Posts from category Kitchen Tips and Tools

Tomato Ricotta Tarte Tatin

TomatoTarte

  It’s that delightful time of the year when our vegetable garden is exploding and yielding scrumptious produce in spades. We always plant lots of varieties of tomatoes; it’s the true staple in Italian cuisine and we won’t settle for anything but the best in the tomato department. Maurizio’s favorite snack is bread, tomato and…

Baked Fresh Anchovies with Capers & Parmesan Cheese

BakedFreshAnchovies

It’s time to toss away all your preconceived notions about anchovies and give them a second chance. The anchovy in your Caesar salad or on top of a pizza..packed in oil and salt…is not the same thing as a fresh anchovy. A fresh anchovy is a tiny, delicately flavored oily white fish. And there’s more….

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Beyond a doubt eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite dishes, and one I don’t make often enough. It’s simple enough, but not something you throw together in ten minutes. And it does involve frying…at least the way we like it…so that’s why I try not to make it too often. Let’s face it, frying is…

Preserved Lemons

PreservedLemonsInJars2

I first tried preserved lemons last spring in San Francisco and loved them immediately. My sister Carolyn heard about them from her family pastor who loves adding them to tuna fish salad. Carolyn found a recipe for preserved lemons and decided to make a few jars using lemons from her daughter’s tree. What attracted me to preserved lemons…

Roast Butternut Squash & Rosemary Soup

Roasted butternut squash and rosemary soup

Winter calls for warm and hearty comfort foods and there’s nothing better than a big bowl of hot soup to soothe the winter blues. One of my favorites is butternut squash soup. I have quite a few squash on hand, remnants of last summer’s garden. They last the good part of a year and before…

Fennel, Orange & Black Olive Salad

Fennel bulbs from the market in Rome

There’s nothing like the fresh crunchy flavor of fennel bulbs and they’re a perfect salad ingredient. I put them in just about any kind of salad; use a mandolin to slice them paper thin right into your salad. They tend to turn brown so if you won’t use the fennel slices immediately toss them in…

Cranberry Hazelnut Biscotti

Cranberry Hazelnut Biscotti

Cranberry Hazelnut Biscotti are something I make year round; a great dessert to have on hand…especially for dipping in sweet dessert wines! When I think of Christmas dishes in America I think of cranberries…they appear in sauces, breads, stuffings. And in Italy hazelnuts are a common Christmas dessert ingredient: nougat torrone, chocolate torrone and many…

Blackberry jam

      Last year we made blackberry jam; Maurizio picked the berries and I did the cooking and canning. Blackberries have so many seeds which we find unpleasant in jams and tarts so I decided to remove them. It’s a laborious, time consuming task and I cursed myself the whole way through making the…

Nonna’s hope chest and her Neapolitan coffee maker

Giulia will be having her baby any day now so while we are all waiting I’ve started doing a little nesting myself. For a long time now I’ve wanted to go through Nonna’s hope chest; it’s nearing a decade since she passed away at age ninety. She was an amazing woman: frugal, organized, efficient, as…

Food is all about flavor….and presentation

Tomatoes and ripe banana. I love ripe and over-ripe bananas; they have so much more flavor. I know I’m in the minority here but they’re wonderful this way and great with cereal, in a smoothie and in banana bread. This banana and the tomatoes look gorgeous within this ceramic bowl; they seem to bring out…