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Win an Italian Cooking Class..Make an Italian Pizza With Me..

Copyright 2016 Maria Liberati/Art of Living PrimaMedia,Inc

pizza cover

On Sunday September 25th, I am excited to be special guest chef instructor for an online cooking class for Kitchen Connection.Org that will benefit the charity Action Against Hunger. The course will be virtual with participants from all over the world joining in online. You too will have a chance to participate in this exciting class..I will be making my Amore Pizza from my book The Basic Art of Pizza. We will be picking two lucky winners to be part of this class. Here is a link to the info

Here is a link to the pizza recipe we will be making :

Just be the first 2 to correctly answer this question:
Which one of my books in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking series won the Gourmand World Award in 2010?

email your answer to

The first 2 to provide correct answers will be notified..

Hope to see you at my virtual pizza making class…


For more great recipes get your copy of my award winning book

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays and Special Occasions: 2nd edition



End of Summer..Mostarda Recipe from Cremona


Photo credit


copyright 2016 Art of Living, Prima Media,Inc/Maria Liberati

The city of Cremona is famous for a few  things..  fruit mustard and for  being the hometown of Antonio Stradivari.

As a boy, Antonio Stradivari heard for the first time, a violin, and was so fascinated by its’ voice that he set about to construct one that emitted the most beautiful sounds…..

phioto credit: WIKIPEDIA.ORG

In the town of Cremona Italy lies a plaque bearing homage to its’ most famous citizen



Cremona is famous for it’s Mostarda (Mustard) not the typical is more like a sweet and sour fruit sauce .. served as a condiment for meats, cheeses..typically made at end of summer and through fall to preserve the seasonal local produce that  is typically used..In this recipe be sure not to over cook the fruit, it should remain whole and solid.

Hmm..wondering if this condiment  provided any inspiration to create such a beautiful instrument –the Stradivarius violin

..  an interesting and healthy way to use up all the fruits and vegetables of fall and those lingering from summer..


Mostarda di Cremona (Mustard of Cremona)
4 lbs of fresh fruit mixed in any combination (plums, apples ,pears, apricots, figs)

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons  of powdered mustard that has been dissolved in a tablespoon of white wine (I am using Colman’s Mustard)

Clean, seed and remove any stones, seeds, etc from fruits. Skin apples and pears. Cut into small pieces and place in large pot, pour sugar on top and stir. Let sit for 24 hours. Then bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and repeat this another 2 times (boiling for 5 minutes and let stand for 24 hours). Place in wine/mustard mixture and stir well, but be  careful not to break up fruit. Place in jars that have been sterilized for preserving and store. Wait 24 hours before opening.


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


Relax Away With Hamswan Aroma Diffuser!


copyright 2016 Maria Liberati

One of  my favorite ways of destressing and relaxing is using my HAMSWAN Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser 100ml Wooden Aroma Diffuser with 7 Color LED Light. It’s also great for those nights that you just can’t sleep. You can certainly experiment with essential oil relaxing blends and see just which oils put you in a relaxed state.

The diffuser has an attractive simple design and fits in well with any décor. The diffuser comes with a 2.4 GHz ultrasonic technology that allows it to discharge moist air and essential oils (my favorite oil for relaxing is lavender oil). It is powerful enough to service an area of 161 square feet which makes it a perfect fit for bedrooms and office spaces, a small yoga studio, small spa rooms.

Now when I need to feel recharged, I bring my diffuser to my office and place in peppermint oil with water. Since its’ base tank can hold up to one hundred milliliters of water you can keep it going for all the time you need to be in the office.

Also to help put you in almost any mood you choose-the diffuser features three pieces of LED lights and has a capability to rotate between seven different colors both in bright and dim mode. It’s great because you can also set it to remain on a favorite color. Blue and green are my favorite colors to relax. Its designed to last for up to three hours when in intermittent mode.

And just in case you forget to turn it off, there is an automatic shut down system to prevent burnout when the water runs low.

