The Only Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe You Need

The Only Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe You Need

When it comes to authentic Italian cooking, you can’t do any better than going to the source itself – an Italian grandma! So it’s no wonder that we love the site Cooking With Nonna, filled with delicious Italian recipes straight from the kitchens of Italian grandmothers.

Cooking With Nonna’s mission is “Sharing Grandma’s Italian recipes with the new generations”, and we love the idea. From appetizers to entrees, lunches to dinners to desserts, the site features some great Italian classics and modern spins on your favorite old-world Italian dishes.

You MUST try this almond coffee Italian Christmas cookie recipe. (Photo credit: Cooking with Nonna)
You MUST try this almond coffee Italian Christmas cookie recipe. (Photo credit: Cooking with Nonna)

Cooking With Nonna is the creation of Rossella and Vito Rago. Rossella travels to the kitchens of grandmothers from all regions of Italy, bringing you the greatest recipes (and secret family recipes!) from all over Italy.

This recipe for Almond Coffee Cookies is one of our all-time favorites, and will be one of the recipes that we use when they make Christmas cookies this year. We’re looking forward to taking it to our parent company Peter Salerno Inc.’s flagship showroom and making another batch myself!

Try it out for yourself, and see how these amazing flavors combine in your mouth for a beautiful Italian holiday dessert experience.

Italian Christmas Cookie Recipe: Almond Coffee Cookies (from Cooking With Nonna)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb Almonds
  • 1/2 Lb Sugar
  • Zest of 2 medium lemons
  • 3 Egg whites
  • 1 Tbs Espresso Ground Coffee
  • 2 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar for glazing (put it in a flat plate for rolling)
  • 50 Whole coffee beans

Preparation:

  • To prepare the paste, boil the almonds and remove the peel. Once they are cold and somewhat dry, put them in a food processor or a blender and chop them finely.
  • Put the chopped almonds in a bowl, add the zest of the two lemons, the sugar, the ground coffee and the cocoa powder.  Mix everything very well.
  • Add the egg whites and mix until the egg whites dilute the sugar and the mixture becomes a paste.
  • Take a lump of mixture in your hand, roll it into a ball the size slightly smaller than a golf ball.
  • Roll the ball completely into the sugar and place it on a baking sheet.
  • Slightly insert a coffee bean on top of each cookie.
  • Roll all your cookies and bake them for 30 mins. at 350F.

See more by clicking on this link and visiting Cooking With Nonna!

Small Business Saturday: Your Shopping Guide to Bergen County, NJ

Small Business Saturday: Your Shopping Guide to Bergen County, NJ

Avoid the madness of Black Friday this year – there are amazing deals and incredible products available to you right in your backyard!

Saturday, November 30, 2019 is Small Business Saturday – the day when brick-and-mortar local businesses encourage you to get out and shop in your area’s finest small businesses. Lest you think that Small Business Saturday is a “small fry event”, think again! 2019 marks the 10th annual Small Business Saturday, and is observed nationwide by the great small businesses that make America strong!

Design Your Lifestyle is based in northern New Jersey, one of America’s true hotbeds of thriving small business. While many associate our area with malls and large commerce centers, northern New Jersey’s backbone is truly its small businesses.

We love Bergen County, New Jersey’s gorgeous main street and downtown shopping areas, which offer fantastic Small Business Saturday escapes from overcrowded malls and “big business” storefronts. From Wyckoff to Westwood, Ridgewood to hidden gems along Routes 4 and 17, Bergen County offers a plethora of amazing shopping options this Small Business Saturday!

Here are a few of our personal favorite “hidden gems” for you to check out on November 30th, as Small Business Saturday returns to Bergen County!

Small Business Saturday: Bergen County, NJ Shopping

1. Peter Salerno Inc. Home Design Shops (511 Goffle Road, Wyckoff, NJ)

Anchored by a showroom that 201 Magazine called “a wonderland under one roof”, this 3-shop design storefront is a must-visit for anyone considering a new home, home remodel, or update to their custom kitchen or bath design. Located just off Routes 208 and 4 in Wyckoff, NJ, the Peter Salerno Inc. Home Design Shops are an all-in-one center for home design enthusiasts.

