December 2008

Neapolitan Christmas and St. Joseph's Day Treats - Struffoli (Recipe)





Struffoli, is is one of the most popular Italian sweets found on dessert tables for Christmas Eve or St Joesph's Day!


 I remember well the towers of Struffoli at my Grandpa Salara's home!  I am so grateful I found this recipe here!  I loved the fried flavor reminiscent of mini eclair puffs drenched in honey syrup!  I will pass this down to my children as well!

The preparation is not fast but relatively simple (provided you have a bit of  familiarity with deep frying).

The following traditional recipe from my family has no leavening but the struffoli still comes out crisp.  If you prefer them more full in size, you may add a pinch of baking soda.

With this recipe be sure to let the dough rest a few hours before making the struffoli.



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Italian Ceramics from Florence Italy

Italian Ceramics from Italy


These handcrafted hand-painted Ceramics are type of earthenware made of clay from the Mediterranean.


This dazzling colorful Italian earthenware is called Majolica (also known as Maiolica or Maioliche) and was named by the Italians after the Spanish island of Majorca.

Originally this type of earthenware was exported from Majorca and introduced to Italy in the 13th century.


Majolica became popular during the Renaissance period and centers for producing the earthenware arose throughout Italy. During this time, these artistic ceramics were often given as a gift to celebrate momentous occasions, such weddings and births.


Deruta, Montelupo Fiorentino, Firenze (Florence), Sesto Fiorentino, Gubbio, Gualdo Tadino and Faenza are cities/towns in Italy that are very well-known for the production of Italian Majolica Ceramics.


The Italian city of Deruta, where the majority these ceramics, Deruta is most famous for its' Italian majolica pottery.  Deruta is just south of the city of Perugia, located in the Umbria region of Italy which is southeast of neighboring Tuscany.


 Currently, Deruta has and still is a major manufacturer and exporter of Majolica.  Montelupo Fiorentino, just east of Florence, is one of the most famous production centers of Majolica Ceramics in the Tuscan region.

Grandmas Italian Pizzelles (Recipe)


Pizzelles, originally uploaded by amy(k).

Italian Pizzelles, This time of year brings many memories especially about Christmas cookies, especially Pizzelles!

As a child we would visit my Grandmother during the holidays. After the kiss on both cheeks and as everyone settled in and began catching up I could only think of one thing, to the closet!

Not to get my coat but to reach up and try to get at that red can with the flowers on it! It had foil under the lid that stuck out and if I could reach enough I could get the edge of it with my two fingers and

wiggle it down, got it! It is now in my possession, I can smell the aroma! I grab the lid of the can and pry it off and there they are beautifully golden delicately crisp Pit-zels, what I called them, lightly dusted with powered sugar and just waiting for me to dive in!

This recipe can be found in many places, the Iron can be found here! I chose this image from amy(k) from Flicker because it brings to mind the sense of pride you feel after making a batch of love, which I’m sure every child feels when they eat Grandmas Pizzelles!

3 eggs
1/2 tsp anise extract
1/2 tsp baking Powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar

Beat eggs and sugar. Add cooled melted butter and vanilla as well as the anise extract. Sift flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture. The batter will be stiff enough to be dropped by a spoon. The batter may be refrigerated to be used at a later time. Makes 30
Before serving dust with powdered sugar!