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An Italian Easter, Getting Ready for an Easter Bread Morning

 

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

Colorful  Easter eggs and breads of all shapes,sizes and flavors add to the festive sights and sounds of the Holiday here  …..but…

While most children were awakened on Easter morning with thoughts of seeing an Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, I was always  awakened by the odor of fresh baking bread (Easter bread that is)..an aroma that would make its’ way throughout the house and up to  my room .. waking me up and ’calling me’ to the kitchen table… the sight of this bread sprinkled with brightly colored sprinkles and   multi-colored Easter eggs always added an extra festive touch to the day.  You can choose to add I nthe colored sprinkles and colored Easter eggs or go ‘au naturelle’ with brown eggs.

Traditionally shaped in a wreath form or “corona di nove”, some bake theirs in the form of rabbits or fancy Easter baskets….any way you make them  they are a  special tradition to be experienced…..

 

Easter Bread (Pane di Pasqua)

 

Lightly butter a 15 1/2” x 12 inch baking sheet

Dip 5 eggs (uncooked) in food dyes, choose at least two or three different colors to make a colorful presentation. Let eggs dry and set aside. Or use uncolored  brown eggs for a rustic look.

Soften 2 packages of active dry yeast

in 1/2 cup (100 gr) warm water (110F-115F degrees or 55C)

Let yeast stand 5-10 minutes

Meanwhile pour into a large bowl

1/2 cup (100 gr) warm water

Blend in 1/ 1/2 cups (460 gr) sifted flour

Stir softened yeast and add to flour-water mixture, mixing well. Beat until very smooth. cover bowl with waxed paper and towel and let stand in warm place (80F or 40C degrees) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Cream until butter is softened

3/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Add gradually, creaming until fluffy after each addition a mixture of

1 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

Beat until thick and piled softly

2 eggs

1 egg white

Add beaten eggs in thirds to sugar mixture, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add yeast mixture mixing well.

Measure

4 1/2  cups sifted flour

Add about one half the flour to yeast mixture and beat until very smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface

Select a deep bowl just large enough to allow dough to double in size. Shape dough into a smooth ball and place into greased bowl. Turn dough to bring greased surface to top. Cover bowl with waxed paper and towel and let dough rise until doubled in size (1 1/2 to 2 hours)

Punch dough with fist. divide dough into two equal balls. Let stand covered for 10 minutes. Roll each ball out into a long roll about 36” (18cm) long and 1 to 1 1/2 inches (.5 cm) thick.

Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Place on prepared baking sheet.. Place colored eggs into spaces on braid. Cover loosely with towel. Set dough aside in a warm place till doubled.

Bake at 350 F (180 C) degrees for 10 minutes.

Brush bread with a mixture of

1 egg yolk

1 tsp (5 gr) milk

Sprinkle with multi colored sprinkles. Bake 40 –45 minutes or until bread is a golden brown on top.Remove from oven and let cool. (Colored eggs will be hard cooked from baking)

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

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JOIN ME on May 10th to Cook Authentic Tuscan Cuisine..Join me at the Culinary Center at Montgomery County Community College  for a lesson, 5 course authentic Tuscan meal and wine sampling….Attendees will also receive a copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking DaVinci Style ($24.95 value)  Class size Limited, reservations required.  For registration or more info call the Culinary center at  215-641-6486215-641-6486  or visit their site at  http://www3.mc3.edu/culinary/non-degree-courses.html

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Celebrate Tuscany with me at………

le-marche-sunflowers

 

 

With 2 Tuscan themed events/appearances coming up..I have Tuscany on my mind..from my first event that celebrates the 562 nd birthday of Leonardo da Vinci at Muhlenberg College,Allentown, Pa. on April 8th, form 7:30 to 9:30 with a presentation on Leonardo da Vinci and my book dedicated to him… The Basic Art of Italian Cooking Da Vinci Style and a reception with sampling of recipes from the book to follow….http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/521060/leonardo-da-vinci-and-the-history-italian-cuisine

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to the May 10th event

COOKING AUTHENTIC TUSCAN CUISINE Event at the Culinary Center at the Montgomery County Community College in Lansdale Pennsylvania,which includes a lesson on Tuscan cooking and a 5 course Tuscan meal with wine sampling..

