Archive for the ‘la buona cucina americana’ Category

La Buona Cucina Americana: Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the most traditionally American foods (and one of my personal favorites) to have around the holidays are Chocolate Chip Cookies — ricetta anche in italiano!

Read on...

Holiday Gift Ideas: From Soap to Books

If you’re still looking for special, unique holiday gift ideas, here are some suggestions, sold by some of my uber-talented blogging buddies:


Saponissimo by Charlie of Figs and Lemons has gorgeous handmade natural soaps from the Amalfi Coast for sale at ridiculously affordable prices. You’ll find ingredients like olive oil, honey and beeswax blended with the plants, fruits, and flowers of Positano. Pictured at left is Arancia e Limone (orange and lemon) soap. Can’t you just smell that gorgeous citrus?


Sara of Moving Right Along has some really gorgeous handmade pieces of jewelry at her Sara Arts Etsy shop. You may remember Sara from when I featured her here? One of my favorites in her collection is the one pictured at right, The Romantic Wrist, Hand-Knotted Bracelet of Peach Aventurine, Garnet, and Sterling on Silk. Too bad P doesn’t read my blog….


Diana of Adventuring through Life also runs an Etsy shop, hers with her sister, called Sorelle (sisters in Italian). They have a great collection of unique gifts from pendants to earrings to cute purses like the one here on the left, the Pretty in Pink Fairy Godmother Purse. And sales! Be sure to check out the store for discounts on earrings and pendants.


I just finished My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family and Miracles by Justin Catanoso. Yes, you’ve heard about this book before here, but now that I’ve read it, I can tell you how much I *love* this book. I could relate to so many of Justin’s experiences (not the saint in the family part though); I hope to write a fuller book review soon, but for now, just know that I highly, highly recommend it.

And staying in southern Italy, a book that I haven’t yet seen in person but can’t wait to read is In Etna’s Shadow: Culinary Adventures from Eastern Sicily by Karen Landes, who also authors South of Rome. Eastern Sicily is just a ferry ride away from me, so I’ll be interested to see how our cuisine compares and contrasts. Plus I love Italian culinary books in general, don’t you?

Anyone else out there selling their creations online this year?

Do share links in the comments!

***Be sure to check out Cherrye’s Texas Mud at My Bella Vita for this week’s La Buona Cucina Americana recipe. I promise it tastes *much* better than it sounds! And remember you can still enter to win a copy of The Feast of the Seven Fishes!

La Buona Cucina Americana: Bagels

This week I turned to a tried and true recipe for this week’s La Buona Cucina Americana entry –one I can now make without referring to the recipe since I’ve made it so often.

For those of you who have been around a while, you’ve already seen this recipe here, but now I’m reposting the ricetta in italiano so our amici italiani can try it too.

The original recipe comes from our resident Bagel Queen in Italy (La Regina dei Bagel), New Yorker Michelle of Michellanea, although I did slightly adjust the salt and sugar measurements for my taste.

(makes eight large bagels)

Bagels cooling off

Bagels cooling

  • 250 ml warm water
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 500 g flour

1. Dissolve yeast in 250 ml of warm water and add oil.

2. In large bowl, mix together salt, sugar, and flour. Make a well in the center and add in yeast mixture.

3. Mix together all ingredients, working in flour on the sides of the bowl in order to get an even mixture. Work dough into a ball.

4. Cover bowl with a damp towel for about 40 minutes and let dough rise in a warm place; it should double in size.

5. Put a piece of wax paper on the baking sheet you’ll be using for the bagels.

6. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Divide into 8 little balls. Make a hole in the center of each ball and widen the opening until it begins to take the shape of a bagel.

7. Let the bagels sit on the warm towel for another 15 minutes while you heat the oven up to 390°F/200°C.

8. In the meantime, bring a large pan of water to a light boil and add honey. Let each bagel boil lightly for about two minutes on each side and then remove and put them back on the damp towel.

9. If you are adding sesame or poppy seeds, at this point, sprinkle them on a plate and press each bagel down lightly over them.

10. After about five minutes, put the bagels on the wax paper-covered baking sheet and place in oven for about 20 or 25 minutes until they are golden (but not too brown as they will get a bit browner after they’ve cooled), flipping them after about 10 minutes to ensure even baking.

