Corn and Beet Salad

I’m doing the summer thing. I was given a brief glimpse into the world of people with free-time when all three kids went off to day-camp for a few weeks. What did I do with my 20 hours a week of free time? Did I re-organize my closets, go through all the out-grown clothes in my kids rooms or read a top-notch novel? Nope, I spent a lot of time pacing around the house trying to figure out what to do first. Usually I would give up and head down to Marshall’s to walk up and down the isles without … Continue reading

Arugula Pesto with Hazelnuts


This is my last post about Piemonte, Italy. As lovely a place as it is, and as much as I will miss sharing my experiences, it’s time to move on to summer in New England. However, before I do move on, I wanted to share one last recipe with you. This pasta is my version of a dish I had at Osteria Murivecchi in Bra. Unlike many of the places we went on our trip, Osteria Murivecchi was not a planned stop. After finishing our playtime in Bra (the kids on a playground and the adults in Giolito Formaggi), we … Continue reading

Red, White and Blue Amaretti Cheesecakes


These beauties hide a little secret or two. Number one, they are gobsmackingly good. They are so good you may tear up a little when you take your last bite. Number two, they are easy make-ahead gems that store in the freezer until an hour or two before you need them. Number three, they are lower in fat than traditional cheesecakes. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone! I stumbled on this recipe on the Cooking Light Simmer and Boil blog. The original recipe calls for rhubarb jam, but I am not a big rhubarb jam kinda girl, so I reworked it to … Continue reading

Piemonte, Italy Part 3: Castles, Truffles and Cheese


A visit to Piemonte is not all wine. Piemonte is famous for chocolate, cheese, truffles and castles in addition to the obvious wine. It’s rolling hills are dotted with countless castles and palaces. Yes, the countryside is a patchwork quilt of grapevines, but every aspect of life in Piemonte is about living a high-quality, local lifestyle full of good food, good wine and good life. During our trip we visited many memorable places, but some left more a mark than others. As with everything we did, these had aspects that appealed to the adults and children in our group, but … Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Gelato with Cashew Brittle


I’m going to take a break from Piemonte and Italy for a post to share my Father’s Day recipe with you. Yes, it has an Italian name, gelato, but I call it that not because it is at all an Italian recipe, but because by definition it is too lean to be ice cream and too fatty to be ice milk. What’s in between? Gelato. Of course, gelato is certainly EVERYWHERE in Italy. It was almost as predictably easy to find as wine, pasta and pizza. We ate a lot of it too. When the kids got a little edgy … Continue reading

Part 2: Traveling with Kids in Piemonte

Grinzane Cavour

When I began researching my recent trip to the northwest corner of Italy, I was amazed at the lack of information available for those of us traveling with children. There were wonderful sites and recommendations for those traveling to Rome or Florence with kids, but apparently Americans just don’t take the kids to Piemonte. This might be because of the reputation of Piemonte as a wine destination, but I prickle at the idea that parents are not allowed to travel to destinations that appeal to them. Not all of us want to shell out countless thousands to go on an … Continue reading

Piemonte, Italy Part 1: Risotto

Risotto Square

My recent trip to the Piemonte region of Italy (strangely called Piedmont in the US), was a year in the making and as anticipated as any trip I’ve ever taken. Piemonte  is the birthplace of Slow Food, Eataly and Nutella (forgive me). And the cusine is rich in meats, nuts, risotto and most importantly some of the best wines and cheeses in the world. I approached my trip with excitement, knowing I would not only enjoy the food but learn from my experiences. What I learned about making risotto was perhaps my greatest cooking take-away from the trip. From early … Continue reading

BBQ Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes


Procrastination: it’s a thing for me. Okay, maybe more like a way of life. Tonight, when faced with the one-month overdue task of writing this post, I announced I would take a shower before beginning to write. That turned into an opportunity to try out my newest skin care samples. While trying them I decided to clean out my makeup bag. Midway through tossing out 10-year old eye liners, I discovered a little 3-year old had used my good make-up brushes to paint with something stickey-yet-slimy (Vaseline? Neosporin?). I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to find something to clean … Continue reading

Grilled Cilantro Chicken

Grilled Cilantro Chicken

For over a year now I’ve been working on the perfect cilantro marinade for grilled chicken. It needed to be rich in flavor with balanced spices, salt and acid, but most of all it needed to add moisture and soak through the chicken with the brightness of cilantro. I tried a version with coconut milk and lots of lime, I tried a version with cilantro and loads of garlic. There was a lot of cilantro around here last year. Then it got cold–really cold, and snowy–really snowy. My dear sweet grill sat encased in ice for months and my cilantro … Continue reading

Quinoa with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cinnamon


Quinoa, it’s everywhere. You can barely have a discussion about food and cooking without the topic ending up with quinoa. It’s such a huge food fad right now that it has transcended the kitchen and is appearing in non-food items as well. There is  a line of hair care products touting amino-acid rich quinoa as its secret to success. There is a good reason its so popular. Quinoa is high and fiber, protein, full of amino acids, gluten-free and Kosher for Passover. Best of all it is very easy to work with. That’s why it makes the perfect compliment to … Continue reading