Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

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homemade biscotti

Yesterday I introduced my friend Diana and mentioned that I’m collaborating with her on a few posts (check out more about her here). Diana is the lady behind LadydeeLG, where she writes about multicultural families, Latino identity and culture, parenting, food and travel. Since we both love food and exploring our cultures, we challenged each other to cook a traditional recipe from our culture. I chose to make my mom’s Italian biscotti cookies. Make sure to check out Diana’s site to see her Ecuadorian recipe for pan de yuca. I think I’m going to challenge myself to make that now!

Biscotti recipe


  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps. Pure almond extract
  • 1 1/3 cups slivered blanched almonds, toasted (toast on baking sheet 10 minutes at 350 degrees; cool before using)

Biscotti cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Line a baking sheet with a silicone pan liner, parchment paper or aluminum foil. If using foil, grease foil with butter or soild vegetable shortening. Set aside.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and with mixer on high, beat until fluffy and light, about two minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable oil and almond extract and beat until the oil is incorporated and the mixture is thick and smooth, about one minute.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture. The dough will be quite thick. Add the nuts. You may need to knead them in with your fingers. The dough will be sticky.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flour your fingers and divide the dough in half. Transfer one portion of the dough to one long side of the prepared baking sheet and mold it into a smooth log about 12- 14 inches long, about 2 ½ inches wide and ¾ inch high. The dough will stick to your fingers, just to be prepared.
  7. Repeat the process with the second piece of dough and place it two inches away from the first.
  8. Bake for 30 minute, until light golden brown and slightly puffed. Remove pan from the oven, but don’t turn off the oven.
  9. Using a serrated knife carefully cut the logs in ¾-inch slices on a slight diagonal. Make sure you don’t tear the parchment or silicone pan liner. Arrange the slices, standing upright, on the baking sheet, leaving one inch between the cookies.
  10. Return to the oven and bake ten minutes longer, until the cut surfaces of the cookies have browned slightly and the biscotti are dry to the touch. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and cool completely.



  1. Melt eight ounces chopped, best-quality bittersweet chocolate with six tablespoons unsalted butter in a microwave or small metal bowl set over, but not touching a pan of simmering water.
  2. Scrape the chocolate onto a shallow plate and dip one long flat side of each cookie in the chocolate so it comes halfway up the sides.
  3. Place each dipped cookie on a wire rack, uncoated side down. Let the chocolate set.


Note: Next week Diana will be guest posting, so make sure you check back on Tuesday for some travel tips!




I’m collaborating with my blogger buddy Diana from LadydeeLG to share about our cooking and travel adventures. We partnered through Altitude Summit CoLab and hit if off with our love for food, travel and exploring our cultures. On her site, Diana writes about multicultural (and multilingual) families, Latino identity and culture, parenting, food and travel. Check out her site to read about how I got into blogging and how I celebrate my cultural heritage!

Here’s a little more about Diana.

LadydeeLG Natalie Notions

1. How did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2012 because I wanted to share my experiences raising bilingual kids. I had been reading a lot of blogs on the subject, and thought I could also share what we were going through in our language journey. We’ve been speaking in Spanish and French to our son since he was born, with the goal that he becomes fluent. Today he’s four and can speak the three languages, interestingly, we think English is his favorite.

As I continued to write and explore social media I realized I wanted to write about other topics such as parenting, working mom issues and healthy living.

2. How long have you been blogging?
I’ve been blogging since June 2012 (on tumblr) and I moved to WordPress in January 2014.

3. What made you want to participate in coLAB?
I’m always interested in meeting new people and I thought this would be a great way to do it. I was interested because the project’s goal is to get people from different blogging groups (LBC, blogalicous and ALT) to get to know each other.

4. How do you celebrate your cultural heritage?
Language in our home is a big one. It’s something we work on every day. Food is also important- and something I’ve been slacking in- I don’t know how to cook traditional Ecuadorian foods for example, so I definitely want to push myself to do so. I want my son to love that food too, I don’t want it to be foreign to him. In a way, I’ve done better with French food (my husband’s culture) than my own – I know how to make things like crepes and quiches. As my son gets older I definitely want to change that. Now that I have more time I want to try to learn how to make the delicious food I grew up eating.

5. Anything else you would like to share!
Hmmm I love to travel and if I could, that is what I’d do all the time. Sometimes I fantasize about being one of those families that homeschools just so they can travel around the world– I can’t imagine a better way for a child to learn than to travel.

LadydeeLGNote: Check back tomorrow as I share a recipe from my Italian culture and Diana shares a recipe from her Ecuadorian culture.


medium length hairEvery few years I cut my hair short. I let my hair grow really long and keep it that way for awhile, then I cut it short. It’s a cycle. I’m loving my short fresh new do. It’s still easy to maintain, which is key. To keep my hair full with a little messy bedhead look, I first spray my hair with a texture spray before blow drying, like Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. I rough blow dry my hair and after I add Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine styling cream to the ends. If I curl my hair to create loose waves, that would be the next step. Whether I’m creating loose waves or keeping is straight and messy, I always finish if off with Shu Uemura Texture Wave.

Natalie Notionsmedium length red hair

Note: This time my cut is on trend with the lobs and medium length hair styles.


Valentines day gift guide for him

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Gray Malin Triptych Picture
  2. Swell Water Bottle
  3. Ray Ban Sunglasses
  4. Ralph Lauren Polo Red Cologne
  5. H&M Jacket
  6. Converse Shoes
  7. Happy Plugs Headphones
  8. Twine Bottle Crate
  9. Fitbit Wristband
  10. Happy Socks Socks
  11. Apple Watch Sport Smartwatch
  12. H&M T-Shirt

Men love gifts as much as women, even if they won’t admit it. It doesn’t matter if it’s something they need like new socks and t-shirts or a splurge item. Either way, they probably wouldn’t buy it for themselves, so it’s nice to get. I already know what I’m getting my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day and it’s a necessary splurge gift, which I think are always the best to get and give.

Note: Simple acts of kindness are nice gifts to give everyday.



Clockwise from top left:

  1. Marjolaine Silk Robe
  2. MAC Lipstick
  3. Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag
  4. Swell Water Bottle
  5. Nordstrom Scarf
  6. Oscar de la Renta Stacked Ring
  7. Slant Collections Mug
  8. Creative Co-Op Light-Up Marquee Heart
  9. Shoshanna Dress
  10. Michael Aram Heart Dish
  11. Sonix iPhone Case
  12. Diptyque Candle

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it. It’s one of those holidays that always seem a little overrated. Red roses, chocolates and a candlelit dinner, everyone does that. I’m not into the cliches. Not saying I don’t like those things, but this year it would be nice to get something different. Here are some gift ideas for your best gal, girlfriend or yourself.

Note: Happy love day!