Get Adobe Flash player

Food, Fun and Fright..can only mean one thing…..

Halloween is  creeping up quickly…#MoreBooForYou

and if you need to get your pet ready for that special night



Celebrating Autumn with a Pane Cotto Recipe

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

Albert Camus

copyright 2016 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, Prima Media,Inc.

One  day  of the  week was always reserved for bread baking in most homes in Italy. From sunrise the loaves were kneaded and then left to rest and rise! The bread would be eaten all week and used and reused in so many delicious ways….

Bruschetta makes use of crusty bread that is day old..but it has become a new,  almost chic thing to make with so many ingredients. Years ago, Pane Cotto (literally means cooked bread) was invented as a recipe to make use of crusty day old bread.  And it too, is becoming fashionable to make.

Today, with the chill of Autumn here, Pane Cotto comes to mind..a dish that soothes the stomach and the soul..and takes away the chill of Autumn. This is a traditional soup from Abruzzo. The Tuscan version is known as Acquacotto and is similar. Either way they are sure to become one of your favorite comfort foods for a chilly autumn evening.

First get some authentic, crusty, day old bread……




Pane Cotto

1/2 lb cauliflower (florets only)

2 ounces pancetta (optional)
1/2 medium onion

1/4 lb carrots

1/4 lb celery

1/2 lb potatoes

1/4 lb fresh zucchini

1/4 lb white beans

1/2 lb of red, ripe tomatoes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lb of crusty day old bread

2 garlic cloves

pinch of thyme


pinch of red pepper

sage leaf

Soak white beans overnight. Cook them in 8 cups boiling water with  1 tblsp olive oil, garlic cloves, sage leaf, cook till beans are tender but still al dente.

Wash remaining veggies and peel and cut into large cubes. In a large frying pan, place in pancetta and onion chopped finely. add in chopped veggies and saute for 10 minutes. Add in tomatoes that have been seeded and cut and lastly add in white beans  with cooking water. Cook till veggies are tender.

Cut bread into large cubes. Place under broiler till golden and crusty. Place soup in large soup pot and place in bread. Let sit for an hour. reheat to medium heat and serve boiling hot.

For more  great recipes get your copy of the book selected as The Best Italian Cuisine Book in the USA- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition



If you are in and around the Philadelphia area this month, I will be doing a few appearances  in the month of October  in the city of Brotherly Love… look forward to sharing some samples with you and meeting you!

Stop by to see me at:

The Philly Food and Wine Show on October  21,22 and 23rd at the Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia Pa. I will be sampling recipes and signing books at my booth and on stage on Saturday at 11 AM

Happy Coffee Day and a Coffee Milkshake Recipe

copyright 2016 Maria Liberati/Art of Living.PrimaMedia,Inc.roasted_coffee_beans

Happy Coffee Day!   Whether you are studying for a final exam or cramming in a work project last minute, burning the midnight oil comes with the desire for caffeine… and lots of it. In America, we tend to sweeten up our coffee with milk, cream, and/or sugar. Coffee is an important ingredient in American as well as  Italian culture. The first European coffeehouse was actually opened in Venice, Italy in the 17th century! The love of this addictive, smooth-as-velvet stimulant quickly spread throughout Italy and eventually the world. This beloved beverage that is now known throughout the world  comes in many different flavors and varieties and has become an art unto itself.

I love the unmistakable, perfect scent of coffee beans brewing.

In this winter months, we resort to hot cups of coffee and snuggle up in a chair and work, but sometimes a cool coffee milkshake will do. And this one makes a perfect way to celebrate the day, so easy you can make it at home. It is like a milkshake or a frappucino. The amaretto adds a delicate, sweet, almond flavor to the drink. This drink recipe is perfect because it combines our love of coffee with a refreshing chill. After blending it, be sure to put it in a fun or overly- elegant chilled glass for extra enjoyment!

Frullatto al caffe (Coffee ‘frullato’ or milkshake)

From The Basic Art of Coffee

*2 cups of strong espresso coffee

*4 tblsps of sugar or sugar substitute

*2 cups of chopped ice

*1 tsp of anisette or amaretto flavoring

*1 cup milk (part skim or skim milk)

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Serve immediately in two tall chilled glasses.


For more great coffee recipes, get your copy of The Basic Art of Coffee



Also get the Gourmand World Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition



October 10th..looking forward to speaking to the ladies at the Circolo Italiano in Haddonfield NJ!

Join My Pizza Making Class Virtually..


pizza cover


Sunday, September 25th at 2PM EST I will be doing an Italian Pizza making class online..participants from around the world will be able to join in and make pizza with me, ask questions and participate! The class fee is $25 but 2 winners will have the opportunity to join the class for free. Just answer this question by Tuesday September 20th and send the answer to

*Which one of my books in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking series won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards?

