Easy and unique summer recipe: Zucchini Mint Pesto

Everyone knows and loves eating fragrant basil pesto in the summer (and you can find my foolproof recipe for it here), but today I want to show you a variation on this classic recipe that my entire family LOVES eating: zucchini mint pesto. We usually put it in pasta, but we also use it frequently […]

Homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe (finocchietto digestif)

As my readers know, I was born and raised in the United States, but moved to Italy years ago and married into a Neapolitan family. Which means that I’ve learned a lot of my husband’s family’s culinary recipes and secrets, lucky me! It would be really hard to choose one favorite hand-me-down recipe, but the […]

Foolproof Basil Pesto Recipe and 15 Ways to Use it!

I live in southern Italy, aka the capital of Basil-land. Nearly every home has at least one basil plant and those plants can easily grow into thick masses of fragrant green leaves. I am no exception to the rule. Every year I have two or three pots with forests of basil and over the years […]

Use up Leftover Easter Chocolate: Chocolate Banana Bread

As you know, Easter was this past weekend. And, if you have kids (or perhaps even if you don’t), you probably have ridiculous amounts of chocolate sitting around in your kitchen. And dining room. And living room. Hopefully not in your bathroom. And if you’re in the northern hemisphere, it will start getting pretty warm […]

Last minute gift: pancake mix in a jar (with label!)

I was born and raised in the United States, but have been living in Italy for the past 15 years, where I started my own family. Having a bi-cultural family is really enriching because you get twice as many traditions for holidays, traditions, languages and… food! While my American friends and family always say how […]

Healthy Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe

There’s no denying it: summer is suddenly here! Our family is doing everything we can to stay cool. The kids have started using the bathtub as a swimming pool, our ice cream machine* is back in business, we’ve been making all sorts of homemade popsicles, and we’ve been doing everything else that I’ve written about […]

Make homemade nettle powder from your weeds

For the first time in my life, I am on a diet. When I was little, I was super thin, and as a young adult, I could eat anything and never gain weight. But not all of my pregnancy weight went away on its own, and I am now 8.5 kg (18 lbs) heavier than […]

How to make homemade garlic powder

I’m not always a big fan of cooking, at least not the regular day-to-day cooking necessary for survival. I like to cook special things when I actually want to, not just because my stomach’s growling. And when I do cook, I usually can’t get too elaborate, otherwise the other people in our home won’t eat […]

Lemon salt recipe from salt preserved lemons

I’ve been experimenting with the radiators and food processors in my kitchen again these days. Yes, because once again, it’s lemon season in southern Italy. This means that I’ve been making my beloved salt-preserved lemons again. We love using these salty, tangy lemon peels on pretty much everything. In the past, I’ve always reused the […]

How to make striped popsicles (and fruit popsicles)

Last week, as part of the Beat the summer heat series, I started talking about one of our favorite – and most delicious – ways to cool off during the summer: making homemade popsicles! The wonderful thing is that you can make them just as healthy as you want, so when your kids ask to […]

How to make healthy DIY popsicles

In last week’s post on refreshing activities to do with kids inside the house in the summer, part of the Beating the Summer Heat series, I mentioned that I had another fun activity to do with kids. But even more fun is when you EAT it with kids. I’m talking about no-guilt, ice cold, healthy […]

How to make homemade iced tea (sun-brewed or boiled!)

Today, for the first post in the Beating the Summer Heat series, I want to share one of my absolute favorite things to drink when it’s hot out: iced tea! Have you ever had real iced tea? I mean the real stuff that’s actually brewed from tea leaves, not that glucose-y industrial stuff with fake […]

How to make Homemade Bread Crumbs

Don’t you just hate it when your bread gets stale long before you’ve had time to finish the loaf? Luckily there are ways to use stale bread, such as making meatballs or meatloaf, or the classic Tuscan bread salad panzanella. Only thing is, I don’t eat meat and I tend to be a little too […]

How to peel prickly pears (cactus fruit without pain!)

Something I love about living in a different country, language and culture is knowing a food or animal in my second language, years later finally looking it up in the dictionary to find out what to call it in my native language, and discovering that it’s a word I’ve always known without actually knowing what […]

How to make quick and easy sun dried lemon peels

Living in Southern Italy, I have access to lemons. A LOT of lemons. And luckily most of them are organic, so I make sure to take advantage of the fragrant peels. One of the things I love to do with them is to dry them out and pulverize them, making them last longer and making […]

Balcony Foraging – How to eat your weeds!

