Cherries on Ice:: A Sweet & Frosty Summer Dessert

Ciao from Italy! As you know, part of being a good hostess is developing a menu that is fresh and fun while encouraging guests to chat and have a good time.

As you also know, I like to think and work smarter, not harder. There’s no need to make a dinner party or gathering with friends complicated. The goal is for everyone to have a great evening, including the host.

One of my favorite things to serve during the summer is a surprisingly simple summer dessert, cherries on ice. Back in the states, you should find plenty of them at your local markets and grocery stores. In fact, did you know it’s full-blown cherry season in the Northwest? Due to the special growing conditions and extended hang time on the tree – where the fruit accumulates sugar – Northwest-grown sweet cherries typically boast the highest fruit sugar content of any cherries. Just look out for ones that have a “cherries from the Northwest” label. This simple dessert makes a fun, light end to a meal. Let me know if you give it a try and what you think!

Cherries on Ice

You will need:
– cherries, rinsed and drained
– ice water

To prepare:

Thoroughly rinse cherries and set aside.

Fill a large bowl with ice and cover it completely with water. Place cherries into the ice bath.

Replace ice as needed and serve cherries directly from the ice bath. Be sure to place a pretty bowl nearby (or give one to each guest) for stems and pits.

xx Annette

4th of July All celebration Entertaining Holiday italian cooking italy Recipes spring desserts Uncategorized vegatarian food : Tags: , , , ,

Finished… Finito…All Done, the last photoshoot for La Fortezza Cookbook

A2E5EC76-FE38-42F2-AF09-2E8D972EA383

The Dapper David Loftus, photographer and fashion plate sipping the Rosé named for him.

3D0763D0-47CA-4EAD-AF36-8AEFC6A12B0D_1_201_a

Chef Leo, garnishing the local dish, in an authentic Lunigiana cast iron cooking vessel, called a testa.

ACBC50EF-E7C6-4763-AC44-F1C5916B0E0F

Me at my new bar, that was a delivery saga let’s just say I was happy it arrived and was in one piece.

Ciao everyone!  I can’t believe I am saying this, but I am done with La Fortezza Cookbook. The manuscript? Check,. The recipe testing? Check. Edits? Check. Photo-shoots per season? Check.

7CA9707E-786C-4145-9EC6-A48ADB56E643

La Fortezza, capture by David, his POV is perfection.   92DA59CE-8F04-440C-BA52-740073A6C28D_1_201_a

As you can imagine, shooting a seasonal cookbook in Italy has been a challenge. We had to cancel the very first shoot for the winter Chapter in February 2020. We were finally able to shoot the summer chapter August 2020, and with lots of restrictions and hurdles, we managed to shoot summer with me and my local chef Leo, then in October. I brought our workshop chef from the US which was no small feat. He, unfortunately, was going through some personal issues which did affect the quality of his work and the food which was another challenge on top of the other challenges was a lot for me to process. We soldiered on in March, hiring a new food stylist from England, the incredible Rosie Scott. All the while David Loftus, my photographer, was truly brilliant and consistent and created the most beautiful images. Rosie, our stylist from London, joined the team in March, along with our local chef Leo. We tackled the re-shoots from October’s shoot, as well as the new images for winter (yes, winter at the end of March. We lucked out with some unseasonably cold weather). Rosie and Leo knocked it out of the park. We had the crew back from London last week to shoot the final chapter, spring. With London lockdowns, endless covid 19 tests, daily temperature checks, travel restrictions, and tons of paperwork, we made it happen. My friend and superstar producer Barbara Pederzini was one of the reasons the shoot went so smoothly. She was my rock, to say the least.

856DB659-B194-43DB-A89F-F33092DB898A

Daily temperature checks, Rosie and Charlie doing their temperature checks.