You can go to anyone of these websites for more info on this special event

http://www3.mc3.edu/culinary/

http://www3.mc3.edu/culinary/non-degree-courses.html

http://www3.mc3.edu/culinary/special-events.htm

Hope to see you at both events, for more info or to register you can also email [email protected]

 

Tortino di Portabella e Patate (Portabella and Potato Torte)

1 lb (500 gr) of potatoes

½ cup (100 gr) extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 handful parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

1 lb Portabella mushrooms

pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper to taste

Gently clean mushrooms , slice. Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Steam till  soft but not cooked thoroughly, chop garlic and parsley and set aside. Oil a pie pan, layer first mushrooms , then layer of potatoes, season each layer with garlic, parsley,oregano ,salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on top, Bake in preheated oven to 400 F  (200C)  for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. And potatoes are golden brown. You can also use my Tuscan Picnic Spice Blend that works exceptionally well with potatoes and you can purchase them here online http://quintessentialgourmet.highwire.com/product/tuscan-picnic-spice-blend

 

Get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Da Vinci Style for more recipes and stories on Leonardo da Vinci and culinary travels through Italy, you can purchase here at www.marialiberti.com or at Amazon or exclusively at Kindle

 

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

Seattle and Quintessential Gourmet for Tuscan Spice Blend

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

 

qgourmet2

 

Special Thanks to Quintessential Gourmet in Seattle Washington who is now carrying   The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm products So if you are in Seattle take some time to visit and say hi to Lynn and her great staff who are very knowledgeable about the many types of olive oils and other gourmet products they carry there….. this is  one of my favorite foodie spots in Seattle!

 

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And if you can’t stop by you can order the products from Quintessential Gourmet online, here are the links:

http://quintessentialgourmet.highwire.com/products/additional-gourmet-items/?page=1&pagesize=6&s=

Spice Blend  http://quintessentialgourmet.highwire.com/product/tuscan-picnic-spice-blend

The Basic Art of Pasta http://quintessentialgourmet.highwire.com/product/the-basic-art-of-pasta

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:  Holidays & Special Occasions 

http://quintessentialgourmet.highwire.com/product/the-basic-art-of-italian-cooking-holidays-and-special-occasions

 

 

See you on April 8th at 7:30 PM at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa for my presentation on Leonardo DaVinci and the History of  Italian Cuisine, a reception will follow with samples of some of my favorite recipes from the book with a book signing. For more info, email Anne at [email protected]

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Happy Spring.. an Almond Passover Cake

 

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.  ~   Pablo Neruda

 

 

I love Holidays ..especially Spring Holidays..it’s like we are waking up after this long winter nap and all of a sudden..Bam!! there they are  the shining rays of  the sun..real flavors of strawberries and asparagus and mint..and longer days…. and if that isn’t enough to celebrate..along come Holidays that give us a reason to bring friends and family together with incredible dishes. At my house, we  celebrate Easter but I love some of the flavors  of Passover and like to ‘mix things up’.

Almonds are used  in many  Italian recipes and one of my favorite flavors..so if you’re a fan of the healthy almond you will want to make this cake part of your Spring Holiday meal

  Almond  Passover Cake

 

 

  Almond  Passover Cake

6 eggs

1 cup white sugar

1 cup finely chopped almonds

2 teaspoons of maraschino liqueur

juice of one fresh lemon

With an electric mixer, blend sugar with egg yolks till well blended,then add in first the chopped almonds and then liqueur and lemon juice.  In separate bowl,whip egg whites till firm with a pinch of salt. With a wooden spoon, blend in the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture,gently. When blended in, place batter  in pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool and serve. Happy Passover! Happy Easter! and let me know about any other Spring Holiday we should be celebrating!

