Sunday, September 27, 2009


The Garibaldi girls; Romilda, Vera, Rena,
my Grandma, Rosalie & Angie.

Here I am with my sister, cousins and Grandma in 1979.
(Notice I seem to have the same haircut as my boy cousin Ryan.)

Tonight I am having my cousin Jenny over for dinner. I love spending time with her because, like the rest of our family, she is really energetic and funny. I thought it would be appropriate to prepare some Garibaldi family recipes. Its gloomy outside and we could both use some comfort food. Tonight's menu will include pumpkin ravioli topped with our Great-Grandma's pasta sauce, and roasted brussell sprouts on the side. Oh, and for dessert? Biscotti of course. Jenny has been working insane hours lately so I decided to make extra sauce that she can take home with her for an easy weeknight dinner.

Pasta Sauce

1 lb lean beef, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium chopped onions
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped basil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 26 oz boxes of tomato sauce
splash of red wine
1 tsp water
sprinkle nutmeg
salt and pepper

Sear the meat in olive oil. Remove meat. Saute onions, then add herbs, mushrooms, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Add meat and simmer for 1 hour or more (more is better) on a very low flame. Keep it thin enough by adding a little water (or wine) as needed. Season with salt and pepper. **Disclaimer to fellow family members: This recipe includes a few alterations to the original that my my mom makes, and now a few of my own minor changes. Thats part of the fun of family recipes, as each generation gets to put their own mark on it! :)


This recipe comes from my Grandma, via my Great-Aunt Romilda. There are no words that describe how sentimental I feel when I bite into one of these cookies. Its the same feeling you get from smelling a lost loved one's perfume or trying on your grandmother's wedding band. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

3 cups flour, sifted
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp sweet anise (scant)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 (rounded) tsp baking powder
1 cup slivered almonds

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and remaining ingredients. Knead lightly on floured board. Form into long narrow rolls and place on greased baking pan. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, or until brown. Remove from pan and slice rolls about 1/2 inch thick. Place slices on cookie sheet and return to oven till browned (about 10 minutes). As Grandma would say, "Mangia, mangia!!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I picked these Zinnias up at the Farmer's Market in Union Square yesterday. Then I assembled a bunch of simple posies and spread them around my apartment. Luckily I have lots of leftover jam jars that make perfect vases.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tomato Pie

Last May my husband and I were lucky enough to celebrate our 2 year anniversary in Aix en Provence, where we ate the most incredible tomato pie for dinner one night. I have been daydreaming about that dinner ever since! Here is a quick and easy version of it.

Crust Ingredients:
2 cups flour
generous sprinkle of salt
1/2 cup iced water
1/4 cup olive oil

6 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 large tomatoes, sliced
handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
herbs de provence

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dough ingredients in a food processor, then form a ball of dough with your hands. (If necessary, add more water or flour to attain your desired dough consistency). Spread into the bottom of a pie dish, then refrigerate for 10 minutes. Spread the mustard over the pie dough and sprinkle with herbs de provence. Arrange the cheese in dollops, then cover with tomato slices. Bake for 30 minutes, and let cool before serving. Pie time!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Corn Soup

Its starting to get a little chilly here in New York, which means one thing to me...soup season! Last night we had friends over for tacos so I decided to serve my corn soup on the side. Its quick and easy, and I will have leftovers for lunch the rest of the week.

6 medium corn on the cob, husked
olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 medium jalapeno peppers, minced
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp cround cumin
1 tsp ground tumeric
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
salt & pepper
cilantro for garnish

1. Remove corn kernels from cobs and reserve cobs.

2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add jalapeno and onions; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add celery, cumin and turmeric, cook for about 1 or 2 minutes more.

3. Add broth, water and cobs; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Relmove and discard cobs. Add corn, salt, and pepper to soup, & simmer for 15 minutes more.

4. Puree soup until smooth. Garnish with cilantro.