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*this is a disclaimer from Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm that some advertisers may compensate for mentions of products and services. Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm does not have any connection to Dual Global Mobile and this is not an implied endorsement,

Castagnaccio for Christmas

A Castagnaccio for my Christmas Holiday Table. Thanks to Chestnut Hill Tree Farms for providing  the chestnut flour..a not so easy to find product and this interesting recipe is a traditional artisan addition for any Holiday table..with a long tradition in many parts of Italy…

Castagnaccio

1 lb chestnut flour

1/4 cup raisins

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup pinoli nuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Mix all ingredients, saving 1/2 cup olive oil. Butter the bottom of a ceramic dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place in batter and then pour remaining oil on top. Sprinkle with raisins and pine nuts. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes

For more recipes get your copy of the award winning Holiday book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd editions

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Holiday Leftovers Rule and Upcoming DaVinci/Tuscany Events..

It’s not leftovers that are wasteful, but those who either don’t know what to do with them or can’t be bothered.

Julian Baggini

 

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

Leftovers rule!! a few more days left in the leftovers recipe contest..we have extended the contest for 2 more days ,til December 12th..so hurrythere is so much food wasted in the US alone during the Holidays..since food is too precious a commodity to waste, hoping to encourage everyone to use that leftover food and repurpose it into another amazing dish. Winner of the contest gets a great big basket of Italian foods from Mariano’s foods..go here to get a 10% coupon off of their amazing gift baskets for the Holidays http://marianofoods.com/

Thanks A.Santo for this luscious leftover recipe

She creatively (bravo!!) took my panettone di Cioccolata recipe and used leftover bread instead of panettone and also added in leftover apples..yes apples that may be going brown can be used as long as you cut off all of the brown spots, peel them, take out seeds and core and you can avoid trashing those leftover apples that you may have to use quickly. You can also add in any other pieces of fruit that have to be used quickly like pears or cranberries, blueberries. If you want to use bananas, you should substitute bananas for apples here, and use the dried fruit, etc, but no other fresh fruit only. If you have leftover nuts-almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts,pecans-chop in a food processor or coffee grinder and add in to recipe

Leftover Fruit Pudding

(submitted by A.Santo)

  • 1 day old baguette or at least 8-10 slices of day old sliced bread
  • 4-6 apples (you can use apples that need to be used quickly by cutting off any brown spots)
  • 4 chopped dried figs or dates (optional)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 fresh lemon rind, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Break or pull apart bread into small cubes.

Place one layer of bread cubes in an 8 inch round or square glass or ceramic bak­ing dish. Cover with chopped apple or fruit pieces, chopped fig pieces, date pieces, raisins and (optional) nuts. Cover this layer with remaining bread cubes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon rind together. Pour liquid over bread cubes. Gently push down on top to be sure liquid soaks into all layers. Let sit for 10 minutes, then bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until firm and golden on top. When cool, dust with powdered cocoa and serve.

 

Here is a great way to use up that leftover pasta submitted by Thomas Quinlan this is actually a popular street food in Naples where you can buy this from vendors on the street, so yummy!

Leftover  Pasta  Frittata

(Submitted by Thomas Quinlan)

*1/2 lb or so of leftover pasta coated with sauce

*2 medium eggs

*fresh parsley

*extra virgin olive oil

*pinch of salt

Break eggs open and place in one bowl, whisk with fork till foamy. Place 2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil in saute pan and heat. Place in leftover pasta, eggs,  pinch of salt, chopped basil and cook till edges are firm. You can also do a final browning by placing in oven if you cook with an oven safe saute pan.

Remove from heat, cool, slice and eat or to take as a lunch to work or to a picnic,-wrap each slice in parchment or plastic wrap and take away.

