Explore your culinary creativity with Home Chef cooking classes

Explore your culinary creativity with Home Chef cooking classes

Home Chef cooking classes at Kendall College are open to the public and offered at three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each class features recipes that are sure to impress friends and family, but are simple to recreate at home. For example, check out the Oysters Mignonette recipe below from the Date Night class. Oysters Mignonette Serves 2 or moreread more

Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 8

Kendall College, September 30th, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Faculty, Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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This post is authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines  

Last night we roamed around the city of Firenze (Florence). We crossed the river, into the center of the town where the city comes alive at night. Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Ferragamo, Oh my! An Italian Harpo Marx performed in the streets. Were we about to get pick pocketed at this distraction? If not for nothing, we were all incredibly prepared when it came to the gypsies of Italy. The gypsies come from Romania and Serbia, and are highly trained and skilled to target tourists and completely remove valuable belongings without you even knowing it. Luckily, this did not happen to anyone on the trip.
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Firenze
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We started off today with a bang as we had a tour of Florence that began at 9:00am! This was exciting for some of us that value our sleep and were able to sleep in a few extra hours…or at least tried. The cappuccino in Florence was pretty strong. Note for next time: do not consume 2 cups or more of cappuccino before bed.
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“Guys!” said Eitan, “this is your tour guide.” A snazzy German fellow in a panama hat would show us around this luxurious city for the next three hours.
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Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and it is of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany and holds within 370,000 inhabitants. Florence is famous for its history. It is the center of medieval European trade and is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance. In addition, Florence is also the center of finance. Because of this, it is one of the wealthiest cities of its time.

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The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti. It still employs an influence in the fields of art, culture, and politics. It is also an important city in Italian fashion, perhaps this is why I loved it so much.

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We said our goodbyes to Eitan and Clarice and now it was off to Rome for a six hour bus ride. But with the way Marco drove, we ended up shaving off two hours of that long journey. Thank you Eitan and Clarice for all of you knowledge and leadership along the way. We can truly call you our friends. Thank you for protecting us and watching over us throughout the entirety of our European vacation. We truly love you.

Eitan
Road
All roads lead to Rome! We picked up Aurore and Adriano along the way. The roads in Rome are narrow and virtually impossible for a large car to drive through, let alone a bus, so you can imagine the despair when Marco tried to attempt this. We became stuck on a road that was surrounded by cars on each side of the street. I looked outside of the bus and there were many Italian men swinging their fingers at Marco, telling him to stop and that he could not go through. What do we do now? What I am about to tell you will blow your mind. After arguing for a good ten minutes in italian and a few bathroom breaks later, the whole town literally moved mountains for us. You know those Italian movies where everyone in the village comes together to help someone? Well, these situations truly exist. The Italian men of this town were literally picking up fiats and other cars and moving them out of the way so Marco could get the bus through the streets. I have never seen anything like this.
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We arrived to Hotel Kaire in Rome, which turned out to be a compound. They assigned us to our dorm rooms and off we were to bed to later wake up to our last day in Italy. Roma, here we come!

Wishyouwerehere (5)
Ciao,
Wish you were here!
#KendallItaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 7

Kendall College, September 29th, 2014 | Category: Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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This post is authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines 

We departed for Modena early this morning to go to the Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano around 5:30 am (ish). Parmigiano Reggiano is a major product in the Italian cuisine. We arrived early, of course, as Marco is the Superman of all bus drivers. We waited in anticipation to learn the secret steps of making this well-known cheese. The tour began with a costume change. Please, put on this coat and booties! The Italian woman looked at me and said, “Is this fashionable enough for you?” Si?

Group (5)
We then moved into the corridor in which we were shown the production of cheese. Such a production took place behind a glass-plated windows. Even though we were completely covered, from head to toe) for an apocalypse, we were only allowed to watch in another room. This was to prevent biological cross contamination. And, who was the master in charger, making the cheese, behind the glass window? Hold onto your hats, ladies gentlemen, here comes the Italian George Clooney of cheese-making chefs. Holy Cow!

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This factory produces 104 wheels of cheese everyday. The cows produce less milk in the summer, because the cooler weather is best. The cows produce about 2,200 liters of milk. In order to produce Parmigiano Reggiano, the process is as follows: warm the milk, break the milk, and create the curd and whey. This is all produced in copper cauldrons within linen cloths.

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It takes 12 months of a quite nourishing production. Three months less, (nine months), would be the equivalent in producing a baby. This creates an incredible analogy for the Italians, because the cheese is their baby. Bambino! Looking through these large glass windows, essentially, gave us the feeling of being in a hospital. Imagine looking in for the first time at your newborn baby, but there is a wheel of cheese instead of a human. Sounds crazy? Well, most people might prefer a large wheel of cheese over a screaming baby.

