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Summer in the Piazza, and an Apricot Mouse with Chocolate Crumble

 

 

 

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

Life here in this ‘ little  town’ never fails to  keep me entertained .. from  the town priest that is an Elvis impersonator   ..to the dogs that insist on taking their walks in the piazza  at night just like everyone else does before and after dinner..

I never understood why our dog began to escape from our fenced yard at about 7 PM at night…”she likes to see people and friends in the piazza too” I was told ..that is why she insists on taking her own walk there at night if no one walks her.. I guess that makes sense… a dog in Italy wanting to meet friends also in the piazza at night.

It is a beautiful tradition…a walk in the piazza at night before dinner or after dinner.. a way to take a walk see friends ..and just relax….and you never know what you might find..an Elvis Presley concert by the town priest that is an Elvis Impersonator (and he does quite a good impression) ..a procession..a fashion show..a beauty pageant..or just people meeting and talking..dogs.. and children playing soccer …or riding their bikes..

After a spin around the piazza it’s time to go home and enjoy dinner and a light dessert..

Apricot Mousse with Chocolate Crumble

For Apricot Mousse:

* 2 lbs of fresh apricots-washed, cut in half with pit removed

*3 tblsps sugar

*3 tblsps butter (unsalted)

For crumble:

* 1-16 oz chocolate bar (containing at least 60%  cocoa)

*Almonds-3 ounces-peeled ,chopped

*3 tblsps butter (unsalted)

*4 tblsps flour

*3 tblsps brown sugar

*1 tablespoon powdered unsweetened cocoa

For Cream: Place halved apricots in a pan with sugar and butter, cook for 10 minutes over low to medium heat or until the apricots have lightly caramelized. Remove from heat, place in food processor till creamy.

For crumble:

Place butter on bowl until room temperature and softened. Place in flour, almonds,sugar, powdered cocoa. Blend together. Grate chocolate bar and mix in. Place in refrigerator till mixture has a firm  consistency. Remove from refrigerator and grate dough (using cheese grater with larger holes). Grate onto a piece of baking paper placed on a cookie sheet.

Preheat oven for 300 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, separate crumbles gently with fork or fingers. Let cool.

Divide apricot cream into 4 glasses and top with chocolate crumble,garnish with mint leaves and serve.

For more recipes get your copy of the Award Winning The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition…winner of the Best Italian Cusine Book in the USA by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

 

**  DON”T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO COOK WITH 5 STAR CHEFS AND ME IN ITALY! Week long Culinary Programs in November and February. Go to: http://www.marialiberati.com/culinary-classestravel/

 

 

 

 

Be  A Guest Writer..do you have a Holiday story related to a food memory you would like to share with our readers. we invite readers to share their favorite Holiday food memory. Stories should be 300-500 words, and emailed to us at [email protected]

Each week from Sept 1 to Jan 1st one story per week will be selected and published on The Basic Art of Italian Cooking BLOG. Stories may be considered for an upcoming national publication also. Look forward to seeing your stories by Sept 30th.Email stories to: [email protected]

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

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, etc..it 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.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR PICNIC RULES WITH US HERE IF  I HAVE MISSES ANY!

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

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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 www.marialiberati.com
To receive all the info about the Chef Academy 1 week program, special edition with Maria Liberati send an email to [email protected] .

Download the Brochure
A Crema Cotta…Some Berries….Taste of Summer…Cooking in Italy With 5 Star Chefs

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

 

2 ounces fresh blueberries

4 ounces fresh strawberries

2 ounces fresh raspberries or blackberries

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/3 cup milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons butter

powdered sugar for dusting top

1 vanilla bean

vanilla gelato

 

Carefully was all berries and dry with paper towel. Beat eggs with sugar for about 1 minute till well blended. Heat milk with vanilla bean that has been cut in half. Butter a small casserole dish, place in berries and pour in the milk mixture. Bake in oven for 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with a scoop of gelato and some fresh berries.

 

 

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

rsz_rsz_cover-2.jpg

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 www.marialiberati.com
To receive all the info about the Chef Academy 1 week program, special edition with Maria Liberati send an email to [email protected] .

Download the Brochure

Healthy Pizza (gluten free too!)

looking down from pietraquaria

 

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

getting ready to film the remaining episodes of my PBS TV show here in Italy..and at  home in the mountains of Abruzzo..busy in the test kitchen trying out some new recipes..pizza is one of my favorites but  this one is also for those that have been asking me for Gluten free recipes

 

 

pizza frittata

Pizza Frittata

6 fresh eggs

2 tablespoons of flour(or gluten free flour)

2 tablespoons of milk

8 ounces of plain tomato sauce

8 ounces mozzarella

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 fresh basil leaves

 

Beat eggs, add in milk, flour, pinch of salt. When mixture is foamy. Drizzle olive oil on saute pan and heat, place in egg mixture and cook till sides are well done, flip over and cook on opposite side.

