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Food for Thought & Tramezzini

Posted in aperitifs, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), cucina, cucina povere, entertaining, Features, La Dolce Vita, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Tuscan, and Upcoming Appearances

tramezzini-3Hmm…said the bank manager, ” you sure go food shopping a lot? “What do you mean? ” I said. “Well when you had us research the check for your phone bill payment we had to check your personal account also..and there are withdrawals from your check card every day at a grocery store or supermarket recorded on your acount. Should I check that out? he said..”it does look like a lot of trips to grocery stores”.

“Well cooking is my life”..I muttered and just brushed off the comment. But then I began to realize that it was true, I am at a supermarket or farmer’s market or local produce market  almost everyday.  Even if it is a busy day, if I need to take a break, I go to unwind, sometimes not to buy anything but just peruse the aisles thinking of what my next creation will be..what should I whip up for dinner..what’s the newest food item on the fresh do those apples smell?

So what is it about walking in a food market and being around food that brings up my spirits or relaxes me or gives me inspiration t owrite or create my next recipe? Maybe it is all those years spent around the kitchen with my mom, grandparents, aunts and cousins.   Maybe it gives me that  ‘at home’ feeling.

Before  I start my day with a ‘twitter’, on some days, I need to take a walk in the local supermarket and I am headed there right after breakfast. On some days I need it to relax right when I take my lunch break and on others I can hold off till 5 or 6 PM. The expression ‘food for thought’ really applies.

In the past few days I have been  checking out local produce stands to inspire me for ingredients  for the crostini and  tramezzini that we made at my  recent cooking programs and book signings. A special thanks goes  to the Horsham Library for having me on the  Cooking Stage yesterday for their annual Horsham Days event. A note of thanks also goes to Kenilworth Libnrary in Kenilworth, NJ for featuring my book and inviting me to do a book signing there last week. Also a special thanks  t o everyone who came out to these events, I enjoyed meeting you all and sharing stories and recipes.

Here are the recipes for crostini and tramezzini and a special Happy Food Shopping to you all!:


You have heard of the pannini, the rustic, grilled or fresh sandwich made on crusty Italian bread or roll. But have you ever heard of the elgant Tramezzini, Italys’ elegant version of a club sandwich. Served at cocktail hour in the coffee bars of Rome



(4 persons)


12 slices thinly sliced white bread (with crusts removed)

3 tblsps of extra virgin olive oil

½ lb of fresh mozzarella (sliced)

3 grape or cherry tomatoes (sliced)

½ cup of fresh basil leaves

*2 tablespoons of freshly grated parsley to decorate plate


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off crusts of bread then cut slices in half, then slice in half again till each slice has been cut into 4 small triangles. Place slices of bread on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Use about one half of quantity of olive oil. Place in oven for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown.


*Prepare 16 mini tramezzini. Start with one small triangle of bread, then a slice of mozzarella, then top with tomato slice and then 1 basil leaf, top with a mini triangle and repeat with cheese, basil tomato and then top with one mini triangle. Place small shihskebab stick or cocktail stick through tramezzini to hold it together. Place al tramezzini on baking sheet. Drizzle rest of olive oil on top. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is beginning to melt. Garnish with a basil leaf on top and dust plate with grated parsley.


For crostini, use an individual triangle of hte bread, toast it drizzle with olive oil and top with shredded lettuce shredded mozzarella, fresh toamtoes chopped wiht garlic, albacore tuna flaked with leeks and drizzled wiht olive oil, sauteed mushrooms and any other cheese or vegetable you have on hand.


Look forward to seeing you at:
June 11-Whole Foods Market,  Jenkintown, Pa.June 11at 6:15 PM The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm-cooking program. Email: for more info or call store to register.

June 15th- Willingboro, Library, Willilngboro NJ at 7 PM- Book signing and The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria LIberati tm-cooking program.

Call the library or email

July 16th-Annapolis, Maryland Whole Foods Market Culinary Center-  7 PM-A Taste of Tuscany with The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm Join me for a cooking class on Tuscan picnic dishes. Call the store or email:

July 18th- 1:30-3 PM Whole Foods Market, Fair Lakes Virginia, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm-A Tuscan Picnic dinner and wine pairing, Cook a Tuscan Picnic dinner with 4 selected wines. Cal lstore for info or email:
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