Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cooking Vacations Featured in Fodor's

We are thrilled that Cooking Vacations was featured in the Fodor's Travel Intelligence Guide!

In honor of the sweet Sibillini hills, which helped Acoli secure its status as the country's best truffle hunting grounds... CLICK to read on!

Check out the featured program on our website...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tanti Auguri to the Happy Newlyweds!!

Although we appreciate the rains of April, we were very thankful that Mother Nature was on our side and stopped the drops on April 12, because our dear Melody at Cooking Vacations celebrated her wedding day with Nando.  It was a sunny day that celebrated happy wedding blessings for the couple.
We wish them long love, health and a happy life together.

Tanti Auguri to Melody & Nando!!! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rainy Day Spring Zuppa

The saying holds true here in Positano this week, as the forecast calls for showers and chillier temperatures. Although the weather keeps us inside it doesn’t stop us from enjoying the seasonal spring vegetables, like the first fava beans, sweet peas, and new potatoes. If you find yourself feeling blue try serving up bowls of our warm spring soup. This along with thoughts of colorful May flowers will help brighten your spirits in no time!

Serves 4-6

Delicious, light and flavorsome - the perfect soup for a healthy spring lunch.

1.5 kg of Fava Beans (broad beans)
1.5 kg fresh Peas
3 Artichokes, cleaned and finely chopped
50 ml Olive Oil
100g Pancetta, chopped
1  medium Onion, sliced thinly
1 clove Garlic, crushed
500g New Potatoes, diced
Piece of Parmesan Rind
Handful of fresh Parsley, chopped
500 ml water
Handful fresh Basil, chopped

Shell the beans and peas and set to one side. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the pancetta, let it brown a little, then add the onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the beans, peas, artichokes and potatoes. Mix well, add the parsley and the Parmesan rind and add the water.

Season with salt and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally and adding more water if soup dries out too much. Serve hot with a sprinkling of basil and a final drizzling of olive oil.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kids Cooking by Chloe and Siena at Cooking Vacations

Growing up in an Italian family means spending lots of time in the kitchen with Nonna and Mamma.  Chloe and Siena, sixth generation Italian Americans, keep family recipes cooking in our family kitchen!

Using natural vegetable coloring, the girls made our family Easter Eggs naturally with vegetable colors.

Get ready for the annual Easter Egg hunt in the garden at Nonna's on Easter Sunday!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter, Buona Pasqua!!

Natale Con I Tuoi, Pasqua Con Chi Vuoi! ~ Christmas With Your Family, But Easter With Whoever You Want!

 The Italian table can start to get crowded  as all are invited to feast on a meal of Easter favorites. While the dishes may differs from one region to the next, there are still common ingredients like eggs, cured meats, lamb, and spring vegetables like peas, asparagus, and fava beans. Don’t forget the desserts! There’s pastiera, colomba, and egg biscotti.

The pastiera cake is typically made with cooked wheat, ricotta and candied fruit. The ricotta recipe below is a simple alternative to this Easter specialty. Colomba (dove, in Italian) is a must on the Easter table; delicate and light this sponge cake is enhanced with orange zest, and often decorated with sliced almonds or whole eggs! While you won’t find these little egg biscotti hiding in the backyard, they do make for a festive and colorful centerpiece. These sweet cookies are cake-like in texture and covered with icing and sugar candies.
E-mail us for more recipes. We’ve got you covered to bring a little bit of Italy to your Easter this year!!

Pastiera ~ Ricotta Pie
8 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 lbs Ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Beat eggs, sugar and nutmeg together.  Add cream, vanilla, milk and Ricotta and blend well.

Grease a 10” pie plate and pour in Ricotta mixture.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until the pie is firm.  Test by inserting a skewer, if it comes out dry the pie is done!