Cover a round pan with baking or parchment paper, grease with a little oil and place the frittata on top. Place tomato paste or plain tomato sauce in a bowl and add in dash of black pepper, salt and oregano, stir and place on top of frittata. cover with mozzarella slices. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place in oven till mozzarella begins to melt. remove and decorate with thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or grilled vegetables, meat and any pizza toppings you wish…

 

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

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How to Recharge Your Summer..See You at Festa Italiana in Milwaukee Wisconsin

copyright 2010 art of living, PrimaMedia, Inc./Maria Liberati

A life without love is like a year without summer. ~Swedish Proverb

 

Just about half over..summer that is…and  time to recharge your summer before it is all gone. Here are some fun things to do to put the spark back into (what is left of) Summer…but quick before it is gone!

*Eat a meal (or two) al fresco..there is nothing like it. Keep it uncomplicated, make it fresh!

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*Visit a  local farm market and purchase fresh summer produce. Summer gives us fresh produce like no other season..don’t miss  the taste of freshly picked summer blueberries, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes and corn. The fresh taste will dazzle your taste buds.

davidsons exotic mushrooms

 

*Visit one of the summer county fairs held throughout the country. A great way to experience local food finds and local regional specialties.

 

campagna damico circo massimo roma 2

*Get an ice cream maker and make your own fresh ice cream or gelato! Nothing like it. I just made a fresh  blueberry gelato with local blueberries..all I can say is mmmmmmm!

*Try berry picking at a local farm..it is a fun but also educational thing to do with the kids.but you can do it yourself or friends as well.

strawberries from trentino 2

*Make a blueberry, raspberry  or strawberry pie or crostata with those fresh berries. If you make a vanilla ice cream or gelato this makes the perfect accompaniment

 

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*Lastly, if you have never been to the largest Italian-American celebration in the USA, July 18-20- help me celebrate all things Italian at my appearance at Festa Italiana in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I will be appearing on the Celebrity Chef stage …but it is a 3 day fun filled fest of everything Italian- music, food, entertainment. The Festa is held along the lake and every night ends with an authentic Italian fireworks display! If you  are in the Milwaukee area from July 17-20 visit one of my upcoming events there to celebrate Festa and please stop by Festa! Here is more info on Festa and all the events! http://www.marialiberati.com/wtmj-appearance-for-festa-italiana/

Special FESTA OFFER to all my subscribers and readers:

***RECEIVE 2 FREE TICKETS TO FESTA: If you stop by one of my other appearances in Milwaukee and purchase  a copy of any of my books you will receive 2 free tickets to Festa!

 

The recipes for all my events in Milwaukee Wisconsin will be from my book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Da Vinci Style

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Summer Mint Makes a Refreshing Frittata Recipe

Summer afternoon, Summer afternoon: to me those have always  been the two most beautiful words in the English language

Henry James

A Frittata is one of the most versatile  dishes that I can think of. And in the summertime, it can be ohh so refreshing with a touch of fresh mint. For a quick casual lunch for a picnic or on the beach..but a frittata is not just an omelet! It can be lunch or dinner with a glass of chilled, light dry white wine, or  cut into smaller wedges or squares for an appetizer or snack. .. I love being able to make the night before and quickly wrap this up in the morning before heading to the beach in Italy..the protein gives you a lot of energy and the fresh mint…it’s a way to’ chill’  on a hot  sunny day at the beach in Italy or anywhere!

pescara beach

Once cooked, cool, and wrap cut slices in parchment paper to take with you and enjoy. A mint frittata is proof of the beauty and art of simplicity..only 5 ingredients to make this luscious, healthy meal..

Mint Frittata (Frittata con Mentuccia)

 

(for 2)

2 whole eggs

1/2 tablespoon of water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tsps chopped fresh mint

pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in round frying pan. Break eggs into a bowl, add in water and whip with wire whisk till foamy. Add in chopped fresh mint and pinch of salt. Pour into pan with oil,distribute evenly into pan. When top is firm, not watery, flip onto a dish, then flip uncooked side back into pan until firm and cooked, not watery.

Place on round dish and cover, cool in refrigerator for approx 30 minutes. When cool, cut into wedges and wrap in wax or parchment paper, take with you. Don’t forget the napkins!

 

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

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July 18-20-look forward to seeing you at Festa Italiana in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I will be on stage doing cooking demos and book signings event at the Cucina Showcase. For more info on the event and/or sponsoring The Basic Art of Italian Cooking booth email:[email protected] Get the schedule of events here  http://www.marialiberati.com/wtmj-appearance-for-festa-italiana/

 

Cooking demos will be from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Da Vinci Style

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And if you are in the Milwaukee Wisconsin area from July 17 to the 20th I will be making stops throughout the area to promote Festa, so stop by to sample,take a cooking class, or to a book signing. Here’s the list

Cleaning House with Handybook.com

I love coming home to a clean and organized house..but not always so simple with my crazy schedule..so enter handybook.com Wow! I recently was invited to try their services and it was so simple from organizing the day and time of the cleaning to getting everything organized. They sent over a cleaning professional and she really knew her stuff! She cleaned the house from top to bottom, from vacuuming to cleaning the kitchen to making the beds, taking out the trash, and dusting.