On Sunday a friend took us on a quick trip to her family’s olive grove to go foraging for St. John’s Wort. (You might have seen the picture on Instagram.) She dries this wild flower for making herbal infusions to drink and for making infused oil. St. John’s Wort oil did a fantastic job taking […]

How to make Lemon Rosemary flavored salt: an easy recipe

I know we here in the northern hemisphere are thrilled that winter is on its way out, but before it’s completely gone, let’s use the last of this season’s lemons. Last month I wrote about how to make salt-preserved lemons, which is a great way to be able to get that fantastic citrus taste after […]

Eat lemons all year: How to make salt preserved lemons

It’s citrus season for those of us living in southern Italy. While it’s great to get loads of organic lemons, oranges, mandarin oranges, clementines, grapefruit and citron from our tree-owning friends, we tend to get so many that we don’t know what to do with them all. In the past I’ve made loads of limoncello, […]

How to make the ultimate Quince Jam

Living in a place with a different language than the one you grew up with can be funny. I’d heard of the fruit quince before, but never knew what it was. In Italy I heard of the fruit mela cotogna (mela means apple), then finally saw them, made jam from them a couple of years, […]

garlic salt

in the united states it’s pretty common to buy little jars of garlic salt like you buy other dried herbs. but they don’t even compare to the homemade garlic salt that my grandmother always made. it is a bit a tiring to make it with her method, but luckily i discovered a *much* easier and […]

powders in the kitchen

i’ve kidnapped my father-in-law’s mini food processor and i’ve been using it a ton in the kitchen! let me start by telling you about something i’ve already been doing for a few years (learned from my father-in-law): powdered chili pepper. every so often someone will give us some chili peppers in the form of either […]

grilled veggies

i have a new obsession in the kitchen: grilled veggies. we’ve had an electric grill (similar to this one) for years, but after a few ill-fated attempts to use it with meat and fish, we let it collect dust. then a couple of weeks ago i decided to try grilling vegetables with it, and they’re […]

Orange-lemon marmalade

and here’s the third installation of orange-themed posts. i’ve already written about my orange toothpaste and orange-lemon liquor. that liquor sure is yummy, but you only use the outermost peels for it, so what do you do with the rest of the fruit? you can’t just eat 15 citrus fruits before they dry out. you […]

Orange liquor x 2

one of the nice things about living in southern italy? every so often our friends give us massive quantities of citrus fruits that we don’t know what to do with. so quite often i end up making liquor or marmalade. for example, with lemons i make limoncello and lemon ginger marmalade. this year we were […]

Leek and potato soup

this is a little embarrassing. when i was little, my mother grew leeks in her garden and she made us eat them constantly when they were in season. (as she did with everything that she grew. i’m still scarred by the memory of trying to trade desserts with my 5th grade classmates during the period […]

How to store vegetable broth

yep, i’m writing about vegetable broth. why? because i’ve gone back to being vegetarian (yah!) and i don’t eat meat broth. but mostly because there are so many recipes calling for broth and i never have it on hand. and i don’t like using boullion cubes or those weird pre-made broths (am i the only […]

banana bread

despite francesca from equazioni’s protests (she wrote “enough of these recipes that make me so hungry!”), here i am with another recipe! this time it’s a more or less healthy cake using up all those hideous old, black bananas you have hanging around. this recipe comes from the cookbook “the best recipe.” the version that […]

Summer recipe: zucchini ribbons with tomato and olives

Our family really loves eating zucchini in the summer, so I’m always looking for interesting new ways to make it. My mother made this dish for me one time that I was visiting her, so I asked her for the recipe. It turns out that she’d cut out the recipe for these zucchini ribbons with […]

Insalata avenale: Carrot salad with a twist

and here i am with another recipe! i go nuts for salads and the more stuff is in them, the better. i’d already written a while ago about the winter salad made with fennel and oranges, and i’ll soon be writing about summer salads, but now here’s a salad that works all year round. 5 […]

Seitan with jerusalem artichokes and bulgur: recipe

i realize that recently i’ve only been writing about my work things and my products for sale. i’ve been quite busy, but i’d like to quickly write about something absolutely marvelous that i discovered at the market last week: jerusalem artichokes (or topinambur). if you do a google, you’ll find that this tuber is full […]

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