Also for convenience it comes packed with a power adapter, a measuring cup and an instruction manual. It is light enough and convenient enough that I can take this to almost anywhere in the world I am working.

To keep you relaxed while trying to sleep the diffuser has a whisper like sound that can be hardly heard, making it great for the indoors. Just yesterday I had my diffuser on in my office and met with 2 colleagues there with no interruption of concentration because of loud sounds, just a fresh smell in the air and a recharge of energy!

This is truly a three in one diffuser- aromatherapy, aqua-therapy and photo therapy-all in one piece. If you practice yoga at home, keep this in your practice room and experiment with different essential oils and their relaxing effects.


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Happy Waffle Day! Tailgating and Recipe

Today is Happy Waffle Day! Did you know that

76% of Americans like waffles

80% of Americans like butter on  them

80% of women like waffles compared with 69% of men

However you make your waffles, here is a crunchier version that makes a great snack or easy to take along to tailgating events:

Crunchy Waffle

1/3 cup butter plus 1 tablespoon

1/2 cup flour

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup sugar or stevia equivalent

powdered sugar for dusting

Beat egg yolks with half of the sugar, add in flour, vanilla and  1/3 cup r that has been melted. Beat till creamy, set aside.

In another bowl beat egg whites with remaining sugar and pinch of salt till peaks form. Then fold in egg yolk mixture. Heat up  waffle griddle and pour a scoop full of dough into a hot griddle. Dust each waffle with powdered sugar when ready to serve


Tune into Fox 29 in Philadelphia on this Saturday August 27th at 8:15 Am t osee my segment on Tailgating!

Tailgating 2-Fox 29 Philadelphia-Saturday at 8:15 AM

More and more people are joining in the fun and celebrating tailgating season and showing their team spirit, but you don’t have to be a football fan to celebrate and join in! Getting ready for my TV appearance on Fox 29 Philadelphia on this Saturday,August 27 at 8:15 AM for my segment on talgating……



If you haven’t tried it and you want to throw a successful tailgating party that no one will ever forget, here are some quick tips..

1.Before the tailgating party, make a list of the things you need. Items such as chairs, tables, garbage bags, paperware, flatware (plastic or regular) and neatly pack them in your vehicle.

2.Make a separate list of the foods you will be bringing. The last food to be packed must be the first to use. Being prepared will ensure a smooth running tailgate party, an essential aspect for any party.

3.The location where you are planning to do your tailgating should be checked out at least one day before you plan the party or find out of there is info online 

4.Fill up your tanks of propane for cooking, or if you will have electricity you can bring a portable electric grill,

  5. By separating your raw meat and your ready-to-eat food or drink you will     simplify things.. You should have a separate cooler for each of them in order to avoid unpleasant odors and spoiling the food.

6.It is more advisable for beginners to freeze bottles of  water for cooling, rather than use melted ice. You can avoid a mess with melted ice.

7.Fly flags, balloons or anything that can be used for recognition in order for your guests to have an easy way to locate you.

8.Food should always be ready for any time your guests or participants want to eat, you are ready and you will not be panickingto cook to order.

9.After grilling, you should remove any ashes and keep them on a sheet of heavy aluminum and completely submerge in water before allowing them to be placed in a container that is non-combustible.

10.Finally, remember that after the party is over, you should clean up your own mess. Bring plenty of trash bags and recycling bags. Put everything in its proper place.

Make sure your food is in the safety zone. If not, it means something completely different!

The most important thing to remember when planning your tailgating is keeping food at safe temperatures. That is below 40 degrees or above 140 degrees. This means ice and a food thermometer are two of your most important aspects of tailgating equipment.

Did you know that between 40 degrees and 140 degrees temperatures, bacteria grow at faster rate? Therefore, the big thing to do is make sure that you keep cooked meat to their appropriate temperature and keep cold foods below 40 degrees.

