Okay, so Tricolor / Rainbow cookies – you knew these had to show up this week, right? It’s the quintessential Italian-American bakery treat: those colors aren’t supposed to denote christmas, people, those colors are to celebrate the Italian flag. And they look a little tricky to make, so obviously…here I am, like a moth to a flame. And I brought charts.Pin It
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Baci di Dama: Italian for “disturbingly tedious cookie balls.” Even for me, who relishes a difficult task. And not just part of the process, either: every single step is rife with things which can and will irritate you. Easy to make? Nope. Fun? Not in the slightest; no one is going to throw any Baci di Dama cooking-making parties anytime soon, at least not around here. If you’re interested, hazelphiles (and I know some of you are), this one’s for you. Hopefully my little tutorial will eliminate some aggravation, and you can get right to the best part: popping them in your mouth, one by one, ad nauseum. Continue reading →Pin It
Imagine for a moment that it’s the holiday season, and you have an Italian Nonna in town for a visit.
Now imagine I am that visiting Nonna. Let’s talk cookies.
Blame it on Bravo, or the Real Housewives of New Jersey, but I’ve had an obsession with Italian-American holiday cookies ever since Theresa berated Melissa for bringing sprinkle cookies instead of pignoli cookies to Christmas Eve. I relate to these women for many reasons: there are aspects of my personality which, in another life, would have made me a spectacular Jersey-born Italian-American. I’m emotional and passionate…about everything. I talk with my hands, I’m independent, I have lots of opinions – some founded, some completely crazy – which I will defend to the death, and I relish a healthy argument every now and again. Most importantly, I believe in honoring history and carrying on old school traditions, and I think Italian-Americans in particular do this extremely well. Continue reading →Pin It
It’s American Thanksgiving week, friends! Are you hosting this year? Are you stoked about your menus? Have you thought about what you’ll do with the leftovers yet? Of course you have, because that’s what food-centric individuals do this year: focus 100% of their efforts on the prepping, pre- and post-game, and general food merry-go-round which revolves around the main event happening this Thursday. Hooray for Thanksgiving, I say. Continue reading →
Prickly pears! Less weird than you think, people. Have you had them? If I think about it, I’ve probably seen them skulking around my grocer’s “exotic produce” section for years now. Considering what my grocer deems “exotic,” it almost definitely means you can find them in your area; if you live in California, the Southwest, Michigan (I swear) or Florida, chances are high you’ll wander by them at some point. They may not always look like the google search I know you just did for “images: prickly pears” – those swollen, burgundy orbs are what you’d find if you lived next door to the cacti which produce them – but give them a chance no matter color they are. Continue reading →Pin It
Things this post has in common with my spinach turkey burgers post:
1. both are sandwiches.
2. both have delightfully green middles.
And that is where the similarities end, friends. Because this is a post about maybe the most refreshing thing you will make and subsequently inhale all summer long.
Probably all year long. Continue reading →Pin It
So: black walnuts, otherwise known as the nut I was tasked with creating recipes around for this month’s Feast magazine: let’s talk about them. When I was asked to do a feature article on black walnuts, I was obviously elated: me? write a feature? Yes, please: I would love that. I am honored. I am utterly geeked out by your request yes I will do it. But then it dawned on me: black walnuts?
I know nothing about black walnuts.
Now, you could argue here that my entire columnist life is centered around ingredients I largely know nothing about until I work with them for the magazine, but that’s 1 recipe: this time, they were asking for a full writeup and 6-7 recipes. Add to that the direction to balance sweet to savory and make it all winter-centric, and you get one nervous writer.Pin It
Can we pretend like it’s January yet? Because I’m ready for the new year. I feel like collectively we may be a little worn out from the December holidays (and I’m throwing Thanksgiving in there also, because it was basically in December this year also) and are anxious for the new year to begin. I’ve already made (some of) my new years resolutions – some for myself, some for this space here – and am ready to set those plans in motion. Yesterday, I managed to move an entire room of furniture and exorcise all the clutter demons which existed in the space, and I feel so good inside because of it. Granted, some of that clutter now exists in other rooms, but I’m getting there. Baby steps. Continue reading →Pin It
American Thanksgiving is a week away, and I’ve been thinking about our menu. Rather, I’ve been making gigantic, multi-page lists of recipes I want to make and then realizing that since I’m NOT having 150 people over for dinner, that I’d better whittle it down. Seems as though this year, I’m wanting to go heavy on the vegetable offerings, and I like the idea of a sophisticated appetizer or two, but there’s been one aspect of the meal I’ve given nary a thought to: dessert.
Is it me, or does Thanksgiving just seem like The Required Pie Holiday? Pie everywhere, all the time. Does anyone make cake or cookies for Thanksgiving? We never have. Certainly pie is wonderful, and probably steeped in tradition, but who’s to say we can’t veer off that path a little bit? And I mean more than just turning a pie into a tart, friends: I mean actual un-pie-like desserts. Continue reading →Pin It