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Happy International Woman’s Day, Torta Mimosa to Celebrate

Our favorite way to celebrate International Woman’s Day is with a tradiitonal Mimosa Cake.. ..the mimosa is the traditional flower associated with this day because the yellow of the mimosa symbolizes  vitality,warmth, joy and are some quotes to inspire you from women who have inspired me….

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa (Philanthropist/Charity Worker)

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington (AOL/Editor In Chief of Huffington Post)

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”Ayn Rand (Novelist/Philosopher)

Please share any of your inspiring quotes with us here in comments!

Now onto the recipe….the smell and taste of the Italian cream brought me back to the days of making this with my grandmother,mom, aunts and  and cousins… in the kitchen..I would always get to lick the cream off the long strips of lemon peel as they were removed from the cream…….here’s the recipe

Torte Mimosa

for the sponge cake

5 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons of potato starch

rest of the cake

16 ounces of pineapples in syrup

3 egg yolks

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons of flour

peel of 1 fresh lemon

1 vanilla bean

1 cup of fresh whipping cream

1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

for the sponge cake- sift flour and potato starch together twice, set aside, then beat eggs and sugar together in one bowl. You must beat the egg mixture for at least 15 minutes. Then, fold the flour into the egg mixture a little at a time. Place in an 8 inch cake pan that has been covered with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees

For the  Italian cream, place milk in saucepan with lemon peel, vanilla bean, bring to a boil, remove from heat, set aside. In a bowl, whip egg yokls with sugar, add in flour that has been sifted.  Place in milk that has been boiled, then place this mixture back over heat to boil and thicken, stirring constantly, once thick (like pudding)  remove from heat. . Remove lemon peel and vanilla bean and refrigerate,

Whip cream with powdered sugar. Add in cooled Italian cream  mixture by folding in and refrigerate.

When cake has cooled, cut into 3 layers. cut the top layer into small cubes for decoration. Put second layer in  a cake plate, wet with pineapple syrup, then spread cream that has cooled on layer and top with pineapple that has been cut into cubes. Top with 3rd layer, cover third layer with pineapple juice  and totally cover with remaining cream . Decorate with small cubes of sponge cake and a mimosa in the center and serve!



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


Don’t Toss that Piece of Bread..Make a Cinnamon Sericaia

Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread. Pablo Neruda

In Italy bread has a history of being something of value, so much so that an expression to describe a person that is ‘worth his weight in gold’ is to say that person is a ‘pezzo di pane’ or a piece of bread. No wonder titles of books like Il Bacio Del Pane and film titles like  Pane, Amore, e…  abound..making of bread, breaking bread with someone is love!

When you buy a loaf of crusty, artisan, hand made  bread think of all that went in to making that loaf..from the farmers that grow and harvest the wheat to the mill that grinds the wheat into a flour and then the person that kneads the bread and places it into the oven..

My philosophy is to never throw away a valuable piece of bread, as long as it is still use-able. I  make use of it in every way possible….

Here is a delicious way to use that leftover bread.. a  cake called Sericaia- a Portuguese dessert


5 slices of crusty Italian style bread (day old or put in toaster)

2 cups of milk

5 eggs

1 cinnamon stick

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


Line a casserole dish with baking paper, Place in sliced bread, cover with some of the milk till saturated. Let rest for 30 minutes. In a pan bil milk with cinnamon stick. When boiling ,remove  cinnamon stick and remove  from heat and let cool.  Place eggs in a bowl with sugar and beat till frothy and well blended. Place in cooled milk mixture and pour over bread slices, Sprinkle cinnamon on top  andbake in oven preheated to 375  degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, preserves, or other topping.


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

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A Day Without Pasta.. A Creamy Casserole Pasta Recipe..

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


Life is a combination of magic and pasta

Federico Fellini

and a day without pasta feels like a day without magic….

Timballo di Pasta and Verza (Pasta and cabbage casserole)

1 lb of rigatoni pasta (durum semolina wheat)

1 1/2 lbs of cabbage

3 tablespoons of  butter

4 eggs

4 ounces of provolone cut into small cubes

3 tablespoons of cream or whole milk

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the cabbage and cut into thin strips. Cook cabbage in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain the cabbage ,dry. In a bowl beat eggs with cream, salt and pepper. In a sauce pan, melt butter and saute the cabbage, add in the provolone, saute for 2 more minutes.

