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Buon Natale! Two Traditional Holiday Treats

Not sure if the world is quite back to normal after COVID-19, but it does feel more so than it has for the last 2 years.  This year, I plan to have my annual Christmas Eve dinner after a two year hiatus, with all of the Italian specialties.  Ravioli, Italian Style Chicken, and of course the sweet treats.  Recall my blog post from way back in 2011 about our Christmas Eve traditions Christmas Eve 2010 . Torcetti are a traditional Italian sugar cookie, but actually not made with any sugar in the batter, the yeast dough is rolled into sugar prior o baking to give it sweetness.  These cookies are simple, rustic, flaky and delicious.  Torcetti are made every year at Christmas around our house, often times made by my sister, Cathy.  Biscotti is something I have only started making recently (meaning my Grandma didn't make it as I was growing up).  I have tried several recipes for this simple Italian, double baked biscuit, and I like the ease and outcome of this one the best. There are a mu
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Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

As you, my foodie followers know, I absolutely love Indian food.  I have been trying to perfect some of the recipes I have posted here previously since I always seem to modify them each time I make them, either by a changing the spices or varying the cooking technique etc.  It's good to mature and perfect, right? Chicken Tikka Masala is (I think I heard this fact ) the most popular Indian dish (outside of India) in the world, and I make it quite a bit, at least once every 2 months.  I've tried several versions of this prolific meal,  but this one from Aarti Sequeira - contained in her cookbook Aarti Paarti - is a simple and amazing take.  Other recipes have almost a half page listing of spices, yet this one, only a few.  I must admit, I was very skeptical.  How could all of the flavors come out with only ginger, garlic, paprica and garam masala?  I went for it and prepared Aarti's version, almost to the letter,  and it was amazing.  The difference here I think, from my oth

One Pot Spinach and Orzo with Feta

I recently bought a box of orzo and then searched for a recipe to make.  I found this fabulous dish in New York Times Cooking, one of my favorite sites.  It combines spinach, orzo, onion, lemon zest and feta to create a vegetarian main