For more great recipes get your copy of:

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions voted Best Italian Cuisine Book in America by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

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April 8th- see you at Muhlenberg College in Allentown Pa for my presentation on Leonardo DaVinci and the History of Italian Cuisine and a reception with sample recipes all  from my book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:DaVinci Style

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Disclaimer: Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm do not endorse or represent the following products:

Favorite Way to Wake Up To Spring..Bianco Da Mangiare Pudding

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

 

 

Spring is quickly approaching, St Patrick’s Day….. St Joseph’s  Day (March 19th)  and we are well on our way to the tastes of Spring. One of my favorite ways to celebrate the long awaited arrival of Spring is a Bianco Da Mangaire Pudding..this dish  gently caresses your tastebuds with  hints of lemon, vanilla and cinnamon…Eat for dessert or for breakfast…

Bianco da Mangiare (White Pudding)

excerpted from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

2 ounces( ½ dl) almond milk

4 ounces (1 dl) milk

1 tsp (5 gr) pure vanilla

2 tablespoons + 1 tsp (50 gr) sugar

1 cinnamon stick

peel of one half lemon-(in one or a few large pieces)

1tsp (5 gr) agar-agar powder or flakes

Place almond milk, milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla and lemon zest in saucepan and heat on low heat for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Place in agar-agar powder and dissolve. Return to heat and keep stirring till becoming a dense cream. Take out lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Place pudding in a large mold or small molds. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with slivered almonds and strawberries or raspberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon,

 

A  morning exercise in concentration..taste the first spoonful with your eyes closed and let the gentle kiss of the lemon and cinnamon flavors caress your taste buds..

 

For more great recipes get your copy of the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-second edition cover smaller (2)

*See you at  Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. on April 8th for my presentation on  The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:DaVinci Style.

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*May 10th Join me at Montgomery County Culinary Center in Lansdale, Pa. for my  Culinary Cooking Lesson on Tuscan Cuisine with an authentic Tuscan dinner and more. For info on events email us at : [email protected]

Carnevale with Mozart and a Fried Apple Recipe!

(photo credits  en.wikipedia.org)

Experiencing  a colorful Carnevale in Venice with the memories of  Mozart  in this Letter to his wife who was in Salzburg, at date of this letter

from Venice Feb 13,1771

Bad weather and an amazing gale meant that it wasn`t till the morning of Carnival Monday that we reached Venice, that same afternoon we managed to see H Wider who, together with his wife, accompanied us to the opera . We lunched with him on Shrove Tuesday, then went to the opera, which began at 2 and finished at around 7 in the evening, after which we dined with him and by 11 or 12 o`clock German time we were in St Mark`s Square in order to go to the Ridotto. We told each other that you`d probably be with H Hagenauer and would hardly imagine that we were talking about you in St Mark`s Square. We had the most appalling rain, but today, Ash Wednesday, we have the most beautiful weather. Praise be to God, we`re in good health. Who do you think we met in Brescia? – - We were on our way to the opera buffa there when we encountered Sga Angeliga [sic] Maggiore, the prima donna, who`s married to a tenor who was also performing there. She was very surprised to see us. Tell H Spizeder that if he wants to see his former impresario Crosa, he can do so in Milan, where he goes about begging, wretchedly dressed and with a long beard. This is how God punishes cheats! You`ll have heard that Carattoli and Laschi have died. I`ve received your letter with the note from H von Vogt. Farewell, I must hurry. We kiss you 100000 times and I am
your old
Mozart

 

Here’s a  sound ‘bite’ of Mozart to get you in the Carnevale mood http://www.missionchamber.org/mp3/mco-Mozart40-1-open.mp3

Fried Apples-known as Frittele Di Mele are one of my favorite treats for Carnevale and the Spring Holidays… You can make  them in the form of a doughnut. I prefer the rustic ones that my grandmother used to make here….

