Friday, June 6, 2008

New site

Hello! To all who are still visiting this site, I've updated my blog and reposted it on Please follow the link below to visit my new Tomatoes and Basil blog. I look forward to your feedback and comments!


Saturday, March 8, 2008

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie!

Everone thinks they're an expert when it comes to pizza.
People in Chicago devoted to the "deep-dish" pizza might criticize those who make thin-crust pizza, since everyone knows that Chicago is not only famous for their deep-dish pizza, but it's also a national phenomenon, being shipped partially baked all over the continental U.S.
The guys that lived across the hall from me in college believed themselves to be experts in the field of pizza simply because they ordered Woodstock's pizza every Tuesday and Friday night.
There are people who eat high-end pizza in restaurants where they serve stylized pizza with caramelized onions, exotic cheeses, and truffles.
Then there are the too-numerous-to-count nationally recognized pizza places, such as Round Table, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Little Caesar's, and the like which are found on nearly every street corner, making pizza easily accessible to anyone feeling the slightest craving for cheese and dough.
For me, it's not just what goes onto the pizza, it's about what goes into it--the quality ingredients, the time, and the love that you pour into creating something delicious to share with other. It's not just about getting home after a long day at work with no energy to cook. Pizza can be a masterpiece in and of itself. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for ordering Round Table after a long day if need be, but there is something very calming about making pizza at home.
Growing up in an Italian family, most of our meals were homemade. Pizza was no different. The dough, sauce, and sausage on top was all made by hand. And if I have my way, and time, this is still the only way to eat a pizza. The ease of a phone call to Domino's cannot replace the joy of the final product hot out of the oven. It doesn't matter how much time goes into mixing the dough, letting it rise, and then rolling it to perfectly fit in the pizza pan. Nor does it matter that you must allow time for the sauce to simmer to the right point before meticulously spreading it across the fresh-smelling dough. The hot, homemade pizza that comes out of the oven is well worth the time and effort exerted to create it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dolce Mele--My Newest Creation

A slice of fresh apple pie is an American favorite, but who has time these days to make the perfect crumbly crust and bake a delicious homemade pie? Rather than taking the time and effort to make a traditional pie, with no guarantee that your pie crust will be as flaky as you desire, try this recipe inspired by Bananas Foster and Apple Pie.

Dolce Mele, meaning “sweet apple” in Italian, is an easy
alternative when time does not allow for making a full-blown pie. Requiring less than ten minutes start to finish,
it captures the perfect hybrid of hot and cold, crunchy and creamy. It consists of only a handful of ingredients: butter, brown sugar, Amaretto, apples, and cinnamon—and the ice cream scooped on top. The shining star in this dessert is the apples, accented by the sauce The apples retain a slight crunchiness, and the brown sugar and amaretto give the slightly tangy apples a sweet edge. Let the warm apples and sauce melt the ice cream for a soup-like dessert or eat it quickly to preserve the juxtaposition of textures and temperatures.

Dolce Mele

Serving Size: 4
Time: 5 minutes preparation; 5 minutes cooking

1 stick butter
3 Apples (1 Braeburn, 2 Granny Smith), peeled, seeded,
and cubed
1 cup dark or light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ Tablespoons Amaretto
Vanilla ice cream


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cubed apples to the butter, cooking them just enough so they soften, while retaining a slight crunch.
  3. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon. When the mixture starts to simmer at the edges, pour in the Amaretto to create a caramel-like sauce, stirring constantly.
  4. Scoop ice cream in bowls, and pour the apple and sauce mixture on top. Serve and enjoy.