Cioppino aka Seafood Stew

cioppino w text

We live out in the country…not really, but everyone we know thinks so because we are pretty north of our suburb, right near a lot of farm land.  With this view, you can understand why we don’t mind the extra 20 minute drive.  DSC_0037

With any snow storm, I always get the “cozy-up” feeling and want to make warm comfort food.  However, coming off the gluttony of the holiday season I wanted to keep it healthy.  Cioppino, the Italian-American version of fish stew, which apparently originated in San Francisco- my other hometown- seemed like the perfect answer!  You can read about the origination of the stew here: Cioppino.   [Read more...]

Happy New Year 2014!

I love the end of a year.  It’s time for reflection on what has transpired over the year: the good, the bad, the fun and the ugly.  I sit back and assess what I liked and didn’t.  It’s the only way to change and grow.  This blog is a great example of that…last year I decided I was going to do something that was just for me, something I loved and was passionate about.  Here’s to a New Year filled with aspirations of health, happiness, and most of all an inspiration to try new things!

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Speculoos Kisses

 Speculoos Kisses

I have to admit I had no idea what Speculoos was, let alone how to even pronounce “Speculoos” before last week.  It all started when I read Joy the Baker’s post on this gingerbread cake she made…find it here: Gingerbread Cake.  I’m not too proud to say that I hope to make a creation as beautiful as that!  [Read more...]

Flours- what does each one mean?

 Flours pic

I had to know what each one meant!  Basically not to drive you too crazy, or give you too much detail, I broke it down in the simplest terms I could find.  It really all came about for me because I wanted to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  One that my kids approved of because, really, that’s who my biggest fans are and I am to please!  [Read more...]

Bubbly Pomegranate

If you’re planning on hosting any parties this season, this is my absolute go-to party opener!  It’s pretty and festive and people love it!  Bubbly Pomegranate

 It’s not too sweet either, so people love it!  Ok here we go…ready?

1 Bottle of Prosecco (the Italians version of champagne)
1 Pomegranate 

Take the seeds out of the pomegranate by taking your heel and rolling it on your counter.  You will hear some snaps & crackles.  This is forcing the seeds to part from the inside flesh.  Cut open and reserve the liquid in a small bowl.  You will immediately get juice as you extract the seeds. Pick the seeds out and reserve in another bowl.  When your guests arrive pour a small amount of the pomegranate juice in the bottom. 

Next fill with Prosecco to the top and add pomegranate seeds.DSC_0817

Watch the guests ooh & aahh…And make a glass for yourself! 

Brown Butter Fiori Cookies

BB fiori cookies

I had a thought this morning and it morphed into one of my better cooking ideas.  After the holidays and all the heaviness of what had transpired-into my gut- I was looking for something refreshing.  I glanced at a cooking catalogue and was reminded of a product I had bought awhile ago.  And by “awhile”- I mean a year! It was Fiori di Sicilia extract.  It’s a citrus-vanilla extract that is commonly found in Penattone (an Italian dessert that my mom happens to love!) and is everywhere for the holidays. 

Fiori di Sicilia

So I thought, I have to make something with this…holidays…cookies.  Duh, use it in a sugar cookie recipe!  It had to be a rich and decadent sugar cookie, though to balance and contrast the flavor of the Fiori.  So here’s what I came up with…I’m quite proud, I must say. [Read more...]