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Category Archives: Gnocchi, Pasta, Pizza and Rice

It’s the Simple Things

Written on December 31, 2013 at 4:10 pm, by

I suppose this is the day in the year when we’re all supposed to shake our heads and say, “Wow. Another year.” Twelve months. 365 days. This is the day where the year is supposed to become the sum of all its parts. But really, I don’t know how much I believe this. In the  Continue Reading »

Gnocchi. Apparently the Recipe is Necessary.

Written on July 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm, by

After my last post, I got a number of requests for the gnocchi recipe that I used. Gnocchi is one of those dishes that is highly personal. If you ask five Italian women how they make gnocchi you’ll probably get five different variations of what is essentially a mixture of cooked potato and flour. The  Continue Reading »

Gnocchi. Words Unnecessary.

Written on June 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm, by

Lasagne. Words Unnecessary.

Written on April 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm, by

Magazine Mondays: Tortelloni!

Written on May 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm, by

Wow. It’s been a long time between regular posts here at my little corner of the food blog world. Many apologies – between work and life in general, there just hasn’t been a lot of time for much blogging. But that’s the beauty of a food blog – it’s always here waiting whenever you decide  Continue Reading »

I Love My Mom.

Written on May 8, 2011 at 6:43 am, by

I love my mom. I love her because when I was just a wee little thing, and she would make fresh pasta, she’d let me play with a piece and pretend that I was making pasta, too. And now that I’m not a wee little thing anymore, I love to make fresh pasta. Moms are  Continue Reading »

My One and Only

Written on February 24, 2011 at 10:07 pm, by

If you have an Italian background and grew up in a household where Italian food traditions were maintained, I’m willing to bet pastina was a big part of your formative years. For me, pastina refers to the soup dish that we were all fed as children: chicken broth with tiny pasta in it. Most often,  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Gnocchi!

Written on November 22, 2010 at 7:23 pm, by

Whew! The past four weeks have been tough, to say the least. I had a big work assignment that pretty much meant almost no baking or cooking for me and that of course translates to almost no blogging. Now that the project is done, I am slowly readying myself for the greatest baking time of  Continue Reading »

Cjalsòns: Something New.

Written on November 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm, by

As much as I like to think I know a lot about “Italian food”, the fact is that the older I got and the more familiar I become with Italian life, the more I realize that I actually know very little about the astonishing variety of dishes that fall under that umbrella. Case-in-point: this past  Continue Reading »

Two For One

Written on August 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm, by

I’m going on vacation in a few weeks and I’m trying to work my way through as many cookbooks as I can because I have so many to tell you about! One of the blessings of having a food blog is the opportunity (the honour!) to have a peek at the amazing cookbooks that are  Continue Reading »

In the Divinest of Kitchens

Written on June 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm, by

I’m not ashamed to admit it. When it comes to “social media”, I’m just a tad behind the times. I’m still trying to figure out Twitter and while I have a Facebook account, let’s just say I’m apt to forget about it for weeks on end. It’s not that I don’t like interacting with people,  Continue Reading »

Take a Bite. A Big, Big Bite.

Written on June 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm, by

I love cheeky cookbooks. This is probably what first attracted me to the charming, shameless and utterly delicious cookbook Bite Me: A Stomach-Satisfying, Visually Gratifying, Fresh-Mounthed Cookbook. I remember it well. It was a Friday night, after work. I had taken my weekly trip to the local bookstore and was cruising the cookbook section for  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Pasta!

Written on May 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm, by

Sometimes I’m convinced that I have some sort of internal navigation system that activates as soon as I see a recipe I simply must try. The navigation system kicks in and directs me home, as fast as possible, to try said recipe. This can be a problem when you’re … say … at work. Thus  Continue Reading »

Rice is Very Nice

Written on April 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm, by

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf. In my efforts to catch up with  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Pizza!

Written on January 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm, by

I would have to say that pizza is in my top three favourite foods. Rare is the time when I have uttered, much less thought, the words “Don’t really feel like pizza right now.” And it’s unlikely that you’ll be hearing me say that anytime soon. In fact, probably never. I don’t know if it’s  Continue Reading »


Written on December 30, 2009 at 9:34 am, by

What is it about this time of year that makes us look back and wonder? What was the most important event of the year? Best song of the year? Favourite movie? Biggest discovery? It goes and on. In the days before the new year makes itself known, it seems we spend endless time evaluating the  Continue Reading »

Cooking Italy: Amatriciana

Written on November 18, 2009 at 6:42 am, by

Last month I posted about a cooking group called Cooking Italy, started by Angela of Spinach Tiger. The idea behind the group is that each month, you prepare a set of pre-chosen recipes from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. I loved the idea of the group as soon as I heard about it  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Pansotti (or Pansoti)!

