Fante’s Granita

Granita thequeenvillagerGleeful squeals coming from the coffee bar are a sure indication that Fante’s Granita is back in season! This homemade specialty is pined for year-round, and not a day goes by that someone doesn’t request it. Alas, Granita season is short lived – from the Italian Market Festival in May until the weather cools in the fall. But fear not… we have crafted a copycat recipe so that you can enjoy a similar Granita treat at home, anytime you choose. Read the rest of this entry »


We All Scream for Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake SliceIs there any type of dessert that makes you feel more like a kid than ice cream? Perhaps a wonderfully delicious ice cream cake?

Lucky for us, basic ice cream cakes are easy to find in grocery stores. However, once you begin customizing flavor combinations at specialty ice cream shops, the prices rise rapidly. Customized ice cream cakes are simple to make. You can let your creativity flow with your choices of ice creams, fillings and toppings. Purchase some items pre-made, make them all from scratch or use a combination. The result will be delicious, unique, and refreshing! Read the rest of this entry »


Spring has Sprung and it’s Time for Fruit Tarts!

Fresh FruitIs there anything better than a beautiful fruit tart full of fresh, seasonal fruit? Well, maybe just that delicious buttery crust that can become the vessel for the fruit.

Tarts are relatively simple to make, and can have a dramatic presentation on your dessert table. The secret to a perfect fruit tart is to wash and strain your fruit in a colander, and then to pat it dry with a towel to remove any extra liquid in the fruit.

We are going to take you step by step through two tart recipes that are perfect for spring. And remember, tarts are playful and fun! Feel free to use either crust and filling together, and any of your favorite fruits and jellies to glaze. Read the rest of this entry »


Italian Peach Cakes

Italian Peach CakeItalian Peach Cakes are light and sweet desserts reserved for special occasions. They present beautifully and are fairly easy to bake and construct, if you have the right tools. The cake and custard are simple and flavored with Peach Brandy.

Our Fante’s recipe was developed by Jeanne Fante. In this post, we included a different method of decorating that involves a little less work and a little more liqueur! “Decorating” the peach cakes is done with Alkermes liqueur, granulated sugar and a peach leaf. You, too, can make beautiful and delicious peach cakes to impress guests at your next special event!

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Torta Pasqualina – Easter Pizza

Chef Fritz BlankChef de Cuisine Frederick Carl (Fritz) Blank Jr
Easter, April 2010

For the first time in about almost 16 years, this spring I have not made “Easter Pitz” (as my Sicilian mentor “Old Man Tony Amato” back in the late-1950’s/early-1960’s called these wonderful seasonal Italian culinary hallmarks). The recipe I use today (when I do make them) is the same one that he taught me way back then. I have never forgotten his instructions and techniques, and it stands as one of the very best renditions I’ve ever sampled (of course I am prejudiced).

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Carnevale! Carnevale! Ogni Scherzo Vale!

Finished CrostoliThis phrase is indicative of Carnivale – “Fat Tuesday, a day when every prank is allowed,” a final day of celebration before the start of the Lenten season. My family hails from a pastoral area of Friuli and Carnevale means something delicious in our home – Crostoli.

Friuli, a region of Northeastern Italy is famous for its wine, cheese, San Daniele prosciutto and a language that is unrecognizable as an iteration of Italian. Picture this: my summer vacations consisted of playing at our aunt’s house in the country, chasing the rabbits, collecting eggs from the chicken coop and helping to wash clothes in the stream in front of the house. In the middle of all this, my five foot tall mother wanders out into the fields wielding a scythe to expertly cut grass to feed the rabbits.

Crostoli is made from items found in most kitchens. They are easy and inexpensive to make, and result in a crisp and not overly sweet bite of heaven. They are, in fact, known in other parts of Italy as “Angel Wings.” It is a fun family project, as the dough is fragile and timing critical in the recipe.
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2015 Holiday Staff Picks – Anything Goes

Gift BoxLast week, we brought you Part 1 of our two part Holiday Staff Picks. From silicone baking mat sets to personalized serving boards, we chose the must-have items that we think any cook or baker would absolutely love to receive this holiday season – all for under $50.

But for those who prefer to go all-out with their gifting, we’ve rounded up a list of our most coveted kitchen tools that are sure to wow that special person in your life.
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