Dicembre Dolce: Cranberry-Hazelnut Biscotti

I have my issues with social media (don’t we all) but there are times when I appreciate ~ even enjoy ~ it. Like when a spontaneous cookie exchange breaks out on Facebook. That is what happened to Linda, Adri, Marie and me a couple of weeks ago. One minute we were all commenting on a […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Torta Ubriaca

I love this cake for two reasons. First, it combines chocolate and red wine, two of my favorite ingredients. Second, the recipe was given to me by my friend Marta Carrozza. Marta and her husband, Alessandro Maceroni, own Il Marchese del Grillo, a bed-and-breakfast in the heart of Sulmona. The small B & B has […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Torta di Nocciole

Welcome to the 2014 edition of Dicembre Dolce. This is the month in which I post recipes for fabulous Italian sweets. We’re kicking off the season with an elegant torta di nocciole, hazelnut cake, a specialty of the Piemonte region. This cake has been on my mind since I enjoyed a slice a couple of weeks ago […]

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Thanksgiving Menu

I’m pretty sure the last thing you need is more Thanksgiving recipes. Instead I’d like to share the menu I devised for this year’s feast at our house. It’s been a few years since we’ve hosted, so I enjoyed putting this together ~ in theory, anyway. We’ll see how it goes on Thanksgiving Day. If […]

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Vellutata di Sedano

Celery seems to have been left out of the current vegetable love fest. For awhile, kale was the primary object of all the affection. This year it’s Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. But celery? No love. Here’s the thing: we all have a bag of celery in our fridge. And maybe that’s the problem. Supermarket celery, with its pale […]

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Pumpkin Pie with Mascarpone

Confession: I’ve always liked the idea of pumpkin pie better than pumpkin pie itself. A wedge of deep-orange pie, neatly sliced and dolloped with fresh whipped cream to cap off Thanksgiving dinner–what could be better? Nothing, except a cold piece the next morning, washed down with hot coffee. I so want to love it. In reality, pumpkin […]

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Q & A with Cathy Barrow and a Giveaway

Nov. 12, 2014: UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations to Alto2, winner of a copy of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry. Thanks to everyone who participated. I so enjoyed reading about your favorite preserves. Keep canning! There is magic in the transformation of food. In the moment when a pot of simmering strawberries thickens to preserves; when milk […]

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Torta di Mele {Apple Cake}

It’s the weekend. Let’s have some cake! Here’s a recipe for a classic(ish) Italian torta di mele ~ apple cake. Unlike American apple cake, which seems to me more of a spice cake with an afterthought of apples tossed in, this cake is about the apples. They make up most of the filling, bound by a small […]

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Tozzetti ~ Wine Cookies with Cinnamon

During the latter half of our Abruzzo culinary tour, we stayed at Agriturismo Il Portone, in the foothills of the Majella mountains. The place is run by a sweet young couple, Donatella and Giancarlo. Donatella can often be found in the kitchen baking chocolate tarts and cookies, which she sets out for breakfast. I loved […]

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Abruzzo Adventure

Somewhere between the arrosticini and the zafferano, the porchetta and the pasta, the truffles and the torta nera; somewhere between the city of Sulmona, ringed with mountains, and the blue waters of the Adriatic, I thought to myself: this culinary tour thing just might work. We were eight: five intrepid guests, two gracious hosts and […]

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