How to make Crostini

crostini

When I had the idea to share a post for crostini, I figured it might be silly to write about how to toast slices of bread in the oven. But the more I thought about it, the less silly it seemed since crostini feature heavily on the Italian antipasto table, and bread is revered in Italy (for good reason). Crostini are also on my list of “basics” recipes I want to share with you since they’re the foundation for many appetizers that can be made to suit the seasons. Although I make crostini year-round, spring and summer are my favorite seasons to set out a platter of crostini when […]

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Asiago Cheese Crackers

asiago cheese crackers

Crackers are my snack weakness. I never have less than three (or four) different kinds in my pantry. And while I limit buying and eating processed foods, I make an exception for store-bought crackers. I just love them too much. And let’s face it, they’re convenient to have around. Store-bought crackers are great as the trusted saviors of many a dinner party appetizer, but homemade crackers are special. I don’t try my baking hand at them nearly enough which is a shame because they’re so easy and fun to make. After seeing these on Marilena Leavitt’s Instagram feed a few weeks ago, […]

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Frìtole Veneziane

frìtole veneziane

Buon martedì grasso and welcome to the February edition of Cucina Conversations! Today is Fat Tuesday, the last day for Christians worldwide to indulge before the lean forty days of Lent. Martedì grasso is also the final day of carnevale season. This month, the bloggers of Cucina Conversations are telling you about the variety of traditional foods prepared and eaten during the three weeks of carnevale. To commemorate my recent trip to the Veneto and my northern Italian heritage, I made frìtole veneziane–known in the Venetian dialect as frìtoe venessiane– a yeasted sweet fritter laced with liquor-soaked raisins and fragrant pine nuts, and coated abundantly in granulated sugar. Frìtole are considered an institution of the carnevale […]

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Polenta

polenta

Benvenuti to this year’s first Cucina Conversations post and the first “basics” post of the year! It’s been a long while since I posted a “basics” post, so I’m glad to be sharing another Italian staple recipe again. This month, we have chosen comfort food as our topic and my contribution is one of my favorites: polenta. Although comfort food is often associated with the colder months of the year, it truly doesn’t have a season, and the dishes that encompass this category are different for everyone, which makes this topic a particular favorite of mine. I enjoy learning what other people consider their comfort […]

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Pizzelle

pizzelle

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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