5D048D27-D59A-4F4A-9EE3-E5997A9FA76B

With endless playlists, espressos, market runs, sunshine, heat, rain, and cold days, we had a great time. There were many many challenges, but I am beyond pleased with the recipes, and the images are outrageously gorgeous. This book, as we referred to it, will be “the most beautiful book in the world”. I am delighted that all of our local slow food purveyors’ stories are included, and the rich history of this little-known region of Italy, The Lunigiana, will be the star. I am proud and so excited to share it with all of you. Endless thank yous to David, Rosie, Leo, Barbara and of course, Charlie, Rosie’s lovely and helpful husband, who saved my ass driving to see the Shepherdess in Zeri…that’s another story for another time… dream team does not begin to describe this crew. Fin…xx

All before and after behind the scenes cookbook collection cooking Events Fivizzano Food styling italian cooking italy Meet the Team Notes from Italy Personal photography photostyling photostyling like a pro producing Recipes Styling stylist tips The Fortress Travel Tuscany Uncategorized Workshops : Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chic Pigs in a Blanket:: Meet Salami Puffs

0718_SummerSpritz10_HeidiGeldhauser_oneuseonly-696x1039

Salami puffs are such a quick and fun appetizer for an evening aperitivo. This easy appetizer pulls together in no time. Think of it as pigs-in-a-blanket’s chic older sister…but better!

The recipe calls for cream cheese which is always a winner. Fun fact: in Italy, cream cheese is simply called “Philadelphia.”

Salami Puffs
serves 12

You will need:
– 12 slices Genova salami slices cut in half
– 1 sheet puff pastry
– ½ cup cream cheese

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Thaw the puff pastry, and unroll on a board covered in parchment paper. With
a rolling pin, roll the pastry into a 12-by-12-inch square. Then, spread the cream cheese on top of the puff pastry. Cut the pastry with a sharp knife into 3-by-3-inch squares. Place a salami half on top of each pastry square, then fold corners of the square together over the salami until they meet in the center, forming a small pouch. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve at room temperature.

All baking celebration Cocktail Italiano cookbook collection cooking dinner party Entertaining Food styling italian cooking italian riviera italy Parties quick appetizers Recipes Styling the art of a party :

Summer Bites:: Olive Oil Poached Shrimp

As you start to develop menus for dinners and appetizers for hot summer evenings, be sure to remember this quick olive oil poached shrimp recipe. It’s inspired by Italy’s tradition of aperitivo, and it is a yummy summer delicacy. This recipe basically tastes like summer. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Olive Oil Poached Shrimp

You will need:
– 3 cups olive oil
– 3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
– 18 uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
– 4 Lemon wedges

To prepare:

Add 3 cups olive oil into a heavy large saucepan, and add rosemary sprigs. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the saucepan and heat oil over medium heat until the thermometer registers between 165°F and 180°F. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to hot oil and poach just until shrimp are opaque in the center, adjusting heat to maintain a temperature between 165°F and 180°F, about 8 minutes. Transfer shrimp to paper towels to drain. Serve at room temperature, garnish with lemon wedges.

All Cocktail Italiano cookbook collection cooking Entertaining Food styling italian cooking italian riviera italy Parties Personal Recipes the art of a party : Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Negroni Fizz:: Summer’s Staple Sip

Kathryn-McCrary-Photography-30

Ciao from Italy!  As you all know, it’s Memorial Day which is the unofficial start to summer, so I’m sure many of you are enjoying cookouts.

If that’s you, I’ve got a wonderful festive summer cocktail for you: the Negroni Fizz. Not only is this drink a bold red (perfect for Memorial Day), but it’s delicious too.

If you are having a few friends over, mix-up a big batch without the rose and put it in a cute drink dispenser. Then, allow guests to fill their glasses at will. Leave ice buckets of rose nearby for attendees to top their drinks. This will keep the bubbles fresh and add a fun little DIY to the party.

To really make a statement, find some cute blue and white paper straws, too. Super festive and fun.

Kathryn-McCrary-Photography-24 Kathryn-McCrary-Photography-34

Negroni Fizz
Serves 1

You will need:

– 1 ounce Gin
– 1 ounce Martini Sweet Vermouth
– 1 ounce Campari
– 1 1/2 slice of orange for garnish
– Ice cubes
– Martini Sparkling Rose

Instructions:

Combine Martini Rosso and Campari Gin in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into an ice-filled tumbler 3/4 full and top off with the Martini Sparkling Rose. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy.

Kathryn-McCrary-Photography-35

Photographs by Kathryn McCrary

This recipe first appeared on Camille Styles.

4th of July All behind the scenes campari Cocktail Italiano Cocktail of the Week Cocktails dinner party Entertaining Holiday Entertaining Holidays italy Notes from Italy Parties Party Accessories party tips Personal Recipes specialty cocktails the art of a party : Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,