Stay At Home: Make Our Own Home Brewed Cocktail Recipe!

Stay At Home: Make Our Own Home Brewed Cocktail Recipe!

The world is serious right now. While you’re stuck at home, why not bring a bit of summer fun into your “quarantine life”?

From the mind of Anthony Salerno (Peter’s son) comes an alcoholic treat that’s sure to challenge your taste buds and keep you relaxed indoors during a stressful time.

Vodka and fresh basil make Uncle Sal's Delight!
Vodka and fresh basil make Uncle Sal’s Delight!

It’s easy to make – a vodka drink with a twist from the garden – and even easier to drink. If you grow your own basil, you’ll find this to be a refreshing use!

So, to all you adults out there, give it a try – it’s Uncle Sal’s Delight!

Uncle Sal’s Delight (a cocktail recipe by Anthony Salerno) – please be of legal drinking age!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, fresh basil leaves
  • 1 basil stem (with small leaves on it)
  • Sprite
  • Vodka (Tito’s or Absolut are the preferred choices)
  • Ice (cubed, not crushed)

Directions:

  • Fill a Highball glass with ice.
  • Roll the 2 large basil leaves in your hand to release the flavors, then rub leaves on the inside of the glass.
  • Leave the basil leaves in the glass, and bury them with ice.
  • Fill the glass up about 1/4 the way with Vodka (or 1/3, depending on your day).
  • Fill the remainder of the glass up with Sprite.
  • Lightly stir.
  • Garnish with the basil stem, letting its leaves rest on the surface of the cocktail.
  • Let sit for 2 minutes to allow the drink to settle and flavors to combine.

Enjoy – and let us know what you think of our “stay home” inspired cocktail creation!

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

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

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 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 it’s the holidays, and 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!

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.

Our Favorite Epicurious 2019 Labor Day Recipes

Our Favorite Epicurious 2019 Labor Day Recipes

Labor Day is about food, fun and family. While you’re taking a much-deserved break from the daily grind of work, there’s nothing better than a great meal or two to punctuate a relaxing Labor Day weekend.

As usual, we’re leaning heavily on the expertise of Epicurious, one of the web’s pre-eminent food and recipe sites, to fill our Labor Day table. The recent release of Epicurious’ article “49 Low-Fuss Labor Day Recipes” provides a great deal of inspiration!

Check out Epicurious' 2019 Labor Day Recipes
Check out Epicurious’ 2019 Labor Day Recipes!

Even the most avid “foodie” isn’t going to eat 49 meals on Labor Day weekend – even though you may feel as though you did eat that much by Monday night! We’ve read up on all 49 of Epicurious’ Labor Day recipe selections, and narrowed the list down to a few options we think deserve to be on your lunch or dinner table during the long weekend.

Let’s look at 5 of our favorite selections from this year’s Epicurious Labor Day “food playlist” and we’ll tell you why they deserve the attention of your taste buds!

The Best Epicurious 2019 Labor Day Recipes

1. Smash Burger Alfresco

This double-stack take on classic Labor Day fare is the perfect place to begin our list. Two grilled 3-oz. patties start this fulfilling burger, and a special sauce punctuated with adobo and finely chopped pickles adds a jazzy punch that separates this burger from the standard.

2. Honeydew Salad with Ginger Dressing and Peanuts

One of the most surprising and appetizing entries on Epicurious’ Labor Day recipe list, this honeydew salad is full of contrast and unexpected flavors. What begins as a cold, fresh melon salad quickly becomes captivating with the heat of serrano pepper, spice of ginger and intriguing flavor of Persian cucumbers. What begins as a monochromatic all-green salad bowl ends up being a flavorful, fulfilling salad that kept us coming back for more.

3. Grilled Whole Eggplant with Harissa Vinaigrette

While this dish is listed as an appetizer, you may find yourself eating the whole thing and turning this delicious eggplant into an entree. The direction to grill the eggplant directly on the dying coals of your grill is audacious and guaranteed a smoky, charred flavor. This recipe’s harissa vinaigrette is one of the simplest we’ve made in awhile, and is quite delicious.