511 Goffle Road, Wyckoff, NJ: A home design paradise!
Peter Salerno Inc. Home Design Shops, in beautiful Wyckoff, NJ!

The journey begins at Peter Salerno Inc., winner of the most national design awards since 2002. Peter and his team specialize in custom kitchen and bath design, ranging from classic to contemporary, traditional to transitional. The gorgeous showroom (winner of KBIS’ Most Innovative Showroom award) features kitchen, bath and bar designs. Peter Salerno Inc. also specializes in lounges, wine cellars, and “man caves” for the most discerning of customers.

Adjacent to Peter Salerno Inc.’s showroom are Stratta, the Tile Boutique and Oberg & Lindquist. Stratta is a jaw-dropping center for amazing artisan tile, ranging from fine marble to quirky art pieces to the latest in “green” tile (cork, faux wood, etc.). Oberg & Lindquist is a one-stop small business destination for home appliances, including some of the finest names in the industry – Wolf, Sub-Zero, Miele and more.

2. B. Witching Bath Co. (11 S. Broad St., Ridgewood, NJ)

A fine escape from the big business bath companies, B. Witching Bath Co. is a great find in the heart of downtown Ridgewood. From soaps to lotions, oils to soaks, the product assortment at B. Witching is alluring and high-quality.

Stemming from a 40-year family tradition of fine handmade bath products, B. Witching Bath Co.’s products “are uniquely formulated with the finest therapeutic botanicals, wholesome ingredients, essential oils and minimal preservatives”. Each batch of their products are crafted to high standards on an individual basis.

For the guys out there who often find themselves at a loss in big bath care stores, fear not! We love B. Witching’s efforts to invite men into their store with fine products designed “for him” as well.

3. Serene Spa & Boutique (288 Center Ave., Westwood, NJ)

A walk through the charming downtown center of Westwood brings you to Serene, a quaint spa and boutique with a natural vibe. The name “Serene” is indicative of the feeling you get upon entering the storefront, as customers find its atmosphere relaxing and peaceful.

Serene Spa and Boutique, Westwood, NJ.
Serene Spa and Boutique, Westwood, NJ.

Serene offers a wide array of products, from clothing to skin care. Need a break from the stressful rush of holiday shopping? Serene also offers a litany of fairly priced health options – from massage to waxing, Reiki massage to skin care.

The Serene boutique also offers the added bonus of some very unique jewelry options! If you’re a lover of baubles and bangles, bracelets and necklaces, then make sure you stop by for a fine small business option for your jewelry needs.

4. Caffe Anello and Sogno Coffee (425-429 Broadway, Westwood, NJ)

Of course, all this Small Business Saturday shopping is bound to make you hungry! Our favorite local haunt for a unique bite to eat and a world-class cup of coffee is Sogno Coffee – conveniently, just a short walk away from Serene Spa & Boutique in the heart of Westwood.

You’ll visit Sogno Coffee for its magnificent coffee and beverage selection, including espresso, macchiato, cappuccino and some fantastic hot chocolates. You’ll stay for their assortment of freshly made crepes, available in both Sweet and Savory options. We highly recommend the simple delight of the Fourth Avenue, a handmade crepe made fresh and served with lemon juice, honey, sugar and butter.

If you need a little more nourishment, the double storefront also features Caffe Anello, a tremendous sit-down restaurant you’ll visit over and over again!

Color Design For Foodies | This Season’s ‘Yummiest’ Trendy Kitchen Colors

Color Design For Foodies | This Season’s ‘Yummiest’ Trendy Kitchen Colors

When PANTONE draws inspiration from food to name a color, it likely belongs in a kitchen design. PANTONE’s renowned Color Matching System is the gold standard of color design schemes for home designers, textile designers, industrial designers, fabric designers & clothiers. the ability to transition a PANTONE color across media (cloth to paper to online to plastic & more) is unparalleled.

With endless color possibilities in the ever-expanding PANTONE universe, where do you even begin to find the perfect colors for your updated kitchen design? We love taking cues from the names PANTONE gives to its colors. When a PANTONE shade’s name reflects something found in your kitchen or pantry, our “spidey senses” go off!

