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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sedona IS a sacred place....

And a beautiful place to spend a few days of our Easter vacation....there is a serenity and spirituality in the air-amazing red rock views everywhere you look...great Italian food...had to mention that...a rugged and very bumpy tour up in the hills in a Hummer, some good wine and cheese, and then a trip to the Grand Canyon, where the temperature dropped to 38 degrees-my capris and jean jacket did not cut it...more photos to follow.

You know those throw away cameras don't take a bad picture!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Obviously, being Italian, I have enjoyed cooking and eating pasta dishes my whole life, but there is something so comforting about stirring a pot of risotto for 25 minutes, then adding lots of fresh vegetables in season to brighten it up. I found this recipe in the May issue of Cooking Light..

2 cups shelled fava beans
1/2 cup fresh green peas
4 cups chicken stock
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 cup uncooked aborio or carnaroli rice
1/8 t. saffron threads, crushed (I didn't have any)
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Rggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 t. salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook beans in boiling water, 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, drain. Remove tough outer skins from beans, discard. Cook peas in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
2. Bring chicken stock to a summer in a small saucepan(do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and carrot to pan. Cook for 4 minutes or until tender., stirring occasionally. Addd rice and saffron, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, cook 30 seconds or until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup stock, cook 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding next (about 25 minutes).
4. Stir in fava beans, peas and asparagus with last addition of stock. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.

Believe it or not, I used to be afraid to make risotto! The photo is not from my camera, still working on that little problem!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I just finished reading "A Homemade Life", by Molly Wizenberg, the creator of the amazing food blog - Orangette! What a delightful book, and so easy to read...You have all probably read it, especially you food bloggers, so you know what I contains her cherished recipes, stories about her father and her extended family, her love of food, Paris and how she met the love of her life - through her blog!! There are so many interesting recipes to try and the first one I will definitely make is called "The Winning Hearts and Mind" cake, which ended up being her wedding cake...whenever I get that darn camera fixed you might actually see a photo! Oh, the cake is chocolate, so it has to be good.

In other news, my blog is two years old, hard to believe - I just wish that I made more time to post. I am sure you all have times in your lives when other "stuff" is occupying your thoughts, and this for me is one of those times...enough said!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Spring break is almost here - we are off for an adventure in Arizona...heading to Tuscon to spend Easter with my brother, then Sedona to enjoy the red rocks and then a quick peak over the Grand Canyon..since my camera is broken I won't be getting any great pics to share...hope everyone has a very Happy Easter!