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water for time indicated on package. Drain pasta, place in bowl and pour eggs mixture on pasta, stir to mix gently. Butter a casserole dish, place in a bed of cabbage strips, then layer in pasta, then another layer of cabbage then pasta and so on,end with a layer of pasta. Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees of 20 minutes. Put under broiler for a few minutes to make top crispy. Serve

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

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Flowers to Brighten a Rainy Day, Frittata with Zucchini Flowers

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


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Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into. ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 18


Flowers to brighten up a dreary,rainy day in the mountains .. of Italy… a bunch of zucchini flowers that is..and a frittata make the day a little brighter!


Saute  zucchini flowers in a tablespoon of heated olive oil for 3 minutes, pour on top 4 beaten eggs and top with freshly chopped parsley. Saute on one side, then turn over, Serve with sliced crusty bread and sliced tomato salad….yum!!


For more great recipes and culinary travel stories get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition at

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Bun ChaTa- and Vietnamese Street Food

The best way to experience the world is through food, street food that is. And Vietnam is no exception. BunChaTa, a traditional Vietnamese dish that originates from Hanoi is served up deliciously at Bunchata in Hanoi to give you a true taste of the city. A tasty dish of grilled fatty pork served over white rice noodles, flavored up with herbs and dipping sauce and no one does it better than




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Tarantas Wines, Win a Trip to Spain
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Salad. 4) Dessert. 5) Wine-Based Craft Cocktail.
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U.S. citizens over 21 can submit entries through April 15, 2016. All entrants
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Top Ten Things To Do in Venice

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

In honor of the soon release of The basic Art of Experiencing Venice, I wanted to share the Top Ten Things to do When in Venice

Venezia’s Top Ten

Guest Editor: Emily Whalen

Venice! It’s one of the most famous cities in the world, and one of those places you’ve just got to visit for yourself to truly see it. But there’s so much to see it can be overwhelming! Here’s a top ten list of what not to miss.

  1. Try a gelato. When it Italy, it’s practically mandatory to get a scoop of gelato. In Venice there are plenty of gelato counters sandwiched between souvenir shops. But keep in mind – the best and creamiest gelateria’s are often just a little off the beaten track.

  2. Churches. Ducking into a cool, shadowy church is the perfect way to find 10 minutes respite from the busy narrow streets of Venice. The basilica in St. Mark’s square is of course a must-see – with its glittering gold ceiling and undulating mosaic floor – sunken by all the feet that have crossed it.

  3. Find a Venetian souvenir! Venice is filled  with souvenirs and tourist shops – masks and the famous Venetian glass are everywhere. Maybe you’ll find a jewelry shop where it’s the owner’s brother from Murano who crafted the rings and bracelets. Or perhaps you’ll come across one of the few mask shops where the owner and his wife still craft their wears by hand. You can see them working with the molds as you browse – and pick out one of the colorful masks for yourself!

  4. The Rialto. If you can’t find an authentic shop to buy your souvenir from, there’s always the Rialto! Shopping is an experience that’s been going on up and down the shops lining this bridge for hundreds of years. It’s also the perfect place to watch the boats and gondolas going by on the Grand Canal.

  5. Get out on the water. Transportation in Venice is expensive because all of it has to be done on the water! But even if it’s just taking a vaporetto from one of sight to another, you’ll want to plan to be out on the water at least once. The way the grand houses and palaces look from the water, and being a part of the traffic of Venice – that’s a sight and experience in itself!

  6. Pick out your favorite treat. In addition to gelateria’s, Venice has lots of bakeries with every kind of cookie or tart or pastry you can imagine. Have a little sampling tour and try a croissant with nutella in it, or some tiny crispy Italian cookies!

  7. Don’t be afraid to get a little lost. The best gelato and the most authentic souvenirs are sometimes off the beaten path – so don’t be afraid to follow your nose and just wander, without worrying about a map! You’ll find laundry lines hanging up high across the narrow lanes, and hidden gardens with roses spilling over the walls. And you can never go too far without finding a handy sign pointing you back towards the more mainstream areas.

  8. Piazza San Marco. Napoleon called it the living room of Europe, and if you’ve been to Epcot at Walt Disney World, you may find yourself recognizing the tall red bell tower and the pink brick Doge’s Palace in St. Mark’s Square. This is where all the tourists come, and you can tell why – it’s so grand and so beautiful. The famous pigeons, cafes, museums – it’s all here. It’s a must-see in Venice!

  9. One of the most beautiful ways to see St. Mark’s Square is from above – St. Mark’s Basilica has a balcony that you can access. It’s part of the museum upstairs. Admission is four euro, and you’ll also get to browse through old mosaics, sculptures, and the famous four horses.