Maybe it’s a simple case of the power of suggestion, but we know the team at PANTONE as a group which acts with purpose. So if we have a choice for a neutral color for our kitchen… well, we’re going to consider Sugar Almond a bit more strongly than Warm Sand.

(Sorry, Warm Sand – you just don’t sound quite as delicious!)

There’s an abundance if trending PANTONE colors with food-inspired names lately, so why don’t we draw a bit of kitchen design inspiration?

Here’s our selection of 8 trendy PANTONE colors with names foodies will love. See if you get inspired to use one (or more) of them in your kitchen!

8 Kitchen Design Colors For Trendy Food Lovers

Rocky Road: a dark brown earthy neutral & sturdy ‘backbone’ color

PANTONE Autumn/Winter 2019 Rocky Road

Guacamole: the splash of green in your leafy, plant-laden design

Guacamole (PANTONE 17-0530)

Dark Cheddar: a zesty pop of accent color – more accessory than focus

PANTONE Autumn 2019 Color Dark Cheddar

Pancake Batter: a warm, sugary-sweet off-white rooted in golden yellow

PANTONE Polyester Standards

Chili Pepper: a spicy hot red – handle with care to succeed!

PANTONE Autumn 2019 Color Chili Pepper

Peach Pink: a gorgeous blush tone for a summery beach kitchen

PANTONE Autumn 2019 Color Peach Pink

Sugar Almond: the warm mid-tone brown neutral coveted by trendy designers

PANTONE Autumn/Winter 2019 Sugar Almond

Coconut Milk: a creamy, comforting white that provides balance for an inviting kitchen space

PANTONE white color Coconut Milk

Which of these PANTONE colors is your favorite? Connect with us!

The BEST Thanksgiving Guide You Will Find: Right Here!

The BEST Thanksgiving Guide You Will Find: Right Here!

We found the greatest Thanksgiving recipe guide we’ve ever seen. Now, we’re sharing it. And wouldn’t you know it; it’s all thanks to Epicurious.

Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder” is a brilliant interactive flow chart of Thanksgiving recipes and ingredients. It couldn’t be simpler to use. Pick up to 3 base ingredients on the interactive chart, and Epicurious automatically narrows down its 509 Thanksgiving recipes to the select few that meet your needs.

Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder
Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder

From sweet potato to fennel, cider to sausage, Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder has it all. Are you or your Thanksgiving guests gluten free, vegan or lactose intolerant? No problem; you’re still covered.

You can also filter the Thanksgiving flow chart by dish type. Narrow the recipes by one of 7 categories (main, side, stuffing, etc.) before selecting ingredients to focus your search. The possibilities are so fun to explore!

Here are just a few great combinations we uncovered:

Cranberry + Apple + Thyme = Skillet Stuffing with Apples, Shallots, and Cranberries

Green Beans + Cauliflower + Citrus = Herb-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Beans and Tomatoes

Seafood + Potato + Mushroom = Crudités With Bacon XO Sauce

Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder

If these 3 recipes don’t strike your Thanksgiving fancy, don’t fret – there are 506 more where those came from!

This Epicurious Thanksgiving interactive flow chart is a passionate home cook’s dream. It’s perfect for a creative food lover who has the ingredients in mind and simply needs a little direction. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, the 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder from Epicurious is as close to a ‘must have’ tool as we’ve found.

Happy browsing and Happy Thanksgiving!

Peter Salerno's favorite pumpkin ravioli recipe from Williams-Sonoma.

Will YOU Accept Our 2019 Thanksgiving Food Bank Challenge?

Will YOU Accept Our 2019 Thanksgiving Food Bank Challenge?

One look at the hashtag #FoodBankChallenge on Twitter, and you’ll see how dire the situation has gotten for many of our food banks. Around the world, food banks are woefully depleted of basic and necessary supplies. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this is a food shortage that we need to try and correct!

The task seems daunting – but if each of us focuses on our local food banks and pantries, the mission becomes easier to manage. It all starts with finding your local food bank – our favorite resource is the Feeding America locator.

