La Tavola della mia Famiglia: Italian Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Even though I grew up in an Italian family where more than half of my relatives, including my father and grandparents, were actually from Italy, I had never heard of mascarpone until I was an adult and discovered it for myself.  Shocking, isn’t it?  But, it’s true.  For some reason none of the cooks in my family ever used the stuff.  How could this be?  Well, the only answer that I can come up with is that none of them were big bakers, and mascarpone is more commonly used in sweet dishes.   Also, since my family came from the southern half of the boot, most of the food out of their kitchens was tomato and olive oil based.  Except for ricotta and fresh mozzarella, very little of anything creamy was ever used in cooking.

My grandmother was diabetic, so she really never served much in the way of desserts outside of fresh fruit platters and some sfogliatelle or cannoli picked up from one of the neighborhood pastry shops.   I guess she figured why make luscious desserts that she couldn’t enjoy herself, especially when there were so many excellent bakeries within walking distance.  And, because she didn’t bake or make lots of sweets, none of her four daughters ever did either.  They bought their cakes, tiramisu and pastries too.  I guess you could say that our entire family did its part to keep the local bakeries in business.   Heck, I’d probably do the same thing if I had access to all of those wonderful Italian treats!  Sadly, here in my neck of the woods that is not an option.  If I want to enjoy authentic, mouthwatering Italian delights, I have two options.  The first is to buy them at the one and decidedly “meh” Italian bakery in town.  The second is to make them myself.  Sometimes, I choose option one, but most of the time I go the DIY route.  read more >>

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Tuesday, July 27, 201036 Comments

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TWD: Swedish Visiting Cake

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Thursday, October 29, 200946 Comments

Yesterday, the temperature topped out around here at 86 degrees, F.  The humidity was so high that when I stepped outside from my air conditioned digs, my sunglasses promptly fogged right up, forcing me to stumble my way to my car.  That’s muggy, people! Now I ask you – …

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About a month ago, I received an email from Beth Lipton asking me if I would be interested in reviewing her newly published cookbook.  Beth Lipton?  Do I know a Beth Lipton?  And then, I remembered.  Beth Lipton is one of our very own sweet and talented food bloggers, …

The Yule Log That Almost Wasn’t

Saturday, December 22, 200728 Comments


Well, here it is, my very first Daring Bakers challenge. I’d been waiting a long time for this. I was so excited when I first got the recipe and my instructions for this challenge from this month’s co-hosts, Ivonne and Lisa. A Yule Log. What could be …

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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