Protein rich foods, such as meat, eggs and dairy products should be stored at less than 40 degrees. Melons should be washed and cut at home, and then kept under 40 degrees until serving. And, the food should never sit more than two hours if you are taking ‘ take-away ‘ or completely  cooked food to an outdoor event. Also, be sure to keep the bugs away from your foods.

Try to estimate the amount of food you will need for the event. Taking leftovers home is not encouraged by tailgater experts. Be prepared and plan ahead….

And finally a first course easy recipe to prep before leaving:Gamberoni-alla-griglia-con-verdurine

For your main course, grilled shrimp is easy to prepare. Peel shrimp, leaving intact tail section. Pour 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, juice of 2 fresh lemons, 2 garlic cloves chopped and a handful of fresh parsley chopped in a pan. Place shrimp in skillet.

Chill in the refrigerator for two to three hours to marinate and then grill for 10 minutes. Turn occasionally to Browning effect. Do not overcook, as shrimp get tough.

Get more recipes in the Gourmand World Award Winning book.. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition


Tailgating..Homegating.. Olive Guacamole Recipe


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

The season for tailgating and homegating is creeping up on us again…tailgating and homegating..  Be sure to watch  my upcoming tailgating segment on Fox 29 in Philadelphia on this Saturday, August 27th at 8:15 AM first…and here’s an easy yummy recipe to get the season started

Olive Guacamole

3 ripe avocados

2 garlic cloves

Juice of 1  freshly squeezed  lemon

1/2 cup of black olives

Chop garlic and olives and add to the mashed pulp of the avocados. Dress with lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with pita bread chips, corn chips,crackers or use as a sandwich spread.

Tune in to Fox 29 Philadelphia on this Saturday August 27th at 8:15 am for more tailgating and homegating tips and ideas. 


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



Last Days of Summer..Chocolate Coffee Brownie Cake

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


Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Preparing a dessert for my August 15th beach picnic many recipes to choose from…

.. chocolate, coffee and coconut make the perfect delectable sweet..

Chocolate  Coffee Coconut Brownie Cake

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup dried, shredded coconut plus 1 tblsp for topping

2 eggs

2 tablespoons espresso coffee

2 tblsps powdered instant coffee

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

2 tblsps bittersweet cocoa powder plus two tablespoons for topping

Blend butter and sugar with electric mixer till butter is soft and creamy and sugar blended in.  Add in eggs, 5 tblsps milk.

Place in sifted flour, cocoa powder,  vanilla baking powder.  Mix all till well blended, then place in  shredded coconut, powdered instant coffee. Stir till all blended.

Line a round 8 inch pan with parchment paper and place in mixture. Bake in oven preheated to 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons powdered cocoa,powdered sugar and hot espresso coffee,. When brownies are finished, turn off oven heat and  leave in oven and place this topping on top.  Leave in hot oven  (turned off) for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool, cut into slices. Mix 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut with 2 tsps powdered instant coffee, and sprinkle on top of each brownie slice just before serving.

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

front cover

Recipe for Cornetti..the Perfect Breakfast!

copyright 2016 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, Prima Media,Inc

Everyone is crazy for cornetto in Italy ,they wake you up and get you charged to start your day. But many Americans that have been fortunate enough to nibble on these gems while sipping cappuccino in the morning have gotten addicted to them as well..I get many,many emails every  day asking how to make them.

I want to first tell you that the cornetti that you get in some of the best coffee bars in the center of Rome are made by some of the world’s best pastry chefs who have professional ovens and pro equipment to make them with so you can not always make an authentic copy.

However, I am always working on putting together recipes that my readers can easily follow in their own home kitchen and here is another version of a cornetti which I think you will enjoy making and eating with your morning cappuccino or coffee..


2 cups flour sifted

1 cup butter at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

8 ounces vanilla flavored yogurt

1/2 package powdered yeast

powdered sugar

Apricot jam or marmalade

In the food processor place in flour, butter, yogurt, vanilla, yeast, and a pinch of  salt. Blend ingredients till a firm dough is formed.  Place dough on a floured board. Work dough and form into one long round oval. Divide this into 6 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough so that it is 10 inches in diameter. Then divide each piece into 8 triangles or cut like you are cutting 8 slices of pizza.

