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A Vintage Italian Summer

copyright 2015 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc

The traditional steamy hot days of August are here finally again, after a few summers of cool weather..the notoriously hot Italian August is her to stay this year!..my go to lunch today was an easy but oh so delicious

fagolini with limone insalata ( green beans and lemon salad)… the beans were fresh and locally grown and the lemons from (any other place) Amalfi Coast.

fagiolini

So all you need to do is steam the beans till tender, add in freshly chopped garlic, juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon, extra virgin cold pressed olive oil and a handful of freshly chopped parsley leaves. Let marinate in the refrigerator for an hour. Serve with crispy bread and a slice of artisan cheese and you have an easy light dinner to eat al fresco..

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to see my appearance and my booth at the Atlantic CIty Food and Wine Show at the Claridge Hotel last weekend, look forward to seeing you at the Valley Forge Casino event in October!

For more recipes and stories of culinary travel throughout Italy, get your copy of

the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions

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Gourmet Boutique, a quaint Boston gift shop in the heart of historic Back Bay steps from Boston Public Library and Trinity Church is a true gourmet voyage. An unparalleled selection of sweets fill floor to ceiling display. maxims chocolate Calissons de Aix en Provence, Guerande salt butter caramels, nougats de Montelimar and pate de fruit are staple French sweets. Maxim's de Paris offers an extensive range of these delights taking you on a sweet journey across France.
Save a Piece of Summer With Freezer Jams!! See you in Atlantic City

 

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Few pleasures compare to sinking your teeth into a slice of fresh, succulent fruit.   once summer has shown its’ last glimmer , the fresh sweet fruit will be gone…  Whether you are one of the many berry lovers who inundate strawberry fields in the spring or you delight in crowding your kitchen with baskets of raspberries, peaches and blueberries from the farmer’s market, you know that aside from gobbling down these sweet treats, preserving them quickly becomes a priority.

Historically, jams and jellies have become an ideal way to stretch out the fruit season into the rest of the year. The process is a rather large undertaking: boiling jars, cooking the fruit, adding the pectin—and sugar; lots and lots of sugar. But traditional jam-making is not the only option anymore.

Freezers now add another possibility for fruit preservation. Freezer jam, for example, is becoming increasingly popular. Like traditional jam, it can be prepared using berries, apples, oranges, pears, peaches, and an unlimited combination of tasty treats. But best of all, freezer jam benefits our health, the environment and our taste buds.

One way in which freezer jam is unique is that the fruit is not cooked. The fruit retains its bright color, its many nutrients and, most importantly, its fresh flavor. The ratio of fruit to sugar in traditional jam is often 1:1. When making freezer jam, only about a third of the sugar is necessary.

Unlike jars used for traditional preserves, freezer jam can be stored in clean plastic containers or jars of any kind. They don’t even need to be boiled first, cutting out one time-consuming step right there. And if you have kids that need to be put to work, don’t forget that jam-making can be a family affair. Most freezer jam recipes call for finely chopping or crushing the fruit. Who loves squishing slimy peeled peaches or juicy berries more than kids? (Supervision of pre-squishing-hand-washing is highly recommended.)

Making freezer jam isn’t quite as much fuss as you might think. From fruit preparation to the freezer, it can take less than an hour. However, if you are plunging into jam-making mode, one key piece of advice: be sure to have some fresh bread or a luscious croissant close by, for once the jars are filled, your melt-in-your-mouth creation is ready to savor!

*Saturday July 24th and July 25th Claridge Hotel-Atlantic City Food and Wine Show at the Claridge Hotel-Hope to see you at the at the show..it gets bigger and better every year..I will be onstae on Saturday at 1:45 and doing book signings and sampling all weekend in the Grand Market..see you there..for more info email [email protected]

Get more recipes and  culinary  travel stories in the award winning book series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking

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Gourmet Boutique, a quaint Boston gift shop in the heart of historic Back Bay steps from Boston Public Library and Trinity Church is a true gourmet voyage. An unparalleled selection of sweets fill floor to ceiling display. maxims chocolate Calissons de Aix en Provence, Guerande salt butter caramels, nougats de Montelimar and pate de fruit are staple French sweets. Maxim's de Paris offers an extensive range of these delights taking you on a sweet journey across France.
Steps To Becoming a Sommelier

Let's face it - your love of wines has brought you here. You've probably acted as an amateur wine taster (as the laymen like to put it) at family reunions or parties among close friends. Perhaps you were recently impressed by an exquisite wine that you ordered at a fancy restaurant. Alternatively, you were inspired by someone who knows everything about wines and can go on and on about weird terms like palate, aeration, minerality, texture, complex or terroir.

