Category Archives: Jen’s Kitchen

Some Good Ol’ Fashioned Cooking

I recently realized that our “Home Cooking” section of the blog was growing the slowest throughout the entire site.  I’m only partly ashamed to admit that the one consistent about our trip is that we’ve been indulging in some of the most amazing food we’ve ever had.  However, my OCD recently kicked in when I noticed all our food posts landed in the “Restaurant” or “Jen’s Kitchen” sections.  So, in an effort to right this wrong… here is one very memorable home-cooked meal we hosted a little while ago.

Eugenio brought a wonderful Champagne

Jen has a warm and wonderful family, with whom we love spending time.  Recently, her cousin Eugenio drove from Torino to spend time with us and get reacquainted with Julia.  He brought his lovely girlfriend, Barbara as well.

But enough jabbering… this post is all about the food and drink! Continue reading Some Good Ol’ Fashioned Cooking

Homemade Pizza – Sorry Mr. Delivery Man

Here is something my Mom, Greg and I all have in common…we love Pizza.  And pizza in Italy is the best!  Pizza originated in Italy and they have continued to perfect the art ever since.  When my Mom was in town we decided to make our own versions of our favorite pizza’s at home. We had so much fun and Julia even got in on the action.
Rolling out her dough
When I told my uncle our plan to try to duplicate our favorite pizza’s at home he gave us a brief history lesson on the pizza.  As it turns out, pizza started as a flatbread consumed by many people in Europe.  In 16th century this was a common meal sold on the streets to the poor throughout Naples.  It was an inexpensive dish that offered many different types of toppings.  Credit for the first Margherita pizza is given to pizza maker Raffaele Esposito of Naples.  The story is that in June of 1889 to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, he created a “Pizza Margherita” for the Queen (I had to get that from Wiki – History of Pizza) .  This pizza consisted of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil to represent the colors of the Italian flag.  Thank you Raffaele!  Today people around the world enjoy this simple but delicious pizza.
Our own Pizza Margherita

Continue reading Homemade Pizza – Sorry Mr. Delivery Man

A Healthy and Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe

I (Jen) can safely say Minestrone Soup will be a new staple in our home.  I love it for many reasons.  First, it’s something that I was eating as a baby when my Mom and Nonna (Grandma) would prepare it for me before I even had teeth.  For that reason it’s a soup that not only warms the belly, but also warms my heart.

Julia enjoying some vegetables – pre-soup
I also love that it’s a hard dish to mess up.  You can throw in whatever you have in your pantry and fridge and even though it may not taste exactly the same as the last time; it will always be good.  I also love that I feel good about serving it to my family.  It’s a healthy, complete, meatless dish that tastes good and leaves everyone feeling satisfied.   I love that it works for all ages.  As I mentioned I ate this as a child.  This is a perfect dish to blend up for your baby once they start eating real food.  And I love that now my daughter asks for this soup by name, nearly every day “mom-mom… ZUP!” Continue reading A Healthy and Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe

Easy and Delicious Marinara Pasta Sauce

Well, we have heard a lot from Greg so I thought it was time for me (Jen) to give this blogging a go.  I have had a lot of people ask me how to make sauce.  Growing up in an Italian family this was a staple in our house.  I didn’t even know until college that most people buy pasta sauce from a jar!  Sorry, but… yuck.

I am by no means an expert cook but I have had many very talented woman in my life that have taught me a lot.  Until recently everything I know has been taught to me by my nonna (grandma), my mother and my mother-in-law, who are all incredibly talented in the kitchen.

Even though my Mom isn’t Italian she learned from the best Italian cook (my nonna) how to prepare all of my Dad’s favorite Italian meals.  In the beginning of their marriage she made all the foods she grew up eating – good Ohio cuisine.  This consisted of meat and potato cooking such as meat loaf and casseroles.  Don’t get me wrong, all these foods are delicious… just not to my Dad.  It wasn’t until maybe a year or so of eating this food that my Dad admitted he missed his mother’s cooking and my Mom’s path to creating mouth watering Italian dishes began.  One of the best things she learned from my Nonna was how to prepare Sugo (sauce).  My Nonna’s recipe requires a lot of chopping and it is time consuming to make.  Since I have been living in Como I have had the opportunity to learn from another very talented woman, my Zia (Aunt) Claudia.  She recently taught me a quick and easy way to make delicious sugo with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator.  I hope you enjoy the sauce as much as everyone here enjoys eating it. Continue reading Easy and Delicious Marinara Pasta Sauce

Our Kitchen

The requests have been flooding in by the virtual truckload…

“Now that you live in Italy… what are you cooking?”

Well, we’re here to tell you two things:

1) Not a single person actually asked the aforementioned question (I just thought the subject might make a fun post).

2) Some things are not that different – some things are very different.

And since I’ve thrown myself headfirst into this “blogosphere” and haven’t posted in a couple days… I’m starting to feel like an addict without an outlet.  So here we go – we’re going to let you into our kitchen and show you our pantry and refrigerator.  You’ll be able to get a first-hand glimpse at what we’ve been eating (when we eat at home that is)!

OUR PANTRY (my favorite)

Pantry Overview

Continue reading Our Kitchen