Mary Ann's Blog

The Right Stuff

Over the years I have tinkered with the classic Roman dish spaghetti alla Carbonara. It requires just a few ingredients but the right technique. We are talking about eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, coarse black pepper and guanciale, cured pigs cheek as the sauce. These are …

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Postcard from Italy

I am just back from Italy and am still reeling over all the beauty of this country, even though I have been so many times before. Tuscany is a magnet for many travelers and Florence is a must, the center of Renaissance culture with eye-popping art at every turn. I never g…

The Right Stuff (For Pizza)

Today in National Pepperoni Pizza Day but no one will be celebrating or eating it in Italy unless of course the topping is peppers because that is what peperoni means in Italian. Pepperoni pizza is an Italian American invention. Neapolitans take making pizza seriously, be…

An Apple A Day

It’s apple season with a dizzying selection of varieties from Gala to Cortland, Pippin, Honey Crisp and the list goes on. Visit a local apple orchard and check out the choices. Be careful though to choose the right apple for baking as opposed to eating. Honey Crisp …

The Not Guilty Case for Whole Wheat Pasta

The whole grain and nothing but the grain, that’s what makes whole wheat pasta better than its pale white pasta cousin. Whole grains contain all the nutrients found in the grain including the bran, germ and endosperm. These nutrients are stripped away in white pasta…

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Soup Savvy

Never made soup? There are no rules and the process could not be simpler. And if your soup savvy extends to canned varieties, I hope you’ll read the fine print on the back of the label because many of them serve up mega doses of salt. In my house soup takes shape a…

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Goodbye Summer

The waning days of summer are here. Days are getting shorter, ads for back to school are everywhere and home gardens are at their last hurrah. For me that is the signal to sweep the garden clean of as many vegetables as possible and put them by as they say for future use.…

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Summer Cherry Tomato Salad

So often when people think of how to use tomatoes, they think of sauces, soups, and other warm meals. But instead of heating up the kitchen this summer, I recommend using all those tomatoes from your garden to cool off with a fresh cherry tomato salad that's perfect for a…

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How Many Ways Can You Serve A Tomato

Finally. Fresh garden tomatoes are really here. No more cardboard tasting, placid looking, paperweight tomatoes need you succumb to. Farmer markets tempt you with everything from cherry tomatoes to heirlooms that we have never heard of. Tomatoes aren’t just round or…

Too Hot To Cook

These sweltering days call for boycotting the kitchen. Even standing at the outdoor grill is just adding fuel to the fire. And darn, the heat kills your appetite too. My answer is to head to your air-conditioned grocery store and get one of those rotisserie chickens. It w…

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Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

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