No matter what brought you to this wonderful profession, you enjoy wine and know how to appreciate its cultural and culinary importance. Although becoming a good sommelier takes as many as ten years of practice and constant study, you can quickly master the basics of wine tasting by following these steps.

  1. Know how to enjoy and appreciate every glass of wine, bad or good

Up until now you probably never given much attention to what wine you are drinking. For most people, possibly even for you, a glass of wine was just a good alcoholic drink that goes great with the prime rib steak. Although common, this perception should change, and your first step is to assess and study every glass of wine that you have from now on.

  • Make a professional assessment of the wine: know some of the primary aromas that are found in wines (vanilla, clove, oak) and connect them with the more conventional wines. For instance, you should try to detect the delicate vanilla and clove aroma in a Pinot Noir, and the slight flavor of oak in a vintage wine.
  • Expand your knowledge on different wines and wine-producing regions of the world: everyone knows about French and Italian wines, but you should delve even deeper and read about the particular wine producing areas in these countries. Get to know what wines these regions make, which are some of the best grapes, and a short historical background on each of them
  • Experiment with different wines and try to enjoy every wine that you can. Also, get comfortable with the wine etiquette – pouring and serving wine is an art in itself, and every sommelier should know the basics.
  1. Try to find work in the wine industry

If you do not already have a job in the restaurant or hotel industry, this is your best chance of getting one. You could also look into retail outlets that focus on wines such as Shop Rite Wine. Your recently acquired knowledge will impress some restaurant managers, and you might get lucky and land a job that will get you closer to the wine cellar.

You should apply to wine-focused restaurants, wine bars and cellars, wine tasting rooms or any catering business that has a focus on wines. Usually, these companies already have an experienced sommelier in their team, and you will have the opportunity to learn from already established professionals. As many experts suggest, the sommelier profession is mostly learned while working under an experienced mentor, through constant practice.

Keep in mind that a successful sommelier is always in contact with customers, and some establishments may even ask sommeliers to act as wine salesmen. You should always anticipate the needs of your customers, provide them with any information regarding the wines, behave politely at all times and be well-groomed, squeaky clean, and dressed appropriately.

  1. Getting the sommelier certificate

Sommeliers do not have to be certified, but it helps to get a valid diploma that guarantees and acknowledges your hard-earned qualification. You will have a better chance of getting the job you want, and you will gain more respect inside the extremely competitive wine industry. Although many world-renowned sommeliers do not have any diploma that certifies their qualification, it is a bonus that you should exploit.

Flaviu Mircea is an amateur wine taster who has learned to appreciate the finer points of the beverage, and is working his way up to be a titled Sommelier himself. If you wish to learn more about him you can visit on Google+.

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer-some posts are done in exchange for monetary compensation

An All American Snack for Celebrating!

Sometimes I only hope to make a good popcorn movie.”-Lou Diamond Phillips

Happy Independence Day and in honor of a true American snack food-Popcorn! Celebrating with a healthy true American snack food. Americans have been enthusiastically devouring bags since as early as the 1880’s..Celebrate your fourth with a bag of my favorite-G.H. Cretor’s Popcorn

Popcorn is an essentially healthy snack and they keep it that way, with so many flavors to choose from. My favorite way to enjoy them is on the plane..where it is difficult to find healthy food. I throw a bag of G.H. Cretor’s Popcorn in my carry on and have something to snack on while whiling away the 9 or so hours on the plane  enjoying a movie while flying back and forth to Italy to film my new PBS TV Series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: some posts are compensated with product or monetary compensation.  Posting about a product is not an endorsement of a product by Maria Liberati, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm, Art of Living,PrimaMedia, Inc.

