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Happy Santo Stefano and a Risotto with Seafood and Leeks..

text copyright 2015 Art of Living PrimaMedia,Inc /Maria LIberati


Santo Stefano….the day after Christmas has become the National Day of Leftovers, and also the Santo Stefano (Day after Christmas marke)t- in Avezzano- is the largest in Abruzzo, Italy..even Santa and his horse were there today!


After  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feasts there is always something leftover ..and too good to throw away. My leftovers happen to be lots of seafood from Christmas for A Santo Stefano lunch I am preparing Risotto with the leftover seafood (shrimp, eel, clams, mussels)..


Seafood Risotto with Leeks

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 fresh leeks

4 cups of  warm vegetable broth

1 cup of arborio or carnaroli rice

1 pound of pieces of seafood-shrimp, flounder, eel, squid, clams, mussels-any combination will do

1 clove garlic


Place olive oil in saute pan and garlic clove and chopped leeks, saute for 2 minutes, place in seafood pieces, saute for 2 minutes more, then place in rice and pour in dry white wine. Stir, when wine has evaporated pour in 3/4 cup broth, stir, when broth has evaporated pour in another 3/4 cup broth and continue until rice is al dente (usually 16-18 minutes). Serve hot with sprinkle of  chopped fresh parsley on top


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


Considerable Features of a Reliable Coffee Maker

Considerable Features of a Reliable Coffee Maker

“Winter is coming” is a well-known phrase for every Game of throne lover and so the coffee lover. It is right because without coffee no enjoyable (or rather dry) winter season and for your weekends especially, when you have so much Netflix to do, just think how special a coffee maker can be for you. Many of us don’t know what they are taking as a coffee because they don’t even consider that with a little more amount of money, they can have a much better taste of a coffee. I mean with the right guidelines and the right knowledge, you can have a great taste of a coffee in your home. Let me help you here with some important features of a reliable home coffee maker.

Important Features to Follow

Some guys are the real meaning of connoisseur in the case of coffee. If you are a coffee lover, you will meet some guys in your life who will have some great appliances for making a cup or 2 or even 14 cups of coffee. Some have commercial coffee makers in their homes so that they can fulfill their desire. Only a right guy with an experience and love of coffee can tell you what it takes to have a flexible and durable coffee maker for your busy or idle routine. I can only describe some features so that you can understand and try to buy a great and most demanded machine for you.


Brewing strength is actually a technical feature and it is not the feature in every machine in the market. This feature is actually for the reason that if you want to have a regular cup of coffee or a bold cup of coffee while keeping in mind the time of the day. Some powerful coffee makers focus on this feature and so you should do the same. For example, “Cuisinart extreme brewer” is one of the best machines with brewing strength.


Let me tell you something about the temperature that you should consider when making a coffee. When brewing coffee, your temperature should be between 195F to 205F and no more than 205F. It is because if you will go up to the boiling temperature, the coffee will be burned and the taste will be ruined. Similarly, if you want that the coffee extracts properly from the coffee beans, then you have to take the temperature up to the minimum of 195F. So you can select a coffee maker by the temperature setting for a regular, hot or extra hot coffee.

Digital Controls

Digital control section is different for different coffee makers, but some features that a digital control section should have are

  • LCD Display Screen
  • Timer and a Clock
  • Auto off feature (In case If you have forgotten to switch it off)
  • Lighted Buttons (That will work great in the dark)


Speed is, of course, one of the most important features for those who have a real tight schedule for the day and for the night. One thing that you should keep in mind is that you should have a coffee maker that is fast enough that you will not get disturbed in the morning when you wake up and have a limited time to make a cup of coffee. Some coffee makers are programmed and can make a coffee cup within 3 minutes and some are 30% faster than the other coffee makers. So, it is a considerable feature for you if you are a busy person.


A cup of coffee contains more water than anything. So, a filter is necessary if you want to have a quality cup of coffee. So, there should be a good quality water filter so that the coffee flavor is with fewer impurities of water. Similarly, a quality coffee filter is necessary so that the grinded particles of coffee do not pass and destroy that cup of coffee. Also, the quality filter will allow the coffee beans oil to pass through and to enhance the flavor of coffee.

