Houston Cooking Class Escapes the Evil Eye (Mar 1, 2011)

March 12, 2011

Never put a loaf of bread on the table upside down: porta male ("brings bad luck"). Everyone will jump up to turn it over, making the corna sign ("horns") against the mal'occhio ("evil eye"). Bread is sacred. Never throw out leftover bread. Porta male. Countless Italian dishes with breadcrumbs as well as bruschetta and panzanella (old-bread-cold-salad) solve the challenge of what to do with stale bread. read more...

Delicious Food, Wonderful Conversation and New Friends (Feb 25, 2011)

March 7, 2011

"No words to convey what an incredible evening full of delicious food, wonderful conversation and new friends... I thank you for your energy, spirit and passion. Much gratitude...", wrote Scottsdale host, Jana, after our February 25th event in her home. Jana, I thank YOU and Cheryl for a most wonderful evening of sharing in the "joy of cooking". read more...

Three Times a Charm at Phoenix Cooking School (Feb 23-24, 2011)

March 3, 2011

"The school is held at the beautiful home of Chef Barbara Fenzl and every month she gets an extraordinary chef in and teaches you several recipes which you then get to try...", says a review of Les Gourmettes Cooking School in Phoenix. I was the "chef" for three events at the school on February 23 and 24th. Owner Barbara Pool Fenzl, trained in France and renowned cookbook author who has appeared on cooking shows on PBS, booked the classes months ago, filling them immediately. read more...

Lightning Strikes in Phoenix (Feb 22, 2011)

March 3, 2011

About two days before my scheduled arrival in Phoenix, Angela, an old friend from my Santa Clara University days, emailed to ask if I would enjoy a "real Mexican dinner" with her upon arrival in Phoenix. I emailed back "great!". Three hours or so later, Angela emailed to ask if I would like to do a cooking class instead for twelve of her friends at the home of another friend! read more...

Detouring from the Menu in Lagunitas (Feb 20, 2011)

February 28, 2011

Spontaneity makes any cooking class even better! Howie and Dave specialize in hosting fun cooking classes with a good mix of guests - and their own additions to the menus I send on ahead. This year the day before the class - my second time at their cozy home off a road through the woods in Lagunitas - Howie called to tell me that the eggplant I needed for one recipe and the green beans required for another did not meet her standards. read more...

Umbrian Bounty in Belmont (Feb 18, 2011)

February 28, 2011

Again this year in Belmont, CA., Nada generously opened her home and heart to an enthusiastic cooking group drawn together by Anne - who I first met in 1971 when she brought her (then!) second-grader Katie to meet me, "the new teacher" on the first day of school! Anne, who ever thought we would be cooking together years later?! Three other mothers of my beloved 1971 second-graders joined in on the class this year, too (our second time re-connecting "around the burners")....and a couple of fathers joined in the feasting at the end of our class. Che bello! read more...

Even Parrots Like Pasta (Feb 17, 2011)

February 22, 2011

I certainly never thought a parrot would be testing my pasta. Well, the sauce at least... Marilyn and Patrick's cooking class was the first to be observed by a parrot! I first met Patrick and Marilyn at a Loyola Chicago Rome reunion a couple years ago when they signed up for a tour day with me in Assisi, centered on our splendid May medieval festival, the Calendimaggio... read more...

Portland Women Create a Banquet (Feb 13, 2011)

February 21, 2011

I've loved acting as guide for Kathy Weeks of Tesoro Travel's Umbria trips. What a joy to re-unite with Kathy and some of her tour group over the burners as we prepared yet another feast in Portland, Oregon. Our February 13th cooking class was hosted by Chris who had toured with me in Umbria on one of Kathy's trips. She opened her home and heart to all of us. Che bella serata! read more...

From Treviso to Portland (Feb 12, 2011)

February 21, 2011

Last time I saw Shannon was in Assisi where I toured with her, husband Tom and their three bellissimi bambini during the two years they were living in Treviso, north of Venice. How odd to share Italian food once again - in Portland, Oregon - while cooking together with Shannon and a group of her friends! Not only Shannon's friends joined in our feast but also one of mine: Tom and I had studied together in Rome in 1968. Il tempo vola...! read more...