 

 

 

 

A Summer’s Day with Archopedico

 

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
– William Shakespeare

 

Summertime is all about enjoying yourself, loose comfortable clothing, comfortable food and comfortable shoes…so when I was asked to try Archopedico shoes this summer I was apprehensive..I love the carefree feeling of summer and my shoes have to keep me in the comfort zone to  get through my busy schedule..  but alas my new  Archopedico shoes and I have not been apart for a week now..where could I find another shoe so comfortable?? or if I had to create a hashtag  for my new Archopedico shoes it would be #ohsocomfortableohso beautiful!  is how I would describe them…anatomical bed for your feet inside and leather upper

 

and with summer flowers and colors they make the perfect summertime shoe..they keep you in the comfort zone even when you have to be on your feet for long hours…

copyright 2015 art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

 

*Disclaimer- some posts are done in exchange for monetary compensation and.or product.

 

 

Summer Days and Summer Snacking

 

Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
-Dame Edith Wharton

 

Summertime requires carefree yummy but light, ready to go snacks for days by the pool or on the beach or at a picnic. One of my favorites has been Nonni’s Thinaddictives Mango Coconut Flavor. Perfect for those lazy hazy days to just kick back relax and enjoy..but also perfect to accompany a dish of vanilla gelato, some fresh pineapple or a dish of pudding or eaten alone..and a portion is only 100 yummy calories

 

 

Hope to see you at the Gourmet Food and Wine Show in Atlantic City on July 24th and 25th at the Claridge Hotel. Stop by my booth for sampling of recipes from my books and some of the products you have seen on my blog! Stay tuned for more info…

For more recipes get your copy of any of the books in the award winning book series

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Thanks to the new and talented  bloggers that completed my Food Blogging 101 program at Bucks County Community College this summer..Much succes to you in your blogging ventures..if you are interested in Food Blogging 101 we are goisng to begin again in the fall, email [email protected] ofr dates, time and more

 

**Disclaimer-some posts are compensated per prduct or monetary compensation

Ravenna…Terme Beach Resort, Frittata with Parsley

Sigmnd Freud, could not have said it better:

A great harmony Ravenna turned out to be full of delights, Theodoric, almonds ,figs from the tree by the mausoleum of Theodoric, old churches ,a museum, a pinewood sung by Dante,peaches, wine and coffee all blend together in a magnificent harmony….”

Ravenna, where art meets the sea. A city with a story that has been told by many literary greats from Oscar Wilde to T. S. Elliott, Dario Fo, Dante Alighieri, Bocaccio, Machiavelli

#foodtravelwellbeing…. Ravenna..a place I recently explored for an upcoming segment of my new PBS TV Show..a segment on wellness travel. 

 Our  rejuvenating stay in Ravenna was  at Terme Beach Resort, a place that is uniquely situated with the Adriatic Sea to one side and Dante’s (named for Dante Alighieri that is) Pines.  A stay there and you too will understand why Ravenna is also famous for it’s world class hospitality!

Built on sandy ground ,with it’s own beautiful beach front views and surrounded by the Adriatic Sea ,Dante’s Pines are conveniently located in front of the Resort…and with the bicycles provided available for use at Terme Beach Resort.. couldn’t resist the experience  of bicycling through the pines down to the Marina of Ravenna. IMG_20150525_193733 the break of dawn and  an early morning view of breakfast on the terrace. at  Terme Beach Resort...what a way to start the day!beach 1Terme Beach Resort   perfectly fits a location in Ravenna, it is also a place filled  with history, founded in 1963 as a thalassotherapeutic centre and in 1991 was recognized by the Italian Institute of Health for the therapeutic benefits of its water that is rich in minerals.

And for a traditional recipe from Ravenna…..

Frittata with Parsley

serves 6

*10 eggs

*1/2 cup grated parmigiana reggiano cheese

*2 tablespoons of flour

*1/2 cup milk

*1/4 tsp salt

*large handful of fresh parsley leaves chopped

Separate eggs, beat first egg yolks in one bowl, then add in parmigiano reggiano cheese, flour and milk. In another bowl beat egg whites with chopped parsley, and pinch of salt, beat till egg whites form peaks. Fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture, till well blended.

Place 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan, warm the npour in egg mixture. Move around the egg mixture till cooked evenly on one side, then flip over and cook on the other side.