 

How do you make use of leftovers, submit your recipe  to be entered in a drawing for an Italian basket from Mariano’s foods  http://marianofoods.com

 

For more recipes

get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition at:

 www.marialiberati.com or from Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/13FHg82

 

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*Upcoming events:
*Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, Pa, March 5th and Thursday March 12th from 6-9 PM. Registration required> Join us for an evening of culture and celebration of Leonardo DaVinci and Tuscany from my book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style

Go to this link to get more info and to register http://www.delval.edu/continuing-and-professional-studies/non-credit-certificates-and-courses/culinary-and-food

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My Fair Lady and a Trip to London

My fascination with London began the first time I saw the award winning film My Fair Lady. I had dreamed about seeing this regal city for as long as I can remember, and when I finally arrived in London, I felt like I had already been there, well almost.

Except for the fact that My Fair Lady takes place in the early 1900’s and this was modern day London, I felt the same charm I had experienced when seeing the film (over 100 times).

The best way to see London is to walk the streets and see the sights as much as possible. The character of many of the streets of London played a big part in My Fair Lady, and each and every corner of the city has its’ own character. Here are some of my favorite spots to check out:

*Covent Garden is a haven for foodies and fashionistas alike. There are so many restaurants to choose from you may become hungry just looking at your choices. And there is always some special event going on whether it is an art exhibit or the zillions of sparkling lights for Christmas or other Holiday fare.

*Trafalgar Square is a vibrant place to experience all types of art and festivals. But it is also a place that has a long history with the city of London and a great place to see unique exhibits, fireworks and presentations and capture a lot of the sights of the city.

*London Bridge was first built by the Romans 2,000 years ago although it has since been rebuilt many times over, but is in close proximity to the original location.

*Piccadilly Circus is bustling with so much to do including the world’s largest indoor theme park, but also includes lots of pubs and restaurants.

*Selfridge’s is a London original and worth a stop to shop.

*Fortnum and Mason’s is another foodie stop. They have been providing delicacies to the Royal Family for years and have a  long food connection with the city.

*Downing Street where the Prime Minister lives and works, worth a stop or a quick look

And of course a first visit to London is not complete without a stop to see Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard. The pomp and circumstance is not to be missed and you will experience it at its’ best here.

SightseeingToursLondon.co.UK can also be a great way to see London especially if it is your first time here. If you have limited time to see the city you don’t want to waste time trying to find these places and your way around this vibrant  city.

A NYC Thanksgiving , Apple Pie Italiana Recipe..and Gift Basket Giveaway

My first time spending Thanksgiving in NYC..a la Italiana..we will be spending Thanksgiving with friends from Italy..so it will be an Italian flavored Thanksgiving complete with  an apple pie made with Italian cream… SEE BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A HOLIDAY FOOD BASKET

Here’s my favorite recipe for an Italian style apple pie..

 

Crust

1 cup flour

1 stick butter

grated peel of one lemon

1 egg

1/4 cup ground almonds

1 tsp baking soda

Grind nuts with sugar. Then sift flour with baking soda and add in. Then add in egg, grated lemon peel. Blend till a smooth dough, shape into a ball and cover with plastic . Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

 

 

