Mangia Bene!

Chocolate Espresso Wafers

Have you ever wondered why many chocolate dessert recipes have coffee in the list of ingredients? The addition of coffee, or in this case espresso, intensifies the chocolate flavor. I am a coffee drinker and prefer a rich robust cup and not a fan of the instant kind. However, I do keep espresso powder on […]

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Almond Flour vs Almond Meal

Almond flour verses almond meal; are these ingredients the same thing? Although, some (myself included) use the terms interchangeably, technically, they are not exactly the same. Almond flour is the term used when referring to ground “blanched” (without the skin) almonds with a consistency that is similar to regular flour. Almond meal pertains to ground […]

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Almond & Pear Torta

This is one of those cakes that doesn’t require a special occasion. Quite the opposite, as it is a favorite everyday kind of cake. The slightly sweet batter isn’t fussy and can be prepared in just a few minutes. Top with fresh pears (or other soft fruit, such as peaches) and a scattering of toasted […]

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Jambalaya Soup

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a special connection to New Orleans. My mother and my maternal grandparents, each 100% Sicilian, were all born and raised in this favorite foodie town. Whether it’s gumbo or grillades and grits, eggs NOLA or red beans and rice, you can taste the culinary history of […]

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Candied Orange Fritters

Piazza San Marco, in Venice Italy, is typically filled with tourists (and pigeons) during the summer months. But, in February, this well-known Italian square is the heart of Carnevale, pulsing with seductive revelry. Magicians and mimes mingle with masquerade attendees dressed in elaborate costumes and ornate masks. Carnevale, which comes from the Latin carnem levare, […]

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Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

As a child, I remember my mother preparing stuffed bell peppers on numerous occasions. It’s one of those recipes that you can prepare in advance, tend to four children, manage the house and the dozens of other tasks a busy mom has to do on any given day and still serve a healthy, home-cooked meal. […]

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Honey-Nut Stuffed Dried Figs

Snacking on dried fruits and nuts (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) is an essential part of the Mediterranean diet and my pantry is generally stocked with a variety of both. Dates, figs, walnuts, almonds and pistachios are in the majority. The natural fruit sugar provides a burst of quick energy, while the healthy fat in […]

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Mediterranean Beef Stew

This richly-flavored stew, served on a bed of ancient grains, will awaken your taste buds and take them on a Mediterranean journey. Ladle into shallow bowls and serve with chunks of rustic country bread, your favorite bottle of wine and share with your best friend (s).       Ingredients: 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, […]

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Lemon-y Lentil & Chickpea Soup

Viglia Capodanno, New Year’s Eve, is celebrated throughout Italy with family and friends enjoying food and drink. The drink is bubbly (Prosecco) and the food is symbolic of wishes for a good year ahead. Lentils, with their coin-like shape, have traditionally been believed to ring in a prosperous new year. Auguri per un nuovo anno […]

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Panforte

Panforte dates back to the year 1000 and is the traditional Christmas dolce of Siena, one of the first cities in Italy to use sugar and rare spices. This rich, chewy, cake-like confection is loaded with hazelnuts, almonds and candied citrus peels and is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, coriander and white pepper. One cannot […]

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