Serve garnished with parsley leaves

For more info on Terme Beach Resort

Olive Oils, Summer Pasta Salad,

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

mothers day a  5-15 copyright 2015, Maria Liberati/Art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc

Now that Spring is well underway with Summer almost here ..the overabundance of fresh produce provides a fresh canvas of colorful fruits and vegetables for any kitchen.  And what better way to pay homage to some of that fresh produce than to pair it in a recipe with extra virgin olive oil!

 

Olive Oil has now become an ingredient Americans are obsessed with..  and rightly so….the USA is now producing it’s own award winning Olive Oils in California..but we have to give credit to the olive trees and methods that were brought to the USA from Italy that got this all started..

Thanks to places like Secolari Olive Oil for bringing these olive oils to us and giving people the chance to experience and learn how to use and select their olive oils. Thanks to everyone that came to my book signing and cooking demo at Secolari olive oil in Columbia. Maryland this weekend.

When choosing olive oils look for olive oils that are : extra virgin and cold pressed,  have an aromatic scent,  are rich in color.. And store your olive oil in a dark glass bottle or container and be sure to look for an expiration date on the container. Olive oil should come with an expiration date.

And if you could not join us yesterday at Secolari Olive Oils in Columbia, Maryland, here is one of the recipes from the cooking demo, an easy, cold pasta salad:

Summer Pasta Salad

*1 lb of artisan pasta

*zest of 1 fresh (organic) lemon

*1 can of albacore tuna packed in water (flaked)

*1 handful of fresh parsley chopped

*3 scallions finely chopped

*3 tablespoons cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil

Cook pasta till al dente.. Place drained pasta in bowl, add in chopped scallions, flaked tuna. Drizzle with olive oil, stri to distribute ingredients evenly. Zest lemon on top of salad and top with chopped parsley. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top and parsley sprigs on the side.

For more great recipes, get your copy of these books from the award winning book series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking, winner of the Gourmand World Awards:
rsz_the_basic_art_of_italian_cooking_cover-2_thumb.jpgrsz_rsz_cover-2_thumb.jpgrsz_front_cover-2-da-vinci_thumb.jpgSee you on June 11th at Stratford Public Library in Stratford, NJ  for a cooking demo and book signing , free to the public, but registration is limited, so hurry and register Call the library at:

Location & Directions to the Library

 

303 Union Avenue (behind the Stratford Fire Company)
(856) 783 – 0602

‘Shinrun-Yoku’ and an Apricot Mousse

copyright 2015 Art of Living/PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

 

pini 7  Japanese Therapy here in the mountains of Abruzzo..if you have ever heard of the Japanese word  ‘shinrun-yoku ‘ it means ‘taking in the atmosphere of the forest’..and taking a stroll in this beautiful park filled with pine trees here is the perfect way to get in your morning therapy of shinrun-yoku..especially on a sunny Spring Day..some even even translate  it  as Forest Bathing

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The apricots have begun to make their appearance into summer and while on this morning’s ‘shinrun-yoku’ my mind was intently concentrating on what to do with a basket full of fresh apricots….and fresh mint overflowing in the garden… here is the answer…

Chocolate Topped Apricot Mousse

For Apricot Mousse:

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

*3 tblsps sugar

*2 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 Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition-winner of the Gourmand World Awards

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The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style

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The Basic Art of Italian Cooking

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Hope to see you soon at some of my upcoming events

 

Want to learn to cook in the mountains of Abruzzo, Italy?  Some spots available now for private and semi private cooking classes, including culinary market tours here In Abruzzo, Italy? If interested, email for my schedule and availability at

[email protected]

Have you ever dreamed of being a food blogger? Share your love of food with the world.. If so join me in my food blogging classes in the Philadelphia are in the month of June at:
*Temple University- Ambler Campus in Ambler Pennsylvania  http://noncredit.temple.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=3041214

*Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/585584/maria-liberatis-food-blogging-course-at-delaware-valley-university

*Bucks County Community College, Newtown, Pa http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/585582/newtown-maria-liberatis-food-blogging-101-course-at-bucks-county-community-college

*Burlington County Community College-Food Writing-http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/585588/mount-holly-maria-liberatis-food-writing-course-at-burlington-county-college

*Private and Semi Private Food Blogging Classes also available in Abruzzo, Italy and Rome Italy at various venues upon my availability. Email for my schedule and information at :  [email protected]