Filling

5 red apples

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons flour

Place milk and cinnamon in saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat immediately when begins to boil.  Place egg and yolk, flour,sugar in bowl, whisk, then pour in hot milk. Pour back in saucepan until it becomes creamy and dense. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. remove dough from refrigerator, place in ling, thin square pan, arrange evenly to cover bottom. Cut 3 apples into small cubes, place in cream mixture and place on top of crust. Thinly slice 2 apples and layer slices to decorate the top of pie. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Please make this a Waste Free Thanksgiving! The recipe above was created with apples ,milk and sugar already in my kitchen. Here are some great tips I wanted to share from Food Tank ( http://foodtank.com/news/2014/11/give-thanks-not-scraps.
 **RECIPE CONTEST- SHARE YOUR RECIPES FOR LEFTOVERS-deadline December 10th
Also if you share a recipe to help my readers re use their leftovers you will have chance to win a  Holiday Gift Basket from Mariano’s Foods. Find more Italian Gift Baskets  Share the recipe here or email to [email protected]
Winner will be selected randomly from those that submit recipes.  Submit recipe deadline by December 10th
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  • Open your refrigerator first. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests taking inventory of your refrigerator and pantry to see what you have already before heading out to the store. We all have cans hiding in the back corner we forgot about. There’s no reason to buy more of what you already have.
  • Plan your menu and know your numbers. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, planning menus in advance can limit waste. A head count will help you increase or decrease recipe measurements to the correct proportions, making it easier to buy the correct amount of ingredients.
  • “Sell by” and “best by” dates aren’t chiseled in stone. These dates are guidelines. Some products may still be good long after their expiration date. Bloom suggests, “you should always trust your senses before that arbitrary date on the package. Look, smell, and if it comes to it, taste it before you throw it away.”
  • Repurpose turkey giblets, stale bread, and other “waste.” Remember Grandma’s to-die-for gravy? Chances are she used turkey giblets to flavor the family favorite. The EPA suggests using parts of the bird that normally end up in the trash as a great way to pump up flavor while reducing waste in landfills. That mound of veggie tops and roots? Make homemade soup stock and freeze it for later.
  • Portion control is key. Using smaller plates and Love Food Hate Waste’s portion calculator can help in making the right amount whether you are cooking for two or 20 people.
  • Love your leftovers. Love Food Hate Waste provides recipes to creatively use leftovers. Using leftovers in another recipe following a holiday dinner makes meals easy. Cook once, eat twice.
  • Donate to the hungry. Find your local food bank, and donate excess or unused food to those in need.
  • Serve others. Eaters can help people, and our planet, by volunteering at places like D.C. Central Kitchen and City Harvest. There are similar organizations that use donated food to cook for communities in need in cities across the U.S. Gather friends or family members to multiply your efforts and reduce more waste.
  • Encourage policy makers to create and foster a food system that serves consumer health and the environment. Improving labeling policies and practices can decrease confusion for consumers, leading to a reduction in food waste. A recent report by Emily Broad Leib, Director of Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, states, “Congress, federal administrative agencies, state legislatures, and state agencies should work towards a system of date labeling that is more standardized, more easily understood by consumers, and less arbitrary.” Encourage policy makers to reduce food waste and improve food safety.

If you are putting together your own gift baskets you may want to add in a gift book from our collection of gift books. Each of these books are 50-120 pages.

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Buon Appetito.. and a Happy and Delicious and No Waste Thanksgiving!

 

Keep Calm and Have a Cocktail..A Decorated Cocktail that is!

 

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

The Holiday season is soon approaching.. and cocktails are a great  ‘get together’ beverage..what better way to relax the palate then to begin with a cocktail..here are my 11 tips for perfectly decorated cocktails from The Basic Art of Cocktails….after all décor and presentation is almost important as taste during the Holidays…cocktails can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic..so alcohol is not necessary..a cocktail is all about the style of presentation of the beverage, the place they are served and the relaxed mood of the venue…

Cocktails because no great story ever began with someone munching on a big salad…

1 Harmony and balance are the two things to keep in mind when decorating a cocktail.
2 For short drinks, use small maraschino cherries, black and green olives, lemon
orange or lime peel.
3 For medium cocktails, use decorations that are fruit., vegetable or herb based.
4 For long drinks, always serve with a straw to facilitate easy enjoyment of the
drink.
5 Decorations should be not only esthetically pleasing to the eye, but also pleasing
to the palate.
6 Avoid decorations that are complicated or time-consuming to create.
7 When using fruit or vegetables be sure to use ones that are not overly ripe.
8 Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, if using the skin also.
9 Give your drinks chromatic effects just by adding crushed ice, creams or colored
liqueurs. These must also blend well with the taste of the drink.
10 For a decorative effect, sprinkle powdered coffee, cocoa, nutmeg, cinnamon or
shaved chocolate on top.
11 For another effect, place glass in freezer before serving and decorate rim of glass

For more cocktail recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Cocktails  exclusively on Kindle and the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays and Special Occasions 2

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Hot Tuscan Soup, Cold Blustery Day

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

 

Today was the first blustery windy day of the season, a day that made me long for some Tuscan bean soup ..and I know just the one..it is an authentic Tuscan style bean soup with Farro from Montepulciano..’