Frittelle Di Mele (Fried Apples)

Excerpted from the Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition)

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons of grappa

2 medium apples-peeled, cored and chopped into small cube size pieces

Juice of one orange

3/4 cup raisins, soaked in 1 cup warm milk (to soften)

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

grated peel of 1 lemon or 1  orange

Peanut or sunflower seed oil for frying

Bathe raisins in warm milk, prepare apples and set aside. In bowl place eggs,vanilla, sugar, pinch of salt, orange juice, orange peel, grappa, blend together with wire whisk. Add in flour sifted with baking powder a little at a time. Blend together till smooth mix is formed, add in apples and soaked raisins (drained). Blend all together well.  Heat oil in deep pan., Drop dough in small balls into hot oil, When golden brown, remove with slotted spoon, place on paper towel and let towel absorb excess oil before sprinkling with powdered sugar and serve.

Get more recipes from the Gourmand Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition  or in Kindle  version exclusively on Kindle.

9781928911197

 

* April 8th, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa- Book Signing and  lecture on Leonardo DaVinci as a foodie and The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style

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This Blog post was sponsored by the following advertisers.

DISCLAIMER- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm/Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc does not endorse or promote any of the  following products. These offers appear in exchange for monetary or product compensation only.

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

Strawberries with Green Tea, Honey and Basil….

One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

    Ingredients

7 basil leaves
1 pound of strawberries

1 teaspoon of orange honey
1  teaspoon of  dried green tea leaves

Instructions

Boil 4 ounces water, remove from heat. Make an infusion by placing tea leaves in water for 5 minutes. Then sweeten with honey and let cool. Stir well. Wash  and clean 1 pound of strawberries, slice. Place in bowl and marinade with green tea infusion.  Wash and dry 7 leaves of fresh basil. Cut basil leaves into thin strips. Decorate strawberries with basil strips, serve.

 

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

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** Disclaimer-Please note that   art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc and The Basic Art of Italian  Cooking by Maria Liberati tm and Maria Liberati do not endorse any of the advertised products and can not be held  responsible for any claims, offers, etc by any of those advertisers. Advertising is placed in exchange for product and/or monetary exchange.

An Espresso Martini Recipe…

 

 

 

 

Posting this recipe for an espresso martini by request..Of course coffee had to make it into a martini sooner or later for coffee fanatics..

Espresso Martini

1 cup  strong,  hot, espresso coffee

1 ounce vodka

1 teaspoon sugar

chopped ice

dark chocolate grated finely

1 maraschino cherry

Place first 3 ingredients in a shaker with the chopped ice, shake.  Pour through a filter into a martini glass and decorate with a maraschino cherry and finely chopped chocolate.

 

 

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

cover smaller (2)

 

Posts are supported by the following advertisers:

Going somewhere..here are some travel offers..

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** Disclaimer-Please note that   art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc and The Basic Art of Italian  Cooking by Maria Liberati tm and Maria Liberati do not endorse any of the advertised products and can not be held  responsible for any claims, offers, etc by any of those advertisers. Advertising is placed in exchange for product and/or monetary exchange.

Tomato and Mozzarella Appetizer for Serious Academy Award Watching..

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

 

Besides the beautiful scenery, my favorite part of the  Oscar winning film of the past, Mediterraneo, (a charming film about a group of  Italian soldiers stranded on a beautiful Greek isle during World War II) is this quote

“Life isn’t enough. One life isn’t enough for me. There aren’t enough days. Too many things to do, too many ideas. Every sunset upsets me because another day has gone by”.

Nicola LoRusso  ( Diego Abatantuono-one of my favorite Italian actors)

 

If you have not enjoyed this film directed by one of my favorite Directors- Gabriele Salvatores- here is a quick snippet:

  https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AsddaQ2KcEmMKvzDsoA_5MibvZx4?p=Mediterraneo&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-901

Sp what and who are your favorites for this year’s Oscar? How about  (more inportantly) what will you be eating while watching? Love to hear from you!