First 2 correct answers will get a free ticket to the virtual pizza making class


For more great recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays and Special Occasions: 2nd edition


Win an Italian Cooking Class..Make an Italian Pizza With Me..

Copyright 2016 Maria Liberati/Art of Living PrimaMedia,Inc

pizza cover

On Sunday September 25th, I am excited to be special guest chef instructor for an online cooking class for Kitchen Connection.Org that will benefit the charity Action Against Hunger. The course will be virtual with participants from all over the world joining in online. You too will have a chance to participate in this exciting class..I will be making my Amore Pizza from my book The Basic Art of Pizza. We will be picking two lucky winners to be part of this class. Here is a link to the info

Here is a link to the pizza recipe we will be making :

Just be the first 2 to correctly answer this question:
Which one of my books in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking series won the Gourmand World Award in 2010?

email your answer to

The first 2 to provide correct answers will be notified..

Hope to see you at my virtual pizza making class…


For more great recipes get your copy of my award winning book

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays and Special Occasions: 2nd edition



End of Summer..Mostarda Recipe from Cremona


Photo credit


copyright 2016 Art of Living, Prima Media,Inc/Maria Liberati

The city of Cremona is famous for a few  things..  fruit mustard and for  being the hometown of Antonio Stradivari.

As a boy, Antonio Stradivari heard for the first time, a violin, and was so fascinated by its’ voice that he set about to construct one that emitted the most beautiful sounds…..

phioto credit: WIKIPEDIA.ORG

In the town of Cremona Italy lies a plaque bearing homage to its’ most famous citizen



Cremona is famous for it’s Mostarda (Mustard) not the typical is more like a sweet and sour fruit sauce .. served as a condiment for meats, cheeses..typically made at end of summer and through fall to preserve the seasonal local produce that  is typically used..In this recipe be sure not to over cook the fruit, it should remain whole and solid.

Hmm..wondering if this condiment  provided any inspiration to create such a beautiful instrument –the Stradivarius violin

..  an interesting and healthy way to use up all the fruits and vegetables of fall and those lingering from summer..


Mostarda di Cremona (Mustard of Cremona)
4 lbs of fresh fruit mixed in any combination (plums, apples ,pears, apricots, figs)

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons  of powdered mustard that has been dissolved in a tablespoon of white wine (I am using Colman’s Mustard)

Clean, seed and remove any stones, seeds, etc from fruits. Skin apples and pears. Cut into small pieces and place in large pot, pour sugar on top and stir. Let sit for 24 hours. Then bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and repeat this another 2 times (boiling for 5 minutes and let stand for 24 hours). Place in wine/mustard mixture and stir well, but be  careful not to break up fruit. Place in jars that have been sterilized for preserving and store. Wait 24 hours before opening.


For more great recipes get your award winning copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition


Relax Away With Hamswan Aroma Diffuser!


copyright 2016 Maria Liberati

One of  my favorite ways of destressing and relaxing is using my HAMSWAN Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser 100ml Wooden Aroma Diffuser with 7 Color LED Light. It’s also great for those nights that you just can’t sleep. You can certainly experiment with essential oil relaxing blends and see just which oils put you in a relaxed state.

The diffuser has an attractive simple design and fits in well with any décor. The diffuser comes with a 2.4 GHz ultrasonic technology that allows it to discharge moist air and essential oils (my favorite oil for relaxing is lavender oil). It is powerful enough to service an area of 161 square feet which makes it a perfect fit for bedrooms and office spaces, a small yoga studio, small spa rooms.

Now when I need to feel recharged, I bring my diffuser to my office and place in peppermint oil with water. Since its’ base tank can hold up to one hundred milliliters of water you can keep it going for all the time you need to be in the office.

Also to help put you in almost any mood you choose-the diffuser features three pieces of LED lights and has a capability to rotate between seven different colors both in bright and dim mode. It’s great because you can also set it to remain on a favorite color. Blue and green are my favorite colors to relax. Its designed to last for up to three hours when in intermittent mode.

And just in case you forget to turn it off, there is an automatic shut down system to prevent burnout when the water runs low.

Also for convenience it comes packed with a power adapter, a measuring cup and an instruction manual. It is light enough and convenient enough that I can take this to almost anywhere in the world I am working.

To keep you relaxed while trying to sleep the diffuser has a whisper like sound that can be hardly heard, making it great for the indoors. Just yesterday I had my diffuser on in my office and met with 2 colleagues there with no interruption of concentration because of loud sounds, just a fresh smell in the air and a recharge of energy!

This is truly a three in one diffuser- aromatherapy, aqua-therapy and photo therapy-all in one piece. If you practice yoga at home, keep this in your practice room and experiment with different essential oils and their relaxing effects.


