ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Biscotti Straws, Marzipan Bundts, and Tablescape Thursday!

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Hi Friends! Buona Sera!!

It's been a very stressful week here at Casa Bramasole  (you can read about it here )

Not a lot of time for blogging or anything else. Allie is sporting this year's hot new fashion trend today- a 48 hour heart monitor. I told her that going to school looking like an alien was THE thing to do this year!

Sooooo.... in order to not miss any more Tablescape Thursdays than we have to, we're going to just let you browse through a few of our past tables. 

Be sure to join us at Susan's fabulous weekly party at Between Naps on the Porch

And be inspired!!

For our grand finale....

Marzipan Almond Cherry Mini Bundts.....


Fruit and Nut Biscotti Straws

Recipes at the end!

No more words- Enjoy!

Tutti a Tavola!!!

Almond Cherry Mini Bundts
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
7-8 ounces almond paste- ** SEE NOTE
1 cup sugar
4 eggs (large or extra large) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1- 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted, halved and patted dry
confectioner’s sugar or simple sugar glaze
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 8 mini Bundt pans with baking spray.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In large mixer bowl, beat together the almond paste and butter till smooth- about 2 minutes
Add sugar and beat till light and fluffy. Then beat in eggs, one at a time till incorporated. Scrape bowl down occasionally.
Beat in vanilla, then reduce speed to low.
Add flour mixture and milk alternating- start and end with flour.
Fold in cherries gently and divide batter between pans
Bake for about 25 minutes till set and tests done.
Cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes then turn out and continue cooling. 
Serve at room temperature or even sl;ightly warm, dusted with confectioner’s sugar or drizzled with a glaze

** NOTE- I usually put the almond paste in a small bowl and mash it with a potato masher before adding it to the butter

These biscotti keep very well and freeze beautifully!

Fruit and Nut Biscotti Straws
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts today)
1/2 cup dried fruit bits (your choice)
1 egg
1 egg white
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
3/4 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment.
In mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Stir in the nuts and fruit.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, zest, juice, and vanilla.
On low speed, blend liquid into dry ingredients to form a soft sticky dough.
Scoop dough out onto parchment lined sheet and, with wet hands, pat and spread out into a rectangle about 6 x 10 or 7 x 11. 
Bake for 25 minutes till lightly golden.
Remove from oven and slide parchment onto a wooden cutting board. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Peel parchment off bottom and slice crosswise on board into 1/4-1/3 inch wide slices.
Put a fresh sheet of parchment on cookie sheet and lay slices with cut side down on sheet.
Bake again for 13- 14 minutes till golden.
Remove biscotti to a rack to cool and crisp.

Thank you all again for the wonderful prayers and good wishes you've all sent our girl

We ask that you keep her in your prayers while the doctors work to find and fix the problem

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Hi ladies, thanks for post, can't believe you have time to do all this. I love biscotti and will try these soon. I am an RN by my background and monitor sounds like they are on right track and God Bless her. Hope she feels better rel soon and take care, Emelia hugs...

  2. Thank you for two wonderful recipes...I love making biscotti so I'm anxious to make your version....I hope Allie will be better real soon...Not good for us Moms when the daughters are not well...I wish her well..

  3. I may just be overly fond of you, but I think your "scapes" and recipes are better second time around. I'm willing Allie to be well. Take care. Blessings...MAry

  4. Both recipes sound delicious. I will have to try your biscotti recipe! Going to pack away the mixer this we'll try it when we get to the new house!
    Tell Allie we are thinking of her.

  5. OH MY STARS AND WHISKERS!!! I missed ONE of your blog posts, and come back to find the beautiful Allie wearing a heart monitor, and scaring the very poop out of all of us!

    I hyperventilated through your last post. Thank goodness you are in an area with excellent medical care -- it sounds as if they've got it under control. Oh is anything as terrifying as having a child sick?

    Please give her my love and concern; she has my prayers, and so do YOU and the rest of the family. How I wish I could put my arms around you and give you a big hug. . .

    Love you both -- Cass
    PS The trend to turn family homes into places that look as if families do not live there at ALL is just NUTS. I think your kitchen features its livability and usefulness -- remember, people buy lifestyles as well as homes, and who wouldnn't want to think of themselves as an accomplished cook who actually knows what all those gizmos are for? I say tuck away anything superfluous, but keep your working kitchen working!

    Longest comment ever.

  6. Best Wishes to Allie. Hugs and Prayers to mother and daughter. Hope everything is better soon.

  7. What a treat to see all the beautiful table settings. I hope that things work out for the best for all of you. Prayers on your behalf.

  8. I always enjoy seeing your beautiful scapes, even for a second time.. Miss Allie is still adorable, even with her extra Jewelry.. I hope all goes well with her...
    hugs to both of you

  9. I love bundts so much and this looks so good! Allie is so make sure she follows doctors orders so she will get better! Love you two! :D

  10. It is a treat to see some of your past tablescapes and recipes. Thanks. I am still praying for Allie. I can't imagine the scare that you had. She is such a precious young lady and I know the Lord will guide the doctor's hands to help them fix whatever the problem is. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

  11. I think the heart monitor is very fashionable on Allie! And, I hope it brings good news and big relief to all of you very soon. Healing prayers coming Allie's way.

    The tablescapes are even better the second time around.


  12. I tried to post a comment on the post about Allie, but it didn't work! I am so sorry you both had this scare.
    As for the monitor, I wore one to school too. Told my students I was Bionic when they asked, LOL.
    Everything looks so good, but it is way too hot to bake! I hope you are not in Earl's way, we will be ready in case!

  13. Your posts are always wonderful. It was a treat seeing some of your earlier tablescapes.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. May there be no more stressful weeks


  14. Oh, how terrifying that must have been Friday night! I'm glad that the doctor was mistaken and hope they soon find out what's going on with Allie. My favorite tablescape of those you posted is that fabulous breakfast with the eggs in the little ramekin! Gorgeous!

  15. The heart monitor - it's what all the cool kids are wearing!!!!!
    Beautiful table!

  16. Yumm YUmmmm! I love me some biscotti - though I can't have it right now because I'm on a diet and I have to limit my carbs. :) Sorry to hear you were having a bad day yesterday, I hope today was and is infinitely better! :) Your tablescape is stunning!! Even when they're simple, you always have the best tables - such inspiration. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Allie is a trooper to wear all of that to school. Thank you for sharing so many of your beautiful tablescapes with us. You are so inspiring!

  18. I am keeping Allie, and you all, in my prayers, Pattie. I hope this test will diagnose her problem. It sounds like it may be very much like what my daughter has -- she developed symptoms around Allie's age and has been managed beautifully, as she is now close to 30.

    Tell Allie I wore a Holter monitor get up to a Yankee game once! Talk about keeping an interesting diary of what was going on

    {{{ Hugs}}} Pat

  19. I am a lover of mini bundts. I don't make them but buy them at a restaurant named the Corner Bakery. My husband loves the banana with icing and I love the chocolate with chocolate icing. The photo of your bundts is so tantalizing. Do you make deliverys? HAAAAAAA!

  20. Ciao Allie and Pattie. These last 2 months has been so busy for me and the little time that I had I spent it with family...This morning I had a little bit more time and came back to read my favorites blogs, but when I saw Allie with the holter monitor I was worried. I hope she is well now, as you Pattie. I send you tanti Abbracci!! Anna (I changed domain address, now it is


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