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Almond Biscotti Visits Fountain of Chocolate

Saturday, December 17th, 2011 3 comments

Every year Joan Jacobs celebrates the holidays with a party for her girlfriends. It’s usually a cookie exchange. This year was different. She invited us all to visit her chocolate fountain. Each guest was invited to bring fruit, cookies or pretzels or anything that could be dipped in chocolate (are there things that cannot be dipped in chocolate?). We also celebrated the engagement of her son, Ted, to beautiful Ashley (in the photo). Celebrate your friendships with chocolate!

Almond Biscotti with Liqueur d’Orange

2 cups sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon liqueur d’Orange
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 1/2 cups whole almonds

Preheat oven to 350°. Lay almonds on large baking sheet in single layer. Toast almonds for 10 minutes and cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 300°.
Line a very large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in large bowl of electric mixer.
Add eggs one at a time, then add butter, almond extract, liqueur and zest until just combined. Stir in almonds. (I used my hands to kneed the almonds into the dough).

Transfer to a well-floured surface and shape the dough into six loaves (six inches long by 2 inches wide).
Place loaves on baking sheet a few inches apart as they will spread when baking. Bake for 50 minutes until light golden. Cool slightly.

On a cutting board, with a serrated knife, slice logs on the
diagonal into 1/2 inch wide biscotti. Return slices to cookie sheet and back for 25 minutes more. Cool.

You can now visit a chocolate fountain, if desired.

Biscotti keep well at room temperature stored in an airtight container.


2010 in review

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011 Comments Off on 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meterâ„¢ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 57 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 227 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 332mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 20th with 68 views. The most popular post that day was Cooking with your house guests.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for, chicken tortilla soup recipe, cookthepart, karin eastham cooking, and karin eastham.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Cooking with your house guests September 2010


Señor Gary’s Chicken Tortilla Soup November 2010


What’s so special about cooking with friends and family? September 2010


Kieflies: The Only “Must Have” Christmas Cookie December 2010


Savoir Faire and Savory Fare by Karin Eastham July 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

We need your help to get our own URL on facebook!

Friday, November 19th, 2010 Comments Off on We need your help to get our own URL on facebook!

go “like” cook the part on facebook please!

Categories: Uncategorized

Slowing Down in Rome

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 Comments Off on Slowing Down in Rome

At the suggestion of our good friends, the Zondlers, we dined at Spirito DiVino last night. This is a small family-operated restaurant.  It is situated in a 1,000 year old building, reached by a long trek through narrow, winding streets.  After being warmly greeted by Francesco, the son and lone waiter, we were invited to select our table.  He then brought us a glass of champagne to welcome us.  The menu emphasized their link to the “Slow Food Movement”, of which we are members in San Diego.  The philosophy of the Slow Food movement is to use food grown locally, enjoyed at a leisurely pace.  There were no salads on the menu at this time of year because they are not in season.  There was no fish on the menu on Monday because the fishermen are off today.   The menu stated very clearly that only  “THE CHEF” is involved in preparing your food.  The Chef is the mother.

Karin with Francesco

Gary and I each started our dinner with a fall soup selection.  I ordered the pumpkin, potato and leek soup, which was served with toasted almonds sprinkled over the top.

Pumpkin, Potato and Leek Soup with Toasted Almonds

I will definitely work to create my own version of this soup when I get home.  Francesco would have shared the recipe, but it was actually a quite busy night for him as the lone waiter and wine steward.

For our next course we shared a pasta course, prepared perfectly with a bolognese sauce.

The pasta with bolognese sauce

Our main course selections included a goulash for Gary and a roasted pork dish for me.  The recipe for the pork dish was actually said to be a favorite of Julius Ceasar.

After declining dessert, we were treated to a small serving of Creme Brulee, probably some of the best we have ever tasted.  We finished the evening with a visit to the wine cellar, which was 20 or more feet below ground and had the smell of a true wine cellar.  The wine Francesco selected for our dinner was wine produced from grapes grown on the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna.  When in Rome, you should SLOW DOWN enough to enjoy a dinner at Spirito DiVino.





Categories: Restaurant Reviews, Uncategorized