Appetizers

Caponata, Adele’s Way

Caponata, Adele’s Way

Roberto’s mom, Adele, was my cooking mentor the two weeks I spent in Sicily. I watched as she prepared, mostly by memory, Pan di Spagna, quiche al formaggio, gnocchi, Insalata Russa (delectable potato, shrimp and carrot salad), risotto, frittata, brioche and caponata....

A Spontaneous Dinner Party

A Spontaneous Dinner Party

Sometimes you just need to get out of the norm. Last night I planned a dinner party but did not plan the menu, hence a spontaneous dinner! I prefer to cook “with” friends rather than “for” friends. Cooking together is such a personal experience. You get to spend...

Breads

Santa Fe Style!

Santa Fe Style!

Last week I wrote about the New Mexico I experienced in my 20’s. What hasn’t changed is the way the food is prepared, firmly rooted in its use of locally grown ingredients, really before it was “cool” to eat “local.” Take chile peppers for example. Chiles require...

Sunday Breakfast Brioche

Sunday Breakfast Brioche

Brioche. It sounds so intimidating. A rich, buttery, egg bread with so many possibilities for creativity. I was feeling ready for a challenge and scoured my cookbook collection comparing recipes and looking for ease of preparation. Finally I settled on one from my...

Olive Oil

Beets – A Fresh Idea

Beets – A Fresh Idea

I don’t know what happened but my beet crop was disastrous this year. The “golden” beets I planted in the fall evolved into knotty, dingy beige, woody and inedible roots. Thank goodness my neighbor, Sandy, who is an amazing gardener, gifted me with three beautiful...

The Egg

The Egg

Inspiration struck and I had a hit. It was a simple idea. Create an egg dish for Mother’s Day that would say “I love you” and taste great too. Here’s what I came up with. Shallots and mushrooms chopped fine and sauteed in olive oil with a pinch of salt until very...

Food Fraud Exposed Editorial

Food Fraud Exposed Editorial

60 minutes recently aired an exposé on the Mafia’s control over food production in Italy, called “Agromafia.” It is scary. Chlorophyll and sunflower oil or canola oil mixed together to form olive oil; detergent added to cheese to whiten it; cheap wine touted as...

Breakfast

Almondines—Reviving One of My Classics

Almondines—Reviving One of My Classics

While cleaning out an upper cupboard in my closet last week, I discovered a forgotten box. A treasure full of old recipes I had created when I taught cooking classes, as well as letters and postcards I’d sent my parents from La Varenne in Paris, France. It was like...

Granita – Sicily’s Sweet Secret

Granita – Sicily’s Sweet Secret

I’ve tasted some pretty incredible things on my world-wide travels but did not expect for Sicily to offer foods that almost made me speechless. Seriously! Fine pastries in France, fresh seafood in Australia and robust goulash in Budapest all stand out as epic food...

A Passion for Persimmons

A Passion for Persimmons

She lured me in with her perfect “t” shaped limbs, reaching out like angel wings. “Take me home.” she whispered. Not planning to add another fruit tree to my already demanding garden, this one was like an abandoned puppy. You know, the one that finds you. I’d always...

Dessert

Dreaming of Gelato

Dreaming of Gelato

Let me introduce my writing friend, colleague, and guest blogger, Jolie Tunnell. Jolie is witty, sassy, and knows how to tell a story. Her blog at JolieTunnell.com shares humerous tales of her five children, husband, and new kitten and is always a fun read. She’s got...

In Love With Chocolate

In Love With Chocolate

  To me, chocolate represents everything good in life. It has helped me through my darkest hours, given me clarity when I am indecisive, and won hearts when it counts. That is why I cannot imagine Valentine's Day without chocolate. Whether you are wooing a mate...

Gramma’s Orange Spice Bars

Gramma’s Orange Spice Bars

My Gramma has done it again: delivered a recipe with oranges that sounded so incredibly good that I made it immediately and now cannot stop snacking. I came across it during my annual January purge. This year, my studio, which is jammed with multiple writing...