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Inside of the factory held a room that was filled with a ton of good-looking Italians fellas separating the curd and whey. I will take the front row please. It was hard to focus and pay attention on the tour after George Clooney came out of the wood-works. This factory was truly the spa of cheese, as the wheels are cooled in baths and then humidified in saunas.

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The factory had suffered from a huge earthquake a few years back, causing a millions worth of damage. Therefore, there are pictures displayed around the building with the damaged shelves of cheese. They were able to repair the factory and it is now up and running, better than ever.
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Alex (3)
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You cannot have cheese without balsamic vinegar, so we made our way to the Borgo del Balsamico to learn the secrets of the preparation of balsamic vinegar followed by a sweet and savory tasting.

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Each bottle of vinegar ranged from 50 euros to 200 euros. Mamma mia! You better be prepared to use each droplet carefully and thoughtfully. Perhaps, back to back dinner parties may be a solution to this pricey purchase.

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The Borgo del Balsamico was located in a beautiful Tuscan house that was gated in a rural community. The house sat on a garden of flowers, shrubs, palm trees, pups, and chickens. The family named their dog after Jacky O’Nassis. Jacky meet Jacky. I guess that it is a good thing that they somewhat support the American government. Viva l’America!

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The vinegar is produced in the attic of the house in century old barrels that were passed down from the owner’s father. Each barrel has a different story to discover.
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We were then served the trinity of balsamic food combinations. First this incredibly fresh ricotta came out and it was served with the gold balsamic vinegar. Next, they served pancetta on bread with the silver balsamic vinegar. And, lastly they served fresh vanilla ice cream with the orange label vinegar. Delicioso.
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After the tasting, we headed back onto the bus to make our way back to the city of Florence. We were all pretty excited, as this was our very first free day to roam the city streets in search of freedom, Italian entertainment, and plenty of gelato. Oh, and did I mention shopping?

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Wishyouwerehere7
Buonasera Chicago!
Wish you were here,
Ciao
#KendallItaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 6

Kendall College, September 26th, 2014 | Category: Inside Kendall, International, Student, Uncategorized | Permalink | Email this
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This post is authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines

Today we set off for Greve in Chianti, Tuscany to visit a butcher, Dario Cecchini, and his Chianina cattle ranch. Dario Cecchini is known as the “poet-butcher,” and lives by the Whole Cow philosophy. This philosophy represents an important link the in delicate food chain. One kills for food and therefore you must guarantee the animal a good life, one filled with compassion and high quality. The death of the animal must be compassionate as well. He lives by the “no waste” policy. Every part of the cow must be used! Our bus arrived to this small town and were loudly greeted by Niccolo in his apron. “He has a big spirit; a large presence” as my friend Wing would say. Niccolo was the assistant to the butcher. He was full of life.
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The visit to the butcher was an experience I have never experienced before nor will I experience again. Imagine you go to your local butcher and he is dressed in red pants, red crocs, blowing a medieval trumpet horn, cutting porchetta, while ACDC’s Thunderstuck was blasting on a level 10 in the background. Your head rattles a little when you enter the building. Where am I? This was basically Chef Altieri’s heaven. They offered wine a total of five times within two minutes throughout this experience. I do not drink so much wine anymore, but maybe I should start. This was one of those experiences that you truly had to see to believe.

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After processing what we just had seen, we sat down to lunch and were served an assortment of homemade sauces with bread. Here you have the trinity affect again. What sauce is this, Niccolo? “It is sweet and hot, just like love.” Benne! For lunch they served hamburgers and potato wedges with fresh herbs for us meat eaters. I suppose they like their meat very very rare. “The Americanos like their meat more well done,” said Niccolo.
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This was heaven for us carnivores, but not so much for some of us vegan/vegetarians.

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Dario the butcher explained his philosophy behind raising the cattle. When I took the Storeroom and Operations class for the culinary program at Kendall, Chef Dewan showed the class this traumatizing video on the poor treatment of farm-raised animals used for the production of meats. This is not what they do here, this is not their mission. In fact, it is quite the opposite. They love and respect their animals. They offer them a beautiful life of freedom, because the maltreatment of the cows will lead to bad quality and pain. Upon consumption, we will take on the pain that is in the meat. When the cow is happy, the meat is of better quality and then we become happy after consumption. This mission works with me, this is the way to go.

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The cows have a lovely life. They have the option of roaming inside or outside. They are not confined to small spaces, but they are able to roam among the grass and graze when they desire. Life is a choice for these cows. Luigi, the bull, is the man of the house to the 23 lady cows. Speed dating at its finest, ladies and gentlemen. A little baby calf, nameless, runs around drinking the milk from it’s mother. The cow’s milk is not generally used. In previous times, it was used for human babies, but not so much for adults.

