Pizzelle

Cucina Conversations

Welcome to the December edition of Cucina Conversations! This month, we made our theme a little broader and are bringing you Italian recipes that are perfect for sharing and gift-giving during the Christmas season. I love baking year-round, but I really love baking during the holidays. The Christmas music comes on Thanksgiving Day, I spend a day or two with my nose in my cookbooks deciding which recipes to make for my annual cookie gift tins, and then my kitchen turns into a cookie-making factory for a solid two weeks (or more). Gifting homemade cookies from my kitchen to our dearest […]

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Parmigiano Thyme Crackers

parmigiano thyme crackers

For those of you who know me well, you know I am an Ina Garten devotee/fan/worshipper. I own all of her cookbooks, watch repeats of her show, and triple check the DVR to make sure it’s set to record her newest episodes. I admire her cooking and entertaining style, particularly her philosophy of using best-quality ingredients to cook simple and flavorful recipes. There is nothing pretentious about any of her recipes–they are comforting, familiar, and always foolproof (seriously, I have never had one of her recipes fail). I especially admire her talent for taking every recipe she makes and presenting it beautifully […]

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Parsley and Pecan Crusted Salmon Ball

parsley and pecan crusted salmon ball

You know those holiday recipes that must be made or else there will be a family-wide mutiny? This parsley and pecan crusted salmon ball is one of those recipes. When I was growing up, this was on the appetizer table at Christmas every year without fail. It had to be. I have no idea where the recipe originated–I always knew it to reside in a small black three-ring binder on a set of bookshelves in the family room of my childhood home in Maryland. Now, a copy of the recipe resides in a larger and almost bulging binder in my kitchen here in Texas. It’s […]

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Sweet and Sour Cipolline

sweet and sour cipolline

The joke in my family was that I must have been born with a stainless steel stomach. Ever since I can remember, I have always loved the sharp tang of acidic foods. I would splash extra red wine vinegar on my salad, eat giardiniera with abandon, dollop an extra spoonful of my nonna Ada’s homemade horseradish sauce on top of her bollito misto, and squeeze extra lemon juice on top of chicken cutlets alla milanese. The more lip-puckering or sinus-clearing, the better. From the time I was little, I was always fed flavorful, well-seasoned food–there was no shying away from feeding the kids in the family strongly flavored […]

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Cannellini All’Olio

Cucina Conversations

Welcome to November’s Cucina Conversations post! This month, we are sharing recipes that feature olive oil as the star ingredient. November in Italy marks the start of la raccolta delle olive (the olive harvest). Olive trees were first cultivated in ancient Greece and have been providing civilization with the benefits of their oil for over four thousand years. The oil was used not only for nourishment, but for medicinal purposes and as a lighting source. In the 3rd century AD, olive oil became an important commodity of the Roman empire where it was traded throughout the Mediterranean. After the fall of the Roman […]

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