Christmas arrived early this year ~ last Sunday afternoon, to be precise, when the cousins came to carol.

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As well as Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year filled with the jivin’ of hipster cousins.  

Later.  Like dig?

Toni 12/25/14


We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.

imagesEpicurus, the Greek “garden philosopher,” was an ancient sage who left us an enduring message of optimism. His philosophy conveyed the ultimate conviction that we can live in serene happiness, fortified by the continual experience of modest pleasures. In October, it was all about the gnocchi.

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But now it’s December.  I need a tender remedy to these long winter nights, a pleasure, a diversion. Welcome to my kitchen, gnudi.













Gnudi is a paisan of gnocchi that is made from ricotta cheese and a little bit of flour.

(That’s nyoo-dee ~ the ‘gn’ is pronounced like the ‘ny’ in canyon. Everything sounds better in Italian, doesn’t it?)

The word gnudi means “naked” and refers to this so-not-racy, melt-in-your-mouth dumpling that is a ‘nude’ ravioli, or filling without the pasta. If you like gnocchi, chances are you’ll be a huge fan of these toys for the mouth.  With tomatoes or brown butter and sage.

Gnudi are so brilliantly simple. They. Make. Angels. Sing. (I think angels must sound just like Pentatonix.)

Get the gnudi recipe here.

And eat in tonight.

With someone. ♥

Toni 12/20/14


Kate and William recently left the Big Apple, a visit packed with one turbocharged event after another.

The head-turning couple were wined and dined by New York’s finest.  (I bet they didn’t miss the interminable scones with Devonshire cream or humble cucumber-and-smoked-salmon sandwiches.)

Well, I was ready just in case William and Kate stopped by. I imagined a selfie of the 3 of us ~ Kate eating ravioli, William meticulously swabbing out sauce from the pot with a bit of bread, me holding the flowers they brought. Yep, all of us just having a jolly time of it in my kitchen.

That didn’t happen, of course. Things almost never happen the way I imagine them. But the ravioli did, thanks to my favorite Italian food blogger, ChgoJohn, and his bellissima Zia.

Here’s what William and Kate missed ~ Porcini Mushroom, Leek, and Goat Cheese Ravioli.  Get the recipe from the Bartolini kitchens website. 

In my house, the subject of dinner (past, present, or future) is part of the breakfast chatter.  I’m not totally brilliant in the kitchen, but I am an authority on eating.  Ascoltami ~ make these ravioli. Believe me, you don’t have to be super-skilled or even the star of your own cookbook.

These ravioli are flaming beautiful.

They comfort.

 And satisfy.

♥ Thanks, Bartolinis. ♥

Toni 12/16/14