Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sicilian Caponata

CaponataYesterday I received two beautiful eggplants from a dear friend’s garden.  It will probably be the last fresh eggplants of summer so I thought I’d better make the best of them. When I think of eggplants lately (I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me say this), I think of Italy, especially Sicilia or as you know it: Sicily.  It was Sicily that rekindled my childhood love of eggplants. I guess because I grew up eating things fresh from the garden, I didn’t know eggplants could take on such a horrible bitterness. Later on in life, when I was unable to walk out to the backyard to pick fresh vegetables, I started to hate eggplants because they were always bitter, horribly bitter.  Actually, my whole family hated them so when I cooked eggplants, I had to disguise them in tons of tomato paste or sauce with too much salt.  Lasagna and Eggplant Parmesan are perfect disguises for grocery store eggplants you’ll have in the winter.  I’ve come to realize that eggplants that are not fresh, will just be bitter. You can soak them in salt water, soak them overnight in milk, remove the seeds and peelings, or hang them in the shower (okay, the last one is a joke..hehe). These things will disguise the bitterness, but the best thing to do is have fresh eggplants. And that’s what I have today thanks to my buddy, Diane 🙂 Continue reading Sicilian Caponata

Homemade Manicotti Pasta

Homemade Manicotti

The deliciousness of this recipe comes from the homemade manicotti pasta I learned to make in the village of Sant’ Ambrogio, Sicily.  I’m calling these crepe-like pasta manicotti, but they’re not actually called manicotti in Italy.  Some Americans may also call them cannelloni, but  the Sicilian cook called them crespelle.  Call them whatever you like, but they are the easiest, tastiest pasta you’ll ever eat.  Just try them.

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Bruschetta de Venezia


Bruschetta, pronounced “Bru-Sketta” in Italy, is simply toast rubbed with garlic and topped with fresh tomatoes.  During my visit to Venice this summer, I discovered how this simple little apertivo could become something more like a meal. For the past month, I’ve tried to replicate the taste I discovered at a little cafe’ outside of Piazza San Marco. To read more about our days in Venice, go here:

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Green Banana Smoothie

Green Banana SmoothieThis tastes like a banana milkshake, and I’m not kidding.  It has four ingredients. That’s all. The green is from the spinach, not a green banana.  The banana has to be overly ripe to give it that really sweet, milkshake flavor.  This is such a great way for me to guarantee I get enough fruits and vegetables to start my day.  It’s so easy to make.

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