 

Tomato & Mozzarella Appetizer

(excerpted from the Gourmand World Award Winning Book- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking-Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition)

*1/2 lb mozzarella di buffalo

*1/4 cup finely chopped almonds

*1 tablespoon chopped pinoli nuts

*1 egg

* 1 tomato

*1 garlic clove

* fresh rosemary sprigs

*1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze

*olive oil (for frying)

Slice mozzarella into slices (approximately 1/2 “ thick). Beat whole egg in bowl. Place chopped pinoli and almonds on a flat plate. Heat some oil in saute pan.

Dip mozzarella slices first into beaten egg, then coat with chopped nuts. Place garlic clove, sprig of rosemary into oil, and saute for a minute to flavor the oil, then fry dipped mozzarella slices on both sides  till golden brown.

Slice tomato and place in serving dish, top each slice of tomato with a slice of fried mozzarella, drizzle balsamic glaze on top, serve as appetizer.

 

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

cover smaller (2)

 

Posts are supported by the following advertisers:

 

Going somewhere..here are some travel offers..

The best booking site for travel

Vacation Deals Direct

 

Hungry for some free food samples..try these

Get free Folgers Gourmet Coffee products

Free Cheerios samples

 

Electronic Cigarette Products

E-Cig

 

Here are some lifestyle products and offers:

Natural Green Coffee Bean. Achieve a healthier, happier you!

MIracle Garcinia Cambogia

Nutrisystem – 40% Off + 1 Week Free of Nutrisystem – $65

 

Kids Gifts and Items

Citrus Lane Childrens’ Gift Boxes

 

** Disclaimer-Please note that   art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc and The Basic Art of Italian  Cooking by Maria Liberati tm and Maria Liberati do not endorse any of the advertised products and can not be held  responsible for any claims, offers, etc by any of those advertisers. Advertising is placed in exchange for product and/or monetary exchange.

Innamorata..with a Pear and Dark Chocolate Torta……..

Innamorata

copyright, 2010, Maria Liberati

I am in love with the sun … it gives me warmth

I am in love with the wind… it caresses me

I am in love with life… it makes me laugh

I am in love with flowers.. they make my mind drunk with beauty

 

A blistery day in NYC yesterday too cold to stay outside..so I decided to visit  the Arthur Avenue Market in the Bronx..

and I found my favorite  pear ..called made in Blu from Emilia Romagna..perfect for the recipe ..

Torta Di Pere, that mixes dark chocolate and fresh pears for a scrumptious taste experience!  One bite of this and you can not help but utter  the Italian word  ‘innamorata’ from your lips..or you may want to serenade the torta with a rendition of the song Innamorata..

 

Torta Di Pere

(from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions, publisher/copyright  Art of Living/PrimaMedia,Inc

2 fresh pears-peeled, cored and cut into small cubes

5 dried dates chopped

2 tablespoons of Cognac

2 tblsps of unsalted butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 -1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites beaten or whisked till soft peaks form

16 ounces baking or dark chocolate (minimum 65 % cocoa)

For decoration

1 fresh pear ,peeled and sliced thinly

1 tablespoon butter melted

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons of pear or apple jelly

In a food processor place in the chopped dates and pears, and Cognac, blend well. In a bowl, place in  2 tablespoons of unsalted butter,sugar,flour, baking powder,egg yolks, fruit from food processor with liquid and whipped egg whites. Blend well. Butter and flour an 8 ” cake pan and pour in the mixture. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 45 minutes. remove from oven and let cool

Melt baking or dark cocoa in double boiler and use this to  glaze  top of cake. Measure butter and melt, add in sugar. Dip thinly sliced pear in butter and sugar  and  then dip one side of pear slice  in pear jelly  and arrange as a  decoration on outside of cake with pear slices placed all around, stuck to border of cake. Place chocolate glaze on top. Put in fridge till chocolate  glaze is hardened…. and become……. innamorata …..

Get more recipes to make any day a Special Occasion in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions

Get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning Book

cover smaller (2)

 

Going somewhere..here are some travel offers..

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Hungry for some free food samples..try these

Get free Folgers Gourmet Coffee products

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Here are some healthy products

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