Ciao, I’m Roz, author of La Bella Vita Cucina — recipe developer/tester, organic gardener, world traveler, and lover of all things Italian and Southern (U.S.A.) where I live on a secluded, in-the-middle-of-nowhere country acreage with my husband, 3 horses, 3 dogs, and 4 cats!
“La Bella Vita Cucina” evolved from my crazy passion for cooking and baking, especially authentic, time-honored, Italian recipes. For you, I share my family’s traditions plus new versions of those classical recipes. I was born and raised in an Italian-Amercian family, smack in the middle of the Midwest in Iowa where there were fewer than 10 Italians in my home town. Growing up, I have vivid memories of my mother and aunts spreading endless amounts of food spread everywhere for family and friends to enjoy: from tortellini in brodo, to ravioli in Bolognese sauce, to biscotti/contucci, risotto and polenta . . . at the time not well-known, but rather the traditional ‘cucina povera’ otherwise known as the ‘food of the poor’ from which my family’s humble origins in the harsh northern mountains of Italy began. Families gathered in large numbers for any occasion! Today, I live joyfully in the Southeastern region of the USA with my husband of German-Scottish descent who LOVES to eat and LOVES my cooking! And I have fallen in love with the cooking of the South as well! With two adult children and four grandsons (three are triplets), my life is super busy-crazy at times!
From the moment I wake up until the end of the day, my mind is thinking about what I’m going to prepare next in the kitchen. Ever since 1978 when I picked up my first copy of Bon Appetit magazine and bought my first N.Y. Times Classic Cookbook, cooking has been a driving force and integral part of my life.
Ever since I was out ‘on my own’, I’ve been crazy about food, and even shopping where I often go overboard filling my grocery cart with colorful, fresh produce and Italian specialty foods whenever and wherever I can get my hands on them! I simply cannot settle for anything less than the freshest ingredients that I can use in my cooking! And that’s due to my insistence on having a HUGE garden just as my grandparents did! Only now, my herb and veggie gardens are placed directly outside of my kitchen door so that I can take a few steps outside and snip the freshest herbs and vegetables that I need of the day’s recipes!
Here I write about a graceful, laid-back, family and friend-focused lifestyle focused on living a life surrounded by natural beauty, savoring it and sharing it with all of you . . . but mostly focused on what my readers say they enjoy the most: what comes out of my kitchen . . . delicious recipes! I have always known that my family had fabulous recipes, passed down through many generations, linked back to the poor, humble living in the mountains of Northern Italy, plus having had an incredibly successful Italian and Continental restaurant for decades (also traced back to Italy and still in operation today). But when I began sharing these recipes and how simply they can be prepared in your own homes, I truly had no idea how much everyone wanted more! So I give these recipes (plus more) to you, with hopes that your cooking and gardening will bring smiles to the tummies of those that you love and care about!
I’m blessed to be a grandmother (‘Nonna’ in Italian), to be married to my best friend, my husband and to be a mother of two amazing young adults . . . who have supported me for decades in my food journey to publish this blog and more! I am a full-time, tenured Marketing professor at a major Southeastern university in the United States . . . and am following my calling to be an educator and servant to society. The Lord has truly blessed me with my family, my career in serving and educating others, and with the skills and love of cooking and gardening. To Him, I give all the glory!
If I can help you in any way regarding cooking, gardening, and marketing, please let me know.
This is my blog, that I started way back in 2008 with the simple intention of snapping photos of living a beautiful life on a country acreage, and that I’m happy to welcome you to a growing number of over 60,000 like-minded global readers and FRIENDS . . . all who come together here to simply celebrate the deliciousness and beauty that surrounds each of us in our lives!