della Val Rosandra. I set out early to do a few errands first: the produce market for some apples, the salumeria for a wedge of latteria cheese, and the tiny supermercato for my new favorite olive bread. Then, after dropping off my groceries and packing a picnic lunch, I swung by Pasticceria Penso to deliver th...
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#Free Holiday #Recipe Book from the Authors of #TWRP

Every December, my publisher's marketing director takes on an additional challenge - putting together the annual holiday recipe book, a gift for our readers.  The authors vote on a theme, and then contribute recipes within the various categories.  This year's theme is comfort food, and we'd love to share our tried and tested favorites with you!  The electronic version is free, all you need is an account at our online store, which is easy to create if you don't have one yet.  Our categories are listed below, along with the link to get your free recipe book - I hope you enjoy the 2016 Holiday Garden Gourmet!   Click here to download your free recipe book! Cat...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: December 2016

Torta Dobos
For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Torta Dobos (Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Caramel), one of many desserts made popular in Trieste during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was created by Hungarian pastry chef József Dobos for Budapest’s National General Exhibition in 1885. This recipe was adapted from the one at Pasticceria Penso. For my recipe, visit Original link
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Trieste and Gorizia

Gorizia's Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio
I awoke around 3:00 in the morning to the harsh sound of wind rattling the window panes. Even with ear plugs the noise was so jarring I couldn’t go back to sleep. This was the bora wind I had read so much about, the cold northeast wind that is particularly strong along the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, from Trieste to the Albanian border. Despite my grogginess, I decided to get up early and head out to the train station. The weather in Trieste had taken a dramatic turn toward winter. The mostly clear sky was streaked with feathery brushstrokes tinted sunrise pink. The gusty bora had not let up, and I shivered as the winds tore through my light fall jacket. I took the train to Gorizia, ...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: November 2016

cjalsons di Treppo Carnico
For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Cjalsòns di Treppo Carnico (Pasta Filled with Potatoes and Raisins). One of my favorite recipes for cjalsòns, these are sweetened with caramelized onions, raisins, and a touch of sugar. I first tasted them over a decade ago at Ristorante Alle Vecchie Carceri in San Daniele, although its chef, Ugo Durigon, has since moved to Udine, where he and his wife have opened Osteria Antica Maddalena. For my recipe, visit Original link
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Exploring the Carso: Casa Carsica and Osmiza Škerk

Pasticceria Penso
So far my efforts to visit an osmiza—a sort of pop-up tavern where small producers can sell wine out of their homes—had proved fruitless. Today being Sunday, I was determined to locate one at long last. My most recent attempt had revealed that daily listings of osmize were printed in a local Slovenian newspaper, so I headed to Pasticceria Penso in order to enlist the help of my friend Antonello. He immediately ran out to buy a copy of Primorski dnevnik and translated for me the listings of two osmize open that day. After helping me figure out the various bus routes, he then sent me on my way with a pallina di cioccolato, a yummy ball of chocolate, raisins, hazelnuts, and rum covered in sprin...
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