Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crazy Italians Ring in the New Year eating lentils for good luck while wearing red underwear!

Our Nonna's recipe is said to bring good luck with the New Year. According to the tale, it also helps if you wear red underwear while you eat the lentils. Some sources say that the underwear has to be new and given to the wearer as a gift. The shape of lentils looks like a coin, so eating them should bring you wealth in the New Year. This dish is common in Italian restaurants, but everything tastes better if you make it yourself right?! So tie on your apron and give our recipes a try!!!!

 Cotechino Con Lenticchie ~ Lentils and Sausage

Featured in Cooking Vacations January 2010 Newsletter
Serves 4 to 6

One large cotechino type sausage or pork, chicken or turkey

300 g small green lentils

2 bay leaves

Olive oil

1 onion, pealed but left whole

Handful finely chopped parsley

Written and typed by Chloe Lucia Cohen

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ricciarelli From Siena!

Warm your Christmas with traditional sweets from Siena called Ricciarelli.  Snuggle up to the fire with a hot cup of cocoa and enjoy the delicate old world cookies from Tuscany.  From our kitchen to yours, hope you bake up a storm!  From our kitchen at Cooking Vacations,

Ricciarelli Cookies

200 gr of peeled almonds

20 gr of bitter almonds

200 gr of sugar

1 tsp of orange essence

1 egg white
Flour (as much as is needed)

The tip of a teaspoon of baking powder
50 gr of powdered sugar

Grind the almonds well, add the orange essence, the baking powder, the sugar and then finally add the egg white and as much flour as you need to obtain a soft dough, consistent but not too tough. Sprinkle the powdered sugar on a table and form a log with the dough, then cut it into small pieces (about 30 grams each), roll it in your hands as if it were a meatball that you then elongate pressing it forward. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the balls spread apart on the sheet. With the rest of the powdered sugar, dust the cookies well: if you have enough time, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rest overnight. Bake them in a 180 degree Celsius oven for 6-7 minutes if you like them soft, otherwise bake them for 10-12 minutes.