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Summer Picnics..Luscious Lemon Cheesecake Recipe…Cook with 5 Star Chefs in Italy

Posted in Abruzzo, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Cook With Maria, Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, Culinary Art, desserts, entertaining, La Dolce Vita, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, Uncategorized, and Upcoming Appearances

copyright 2014 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

What would summer be without the (under rated) picnic..or eating al fresco..or dining outside..or whatever you call it..

Besides all the fresh luscious fruits and veggies summer gives us..we can also enjoy it all in the fresh air in the  light of the sun or under the spotlight of a full shining moon with the ambiance provided by the fresh air and sunshine or spotlight of the stars and the moon….

This may be a little late in the season but..eating outside should be considered a gift mother nature gives us..and as always you should also respect your surroundings when enjoying a picnic..for other picnics to come.. Here are 5 rules for picnicking’

* Wherever you picnic please remember to clean up and put everything in order once you have finished.

*One of my favorite places to picnic here in Italy is on the beach..but remember if you picnic on the beach the sand can cover the trash but it does not magically eliminate the trash. So don’s bury your trash in the sand. Every little bit of trash only adds to the pollution of the environment and with time builds up. Please properly dispose of all trash and don’t bury or leave in the sand, it has nowhere to go and will remain there indefinitely.

*Bottles and cans need to be disposed of also and most likely you can find correct trash bins at your picnic site or bring a bag with you that is for bottles and cans to take home and dispose of in your normal trash collection.

*Bring a bag to transport dirty dishes and tableware home, so that you can wash in dishwasher or your own home sink.Don’t wash dishes, tableware in the ocean, lake, only adds to the pollution. Just clean off  food remnants from plates into trashcans on site and then place dirty dishes in this bag to take home.

*If you smoke -please stop as soon as possible- but also do not bury cigarette packs in the sand or dirt, they take approximately 5 yrs to disintegrate.


Now on to the good stuff….my favorite picnic bring along dessert


Torta di Ricotta with Raisins

For 8 persons

1 1/4 lbs fresh ricotta

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

6 eggs

1/4 cup raisins

peel and juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp of orange flower water

pinch of salt

1 tsp of baking powder


Place raisins in some warm water and let stand for 15 minutes to moisten. Place ricotta in a bowl and add in sugar, blend the 2 ingredients with spatula until well  blended and creamy.  Separate eggs and add in egg yolks to ricotta mixture.. Sift 1 3/4 cups of flour with baking powder. Add into ricotta mixture. Then also add in orange flower water, lemon juice and lemon peel.

Beat egg whites with pinch of salt in a separate bowl till firm. Carefully add into ricotta mixture and delicately fold in with spatula. Drain raisins, dry with paper towels and dust with 1/4 cup flour that has ben sifted. Add into the ricotta mixture.

Place mixture into a 10” pie pan that had been covered with baking paper. Bake for 55 minutes in an oven that has ben preheated to 350 degrees or until the cake is a  golden color. remove from oven and let cool. Transport in a container or merely cover with aluminum foil.  Before serving you may want to decorate the top with fresh lemon slices. You can bring lemon slices in a container and then decorate before serving.


*Cook with Me and 5 Start Chefs while Experiencing Local Flavors of Italy at Chef Academy in Terni Italy. This is an exclusive offering open to only a small group…

Cook and Travel  With Me and 5 Star Chefs in Italy at the Chef’s Academy

Italian cooking is never just a recipe, is the basic art of creating something special from something simple and fresh” M. Liberati – The Basic Art of Italian Cooking


Chef Academy Italy is an international Culinary School. Students from all over the world attend the Chef Academy to acquire the skills employable in the world of hospitality, in Italy and abroad. To meet the numerous requests from fans of Italian cuisine the Chef Academy has decided to organize one weekly programs, imprinted on Italian cuisine. During these one week classes, students can also do tastings of artisan products at local wineries, agriturismi (country farms) and tours in the beautiful Umbria. The site of the programs will be in the city of  Terni where the Chef Academy Italy is located. The city of Terni is world renowned for being not only the residence of Saint Valentine: Valentine’s Day on 14 February is celebrated in the city famous for  the Celebration of love. The guests of the week program, will have the pleasure of living an authentic Italian culinary experience, visit the beautiful Umbria and will have the exclusive opportunity to make a full immersion in true Italian cuisine of a high standard, following the course to Chef Academy.
One week programs are opened to international attendees, so culinary enthusiasts from all over the world can take part in this exciting event! The Chef Academy will have the honor to host Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati, Award-winning author of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking. Maria Liberati, of course is Italian as origin, she writes books on Italian cooking in the United States that were sold in millions of copies.  Maria lives in the USA and Italy where she writes her books and hosts specialty culinary and wine programs and food/travel writing at some of Italy and Europe’s most magnificent castles and vineyards. The collaboration with Maria Liberati is the result of her visit to the Chef Academy of Terni. The author was impressed by the professionalism achieved by the students of Chef Program and Pastry Chef Program and decided to design a course with the Chef Academy that would allow to his fans, and amateurs of Italian cuisine, to learn basically the secrets of Italian cuisine.
Chef Maria Liberati and the Academy have designed the One Week Program for  passionate foodies all over the world who would like to have a week long authentic Italian experience in a authentic context, surrounded by the best Italian Master Chefs who teach at the Academy of Terni. Gourmand Award Winning Author/TV show Host Maria Liberati will begin each morning with an informative session and Q and A about the day’s events, the local history and culture related to the recipes, dishes and menus to be presented in the classes that day.

Maria Liberati website is
To receive all the info about the Chef Academy 1 week program, special edition with Maria Liberati send an email to .

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