food. family. life.

summer solstice: spicy eggs, italian caffe shakerato & a bowl of cherries

Summer solstice

I watch as each hot, humid day winds down into a warm, sultry summer evening. Life has slowed to a pace that I prefer.

Time moves slowly. I often find myself sitting quietly, watching the late afternoon storms gather.

I love hearing the heavy raindrops as they begin to fall upon the palm tree fronds and the windows of our casa as they make their way to the grass below.

I prepare simple dishes in the heat of summer, dishes that we can sit and enjoy in just a moment’s notice. Sometimes, with almost no time at all.

I hope you enjoy these summer favorite dishes as you and your famiglia take a moment to relax and enjoy the summer in all it’s glory.

colazione {breakfast}

Note: I watched David Rocco from the Cooking Channel series “David Rocco’s Dolce Italia”  create this simple and delicious dish during his episode in Calabria, Italy. Now it’s one of my anytime of the day or night favorites.cucinadimammina_scrambled eggs with spicy dry-cured calabrese sausage_20


spicy hot calabrese dry-cured sausage, sliced thinly (skin removed); approx. 12-15 slices or to taste

2 to 3 whole organic eggs

whole milk

sea salt and pepper to tastecucinadimammina_scrambled eggs with spicy dry-cured calabrese sausage_20

extra virgin olive oil

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste and blend lightly with a fork; add a splash of milk; set aside.

In a medium skillet, add the sliced dry sausage and saute lightly until you see the spicy red oils melt a bit. Remove the sausage and place in a bowl; set aside.

In the same skillet, add the eggs and scramble them lightly until just cooked through (cook the eggs to your taste; softer or more well done, if you prefer.)

Remove from the heat and combine the sausage slices with the cooked eggs and gently mix together.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil and serve immediately with toasted rustic bread and a hot cup of espresso.cucinadimammina_scrambled eggs with spicy dry-cured calabrese sausage_16


cucinadimammina_scrambled eggs with spicy dry-cured calabrese sausage_29

{italian caffe shakerato}


A classic summer espresso beverage that Italians choose over hot espresso in the heat of the summer. Simple, sweet and utterly delicious.

2 shots or so of brewed espresso (sweetened and chilled)

about 1/2 cup or so of whole or 2% milk

ice cubes

large martini shaker

Place about 3 to four cubes of ice in the shaker. Add the espresso and milk and seal tightly.

Vigorously shake this mixture until the shaker begins to ice over and the liquids thicken.cucinadimammina_italian caffe shakerato_06

Pour the contents into a large glass (strain out the ice cubes.)

With a spoon, top the caffe and milk mixture with all the foam from the shaker and serve immediately. DSC_9679


{ciliegie sul ghiaccio}: cherries on ice

A wonderful snack or after dinner dessert. This always brings me right back to my many summer trips to Italy, sitting in the warm late afternoon sun with famiglia and friends.


fresh, best quality seasonal cherries; washed and drained

large deep bowl

ice cubes

Fill the bowl about 1/3 with ice and place the cherries on top of the ice. Set aside for about two to three minutes until the ice begins to chill the cherries to perfection.

Serve immediately.


Note: Photography by Annette Venditti & Carina A. Favale

Buon Appetito!

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