These are some Coffee makers features that are very helpful for everybody. With the knowledge of these (Almost all) features of a coffee maker, you now can have a great coffee maker of your own.

Before we End this Article

As a bonus, I thought you guys deserve something important about Coffee makers with grinders that I couldn’t tell you in the previous section of features. As the name induce, best grind and brew coffee makers are not just coffee making machines, but these machines also grind coffee beans. Different methods are used for the purpose to grind beans. Let me explain those a little too.

Various Methods for Grinding Coffee Beans

I am describing it in the list format so that you can understand it easily.

  • Extra coarse grind is used for methods of cold brewing.
  • For French press coffee, coarse grind is used.
  • Medium fine grind is used for vacuum Pots, pourover Cones.
  • Fine grinding is for espresso coffee.
  • Extra fine grinding is for Turkish coffee.
My Favorite Things……A Shrimp Appetizer Recipe..

sofias  tree

O Christmas Tree..

copyright Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Sofia Anna Liberati

O Christmas tree..O Christmas Tree……

My favorite things..for Christmas and the Holidays are spending countless hours in a crowded kitchen filled with food and family and friends… cooking up delicious memories..some old..some new

And here is one of my favorite easy appetizer  recipes from the Gourmand World Award  Winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-second edition

rsz_cover_thumb.jpgGet your copy at and at just in time for the Holidays..

Spinach & Shrimp Turnovers


Serves 4-6.

  • 20 large spinach leaves
  • 18 shrimp (steamed) cleaned, deveined, peeled
  • ¹⁄8 cup butter (unsalted & softened)
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil

Wash spinach leaves and cook in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain, dry well and leave in a colander to drain. Chop anchovies and capers together. Place in a bowl the butter, chopped capers and anchovies. Blend together with wooden spoon. Separate the spinach leaves. On a plate fold out one leaf at a time and place a small about 1 tsp of butter mix­ture topped with some shrimp pieces. Fold leaf over so you have a sack or turnover.

Place in refrigerator till time to serve.





Sofia Christmas card design (2)                                                                      2015   Christmas Angel of Peace

(c0pyright 2015  Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Sofia Anna  Liberati)

Here are some of my favorite Holiday gift ideas also for giving unique gifts:

** Pick a gift from World Vision Catalog..and help to end extreme poverty.You can make a donation where it makes the most impact and also purchase a handmade gift such as jewelry, Christmas ornaments, coffee, coasters. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm loves the Ethiopa Sumatra blend coffee..really an original..while you sip on a cup of this delicious coffee, you can think of the children you will be helping around the world. The perfect place to get a unique gift…

Go to 

**Gourmet Gift the place to go to find all your Holiday Gifts. You can find something for everyone here. Anything and everything from gluten free gifts, popcorn tins, gifts for kids, healthy name it they have it. This is another of The Basic Art of Italian Cooing by Maria Liberati tm go to place for gifts all around the year.   and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list


**And flavor up for your Holiday Table with Nakano Seasoned rice Vinegars…many flavors and so many ways to flavor up your salads, veggies and any Holiday dishes.. great also  for your Feast of the Seven Fishes seafood salads.Go to  for more info

**Disclaimer-some posts are done in exchange for some form of compensation

Holiday GIft Guide #3

Here are more of my favorite picks for the Holidays..great for gifts for the gourmet food lover or even for a gourmet addition to your Holiday table

Nairn’s Cookies.. gluten free and low in sugar


Pure’s Crispy Clusters made with ancient Grains


Pure’s Ancient Grains Organic Bars


Colman’s Mustard

I can remember cooking with Colman’s mustard in my grandmother’s kitchen..and perfect for dressing up Holiday leftovers!



Nonni’s Biscotti has some festive flavors just for the Holidays- just in time for festive parties,snacking even Holiday travel!



Get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition



**Disclaimer- some posts are compensated for in product or monetary compensation

Turkey, Potato and Pumpkin Leftover Salad

copyright 2015 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati favorite part of a Holiday meal…let’s me unleash my creativity and find ways to re-use them in delicious recipes….