And she took her time to be sure the job was completed professionally. So from now on that will be my go to solution for keeping my house clean and organized! So glad the folks at handybook.com invited me to try their services, now I am hooked on it. It is so easy it is impossible not to..

And for someone like me who has crazy hours and an even crazier work schedule, they could not have made it easier. All you need to do is to go to www.handybook.com and select your services. Quicker than you can say Mary Poppins, an email will come back to you confirming your services and then someone contacts you to confirm

 

SPECIAL OFFER FOR READERS:

There is also a discount code  for readers of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm. You will get 20% off  your first home cleaning. Please use the below promo codes upon checkout and the discount will be automatically applied:
Liberati20

 

Cleaning House with Handybook.com

I love coming home to a clean and organized house..but not always so simple with my crazy schedule..so enter handybook.com Wow! I recently was invited to try their services and it was so simple from organizing the day and time of the cleaning to getting everything organized. They sent over a cleaning professional and she really knew her stuff! She cleaned the house from top to bottom, from vacuuming to cleaning the kitchen to making the beds, taking out the trash, and dusting.

And she took her time to be sure the job was completed professionally. So from now on that will be my go to solution for keeping my house clean and organized! So glad the folks at handybook.com invited me to try their services, now I am hooked on it. It is so easy it is impossible not to..

And for someone like me who has crazy hours and an even crazier work schedule, they could not have made it easier. All you need to do is to go to www.handybook.com and select your services. Quicker than you can say Mary Poppins, an email will come back to you confirming your services and then someone contacts you to confirm

Cucinami, A Recipe for Lemon Gelato

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

Thanks to everyone that came out to my appearance at the Lansdale Farmers’ Market this past Saturday.

Special thanks to the Lansdale Reporter http://www.thereporteronline.com/lifestyle/20140622/celebrity-chef-holds-demo-at-lansdale-farmers-market

If you would like the recipes for the dishes I made there using the fresh, yummy produce at the market – summery cous cous, Parmigiano crumble with kale and chocolate cinnamon crumble with fresh strawberries- send an email to : [email protected]

 

To express my love for  Cooking,nothing is more appropriate than an Italian word-Cucinami (made up of the words for kitchen-cucina- and Love-Ami) Cucinami!

But as the saying goes………..

“One cannot live without food and love”

So it is an appropriate word that combines 2 important essentials of life!

As I dwell on my love for cooking in steamy hot weather on the East Coast, thoughts also trickle to a cool gelato..and making something that takes me away from the heat…better even yet if you can get fresh,local lemons.

Gelato Di Limone

is

*3 fresh,fragrant lemons

*3/4 cup sugar

2 cups milk

1 egg white

Squeeze lemons. Add sugar to lemon juice. Whip with wire whisk till sugar has melted into the juice. With a wire whisk quickly blend  in the milk. In  separate bowl, whip the egg white till firm. Fold beaten egg white into mixture. Place into gelato or ice cream maker according to directions on machine. Enjoy with sprig of fresh mint, grated lemon peel

 

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

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Count Down to Milwaukee Festa Italiana on July 18,19,20..the largest Italian American Festival.. I will be in the Celebrity Chef kitchen this year..hope you can join me!! For more info email : [email protected]

Keeping It Cool With This Fresh Peach ,Ginger, Gelato Dessert Recipe

 

“An apple is an excellent thing — until you have tried a peach.”
George du Maurier (1834-1896)

 

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

Summer has just begun, and  here in Italy that means the brightest, warmest   days of the year are here with more to come! A small dish or cone of gelato is the perfect way to refresh.

 

Ginger Peach Delight

*4 ripe peaches

*1 small piece of fresh ginger

*2 tsps butter

*2 tsps sugar

*1 tsp cinnamon

Wash the peaches and cut into slices. Finely chop the ginger. Place butter, chopped ginger and peach slices in a saute pan over low heat. Sprinkle sugar on top of fruit and saute for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Let gelato sit at room temperature or soften for approx 10 minutes. Add in cinnamon and blend well. Divide peach mixture into 4 glasses, placing some first on bottom of glasses, then place in gelato, then top with remaining peaches. Serve.

 

**Hope to see you at Lansdale Farmers Market in Lansdale, Pa.. this coming Saturday, June 21 at 11 AM… taste some farm to table dishes using local, fresh produce. This event is part of their Veni, VIdi, Eati  Series.   Join me for this cooking demo, sampling, book signing

*July 18-20 counting down the days till Festa Italiana in MIlwaukee, Wisconsin. Looking forward to my events in the Celebrity Chef Pavillion and especially looking forward to seeing my friends in Milwaukee..hope to see you at the largest Italian American Festival in the USA

 

Get our copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions, 2nd edition

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