Ciao bella! My bags are packed, my Kindle is charged, and in the event we get trapped on the runway, my supply of travel snacks could sustain our entire plane. Italy, here I come!


A beautiful almond bloom from my visit to the almond orchard

In what must be one of the single greatest pinch me moment of my life, I was invited to attend a four-day trip to Verona, Italy, by Giovanni Rana, an Italian pasta company whose refrigerated pastas and sauces are also available in the U.S. Our itinerary includes eating pasta, making pasta, eating the pasta we make, exploring Verona, tasting wine, and did I mention eating pasta? We’ll also have some incredibly special opportunities, such as touring the Giovanni Rana pasta factory and even meeting Giovanni himself! I’ve never been to Verona, so I am excited not only to visit, but also to be able to experience it in such a unique way.

Since I’m flying all the way to Europe, I felt it only made sense to squeeze in a visit to my favorite city of all time, Paris. I’ll be exploring on my own for a few days after our Verona trip. I plan to tour a few places I haven’t been (Giverny, the Picasso Museum), as well as to revisit as many of my favorite chocolate, bread, and pastry shops as I can.

Packing essentials: my passport and stretchy pants.

While I’m away, I have plenty of tasty recipes lined up to share with you. During the trip, I’ll also be posting to my Instagram (both stories and regular Instagram posts), so be sure to follow along for a firsthand look at my adventures.

In the meantime, I have a few fun finds from the last week, including photos that YOU’VE posted to Instagram. Read on for the juicy details!

Most popular recipe on my site right now: Lemon Layer Cake.

Favorite recipe I’ve tried lately: Chopped Mexican Kale Salad. Make it once, eat it for lunch all week long!

Upcoming blog recipe I’m most excited to share: Crock Pot Mexican Quinoa Casserole (SO GOOD) and Lemon Almond Cake (also SO GOOD).

Funny because: it is so true.

FINALLY: Found a drugstore mascara that I love. It works *almost* as well as the $25+ specialty brand ones for a quarter of the price.

Reading: When Breath Becomes Air. Actually, I’m listening to it on Audible, a service that lets you download and listen to e-books from your phone (and anywhere else you go). Your first book is 100% free to download too! You can test it here.

Latest mistake: Wearing high-waisted jeans to dinner at a burger joint.

Freshening up: My laptop with these beautiful (free!) desktop backgrounds. It’s the little things.

Who needs: a cooler when you have a bathtub?

INSTAGRAM: Here are a few photos of Well Plated recipes you’ve made and posted. I can’t say enough how much this makes my day!

If you make one of my recipes, I’d love to see it on Instagram and might feature it here! Just snap a photo and tag it #WellPlated, and I will be sure to find it. I absolutely love to know what you’re cooking.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Thank you for sharing my Instagram post of your wonderful recipe! I hope you have a fabulous time in Europe, and I look forward to reading all about it!

  2. Ooh. Lucky you! A few another Parisian places I recommend: Des Gateaux et du Pain (amazing: run by a woman), Sadaharu Aoki, Pain de Sucre, and Du Pain et des Idees. 

  3. Even though I’m not much of a traveler, I’m a little jealous —but thrilled for you. Have a wonderful time!

  4. I’m so jealous! I spent a week in Paris last year and would love to go back. And I’ve never been to Italy. I know you’ve spent lots of time in Paris, but I have to share my two favorite foodie finds.

    For dinner, on Ile St. Louis:
    Small, kitschy place with incredible food. The best meal of my trip.

    Culinary tour of Montmartre:
    Added bonus: that’s my tour group on the home page! I’m second from the left. 

    Ciao! Bon Voyage!

  5. Sounds so fun. I have never been to Italy. I am going to Paris April 4-8th and so excited. Also going to London before that and then South France to visit friends. Have fun on your trip and cant wait to hear about it.

  6. For all your talk of all the food you eat, you should be HUGE! From your pictures you are miniscule and such a cutie. Enjoy your time in Europe and bring back some fabulous Italian recipes — my fave food of all times!

  7. Travel safe! I can’t wait to hear about your trip!! I’ve only dreamed of going to Paris (hope to get there soon!!) but went to Italy for my honeymoon and loved every minute of it!

  8. Thanks to your recommendation, we had the G. Rana spinach/ricotta ravioli tonight. The filling is sooo creamy and delicious!  See if you can talk them into some whole wheat versions, please, ma’m! ;)   Enjoy your trip(s)!!  Stay hydrated!