My cookbooks  

Preserving Italy Cookbook Cover book-ciao-biscotti Glorious Vegetables of Italy Glorious Pasta of Italy Big Night In Glorious Soups & Stews of Italy Rustic Italian Book Cover

Lucky Lentils for the New Year

An end-of-year confession: For many years I have snubbed the Italian tradition of serving lentils on New Year’s Eve in favor of a pot of Hoppin’ John, the Lowcountry classic good luck dish of rice and black-eyed peas. It’s a tradition I picked up when I was living in Detroit. My friend Robin, then the […]

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A Trip to Chinon, and a Recipe for Chocolate-Orange Madeleines

This year’s Dicembre Dolce features a French recipe ~ Chocolate Orange Grand Marnier Marbled Madelienes, from Jamie Schler’s new cookbook, Orange Appeal. * * * * * * Christmas came early for my daughter and me, in the form of a trip to France this month. The visit was work related; I went to teach […]

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Falling for Persimmons

Our mom tried to introduce my sister and me to persimmons when we were little. She bought a couple of egg-shaped hachiyas ~ known for their astringency ~ and let them sit in a bowl on the kitchen counter until they were fully ripe. She sliced one open and gave us each a sliver of […]

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Figs, Chocolate, and Spice

I thought my little fig tree was done for. Three or four years ago it suffered severe die-back during a particularly cold winter. By mid-spring the branches still showed no signs of life, no leaves unfurling, no baby fruits. I thought about yanking it out and starting over. A friend who knows a lot more […]

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Join Me in Liguria in 2018

Abruzzo owns my heart, it’s true. But a few years ago while on vacation, and then while researching Preserving Italy, I fell in love with another region: Liguria. This rocky arc of land that fans out from the Mediterranean Sea on Italy’s northwest coast, is dazzling in its beauty ~ saturated with color, full of […]

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Greek Village Salad

I’ve been to Greece once, on a family trip one long-ago summer. I was a distracted teenager then, and even though I enjoyed it I was also counting the days till I was back on the beach in Italy with my friends, so my memory of the trip is sketchy. But a few details still […]

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Torta Quattro Quarti al Vin Santo

Torta quattro quarti in Italian, pound cake in English. Either way, this is one of my favorite cakes to make and to eat. There is something magical about a cake that rises so beautifully without added leavening, producing that deep golden brown, slightly crunchy crust and those dramatic cracks that allow a peek into the […]

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Zucchini alla Scapece

Last summer it was these peppers; the summer before, rice-stuffed tomatoes. This year, I can already tell that the season’s MVP ~ the one dish I make more than any other ~ is going to be these zesty fried zucchini coins marinated in garlic- and herb-spiked vinegar. In Italian it is known as zucchine alla […]

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Giardiniera-Stuffed Eggs

Once upon a time when I was a girl I dreamed of opening an egg-themed restaurant. It would be called “EggSquisite” and every item on the menu would feature eggs in some way. The doorway would be egg-shaped and, of course, my restaurant would be located in a mall ~ I did grow up in […]

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