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olmoelisa

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  1. Take a good Grappa, add some fruit (we Italian have a lot of recipes) and you'll obtain something quite similar to Slivovitz, only cheaper and more tasty!
  2. A couple of Italian heat-proof cookies recipes. Both are from Sicily, where we have really hot summers. Your idea to make Amaretti is wonderful and you could also do Savoiardi (Lady's finger) biscuits or stuffed dates, dried figs or dried apricots. Marzipan is wonderful to stuff dried fruit, but you can also mix almonds, crumbled amarettis, candied fruit, little pieces of chocolate... ALMOND PASTE PASTRIES (Typical Sicily recipe) Ingredients: 4 ½ cups of blanched almonds 3 ½ cups of sugar 1 cup candied orange zest 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 drops bitter almond extract 3 ½ tbsp honey (better acacia honey) 2 tablespoons Red Rose Rosolio or Arancello or Amaretto Liqueur 1 ½ cups egg white a pinch of salt candied cherries, almonds and coffee beans to decorate Blend the almonds and the sugar in a mixer to obtain flour. Crush the candied orange zest in a mortar until they are creamy. Put in a bowl all the ingredients and mix well. Put the dough in a pastry decorating bag and squeeze out the pastries on a baking tin covered by baking paper. They pastries diameter should be about 4-5 cm (1.5 – 2 inches). Make a little tuft on the top of each pastry. Let rest for 24 hours in the fridge. Decorate each pastry with a candied cherry or an almond or a coffee bean. Preheat the oven at 390 F. Bake the pastries for about 10 minutes. Take out immediately when they turn pale yellow. The pastries should remain soft inside. Serve cold. Store the pastries for 2-3 weeks in a tin canister PETRAMENNULA (Typical Sicilian nougat) Ingredients: 3 ½ cups of honey 7 oz of almonds 1 lb of orange zests (the orange part only) olive oil Cut the orange zests into stripes from 5 mm to 1 cm (0.2 – 0.4 inches) wide. Coarsely crush the almonds. Boil the honey and orange zests in a saucepan until the mixture begins to solidify. Add the almonds and continue to mix the ingredients until the mixture becomes very hard. Grease a marble pastry board with olive oil. Pour the mixture on it. Let cool and cut into small rectangles.
  3. This is the recipe for Ippocrasso, the oldest Vermouth of the world. IPPOCRASSO (MEDIEVAL SPICY WINE) Ingredients: 2 cinnamon sticks 1 tsp ginger powder 5 cardamom seeds 3 cloves 1 pinch of nutmeg powder 2 liter young red wine or rosè wine 7 tbsp of honey Crush all the spices in a mortar. Melt the honey and ½ liter of wine in bain-marie. Let cool. Put the spices, the melted honey and 1.5 liter of wine in a airtight jar. Let soak for 2 weeks in a dark place, shaking every day. Filter and bottle. A legend tells the Greek physician Hippocrates (V century B.C.) invented the Vermouth wine. During Middle Ages all the wines of this kind were named after him. This is one of the most ancient Vermouth recipes arrived to our times. Substitute the Vermouth in your cocktail with the Ippocrasso for a new taste.
  4. My favorite refreshing mint cocktail: Put 3 crushed ice cubes a highball glass. Add 1 part of Peppermint Rosolio (or any mint liqueur), 2 parts of fresh milk, 2 teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk, 2-3 drops of Absinthe Liqueur and stir. Decorate with a sprig of mint.
  5. An easy and fast Italian recipe: Farinata, a typical chickpeas bread. In the northern region Liguria they offer it as a snack whatever the occasion. Ingredients: 1 ½ cups of chickpea flour ¾ liter of water ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil salt pepper 1 minced onion Put the chickpea flour and the water in a large bowl. Beat with a whisk to mix well, add salt to taste and let rest for twelve hours. Remove the foam with a spoon. Stir the dough. Put the oil in a large and low pan. Sieve the dough and put in the pan. The thickness of the Farinata should be between 5 mm and 1 cm. Stir the dough with a wooden spoon to absorb the oil. Sprinkle with the pepper and the onion. Preheat the oven at 430 F. Bake the Farinata for 20 minutes or until it looks golden. Cut into big rectangles. Serve warm or cold.
  6. I use to infuse Grappa. I'm northern Italian I inherited tons of recipes, the oldest from my great-grandmother Cecilia. Vodka is too flavorless to infuse it. And, when you infuse something, stay away from cheap liquors: use the best you can find or pure alcohol 90º.
  7. I have three rules to prepare inexpensive meals: 1) never go to the supermarket. Little shops have usually less choice, but are cheaper. 2) Never buy offers such as 3X2. You will waste food (unless you have a big family). 3) A vegetable garden is a great idea. If you don't have a garden, do it on your balcony or even in the kitchen.
  8. Miele: fast, silent and ...cheap. They last forever. Mine is quite new, only 8 years old but my mother bought one in 1992 (we remember because she moved to a new house that year) and it's still working. Still fast and silent after 21 years!
  9. If grapes keep more than 5 days, they will be flavorless. It's better not store ripe fruit in the fridge, it becomes watery.
  10. It's horrible to have en e-cookbook. I not only use to annotate my cookbooks, but I also put little sheets with other recipes between their pages. Try to slip a sheet between INTO an iPad! Ebay is more modern, but garage sales are wonderful to find cheap cookbooks. If you are very, very lucky you can also find handwritten family cookbooks.
  11. olmoelisa

