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Category Archives: Holidays & Celebrations

Happy Pi Day!

Today is Pi Day, the annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi).

Let’s celebrate with delicious Italian sweet or savory pies, because baking is a lot like mathematics!

#PiDay

Pies by Ale Gambini 😉

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Primavera! Cooking Class

Let’s celebrate the Spring with my upcoming cooking class at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Los Angeles .

Join me for a fun, healthy and delicious cooking class with organic Spring produce and the finest Italian products (Parmigiano Reggiano Bertozzi, Riso Acquerello, Di Stefano Cheese).

Saturday, March 18, 2017
10:30 AM – 1 PM
Italian Cultural Institute
1023 Hilgard Avenue – LA 90024
Space is limited! RSVP required
please call 310-824-7408 or email to classes.iicla@esteri.it to register 

 

Eat well, be happy!

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A Queen In The Kitchen Kindle Edition Live On Amazon + Giveaway

Hooray!!! A Queen In The Kitchen Kindle Edition is finally live on Amazon.

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Title: A Queen In The Kitchen

Authored by Ale Gambini

Photos by Maurizio OTTO De Togni

L.A.-based Italian food writer Ale Gambini presents traditional Milanese and Northern Italian dishes, handed down from her beloved Nonna Fernanda. Nearly a century of authentic Italian recipes, accurately explained step-by-step, prepared using only the freshest, finest and healthiest ingredients that are native to the region of Lombardy and Northern Italy in general. This book includes the staples of the Milanese cuisine such as Milanese risotto, veal ossobuco and Panettone (Christmas sweet bread).

Available on:

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Giveaway

Today is a very special day to me as a mom and woman, so I’ll be giving away a signed paperback copy of my cookbook to one of the purchasers of A Queen In The Kitchen Kindle Edition.

TO ENTER

Fill the form below and let me know that you have just got your copy of A Queen In The Kitchen Kindle Edition.

End date: March 16th, 2017.

The winner will be selected randomly and notified via email.

You must be 21 years old to qualify for this prize.

The giveaway is open worldwide!!!

 Good luck!!!

#aqueeninthekitchen #kindle #internationalwomensday

March 8th, Save The Date!!!

March 8th marks a very special day to me.

7 years ago I gave birth to the most precious gift of all…our beloved daughter Angelica! March 8th is the International Women’s Day, the celebration of women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. On March 8th 2013 I started to write my blog Bread Love And Dreams. On March 8th 2017 my very first cookbook A Queen In The Kitchen Kindle edition will be released on Amazon.

I couldn’t be happier, prouder and fulfilled.

Buon Appetito!!!

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KINDLE EDITION 
March 8th 2017

Title: A Queen In The Kitchen

Authored by Ale Gambini

Photos by Maurizio OTTO De Togni

L.A.-based Italian food writer Ale Gambini presents traditional Milanese and Northern Italian dishes, handed down from her beloved Nonna Fernanda. Nearly a century of authentic Italian recipes, accurately explained step-by-step, prepared using only the freshest, finest and healthiest ingredients that are native to the region of Lombardy and Northern Italy in general. This book includes the staples of the Milanese cuisine such as Milanese risotto, veal ossobuco and Panettone (Christmas sweet bread).

Available on:

buy4

 

Chiacchiere (Italian Carnival Fried Dough)

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Today in Italy is celebrated Fat Thursday, the traditional Catholic feast marking the last Thursday before Lent and Carnevale. Carnevale is the most colorful and playful period of the year, when everyone wears a costume or a mask, and celebrates in the streets with festive parades, allegoric floats, coriandoli (paper confetti), stelle filanti (paper streamers) and delicious sweet treats such as Chiacchiere. Chiacchiere are sweet crisp pastries, deep-fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and are known by different names depending on the regions in which they are prepared :

Lombardy : chiacchiere

Bologna : sfrappole

Tuscany : cenci

Rome : frappe

Tentino Alto Adige & Friuli Venezia Giulia : crostoli 

Liguria & Piedmont : bugie

Sardinia : meraviglias

No matter how we call them, Chiacchiere are simply delicious.