  10. Treat Yourself. Venice is an expensive city, there’s no doubt about that. You’ll want to be prepared for the prices, but you won’t want them to stop you from treating yourself at least once. Whether it’s a gondola ride or one of the cafes in St. Mark’s Square (where a cup of coffee at the famous Florian’s Café can be eight euro – but you do get to drink it with an orchestra playing outside the café!), Venice is a place to indulge yourself, because the memory will be worth it

Can you recommend more things to do in Venice to hare with readers. Comment here or email us at [email protected]

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

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Top Ten Beach Destinations

copyright 2016 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc

Editor: Taylor Carter

Get out your bathing suit, it soon will be time to kiss Winter bye bye! Time to choose your beach destination for this summer Pristine white sand, all day sun, miles of shoreline, shops galore, and hotels where you can see some of the best sunset or sunrise views available. All of these factors and several more go into deciding which beaches in the nation are worthy of being placed in the Top Ten and are ranked accordingly by Dr. Beach, aka Dr. Stephen Leatherman, who specializes in Coastal Environments.

All together, Dr. Beach lists 50 criteria that are used to determine where any given beach falls in the rating scale. Science plays a huge role in the determination, taking into account turbidity, wave size number of waves, sand softness, average temperature and wind speeds, as well as debris in and out of the water. But also taken into account is the local scene, views and vistas, litter, buildings, safety and the number of visitors to the beach. So while science and nature play a major role in the beach’s rating, humans have a large impact on the rating as well. If the beach is well kept and the wildlife respected, there is a better chance for a higher rating. Nearby tourist attraction and access to the beach also contributes to the overall rating.

These criterion are what ranked four Florida beaches in the Top Ten for 2014 and 2015, as well as two Hawaiian beaches in 2015 and three in 2014. In 2015, the beaches that were listed in the previous year all went up in ranking, with East Beach in California making the Top Ten list. In one year, these beaches and cities did something that only helped their ranking in the eyes of Dr. Beach.

Visitors of the beaches could have become more conscientious of their surroundings and cleaned up their trash, made sure not to litter or damage the surrounding area in any way. Reforms could have been put in place that limited the amount of pollution put into the surrounding marine environment. New tourist attractions, better hotels, restaurants and shops could have been built in the immediate area. Or it could have been a remarkably dry rainy season that allowed for more beachgoers to explore both the beach and the city.

Places like Hawaii and Florida are a vacationer’s dream with beautiful beaches, exciting hiking trails, and top-notch hotels. It makes sense that immense effort would be put in place to attract more tourists, increase sales and make the season as long as possible. Part of that, especially in these places, means keeping the beach in the best shape possible, adding concessions, grilling stations, showers and amenities wherever possible. All these things are done to keep people coming back, to add to the tourist revenue that fuels the area and keeps the shops, restaurants and beaches thriving.

Waking up to the most beautiful sunrise one has ever seen and dining by the pinks, orange and glowing yellows of an unobstructed view of the sunset, having the clearest, smoothest water with the most upbeat surrounding area is what allows these beaches to remain listed in the Top Ten. Picking up litter, not polluting the water, and respecting the beach and all it has to offer keeps the beach clean and visitors coming back. Feeling the powdery, white sand between the toes and the wonderful mix of crazy and serenity of the beach, combined with everything else the area has to offer, it only makes sense that these beaches have earned their spot in the Top Ten.

For some cool and refreshing summer recipes to get you in the mood for summer planning, check out the original book that started it all:
The Basic Art of Italian Cooking

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Filled with recipes, menus and stories of life in some of Italy’s most charming places!

The Basic Art of..Coffee is ‘Born’ and a

Contact: Tori J Hasty

Email: [email protected]


Celebrity Chef, Maria Liberati releases: The Basic Art of…. Coffee

The Basic Art of Coffee (ISBN 978-1-928911-24-1) by Gourmand award winning author and Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati, released on January 15, 2016 is the latest entry in her The Basic Art of … series.

The Basic Art of…Coffee contains recipes for coffee drinks served in some of Italy’s most popular coffee bars, along with short stories and coffee ‘lingo’ to make the reader fluent in coffee!

Eleven years ago, Maria Liberati published the first book in her The Basic Art Italian of Cooking book series, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking. Liberati now has great new recipes and stories to share about the art of making amazing cups of coffee and extended this into her The Basic Art of..series.