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Next, we visited the Castello di Verrazzano winery. There are seven vineyards to be harvested in the end of September beginning of October in the fall to be harvested by hand; about 150 acres. Grapes ferment in stainless steel for three weeks. The wine is then aged in the cellular. The winery makes the wine with their own production, sweet white wine. There are 280,000 bottles produced a season.

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They took us on a tour, where we were able to walk the gardens of the villa, looking for tiny wild boars that resided over the hillside. You could not quite see them, but you could definitely hear them snorting. This was followed by a quick wine and balsamic vinegar tasting.

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Left with the taste of wine and vinegar in our mouths, we made our way to the beautiful city of Florence. This has been a intense trip going from one stop to another and the tiredness has started to set in for some more than others. “We can sleep when we’re dead,” was what we said the first day. Do we regret it now? But wait, guys, there’s more. Once we entered Florence we made one last stop to the center of the city. “Guys!” said Eitan. The site of the city reenergized our hearts, our minds, and our spirits. See for yourself.

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Pasta pomodoro and a glass of vino before bed. Tomorrow we will wake up at 5:00 am to explore parmigiano-reggiano and balsamic vinegar. Until then, Florence, ciao!
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Scenery1 (3)
Wishyouwerehere (4)
Wish you were here,
Ciao
#Kendallitaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 5

Kendall College, September 25th, 2014 | Category: Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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Authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines

We made our way to Orvietto today to trail 248 steps down a well. Orvietto means “old town,” in Italiano. The stairs were wide and long as they were made accessible for donkeys to go up and down to carry buckets of water up the well.

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The well was dark and gritty, but there were windows inside, that would allow the light to shine through from the top. Looking down the well could possibly give you vertigo and if you have a fear of heights like myself, it could also give you a panic attack. Eventually, we made our way to the center of the bottom of the well. We stood on a small bridge that covered the little amount of water left on the bottom. The sun shining through the top of the well reflected off the euro coins in the water that were once used to make a wish. “You have to throw the coin over your head, behind you, to make a wish,” said Aurore. This is how they do it in Italy.

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We tediously climbed back up the 248 stairs, stopping for asthma breaks along the way. For standing on our feet all day in culinary school, you would think we would be more prepared and in shape for this. Well, we definitely were not. We finally made it back to the top where some of us felt like puking up a lung. We have definitely achieved much needed exercise over this trip, which makes us feel a little less guilty for consuming all of the carbohydrates thus far. Man down!

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We then walked down the tree lines streets to the center of the town. The old side walks were filled with fallen chestnuts and colorful leaves. When did the seasons change? Wasn’t it summer when we had arrived? It is said to be good luck to carry chestnuts in your pocket during the winter in Italy to avoid sickness and common colds.
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We stumbled upon this duomo (Cathedral) that was simply stunning. I could sit here and try to explain its beauty in detail, but there are no words. See for yourself!
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We were only allowed pictures of the outside of the church, but what I can you about the inside was that it was an out of body experience. This cathedral could fit ten thousand of your closest friends for a royal wedding. Ava Maria began to play and it really gave you the whole effect. It was an emotional experience. I was in complete awe. We made our way to lunch, where Marco joined us. The owners closed off the restaurant to the outside world and Nona (grandmother), husband and wife, cooked for us. If this is not an authentic Italian culinary experience, then I don’t know what is. The restaurant contained these underground catacombs.

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Undergrounds
We were served a bread basket full of dough characters, and an antipasti dish full of breads and a saffron sauce. The second course had three small portions; pasta and mushrooms, pasta and tomato, and a ravioli stuffed with ricotta and squash. Three is the magical number in Italy as it represents the holy trinity. The dessert was the highlight of this meal as it contained four different small portions. Breads, creams, layers of mouse, and fresh fruits, such as figs, were responsible for this course. Grazie, Nona!

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We spent the rest of the day cancelling trips to vineyards to wonder the streets of the town, getting espresso, gelato, and more.

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For dinner, we traveled back in time to a medieval experience. It was not exactly the Medieval Times we are use to, but it is pretty close. It is the Italian way of medieval. We learned about herbs. Herbs were used as a medicinal product rather than a spice during that time. We were also introduced to the production of candles, since there was no electricity. Candles were made from bees wax, which only the rich would use. Did you know that the poor/peasant people could only afford candles made out of animal fat rather than the bees wax? Do you know what that smells like? Non va bene.
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The four-course dinner was served on a credenza. It was presented with a band, a presentation, a costume change, and dancing. Needles to say, we all very much enjoyed ourselves. Maybe a little too much…

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When you are put on a trip with people that you may not know, there is a chance that you may or may not get along. We are all from different walks of life, different cultures, and different beliefs. But at the end of the day, we are all brought together by a common denominator, and that is Italy. We all love to travel, we love food, and there has always been an interest in the great country of Italia. We are brought together by that idea alone. We must remind ourselves how lucky we are to be on this trip, because there are a lot of those who wished they could have accompanied us, but could not, for whatever reason.