I Bagel
(ingredienti per 8 bagel grandi)

  • Acqua tepida 250 ml
  • Lievito fresco 30 g
  • Olio 2 cucchiai
  • Sale 2 cucchiaini
  • Zucchero 3 cucchiaini
  • Miele 1 cucchiaino
  • Farina 500 g

1. Sciogliete il lievito in 250 ml d’acqua tiepida, quindi aggiungete l’olio.

2. In una ciotola unite il sale, lo zucchero e la farina. Fate una fontana nel centro e versatevi il lievito.

3. Lavorate gli ingredienti incorporando anche la farina rimasta sui lati della ciotola fino ad ottenere un impasto omogeneo. Formate la palla e lasciatela riposare nella ciotola.
4. Copritela con un straccio da cucina umido e fatela lievitare in un luogo caldo per 40 minuti finché raddoppierà di volume.

5. Preparate una piastra con della carta da forno.

6. Lavorate la pasta per 10 minuti, dividetelo in otto porzioni e con queste formate delle palline. Forate il centro di ogni pallina con il dito, quindi allargate l’apertura finché diventerà simile ad una ciambella.

7. Disponete i bagel su un straccio da cucina umido e lasciateli lievitare per 15 minuti. Preriscaldate il forno a 200°.

8. Nel frattempo, portate a leggera ebollizione una pentola d’acqua con 1 cucchiaino di miele e immergetevi i bagel, 2 minuti per lato, quindi adagiateli sul straccio da cucina umido.

9. Se volete aggiungere i semi di papavero o i semi di sesamo, dispone i semi in una teglia e poi premere i bagel leggermente sopra per attaccare i semi.

10. Lasciateli raffreddare per 5 minuti, e infornateli per 20/25 minuti fino a dorarli.

Grazie di nuovo a Michelle di Michellanea per la ricetta e per la maggiore parte della traduzione. Grazie mille anche a Sara di Ms Adventures in Italy per il suo aiuto!

interactive friday: blog my blog III

Guess what time it is…it’s time to blog my blog!

What’s that? You don’t remember how we play? As a reminder, here is the first edition, here is the second, and here are the official rules:

Taking direction from Kailani of An Island Life, here’s how it works for those who don’t remember:

1. I start with a question/phrase.

2. The first commenter answers that question and leaves a new question for the next visitor to answer. It could be a general question, fill in the blank sentence, a “tell me about a time when,” etc.

3. The next commenter answers the new question and provides a question for the following visitor (i.e., the third commenter).

4. And so forth until you’re all bored to tears. Yes, I expect actual tears before we stop (photographic evidence will do).

5. Note: I reserve the right to delete or modify any questions that, you know, rub me the wrong way. Ahem.

6. In a situation where two commenters have answered the same question and you’re next to answer, please either choose one of the questions or answer both; if you don’t answer both, you are free to pass along the question you didn’t use or come up with a new one.

The first question:

What is your favorite apparatus on a playground and why?

Remember to check out Cherrye’s My Bella Vita for this week’s La Buona Cucina Americana recipe: Mexican Tortilla Soup.

end of october, but still think pink!

Just as you surely remember that September was Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, I’m positive you also know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

But just because Halloween is here, which means October is coming to a close (how did that happen?!), it doesn’t mean that we have to stop thinking PINK*:

1. Someone asked for Pink…lol, 2. Pink hibiscus…, 3. Gradually Pink, 4. Smile!, 5. :: the pink daisy ::, 6. pink peep bunnies, 7. Pink!, 8. Petal Princess, 9. Pretty Pink Gingham Girls, 10. Pink Rose, 11. Pink Ribbon (close-up), 12. Cherish the pink sky, 13. Hazel Atlas Ripple C/S, 14. sweet melody, 15. Pink Tutus, 16. Pink Delights, 17. Berries Smoothie, 18. Tiny drops on pink flowers, 19. red & pink, 20. PinK, wHy So pINk??

*Special thanks to my dear friend Collette at All Over the Map for the inspiration to create this pink mosaic!

For more information on breast cancer awareness:

Breast Cancer Awareness Tool Kit

National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Home Page

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Don’t forget to check out Judith’s Peach Crisp, this week’s La Buona Cucina Americana at Think on it! and hey, what great Halloween costumes do you and your children have planned?

Buon weekend and Happy Halloween!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



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