Mary Ann's Blog

Got Lemons?

One of the most frequent questions that I get asked is what is an ingredient never to be without and the answer is lemons! They add just the right balance of flavor for so many dishes like the asparagus salad with lemon dressing below. Besides regular lemons, look for Mey…

Pizza To Go

The first vending machine selling pizza has appeared in Rome. Called Mr. Go and to the horror of many Romans, the bright red machine makes, kneads and tops the dough with various ingredients. You can order a Margherita, four cheese or salame and bacon. Judging from the re…

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Let Them Eat Wedding Cookie Cake!

Planning a wedding? I hope you will include the wedding cookie cake, a must for Italian weddings and a labor of love. Thought to have originated in Naples, the cake is a show stopper consisting of layers of a variety of cookies arranged in a pyramid, held together with ic…

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Saving Tradition

They say that the art of making pasta a mano (by hand) is dying. The traditional work of women is becoming a thing of the past. Life moves on and gets busy and we forget. I am reluctant to let go of those old ways that connect me to my heritage. Call me old fashioned, the…

Have A Heart and More

Artichokes are a spring and fall favorite vegetable and they are piling up in your local grocer’s now but so many people bypass purchasing them because they don’t know where to start to prepare them. Granted, they are not the easiest and fastest vegetable to c…

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Bone Appetito

Spring is the best time to make lamb dishes and lamb shanks, cut from the lower leg is a great cut of meat for braising or slow cooking; they tend to have little fat and lots of connective tissue. Braising allows that tissue to break down and produce rich, succulent tasti…

It's the Berries

It is so exasperating! You bought some fresh raspberries, blackberries or strawberries and put them in the fridge, only to discover a day or two later that they have begun to go south with mold growing on them! Toss.  A better way to keep them longer is to take them …

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Pizza…That’s Amore

Lets just assume that pizza could be our national dish since the US is the largest pizza market in the world, racking up $46.24 billion out of $145 billion in total worldwide sales in 2020! What makes it so appealing? Comfort food, affordable, anytime eating are some of t…

Salivating Supper on a Sheet Pan

Leave it to a pandemic to bring out some clever cooking techniques. Once we got past the baking banana bread craze, sheet pan cooking set in and was on fire. Here was a great way to cook dinner on one pan! Pretty soon there were blogs and cookbooks devoted to it and a flo…

The Heart of the Matter

Spring in Italy means that artichokes, fava beans, asparagus, radishes, spinach, beets, chard and lettuces are all in season and if I had to pick a favorite it would be artichokes, especially those coming from Sicily. One spring while staying at the Regaleali Wine estate…

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