Drinks & Wine

The Music Of Food

The Music Of Food

Music and cooking both have a beat, a pulse, a flow of notes and a sequence of ingredients. Listening to music while cooking brings out the best in my recipes and in me. My spirit is light as I dance around the kitchen swaying to the tunes, singing along and feeling...

Breakfast in Florence

Breakfast in Florence

Hidden in the quaint neighborhood of Santa Croce sits Ditta Artigianale, a gem of a cafe that serves up creative and beautiful food in the tiniest of kitchens. We stumbled upon this cozy and comfortable eatery by mistake, no one recommended it, it just showed up. The...

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello, where have you been my entire life? I’ve finally found you tucked away in the rolling hills of Tuscany in an exclusive neighborhood of vineyards reserved only for the Sangiovese clan. Under the shadow of Montalcino lies acres of grapes destined to become one...

Fruit

Figs – Kisses from the Summer Sun

Figs – Kisses from the Summer Sun

My fig tree not only bestows me with gorgeous summer fruit but presents a nature show all year long. In the fall and winter, it loses its leaves to reveal bare-naked limbs. Small green buds evolve into broad, finger-like leaves while nubs form on its skinny branches...

Bonding Over Pomegranates

Bonding Over Pomegranates

This story is dedicated to my forever pomegranate best friend, Jenny. The one fruit I have always been smitten with is the pomegranate. Not because of its highly sought after nutritional benefits or how it has become a “cool” fruit, but for other deeper reasons....

Granita – Sicily’s Sweet Secret

Granita – Sicily’s Sweet Secret

I’ve tasted some pretty incredible things on my world-wide travels but did not expect for Sicily to offer foods that almost made me speechless. Seriously! Fine pastries in France, fresh seafood in Australia and robust goulash in Budapest all stand out as epic food...

Gluten-Free

Granita – Sicily’s Sweet Secret

Granita – Sicily’s Sweet Secret

I’ve tasted some pretty incredible things on my world-wide travels but did not expect for Sicily to offer foods that almost made me speechless. Seriously! Fine pastries in France, fresh seafood in Australia and robust goulash in Budapest all stand out as epic food...

Holiday Pears

Holiday Pears

Pears have this seductive quality about them. They flaunt their curvy hips and hold their stem high, like wearing a tiny crown. Their taste and texture, soft, sweet and flowery, almost melts in your mouth. Rustic, yet delicate describe the Bosc variety, my favorite...

Roberto Encore!

Roberto Encore!

I love my friend Roberto, my Italian brother. We get together several times a year to share our two common interests - music and food. A Graham Nash song causes us to  stop everything we’re doing and break out in a sing-along. How does a born and bred Italian,...

Main Dishes

Turkish Eggplant Kabobs

Turkish Eggplant Kabobs

Now starring...drumroll, please. The lovely eggplant: cloaked in a deepest jewel-tone purple, satiny, with unblemished skin, sleek in figure adorned by an evergreen crown cap. She is royalty and commands a striking presence in my garden. I’d almost rather leave this...

Gifting With Phyllo Dough

Gifting With Phyllo Dough

The cooler fall days encourage a shift in my cooking. After a binge on vegetable soups in all stages, my taste buds are hungry for something I can sink my teeth into. Enter phyllo dough. Most people know it as the thin layers of dough between ground nuts and honey in...

A New Twist on Paella – Squid Ink!

A New Twist on Paella – Squid Ink!

I’m interrupting my travelogue of Sicily to tell you about yet another fantastic paella party I hosted on Saturday. This was our 4th annual party and my mom and I decided to take it to the next level. “I saw this interesting Garcima Paella Burner at Pata Negra,” my...

Preserved Food

Preserving Garden Tomatoes

Preserving Garden Tomatoes

Tomato sauce recipes are ubiquitous. Ask your friends and they will all have their own versions which most cling to like a plum pit. If you grow your own tomatoes like I do, you want to do something really special with your precious harvest. This year I am growing...