Written on October 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm, by

It has been a jam-packed couple of weeks for the Cream Puff. Work has been incredibly busy and there’s been lots going on with family and friends between the Thanksgiving holiday and other events. This is going to be a quick Magazine Mondays post but I definitely wanted to take the time to share with  Continue Reading »

Are You Ready for Some Hockey?!

Written on October 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm, by

The NHL season has already begun but tonight, for the hockey fans out there, is the unofficial beginning of the real hockey viewing season as it’s the first Saturday night transmission of Hockey Night in Canada. Regular readers will know that I’m a huge hockey fan and that my heart belongs to the Toronto Maple  Continue Reading »

Rice with Cuttlefish, Mushrooms and Artichokes: Thank you, Olga!

Written on August 15, 2009 at 10:02 am, by

It’s Daring Cooks time and the August 2009 challenge was hosted by the gracious Olga of Las Cosas de Olga and Olga’s Recipes. I’m always a bit in awe of people who have not one blog but two so I tip my hat to you, Olga. Of course I would tip it to you anyway  Continue Reading »

Walk it Out

Written on August 10, 2009 at 9:21 pm, by

I love walking. Next to baking, there is no act for me that is as calming and therapeutic as walking. I’ve been walking a lot lately. Summer is the season to walk, after all. Despite the odd weather we’ve been having, most nights have been clear and cool, which are the perfect conditions for a  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Got Peas?

Written on June 22, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

Magazine Mondays returns with a perfect recipe for this time of year. If you’re lucky enough to have fresh asparagus and peas available, I urge you to consider this pasta from the April 2009 issue ofFood & Wine: Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas. Not much to say about the recipe beyond that it was  Continue Reading »

… and I’m Back!

Written on May 15, 2009 at 9:38 pm, by

Last week, in a fit of pique, my PC decided to have a little break. Of course the fact that said break clashes horribly with this whole blogging thing I have going meant little to my PC. She was miffed, and that was that. After several days of cajoling, bribery, the PC equivalent of a  Continue Reading »

It Figures …

Written on May 14, 2009 at 4:45 am, by

Well, it just figures that at the same time that we’re supposed to be presenting the very first Daring Cooks challenge, my PC decides to misbehave. It hates me. I know it does. Maybe I have to bake for it more … sigh. Anyway, for those of you that don’t know, The Daring Kitchen now  Continue Reading »

What Sustains Me

Written on April 2, 2009 at 8:20 pm, by

Whenever I tell people that I have no idea how many cookbooks I own (I never count them!), I usually get a surprised response. Most people I know might own a handful to ten cookbooks. I own well in excess of 100 (and counting). The inevitable question is: Why do you have so many? And  Continue Reading »

Rollin’ with My Bakers!

Written on March 28, 2009 at 9:47 am, by

Unless you happen to live in Emilia-Romagna, in whose towns and cities there are still a few shops selling pasta made by hand, you can make far better fresh pasta, either by the rolling-pin method or the machine method, than you can buy or eat anywhere. — Marcella Hazan,

This One is for Sher

Written on October 29, 2008 at 1:01 am, by

This past July, the Daring Bakers lost one of our dearest members with the sudden passing of Sherry Cermak, known to many of us as Sher of the blog What Did You Eat? To say that I was shocked when I found out would be an understatement. Only weeks before, I had been chatting with  Continue Reading »

My Mother’s Cannelloni

Written on May 8, 2008 at 5:47 pm, by

It’s been a very long time since I last talked about my mother’s cooking. A very long time! Truth be told, I could talk about Mama Cream Puff’s cooking everyday. So today, allow me to tell you about my mother’s cannelloni. What are cannelloni you ask? In our family, cannelloni are plump bundles of meat  Continue Reading »

Spring has Sprung!

Written on April 19, 2008 at 11:29 am, by

And just like that, the full force of spring hits us. We went from chilly, rainy weather to “where did I put my flip flops” weather in the blink of an eye. This morning I woke to the sound of birds singing and my Italian neighbours, two doors down, discussing the layout of this year’s  Continue Reading »

Don’t Sneeze!

