How to Stuff a Zucchini Blossom
Recipes How to How to Stuff a Zucchini Blossom

With so many fruits and vegetables available year-round, it’s rare in the modern world to enjoy a food that’s really, truly a limited-time offer. You can get an apple in June, when, by all rights, all the apples from the previous autumn should already be a fuzzy memory. But it seems it’s always apple season somewhere, and we’ve come to rely on that constant availability. But due to a brief season and great delicacy, the zucchini blossom (or courgette blossom, as J would say) is what I like to think of as “now or never” foods.

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Old World vs New World: a Ricotta Comparison
Old World vs New World: a Ricotta Comparison

I was up at Coach Farm with some of my coworkers in Upstate New York last Friday. In the days since, I’ve been trying to wrangle all the video clips together into a watchable form. Thus far, I’ve got a quick video that illustrates how they’re doing a brand-new product: ricotta cheese. If you’re a cheese person, you already know that ricotta is a classically useful product for cheesemakers because it’s made with the cast-offs of the cheesemaking process: the whey.

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The Unsinkable Miss Molly

This week, Miss Molly Del Monte is all over the New York press for heading up the newly renovated kitchen at Vutura , the restaurant at Williamsburg’s Rose Live Music. But we knew her back in the day. Just a couple of years ago, this blog followed Miss Molly’s zany adventures in Italy as a young cook struggling with everything from snarky kitchen politics to the quest for a well-formed strudel.

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Recipes Day 16: Almond & Olive Oil Cake

*This post marks Day 16 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Compared to cookies or layered bars, or — heaven forbid — strudle , a basic cake is such a simple, lovely treat. Just a few steps. Just a little time in the oven. Just a few ingredients. Cake is essentially just flour, butter, sugar and eggs, right? Well, as I discovered on last summer’s foray to Rome, sometimes cake is flour, olive oil, sugar and eggs, which is both delicious and a good option for people who need something dairy-free.

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Recipes Day 12: Cookie o’ the Week… Citrus Pignoli

*This post marks Day 12 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Welcome to the second Cookie o’ the Week! Last week we sampled a Dutch delight, and this week, we’re moving south. As a wee little thing, I sold (and ate) many, many boxes of Girl Scout cookies. They seemed mighty fine at the time (especially the Thin Mints nibbled straight out of the freezer), but that was before I discovered Pignoli Cookies , an Italian confection made up of little more than pine nuts, sugar and almond paste.

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Recipes Grilled Garden Bruschetta

Friends, it appears to be Tomato Week here at Chez Ginsu, so if you’re not a love apple lover, I’d encourage you to stop back next week, when we’ll see some tantalizing sweet stuff and a post on the tastiest yogurt I could find in these parts. But for now, it’s all about that juicy little god of the gardening world. Truthfully, I’m so crazy about good, ripe tomatoes, I don’t touch them for most of the year.

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Travel On Swordfish Heads & Side Trips

Invariably, travels take people to some big destination city. After all, that’s where the airports are, and said destination city is probably chock-full of wealth and wonders, museums and mausoleums. But there’s something infinitely charming and memorable about the little side trips on the way to and from those destination cities. Is the delight of the small locale wrapped up in its lack of options? Are they winsome because big cities offer predictable experiences and guidebook-ready hot spots, while little villages and tiny towns pop up into your world with no expectations at all?

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Travel On Picking Out a Good Agroturismo Farm Stay

In Italy, where agritourism has been nurtured by government subsidies for decades, business is booming. Who goes to the Italian countryside anymore without participating in a farmstay? C’mon! All the cool kids are doing it. In case you’re new to the concept, it goes like this: a farmstay or agritourism vacation entails traveling to a farm, eating there and (often) staying at (or near) the farmhouse, as you would at a bed & breakfast.

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Seeking Out the Heavenly Slice
Travel Seeking Out the Heavenly Slice

We came, we saw, we ate pizza. That’s how you roll in Rome. Carb-heavy. Pasta with every meal. Pizza on every corner. But if you’re lucky, you’ll find slices that are worth the trip and the caloric load. Not far from The Beehive, where we stayed, we discovered a good neighborhood pizzeria on Via Merulana. (I was a bit tired at the time, but I believe the place in question was Cecchini Vincenzo E C (SNC) , Via Merulana 203.

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Italian Pecorino Cheese: A How-To Video
Travel How to Italian Pecorino Cheese: A How-To Video

In my short career in video blogging, I’ve run through making fresh paneer cheese, watching the Salvatore Ricotta folks stuff cheese into cannoli and now, my latest clip documents the making of uber-traditional pecorino in the Italian countryside. I’m afraid you’ll start to believe I’m a bit cheese-obsessed. I assure you, the theme is entirely coincidental. I swear the next video will be about something other than cheese. Meanwhile, I have to say, this is really my favorite clip yet, featuring some truly charming Italian sheep and goats I met in the mountains of Abruzzo while on a farm stay near Sora, Italy.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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