From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Homemade Cavatelli Recipe [PICTURES]

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Homemade Cavatelli Recipe [PICTURES]

Peter Salerno’s Personal Recipe for Homemade Cavatelli

Peter Salerno's ingredients list for his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!
Peter Salerno’s ingredients list for his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!

With the summer holidays in full swing, Peter Salerno and his family are spending more and more time in his custom designed, award-winning kitchens than ever. But sometimes instead of designing kitchens, Peter is at home in his own kitchen designing authentic, homemade Italian meals.

Recently, Peter and his family (wife Tracy, son Anthony and daughter-in-law Eve, daughter Gabrielle and son-in-law Brian) gathered for a delicious homemade Italian dinner, which included the Salerno family recipe for the perfect cavatelli.

Now, the Salerno family recipe for cavatelli is supposed to be a well-kept secret – but Peter Salerno felt like sharing just a “little bit” of the family recipe. (Just like his award-winning kitchen designs: what good are they if they’re not shared with others?)

So Peter’s sharing his surprisingly simple list of ingredients for the perfect homemade cavatelli recipe with you here, as well as some pictures from his preparation of the dish. As for the preparation steps themselves? Well, those may have to come at another time. After all, Peter’s parents might have something to say about that!

Peter Salerno’s Homemade Cavatelli Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese

Peter Salerno's ingredients list for his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!

 

From humble beginnings as strips of homemade dough on the Salerno kitchen counter…

Peter Salerno's ingredients list for his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!

 

The beginnings of Peter Salerno’s delicious homemade cavatelli recipe begin to take shape (literally!)…

 

Peter Salerno's ingredients list for his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!

Delish Features Memorial Day Recipes To Drool Over

Delish Features Memorial Day Recipes To Drool Over

Avid readers of “Design Your Lifestyle” know that 2 recipe blogs make us salivate like none other – Delish and Epicurious.

Since our inception, we’ve relied on Delish and Epicurious more than any other sources for food tips, recipes, drink recipes, and seasonal menus that always fit the bill and ‘hit the spot’. And boy, has Delish delivered once again with its Memorial Day Recipes feature page.

BBQ in style with Delish's Memorial Day Recipes!(Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)
BBQ in style with Delish’s Memorial Day Recipes!(Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)

From the Delish team:

We wanted to make a space that was for everyone — people who liked to eat more than they actually liked to cook. We created a place that was as much about delicious, easy recipes as it was about food as a fun lifestyle and cultural phenomenon. We produce nearly 200 recipes a month, but we’re also creating videos about our favorite brands, restaurants, and stores, or celebrities and their eating habits. Plus, we’re all about telling the crazy food stories you won’t find anywhere else.

How could we not love that mission statement? (And if that’s not enough, check out their Pinterest page – we dare you not to get hungry and make a recipe immediately.)

The thing we love most about the Delish Memorial Day Recipes feature is that it’s drawn from the real world. We’re not saying that some people don’t adorn their Memorial Day dinner table or cookout table with “deconstructed crawfish etouffee” or “artisanal curated something-or-other with lemongrass foam”. We’re just saying that most people eat burgers, hot dogs, salads and sides.

BBQ in style with Delish's Memorial Day Recipes!(Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)
BBQ in style with Delish’s Memorial Day Recipes!(Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)

And this is precisely the foundation of the Delish Memorial Day “menu” of recipes. The splashy lead article, 43 Insane-Slash-Brilliant Things To Do With Hot Dogs“, hooked us from the beginning. Simple summer pastas, summer salad recipes, kebabs and homemade condiments follow the charge, and soon you may find yourself like us…

(“Did I really just spend 52 minutes looking at Memorial Day recipes? Yup, I sure did.”)

Vegetarians and vegans, fear not – Delish has you covered for Memorial Day as well, with grilled veggie recipes that are more than satisfying.

So if you’re at a loss for Memorial Day cooking ideas and need some recipes for inspiration, head over to the Delish Memorial Day Recipes site and get searching! (We’ll give you a call in a day or two if you get carried away.)

2018 Food Trends: Our Favorite Japanese Cheesecake Recipe

2018 Food Trends: Our Favorite Japanese Cheesecake Recipe

Japanese cheesecake is the “it” dessert when it comes to 2018 food trends. Light, airy, and jiggly (in a really entertaining way – trust us!), Japanese cheesecake has taken the trendiest dining establishment by storm. Dessert foodies everywhere are fawning over the rich (but far less dense) dish – and rightfully so!

