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Cooking at Home

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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And the Beet Goes On!

What do you do when a whole row of beets in the orto need to be eaten now? You yank those babies and throw a party!

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Love in the Spring: Asparagus 4-Ways

You have to like asparagus if you are in Italy in the spring. There is no escaping the spears, they are in every mercato, every supermarket, on every menu. Occasionally you’ll spot an exotic white or purple asparagus display, but for every day eating, it’s green asparagus.
In our mercato, you get a tightly rubber banded “mazze” or bundle of asparagus and it has spears from slender and tender to stocky and woody. Which means you can’t cook them all at once, on the same night, in the same dish, because each spear of asparagus deserves to be treated according to its girth.

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Focaccia

Focaccia

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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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Steak Tagliata

Steak Tagliata

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Making Food Videos: All Bright Lights & Glamour

Feeling restless at 4:00 am, I get out of bed and step on… a huge pile of grit. What on earth…it’s everywhere! It feels like kitty litter embedded on the soles of my feet…only…wait a minute! It’s cous cous! The floor is literally covered in cous cous. What??

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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 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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Kitchen Garden Gazpacho

Happy World Kitchen Garden Day!
Here’s hoping that all our family, friends and everyone else can ride out Hurricane Irene with not too much damage.

Is there a more appropriate way to celebrate International Kitchen Garden day than by making a Garden Gazpacho? I don’t think so!

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Rastafar-Asian Fusion Confusion

Asian fusion confusion on a pork chop! Inspired by Vietnamese chef Duc Tran, who is the epitome of fusion. The guy has worked in Texas, Latin America, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Japan and has two world class restaurants named after Mangos in Hoi An Viet Nam. That’s enough to confuse anyone.

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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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