    Cynar

    About the same. Artichoke flavor is so strong it covers everything else.
  12. olmoelisa

    Cynar

    Some Italian cocktails with Cynar: Cynar is an Italian traditional bitter liqueur. Drink on the rocks with an orange zest or use it in cocktails. Shake 1 part of Artichoke Liqueur (Cynar), 1 part of Curacao, 1 part of Cherry Ratafià, 3 parts of orange juice. Pour the Cynar in a frozen flute and add 2 parts of dry white wine. A typical Venetian aperitif: shake 1 part of Artichoke Liqueur, 1 part of Aperol (or Red Vermouth), 1 part of Dry Gin. Pour over ice in a highball glass. My recipe to make Artichoke Liqueur (Cynar): Ingredients: 1 liter of alcohol at 95º 30 tender leaves of artichoke 1 lemon 5 artichoke stems 1 flowering tops of yarrow 2 cloves 1/2 liter of water 1 cups of sugar 1/2 liter of dry white wine Wash the artichoke leaves in water and lemon. Peel the stems and cut them in little cubes. Put the spices, the artichoke stems and leaves and the alcohol in an airtight jar. Let soak for 3 weeks. Filter. Make a syrup with the sugar and the water. If you prefer a very bitter taste use only ¼ cup of sugar. Add the syrup and the wine to the alcohol. Bottle and let rest for 4 months.
  13. When I drink a Spritz I remember my days at Padua University. The recipe? I cannot give you the REAL one, because every bartender in Italy (and specially in Veneto, the region where Padua and Venice are) has his own recipe. Three parts of Prosecco wine and two parts of Aperol is a simplification. It exists a Spritz for men and a Spritz for ladies, for example. Spritz recipe can also change depending on the time in the day.
  14. Speaking about Italian Amaros, you can try China Martini or Rabarbaro Zucca in your beer. Avoid Unicum, Petrus and Braulio in the beer. If you like to taste something new, this is the recipe for a Artichoke Liqueur (similar to the Italian amaro Cynar). I hade never taste in in a beer, but I feel it can be OK. Artichoke LiqueurIngredients: 1 liter of alcohol at 95º 30 tender leaves of artichoke 1 lemon 5 artichoke stems 1 flowering tops of yarrow 2 cloves 1/2 liter of water 1 cups of sugar 1/2 liter of dry white wine Wash the artichoke leaves in water and lemon. Peel the stems and cut them in little cubes. Put the spices, the artichoke stems and leaves and the alcohol in an airtight jar. Let soak for 3 weeks. Filter. Make a syrup with the sugar and the water. If you prefer a very bitter taste use only ¼ cup of sugar. Add the syrup and the wine to the alcohol. Bottle and let rest for 4 months. Hints for cocktails (no beer involved): This is a traditional bitter liqueur. Drink on the rocks with an orange zest or use it in cocktails. Shake 1 part of Artichoke Liqueur, 1 part of Curacao, 1 part of Cherry Ratafià, 3 parts of orange juice. Pour in a frozen flute and add 2 parts of dry white wine. A typical Venetian aperitif: shake 1 part of Artichoke Liqueur, 1 part of Aperol (or Red Vermouth), 1 part of Dry Gin. Pour over ice in a highball glass.
  15. A fish is good when it's so fresh you can eat it raw. This is one of the reasons why I moved near the Ocean.
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