Tag | holidays

Gabriella’s Pizza Rustica

Over the years, my mother’s recipe for pizza rustica has been published here and there, in print and online. I included a version of it in my second book, Big Night In ~ it’s a celebration food, for sure ~ and I wrote about it years ago for The Washington Post. Most recently, I posted […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Panna Cotta alle Spezie

Raise your hand if… * yours is always the last house on the cul de sac to put up holiday lights. * you have yet to buy ~ let alone decorate ~ a tree. * the only batch of Christmas cookies you baked is long gone and you have yet to bake more. * haven’t […]

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Easter Break: Savory Cheese Biscotti

It is time to come to grips with the fact that I will never run my household the way my mother ran hers. How do I know? Because when I was growing up, by this time Easter week my mom would have: * Made and frozen her pizza rustica, a classic savory Easter torte, so that it […]

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A Favorite Cake to Welcome the New Year

Buon Anno a tutti! Happy New Year. As I sit here writing and thinking about the year ahead, I am (literally) surrounded by the past. During the Christmas break, my husband and I decided to start a long-overdue project to clean and reorganize our basement. So far, we have said farewell to five huge bins […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Panforte di Siena

For most of my life—right up until last week—I despised panforte, the celebrated Christmas fruit-and-nut confection from Siena. Every year at about this time, a flat, sort-of circular pleated package containing a dense hockey puck of a—what? Was it a cake? a torte? candy?—would appear on our buffet, purchased by my mother. She would unwrap […]

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Bar Nuts

I inherited my passion for cooking from my mom. But my dad is the one who got me hooked on cookbooks. For a few years in the 1990s, my dad gave me a cookbook every Christmas. I do not know what precipitated this tradition (my mom was always the holiday shopper in the house). And […]

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Pandoro: A Holiday Bread to Trifle With

Panettone, the sweet, yeasted domed Italian holiday bread studded with raisins and candied fruit, has legions of fans in Italy and around the globe. I, however, am partial to the other Italian holiday bread: Pandoro. Pandoro (the word means ‘golden bread’ in Italian) is a tall, star-shaped leavened sweet bread that is produced in Verona, […]

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Christmas Eve Calamari on Leite’s Culinaria

(photo by William Meppem for Chronicle Books) What does Christmas smell like to you? Maybe it’s the sharp, resinous scent of freshly cut pine trees or the warm, enveloping fragrance of cinnamon and nuts in freshly baked cookies. But to me, Christmas smells like squid…Read more about my favorite Christmas Eve dish on Leite’s Culinaria.

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A Little Christmas Bling

Every year, thousands of people head to the Mall to see the National Christmas Tree. I head to La Cuisine, in Old Town Alexandria, to see the trees in the window displays, beautifully and lavishly decked with sparkly food ornaments-hundreds upon hundreds of them. Each year I purchase one (or two) to add to my […]

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