Cranberry Trifle and Warm Wishes for a Happy New Year

I was off cooking duty on Christmas as two of my lovely aunts hosted Christmas Eve and Christmas Day respectively. But I did dabble with dessert and as I had some fresh cranberries on hand I wanted to use them to add a festive red color to whatever I was to finally make. Knowing that I had a new package of Savoiardi cookies in the pantry I decided to put together a cranberry trifle with a Savoiardi twist. I “spiked” the cream with a bit of Marsala and fell in love with this Zabaglione-like cream filling (I could have spooned the entire bowl–no

Mini Zucchini and Feta Frittatas

I bought a mini muffin pan back in November and have been in love with it ever since, experimenting with different recipes every chance I get … mini pancetta cornbreads, mini phyllo cups, mini cupcakes and these mini zucchini and feta frittatas. They’re extremely simple to make, insanely versatile and the perfect portion size to hold guests over before a friendly dinner party. Added bonus: they are just as good at room temperature so you can make them a little ahead of time. Mini Zucchini and Feta Frittatas Makes 36 1 large zucchini, diced 3

Festive Gemista

Gemista are a staple for us. As children, my mom and Giagia would stuff peppers and tomatoes with ground beef and rice but in my own kitchen I’ve grown accustomed to stuffing the vegetables simply with rice and various herbs. This time I sauteed the rice with some white wine and added some pine nuts to the mix. The end result was deliciously moist and delectable. Be sure not to overstuff the peppers as the rice needs room to expand–loosely filling the peppers only about 2/3 full should do the trick. I’d like to think the green of these peppers and the


I grew up in a three family home (Giagia and one of my aunts lived downstairs; my parents, three sisters and I in the middle; and my aunt, uncle and two cousins upstairs) where doors were never closed and privacy was never an option. We did everything together and we loved it … well, some of us did anyway. My fondest childhood memories are of baking various family recipes for Christmas and Easter with my Giagia, mom, sisters and aunts. We’d gather in one of the three apartments and make three batches of whatever it was we’d set out to bake and

Seker Pare

For days now I had been trying to get myself into the spirit of the holidays. The house had been decorated for about two weeks but I still hadn’t gotten into that Christmas-y swing of things. But nothing says Christmas for me like the smell of cookies and sweets baking away in the oven. So what better way to get into the Christmas mood than to start baking? By the end of the week, I should have ready our traditional family recipes for koulourakia and kourambiedes but to start things off today I decided to try my hand at a new recipe. This weekend I found myself

It’s a Pirate’s World

As you can probably guess, the theme of my son’s birthday party last weekend was ... PIRATES! I had so much fun making invitations, decorating the house, the cupcakes and the cake for this theme–and my son’s satisfaction with everything we did and the grisly “AARGH!” he’d exclaim every time he saw a skull and crossbones (he just turned “2″ so the way he says it is just so darn cute), was the icing on the cake. We had quite a few guests: I reiterate, we are a BIG family; add to that a plethora of friends and you’ve

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