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February 26, 2015

In and Around Umbria


Gubbio - Umbria (9)

As we are in this deep freeze in the northeast I can’t help but think of the beauty of Umbria during the summer. My family and I would share stories especially my son-in law, who always reminisces about the summers he would spend with his grandparents. He would play on the funivia, which was a tram that goes up to the top. One of my favorite eateries is also in this area as well. There is a bakery-tratorria truck stop called Il Panaro, near Gubbio. We drive there for the torta al testo, which was a freshly baked bread resembling focaccia split and stuffed with a choice of savory fillings, prosciutto or sausage or pecorino, ricotta, or stracchino. Being outside and basking in the Umbrian scenery, with the smell of charcoal in the air and a light taste of ash on your tongue, I am filled with the wonderful sense of family and of the heritage of food from one generation to another.

February 19, 2015

Winter Baking: My Cherry Jam Tart


Cherry Jam Tart

This cold weather makes me want to bake, but I also yearn for something that says summer. The cherry jam preserves and dried cherries in this tart allows you to make this year round. Enjoy! 

February 13, 2015

Celebrate “Red” on Valentine’s Day


SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m sure you all have a favorite chocolate dessert or candy that you share on this special day but why not add a little “red” to the meal with two special home cooked savory dishes as well?  My Beet Risotto and Seared Lamb Chops with Red Wine Sauce work beautifully for Valentine’s Day and show off a great  presentation. Enjoy! 

February 5, 2015

Carnevale 2015


crostoli

This time of year is so fun and magical in Italy. During Carnevale Italians will be celebrating with costume parties, rich meat dishes, and plenty of sweets. Mischief and pranks are also a part of the festivites, which is the reason behind the phrase A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale—Anything goes at Carnival. Before we say our final farewells to winter, maybe a little last minute indulgence is in order as we get ready for spring? Crostoli :This is one name for the most popular carnevale dessert: fried dough. You will find variations on this delicious recipe throughout Italy; in much of southern Italy they are called chiacchiere, a fun Italian word meaning “chatter” or “chitchat.” Enjoy.

January 29, 2015

Tips for Soup


Bread & Basil Soup and Semolina & Escarole Soup and Oatmeal Biscuits (3)

Winter is a great time to put a hearty soup on the stove, whether it’s for a formal occasion or an everyday supper.  Remember to serve hot soup in warm bowls; you can bring the pot or a tureen of the soup to the table, have warm bowls stacked up and ladle out and garnish each serving when everyone is seated.  This will give you a great presentation and a safe delivery.  Dress soups with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some grated Grana Padano, and your guests are ready to eat.  Enjoy!

 

January 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Grandma Erminia!


walkens 8 - grandma erminia

I know her as Mama; most of you know her as Grandma. Today is a special day as we celebrate another beautiful birthday with her. She has been with me all week as I test recipes with my team at home for another cookbook. She helps clean the vegetables, offers her sound advice and of course helps to taste.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.  Tanti Auguri!

January 19, 2015

Delicious Citrus


Back Camera

This is the season for citrus—clementines, oranges, blood oranges, tangerines and much more.  These fruits are not only tasty but also rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, which is another perfect excuse to include them in your recipes during this time of year. I particularly love Blood Oranges, which I discovered in Sicily years ago but have also found them here during the winter months. They are best eaten fresh, out of hand or in salads, salsas, or marmalades or you can try them in my Orange and Red Onion Salad. Enjoy!

January 12, 2015

Warm up with Baked Pasta


Baked Whole Wheat Penne and Ceci Bean Crema (4)

When I think of warm and comforting during the cold winter months I think of baked pasta. My Baked Whole Wheat Penne with Chickpeas is a nutritional and comforting dish all in one. Whole wheat pasta is a great alternative to regular pasta, and in the Italian tradition it is not a novelty. In Italy, pastas are made from buckwheat, farro, corn, chestnut, and chickpea flour, just to name a few. What is important to know is that each flour dictates a different cooking time for the pasta. For whole wheat, make sure to follow the instructions on cooking time; it does take longer than regular pasta, because the bran part has to be cooked. If it is not cooked enough, it remains chewy and won’t absorb the sauce well. Once you are aware of these facts you have a great dish ready to enjoy and warm you up. Buon Appetito!

January 5, 2015

Looking forward to another “Nonna Tell Me A Story” children’s book!


LidiaEggs-jkt.qxd_LidiaEggs_jkt

My grandchildren are no longer at that young age where they used to come to my house for sleepovers and sit around as I told them stories from when I was a little girl.  These precious moments were the reason I wrote my first children’s book, Nonna Tell Me A Story:  Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen, several years ago.  That book continues to be a holiday favorite as it is based on real life events that children can still do now – decorate an edible Christmas tree for the holidays.  My second book was dedicated to my mother and her “Birthday Surprise” and this month, my third book will hit the shelves, Lidia’s Egg-Citing Farm Adventure, a story about a trip to the farm with the grandkids and our discoveries about chickens and eggs. It’s a perfect bedtime story with little ones during these colder winter months and as we get ready for Easter in early April. http://www.runningpress.com/book/hardcover/nonna-tell-me-a-story-lidias-egg-citing-farm-adventure/9780762451265.

December 30, 2014

Happy New Year


lentils1

As the New Year is approaching there is a very symbolic dish named Cotechino and Lenticchie or Italian charcuterie products with lentils. Northern Italians traditionally eat this rich and delicious dish with lentils for New Year’s Eve dinner to bring prosperity and luck. The lentils represent the coins soon to befall all who consume the dish within an hour of midnight. Italians also have a saying “Le lenticchie a capodanno portano soldi tutto l’anno”. This means “Lentils on New Year will bring you money for the whole year”. So it’s with this in mind that I would like to wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2015.

Food Books and Dvds Tableware

Lidia's Italy in America
Lidia brings viewers on a road trip into the heart of Italian-American cooking.
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Lidia's Pasta and Sauces
Enjoy Them Now!
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Lidia's Stoneware Collection

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