Tarte Tatin: A Perfect Treat for Valentine’s Day

Way back in the beginning when I started this blog I wrote about how the apple is a more fitting fruit for Valentine’s Day and I’m still of that mindset.  If you’re going to cook a special dinner at home for your Valentine, a tarte tatin is an impressive dessert, as well as firmly outside…

Panettone Bread Pudding: Using the Custard Ratio

One last post for 2013.  Here’s a dessert which has become kind of a tradition for our Christmas Eve dinner: panettone bread pudding.  This Italian Christmas loaf makes a superb bread pudding since it’s already sweetened and is chock full of raisins and other fruit.  It’s usually the last bit of holiday baking I do…

A Twist on Fruit Cake: Pan del Marinaio (Sailor’s bread)

Fruit cakes are synonymous with Christmas and ever since my mom sent me Carol Field’s ‘The Italian Baker’ I’ve had my eye on the ‘festive’ breads section.  There are a number of recipes for holiday sweet breads in it, including…fruit breads.  While thumbing through it the other day I came across a fruit filled bread…

Christmas Cookie: Lemon Squares

There is not much time left to get your Christmas baking in.  I’ve been churning out my regulars this week but I wanted to add a new one to the rotation: lemon squares.  They are pretty popular any time of the year but I think they’re great around Christmas since they are a bit lighter…

Guancialini – Homemade Cured Pork Cheeks

Things have slowed down a bit work-wise and as you may have noticed I’ve been doing some adventurous stuff lately.  One experiment I was eager to try was curing some pork cheeks into guanciale.  It’s been on my ‘to-do’ list but I always kept forgetting to ask about pork cheeks when in a butcher shop. …

Since it’s Apple Season – Homemade Apple Pie

I looked back among all of my posts and discovered I’ve never posted about making an apple pie.  I’m not surprised as there are probably a million apple pie recipes out there, so why add another one?  I’ll tell you why.  Firstly, because I made one for Sunday Dinner this week; secondly and more importantly…

Garden Fresh Zucchini Bread

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing Labor Day weekend.  Fall is right around the corner and my vegetable garden is really producing right now.  I am amazed at how vegetables just decide to grow.  For what seems an eternity they just plod along and then all of a sudden it’s like a switch…

Ricotta Cake – What To Do With The Homemade Ricotta You Just Made

If you saw last week’s post you know I made some homemade ricotta cheese.  It just so happened that immediately after making some there was a recipe in the Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition for a ricotta cheese cake.  Ricotta cheese cake (torta ricotta) can usually be found in Italian restaurants along with the tiramisu…

How to Make Homemade Pastrami (a.k.a Smoked Meat)

Ok, enough with all those travel and event posts.  Time for an actual food-from-scratch post!  Pastrami!  This is one definitely one of our favorite dishes!  In New York where I’m from (Mid-Hudson Valley) there’s nothing like a good pastrami sandwich from a proper deli.  Head to Montreal and Quebec City and you’ll find it’s called…