February 23, 2013

Casa Dolce Casa- heading home to Italy

There are some things  I love about travelling back to the states to teach.

I get my fix of foods I miss in Italy.

I have a blast teaching and meeting people that adore Italy and it is great to meet people that follow my blog or have taken classes with me and return to see me teach again.

Sharing my love for Italy is always a pleasure.

But- there is nowhere like home and home now is Italy!

This year I celebrate 25 years of teaching and almost 29 years of living in Italy.

I want to celebrate.

So stay tuned--  I will have some fabulous programs up and online soon.

Wood burning oven class in Gascony with my soul sister Kate Hill.

Fotography and Food with Nancy Bundt

More Sicily of course and more planned weeks in Tuscany.

Truffle hunting anyone?

Come and celebrate with me
I can't wait!

I can't wait to get back to my house, my kitchen, my hubby and cooking!

I am heading back to the USA for  a conference in April in San Francisco and perhaps travel and teach after-- so looking for  places to teach.

February 17, 2013

Cooking Therapy- Sbriciolona

My best therapy is cooking and I needed some therapy!

Am up in Seattle now where I have a lot of friends. Did a huge Valentine's day cooking class at my friend Carol's cooking school in Bellvue, Sizzleworks and we had a blast.

But teaching cooking is not like the quiet zen of just preparing food.

Today got to help my friend prepare a lovely dinner and we just whipped up one of my favorite simple desserts I learned in Verona, Sbriciolona, which means crumbly.

Marc and the uncooked sbriciolona

In Tuscany, sbriciolona is a soft "crumbly" salami, but in Verona it is a polenta and almond "crumble".

The best part is at the end, when you pull it out of the oven, you hit it with a shot of grappa.
Hot and cold attract and the grappa soaks right into the cake.

Cornmeal almond cake from Verona

100 grams 00 Flour/ 100 g di farina di grano tenero 00
100 grams Corn Flour (polenta)/100 g di farina di mais fioretto
100 g  brown sugar/ 100 g di zucchero di canna
110 g butter, room temp / 110 g burro morbido
80 g chopped almonds/ 80 g di mandorle tritate
20 g  whole almonds/ 20 g di mandorle intere 
grated zest of one lemon/ la buccia grattuggiata di 1 piccolo limone
salt/ 1 pizzico di sale

Sift the flours together and add the sugar and the chopped almonds.
Add the softened butter, lemon zest and salt. 
Mix with hands until it forms a soft crumble.

Place is a 9 inch pan and lightly press.
Add the whole almonds on top and lightly press in before baking.

Bake at 350 until lightly golden.

Break to serve.

If you want to be wild and crazy, when the sbriciolona comes out of the oven, have a bottle of GOOD GRAPPA ready and splash on top.

Note: traditionally white granulated sugar is used. I think that helps it break better, the brown sugar gave it a warmer butterscotch flavor, but was more shortbread like.

February 10, 2013

Divina Cucina on the Road

I adore travelling and teaching off season. This year I have done a class at my friend's home  in Sebastapol and another friends home cooking school in Lafayette.

This week I was hosted by Cavallo Point in Sausalito, a truly fabulous space with great staff.

Next up, heading to Seattle for a class in Bellevue and then at a friends home. The following week I return to Eugene, Oregon and then for the first time to Bend.

I will be returning to Tuscany on the 23rd and then back again to San Francisco for a culinary conference in April.

After the conference, I hope to travel to Southern California for some classes there.

Then let the season open in Italy!

I am pleased to already have several sold out weeks in Sicily this year and am looking forward to my special guest weeks in Tuscany and France.

Stop by my site to catch up on the programs for 2013.

My Tuscan Weeks are available all year long, the other weeklong programs have specific dates.

As much as I enjoy the USA, can't wait to get back home!!!
After 28 years in Italy it is Casa Dolce Casa.... Home Sweet Home!

I have not had steady internet connections and it is killing me. Our lives have changed so much in the past few years, being constantly online that not to have access seems like a lifetime!