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Cooking at Home

Grappa Grab: Cooking with Grappa

I cook with grappa and I’m proud of it! Drunken quail with garlic chips and crispy saffron rice. Intoxicated mushrooms.

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Summer Confetti Pasta: Bawdy, Colorful, Sexy, Italian

Warm weather arrives and suddenly the kitchen color palette shifts from the tender greens of spring to vibrant reds, purples, deep sea green. In Italy, the men are tan, the women wear spectacularly high heels, and everyone struts their stuff. It’s an irresistible, seasonal call to go out and play.

It’s a perfect time to experiment with textures, temperatures, colors. Not serious cooking, but light, fun and flavorful cooking.

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Artichoke Festival: Pork Stuffed Artichokes with Lemon Sauce

All good things must come to an end, and this is the finale for the Aroma Cucina Artichoke Festival. But we’re going out with a delicious bang: pork stuffed artichokes with a lemon sauce. It was the last of our big, globe artichokes and I think they were properly honored and devoured!

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More Mushrooms Than You Can Imagine

As I’m walking into our local grocery store, the Euro Spin, AKA “The Spin”, an elderly, hunched over lady is staggering out of the store lugging a massive flat of white mushrooms.
Of course, I’m thinking, “What the hell is she going to do with all those mushrooms??”

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Roasted Quail & Spiced Peaches: A Recipe from the Gods

Our knowledge of flavor is the sum of all things we have ever tasted. A recipe is not a free standing list of ingredients and instructions; it’s the result of experience, memories, and desire.
You are never, ever alone in the kitchen.

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A Few Hot Tomatoes

And the canning season begins.
A walk over to the orto to get some basil and I’m hit with the realization that there are a ton of ripe tomatoes that need to be dealt with…NOW.
On one hand a kitchen garden is forgiving; if you don’t need any onions, you can leave them in the ground for a few days and no harm done. On the other hand, there is a use it or lose it urgency to ripe tomatoes.

So much for a lazy Saturday afternoon.

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The Mediterranean Del Verziere Lifestyle Diet

Introducing our version of the Mediterranean Diet; it’s called the Del Verziere Lifestyle diet! If followed properly, it will lead to an increased level of personal satisfaction and well-being, maybe a longer life, and possible weight loss.
The Del Verziere Lifestyle Diet goes like this: eat fresh food instead of prepared food, preferably food from your garden, drink red wine, put olive oil into everything, and volunteer for anything that will keep you engaged in your community. And ladies, you should also learn how to walk in high heels on cobblestone because if you can do that, you can live to be 100…with great legs and a firm behind.

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Seared Pork a la minute!

A pork chop is like a blank canvas. Seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and a twist of pepper, it’s the perfect foil for creating a meal of the moment, or as zee French say, “a la minute”. That’s an expression that has fallen out of style, but I wonder why. What is more contemporary than making a quick sauce from ingredients you have on hand, in the same pan you cooked the pork chop? Quick, economical, inclined to be seasonal; I say it’s time we resurrect ‘a la minute’ cooking.

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Recipe for Sunday Lunch: Slow Roasted Suckling Pig Leg With Friends, Fava Beans and a nice Chianti.

Carpe Diem! Sometimes you have to seize the moment, and when the local EuroSpin had a suckling pig leg on sale, it just had to come home with me. And you can’t eat pig leg all by yourself, because wouldn’t that just make you a little piggy? Which meant we had to invite some friends over, which suits us just fine on a Sunday afternoon. See how one little impulse buy has so many pleasant consequences!

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Rustic Sausage & Peppers

Some flavor combinations are classic; and sausage and peppers fall into that category.

Remember the old cartoons where the vapor would rise from the dish, and then beckon you to eat? That’s what happens when you saute peppers and sausage.
This dish is perfect just as the weather turns cool, and the last of the tomatoes are still on the vine.
Keep this dish simple, ok? Just be sure to use some good, fresh Italian sausage.

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Crackling Prosciutto Wrapped Potatoes: Perfect for a Party

“What can I bring?”
It is the holiday season after all! As the words are coming out of your mouth, your brain is flipping thorough your stockpile of recipes. Crackling Prosciutto Wrapped Roasted Potatoes to the rescue. Tasty, simple to make, pretty and transportable. What more could you ask for?

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Summer Delight: Cold Poached Shrimp

The gods have flipped the summer switch ON in Italy. The first day of summer came in right on schedule with full on summer heat.

It’s already hot enough that I want a cold lunch and cold shrimp seems like the perfect way to go.

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