A Pop-Up Cookie Event


Christmas Cookie Exchange


2014 is the inaugural year of the Italian Gals Christmas Cookie Exchange. One minute Linda, Domenica, Marie and I were gabbing about food (what else?) on Facebook, and the next we were doing what we do best – getting busy in the kitchen. Linda figured out the logistics, and we all baked and packed our goodies for shipment to one another’s homes. Linda sent her spiced Italian Christmas “Brownies.” Domenica tantalized us with Cranberry-Hazelnut Biscotti, a sample from her forthcoming book, Ciao Biscotti.


Christmas Cookie Exchange


Marie baked (literally) hundreds of her famous fig-filled, spicy, orange-kissed Cucidati. My Three-Nut Fingers made their way from California to Illinois, New Jersey, and Virginia and into the homes of my partners in this project. We had a ball, and a tradition was born. Sweet Mouthfuls! Read more… »

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Call it Spaghetti Rapida – A Pasta to Die For

Posted December 4, 2014 By Adri

Gifts for Christmas Giving #2


Spaghetti Rapida


Every anniversary deserves a celebration, and to celebrate 90 years of making some of the world’s finest pasta the people at Rustichella d’Abruzzo have introduced the world’s fastest cooking spaghetti, 90″ Rapida. It cooks in exactly 90 carefully timed seconds. I have to admit that at first I was skeptical. But one try, and I was convinced. Take the classic pasta dish, Aglio e Olio, Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil. Because the sauce is so quick to make people always say you can dish up a plate of it in the time it takes to cook the pasta, set the table and pour the wine. It’s even faster than that now. Drop these strands of golden spaghetti into boiling water, and ninety seconds later it is ready to eat. Read more… »

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Strucà – Olive Oil Panettone

Posted December 1, 2014 By Adri

Gifts for Christmas Giving #1

 

Struca-Olive Oil Panettone

 

All through December big hatbox-shaped loaves of Italy’s classic Panettone make appearances on Italian tables everywhere. The sweet yeasted bread, packed with dried fruits, chocolates, chestnuts, or other sweet treats – even cream – is a classic Christmas tradition. Guests often arrive with one, and Bart and I buy them by the dozen to give as Christmas gifts. Last week I was looking at the array on the internet when I came across Strucà, a variant of Panettone made with extra virgin olive oil. No butter. No dairy. No problem. This is not your nonna’s Panettone. I had to buy one. See, the deal with me is I am like a woman in a jewelry store, or the proverbial kid in a candy store. When I am in a food hall, I just can’t leave empty-handed. Read more… »

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Farrotto allo Zafferano con Pignoli Tostati

Posted November 19, 2014 By Adri

Creamy Farro with Saffron and Toasted Pine Nuts


Farrotto allo Zafferano con Pignoli Tostati


I recently received an absolute treasure trove of Rustichella d’Abruzzo products from Rolando Beramendi of Manicaretti Italian Food Importers. Rustichella D’Abruzzo products, the ones that come in the brown bags, have been a favorite of mine since I was first introduced to them in the mid-eighties by food writer Kristine Kidd. I decided to start with the farro (FAHR-oh). Read more… »

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Biscotti di Nero d’Avola

Posted October 25, 2014 By Adri


Biscotti di Nero d' Avola


The holidays are coming and it is time to think about tiny treats. For an afternoon snack, an accompaniment to an after-dinner glass of wine, or tidbits for surprise drop-in guests, these biscotti are perfect. These little cookies bear a distinct resemblance to Sicily’s famous Biscotti di Regina, but they have a lot more going for them. Not too sweet, they are made with olive oil rather than butter or shortening, and they are perfumed with Nero d’Avola, one of my favorite wines. Cinnamon and white pepper provide added warmth and depth of flavor, while accenting the spice notes of the wine. Read more… »

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Averna e More

Posted September 15, 2014 By Adri


Averna e More


I know. It sounds like Averna amore, but that’s what’s been going on around here. I have been drinking a lot of this Sicilian amaro lately. I am accustomed to consuming Averna neat (undiluted, at room temperature, no ice) or straight up (with ice.) Then I came across a cocktail called a Blackberry Smash, a bracing mix of Meyer lemon juice, ginger beer, orange-flavored vodka, muddled blackberries and Averna. Read more… »

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