Golden Breakfast Porridge (Kaachi)

I’d been wanting to try this golden breakfast porridge (kaachi) from Honest & Tasty since I read about it last year.  It looks warm and comforting for the cold days we are having now.  Her photos make it look enticing too.  My photo doesn’t do it justice.  I used grass-fed butter and didn’t add the turmeric because I was cooking for two (and the other person wouldn’t have liked it).  So it is missing that lovely golden color.  The consistency is like creamy mashed potatoes, and the flavor is like farina.  I like my farina with butter, so I ate the kaachi with only butter and a sprinkle of sugar.  Definitely a heart-warming dish for the winter!

kaachi, porridge

How to Get Free Onigiri at Wasabi Sushi & Bento

From February 18 through 28, the NYC location of Wasabi Sushi & Bento is celebrating its first birthday by giving away free onigiri to any customer who tags a photo @Wasabi_NYC!  Just show your post at checkout. 

Neapolitan Carnevale Meatballs

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For Carnevale (aka Mardi Gras, aka Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday) in Naples, it was traditional to make giant meatballs with raisins served in tomato sauce with spaghetti.  This recipe comes from my great-grandmother and grandmother, who are both from Casoria, Italy, right outside Naples.

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Here is a picture of the inside of the meatballs to see the raisins.  I used regular and golden raisins and made pork meatballs.

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Neapolitan Carnevale Meatballs with Raisins

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2 pounds chopped meat–beef, pork, veal or just one or a mix of all

2 or 3 large eggs

2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried basil

3 cloves minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

6 slices stale bread, pulsed quickly in food processor (large crumbs not fine)

1/2 cup raisins

Combine all ingredients, except the bread, in a large bowl.  When well mixed, add enough bread to bind the meat mixture.  Shape into large balls, the size of a large egg.  Place the balls on a baking sheet, not touching, in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until done.  Alternatively, they can be added raw to tomato sauce for about 3 hours until done on low heat.  Serve with or without spaghetti.

Valentine’s Day From French Broad Chocolates

I also got chocolates from French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, North Carolina.

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I got a custom assortment of truffles and caramels, including fresh raspberry truffle, cashew honey caramel, dark chocolate salted honey caramel, Indian kulfi truffle, lavender honey truffle, maple and smoked salt truffle, sorghum caramel, bourbon pecan truffle and more.  The bourbon pecan truffle had a bit too much alcohol for my liking.  The others are really good.  You can really taste the fresh raspberry, which I love.  The sorghum is definitely the star.

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Valentine’s Day Chocolates From Compartes Chocolatier

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This Valentine’s Day, I got a chocolate heart from Compartes Chocolatier, an organic chocolate shop from Los Angeles.   Compartes’ chocolatier, Jonathan Grahm, is the youngest chocolatier in the United States and has created chocolates for the Academy Awards and Golden Globes.

The heart I got is a red-velvet box that I’m going to keep.

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It’s filled with truffles like hazelnut nougat, raspberry rose, caramel, Meyer lemon lavender, crystal salt, pear cheese, blackberry, marzipan and fleur de sel caramel.

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The chocolates have an outer chocolate shell.  Inside is the smooth truffle or gooey caramel.  My favorite flavor was raspberry rose with a subtle hint of each.  I also like blackberry, fleur de sel and crystal salt, but they are all good.

Italian Christmas Eve Fish

Every Christmas Eve, Italians serve seafood.  For religious reasons, they do not eat meat on Christmas Eve.  Some people refer to this tradition as the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  I would say most people make baccala, calamari and octopus.  My grandfather used to make fried smelts, and my grandma also made eel.  Here’s a sample of what we had this year.

Baccala salad:

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Fried baccala:

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Baked clams:

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Linguine with squid sauce:

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Calamari:

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Grilled calamari:

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Octopus salad:

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Lobster tails:

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Shrimp cocktail:

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Panettone Ricotta Pudding or Zuccotto di Panettone

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What do you do with the extra panettone you got for Christmas?  How about this panettone ricotta pudding, or zuccotto di panettone from Gennaro Contaldo of Two Greedy Italians.  It makes an impressive dessert!

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