Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheese-Stuffed Focaccia

      Focaccia is basically an Italian flat bread similiar to pizza but, unlike its relative, is never served piping hot.  It is made from a simple dough that can be formed into different shapes like rectangular or round, etc.  It can be thin and crunchy, thick and soft, crispy or chewy.  (Today's recipe is a thin and crispy type.)  It can be seasoned in many ways with different herbs, an infinite variety of vegetables, cheeses, etc., or simply topped with the best olive oil and some coarse sea salt.  Oh, focaccia, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways! You make a great snack and you're delicious with a bowl of soup.  I love to split you open and fill you with meats and cheese or roasted veggies.  You're a nice light lunch when paired with a salad and you make the perfect addition to an antipasto platter.  Oh, sorry....... was I just talking to the focaccia?  How embarassing!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rigatoni with Red Peppers, Almonds, and Breadcrumbs

     When it's rainy and cold outside I want to stay in my house, wear soft and comfy clothes, and eat comfort food.  Yes, fall has arrived and brought with it the usual cooler temperatures and a few overcast and rainy days.  I've definitely been in the mood for some homey, comforting dishes.  This recipe really does say "comfort" to me.  I mean, what's better than a big bowl of pasta? (o.k., so we're not doing the low-carb thing right now.  Everything in moderation, I always say.)  Add a nice salad and you've got a great family meal.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Italian Market and a tasty Plum Tart

      Where I grew up in upstate N.Y. there is a large Italian population, so there isn't much of a problem finding typical Italian foods and ingredients.  If you go into a grocery store and ask for broccoli rabe or capicolla you won't have a problem.  And there are always the Italian markets, bakeries, etc.  But, in my present location, not so much.  So, after asking around a bit and researching on the internet,  I discovered a great little Italian market called Carfagna's in Columbus, just under an hour away.  We usually make the trip every couple months (when the extra-virgin olive oil gets low. . . we go).  
       Well, Saturday was one of those days.  It goes without saying that there would be quite a bit of time and money spent, but it's something I look forward to.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers and Radicchio Salad

         Tonight's dinner uses some typical Italian ingredients that can be found pretty easily in your local grocery store.  It can be put together within an hour and is very tasty.  I started with a stuffed pepper recipe in Ciao Italia Pronto by Mary Ann Esposito and then made changes and additions according to what I like.  Here's my version of the recipe. Actually, I make different substitutions each time I make this, according to what I have on hand and what my taste buds are wanting.  So try this out and then change things up if you want to. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Polpettone ( Italian American Meatloaf )

         Today  there wouldn't be time to make a run to the grocery store but, since I couldn't cancel dinner,  I had to figure out what I could make with ingredients I had on hand.  I found a package of beef, pork, and veal combination in the freezer and thought of meatloaf .  I began looking through a few Italian cookbooks for a recipe and came upon one in Lidia's Italy in America by Lidia BastianichIt looked like I had all the ingredients. . .so. . . meatloaf it would be.  I made some cheesy, garlic, spinach mashed potatoes and a salad to go alongside.  Got a thumbs up from everyone.  Success !!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Trip To The Orchard and Apple Fritters

         Well today was the most beautiful day! Sunny.....about 70 degrees....a perfect day to jump in the car with the kids and go to the apple orchard.  Wherever we've lived over the years there's been an orchard somewhere nearby and we've always made it a point to take our kids every fall. I love it! Freshly picked apples, pumpkins, Indian corn, delicious!  Anyway, today we made one of our usual trips and came home with a half bushel of apples, a gallon of cider, and six apple doughnuts. What's not to love!  The only thing that wasn't lovely was the bee sting I received shortly after arriving.  But that's o.k.  I'm fine.  Thank you for asking.
          So, coming home with all those apples gets a girl to thinking. What can I make now?  I fritters!!  ( Don't remind me that we already brought home those doughnuts ) 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A New Adventure

         Well, I've waited long enough. Time to plunge in and get my feet wet.  Although I follow several other blogs (my "favorites" list is expansive), being an actual blogger myself is totally new to me, as is navigating all the intricacies of the computer.  You see, I am a creative person, not a technical one. So please bear with me as I muddle through learning how to do this.  I'm sure there will be additions, changes, etc. to this site as I figure out how to exist in the blogging world. Consider yourselves warned.  
           But. . . . . my inexperience has not dampened my desire to share with you my love for Italian food, for my Italian heritage, and, really, for all things Italian.  I also just love to cook and bake in general (ok, so I love food and chocolate is my friend) Now that we've established that. . . .I hope you will  join me on this new adventure of mine. I look forward to sharing great recipes with you ( see "About Me" ) as well as family stories and experiences. I hope to post again before too long with my first recipe.  I just have to figure out which one. . . . not an easy task.  Until then. . . . . .  

                                                       A presto !  ( see you soon ! )