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Buccellati Sicilian Christmas Fig Cookies

In December, holiday breads and desserts flood bakery shelves. Panettone may be the most popular Italian pastry served during the holiday season but I prefer homemade Christmas cookies especially nutty roccocò, chocolate covered mostaccioli and buccellati (Sicilian fig-filled cookies). Baked in a wreath ring or as cookies, the combination of figs, dates, nuts, raisins and sometimes candied fruits is simply delicious. In the […]

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Maritozzo – Breakfast in Siracusa

My love for Sicily and city of Siracusa hasn’t waned. Visiting her is like slipping on my well-worn leather trench coat. Crunchy sea air, dark coffee fumes, baking buttery maritozzo and memories wash over me. I walk through the Ortigia market talking to the fish vendors and Grandpa Sebastiano comes to mind. He was a fisherman from Augusta, Sicily and then […]

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Dad_Me Vucciria Market

Top 10 places to eat and drink in Palermo, Sicily

A friend asked me today, why Sicily? The first answer is because my paternal grandparents were born in Augusta, Sicily. They lived there for more 35 years. I was connected to Sicily well before I ever stepped foot on her beautiful soil. My maternal grandparents are from the region of Campania which meant I grew […]

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Pizza stuffed with escarole

I wake up often with food memories dancing in my head. Visions of pizza dough stuffed with sausages and broccoli, peppers and onions, and escarole braised with black olives, anchovies and smoky olives. Mom filled pizza dough with ingredients that she had in the house. Nothing went to waste. I fought for the corner pieces, […]

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Taste of Sicily in Boston

Nearly one year ago, I co-founded Casa Mia Italy Food & Wine with two culinary professionals. We set out to share our love of Italian food, wine and cooking with travelers in a joyful and convivial way. Casa Mia provides local culinary experiences, through delicious food walks and wine tastings, cooking classes and exclusive, food & wine excursions in and around […]

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Wine Tasting Basics

Have you ever attended a professional wine tasting? Not all tastings are the same but often the wine color is noted, the wine swirled, noses sniff into the glass and tasters proclaim “strawberries, raspberries, roses ” all before they taste the wine. Puzzled onlookers may wonder what’s in that glass? I can’t help but think of my 80-year-old […]

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Meet Anna of Vino Di Anna on Mt. Etna

Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Anna Martens at her vineyard on the slopes of Mt. Etna, Sicily. Anna hails from Adelaide, Australia where she grew up surrounded by vineyards. At Adelaide University, she earned a post-grad degree in viticulture and oenology, while working for the Petaluma Winery. In 2001, she packed her […]

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