Will you take Peter Salerno Inc.'s #FoodBankChallenge?
Will you take Peter Salerno Inc.’s #FoodBankChallenge?

For years, our parent company Peter Salerno Inc. has pledged to donate no less than 75 turkeys every Thanksgiving season to its local food bank – the St. Andrew’s Parish Food Pantry in Westwood, NJ. St. Andrew’s is a spiritual home for Peter Salerno and his family, where Peter’s children Anthony and Gabrielle were both married.

This isn’t a statement to ‘prop ourselves up’. When broken down amongst several members of a work team, the cost of 75 turkeys isn’t that massive – and the ability to provide enough Thanksgiving main courses for over 1,000 people (1 person fed per pound of turkey) is a number that will change an entire community for the better.

Peter Salerno's staff delivering Thanksgiving turkeys to St. Andrew's Church.
Will you take Peter Salerno Inc.’s #FoodBankChallenge?

If you’re focusing on turkey, remember that simple calculation – 1 pound of turkey feeds 1 person. If you donate a 16 lb. turkey, a food pantry can feed roughly 16 people.

If your focus extends past Thanksgiving, non-perishable and shelf-stable items are your target.What food items are pantries and food banks most in need of this Thanksgiving season? According to Feeding America, these are the six most requested shelf-stable items by food banks during the fall months:

•    Boxed stuffing
•    Instant mashed potatoes
•    Canned vegetables
•    Dry macaroni
•    Cranberry sauce
•    Canned Pumpkin

What can YOU do to take steps to assist those in need and give back this Thanksgiving season? According to Peter Salerno, it’s all about targeted giving.

“Instead of helping dozens of charities, choose two or three that resonate with you to maximize your effectiveness,” Peter encourages. “Imagine how much better a world (we’d have) if everyone who could, would take action.”

Keep in touch with us – and the movement – using #FoodBankChallenge on Twitter. Let us know how you’re helping give back this Thanksgiving season!

8 Off-White PANTONE Colors To Inspire Your Kitchen Design

8 Off-White PANTONE Colors To Inspire Your Kitchen Design

Anybody can ‘wow’ you with articles about wild color palettes and outside-the-box design schemes. But you ALWAYS need an anchor color for your kitchen design palette. And that’s why we’re here.

You have your base color scheme and design palette for your kitchen design. But where do you go from there? How do you tie everything in with that one perfect neutral tone? Often, off-white colors are the answer. If white is a little too pedestrian, but you need to keep your neutral tone light, off-white is key to your kitchen’s color scheme.

But when you visit the paint aisle, it’s swatches as far as the eye can see. How in the world are you going to narrow down what seems like thousands of off-white options to that single, perfect color for your kitchen?

As always, we turn to the experts at PANTONE, the world’s foremost authority on color, for guidance. Using their one-of-a-kind Color Matching System, recent color trend guides and some of the most awe-inspiring kitchen designs from Peter Salerno Inc., we’ve tuned our focus on 8 fantastic off-white PANTONE colors to perfectly complete your kitchen’s color palette.

Which of these 8 off-white PANTONE shades is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!

8 Off-White PANTONE Colors To Inspire Your Kitchen Design

1. Brilliant White

Pantone 11-4001

Color Influence: Blue

The quiet blue undertone of Brilliant White makes it our top choice as an off-white PANTONE kitchen design color. Blue is the “it” kitchen design color of the moment, and Brilliant White allows you to set a neutral white base that still blends beautifully with your design choices.

PANTONE white color Brilliant White

2. Tofu

Pantone 11-4801

Color Influence: Bronze

Tofu is a muted off-white that plays well against wood tones and metallic colors. You don’t have to worry about Tofu dominating the color palette of your kitchen; it’s certainly not an “out front” design color. It does work quite nicely with a variety of stronger tones as a complementary shade.

PANTONE white color Tofu

3. Vanilla Custard

Pantone 12-0815

Color Influence: Orange

In contrast to Tofu, Vanilla Custard definitely brings a little more ‘punch’ to the table. The orange undertone isn’t exactly subtle, and you’ll need to choose a warm kitchen design palette to pair with it. However, in the right setting, Vanilla Custard is certainly a winning selection.

