May 13, 2019


With The Baker

Want to have a day filled with amazing scenery, lots of laughs, fabulous food and learn to bake the traditional bread of the Garfagnana? All you need to do is join in on a Panini Girl In Lucca tour and you too can experience what we did on this sunny Monday in the mountains outside […]

May 5, 2019

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Let The Week Begin!

  I’ve spent a wonderful first week on my own in my adopted home of Lucca, wandering down streets I’ve never explored, walking on the wall early mornings before the town has awoken, discovering new shops that have opened since my last visit and last but not least, sampling the food. I enjoy staying in […]

April 23, 2019

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Italian Easter Pie

Making this torta is a tradition in our house and it just doesn’t seem like Easter without it. As a college student my grandmother would pack me a piece to go and I would eat it on the train ride back to school. There are certainly variations on this recipe, some with a lot more […]

March 25, 2019


Pork Shoulder Ragu

  The pasta sauce of my youth was my grandmother’s “gravy”- the tomato sauce cooked on Sunday mornings filled with meatballs, sausage and braciole. I still dream about those afternoons around the table with relatives and no matter how many times I try to recreate her sauce, mine is not quite the same. At any […]

March 1, 2019


Pecan Thumbprints

If you’ve been looking for a new cookie recipe, this is definitely the one to try. These cookies are so good that I’m already thinking of whipping up another batch. I’ve made various thumbprints in the past that were filled with either jam or chocolate, but this frangipane filling nestled under a pecan half adds […]

February 4, 2019


Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

Living in southern California we’re lucky to have access to a variety of gorgeous citrus, often without having to purchase it. At work there’s frequently a basket filled with oranges, lemons or grapefruit, available for the taking. At home we have a dwarf lemon tree in a pot out back which produces an amazing amount […]

January 13, 2019


Experimenting with Sourdough Starter

I have a bread thing going on. About a month ago I was gifted some thirty year old “starter” and since then I’ve baked more bread than I have in years. I’m still in the experimental stage as I’ve only ever baked with dry packaged yeast. My first few attempts were sourdough loaves which turned […]

December 15, 2018


Seedy Crackers

Looking for a homemade Christmas gift? I always bake a variety of cookies at this time of the year, but then again so does everyone else. I decided that instead it might be nice to make something savory to give to friends. I know it looks like there’s a lot of steps involved with this […]

December 2, 2018


Shortbread-Easy As One, Two, Three

I’ve been trying to recreate a cookie that I am suddenly addicted to from our favorite local bakery- Prager Brothers. Started by two brothers the bakery originally sold only bread, but has expanded into  pastries, cookies and sandwiches as well. These guys are true artisans and even mill their wheat right there in the shop. I […]

November 25, 2018


Apple Almond Galette

I had intended to post this recipe before Thanksgiving, but somehow the time got away from me. At any rate there’s still plenty of time to prepare and serve this tasty tart during the holiday season. This crust is buttery and flaky and if you omit the sugar is perfect for a savory tart such […]