Written on April 1, 2008 at 8:53 pm, by

“On top of spaghetti, All covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, When somebody sneezed.” I really struggled to pick a cookbook from The Overburdened Bookshelf to feature as the Flavour of the Month for April 2008. As much as I love my baking, I wanted to focus on something other than sweets. The  Continue Reading »

HHDD #17: Stick it to ’em!

Written on January 26, 2008 at 11:16 am, by

Finally! For the first time, I am finally participating in one of the most famous events in foodblogworldom, Hay Hay it’s Donna Day! created by our dear Barbara of This month’s event, the 17th installment, is hosted by sweet Joey (whom I love) of 80 Breakfasts. And Joey has very wisely chosen the theme  Continue Reading »

Lovin’ Those Beans!

Written on January 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm, by

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve fallen in love with Judith Barrett’s cookbook Fagioli: The Bean Cuisine of Italy. If I could take a week off and cook my way through the book from cover to cover, I would. Today’s recipe is a dish that I’ve wanted to try for many years. I’d heard about  Continue Reading »

The Long Garden Goodbye

Written on October 3, 2007 at 9:46 pm, by

As much as I love the fall, I inevitably find myself shaking my head at this time of year as I find it harder and harder to believe that it actually is the fall. True, the leaves are slowly changing colour and the nights are noticeably cooler, but the days are still warm and for  Continue Reading »

La Festa is Here!

Written on September 3, 2007 at 11:55 am, by

Well, it’s finally here! The party that Lis and I like to call the biggest patio party in the world has finally arrived. Bloggers from all over the world are streaming in bringing with them all sorts of captivating offerings. For those of you arriving a bit late, not to worry, there’s still plenty of  Continue Reading »

Arrivederci, Sopranos

Written on June 10, 2007 at 10:51 am, by

Tonight, my family and I will be watching the final episode of the program The Sopranos. After all these years, it finally comes down to one episode. We’ve always been a television family. While many lament the television as causing the breakdown of so many family values, I’ve always found that in my family, it’s  Continue Reading »

Fishing on Friday

Written on April 6, 2007 at 8:23 pm, by

I’ve heard rumours that the Easter Bunny has been seen hopping around our neighbourhood. Perhaps. What I do know, is that it’s Good Friday and that means fish and seafood in our household. I’m often asked why it is that we eat fish on Good Friday and to be honest, I don’t know the precise  Continue Reading »

… Hello April!

Written on April 2, 2007 at 1:06 am, by

Hello, April! I see you’ve brought a new Flavour of the Month with you:  Jamie’s Italy. I received a copy of this book to review and as soon as I picked up, I knew I’d like it. Who wouldn’t want to be sitting in Italy with a plate of pasta and a glass of wine?  Continue Reading »

A Beautiful Sunday

Written on March 18, 2007 at 10:31 pm, by

It has been a beautiful Sunday. After too many weekends spent at work, I find myself returning to the routine of the Sundays that I love. Late mornings, the newspaper, coffee, catching up with my mother, time with my cookbooks and most importantly, food. Today was an especially beautiful Sunday thanks to the sunny skies  Continue Reading »

Rice is Nice

Written on January 15, 2007 at 9:25 pm, by

Forgive me. I know the title of this post must seem unbelievably lame. But I can’t help it. It’s all my warm, fuzzy brain can muster after eating this delicious rice dish and then sinking back onto the couch, under my favourite blanket in the world, in our cozy little living room in our cozy  Continue Reading »

Drunken Pasta

Written on January 6, 2007 at 5:00 pm, by

    On my last night in Vienna, I slowly made my way back to the hotel after one final walk around the Burg Ring. And just as I turned down the narrow street that led to my hotel it hit me:  an overwhelming urge for pasta. Now where did that come from? Vienna gifted  Continue Reading »

My Mother’s Lasagna

Written on August 17, 2006 at 4:34 pm, by

Quite awhile ago, I received an e-mail from Tiel, a regular reader of this little blog. Tiel asked if I could share a lasagna recipe. What Tiel wants, Tiel gets! As it happens, lasagna is a dish near and dear to my heart. When I was small, I had the pleasure of enjoying my grandmother’s  Continue Reading »

I Campioni Siamo Noi!