PANTONE Autumn/Winter 2019 Vanilla Custard

4. Sweet Corn

Pantone 11-0106

Color Influence: Yellow/Gold

This is a great choice for a traditional or country kitchen. Sweet Corn brings a charming golden undertone to your kitchen design’s color palette that works well against cozy, familiar options like Dutch blue, wood, and natural greens and browns.

 

PANTONE white color Sweet Corn

5. White Smoke

Pantone 12-0704

Color Influence: Orange

White Smoke strays a bit further from “white” than most on the list, but its ability to counter-balance strong metallics and dark wood tones lands it a spot on our list. White Smoke isn’t for every kitchen, but it’s a strong enough off-white to hold its own against powerful colors.

PANTONE white color White Smoke

6. White Alyssum

Pantone 11-1001

Color Influence: Beige

Even though White Alyssum falls faintly within the yellow color family, we can’t really “tie it in” to the color itself – it’s simply too delicate. White Alyssum feels like the ivory on a vintage piano – delicate, elegant and charming.

 

PANTONE white color White Alyssum

7. Bright White

Pantone 11-0601

Color Influence: Green

Bright White provides a really unique green hue which allows it to play in a totally different color palette than every other entry on this list. A kitchen design full of leafy greens, natural tones, earthy colors and plant life will benefit greatly by using Bright White as its off-white neutral.

PANTONE white color Bright White

8. Coconut Milk

Pantone 11-0608

Color Influence: Beige

Much like White Alyssum, Coconut Milk offers the slightest hint of yellow/beige, adding a ‘vintage’ feel to your color palette. Coconut Milk, perhaps unsurprisingly based on its name, also does quite well against hot tropical colors and pastels.

PANTONE white color Coconut Milk

Amazing Home Bar Design: ‘The Eclectic Pub’ Photos + Specs

Amazing Home Bar Design: ‘The Eclectic Pub’ Photos + Specs

Stone. Reclaimed tin. Gorgeous wood. Statement lighting. Spiral staircase. Hold on tight; this home bar design is a jaw-dropper.

‘The Eclectic Pub’ is a world-class custom home bar design from Peter Salerno Inc. – the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century. Complete with custom stonework, one-of-a-kind tin panels and feature shelving you must see to believe, this home bar is the stuff of which dreams are made.

Home bar design by Peter Salerno Inc.
Home bar design by Peter Salerno Inc.

It all starts with the woodwork. Beautifully rich and finished to a radiant ‘nutty’ glow, the wood elements of this home pub are the foundation and backbone of the design. From the flooring to the door trim, the cabinetry to the ceiling to the perimeter of the glass feature wall component, wood provides the feeling of being ‘at home’ that every great bar (even the most luxurious ones) exudes.

And let’s talk about the feature wall. Recessed lighting radiates out from behind an opaque pane of glass, drawing your focus to the glass shelving suspended between the ceiling and counter. It’s a stunning set of glass design elements that seem to hang in mid-air away from the structure of the bar’s wood features. If the wood and stone of this home bar are the skeleton and body, then the feature wall is certainly the jewelry.

A recurring theme in some of Peter Salerno’s best kitchen and bar designs is the used of reclaimed tin. From former bars and speakeasy joints to Route 66 gas stations, Peter sources tin from some of America’s most unique locations for use in his award-winning designs. In this case, reclaimed tin is treated and used in the center panels of the bar and cabinetry elements. Shades of brown, green and gold blend delicately against the woodwork and cabinet handles and finishing hardware.

Home bar design by Peter Salerno Inc.
Home bar design by Peter Salerno Inc.

As if the home bar design itself wasn’t enough, the stonework puts this pub over the top. With recessed sections that act as shelving for premier bottles of wine and liquor, this well-lit stone area also acts as a stairwell for a descending spiral metal staircase.

Cap all these stunning elements off with sturdy brown counters and smart lighting fixtures, and you have a winning ‘Eclectic Pub’ design indeed.

What do YOU think about Peter Salerno’s “Eclectic Pub’ home bar design? Leave a comment!