Every Single Dish Was Delicious

A tribute to a restaurant, La Cucina Flegrea– opened in the late ‘90s. now permanently closed. This print is when it was located on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

Rigatoni alla Vodka Spaghetti alla Rucola (Arugula) Tagliatelle Zucchini, and the soups!

Steve bought this print in Bloomfield years ago. It’s on my kitchen wall. I was thinking about all the delicious meals I had eaten over the years. My family celebrated my fiftieth birthday at this restaurant in 2002. I took a cooking class with Chef Anna Fevola in 2010 (click to see blog post)

Mementoes of a favorite restaurant, which has been closed a long time ago. Where every single dish was delicious!

Lješnjaci Yes or No?

Greetings from Zagreb.

It’s Lješnjaci season. Hazelnuts. Do you like hazelnuts? I’ve never seen them sold like this in the USA but they grow and are harvested here in Croatia. These lješnjaci are out of the shell and sold in net bags. .

Corylus avellana. Hazelnuts are sweet with characteristic slight notes of musty and earthy. One of the significant flavor mixtures found in hazelnuts is fiber tone. Filbertone is a naturally occurring ketone found in hazelnut oil. It has a roasted, marbled, sweet, and long-lasting character”

https://youtu.be/w9NY1rTnALo video of harvesting hazelnuts in Croatia

Nopalitos – Marinated Cactus

When I was Arizona, I saw this unusual (to me) products

Nopalitos marinated Cactus recipe for cactus salad

Prickly Pear Cactus paddles Yes or No?

“Are nopales in a jar good for you?”

“Nopales and prickly pear fruit are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are a nutritious addition to a balanced diet and may help decrease blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol.

Red Hot Peppers

The kind of peppers where you might need gloves to handle them when you cut them and you never ever touch your eye!

Here’s an article how to use them without getting burned

These were given to me a few weeks ago.

I let them dry out. Pretty soon, with the change of weather, it’s going to be chili season. A big pot on the stove’s back burner on a chilly afternoon could be a little spicier this year. I have a jar of dried red Chile peppers I use to add some zip to dishes. Sometimes they can make your lips sing.

Freshly picked
Dried
This is what I have on the spice rack

Red hot pepper was what we used to call out when cranking a jump rope, speeding it up, seeing how many jumps you could do at a rapid pace.

Broccoli Yes or No?

This broccoli on the stovetop was sautéed with garlic and olive oil. .

Growing up I never really cared for the taste of it.

I feel differently now.

How do you feel about this vegetable? how do you like it prepared?

Origin- Italy. Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head, stalk and small associated leaves are eaten as a vegetable. Broccoli is classified in the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea.Wikipedia

From Consumer Fresh Produce Partners- Pittsburgh through Harvie.Farm delivery

Arugula Microgreens Grown by the Lettuce Ladies

Grown hydroponically by the Lettuce Ladies Ambridge PA.

I used arugula microgreens for the first time in the Spaghetti Arugula dish I learned how to make when I took a cooking class at La Cucina Flegrea taught by chef Anna Fevola. (Click to see links)

The micro greens are fragrant. Delicate but flavorful. Delicious! Have you tried microgreens?

Added some freshly grated Parmesan on top

I put the micro greens on top of the spaghetti arugula mixture at the end. Don’t cook the micro greens for this dish. Just toss the arugula throughout your portion!

How Old is Your Spice?

Thinking about the spice jars on the shelf.

Where do you keep yours? A spice rack, a drawer, a cupboard?

How old is your spice? That’s the question.

I received a gift of a jar of Bagel-on-Grant spices at Christmas (thank you Amy) and as I put it on my spice shelf today, I looked at the other little jars and thought about how long they’ve been on the shelf.

Some spices are used often, so get replenished more often but some little jars just sit. A pinch or smidge here or there, but just sitting. For years!

I think it’s time to clean out the spice collection.

The new one is the fresh looking white label in the photo. The Steel City Salt Company is across the Allegheny River in Millvale, Pennsylvania. I just checked out their website and they are on a family vacation until February 3rd but they’ll fill online orders upon their return.

Here’s an article from Still Tasty about the shelf life of spices

Bagel-on-Grant seasoning is the new spice.
The jar of cardamom was new before a Christmas.