Thursday, November 23, 2017

How to make Cassata Siciliana - lesson/demonstration by Sicilian Chef Antonino Mineo

Last Sunday, 19 November 2017, at 6 PM, Chef Nino Mineo held a class on how to make Sicilian Cassata at the Nuara Cooking School.  

Chef Mineo showed us in detail how it's made, from beginning to end and we were all amazed and wowed by how easy it was.  That's what we thought. When it came to our turn to make the cassata we realized how difficult it was in fact. I for one, made a mess from start to finish. Luckily our teacher had a lot of patience and he kept fixing all the mistakes I made. Then, much to my dismay, he used my cassata to show the class how it should NOT be made. I was so embarrassed I wanted to hide under the table :)  

Here are some pictures of the lesson. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A cloudy day in Sicily.

It was very windy and cloudy today so I thought I would put the oven  on and bake. What better dessert than the classic American Apple pie. This recipe is from my vintage Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book.

For the filling you need 7 Granny Smith apples, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup water and 1 T lemon juice. Put everything in a pan and cook till the apples are tender. Then mix 1/4 cup flour with 2 T sugar and add to the apples. Cook for about a minute.  Turn off the fire and let the apples cool down.

For the crust:  2 cups flour, 180 g. butter, chopped, a pinch of salt. Put these in a mixer and blend. Then add about 5 T of ice water.  Divide the pastry in two. Roll out one-half and place it in the pie dish. Add the cooled apple filling. Roll out the other half and cover the pie. Cut some slits on the crust to let the heat out.

Cook at 220° C for about 40 minutes. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

MEETCAFFE' in Trapani, Sicily

Meet Caffè is, as its name implies, a place where you can meet up with your friends, have a nice hot espresso, cappuccino and all kinds of pastries, sandwiches, soft drinks, cookies and traditional Sicilian pastries. As well as sitting inside, you can also sit on their outside patio, sip your coffee, read and watch the passersby :) 

Anisette are the most famous Sicilian cookies. They are also my favorite cookies. So the pastry chef at MeetCaffè made them just for me. 

MeetCaffè is on Via Marconi 88, Trapani, Sicily.

Lindy Bop in Sicily

This is a vintage 1950s Rockabilly shirt dress, beautiful, and it fits me to a tee!  I have to say though that when I look at these pictures I am somewhat reminded of a certain count from ... Transylvania :) Without the hat and the red polka-dot shoes I think I could be taken for  Count(ess) Dracula!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Fruit fashion, espresso and cannolo

I've posted a lemon dress here and a strawberry dress here  What about cherries?  Everybody's favorite fruit.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

An Italian obsession

Here is a typical Sicilian breakfast

In Italy, particularly here in Sicily, coffee is an obsession, a morning ritual which is carried out many times throughout the day, maybe as many as 6 or 8 times daily.  At home first thing in the morning, or at the bar, which is the most preferred place. Then mid-morning, then after lunch, then mid-afternoon, or after the siesta (which normally is from 1PM to 4PM. Then during all those times you meet a friend, or want to discuss business. Any excuse is good for an espresso.

Take George Clooney's advice "Nespresso. What else? 

An espresso cup is tiny in comparison to an American coffee cup, but believe me, that little amount of espresso can wake up an elephant.

By the way, we have numerous kinds of coffee...espresso, caffè lungo, caffè macchiato, caffè ristretto, caffelatte, cappuccino, lattemacchiato, caffè d'orzo, caffè and ginseng, caffèorzo and so on. You would be lost for choice at an italian bar. Note that a  "bar" in Italy is a cafè.  

What?  FOUR Euros for a jar of Nescafè?!?!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Strawberry Dress, Headscarf, Earrings...and Strawberry Shortcake!

I stole this pretty dress from my daughter HungryCaramella


Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease round pan 9 inches. Mix 2 cups flour, 2 Tbs sugar, 3 ts baking powder, and pinch salt. Cut in 1/3 cup shortening. Stir in 3/4 cup milk. Spread in pan, brush with soft butter or margarine. Sprinkle with brown sugar and almonds. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool slightly. Split shortcake and fill with strawberry jam and whipped cream.
(From Betty Crocker's "Baking Classics")


1 pound strawberries
1 pound sugar
1 ts. lemon juice

Mix, then boil for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

My father's recipe for Chinese sweet and sour spare ribs.

He ate sweet and sour pork ribs in a New York Chinese restaurant and this is the recipe he gave me for making them.

Cook the spare ribs for about an hour, then prepare a sauce with peach preserves and ketchup and brush the sauce over the spare ribs, cook some more till the ribs are done.

 My father, Salvatore, on the rooftop of his apartment building in  downtown New York City in the 1970s.