I’ve always known that the secret to a great fried chicken is buttermilk. Some people even say buttermilk is the miracle ingredient that makes fried chicken crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. If you understand the properties of buttermilk, you’ll know why. There are the enzymes in buttermilk that break down the proteins, naturally tenderizing the chicken. Then, if the chicken is soaked in buttermilk and then dredged in flour, the buttermilk really helps coat the chicken. Now that you know the secret, it’s time to work it into a great recipe like this Crispy Chicken Burger! Fully loaded with bacon, coleslaw and a delicious combo of honey and sriracha, the beef pattie needs to just mooooooove aside for this finger lickin’ chicken sandwich!
It’s one of the most colorful traditions we have, and it all starts on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany celebrating the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. The Three Kings Cake, with its colorful adornment of beads, a plastic baby hidden inside and topped with a king’s crown also kicks off the Carnival season with Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras. With this treat, you’ll be feasting your eyes on fun!
Watch my How To Video here!
You get two Italians together and it’s not long before the conversation settles food and family. Thus began my friendship with Vinny Dejohn, who worked in the wine shop at Whole Foods when I met him. Getting his suggestions for a good vintage was great, but getting his vintage family recipe for an Italian fig cookie was even greater. It’s one of the most delightful and delicious Sicilian holiday treats called Cucidati. Thankfully, Vinny’s mission a few years ago was to rescue this recipe! “Great Auntie Antoinette Arnone was 93 years old when she died. Ten years ago during the holidays, I went back to New York and I made arrangements to spend time with Auntie Arnone and have her teach me how to make ‘Goog-i-dottie’ as she would call them. We spent all afternoon making the cookies. Not only did I leave with Cucidati, but also her hand-written recipe card and her grandmother’s meat grinder that she herself has been using to grind the fig mixture for 60 years! I was so appreciative of her for taking the time to pass along her recipe. I often think of those treasured moments together.” Vinny’s version of this soft, flavor filled fig cookie with icing and little colorful candies is now part of my own holiday tradition. What better way to honor my Sicilian father!
What makes this the most wonderful time of the year? Well, besides, glad tidings, family and the holiday spirit, it’s gotta be Christmas Cookies! Nothing puts a smile on faces like a big platter of goodies decked out and adorned with glitter and glaze! These tri-colored cookies are among my very favorite to bake up, decorate and give as gifts for the holidays. Why do I love these cookies so much? First of all, this basic stocking cookie recipe is just right. With its combination of butter and shortening, you get the great flavor of butter and the shortening makes the cookies soft but still great for decorating. Second, they are so colorful, and that color is achieved in such an easy way! All you do is make one batch of batter and color two parts with green and red! Now you have a pre-decorated cookie that just gets a glaze and a tiny bit of decorating sugar. No fuss. No muss. Just gorgeous and scrumptious cookies that are fa-la-la-la lovely to eat and to share!
Watch my How To Video for Christmas Cookies here!