Here are some  upcoming cooking demo/book signings also

*See you at Stratford Public Library in Stratford, NJ on June 11th, register here http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/585589/stratford-celebrity-chef-maria-liberati-cooking-demo-at-stratford-public-library

Sunday, June 7th, 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, Secolari Artisan Oils and Vinegars,

The Mall in Columbia, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044, cooking demo, sampling and book signing

Secolari The gift of artisan oils, vinegars & other enrichments  http://secolarievoo.com/

– See more at: http://www.marialiberati.com/blog2/#sthash.KAEoep7K.dpuf

A Sunny Day in the Mountains of Abruzzo, Flowers Blooming, Fresh Asparagus with Crepes..

copyright 2015  Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

A sunny Spring Day driving through the mountains of Abruzzo… enjoyed the sunny quiet hills of Sainte Marie

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And the flower show in Tagliacozzo..with Spring colors all over the place..not to mention the sunny spring weather..an unusually warm but still ever so lovely day

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So besides the flowers blooming. asparagus are in season and at their most delicious this time of the year..one of my favorite treats of Spring that adds a beautiful  green to the scenery..and one of my favorite ways of using asparagus besides eating them steamed is a recipe that originates in Abruzzo..Crespelle con Asparagi..Crespelle are a version of crepes from Abruzzo..here is the recipe

Crespelle with Asparagus

Serves 4.

For crespelle:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • Pinch of salt

Filling:

  • 1 lb fresh asparagus
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • freshly grated Parmigiano–Reggiano cheese
  • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt

Wash, clean, and steam asparagus. Cut off tips.

Place  ricotta, grated cheese, whole egg, egg whites, asparagus tips, and pinch of salt in a bowl. Blend with wooden spoon and set aside.

In another bowl, place in all ingredients for crespelle. Blend with wire whisk. Heat a nonstick crêpe pan and cook crespelle. Use 1 tablespoon of crespelle batter  for each crespelle. When finished with batter, stuff crespelle with ricotta mixture.

Lightly butter a casserole dish. Place filled crespelle in dish. Top with freshly grated  parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until top of crespelle are golden and the cheese is bubbly Serve.

**Love hearing all your Spring Holiday Food Memories. Please don’t keep them all to yourself. Share them here with all our readers!!

For more great recipes get your copy of the books in the Gourmand World Award Winning Series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking

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Join me for these upcoming events

Want to learn to cook in the mountains of Abruzzo, Italy?  Some spots available now for private and semi private cooking classes, including culinary market tours here In Abruzzo, Italy? If interested, email for my schedule and availability at

[email protected]

Have you ever dreamed of being a food blogger? Share your love of food with the world.. If so join me in my food blogging classes in the Philadelphia are in the month of June at:
*Temple University- Ambler Campus in Ambler Pennsylvania  http://noncredit.temple.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=3041214

*Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/585584/maria-liberatis-food-blogging-course-at-delaware-valley-university

*Bucks County Community College, Newtown, Pa http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/585582/newtown-maria-liberatis-food-blogging-101-course-at-bucks-county-community-college

*Burlington County Community College-Food Writing-http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/585588/mount-holly-maria-liberatis-food-writing-course-at-burlington-county-college

*Private and Semi Private Food Blogging Classes also available in Abruzzo, Italy and Rome Italy at various venues upon my availability. Email for my schedule and information at :  [email protected]

*See you at Stratford Public Library in Stratford, NJ on June 11th, register here http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/585589/stratford-celebrity-chef-maria-liberati-cooking-demo-at-stratford-public-library

Other Events Info:

Sunday, June 7th, 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, Secolari Artisan Oils and Vinegars,

The Mall in Columbia, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044, cooking demo, sampling and book signing

Secolari The gift of artisan oils, vinegars & other enrichments  http://secolarievoo.com/

 

Thursday, June 11th, 2 PM to 3:30 PM, Stratford Public Library

303 Union Ave, Stratford, NJ 08084, cooking demo, sampling and book signing

Stratford Public Library http://www.stratfordlibrarynj.org/

 

Would you like to be featured on http://www.marialiberati.com ? email [email protected]

*National PBS TV show sponsorship (http://thebasicartofitaliancooking.com):

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm is becoming a National PBS TV show, some sponsorship is still available, If interested in speaking to the production team about sponsorship contact : [email protected] and align your product with one of the most visible brands of Italian Culinary and Travel!

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