New Favorite: Old-Fashioned Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Poached Pears by A Little Yumminess

Here’s something tasty to eat while you’re awaiting the return of luscious summer fruit. We love our apples, pears and oranges, but somehow they just don’t inspire the way those buckets of cherries and perfect ripe-tart-juicy nectarines do. But then again these spiced, wine-poached pears are pretty great. They’re tender and sweet, with hints of clove and cinnamon, and exotic, earthy aromas provided by a bit of leftover wine. Glossy and gorgeous, this is an old-fashioned kind of dessert, the kind your grandmother might have made — especially if she was Italian. In fact making these always gets my hubby thinking about his Nonni.

Continue reading

Currently Craving – Della Fattoria’s Avocado Toast

IMG_5911

Della Fattoria’s avocado toast takes the concoction to a new level – crispy, toasty Della bread topped with perfectly ripe, super thinly sliced avocado.  Topped with some purple sprouts, salt and pepper and olive oil.  A totally luscious, gorgeous, work of art – almost too beautiful to eat….. Continue reading

Flavor Brigade: Italian Ice in Oakland!

Flavor BrigadeItalian ice hasn’t quite “become a thing” the Bay Area — at least not yet. In fact the only place we know of that specializes in it is Flavor Brigade on Fruitvale Ave in Oakland. We make it a point to try and position ourselves in the vicinity of Flavor Brigade as often as possible so we have an excuse to stop in for some Philly style “water ice” (another name for Italian ice). If we lived closer, I’m pretty sure we’d be there ALL the time. Continue reading

Cool Summer Treats: Frozen Hot Chocolate

IMG_0121

Summer is here and when we saw this recipe on one of our favorite blogs, we could not resist trying it out almost immediately.  Made famous by Serendipity Cafe in NYC, this “frozen hot chocolate” is basically a home-made ice blended.  It’s an easy recipe, one that the kids can make by themselves, start to finish (that includes clean-up!).  I suspect we will be making these frozen hot chocolates a few more times before the summer is over.  The portion below in the recipe is (too) small, and given the popularity of the end product, do double or triple the recipe!  Great icy treat to add to your summer repertoire…. Continue reading

Falafel Drive-In, San Jose

Falafel Drive In

Go for the classic — falafel sandwich & a banana shake!

Where have you been all my life Falafel’s Drive-In? I love a good drive-in, and I’m never opposed to French fries, but add crunchy falafel to the mix? Now you’re talking !

A few weekends ago we happened to be near San Jose, hungry for some lunch with vague recollection about falafel on Steven’s Creek Blvd. A quick Google search was all we needed to lead us to Falafel’s Drive-In. Continue reading

Kitchen Gear: Suribachi (Japanese Mortar & Pestle)

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 1.19.49 PM

Check out this suribachi (“grinding bowl”). It’s a Japanese-style mortar and pestle. Over the last year I have become a big fan of this piece of cooking equipment because the design is perfect for making pastes and pestos. Essentially it’s a ceramic bowl with an unglazed, textured inside. With a wooden pestle, you grind foods against the ridges inside the bowl. It’s similar to other tools you may know (a Mexican Molcajete, an Italian mortar and pestle made from marble, or a Indonesian style mortar and pestle made from basalt/volcanic rock), but those ridges make all the difference. You can make smooth, creamy pastes really efficiently. And like other mortar and pestles you can work with very small quantities which is handy and impossible with a food processor or mini chop. Continue reading

Summer Inspiration: Grilled Avocados

IMG_9806

Until very recently, I never considered grilling avocados – and now that I have discovered this, there’s no turning back.  The recipe is super simple – cut a few ripe avocados in half.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and ancho chile powder (cayenne, paprika or any other chile powder work well). Grill for 1-2 minutes, cut side down till charred.  Season with Maldon salt and squeeze on some fresh lime juice.  Ridiculous good. Continue reading