Written on July 10, 2006 at 6:57 pm, by

Viva l’Italia! Viva i Campioni del Mondo! Ciao! Pasta with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes and Bocconcini Treasured family recipe. 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half 1/2 cup walnut pieces 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper 1 cup parmesan, freshly grated 3/4 to 1 cup extra  Continue Reading »

Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic, Mushrooms and Chili Pepper

Written on June 28, 2006 at 10:48 am, by

Sometimes a girl just needs her plate of pasta! Have a great day … Ciao! Rigatoni con Aglio Arrostito, Funghi e Peperoncino (Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic, Mushrooms and Chili Pepper) Adapted from Truly Madly Pasta by Ursula Ferrigno. 2 heads of garlic, with the tops trimmed off 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  Continue Reading »

Risotto Tricolore: Forza Azzurri!

Written on June 9, 2006 at 1:39 am, by

  So … in case you hadn’t noticed … I’m cheering for Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Hosted by Germany, this event promises to be a month-long celebration of "the beautiful game." The most popular sporting event in the world, the World Cup unites men, women and children in their passion for football  Continue Reading »

Weekend Herb Blogging #36: Salvia Officinalis

Written on June 6, 2006 at 10:51 pm, by

Is it wrong to crave Saturday on a Tuesday? I cannot help myself. It is turning into one of those weeks and I simply cannot wait for the weekend. But how to get through the next three days?!? I was pondering this very question on the subway ride home and, as often happens, the proverbial  Continue Reading »

Pasta with Wild Leek Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Written on May 20, 2006 at 9:07 pm, by

For several years now, shorty after spring arrives, I’ve been hearing about ramps. I’ve heard that ramps are delicious. I’ve heard that they’re one of the gems of the spring season. And most of all I’ve heard that they let off a very pungent and strong aroma. But I’d never seen ramps or tasted them.  Continue Reading »

A Plate of Lemon Happiness

Written on April 13, 2006 at 10:30 am, by

This is the recipe for a plate of lemon happiness: Cream. Lemon zest. Butter. Parmigiano Reggiano. Fettuccine. So what are you waiting for? Ciao! Creamy Lemon Fettuccine Adapted from Lemon Zest by Lori Longbotham. 1 cup heavy cream (35% cream) 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano  Continue Reading »

The Food of Piemonte: Gnocchi alla Bava

Written on February 20, 2006 at 3:15 pm, by

So we have come to the end of Day 10 of the 2006 Winter Olympics. How wondrous this journey has been! Piemonte, unfolding before our very eyes. Revealing her food to us in such a magnificent way! As I look back at the last ten Olympic days, I am struck by the sheer beauty of  Continue Reading »

The Food of Piemonte: Tajarin

Written on February 18, 2006 at 12:42 am, by

It is beautiful to start a meal with a little tidbit, something to awaken the palate and prepare the mouth and stomach for what is to come. But if you’re like me, you always want the meal to start in earnest. The bagna caôda was delicious and I don’t think I would turn down a  Continue Reading »

Conchiglie con Salsa di Noci

Written on February 5, 2006 at 1:24 am, by

Of all the different types of nuts available to us, my very favourite are walnuts. The fruit of the walnut tree, walnuts are widely available and relatively inexpensive when compared to other nuts such as macadamia nuts. They’re good for you too. Walnuts are among the nuts that are highest in monounsaturated fat … that’s  Continue Reading »

Pasta e Ricotta

Written on January 26, 2006 at 12:05 am, by

It is one of life’s little truths that the simplest dishes are usually the most satisfying.  While I often dream about elaborate feasts consisting of all sorts of exotic dishes and breathtaking desserts, the recipes that I come back to again and again are the ones that were introduced to me as a child. A  Continue Reading »

A Tasty Trio

Written on January 14, 2006 at 11:12 pm, by

This past Christmas I vowed that unlike previous years, I would actually make use of all of my gifts as soon as possible. This is, after all, the girl who received a Cuisinart food processor for Christmas two years ago and proceeded to leave it in the box for an entire year before taking it  Continue Reading »

Pasta Comfort

Written on January 12, 2006 at 8:42 pm, by

There are certain ills that only pasta can cure. Bad day at the office? No chocolate in the house? Sore feet?  Never fear.  These are all curable with a plate of pasta. Don’t believe me? Try it. It’s no wonder then that after a particularly stressful day, not too long ago, I had pasta on  Continue Reading »