What makes Japanese cheesecake so different from traditional cheesecake? For starters, cream cheese isn’t the main component. While it exists in the dish, the core component of Japanese cheesecake is eggs. The recipe for Japanese cheesecake is a little more time-consuming than traditional cheesecake recipes, but we’ve found a little extra patience is well worth the reward.

A Japanese cheesecake recipe you'll love - Spring 2018 food trends!
A Japanese cheesecake recipe you’ll love – Spring 2018 food trends!

There are a bunch of Japanese cheesecake recipes springing up all over the internet, but we found one we like the best. It comes courtesy of the Little Sweet Baker, based out of Ontario, Canada. The blog started as a hobby and has grown into a favorite independent cooking and recipe site for many people – us included!

We love this recipe because it deviates from the ‘big box’ website recipes for Japanese cheesecake. It has personal touches that make it unique – and in our opinion, a bit more delicious than the conventional approach.

We encourage you to visit Little Sweet Baker for the full recipe, and for all of her wonderful cooking tips, recipes and stories!

Japanese Cheesecake Recipe (courtesy of Little Sweet Baker)

  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 60 min
  • Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 package (250g) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (50g) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (83ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp (16g) cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • powdered sugar for dusting

For full cooking instructions (we don’t plagiarize, and we always give credit!), please visit the full recipe.

Our Favorite Italian Christmas Cookies Recipe

Cooking With Nonna’s Recipe for Italian Christmas Cookies

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!

Fall in Love With White Truffle Season in Italy

Fall in Love With White Truffle Season in Italy

Fall is truly an adventure in Italy’s Piedmont region, as locals, foodies and tourists alike begin the hunt for white truffles. 

October to early December marks the Italian truffle season – especially the elusive and highly prized white truffle, which routinely sells at upwards of $1,000 a pound!

Peter Salerno's homemade white truffle and pasta dish.Peter Salerno's homemade white truffle and pasta dish.
Peter Salerno’s homemade white truffle and pasta dish.

According to Essential Italy, a leading Italian travel site: “Although truffles are generally found in the regions of Piedmont, Molise and Emilia Romagna, there are plenty to be discovered elsewhere. Tuscany, Umbria and Le Marche are perfect places to visit if you’re hoping to make the most of the truffle season.”

Very few of our acquaintances love Italian cuisine and the fine art of cooking white truffles more than Peter Salerno, the owner and founder of Peter Salerno Inc. (the most award-winning North American kitchen and bath design firm since 2002).

October-December is white truffle season in Italy's Piedmont.
October-December is white truffle season in Italy’s Piedmont.

Together with the fine staff at Urbani Truffles on West End Avenue in New York City, Peter Salerno developed his own white truffle and pasta dish to celebrate the Italian Piedmont’s white truffle season. Check out some exclusive photos of Peter’s trip to Urbani, as well as his finished dish!

More information from our friends at Essential Italy (we URGE you to read their full article!):

If you are in Tuscany in Autumn, one truffle-based event to try is the San Miniato Truffle Fair, known as the La Sagra del Tartufo Bianco. Held in the beautiful medieval hill town of San Miniato in November, the event usually takes place over several weekends – most typically the last three weekends of the month.

Tuscany is home to around 25% of Italy’s white truffle produce so there will be plenty to go around and it’s the go-to region if you are new to truffles. The festival is also a great place to visit for a day out with food and craft stands, as well as entertainment and restaurants that allow you to try their truffle menus. Other festivals in Tuscany include ones held in San Giovanni d’Asso, near to Siena, held on the second and third weekend of November, with a truffle museum open on the weekends.

October-December is white truffle season in Italy's Piedmont.
October-December is white truffle season in Italy’s Piedmont.

The go-to Italian regions for white truffle season are the Italian Piedmont (or Piemonte) region, Le Marche, Tuscany and Umbria. For the ultimate white truffle experience, check out the towns of Acqualagna, Alba, Volterra and Pietralunga, among others!

Feel free to share your favorite white truffle recipes, cooking tips, photos and experiences in the comments section below!

Peter Salerno's homemade white truffle and pasta dish.
Peter Salerno’s homemade white truffle and pasta dish.

