Mary Ann's Blog

My Trip to Sicily: Sicilian Puppet Show

One of the things that I have always wanted to do is see a Sicilian Puppet show. Known as Opera dei Pupi (pupi means puppets) the show is similar to an ongoing TV series. Each episode tells a continuing story through the lives of chivalrous Christian knights fighting batt…

Not Your Ordinary Cannoli

I had an epiphany at the Caseificio Cucchiara near the town of Salemi, Sicily. Etched in my mind and on my tastebuds are the fabulous cannoli made there with sheep’s milk ricotta and the flakiest shells that I have ever eaten; they shattered as I bit into them and t…

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My Trip to Sicily

Over the years, I have made several trips to Sicily and I am now just returning from a long stay on the western and southeast areas. Sicily is huge, the largest island in the Mediterranean and lush with fruits and vegetables. I saw so many prickly pear tree farms and oran…

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Designer Pumpkins

Oh, don't we know it is pumpkin season! The barista making pumpkin lattes, bakeries selling spice flavored pumpkin donuts and muffins, fields of the deep orange globes dotting the countryside, and neighborhood homes all decked out with pumpkins and Indian corn at the door…

Easy As Pie

You are either in one camp or another when it comes to fresh fruit pies. Do you like them runny or thick? I know it’s a personal preference thing but I like my slice of pie on the thick side not just for presentation’s sake but because the filling stays put. &…

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Breaking the Ho Hum of Restaurant Menus

Reading a restaurant menu can be boring sometimes.  Going out to dinner should be as is often said, a dining adventure, a treat and a time to relax when a day out of the 24/7 kitchen is a good idea. So when the opportunity comes my way, I look forward to enjoying foo…

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Tips For Finger LIckin’ Five Napkins Baby Back Ribs!

Love baby back ribs? Me too and I have a few tips on how to get the best flavor.  1) Look for the best meaty bone in ribs; bone gives flavor.  2) Season them well with a mixture of salt and coarse black pepper that is combined first in a bowl; if you…

Old Gravenstein Apples

Up the hill near my vegetable garden stands an ornery, old apple tree, the only one I own. For years before I bought the property, it had been neglected until one day I stooped to pick up a withered apple near its trunk. Curiosity got the best of me. I cut off the “…

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Squash Plain and Fancy

Squash, both summer and winter varieties, come in many shapes and sizes. Some are plain and some are fancy. Some have brilliant colored skins, others have artful shapes, but all are delicious, good for you, and easy to prepare. Just about everyone can get zucchini…

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Tomato Gratin

A tomato gratin is a good and delicious way to use up extra summer tomatoes.  Tomato Gratin Extra virgin olive oil 4 cups ciabatta bread cubes diced 1-inch 2 garlic cloves minced 5 cups cut in half cherry tomatoes 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar Grinding black p…

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