Browsing Tag

holidays

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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Apple Torta Sbrisolona

apple torta sbrisolona

Welcome to the October installment of Cucina Conversations! This month, we are talking about the Catholic feast day of Ognissanti (All Saint’s Day), which is celebrated on November 1st. The origins of Ognissanti date back to May 609 AD, when Pope Boniface IV formally established the feast day by consecrating Rome’s Pantheon (formerly a pagan temple) into a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the martyrs. He also established il giorno dei morti (All Soul’s Day) to follow the day after Ognissanti. It wasn’t until the mid-eighteenth century that the dates of both feast days were changed to November 1st and 2nd by Pope Gregory III, and Ognissanti became […]

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Carol Field’s Italian Easter Bread

Pizza di Pasqua

Today is Pasquetta (“little Easter”) in Italy, a national holiday and a day that Italians take to spend with family and friends to celebrate the beginning of spring. Italians have a saying they like to invoke at Easter and on Pasquetta: “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi.” (“Christmas with your family, Easter with whomever you want.”). The saying sounds much better in Italian particularly because it rhymes, and it reflects the more casual nature of the day after Easter when Italians go on outings to parks or the countryside to enjoy a day of fun and leisure. Packing a picnic for a day spent […]

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The Carnival of Venice

The Side Dish

Today is the first day of carnevale in Italy. For the next seventeen days, Italians will celebrate this festive period before the forty austere days of Lent begin. The two largest and most popular carnevali in Italy are the carnevale di Venezia and the carnevale di Viareggio (in Toscana). The carnevale di Venezia dates back to the 11th century. Revelers would celebrate for two months straight, and the tradition lasted until the 18th century, when it fell into decline. Carnevale wasn’t revived in Venice until 1979 and has continued with great success since then. The carnevale di Viareggio began in 1873 and is famous […]

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