The Beet Goes On

The Beet Goes On

I’d love to step into Op’s shoes, or whatever goddesses wear on their feet. While perusing websites relating to my upcoming trip to Italy, I came upon a dictionary of goddesses. This one caught my attention. Ops, rumored to be married to Saturn, is “an agricultural...

Plum Crazy

Plum Crazy

Late summer is my favorite time of year. The skies are clean, the breezes warm and the markets are bursting with late harvest veggies and fruits. So many home and garden projects have taken me away from my writing time. In exhaustion, I  find myself sneaking in an...

Salads & Soups

Late Summer Watermelon Salad

Late Summer Watermelon Salad

Labor Day’s Swan Song of summer demands a final salute to the ambrosial fruits the season delivered. This recipe is so simple it’s embarrassing but I make it over and over and continue to receive rave reviews. Peach Balsamic Vinegar is its secret ingredient, drawing...

Summer’s Arrival

Summer’s Arrival

Every summer has a story. ♥ What is it that is so romantic about summer? Is it the long hours of sunlight, its warm breezes persuading us to linger a little longer to drink in the day? Is it the fond memory and sentimentality stirred up of childhood vacations and days...

Spring Green Freshness

Spring Green Freshness

“I am the broth of love. Make soup to me.” ― Jarod Kintz, Love quotes for the ages. As I contemplate this story, a wasp hovers in front of my eyes and harmonies of chickadees fill the airwaves in stereo. My garden once again kidnaps my weekend. The whispering warm...

Seafood

Sicily, Seafood and Sunsets

Sicily, Seafood and Sunsets

“I’m taking you to the best seafood restaurant on the island of Sicily, maybe the entire world!” Roberto proclaimed. Roberto’s insistence that EVERYTHING in Sicily is the best is irritating at times. How can the  food be better than the meals I'd eaten in southern...

A New Twist on Paella – Squid Ink!

A New Twist on Paella – Squid Ink!

I’m interrupting my travelogue of Sicily to tell you about yet another fantastic paella party I hosted on Saturday. This was our 4th annual party and my mom and I decided to take it to the next level. “I saw this interesting Garcima Paella Burner at Pata Negra,” my...

My Tips for Hosting an Incredible Paella Party in 5 Simple Steps

My Tips for Hosting an Incredible Paella Party in 5 Simple Steps

Step 1 For me, the most important thing is starting with a great guest list. I choose family and compatible friends who have met before. This creates an intimate, comfortable atmosphere for all, and you, the host/hostess, need not worry about guests feeling left out...

Vegetarian

Caponata, Adele’s Way

Caponata, Adele’s Way

Roberto’s mom, Adele, was my cooking mentor the two weeks I spent in Sicily. I watched as she prepared, mostly by memory, Pan di Spagna, quiche al formaggio, gnocchi, Insalata Russa (delectable potato, shrimp and carrot salad), risotto, frittata, brioche and caponata....

Roberto Encore!

Roberto Encore!

I love my friend Roberto, my Italian brother. We get together several times a year to share our two common interests - music and food. A Graham Nash song causes us to  stop everything we’re doing and break out in a sing-along. How does a born and bred Italian,...

Orange Blossom Special

Orange Blossom Special

The life in my backyard is so breathtakingly alive right now. I am especially drawn to my two 60-year-old orange trees who greet me everyday with bursts of intensely perfumed orange blossoms that permeate my backyard. So heady is this fragrance, I find myself making...

Dog Food

Honestly Good Food

Honestly Good Food

Last month I received a copy of “Dog Obsessed,” written by Lucy Postins, founder of the dog food empire, The Honest Kitchen. Full of pet health information and funny stories all of us dog-crazed people can relate to, I could hardly put it down. Inserted into each...

About Mary Knight

I have always been passionate about food and its origin, all things France and Julia Child. Travel tugs at my heart, luring me to new places where I can feast my eyes and senses, taste local …

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