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Cooking at Home

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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Steak Tagliata

Steak Tagliata

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THE Perfect Lunch

It’s one dish you shouldn’t mess with. No foams, no vacuum sealed marination with lovage shoots. It’s not improved by a precision presentation, because then it looks like you are aiming for distraction, instead of palate satisfaction. It’s simple and it should remain simple.
Yes, it’s time for my annual ode to prosciutto and melon.

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Recipe for Wonderful: Summer Shrimp & Zucchini Spaghetti

What is a summer shrimp? It’s shrimp that are eaten when the sea is at your doorstep, the air is hot, and the wine is chilled.

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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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Everyday is a Holiday Fennel Gratin

What’s gorgeous enough to serve at a holiday gathering, but easy enough to indulge in whenever you feel like it?
It’s that time of year again, lots of parties, potlucks and bring-a-dish moments, when you have very little time to be messing around in the kitchen.

Fennel gratin to the rescue! It can be easily transported, made ahead of time, and did I mention delicious??

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Artichoke Festival Continues: Fried Baby Artichokes

Baby artichokes aren’t snuffed out before they’ve had a chance at a full life, they’re just the little guys, lower down on the stalk. These babies come into their full flavor potential when they are deep fried, with a tender, light coating, a crunch of salt and a zing of lemon.

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Creamy Red Onion Soup, Truffles Optional

It’s soup season here in Umbria. Chilly days, wind and rain all mean it’s time to get out the soup pot.
Soup doesn’t have to be a long drawn out, multi-hour event. You can make this creamy red onion soup in about half an hour. That’s about the time it takes for you to realize you are hungry and to have soup in your bowl.

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Chili Scented Zucchini Flowers with Pickled Onion Sauce

When I presented Jeff with the latest zucchini flower incarnation..he openly scoffed, until he took a bite. (Those are his fingers in the photo…he just couldn’t wait…!) Neither one of us are fans of stuffed zucchini flowers; either the filling is so hot and steamy it burns your tongue, or the filling oozes out, or the flavor of the stuffing overwhelms the flower. And if it has a big, thick coating to hold in the stuffing, it gets extra demerits in the fried flower ranking system.

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Cooking with Mangoes: Crispy Chicken & Mango Salsa

Rich, sweet, silky mango paired with chile spiked, crispy skinned chicken. It’s a perfect study in contrasts: sweet v. salty, crispy v. silky, sweet v. sour. It’s not a knock down, it’s a love fest.

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Dinner Power & A Beer Can Chicken

While our son was growing up, we worked crazy long hours. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. One other fact of our life is that we always ate dinner together. Even if it meant me riding my bike home from Gleason’s Boxing Gym like a mad woman to get to Gourmet Garage before it closed, then making dinner by 9:30; that’s what happened at our house most every night.
I don’t think any of us ever really thought about it too much; it’s just the way it was. We watched a movie together while we ate, checked to make sure homework was done. Regular stuff.
Dinner has always been our connection time and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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The Belly of the Beast: A Pig Primer

Just to confuse you, what’s the difference between:
Pork Belly * Bacon * Ham
Pancetta * Prosciutto * Porchetta * Guanciale
Here’s your quick-guide Pig Primer.

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