OliveOilCake2One of my favorite recipes using extra-virgin Italian olive oil is this citrus olive oil cake that I adapted from a recipe by Anne Quatrano in Food & Wine Magazine. I have always made this cake with a Ligurian olive oil, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I went to the market and found a bottle of Lucini premium select extra virgin olive oil, made from hand-picked olives in central Italy. Lucini is a brand I was familiar with but I stopped buying it because it was bottled in clear glass. Now it’s bottled in dark glass and you can buy an organic version, too. The oil is delightfully fruity. […Read More]

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beautyshotshortbreadWhile I was working on A Baker’s Oddysey, and searching for an authentic source for Scottish Shortbread, I happily found a Scot who happened to be a member of our family. Cammie Mitchell Hinshaw, a third generation Scot, is married to my wife’s nephew, Michael Hinshaw. I’ve watched Cammie make these cookies in her home kitchen, and I can tell you, the cookies are melt-in-your mouth tender/crunchy and oh, so buttery! […Read More]

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This One 1On a recent trip to Italy, courtesy of the Italian Trade Agency, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Italian olive oils and their many uses in cooking and eating. The point of the trip was to learn how to taste and evaluate extra-virgin olive oils from all over Italy. The Ercole Olivario, an annual competition that identifies and honors the best producers of Italian olive oil, is a big deal. Over 270 olive oils had been entered, and by the time we six  American journalists arrived in Rome, the field had been narrowed down to 100 finalists. […Read More]

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IMG_3545“Ya gotta try the sour orange pie,” our waitress at The Yearling restaurant in Hawthorne, Florida, insisted. “It’s our specialty.” Being citrus lovers, my wife and I perked up and started asking questions. What we learned was this: The pie was most likely a variation of Key Lime Pie with sour orange juice subbing for the lime. It had a Graham cracker crust and was served with a sauce. So we happily asked our server to “Bring it on!” […Read More]

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AppleCheesecakeBarsI found this recipe years ago in a publication whose name I do not remember. I had torn the recipe out and zipped it into my briefcase and I said to myself: “I’ve gotta make this.”  Finally, this past Thanksgiving, I kept my promise. Normally our Thanksgiving gatherings are fairly small affairs, but Thanksgiving 2015 was special because our entire family got together. This recipe makes a huge yield. The bars are rich, rich rich, and one bar will definitely satisfy, especially after a big meal and a sampling of a few pies. […Read More]

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chocdoughnutsWhat to do on a post-Thanksgiving Sunday morning? Why, make chocolate cake doughnuts, of course. My two granddaughters offered to help, and we all had a jolly good time. Oops! That’s my British schooling showing. The photo above shows the results of our happy efforts. I posted a story on chocolate doughnuts a while back, so just click here and you’ll get the recipe and see step-by-step pictures of the whole process. I want to emphasize that the dough is quite wet. That is as it should be. I think it’s best to mix it the night before so that it firms up and becomes quite easy to handle. Resist any temptation to add more flour to the dough or the doughnuts will cook up dry. How do I know? I’ve done it! It’s fine to flour your work surface and the cutters you use as necessary to prevent sticking. Do have fun!

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