Not only does this book feature easy-to-read recipes and entertaining stories, it presents an entirely new vocabulary to make everyone a “coffee expert.” The Basic Art of Italian Cooking book series was awarded the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, France.

The Basic Art of Coffee is more than just a cookbook, it is a lifestyle. Through this book she explores one of the most elegant and important beverages in the European culture. This 32-page book is a personal journey with Chef Liberati that takes readers through the history and culture of coffee.

The Gourmand Award Winning Author and TV show Host, Maria Liberati is known by the connections she has made between food, art, travel, and life. Liberati is described as the “Italian Martha Stewart,” by Celebrity Society Magazine.

The Basic Art of Coffee is priced at $9.95 (ISBN 978-1-928911-24-1) and is available at Join 3 00,000 worldwide followers and subscribe to Maria Liberati’s successful blog, “The Basic Art of Italian Cooking…where food meets art, travel and life!” on, and follow her on twitter (@Marialiberati) and Facebook.


Here is an excerpt and a recipe (copyright 2016  Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati:

An Ode to Coffee and Morning

Don’t disturb me

I need to be alone

oh so not true…

I need to be with you

…my splendid cup of coffee!

Frullatto al caffe (Coffee ‘frullato’ or milkshake)

*2 cups of  espresso coffee

*4 tblsps of sugar or sugar substitute

*2 cups of chopped ice

*1 tsp of anisette or amaretto (you can also substitute flavor of your choice instead of liqueur)

*1 cup milk (part skim or skim milk)

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


Get your copy on Amazon or Kindle

get more recipes in the Gourmand World Award winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition

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Any Winter Gardeners Out There?

Tips for the Winter Gardeners out there

Guest editor: Taylor Carter

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

Depending on where you live, gardening during the winter can be next to impossible. If you live in colder climates, more extreme measures need to be taken to allow your plants to grow. Greenhouses are important, and creating an indoor garden are just a few options when it comes to winter gardening. Choosing plants that are hardy enough to sustain themselves through the winter is also important. Here are just a handful of tips to get you and your plants through the winter.

Unless you have a particularly green thumb, beginning a garden in the winter may not be the best idea, unless you live in a more mild climate. The seed buying season used to be between January and March, but it seems that as more people explore their love of gardening, the season is shifting to June through September. Now, people are planting throughout the year and enjoying the fruits of fall-planted crops. Growing your own food has become more and more popular as people realize how satisfying it can be to eat homegrown instead of store bought plants.


However, some plants just can’t be grown during long winter months. If you live up north, try and avoid fruiting crops like tomatoes because they need sun and warmer climates to reach their peak ripeness. Winter crops should be more about plants like winter-cut spinach or winter-pulled carrots. These types of crops mature more slowly as the weather cools but fortunately they sweeten with the colder weather. Plants without fruit are best for the winter season, so focus on plants where the harvest comes from the leaves, stems and roots. Potatoes, winter squash, kale, garlic, leeks and onions all thrive in winter climates and many of these plants need very little attention during the season. They can be planted before the colder climate hits and harvested throughout the season as well.

Protecting the vulnerable plants through the winter season is important as well if you want a healthy harvest. The type of protection needed varies depending on the plant itself and you might end up with several different types of protection throughout your garden. If you plant in garden pots, keep in mind two things. One, roots suffer and are more vulnerable in pots because there isn’t as much insulation as there would be in the soil in the ground. And two, the pots themselves, especially terracotta pots, can become damaged and crack during particularly cold and icy periods, damaging the vulnerable plants they hold. Wrapping pots with hessian or bubble wrap affords them some protection, but to be extra cautious, bring the pots inside. Some types of protection, such as cloches, can get pricey pretty quick, so again, make sure you’re choosing the right kind of protection for the right kind of plant.

Planting in milder climates is definitely easier than trying to plant during a frosty season, and oftentimes more plants can survive the milder climate. There are plenty of resources out there so you can get informed about what plants are best for your climate so make sure you take advantage of those. Having a successful harvest during the winter season can be quite an accomplishment. And although most of us don’t do it out of necessity, it can still be quite rewarding and it can provide a few side dishes for the meals to come.


For more on The Basic Art of italian Cooking, recipes, menus, dishes to use your herbs, veggies and fresh fruits get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition

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if you are fascinated by Leonardo Davinci, you will be even more fascinated to learn that he too was a fellow foodie in my latest book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style filled with storeis of his favorite places to live, work and eat and lots of easy to follow recipes from his favorite places in Italy


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