Place 1 tsp of apricot marmalade in center of each triangle and roll into a cornetto (italian version of a croissant) pinch ends closed like a ravioli. Place cornetti on a baking sheet that has been covered with baking paper. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, When cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

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


Pappardelle Pasta with Tuna… Fiorano Vineyards

coipyright 2016 Art of Living, Prima Media,Inc/Maria Liberati

Fast life ,fast cars..turned into slow life..slow food at Fiorano vineyards and olive grove in Le Marche Italy.. Paolo was a successful dentist living the fast life in the quick paced city of Milan…but when he began growing weary of city of Milan…but when he began growing weary of city life Paolo and his family began looking for other options to get back to a simpler,slower way of life ..the way life was meant to its’ most natural state.


Fast forward to the restoration of the organic vineyard and olive grove in the province of Le Marche, Italy in the small village of Ofida.


My visit there on a bright sunny day in January was one for the diary of any true gastronaut (gastronomy and astronaut=gastronaut)..savoring organic olive oil produced from the olive trees that surrounded us…accompanied by organic wines produced by the vines that one could look out onto.

outside fiorano-m -p (2)Ahhh the true art of simplicity…bottle of organic olive oil, freshly made organic bread, organic wine, a plate of organic olives..and we had lunch….

A lunch that inspired free flowing conversation on the beauty of food..of course food in its most natural state.

You can recreate my day at Fiorano in your own kitchen and create your own ‘staycation’for an hour or for a day ..I recommend some organic olive oil, freshly baked bread ,organic wine,artisan cheese, organic olives..

and the company of great friends..relaxing conversation and here’s a bit of scenery and a recipe for those olives and olive oil..



Pappardelle Al Tonno (pappardelle pasta with tuna)

For 4


*1 lb of pappardelle pasta

*16 ounces of tuna packed in water

*1/3 cup of pitted green olives

*3 tablespoons of extra virgin,cold pressed, olive oil

*1 garlic clove

*1 handful of fresh parsley

*pinch of sea salt


Place pappardelle pasta in boiling water until al dente. Chop olives ,tuna, garlic finely with a mezzaluna or chopping knife. Place olive oil in large sauté pan and heat for 30 seconds. 

 Add inchopped ingredients and saute for 5 minutes or until garlic begins to turn golden. Remove from heat. Add in cooked pappardelle pasta and toss gently. Serve with finely chopped parsley sprinkled on top.



Building a Business for the Entire Family

Parents are responsible for the education of their children. Many parents want their children to enjoy success in life when they get older and so they make sure they receive a good education and have the ability to get a job when they are an adult. One route that many parents take is sending their children to college and then they will be qualified to get a job. Another option is to build a business that the entire family can benefit from. Building a business does not mean that the children do not need education. It simply means that in addition to giving your children a good education, you will also build a business that they can benefit from in the future.

When deciding on the kind of business that will benefit your family now and in the future, a couple of factors need to be taken into consideration. First, if there is a need that can be filled in the local area, you may want to base your business on this. Second, you want to take into consideration your personal experience and the experience of your spouse. There are a variety of businesses that can be started by individuals who do not have much experience.

One option would be to open a bakery. Of course, individuals in the family could go to school for this, but that is not always necessary. Starting a bakery is relatively inexpensive. In addition to needing a place where the bakery can be located, there is only a small amount of equipment and tools that are necessary to get the business going. Ovens, display cases, tables with food service casters, and other basic items are needed. A bakery is a great way to not only build a business that can benefit your family now and in the future, but it is an opportunity for the family to spend more time together while at work and at home.

In addition to providing your family now with a source of income and giving your children the ability to earn an income when they are adults, building a business is also an asset. At some time in the future, you may decide to sell the business or your children may decide to do so.

Being open to new ideas and being a little bit creative can help you make sure you give your children a rounded education and provide them with a solid foundation on which to build their future.

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