griddled asparagus with pistou 4

With spring in full thrust, I have yet another reason to relish living in the South. Unlike my New York City friends, who must wait until May to savor their first asparagus of the season, I get to devour those cute pencil stalks in all of their pea green, firm but tender goodness starting mid-March.

griddled asparagus with pistou

Advantages can backfire though. I’ve already started seeing, sadly, crest fallen asparagus spears with slightly desiccated flowered tips pointing crazily in all directions. They look like the victims of nightmarishly bad perms…an indicator that an early seasonal start inevitably leads to an early seasonal end. Sigh. It means we only have a couple more weeks, maybe a month, of good, fresh and less expensive asparagus at our beck and call. After that, we return to the familiar hit or miss scenario, where we might luck out and find a perky bunch, most likely from Mexico, or we might not. JUMP TO JUST-THE-BONES RECIPE. Continue Reading…

revisiting apple fritters

February 19, 2016 — 2 Comments

Apple Fritters 1

I am a sucker for fruit desserts, which probably explains why so many of my dessert recipes are fruit-based.

Apple Fritters 3

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Nanci and Jons Vegetarian BBQ Chili

What exactly is Adobo sauce anyway? I asked out loud, to no one in particular. I was standing in front of the Mexican / Latin American food section of my local grocer at the time. I looked down at the list of ingredients I was holding in my hand and found comfort in knowing at least the remainder of the players that would eventually make their way into my next cooking project: Nanci & Jon’s vegan BBQ chili. Continue Reading…

Baked Rice Cake With Ricotta Mortadella and Peas 2

For quite some time I’ve been wanting to make a dish that showcased the amazing flavor of mortadella, my favorite Italian cold cut. I suppose this affinity of mine for what could be considered the equivalent of American bologna shows my rustic, peasant roots. What can I say? I love what I love. Continue Reading…

Chocolate and Ricotta Pound Cake 4

Why the apostrophe around the word ‘pound?’

Chocolate and Ricotta Pound Cake Continue Reading…

upside down baked

If you love the taste of vanilla coupled with a subtle lemon-y essence, then this dessert is for you.

Because it’s delicious, rich, moist and gluten-free, it’s also my go-to dessert when I have gluten-intolerant friends over for dinner. Continue Reading…

Chickpea Fries and Garlicky Yogurt Dip

There’s nothing like jumping on a good bandwagon.
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chicken canzanese

January 20, 2016 — 11 Comments

Chicken Canzanese

It always surprises me when I learn of an Italian dish I’ve never heard of before.

I know it shouldn’t. Italian cuisine is so incredibly vast and diverse, and influenced by the preferences and idiosyncrasies of 20 different regions and 110 provinces, that it would take several lifetimes to become an authoritative connoisseur of all Italian dishes.

Chicken Canzanese 2

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Sweet and Soup Soup

A dumb challenge can make one do crazy things.

Once I felt compelled to prove to my father that I could finish a 10-mile charity race in under 2 ½ hours, mostly because he said I couldn’t do it. After successfully completing the race in 2 hours and 27 minutes – a finish time, I might add, that beat my better-trained, long distance-running best friend Michelle  – I went home and planted myself horizontally on the couch for 3 days.

See what I mean? Continue Reading…

Italian Pretzels 2

As an Italian, I have so many potential culinary traditions from which to choose that, over the years, I’ve had to become more discerning about what I’ll actually take the time to make. On the short list are these pretzel rings, often referred to as taralli or biscotti scaldati in Italy. No matter how many I make, there never seems to be enough. Maybe it’s because they are a perfect accompaniment to a cocktail or make for such a satisfyingly savory treat when you just plain feel like nibbling. Maybe it’s because they are light and offer a crispy flakiness that is so vexing. Or maybe it’s the fennel seeds, which add just the perfect amount of aromatic flavor to bring the whole tasty pretzel into perfect balance. All I know is they disappear…snap!….just like that. Continue Reading…