Tomato Machines – Mariella’s Summertime Tradition

Summer holds so many great food memories from my childhood in Italy. One of my favorites is the smell and taste of a ripe tomato right off the vine. Everyone in our town had a vegetable garden, and no matter its size, there were always lots of tomato plants. After all, the gravy (sauce) that we canned had to last for a whole year of pasta meals.


Nonna Assunta with her baby, our Mamma Antonietta

My nonna loved to harvest the plum tomatoes. She cut them in half, squeezed the seeds and liquid out, sprinkled them with salt and placed them on a white sheet in the sun to dry. While helping nonna, I got to taste them as they grew progressively dryer and more intense in flavor. Yum!

My mom did the rest of the work with the tomatoes. She blanched them and ran them through a food mill to remove the skin and seeds, and then put them in jars. It was a time consuming task that was repeated a number of times during tomato season, and well worth it.

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Zenker Creative Adjustable Baking Pan


Zenker Creative Adjustable Baking Pan

A creative trio of options: Biscotti, Quiches, Tarts and more… This German-made adjustable baking pan by Zenker provides a range of possibilities, so why settle for just one option, when you can serve up a trio!

I came across this pan last year, and knew it was an item that we needed to add to our bakeware selection here at Fante’s. Always looking for interesting desserts and entrees to make for family gatherings and weekday meals, this pan provides an uncomplicated, yet create way to bake. My kitchen is by no means large, so an item that offers multiple uses is essential for me.

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Nadia’s Tigelle

Tigelle1Tigelle is an Italian flat bread which originates from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Historically, this bread was made by placing circles of the dough between round clay discs called tigelle, and stacked to bake in an open fire, hence the name. As they baked, the bas relief flower carving in the tile would imprint the bread. Today, they are more commonly made on the stovetop.

Made in Bologna, Italy, the capital of Emilia-Romagna Region, the Enrico Pruni “Due Torri” Tigelle iron is designed to be used on a gas stove top. The inside cavities are embossed with a flower design to replicate the image of the old clay tiles. It resembles the “fiore di vita”, the flower of life symbol which is an ancient design found in many cultures which represents good luck and fertility.

Tigelle are easy to make, and best eaten warm, sliced in half and traditionally filled with ham, prosciutto and cheese, or with sweet jam for a morning treat.

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2014 Holiday Staff Picks – Anything Goes

Last week, we compiled a list of our favorite holiday gift items under $50. This week, we asked our staff to choose a gift from our wide selection of kitchen wares that they would love to give or receive this year if budget weren’t an issue. Some went for useful items that help make everyday cooking and baking easier and more fun, while others went all out and chose their ultimate fantasy gifts. Read below to see what they said!

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2014 Holiday Staff Picks – Under $50

Gift BoxIt’s that time of year again, and holiday gift shopping is upon us! Every year, many of our readers and customers have told us how much they enjoy seeing what our staff chooses to give as holiday presents for friends and family.

We’ve compiled our favorite kitchenware items for 2014, with one rule: What would we choose if we had only $50 to spend?

From personal coffee makers to home cheese making kits, read below to see the wide range of foodie gifts we chose:

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Ask Nina Rose: Why Should I Brew My Coffee Cold?

Nina Rose's Iced CoffeeCold water brewing is a method that’s used to produce a smooth cup of iced coffee by soaking the grounds in water for an extended period of time. Proponents enjoy a mild acidity, with less bitterness than coffee brewed with hot water, and an intense, yet smooth flavor.

While hot brewed coffee is best drunk right away, cold brewed coffee can stay fresh in your fridge for up to two weeks. You can enjoy delicious iced coffee without having to make a batch every day (that is, if you can make it last that long!).

There are many different methods that can be used to brew coffee cold, from leaving it in a french press overnight, to using special cold brew systems like the Toddy and the Yama Cold Brewer. Today, I’m going to take you through my experiences cold brewing with the CoffeeSock which has quickly become my new favorite way of brewing rich and smooth iced coffee with ease.

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What’s Your Favorite Way to Cook Gravy?


Gravy, Marinara, Tomato Sauce, Whatever you call it, we call it Yum!

This week, we asked our staff a very personal question, one which everyone had an answer for.  Though the recipes vary, one thing can be said for sure, we love gravy. Red sauce, tomato sauce, marinara, whatever you call it; is a very individual joy, and everyone makes it differently. Today, we’re sharing our favorite recipes and techniques with you. Read the rest of this entry »


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