Sicilian Limoncello Recipes

I never understood that cheesy saying “If life gives you lemons make lemonade”.  What is so bad about lemons in the first place?!  If life gives me lemons Im a happy camper.  We have a lemon tree that we planted in our backyard here in Sicily and the thing has been struggling since day 1.  We even have occasional gardeners that have done their magic with it, but years went by without any growth let alone a single lemon.  Last year the tree had a breakthrough and finally produced!  We got 3.5 total lemons and they made me so happy that I didn’t even pick them at the proper time.  What was really funny is that all 3.5 lemons all showed up on the same branch, so that particular branch limb was awkward and weighted down.  Im sure that there is some scientific reason that the tree did that.. unless it was just trying to be funny.

We are surrounded by groves of lemon trees in our area ( which made our lame tree all the more interesting).  In Sicily there is a very good chance that every meal has a lemon involved somewhere. I have gotten into the habit myself, squeezing lemon wedges over grilled meats and sausages, pastas, and of course all types of seafood. Continue reading “Sicilian Limoncello Recipes”

Top Etna Rosso Wines Blind Taste Test

I think I was inspired by March Madness.  College basketball at this time of year is impossible to ignore, especially because my Alma mater ( Michigan State) is a regular contender. Except this year!!!  I was thinking to myself there are so many wines from just Etna alone how can we figure out our favorites?  Why not have a bunch of Etna Rosso wines and taste them all in the same day and directly compare to find the winners and losers?  So I started picking up all the Etna Rosso wines I could find.  I thought that at most it would be an “Elite 8”, but all of the sudden I ended up with 12 and still left a couple out!  For the test they had to be true Etna Rosso DOC meaning that they could only contain Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes.  No blends with Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Cabernet, etc.

I brought out these old wine tasting party kits Continue reading “Top Etna Rosso Wines Blind Taste Test”

Tomato Sauce Recipe – The Secret Sauce

How many tomato sauces have you tried?  I don’t even want to know how many different things I have tried over the years.  Its pretty crazy how there just isn’t a standard recipe for tomato sauce after centuries of practice. When talking food with my Italian friends, I like to bring up the fact that tomatoes originated in the Americas and were exported to Italy.  They never Continue reading “Tomato Sauce Recipe – The Secret Sauce”

Carciofi alla Brace – Artichokes Cooked on Embers Recipe – Sicilian Artichokes

Pronounced car-cho-fee, artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables.  I may call them Carciofi the rest of my life because its a lot more fun to say than ‘artichokes’.  During artichoke season in Sicily you will see big plumes of smoke wafting on the roadsides in Sicily. Local vendors set up a huge trays of coals with 50 or so artichokes cooking away. We roll down Continue reading “Carciofi alla Brace – Artichokes Cooked on Embers Recipe – Sicilian Artichokes”

Hockey in Sicily

Hockey and Sicily don’t seem like two words that should find themselves in the same sentence.  It’s hard enough to find ice for drinks let alone a whole sheet of ice to play a sport on.  Luckily ice isn’t absolutely necessary and luckily I didn’t leave my hockey equipment in the States when we moved here to Sicily.  From everything I could find online there wasn’t going to be a chance for me to play hockey.  This was a tough pill to swallow since I have played competitively for the past 30 years!! Yes I am old!   I packed my hockey equipment anyway Continue reading “Hockey in Sicily”

Parmigiana Siciliana – Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe

If I had to choose a vegetable to represent Sicily it would be the Eggplant. They love this strange vegetable here. They have multiple varieties and for this recipe I prefer the “viola” which is a short and stout light purple eggplant.  You can see a picture of it below.  Im not sure if they have this varietal in the States …let me know!

In the States the slang is Eggplant “Parm” as in Parmesan.  Whats funny Continue reading “Parmigiana Siciliana – Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe”

Sicilian Recipe – Pasta alle Cozze – Pasta with Mussels

The seafood in Sicily is something a seafood lover dreams of. Fish markets are everywhere with huge varieties of fresh fish and shellfish. Almost every restaurant has a big display case filled with fresh selections for the day. I think Sicilians are born with a taste for seafood. Literally in the grocery stores you will find baby food jars of Spigola (bass), Salmon, and Tuna. We started Luca off with these and Continue reading “Sicilian Recipe – Pasta alle Cozze – Pasta with Mussels”

Top 5 Restaurants in Catania Sicily

This is dangerous territory that Im encroaching on.  People have very strong opinions when it comes to saying “The Top” in any category.  I hope that this does encourage some feedback so that we can all learn from each other.  Hopefully this is helpful to you and everyone can share some more ideas of spots to try.  We need all the help that we can get as Americans in Sicily.  Especially when some of the best restaurants Continue reading “Top 5 Restaurants in Catania Sicily”

Heaven? – A Trip to Santorini

Detroit is a funny place.  It has a terrible reputation for its economic situation.  On top of that it is always at the top of the wrong lists, such as crime and murder rates across America.  Growing up in the Detroit area you turn a blind eye to these problems and enjoy amazing Greek food.  Im not sure what the initial catalyst was, but there is a huge Greek population in Detroit.  So much so that Detroit has a “Greek Town”, which is a neighborhood in downtown Detroit where you are surrounded by Greek restaurants, bakeries, and now Greek Town Casino.  As a family we would regularly venture to downtown Detroit (with our windows and doors locked) to satisfy our Greek food addiction.  It was a great experience going into these restaurants.  Giant flaming saganaki cheese plates warmed your face as a nearby waiter would yell a loud  “OPAAA!!”  The ceilings in these restaurants Continue reading “Heaven? – A Trip to Santorini”