Asian food covers a spectrum of endless possibilities – the myriad of spices procured and the combination of ingredients used to create recipes are so diverse and complex and rooted in culinary tradition. We tend to think of Asian food as Chinese, Vietnamese or Thai, but the largest country in Asia is Russia and the smallest independent state is an archipelago of islands known as The Maldives - two extreme examples of how the cuisines within Asia are vastly different. When we think “Russian”, we think borscht, caviar and beef Stroganoff, whereas in The Maldives, coconuts, fish and cassava are the staples. The geographical make-up of Asia dictates that we add in China, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and about forty-six other countries whose cultures are ancient, which means the culinary traditions are deeply embedded in the palate.

Simplicity in Italian cuisine is the sign of perfection.

The beautiful red color of the pears is perfect for the holidays. Brightened by the red wine and reminiscent of winter, it makes an elegant presentation.

  • 6 Anjou or Bartlett pears
  • 1cupsugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cups of Chianti
  • 1 tablespoon whole butter
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
  • Mint leaves for garnish
  • Cinnamon or vanilla gelato

By Carrie Hirsch

Coming late to the farmer’s market is like coming late to the party - most of the guests have left, the ice sculpture has melted and only a few wilted hors d’oeuvres remain on the platters. If you want to get the best of the bounty, arrive early and bring a tote bag or a backpack to carry your finds, which leaves your hands free to sample! You don’t want to be the one tussling over the very last stalk of rhubarb and making a scene…it’s just that you needed it for your strawberry and rhubarb pie!