Apr 19

1⁄2 lemon, juice only
4 baby artichokes
6 slices speck
1⁄4 c. grape tomatoes
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper

1. Prepare the artichokes: Combine the lemon juice with water in a large bowl. Remove the tough outer leaves and, using a sharp paring knife, peel the outer layer of the artichokes, including the stem, until you reach the whitish inner layer. Trim off about 1⁄2 to 1 inch from the top of each artichoke. Slice the artichokes in 1⁄2 lengthwise and slice or scoop out and discard the hairy choke. Thinly slice the artichokes lengthwise and place the artichokes in the lemon water to prevent discoloration. 2. Arrange the speck slices on a large platter. 3. Drain the artichokes and pat dry. Arrange in a circle in the center of the speck slices. 4 Slice the tomatoes in 1⁄2 and arrange in the center of the artichoke circle. 5 Drizzle with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper. Serves 2

Replace: speck with prosciutto

Medium-bodied red wine, such as Rosso di Montalcino

Apr 15

1 oz. of maraschino liqueur
orange juice
2 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 lemon juice

1. Fill a tumbler halfway with ice. 2. Add 1 oz. of maraschino liqueur, fill with freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 tsp. maraschino cherry juice and the juice of 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 a lemon. 3. Shake or stir to combine and garnish with lemon slices and maraschino cherries. Makes 1

Apr 5

In Italian biscotti means twice baked. This term refers to the method in which the cookie is made. First logs of dough are baked in the oven then the logs are allowed to cool. They are then cut into diagonal pieces, about 1⁄2- inch long. Finally the pieces are arranged cut-side down on the baking sheet and placed back in the oven, until they are lightly golden. Biscotti are commonly made with anise or nuts and are often dunked in coffee or dessert wine, such as Vin Santo.