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We seem to be on a bit of a sbrisolona kick at Ortensia Blu!  I wanted to surprise my colleagues after the long summer break with something new and didn’t want to bake the usual chocolate or apple strudel. It had to be a mix of something light, fresh and still “estivo” or summer. Then […]

Dessert, Recipes

Sbrisolona alle Fragole e Cioccolato (Sbrisolona with Strawberries and Chocolate)

Sbrisolona with Strawberries and Chocolate

To be perfectly honest, the first time I saw a sbrisolona, it didn’t do too much for me. It wasn’t interesting looking and in fact, to continue with my honesty, actually sort of boring. Originating in Mantova, sbrisolona is a dessert meant to be broken in pieces and eaten with wine, grappa or espresso and […]

Dessert, Recipes, Travel



My friend Roseann is one of the few, in my humble opinion, that I put in the category of a great cook. Growing up in an Italian family, Sundays were spent at Grandma’s house with all the relatives. Sunday was also the day to make homemade cavatelli with her grandmother and great aunts. Everyone had their […]

Dessert, Foods Kids Love, Recipes

Strawberry Bruschetta (Bruschetta di Fragole)

Strawberry Bruschetta

Just got back from a four day work trip and I had asked Dad to pick me up at the airport. It was 1:30 pm and I was tired but above all hungry.  It was rather cold on the airplane and I chose not to eat. My stomach was crying for a pizza.  German cuisine […]

Dessert, First Course (Primi), Recipes, Vegetables

Zucchini Flower Fritelle (Fritters)

Fried Zucchini Flowers

Mother’s Day! My son wanted to celebrate this day dedicated to all mothers in a special way by baking some biscuits for me. We chose some really “tempting” biscuits which are easy to make and are prepared with three simple ingredients – butter, sugar and flour. Their name literally means “cat’s tongue” as their shape […]

Dessert, Foods Kids Love, Recipes

Lingue di Gatto Biscotti (Cat’s Tongue Cookies) for Mother’s Day

Lingue di Gatto Cookies

Easter is the most important holy feast in the Christian religion and comes 40 days after Lent when we give up something we enjoy as a form of penance.  And in Italy, there are more than 3,000 celebrations from the north to the south including processions, religious rites, sacred representations, festivals and folk traditions. Entire villages […]

Dessert, Holidays, Recipes

Chiocciole Pasquali

Chiocciole Pasquali

There’s a terrific cooking school in New York, the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), which along with its professional culinary program, offers hundreds of recreational cooking classes.  I’ve  enjoyed every class I’ve taken, but my favorite ones are Italian (surprise!). And my favorite Italian cooking instructor is Daniel Rosati who in addition to teaching at […]

Bread, Brunch, Dessert, Holidays, Recipes, Wow!

Colomba di Pasqua {Easter Dove Bread}

Colomba di Pasqua

  Italians enjoy drinking coffee in the morning whether it is a homemade  espresso or one had in the local bar – and it is always a moment of wellbeing.  During a work break or after dinner, coffee makes simple moments during the day a real pleasure. And as an extra bonus, coffee has many […]

Dessert, Recipes

Biscotti al Caffè {Coffee Cookies}

Coffee Cookies

According to the legend, lemon plants were introduced into the Lake Garda region in the XIV century by the Franciscan friars. The first lemon houses (limonaia) arose on the Brescia (west) side of the lake, mostly in areas of Gargnano and Limone while some were built  on the Veronese coast, where the main centre for the […]

Dessert, Lake Garda, Recipes, Travel

Garda Lake Lemon Tart {Crostada al Limone del Lago di Garda)

Lemon Tart

Apples are a very popular fruit grown in Trentino Alto Adige, near where I grew up in the North of Italy, bordering Austria and Switzerland. With many varieties of regional apples flourishing, Apple Fritters are a very typical and traditional dish of this area.  In South Tyrol, these pancakes are served as an accompaniment to […]

Dessert, Foods Kids Love, Recipes

Apple Fritters {Frittelle di Mele}

Apple Fritters (Frittelle di Mele)

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