*see Disclaimer Page for policies on product reviews

Happy Waffle Day! Tailgating and Recipe

Today is Happy Waffle Day! Did you know that

76% of Americans like waffles

80% of Americans like butter on  them

80% of women like waffles compared with 69% of men

However you make your waffles, here is a crunchier version that makes a great snack or easy to take along to tailgating events:

Crunchy Waffle

1/3 cup butter plus 1 tablespoon

1/2 cup flour

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup sugar or stevia equivalent

powdered sugar for dusting

Beat egg yolks with half of the sugar, add in flour, vanilla and  1/3 cup r that has been melted. Beat till creamy, set aside.

In another bowl beat egg whites with remaining sugar and pinch of salt till peaks form. Then fold in egg yolk mixture. Heat up  waffle griddle and pour a scoop full of dough into a hot griddle. Dust each waffle with powdered sugar when ready to serve


Tune into Fox 29 in Philadelphia on this Saturday August 27th at 8:15 Am t osee my segment on Tailgating!

Tailgating 2-Fox 29 Philadelphia-Saturday at 8:15 AM

More and more people are joining in the fun and celebrating tailgating season and showing their team spirit, but you don’t have to be a football fan to celebrate and join in! Getting ready for my TV appearance on Fox 29 Philadelphia on this Saturday,August 27 at 8:15 AM for my segment on talgating……



If you haven’t tried it and you want to throw a successful tailgating party that no one will ever forget, here are some quick tips..

1.Before the tailgating party, make a list of the things you need. Items such as chairs, tables, garbage bags, paperware, flatware (plastic or regular) and neatly pack them in your vehicle.

2.Make a separate list of the foods you will be bringing. The last food to be packed must be the first to use. Being prepared will ensure a smooth running tailgate party, an essential aspect for any party.

3.The location where you are planning to do your tailgating should be checked out at least one day before you plan the party or find out of there is info online 

4.Fill up your tanks of propane for cooking, or if you will have electricity you can bring a portable electric grill,

  5. By separating your raw meat and your ready-to-eat food or drink you will     simplify things.. You should have a separate cooler for each of them in order to avoid unpleasant odors and spoiling the food.

6.It is more advisable for beginners to freeze bottles of  water for cooling, rather than use melted ice. You can avoid a mess with melted ice.

7.Fly flags, balloons or anything that can be used for recognition in order for your guests to have an easy way to locate you.

8.Food should always be ready for any time your guests or participants want to eat, you are ready and you will not be panickingto cook to order.

9.After grilling, you should remove any ashes and keep them on a sheet of heavy aluminum and completely submerge in water before allowing them to be placed in a container that is non-combustible.

10.Finally, remember that after the party is over, you should clean up your own mess. Bring plenty of trash bags and recycling bags. Put everything in its proper place.

Make sure your food is in the safety zone. If not, it means something completely different!

The most important thing to remember when planning your tailgating is keeping food at safe temperatures. That is below 40 degrees or above 140 degrees. This means ice and a food thermometer are two of your most important aspects of tailgating equipment.

Did you know that between 40 degrees and 140 degrees temperatures, bacteria grow at faster rate? Therefore, the big thing to do is make sure that you keep cooked meat to their appropriate temperature and keep cold foods below 40 degrees.

Protein rich foods, such as meat, eggs and dairy products should be stored at less than 40 degrees. Melons should be washed and cut at home, and then kept under 40 degrees until serving. And, the food should never sit more than two hours if you are taking ‘ take-away ‘ or completely  cooked food to an outdoor event. Also, be sure to keep the bugs away from your foods.

Try to estimate the amount of food you will need for the event. Taking leftovers home is not encouraged by tailgater experts. Be prepared and plan ahead….

And finally a first course easy recipe to prep before leaving:Gamberoni-alla-griglia-con-verdurine

For your main course, grilled shrimp is easy to prepare. Peel shrimp, leaving intact tail section. Pour 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, juice of 2 fresh lemons, 2 garlic cloves chopped and a handful of fresh parsley chopped in a pan. Place shrimp in skillet.

Chill in the refrigerator for two to three hours to marinate and then grill for 10 minutes. Turn occasionally to Browning effect. Do not overcook, as shrimp get tough.

Get more recipes in the Gourmand World Award Winning book.. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition


Tailgating..Homegating.. Olive Guacamole Recipe


copyright 2016 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

The season for tailgating and homegating is creeping up on us again…tailgating and homegating..  Be sure to watch  my upcoming tailgating segment on Fox 29 in Philadelphia on this Saturday, August 27th at 8:15 AM first…and here’s an easy yummy recipe to get the season started

Olive Guacamole

3 ripe avocados

2 garlic cloves

Juice of 1  freshly squeezed  lemon

1/2 cup of black olives

Chop garlic and olives and add to the mashed pulp of the avocados. Dress with lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with pita bread chips, corn chips,crackers or use as a sandwich spread.

Tune in to Fox 29 Philadelphia on this Saturday August 27th at 8:15 am for more tailgating and homegating tips and ideas. 


For more recipe get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition.



Our Brand: