Tag Archives: Holiday

recipe goodness :: grandma dilaura’s panettone

Grandma DiLaura's Panettone

Grandma DiLaura’s Panettone (Photo by James Ransom for Food52)

We don’t deviate much from the past when it comes to the DiLaura Christmas morning menu. Since my earliest memories of Santa Claus and pink bikes with baskets, Christmas morning always starts with a buttered slice of my Grandma DiLaura’s toasted panettone. The smell of sweet anise wafting from downstairs is a sign that ‘ole St. Nick has done his job.

Our recipe dates back to the late 1800s Florence, where my grandmother’s sister’s mother-in-law was an award-winning baker. Of course the story goes that she never used a recipe and no one has ever been able to make it as good since.

While my grandma was smart enough to write down the measurements for this edible heirloom, there were some parts of her recipe that did not get recorded. My grandma had a special heavy wooden chair that lived in the basement 364 days of the year. On panettone-making day, the chair was ceremoniously brought up to the kitchen where she placed a huge stockpot atop the seat and got to work mixing all of the ingredients with her special oversized wooden spoon.

A Cut Above the Rest

A Cut Above the Rest

After my parents married, my mom began helping on the big day and made the mistake of suggesting it might be easier to mix the large batch, of what is quite sticky dough, with her hands. To which my grandma promptly replied, “Oh no, honey you can’t do that, you have to use the spoon.” Deviate she did not.

My grandmother has since passed on, but my mom has heroically carried on the tradition of making our annual panettone. Our recipe is different from many you’ll find in stores, which often include candied fruit. We prefer a mix of dark and golden raisins with pine nuts, but of course you could make it however you prefer. After all, my mom ditched the wooden spoon and has been hand-mixing since taking over the panettone helm.

This recipe makes about 16 pounds of bread, which my mom breaks up into four large 2 1/4 pound loaves and four smaller 1 3/4 pound loaves. She gives everyone in the family a loaf and also freezes a few. You could easily cut the recipe in half, but your friends and neighbors will thank you if you don’t!

Grandma DiLaura’s Panettone

Makes 16 pounds of bread (about 8 loaves)

5 cups whole milk
4 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup for yeast
1 pound unsalted butter
1/4 cup shortening (or use all butter)
1 teaspoon anise oil (if you can’t find oil, substitute 4 teaspoons anise extract)
9 packets non-instant yeast
5 pounds all-purpose flour, plus 5 cups (plus 4-5 more cups for kneading)
6 teaspoons salt
8 large eggs
15 ounces golden raisins (soaked in hot water to plump if dry)
30 ounces dark raisins (soaked in hot water to plump if dry)
1/2 pound pine nuts
1 egg yolk, plus 1 tablespoon water for brushing tops

  1. In a medium saucepan, scald milk with 4 cups sugar, stirring often. Then add butter and shortening (or all butter), and melt, stirring often.
  2. Remove from the stove and add anise oil or extract to milk/butter/sugar mixture. Let cool slightly.
  3. Dissolve yeast and 1/4 cup sugar in enough warm water to cover (1 1/2 to 2 cups) and let double in volume.
  4. In a large bowl, mix 5lbs plus 5 cups flour and salt. Add raisins and pine nuts.
  5. Add slightly cooled milk to flour mixture. Add eggs and mix together with large wooden spoon. Add yeast mixture and mix well. Grease your hands and mix and knead for about 5 to 10 minutes in the bowl (adding 4 to 5 cups flour as needed). Dough will be very sticky.
  6. Grease sides of bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap and several towels, and let dough rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled.
  7. Grease loaf pans — we use four large (9 5/8 x 5 1/4 x 2 3/4) and four small (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 5/8). Lightly squeeze to release any air bubbles and shape dough and put in pans. Cover with greased plastic wrap and towels and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes.
  9. If using multiple oven racks, rotate loaves, then lower oven to 325 F and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until top is a medium golden color.
  10. After bread is baked, brush tops with egg yolk and water mixture and return to oven for about 5 minutes.

What Else Did Grandma Whip Up?
Grandma DiLaura’s Lemon Madeleines
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage

Grandma’s Italian Wedding Chicken Soup
Homemade Gnocchi and Sauce: Channeling My Italian Grandmother
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake


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‘Tis the Season Party Recipe Roundup

'Tis the season!

‘Tis the season!

Everyone can use a little help when it comes to holiday entertaining. Easy, but memorable recipes that deserve a place at any party we may be throwing with our nearest and dearest friends and family. Here are a few ideas to help get you through the nibbles and dribbles.

GREAT HOST GIFTS {with the most!}

Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Homemade Spicy Carrot Kimchi! & Apple Chutney!
Homemade Spicy Pickled Carrots
Union Square Bar Roasted Rosemary Nuts

DRINKS {cheers!}

Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}
Fireside Sparks {Champagne Cocktail a la Tippling Bros.}
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}

Spritzy Sunday Morning Citrus Cocktail {non-alcoholic}

SNACK’EMS {makes happy hour happier}

Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Flaky Cheese Straws, As Easy As Being Barefoot

Homemade Ricotta and Melted Leeks
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Mini Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie w/ Scotch! {bottom of post}
Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus
Union Square Bar Roasted Rosemary Nuts
Za’atar-Pecorino Toasted Crostini


Bursting Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta-Orange Reduction
Crispy Cayenne Roasted Potatoes
Mini Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie w/ Scotch! {bottom of post}

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Community Grains Lazy Sunday Red Flint Polenta Integrale
Farro Salad with Steamed Kale and Roasted Pinenuts

SEASONAL SWEETS {life is short, eat it first}

Honey-Vanilla Pound Cake
Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse
Millionaire’s Shortbread Worth a Billion Bucks
Perfect Pear Cranberry Pie
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake 


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A Cook’s Holiday Gift Guide

We could all use a little help when it comes to our holiday hit lists — so much to buy, so little time. The last thing we want to be faced with is last minute purchases that just don’t feel right for the recipient. Hopefully the ideas below help stuff those stockings, stress-free. ‘Tis the season!

Exclusive Discounts on Perfect Presents for The…

  1. Cookware Maven: Handmade Vintage Copper Cookware and Bakeware
  2. Art Appreciator: Favorite Recipes Converted to Beautiful Illustrations
  3. Hungry Mind: Remedy Quarterly Subscription
  4. Party Host: Smartly-Shaped Charcuterie, Cheese and Chopping Boards
  5. Everyday Cook: Black Walnut Trencher Board
  6. Ultimate Entertainer: Fermin Spanish Iberico Charcuterie
  7. Urban Farmer — Adults & Kids!: Oyster Mushroom Growing Kits
  8. Cook Who Has Everything: Adopt a Truffle Tree and Adopt an Olive Tree
  9. Cocktail Connoisseur: Japanese Yarai Crystal Mixing Glass, Barspoon and Spherical Ice Tray
  10. Cooking Scientist: Modernist Cuisine at Home Cookbook
  11. Bountiful Baker: Organic Vanilla Bean Paste
  12. Eye for Design: Handmade Heirloom Housewares

A Cook's Holiday Gift Guide

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Set Your Thanksgiving Table Apart…

Just a few of my favorite food finds sourced for Food52 — you won’t find these handmade, artisanal items on Amazon. It’s a year to support artisans, small businesses, the people doing something with their own two hands. Whether you’re buying for your own kitchen or as a gift, you’ll appreciate the quality and story behind each item below.

With Napkins that Make Your Fork Look Cozy and Table Handsome (Save $20)

IceMilk Heirloomed Collection

IceMilk Heirloomed Collection

With Eric Ripert’s Favorite Spice Blends — An Out of the Ordinary Host Gift (Save $43)

La Boite Fall Spice Blends

Eric Ripert’s Favorite Spice Blends

With a Hello! w/ Personalized Holiday Cards from Hello!Lucky (40% off)


With Pure Vanilla Bean Paste — Your Cookies, Whipped Cream, Pies and Guests will Thank You ($11 off)

Organic Vanilla

Organic Vanilla Paste and Extract

With Your Own Home-Grown Mushrooms — the Gift that Keeps on Giving and Keeps Kids Entertained (32% Off!)

Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms

Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms

With Handcrafted Neutral Bowls and Platters that Make Your Recipes Shine ($40 off and with Free Gifts!)

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recipe goodness: millionaire’s shortbread worth a billion bucks

Millionaire's Shortbread: Perfect Bite-Sized Treat

One of my favorite places to find recipe inspiration is on food52 — a site created by two friends, Merrill Stubbs and Amanda Hesser, who wanted a place to showcase the best of home cooks. In looking for a winning holiday dessert that could easily be devoured in one bite while balancing a glass of bubbly, I came across Merrill’s recipe for Millionaire’s Shortbread. If you’re money hungry this dessert will sweeten the deal. It’s made with very few simple ingredients, can be made at least a day ahead of time and is worth its weight in gold when these little bites fly off the silver platter into your guests’ hands.

Millionaire’s Shortbread 

Serves 16-32 | Courtesy of Merrill Stubbs

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

For the caramel and chocolate:
1¼ cups sugar
¼ cup water
5 tablespoons heavy cream
5 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon crème fraiche

½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
Maldon, grey or smoked sea salt

  1. Put a rack in the center of the oven and heat it to 350 degrees. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl and whisk in the sugar.
  2. Cut the butter into chunks and add it to the flour, stirring with a fork to make a soft dough. Gently pat the dough into a 9-inch square baking pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is golden and no longer looks at all wet. Set aside to cool while you make the caramel and chocolate topping.
  3. To make the caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, swirling occasionally until the sugar has melted but without stirring. Simmer for about 10 minutes, swirling the pot every once and a while, until the sugar turns a dark amber color. Do not let it get too dark, or it will taste burnt.
  4. As soon as the sugar reaches the right color, remove it from the heat and carefully add the cream, whisking all the time (the mixture will bubble up as you do this, so use an oven mitt or a long-handled whisk). Whisk in the butter gradually and then the crème fraiche. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the caramel is cool enough to touch, pour it evenly over the shortbread, tipping the pan gently and tapping it on the counter to get rid of any bubbles. Put in the fridge to firm up a little.
  6. To make the chocolate: When the caramel has firmed up a bit, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Off the heat, immediately whisk in the chocolate until smooth and shiny. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes, and then pour over the caramel, again tilting the pan and tapping it against the counter to smooth it out. Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until the chocolate starts to firm up a little.
  7. To finish, Sprinkle the top with coarse salt and refrigerate until firm enough to cut into squares, at least 3 hours.
  8. When ready to serve, cut into 4×4 squares or cut each square in half diagonally to double the number of servings. These bites are so rich, I prefer to serve them this way and let the party come back for more.

Other Bite-Sized Party Pleasers:
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Mini Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie w/ Scotch!
Union Square Bar Roasted Rosemary Nuts
Flaky Cheese Straws, As Easy As Being Barefoot 


Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness: aw nuts! darn good roasted rosemary nuts for the holidays

Roasted Nuts

It’s the holidays and that means we’re all running from party to party or even planning our own. We never want to show up empty handed and we’re often looking for a way to put out a great spread, without a lot of work. This recipe is your solution to both dilemmas. The recipe comes from the long-standing popular Union Square Cafe in New York City and it takes beer nuts to a new level. Hitting on every taste-bud, I guarantee the bowl will be empty faster than the mini-hot dog platter. This salty treat will also make any gifted bottle of wine extra special when you walk through any guest’s door on your party route. Gifting Tip: buy cellophane bags from a party or paper store and tie the bag with a red ribbon that you can hang around the neck of a wine bottle — easy, inexpensive and extra impressive.

Coating Goodness

Roasted Rosemary Union Square Bar Nuts

Cook time: 10 minutes

2 1/4 cups unsalted mixed nuts
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread nuts out on cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes or until just turning golden brown.
  3. In a bowl combine all other ingredients and combine with nuts while warm.
  4. Toss thoroughly until well mixed and let cool before adding to an air tight container or gift bags.

Aw Nuts, I Need More Party Ideas!
Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Mini Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie w/ Scotch! {bottom of post} 
Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}
Fireside Sparks {Champagne Cocktail a la Tippling Bros.}
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}


Filed under @home {recipes to love}

8.ate@eight Cupid Just in Time with Valentine’s Day Gift and Dinner Ideas

♥ Text Me ♥ Recipe 4 Love ♥ Table 4 Two ♥ Be Mine ♥ Cool Cat

You’ve found that special someone who likes long walks on the beach too, but you’re late to the game planning Valentine’s Day? Never fear, if you’re in need of some good inspiration to show your love, here a list of a few of my favorite ideas — whether you’re looking for a romantic night in, a unique meal out or a gift of food that is the way to your love’s heart.

♥ Labor of  Love With Your Own Hands ♥

Cocktail Kick-Off: Fireside Sparks {Champagne Cocktail a la Tippling Bros.}
When In Doubt, Roast a Chicken: Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
Spice it Up: Crispy Cayenne Roasted Potatoes
Bourbon and Flames to Heat Things Up: Alton Brown’s Bourbon Banana’s Foster
Bedtime Snack: Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Breakfast in Bed:
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg w/ Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits

More 8.ate@eight Recipes HERE

♥ Wine & Dine ♥

10s Across the Board: The Art of Eating {and Drinking} Well @ L’Artusi
An Aphrodisiac’s Evening: Lovin’ Me Some Oysters @Mermaid Oyster Bar
Interactive Eating: Love, Love Shabu Shabu: Fun to Say and Eat
Butt. ‘Nough Said: Momofuku That Pork Butt is Good!
Slurping is Sexy: NYC Ramen Wars: Ippudo vs. momofuku noodle bar
Smoked Meat is Sexier: 18 Meat Dishes for Men & BBQ Heaven @Fette Sau
Cozy and Romantic: August in April
Single and Looking for Love: Wilfie & Nell: Not Your Grandpa’s Watering Hole

More 8.ate@eight Favor8 Restaurants HERE

♥ Gifts A Dozen Times Better Than Roses ♥

Ice Cream Gram: Send Your Valentine an Ice Cream Gram from Milkmade
A Gift to Warm the Soul: Blue Bottle Coffee Brews One Brilliant Cup at a Time
Artisanal Meats, Cheeses & Chocolates! Artisanal Specialty Foods Digested
Cheese & Wine Classes: Do This!: Artisanal Premium Cheese & Wine Classes

♥ Text Me ♥ Recipe 4 Love ♥ Table 4 Two ♥ Be Mine ♥ Cool Cat

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In a Holiday Foodpickle? Your Answer is Seconds Away

We all stumble upon questions mid-prep. What’s the difference between heavy and whipping cream? How do I make homemade whipped cream? How long do I cook shrimp? Usually, my mom is at the ready to answer all my cooking fire alarms, but if you find you need an instant answer or don’t want to ask the woman who raised you, foodpickle from food52 is a real-time food q&a service supported by a community of passionate and knowledgeable foodies at the ready to share their expertise and set you on the right preparation path.

And if you’re the one with all the answers, you could win a up to $150 prize from Viking for the being the best foodpickler each week! That’s better than Santa!

You can now text your questions to foodpickle! Just send an SMS text msg to 803-380-FOOD (3663) and foodpickle text you back the responses right away.

