Ok, it’s not fancy, some of the links don’t work yet, our tags are all messed up and we’re still working out the kinks, BUT… it’s done.  We’ve OFFICIALLY moved to our new site:


Please visit us there from now on – the old site will still redirect to the new one.  BUT, if you have RSS updates from us or email updates, please come by our new site are sign up again…. THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!!

 Amy and Jonny

I’m so, so, so sorry.  We are not ready to move our site yet to the new URL.  We are having MAJOR problems moving all our posts to the new site.  Until it looks perfect and is working correctly, we’re not going live with it.

So, ignore that last post – we’re staying here at :


until further notice.  Again, we apoligize for this back-and-forth!!  – Amy and Jonny


Hey readers! Effective 7PM today, Sunday, February 24th (East Coast Standard Time) we will make our new URL live (FINALLY!).  We will not be updating this site anymore and anytime you type in this address, you’ll be automatically redirected to our new site:


PLEASE update what you need to (bookmarks, feeds, etc.).  We will have brand-spankin’ new buttons that you can sign up for the new feeds/readers/email updates on the new site.  Although the new site still isn’t looking completely to our liking, we’ll continue to work on it.  We’ll still be doing what we do best – creating diverse and multicultural recipes, enlightening you on food history and, as usual, bashing Rachel Ray and other Food Network losers.  We hope you stay with us and we thank you for keeping us keepin’ on.  So head on over to our new site… what ya waiting for!?

La Ribollita, Simmering Away

Continuing with more comforting winter foods, I decided one night to make Ribollita again. Traditionally, this Tuscan dish is usually made one day using whatever leftovers were around and reboiled (what ribollita literally means in Italian) the next for even more of a flavor power-punch.  I also read that ribollita should take a total of three days to make!  That’s some soup!  It should also be made with stale bread, similar to another delicious Tuscan soup, Pappa al Pomodoro, we made months back. The stale bread not only needed to be used up, but it thickened the sauce too. We actually left the stale bread out of our recipe because the veggies made it super thick, but please add it to yours!  And, similar to the Spanish Cocido (which also requires a long cooking time), ribollita ingredients and recipes vary from region to region in the country.

Another traditional ingredient in ribollita is cavolo nero (Tuscan black winter cabbage/kale).  This stuff is all over Tuscany, we even, no lie, saw it growing on the side of the highway in Italy.  It’s beautiful and, damn it!, we can’t buy it that easily even in New York City.  I’ve seen it at various farmers markets, but I have yet to see it in any of my local stores.  It is a deep, dark green, very nutritious and has alot of “give” meaning it can withstand to be cooked for a good amount of time.  I used regular kale and some savoy cabbage instead.

We have travelled to many countries over the past few years and one thing I’ve learned is that poor-people’s food is the absolute best type of food.  There is something so amazing and inspirational knowing that the poorest people were able to take all the rich’s ‘throw-away’s’ and create so many delicious, memorable and traditional meals.  To me, they are the true hero’s of the culinary world and I look to their techniques to inspire me every day.  Not measuring, using whatever around, cooking tough cuts of meat and making them taste absolutely delicious… this is peasant food.

As a reminder, I did not add bread to my recipe, but I am including it in this one.  Another thing to remember is, of course, this meal will be more delicious if you soak and cook tried beans. I used canned cannellini beans because of time. I also added a rind of parmigiano reggiano for added flavor.  This is also optional. Finally, we totally bucked tradition and added some sausage because we had to use a few links up.  Regardless of how you do it, this is a meal in a bowl and is extremely delicious!  Please give it a try for yourself.

La Ribollita

RIBOLLITA (Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup) – Serves 4-5

  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 8 cups of vegetable stock/broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk and some of it’s greens, chopped
  • 1 leek, cleaned and chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 head of kale, ribs removed and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 head of savoy cabbage, sliced in thin ribbons
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into wedges
  • 2 cups passata (or tomato puree)
  • couple sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red hot pepper
  • parmigiano reggiano rind (optional)
  • 2 links of sweet or hot italian sausage, sliced (optional)

What to do:

  1. Saute the onion, carrot, leeks and celery in some olive oil until they are relatively soft (bout 8 minutes).  Towards the end, add the garlic and saute for a few minutes.  Add zucchini, the kale and cabbage and saute for 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Add the herbs and hot pepper flakes.
  3. Cover all of this with your vegetable stock and add the passata (tomatoes).  Add your cheese rind and sliced sausage (optional).
  4. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer on low/medium-low for about 40 minutes.  Add your canned cannelini beans and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Check to see if it needs salt and adjust accordingly.
  5. If you choose to add stale bread, add it at the very end… allow to soak up some broth (about 5 minutes) and allow it to break down.  Stir into your soup.
  6. To serve, add a piece of the parmigiano rind to the bottom of the bowl and ladle in some broth and plenty of vegetables.  Top with lots of grated parmigiano reggiano and some chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Thank You. Our First Award!