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Scenery 2
Tonight we said goodbye to Marilena and Giulia. They both have been with us since the beginning, especially Giulia, whom picked us up from the airport. Thank you for taking care of us and listening to our needs. You are some of the kindest and most welcoming people we have met. You are gracious and patient. Thank you for your knowledge, your heritage, and for sharing a little bit of your spirit with us. Ciao! Ti amo.

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“Time to go,” said Marco as the clock struck midnight. Our bus was beginning to turn into a pumpkin. This would be our last night in Perugia. Arrivederci, Perugia, thank you for sharing your magic with us. Until we meet again.

Wishyouwerehere (3)
Wish you were here,
Ciao,
#Kendallitaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 4

Kendall College, September 24th, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Faculty, Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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Authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines 

Well today Dean Zonka woke up with prosciutto abound in her room and we don’t know why. Party in Dean Zonka’s room! I just lost three credit hours for that one. You’re welcome. The day started off in uniform at the Universita Dei Sapori in Perugia to learn about the production of pasta. It began with a lecture: Pasta 101. The Italian diet is based on carbohydrates, where as our diet is based on protein or sugar and fat.
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Next we were introduced to Chef Fabrizzio and Chef Stefano; real Italian men with real Italian pasta. They separated us into two groups to learn how to make ravioli and tagliatelle pasta with a meat ragu and fish sauce.

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To make the ravioli, we had to make four different flavored doughs consisting of saffron, tomato paste, squid ink, and spinach. The doughs were these dazzling colors of yellow, red, black and green.

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We kneaded the doughs, rolled them out, and combined them into layers. We also kneaded the dough for the tagliatelle and made it using the pasta machines.
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We filled the raviolis with a salmon ricotta filling. If you can remember correctly, from my previous blog, ricotta is NOT a cheese.

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The raviolis were served with the fish sauce and the tagliatelle was served with the meat ragu.

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We presented this lunch to ourselves and other members of the university. We’re official now. We have the Italian diploma to prove it. Does that translate in the U.S.? Thank you Chef Fabrizzio and Stefano, you really touched our hearts, ti amo.

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Tomato
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After lunch, we changed and walked out to the bus. Enter Marco. Marco has been with us since the beginning. Without him, we would not get anywhere as he is our bus driver. We have a different bus every day as each bus is smaller then the day before. Tomorrow, Marco may be picking up all twenty something of us in a four-person taxi cab. Grazie, Marco?

Marco
Marco must have had too much vino at lunch today, because he took off down the drive way without Sharim, myself, the Dean, and Chef Altieri. I proceeded to chase after him screaming newly learned Italian words.

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We arrived at the olive groves and learned how very different the value of olive oil is from wine. We are used to olive oil tasting more like fat rather than the olives. This is not the best quality, but we may think it is. People are accustomed to paying more for better quality wine, but do not seem to care about the quality of olive oil.

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Olive oil is aromatic and pungent. If it is of good quality, you do not need any kind of seasoning or salt. We tasted the olive oil by warming the cup of it in our hands, placing it in our mouths and then tasting the change of flavors. The taste of olive oil transitions from strong to bitter to nutty (like almonds) in a matter of thirty seconds. Can I swallow now?

Tasting
If you go to an Italian restaurant in the states, you may be served olive oil with bread and parmesan cheese. For the olive oil tasting, we were served the olive oil with slices of bread. With this particular Italian olive oil, you do not need the parmesan cheese additive. It is perfecto by itself. It is fresh and savory. You do not taste only the fat; you taste the olives as well.

Alex (2)
After the visit to the olive grove, we got back onto the bus only to realize that Marco had allowed a mosquito farm to form. Mamma Mia, Marco! We returned to the hotel to be presented with a pizza making dinner experience. The Universita and the dean of such came to teach us how to make and assemble real italian pizza! Is your mouth watering?

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Dinner
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We also discovered that we are not the only guests at the hotel. I am starting to rethink this whole Italian man thing…maybe I should just stick with American men.
Nograzie
All in all, the day was bellissima full of fond memories and new friends. We go to Tuscany in a few days, so we will be savoring the last few moments here in Perugia. We continue to take you with us through every knead, every taste, and every bubble of mozzarella cheese. We miss you all dearly and we hold you close to our hearts through this once in a lifetime journey.

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Landscape 3
Wishyouwerehereday4
Wish you were here,
Ciao,
#Kendallitaliana

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