 

 

 

Zuppa Toscana con Farro

1 lb of dry mixed beans ( cannelini, kidney, lenitils)

finely chopped onions, carrots, celery

salt pepper, peppeoncini

extra virgin olive oil

16 ounces of crushed tomatoes

1 cup farro

Soak beans for 12 hours or overnight. Then boil in salted water till tender. Saute in a large soup pot- the carrots, onion, celery and a pepperoncino in olive oil,add I crushed tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Add in the drained beans. Place on heat and let boil for 15 minutes. Cook farro as directed on package (usually about 30 mnutes)> For last 15 minutes add in to soup to cook. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil..

 

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

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Coffee..a Hug in a Mug…and a Gran Caffe recipe

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

Coffee..a morning without it is like ..sleep!

 

“This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder. ~

Honoré de Balzac, “The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee”

 

Café Mocha

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups hot espresso coffee
  • ¼ cup hot milk (fat free or low fat)
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

Method

  1. Place evaporated milk in a chilled bowl with powdered sugar.
  2. Whip until peaks form and then place in refrigerator.
  3. In another bowl mix honey with powdered cocoa and cinnamon, mix with wooden spoon.
  4. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Distribute mixture into 4 coffee cups.
  6. Mix coffee with milk, and then pour into cups.
  7. Stir and top with whipped evaporated milk and dust with powdered cocoa.

Gran Caffe

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 1 teaspoon of Aurum
  • 1 Tablespoon of liquid cream or whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon of cream of cacao
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • Powdered unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup of (very hot) espresso coffee

Preparation

Pour all ingredients, except cream, into glass coffee cup. Stir. Pour cream or milk on top, do not stir and sprinkle unsweetened cocoa on top.

 

 

Coffee is nothing more than a hug in a mug!

 

Get more recipes in the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition

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Quinoa Mushroom Patties and Redfish Roti with Plated.Com

 

I had such a great time last week making dinner…quinoa patties with mushrooms and redfish roti! I had fun because all my ingredients were all pre measured out, and mailed directly to me. No stress of shopping for ingredients.

I went to plated.com and selected the right dishes for my guests and scheduled the date I wanted them delivered. My fresh ingredients were delivered for the dishes I selected. The recipe delivery was also included.

The meals are healthy and there is no stress. You can plan a family meal or a meal for guests that are healthy,delicious and fun to make. And for those of us that are short on time, there is no extra time required to go out and search for the right ingredients. It is all done for you. After a busy day at work,

you will have ingredients pre measured, ready to go to make a delicious gourmet meal for friends or family.

The seafood is from Sea to Table, a Brooklyn-based company that partners with local fishermen from small-scale sustainable wild fisheries and ships the catch directly to you, so healthy seafood is part of the seafood meals.

I ordered the Quinoa Mushroom Patties…yum they were truly different and delicious. They even included a pouch of grated pecorino cheese, which added loads of flavor to the quinoa. These patties made a great meat free style meatball or patties and were really flavorful with all the spices that were included in my packet. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised.

 

 

Quinoa Mushrorom Patties

 

 

The redfish roti was equally as impressive. And who knew this Caribbean dish could be so easy to prepare, and so delicious too. The roti were great as an accompaniment to the redfish. This was truly a great, light, healthy dish. But it was a great dish to prepare and plated.com makes it so easy to do enough a non experienced chef could do this without much effort! It was fun to create an authentic Caribbean dish with not having to take a course on authentic Caribbean cooking

. Plated.com     did all the thinking and shopping and planning for me, all I had to do was wait for my shipment, plan the meal and who I was going to invite and voila! I had a great meal.

It truly could not be easier to have a great gourmet dish in your own kitchen created by you (or at least your friends and family will think so) but plated.com did all the work.

Plated is extending a great deal to my readers  HERE

 

ROTI

 

The redifsh roti was equally as impresive

Tailgating and Homegating Ideas

If you are tailgating ..here are some great products for your next tailgating or homegating event ..this recently appeared on Fox Channel 43 in York/Lancaster. Pa

http://fox43.com/2014/09/26/tailgatinghomegating-essentials/

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