OK, I never thought getting a jpeg would be so cool.  But, thanks to Pixie at You Say Tomato, we received our first ‘virtual award’.  I would like to accept this award on behalf of myself and my significant other who writes on We Are Never Full.  I’d also like to thank my mother and father who, without them, I never would’ve been forced to learn to read and write. Thank you, especially, to my mother, Rosie, whose years teaching in Philly forced me to remember rules of the English language.  I’d like to thank my first dog, Buttercup, for reminding me that you can have fun doing nothing.  And, finally, thanks to my stomach – you may not look hard as a rock, but you’ve never failed me when trying new foods. Only that one time did you choose to reject those 10 car-bomb shots, but that’s another story.

All kiding aside, THANK YOU for this.  It’s cool to feel a part of this food blog world… it’s not as giant as you think it is!  –  Amy and Jonny

The REAL Cocido

Cocido, Course 1 (Caldo), Madrid

I know, guys… yet again, another Ray-Ray complaint. I just can NOT stop. I try, kids… I REALLY freaking try. I put her show on and within 30 seconds, I put her on mute. Within a minute, the channel is changed. I can’t do it. I try over and over again, and over and over again the result is the same – shivers, throwing things at the TV, tearing bits of my hair out. After seeing this mild bastardization of the delicious, and AUTHENTICALLY SPANISH dish of Cocido, I could not stay silent again.

In Ray-Ray’s defense, I immediately thought her recipe looked wrong and jumped at the chance to rip her apart. I thought to myself, minced meat?? Chicken “tenders”!? Adding nutmeg and cinnamon??!! Blasphemy! But, after much research, I have found that sometimes cocido can contain meatballs made of minced beef. The chicken tenders are pointless because you want the flavor of the chicken skins and bones. Nutmeg and cinnamon? Ya got me there, Rach. Maybe my trusty Spaniard friend, Nuria could weigh in on this? Regardless, I’m here to spread some knowledge on one of my favorite things to eat while in Madrid.

Cocido is one of the national dishes of Spain, has many regional variations (cocido madrileno from Madrid, cocido montanes from Cantabria and cocido maragato from Castile-Leon) and is often eaten midday. It should take a long time to cook (simmering away all night or all day) and, most importantly, contains various types of cured and smoked pork products and meat, bones, trotters, etc. On holy days or when meat should not be eaten, cocido can be made with bacalao (salted cod) or congrio (salted congereel). Long and slow cooking of the cocido along with it’s other elements; chickpeas, carrots, potatoes and cabbage (among other veggies), creates an amazingly flavorful and rich caldo (broth/stock). It is believed that cocido was introduced to Spain by the Sephardic Jews (Jews that chose to convert to Catholicism) who added pork and sausage to the stew creating the dish we know today. Work is not allowed on the Sabbath so, before it began, they would throw all the ingredients in a pot in order to cook slowly all day, only to be eaten at sundown.

Cocido in Madrid, Course 2

Cocido will usually, and traditionally, be served in at least two courses, often three. The first course is always the strained caldo – pure, golden and rich, maybe with some rice or noodles. The second course could be all the vegetables alone or the veggies plus the meat (as we had it in Madrid – see pics). This would include morcilla (Spanish black sausage), chorizo, pieces of the meats (pork, chicken, pork belly etc.), potatoes, chickpeas, cabbage, carrots, leeks, etc. It is a very filling meal, but extremely tasty and satisfying. It took us about 2 hours to eat ours while we were in Madrid, and we rolled out of the restaurant with the top button of our pants undone and a big smile on our faces.

I also want to clarify something – there is traditional Spanish cocido and a Mexican version. The Mexican cocido may include corn, chayote green beans, zucchini and cilantro. They garnish with lime, salsa and/or jalapenos and Mexican rice and it can be served with tortillas. There is a HUGE difference in these dishes.

In conclusion, this is the best recipe I found for cocido on the web, although I would probably add some more cooking time to the recipe. Although my husband was inspired to make this soup after his first cocido experience during a trip to Northern Spain in 2003, it’s just not the real deal. I hope to order my morcilla and fresh chorizo from La Tienda, talk to my butcher about some pork belly and make this traditional version one day soon.

This is a question that could change for me every six months. Jacques Pepin’s show isn’t on the air now, so I’m not going to crown that one right now. I love anything by Lidia Bastianich, but I’ve been watching her for years and she is a favorite, but maybe not my #1 this moment. The husband and I love No Reservations and Good Eats, but even those aren’t my #1 right now.

My choice could be biased because 1) I just returned from my second trip to Spain and I’ve still got major love for it and 2) this is a brand new food show so the luster may not have worn off on me and 3) I have a minor, strange crush on Jose Andres and, finally, 3) I just finished watching an episode 8 minutes ago.

With that said, my absolute favorite food show right now is, drumroll please….


Jose Andres

Some food shows relax me, others enlighten me, some really just make me happy. This show does all of the above. It is brand new (only 3 or 4 episodes have been on) but I highly recommend seeing if it is showing on your local PBS station.

Now, I ask you, what is your absolute favorite food show right now? Please, I PROMISE not to jump on you if you mention Rachel Ray or Sandra Lee! PROMISE!!!

Have a great Saturday!


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