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Missed me? I’ve missed you!

So much has transpired that I hardly know where to start. The quick snapshot looks like this…epic vacation, followed by catching up at work (yes, I have a ‘real job’ outside of recipe development) and THEN my website becomes infected with malware and my creative writing comes to a screeching halt.

No need to dwell.

Thanks to Kevin, is still here – and we can talk again. There were weeks where I feared that I might not be able to save all these years of recipes and my emotions ran the gamut. Was I ready to move on from this space? Should I find another passion project? Could my time be better spent out doors? Will anyone even notice that I’ve disappeared?

Sometimes you don’t need to answer all of those burning questions lurking in the background. Sometimes you just go with your gut and stay your course. And here we are, ready to keep the recipes flowing.

This post may surprise you since it takes into account a less specific recipe method. Have you ever noticed that there are two cooking methods that most people subscribe to: those that “must” have a recipe to follow and those that like to create by sight, adding a smidge of this or that? I subscribe to both schools of thought, which may be a bit peculiar. On occasion I’ve been known to skip all of those pesky recipe measurements and just cook by sight. Perhaps this oddity is attributable to the time I spent cooking with each of my grandmothers. My father’s mother was vigilant with her recipes. Her notes in the margins of each cookbook had notes, and more notes. And my mother’s mother cooked by sight; a handful of this, a pinch of that. Both were excellent cooks with a passion for food. Both loved to entertain guests at their homes and tables. And my mother was no slouch on the cooking or banquet-organizing front either. So I am far from ‘original’ – I am entirely a product of those I admire and adore. Although I never imagined emulating them when I was growing up, I can tell you that I now strive to do so. They are my rock stars. They are my culinary visionaries.


This recipe is special in that I had planned for it to be my first post following my vacation. One bite transports me back to my summer travels. It just tastes like summer. It is a lovely, simple throw together dessert that reminds me of my last night of vacation as we feasted high atop the Florence skyline, enjoying the company of new friends we met from our precious Zia Maria Rosa.

maria rosa

The favors in this fruit dessert meld together beautifully. The sweet taste of peach, with the overtones of lemon and the added texture and toasted nutty flavor of the pinenuts is a match to savor. For those that like a sweeter dessert the raisins are a nice addition, and for those that like a punch of tartness the dried cherries are a great alternative. I tend to like it just with the peaches and pinenuts as seen pictured in this post.

Peaches 2

Lemoncello Peach Salad


4 peaches, skin and pit removed and diced

2 TBS pinenuts, lightly toasted

1 TBS dried cherries or raisins (optional)

lemoncello, generous splash


In a bowl combine prepared peaches, pinenuts, dried cherries (if using) and lemoncello. Stir gently with a spoon and refrigerate until serving.

Serves 2

lemoncello peach salad