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Pasta e Patate (pasta and potato)

Pasta e Patate - a quick midweek mealPasta e Patate is a recipe from a dear friend of mine.  I met Francesca in Singapore back in 2001.  I had heard glowing accounts of her Italian cooking classes and was eager to meet this culinary wizard.  Francesca did not disappoint.  Her kitchen was light and airy and her cheery disposition made all who attended her class very welcome.  Continue Reading →

Nova Scotia Mussels – Italian style

Mussels - Italian StyleEven though I cook through the week, it’s our weekends that I look forward to the most. Whether we are entertaining or it’s just the two of us, I like to plan a nice meal. And when I say nice, it doesn’t mean a long time in the kitchen…just a few key quality ingredients.  Continue Reading →

Fried Eggplant with Tomato Sauce

fried eggplantEggplant, also known as aubergine, has not always been popular and yet there are oodles of eggplant recipes out there making this nightshade plant shine.  I’m sure if you ask your friends if they like it, you’ll receive mixed reviews.  It must be a North American thing ’cause everywhere else this humble plant is consumed weekly.  Eggplant had been in Asia for centuries before being introduced to the Mediterranean by the Arabs in the Middle Ages.  Continue Reading →

Easy To Make Stromboli


StromboliStromboli, an inside-out sandwich or pizza roll, is easy to make and perfect for informal gatherings or pot luck events.  I first tasted one when we lived in NYC and let me tell you, they are addictive!  Continue Reading →

Baked Vegetable Custard

Vegetable CustardYears ago I bought a book to hold all my scraps of paper that I scribbled recipes on or ones I cut from magazines and newspapers.  I remember, after the last recipe was glued down, how triumphant it felt to see my collection in one place.   The other day I went through one I started back in 2005.  I had forgotten these recipes.  The baked vegetable custard is one I made once before, most probably in 2005, and it’s a pity I forgot about it as it’s darn delicious and relatively easy to make.  As much as I like to view recipes online, I still enjoy the tactile nature of paper. Continue Reading →

Homemade Limoncello

Easy To Make LimoncelloThis recipe is 4 years in the making! When we lived in Bangkok, we heard about a new Italian restaurant that had recently opened down the street from where we lived. Yay! Eager to sample the menu Mr S. and I made our way there. OPUS Wine Bar was open only a few days when we arrived.  We were warmly greeted by Alex Morabito (designer and manager of OPUS) and were then offered a glass of Prosecco (complimentary I might add) while we waited for our table to become available. That icebreaker was all we needed and the evening was off to a wonderful start.  Continue Reading →

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and MeatballsThe culinary snoop in me wonders if this well-known classic Italian dish originated in Italy or the USA. Turns out it’s all American! Italians from 1890 to 1920 emigrated to America by the millions. These impoverished immigrants (some on the brink of starvation) went from spending 75 percent of their income on food in Italy to only 25 percent of their income on food in America. With more money came more food. Continue Reading →

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

cranberry & pistachio biscottiBiscotti (twice-baked), is an Italian cookie that is formed into a log shape, baked, sliced and then toasted to a crisp texture.  This has to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  Cranberry and pistachio are a perfect duo for this biscotti recipe by balancing the sweetness of the dough with a bit of sour from the cranberries and salt from the pistachio.  Traditionally biscotti was made with hazelnut and aniseed and recipes date back as far as the 13th century. Continue Reading →

Parmesan Crisps

Parmesan Crisps with ThymeEntertaining can seem like a daunting task whether it’s your first time or 100th!  The key to any successful party is in the planning.  When I plan a dinner party its roots are usually based on a country we have been to and have enjoyed the food.  From there I start thinking about what I’d like to serve, where some of the food will be consumed and what libations will accompany the food.  I make a list…it’s the crucial part of making an evening end well.   Continue Reading →

Zucchini Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Zucchini & Goat Cheese BruschettaBruschetta (pronounced brusketta), is an Italian antipasto where grilled slices of bread are rubbed with garlic and a splash of olive oil added.  Who would have thought a simple Tuscan recipe of grilled bread could turn out to be so magical.  Continue Reading →