Buon Carnevale!!!

…another recipe homemade, simple and delicious included in my cookbook “A Queen In the Kitchen“.

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Available on:

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Amazon.com (US)CA, Amazon Europe: (ITFRESDE) and UK.

Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini & Angelica- BreadLoveAndDreams.com

 

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 30 min. + 30 min. to rest

Cook Time : 2 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 pinch of salt

1 shot of Grappa

vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar, to dust

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl place the flour, make a well then add sugar, butter, eggs, salt and Grappa.

Kneed by hand until the dough becomes soft and pliable. (You can also knead with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook).

Cover with plastic paper an allow to rest for 30 minutes in a cool place.

Divide the dough in 4 equal parts.

With a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick.

Cut the dough with a pastry wheel or serrated knife into rectangles 2×4 inch , make 1 or 2 incisions in the middle of each rectangle.

In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot then fry the chiacchiere in small batches until both sides are golden brown.

Drain with a slotted spoon and place the chiacchiere over a serving plate covered with paper towel.

Dust with abundant powdered sugar while warm.

Hazelnut Crème Brûlée…Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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“Cooking is love made visible.” ~ Anonymous

Hazelnut Crème Brûlée is my way to celebrate the “sweetest” day of the year. Crème Brûlée is a French dessert consisting of a rich custard base, topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. I flavored this scrumptious dessert with hazelnut spread and garnished with organic fresh berries.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

Servings : 6

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min.+ 2 hours rest

Cook Time : 45 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

5 egg yolks

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pint heavy whipping cream, room temperature

6 tbsp hazelnut spread

granulated sugar, to sprinkle

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 250 F degrees.

With a hand or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until white and frothy.

Stir in the vanilla extract.

Gradually add the heavy whipping cream and whisk until smooth.

Spread evenly a tablespoon of hazelnut spread on the bottom of each ramekin.

Pour the cream mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling them almost to the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until set but still trembling in the center.

Allow to cool at room temperature.

Let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Sprinkle each custard with a thin layer of granulated sugar and caramelize with a kitchen torch until a crispy top forms. (If you don’t have the torch, place the ramekins under the broiler for a couple of minutes)

Serve immediately accompanied with fresh berries.

Focaccia Della Befana (Epiphany Sweet Bread)

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“L’Epifania tutte le feste porta via”.

“The Epiphany takes away all the festivities”.

Italian Proverb.

Epiphany, or the 12th day of Christmas, falls on January 6 and marks the end of the Holiday Season for the Catholics. According to the Italian folklore, on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5th) la Befana, the old woman that flies on a broom, visits all the children in Italy to fill their stockings with candies and presents if they well-behave throughout the year, or coal if they are naughty.

Here is the traditional Focaccia della Befana, a delicious sweet bread filled with candied fruit. The tradition says to put a little coin wrapped in aluminum foil in the sweet bread, the lucky one that will find the piece of bread with the coin will be fortunate in the New Year!

Happy Epiphany!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

Yields : 12 servings

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 30 mins. + 1 h  30 mins. to rest

Cook Time : 15 mins.

INGREDIENTS

3.5 cups flour type 00

1 pinch of salt

7 gr dry yeast

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

zest of 1 lemon, grated

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup milk, lukewarm

1/2 cup candied orange peels

1 egg + 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash

sugar pearls, to garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl combine flour and salt.

Proof the yeast with 1/4 cup of lukewarm water then incorporate the proofed yeast to the flour mixture.

Make a well in the center then add sugar, eggs, lemon zest, melted butter and mix adding little by little the milk until all the liquids are absorbed.

Move the dough over a floured work surface and knead until an elastic dough forms. Add the candied orange peels and shape the dough into a ball.

Move the dough in a slightly floured bowl, cover with cling wrap and allow to rest in a warm place for 1 hour.

Move the dough over a round baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pat flat then shape into a big flower. Place a water glass or a mug in center of circle. Use a paring knife to cut the dough in 12 petals, leaving the center intact.

Twist each petals twice. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat oven at 400 F degrees.

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar pearls.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool before serving.