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New Plans for the New Year

A (very) belated buon anno, friends! I can’t believe January is almost over. I hope you had a serene and peaceful holiday season despite last year’s challenging circumstances. I was disappointed to have to abandon blogging for the better part of last year, but an unexpected family situation forced us to shift gears, and I simply did not have the time time to dedicate to my blog. I missed it so much, and I am thrilled to be back here writing. I had intended on sharing some recipes this month, but it just didn’t happen for a variety of reasons. […]

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A Cooking Class with Domenica Marchetti

At the end of last month, my fellow food blogging friend and cookbook author, Domenica Marchetti came to Houston to teach a cooking class at the Italian Cultural and Community Center where I volunteer. Ever since starting as a volunteer cooking instructor at the ICCC last year, I have enjoyed working with Erika, the center’s programs and events director, to brainstorm ideas for new cooking classes. Last month, I suggested reaching out to Domenica to see if she would be willing to come teach a class at the ICCC, and to our delight, she accepted our invitation! If you follow […]

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Olive all’Ascolana

olive all'ascolana

Welcome to the July edition of Cucina Conversations! Our group recently decided to publish quarterly instead of monthly due to our busy schedules, but the quality and creativity of our posts will stay the same, and we have some exciting topics for upcoming editions. This month, our topic is “stuffed”, a cooking preparation Italians are especially adept at, and includes a wide range of foods: stuffed pastas such as tortellini, ravioli, and agnolotti; seasonal vegetables hollowed out and filled with a savory meat mixture; involtini, cutlets of beef, pork, or veal rolled around a filling of prosciutto and cheese; and pastries such as krapfen, airy doughnuts […]

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Spring Orzo Salad

spring orzo salad

Welcome to the April edition of Cucina Conversations! To welcome the arrival of spring, the longer days, and the warmer temperatures (finally!), we are featuring insalate (salads) as our topic. For the past couple of weeks, many of my friends and favorite food bloggers in Italy have been posting photos and stories on Instagram of their trips to the mercati (markets), where every stall is overflowing with an abundance of spring vegetables: fave, asparagus, radishes, agretti, peas, and the first zucchine. Shopping at my grocery store is decidedly less charming than shopping in one of Italy’s open air markets, but here, state-side too, spring […]

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Crescia al Formaggio

crescia al formaggio

Welcome to the March edition of Cucina Conversations! We are reprising our theme of Pasqua to share more of Italy’s regional Easter recipes. The week before Easter in Italy is always a flurry of activity in home kitchens and bakeries alike as home cooks and professional bakers across Italy turn out traditional yeasted breads and torte-both sweet and savory-to be enjoyed on Easter morning alongside hard boiled eggs and a variety of thinly sliced salumi. My contribution for this month’s topic is this savory crescia al formaggio. Like pizza di Pasqua and focaccia Veneta, crescia al formaggio is an egg-enriched, yeasted bread that traditionally opens Easter […]

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