4. Grilled Whole Cauliflower with Miso Mayo

The grilled veggie trend continues with this spicy cauliflower recipe. Basting the cauliflower with spicy butter gives it a unique orange color, and serving it over a tangy miso mayo adds an extra satisfying punch. This is another dish that can serve as an appetizer or a main course. Like the eggplant offering above, it’s a filling enough offering to satisfy any vegetarian guests at your dinner table.

5. Strawberry-Rose Agua Fresca

Looking for the perfect drink to cap off your Labor Day meal? This refreshing berry-filled beverage reaches new heights with the unexpected flavors of rose water and agave nectar. Epicurious lists the rose water as optional; we’ve tried it both ways and think that it makes all the difference. You can spike this drink and make it a cocktail, but the non-alcoholic version provided is pretty perfect as is.

To read the entire Epicurious “49 Low-Fuss Labor Day Recipes” article, click here.

Summer Food Trend Alert: Beat the Heat With Chilled Soup Recipes

Summer Food Trend Alert: Beat the Heat With Chilled Soup Recipes

When our most trusted recipe sources start producing mass quantities of chilled soup and cold soup recipes, we take notice.

The last few days have been blazing hot in our area (the NYC/Tri-State region), with the heat index approaching 120 degrees. For food lovers, eating a hot meal in oppressive heat can be uncomfortable. Cold drinks don’t provide enough nourishment, and cold meals don’t offer enough refreshment.

The answer, according to Epicurious and other recipe experts, is cold soups.

Gazpacho cold soup recipe
Find delicious cold soup and chilled soup recipes to beat the summer heat.

We’re not just talking about gazpacho! There are some extraordinary chilled soup recipes available, with inventive minds designing new additions to the cold soup cookbook. It’s no surprise that – once again – some of our favorite selections come courtesy of Epicurious.

Epicurious’ recent list of 34 Cold Soup Recipes to Keep You Cool This Summer features no less than a half-dozen recipes we’re instantly enamored with. From a cool AND filling Chilled Coconut Corn Soup to a guacamole-inspired Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup with Tomato Salsa, there are plenty of savory options that will leave even the biggest appetites fulfilled.

If your idea of chilled soup on a hot day involves lighter fare, we love the intriguing Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit recipe, as well as a Chilled Golden Tomato Bisque that requires zero cooking!

We won’t post the full Epicurious recipes here (we’re not big on plagiarism… ha!), but here are links to six of our favorite Epicurious chilled soup recipes, along with brief descriptions of each.

Try them all, and leave us a comment about the one you love most!

Links to Our Favorite Epicurious Cold Soup Recipes

1. Chilled Coconut Corn Soup

Possibly our favorite cold soup recipe on Epicurious’ list; this fulfilling soup comes stocked with corn, potatoes and onion. Coconut milk, ginger, turmeric and lime zest finish off a bright and satisfying recipe that we will be making again.

2. Cool Jade Soup

Currently holding a 100% “Make Again” rating on Epicurious, this Cool Jade Soup offering is inspired bissara, an Egyptian bean-and-herb purée. The mix of green and lima beans blends well with mint, parsley and other herbs to create a refreshing cold soup.

3. Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit Soup

We were a bit skeptical about this recipe to start. It looked precisely like a normal gazpacho… until the stone fruit came into play. Peach and cherry ingredients give this gazpacho base a surprising – and very enjoyable – sweetness that kept us dipping our spoons into our bowls.

Cold soup recipe
Try these chilled soup recipes to cool off during a hot summer.

4. Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta Crema

Much like the Stone Fruit recipe above, we start with a gazpacho inspiration and venture off into inspired fruit-based territory. According to original author and recipe creator Susan Spungen, the key is a super-juicy, heavy watermelon.

5. Chilled Golden Tomato Bisque

This no-cook recipe is the height of ease; we found the final result every bit as enjoyable as the short prep period. The notes of sherry and mild honey are small but pop beautifully out of the heavy bisque broth, giving a sweet touch to a savory soup.

6. Lemongrass-Ginger-Carrot Soup

In terms of visual presentation, this soup might have the most beautiful color of any on the list. The mellow gold color of this chilled soup is due to carrots and ginger, and a healthy dose of chicken bone broth adds texture. Feel free to try this one hot as well.

