CUCINA CARA MIA.......Random thoughts from "my dear kitchen" about food, travel, Italy, San Diego and life!

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Do you see the delicious Caesar salad, mushroom and sausage risotto, and Linguini you see my sister Lisa, my daughter Ali and I, smiling at the camera? Something is missing from this lovely evening - it's Fabio Viviani, Season 5 Italian contestant who stole our hearts on Top Chef....The restaurant is Cafe Firenze in Moorpark, Ca.....I planned this little excursion over a month ago...very excited to try his cuisine and of course, maybe get a glimpse of him....

Not gonna happen...half way through the salad course we discovered that Fabio sold his portion of the restaurant and is no longer associated with this establishment...He has opened a new place in North Hollywood, Firenze Osteria, telephone number (818) 760-7081.

To say I was disappointed, well, yes I was a little...but the food was great...we had a free wine tasting of three delicious wines, and the service was outstanding. but for those of you who want to see what Fabio is creating over at the new place...make sure you call the above number!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Same day...different coast -the middle photos is my cousin's car almost covered up on Long Island....For all of my east coast (and midwest) friends and family, I wish you you a very Merry Christmas..and for the rest of you California folks...

I'm dreamin' of a warm Christmas

Unlike the one's I used to know

Where the palms trees wave

And flip-flops are still the rave

Even on December 25th

I'm dreamin' of a warm Christmas

With every beach I walk along

May your days be merry and warm

And may all your Christmases have no storm!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


After baking lemon ricotta cookies, chocolate chocolate chip peppermint cookies, orange spiced oatmeal raisin cookies, Mexican wedding cakes and cranberry coconut chews, I realized something was missing.....

Peanut Butter, and what might a little more yumminess to that basic cookie.....NUTELLA!!

Just find your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe, double it and smother nutella between two layers!

Perfection-----add a nice cappuccino, put on some Christmas tunes and you are a happy camper!

No brainer!