Leftover recipe 1

Turkey, Potato and Pumpkin Leftover Salad

  •  1/2 lb leftover turkey meat cut into cubes or small piees
  • 4 ounces pumpkin cubed
  • 4 potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
  • ½ onion
  •  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 glass dry white wine
  • baby spinach leaves
  • balsamic vinegar
  •  pinch of salt
  •  pinch of pepper

Place olive oil in a large saute pan, add in finely chopped onion. Heat till onion just turns golden. Then add in pumpkin that has been cut into small cubes. Saute for 5 minutes then add in potato cubes. Add in white wine. Saute for 10 minutes. When liquid is absorbed add in turkey meat (remove skin). Continue to saute till potatoes and pumpkin are cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. remove from heat and serve on a bed of shredded lettuce or fresh baby spinach. Top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve with a glass of sparkling, dry white wine.


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


Holiday Wishes and the Season is Upon Us…..

copyright 2015 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc

Now that the Holiday Season is officialy upon us.. here is a Holiday Wish from our family to yours…from the Liberati family to your family (designed by my 6 year old niece Sofia Liberati)

Sofia Christmas card design (2)

by Sofia Liberati


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


Thanksgiving..the day to give thanks…..

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! This is the day to remember to give thanks..sometimes we take for granted so many things that are really special gifts..

if you can see the food on your thankful for the gift of sight

If you can eat the food on your thankful

If you can hear the laughter of children and family and friends …be thankful for the gift of hearing

If you can walk and sit and thankful for that is also a gift we take for granted

if you can shop for the food you cooked and cook the thankful

If you have a home to cook your food and eat it….be thankful

If you have a plate of thankful

However you spend Thanksgiving, be thankful for what you have!

Sometimes we think we have so little, when really, we have a lot…

So many gifts we have been given to be thankful for this special day..don’t take these gifts for granted..

Peace, Love and lots of Spaghetti..for this Holiday


My Tuscan Secret Pizza Sauce in retail stores

Thanks to Mandros Imported Foods in Lancaster Pa for being one of the first retail stores in Pennsylvania to carry My Tuscan Secret Pizza Sauce. You can visit them at 351 N Charlotte St, Lancaster, Pa. or call them at 717-397-8926 or you may want to visit their website at

If you are interested in carrying My Tuscan Secret Pizza Sauce in your retail outlet email us at [email protected]

MariaLiberati_label-page-0 (2)

Holiday Guide #2

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

Thanksgiving is a Holiday filled with traditions. Besides eating a great big meal with family and friends, other traditions are all around us like pie eating contests and a tradition called Ragamuffin Day. During the early 20th century, children used to dress down in rags on Thanksgiving, go door to door, and ask, “Anything for Thanksgiving?” They were rewarded with a piece of candy, a penny, or an apple. (credit:


For holiday traveling, my favorite go to snack are Freeze Dried Fruit Crunchies. The next best thing to fresh fruit, so convenient and tasty too! The best way to ear healthy when traveling! And if you re staying home for the Holidays, throw one of your favorite fruit crunchies into a muffin recipe or cake recipe to add fruit flavor without the fuss of having to cut up fresh fruit

They are gluten free and no added sugar, made just the way Mother Nature would have approved of!

Another  favorite fresh, healthy way to perk up the flavor of desserts or make any plain dessert special is to add in Driscoll’s Raspberries. Add into ice cream, puddings, muffins and more.




And if you are looking for Holiday recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking” Holidays and Special Occaasions: Second Edition




Disclaimer: Posts are compensated for



Holiday GIft Guide #1

If you are preparing for the biggest eating Holiday in the are not alone…sharing a quick easy recipe for Thanksgiving here and the first Holiday Guide for 2015 (more products to come)


Great Holiday Item for your Holiday table- Jeju 16 water

CINNAMON PEAR GINGER INFUSED WATER  This recipe only needs 1 sliced pear, 6 cinnamon sticks and fresh grated ginger. Mix all of these delicious ingredients together with 2 bottles of Jeju 16 Water and you have your perfect Thanksgiving beverage! So delicious and healthy too! We have been drinking this at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm kitchens all week!

Magic  Opener Makes the perfect gift for anyone,the best can and bottle opener you will ever need


Disclaimer: some posts are compensated for

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