Food Inspires Design | 5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

Food Inspires Design | 5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

The best kitchen designs are inspired by the food created within them.

Food is a muse for master chefs, avid home cooks and hobbyists alike – but it’s also an inspiration for kitchen design experts the world over. Peter Salerno (owner of Peter Salerno Inc., our parent company) is not only an award-winning international custom kitchen designer, but an avid cook and food connoisseur. (Peter’s first cookbook, complete with expert wine pairings, is due out later in 2019.)

Peter Salerno's pumpkin fettucine with creamy sausage sauce.
Peter Salerno’s pumpkin fettucine with creamy sausage sauce.

“It’s important for a kitchen to be as functional as it is luxurious,” Peter explained to us in a recent meeting. “If its owners don’t get a fantastic cooking experience out of their kitchen, then who cares how beautiful it is?”

In order to stay inspired by food, we keep a close eye on some of WordPress’ finest food, recipe and cooking sites. Some are well-traveled, while some are wonderful hidden gems in the deep and varied ocean of food blogs and online recipe collections.

5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

Polenta & Baccala

Oh, how we love this gem of a website. Polenta & Baccala (stylized polenta e baccala) is an invitation to cook with Graziano, who creates authentic Italian recipes coupled with marvelous photography and detailed preparation instruction. Besides the rich content and beautiful photography, the blog is presented on a visually stimulating layout.

There’s no guesswork needed with the recipes at Polenta & Baccala. From preview to preparation, creation to consumption, Graziano provides the perfect “map” to all his dishes to cooks of any experience level. Couple this with Graziano’s photography expertise and his very real credentials (a native northern Italian now living in Hungary), and we promise you’ll be spending plenty of time perusing polenta e baccala for recipes and food inspiration.

Homemade mozzarella from Peter Salerno's kitchen.
Homemade mozzarella from Peter Salerno’s kitchen.

Cooking With a Wallflower

It’s important to remember that self-expression comes in all forms. While the statement one can make with food is loud, often the person preparing these artistically resounding meals is quite introverted. Such is the case with Cooking With a Wallflower, a charming (and delicious) blog run by Andrea, a dental hygienist with a passion for food.

We enjoy Andrea’s perspective on food, and creating a fulfilling work-life balance between her occupation and her passion for cuisine. Cooking With a Wallflower offers a highly pleasing blend of recipes and life experiences, which reminds us that the heart and soul of every kitchen is the person who uses it.

In Diane’s Kitchen

In Diane’s Kitchen is so appealing because it’s so real. Recipes are constructed with real life in mind. “What to do with those holiday leftovers?” “How can I make that recipe I saw on TV with the modest kitchen accessories I own?” Diane brings these answers to the table, crafting simple recipes that often provide amazing “bang for the buck” in terms of great rewards with minimal effort and/or skill required.

Websites like In Diane’s Kitchen help keep kitchen inspiration rooted in reality, which is an important aspect of any designer’s process. Like Diane’s recipes, a good kitchen designer knows that ease of use and simple application are of incredible importance in our daily lives.

Peter Salerno's homemade black pepper pappardelle.
Peter Salerno’s homemade black pepper pappardelle.

Foods That Blog

Sometimes, you just want to stare at some pictures of delicious food. For food photography that looks good enough to eat, we turn to Foods That Blog – a place we consider to be source material not only for food trends and food photography, but also design inspiration!

The richness and variety of color and texture in Foods That Blog’s photography can serve as a muse for holistic kitchen design. It’s also helpful to observe what styles and preparations of food are on the rise, as these dishes help signal trends in kitchen appliances and overall kitchen setup.

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes. A simple tagline for a simple, effective blog. Cooking Without Limits pairs a minimalist layout with simple, clean photography and to-the-point recipes to create a user-friendly experience. We love how conversational Cooking Without Limits is; each recipe is an invitation into this cook’s personal kitchen, experiences and tastes.  Every recipe comes with a story, and we love that – after all, your kitchen is where so many of your life’s stories are created!

What is YOUR favorite recipe, cuisine, or food photography blog or website? Leave a link in the comments and tell us why!