Mary Ann's Blog

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Grana Padano

Grana Padano is a cows milk cheese coming from the Po Plain in northern Italy; you will recognize it by the rind. This is a good table cheese as well as a cheese to cook with. Grana means grainy as in the texture. This pale yellow cheese has no preservatives and should be…

Eat Your Swiss Chard

Swiss chard and potato pie is one of my favorite ways to prepare this vegetable. To make it chop 2 cups cooked and very well squeezed Swiss chard and in a bowl mix it with 2 cups seasoned mashed potatoes, an egg, 1/2 cup grated cheese (your favorite), salt and pepper and …

Tomato Know How

Tomato Know HowI am scrambling to process all the produce from my garden and today it is plum tomatoes; I grew Redorta, a really plump, meaty and heavy tomato. It is perfect for making tomato sauce. It pays to know which tomato variety to use in cooking and so many people…

Meringue Tarts with Kiwi

Got egg whites? Meringues are the easiest and most exotic dessert to make with leftover egg whites, or if you just want to start from scratch with fresh eggs or powdered egg whites. Meringhe (meringues) are an Italian favorite, and big, wispy, puffs of them are always pil…

Blueberry Pie

I don't like runny fruit pies, especially blueberry so when I make one, I thicken the fruit with tapioca, not flour or cornstarch which can cover up the flavor of the fruit. Some use arrowroot which is better than flour or cornstarch but if you really want the flavor to c…

Power To The Flower

Zucchini are best when they are small; they have better flavor, less seeds and water. I plant Romanesco and Fiorentino, two Italian varieties and I love to cook the flowers too. If you do, pick the flowers in the early morning when they are open and not wilted. Carefully …

Summertime and the Bakin’ Is Easy

This has hardly been the summer to turn on the oven but when the hot and steamy weather turned cool with low humidity, I had to make my family's favorite summer time cookie to go with lemonade and vanilla ice cream. This is the easiest cookie in the world to make so don&#…

Sellin’ Like Cod Cakes

Crab cakes are a New England favorite but fresh crabmeat is not always available so that is when I turn to cod. Cod cakes can be just as delicious and dare I say less expensive than crabmeat. So when you are craving crabmeat and it is not available, give the mighty cod a …

Bean Bash

Right now my garden is awash in beans of every description from string to snap to yellow flat pole beans. From the trellis to the bush varieties, I harvest away while I conjure up what I will do with them. Freeze them? Never! They will taste like mush. Can them? I am luke…

Mushroom Magic

Mushrooms. What could be easier to cook? Well, there is a right and wrong way. The right way is to first wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel; do not wash them as the excess water will make them steam instead of brown. Next get out a pan large enough to hold them in…