An Anniversary Celebration and A Caramel Apple Martini Recipe

An Anniversary Celebration and A Caramel Apple Martini Recipe

Caramel Apple Martini Recipe courtesy of FoodViva.com

The weekend of October 4, 2014, was an exceptionally beautiful one for many reasons. The rain cleared on Saturday afternoon, making way for a crisp, classic autumn weekend in New Jersey. The sun poked its face out of the clouds much of the weekend, and the cold air held off just long enough to make a beautiful October weekend outdoors possible.

Caramel Apple Martini, the official drink of a beautiful October wedding.
Caramel Apple Martini, the official drink of a beautiful October wedding.

For Peter Salerno, his family, friends, and the Peter Salerno Inc. team, it was especially beautiful. Gabrielle Salerno, the head of Customer Relations and Social Media Outreach for Peter Salerno Inc., married the love of her life (the wonderful Brian Mayer), and Mr. and Mrs. Mayer were the focal point of an intimate and stunning wedding and beautiful reception.

It’s been three years since Gabrielle and Brian’s wedding day, and the couple has since welcomed beautiful baby Brielle into their lives (as well as their puppy Harper). But there’s a delicious way we can all celebrate such a special occasion.

In honor of their 3rd anniversary, we’re sharing Gabrielle & Brian’s “special” reception cocktail with you all – a sweet Caramel Apple Martini that will perk you up on a cool fall day. While the reception venue (the Estate at Florentine Gardens) has its own proprietary recipe for a Caramel Apple Martini, Peter Salerno Inc. has found its own favorite recipe for the drink online.

The lovely Caramel Apple Martini cocktail recipe in question is courtesy of FoodViva, and it’s a perfect marriage (much like Gabrielle and Brian!) of laid-back and appealing.

So if you’re 21 and over, and you love the idea of a smooth cocktail on a fall day, then make yourself a Caramel Apple Martini, raise a glass to the happy couple, and enjoy!

Caramel Apple Martini recipe (courtesy FoodViva):

Ingredients

  • 30 ml (1 oz) Vodka
  • 60 ml (2 oz) Sour Apple Pucker
  • 60 ml (2 oz) Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 Maraschino Cherry
  • 1 cup Crushed Ice

Directions

  1. Fill up cocktail shaker half way through with crushed ice.
  2. Add all martini ingredients in cocktail shaker and shake for 30-35 seconds.
  3. Pour mixed drink through strainer into serving glass, drop cherry in it and serve.

As an added treat (as pictured courtesy of SocialifeNJ), try garnishing the rim of your glass with caramel and crushed almonds!

Peter Salerno’s Family Recipe for Homemade Sangria

The Perfect Homemade Family Summer Sangria Recipe

Peter Salerno isn’t just a master kitchen designer, he loves spending time in his own kitchen entertaining family, friends and guests. This love of cooking and creating recipes filters up and down the Salerno family for generations, and has produced some time-tested, delicious recipes.

July 4th Red, White and Blue Sangria recipes (recipes & photo courtesy Epicurious)
Our family Sangria recipe) photo courtesy Epicurious)

When Peter Salerno married his wife Tracy, she brought with her a wealth of delicious recipes, cocktails and other “secret family recipes”. Tracy’s father, Mike Cavallo, was a master of many of these – but one of the family’s favorite creations from Mr. Cavallo was his famous sangria.

What makes the “Cavallo family sangria” recipe so delicious? It might be the perfect mix of ingredients, or the use of brandy and triple sec at the base. Or it may just be the special amount of love with which Mike made it.

In any event, it’s a sangria recipe that’s sure to please, and we’re sharing it with you. It’s the perfect summer sangria recipe for entertaining guests!

Mike Cavallo’s Perfect Summer Sangria Recipe

Ingredients

  • 7 Up/Sprite
  • Triple Sec
  • inexpensive brandy (something like Christian Bros., no need to go over the top!)
  • a bottle of red wine, preferably Merlot or Shiraz
  • ice
  • oranges (you can add apples and pears as well)

Preparation

  • Fill a *large* pitcher with whole slices of orange (leave the peels on), use a wooden spoon to press on the oranges to get a little bit of juice at the bottom.
  • Fill a 1/3 of the pitcher with ice
  • Pour even parts 7 Up/Sprite and wine (pouring both at the same time is the easiest way) until 2/3 of the way filled
  • Pour equal parts brandy and triple sec to taste (usually about 1/2 -2/3 a cup)
  • Fill remaining with the rest of the wine
  • Stir and let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator
  • Enjoy!
If it comes out too strong for you, it can be diluted by adding more soda.
DON’T add sugar, citrus fruits (lime, lemon, pineapple), or bitters!