Tweet @foodpickle a question from anywhere — your stove, the grocery aisle, a dinner party. foodpickle will @reply or d.m. you the responses.

Follow @foodpickle on Twitter to see questions and answers as they come in.

Read more: http://www.food52.com/foodpickle#ixzz164cxUUNs or see Foodpickle coverage on ABC News: http://bit.ly/eLkuEW

Holiday Dinner Fail? Eat Out at One of 8.ate@eight’s FAVOR8 Instead:
8.ate@eight’s New Top 8 FAVOR8 Restaurant List

The Art of Eating {and Drinking} Well @ L’Artusi

Rustic Space Features Really Good Wood-Burning Oven Pizza
Highlands Highlights: Scottish Plaids, Pub Fare and Hand
18 Favorite Meat Dishes for Men & Barbeque Heaven @Fette Sau
The Red Cat: Comfortable Quarters & Cuisine
Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare
August in April

‘Tis the Season from 8.ate@eight!

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recipe goodness :: italian sausage & chard stuffin’ muffins

Italian Sausage & Chard Stuffin' Muffins

If you’re looking for another crowd-pleasing side to add to your holiday table, look no further. We made this recipe last year for Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law’s family. The addition of italian sausage, swiss chard and herbs brings a ton of great flavor to an otherwise very bready dish. What I love most about this recipe though, was how her family bakes this dish —  instead of just cooking in the cavity of a turkey or in a large casserole dish, her family puts stuffing in muffin tins — hence stuffin’ muffins!. Everyone always loves the crispy pieces from the corners of traditionally prepared stuffing, so to make sure everyone gets some crispy bites the stuffing is divided into muffin pans, also providing for the perfect individual serving sizes — how brilliant is that!

Italian Sausage & Chard Stuffin’ Muffins

Serves 16 | Prep Time: 30-45 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins.

3/4 loaf french bread
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
2 lbs Italian sausages
1 cup chopped fat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clover, minced or pressed
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/2 lbs green swiss chard, stem ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried rubbed sage
1/4 tsp dried rosemary

Cut bread into 1/2-in slices. Place slices in a large bowl and add milk. Mix gently with a wooden spoon to saturate with milk and let stand about 30 mins. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, place a 6-8 QT. pot over high heat. Squeeze the sausages from casings into pot. Discard casings. Cook meat, stirring often to crumble, until lightly browned 10-15 mins; discard fat. Add parsley, garlic, onion and celery. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are lightly browned 5-8 mins. Add chard and 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring often, until chard is wilted, about 5 mins.

With your hands, squeeze bread slices to break them into tiny pieces. Add cooked meat mixture, parmesan, basil, sage and rosemary. Season mixture with salt to taste.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spoon stuffing into a non-stick or well-greased muffin tins. Bake until hot or lightly browned, at least 30 mins.

Make ahead: Up to 1 day ahead, make stuffing, put in casserole or muffin tins, cover and chill. Allow about 1 hour to bake.

Set Your Holiday Table:
Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}
Fireside Sparks {Champagne Cocktail a la Tippling Bros.}
Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries
Best Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup
Flaky Cheese Straws, As Easy As Being Barefoot

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Perfect Pear Cranberry Pie




Filed under @home {recipes to love}

Do This!: Holiday Cards for Every Appetite

food52 recipe holiday cards

Sharing your favorite food52 recipes has never been easier! This holiday food52 has partnered with Tiny Prints to bring you cards, recipe card inserts and custom gift tags so that your holiday cards keep on giving. With different food52 recipes to choose from {with beautiful photos!} and a myriad of card combinations, gift giving just became a piece of cake.

“Every recipe is better with a picture and a personal message!”

Go here to put your best food forward and save 15% on all Tiny Prints orders!

Recipe Holiday Cards for Foodies: Easy as 1-2-3

Happy Holidays 8.ate@eighters!

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