Tag Archives: Italian

Spicing Things Up in the Kitchen

I’m home in time to get lost in a mini-marathon of Extra Virgin, my favorite show on the Cooking Channel. The series chronicles American actress Debi Mazar’s travels and kitchen escapades with her Italian husband, Gabriele Corcos, as they explore areas of Italy and New York. With their two beautiful daughters in tow, the pair make a perfect team in every episode as they find simple, fresh ingredients in local markets and take them back to their kitchen to make a meal together. Read More…

Green Tea – Lemon Granita

In conversation, I tend to ramble, get caught up in side notes to stories, and insist on explaining even the smallest detail for emphasis. The more excited I get, the more likely I am to include sound effects, impersonations and funny voices.   Eventually, my listener begs me to get to the point. While I abhor public speaking and hate the sound of my own voice, I have never been labeled “quiet”; in fact, my second grade teacher defined my demeanor on my relatively stellar report card when she added in the notes section, “Casey is a chatterbox.”

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Italian Wedding Soup

It completely baffles me when I hear people say they don’t eat leftovers. Sure, there are some things that have a limited shelf life in the refrigerator, and a keen eye for spore growth and an average sense of smell are the best guides to realize when it’s time for things to move on to the trash. Still, most things, to me, taste better the second time around. I would much rather eat a reprise of spaghetti if it’s warmed with tomato sauce in a sauté pan. And if you ever need a favor from me, a cold meatloaf sandwich on white bread with just the right amount of ketchup can pretty much get me to do anything.

My bottom-less pit of a stomach usually prevents me from getting anything into Tupperware and into the fridge; my appetite rarely allows for leftovers. Occasionally, though, I come across a recipe that makes an overwhelming amount of food. Last week, I needed a dinner that was satisfying but also would last a day or two in terms of lunches and quick, weeknight meals. While soup isn’t something that is a match for my ravenous hunger, it does fit the bill if it’s loaded with meat and veggies. Read More…

Traditional Italian Biscotti

Coffee is, for some people, as necessary a part of their day as brushing their teeth or checking their e-mail. The joys a piping hot cup of coffee can bring are often overshadowed by the sheer habit of incorporating the beverage into a morning routine. Most of the time, It serves as a kick-start for those of us who have a little trouble getting out of bed. Admittedly, I am so used to having at least 20 ounces of coffee before 10:30 AM that, if I fail to consume it before then, I will get a massive, pounding headache that cannot be undone.

I remember my first cup of coffee like it was yesterday, which is funny because it was a very, very long time ago. It had the overpoweringly sweet and creamy flavor that a standard Dunkin’ Donuts coffee offers, so it’s no surprise I became hooked at that very moment. My Aunt Colleen (who also was responsible for taking me to get my ears pierced, I might add) is partly to blame for my knowledge of coffee’s necessity at such a young age. I was often her shadow during frequent Italian Market or Reading Terminal trips, and the reward for a few hours of browsing, sampling, and shopping was a cup of quality coffee.

Another treat that occasionally coincided with the hot caffeinated beverage was one of the varieties of Italian biscotti displayed in jumbo glass jars located on the countertop of most of the coffee shops we visited. My first encounter with the cookie-like confection was also a memorable one, as I bit into mine not knowing the crunchy texture was extreme. My aunt then introduced me to my now favorite way of enjoying biscotti; dunk it in your hot coffee, then bite. Your teeth will thank you. Read More…

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