You have to forget everything you know about current tends in nutrition to enjoy this potato salad. Let it all go and get into a mid century mindset. Think 1952, the Fourth of July company picnic. Fatty mayo, eggs, bacon, ranch dressing, it's all there, fully loaded. But mmm mmm mmm, it's good. And once in a great while, it's not going to kill you.Read More
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Its all about family, friends and food. It's like Christmas without the hype. As usual, I cooked for a small army. I was bored with the same old routine of leftovers: Day 1. leftover plates of dinner, nuked, 2. turkey sandwiches and chips, 3. turkey soup of some sort. So I baked these layered pies with the leftovers. I made two different versions and both came out great. Easy peasy, and delicious way to serve up leftovers. Now I'm thinking of the possibilities. Leftover pot roast pie? Corned beef and cabbage pie? Taco Pie? Stay tuned.Read More
Well, honestly, this post is all about the sauce because I took a huge shortcut and bought the crab ravioli at the market. I suppose I could have made the ravioli if I had another two hours to spend in the kitchen, a pasta machine, a ravioli cutter and this Nonni in my kitchen. Isn't she great? Oh, she makes me miss my Nonni. So, guess what's on my Christmas wish list this year? Yup, a pasta roller and ravioli cutter.Read More
Pastina is Italian comfort food. I think everyone who was raised in an Italian household would agree. Pastina, tossed with butter, was baby's first solid. Pastina chicken soup was served as a hearty lunch, a quick and easy dinner on a Saturday night (after confession), and medicine to chase away a Winter cold. Each family recipe is a little different but the constant ingredient is the pastina, or little pasta. There are many varieties. For my recipe here, I used stelline, or little stars. Here's a chart with different shapes of pastina.Read More
Apples are truly a magical fruit. For such a common little thing, the apple is steeped in folk lore and superstition. Apples have long been associated with spells, incantations and kitchen witchery. Many fairy tales include the apple as a source of enchantment and transformation. "Would you like a bite of my apple, sweet pretty?"
I grew up in New England where the old ways are bubbling and brewing just beneath a civilized veneer. And in the late Fall, the veil grows thin and we can shut the doors tight, and batten down the hatches, but those wisps and wafts of the olden ways find their way in. As a child I felt this deeply when the days grew short and darkness settled into the cold, crisp air. Magic was in the air. Along with the goblins and ghosts of late Autumn came the apple season.Read More
They say you should never go the market when you're hungry because you will over buy. But I think you should always be a little hungry because your hunger gets the creative juices flowing. I've put together lots of interesting dishes while shopping on an empty stomach.
I found these great "rigatoni giganti" at my local market and thought they'd be fun to stuff like manicotti. The bite sized pastas would fit perfectly in my au gratin dishes and make a pretty presentation. So I splurged and bought the package. I knew I had goat cheese, parmesan and mozzarella at home, so I just needed to fill in with some ricotta and fresh herbs. And here's what I came up with.
This dish certainly isn't Italian, or Californian for that matter. It's Creole. But it's an old standby that I've been preparing since my salad days. I received The Joy of Cooking from my Mother-in-law as a shower gift and it became my kitchen Bible. This was the first recipe I tried and it was a big hit with my husband. I've made it many times since.Read More