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Gourmet Gifts and cooking generosity

Cooking is a matter of generosity. This is the sum of my experiences so far, including cooking classes, sharing recipes and memories on my blog, meetings between foodies and projects developed thanks to the essential cooperation with friends. Last week I was explaining a Tuscan recipe to a group of Americans, and I realized that rather than giving precise doses I kept on with recommendation like this: “add a generous handful of almonds,” “season generously with extra virgin olive”… is it lack of precision and professionalism? maybe. But I’d rather consider my behaviour as living cooking with generosity and passion.

The very same generosity that you can infuse into wrapping up parcels of sweet treats or bags of care and snacks can be found, multiplied, into the eyes of those who receive them. Now I can adfirm that the affection that I have put so far into sharing recipes, experiences and treats is coming back toward me as friendship, a generous and disinterested friendship that confuses and touches me.

And here we hit the point, Sigrid’s new book Regali Golosi (Gourmet Gifts), published by Giunti Editore SpA, of which I have the honour to write a rewiew about today (I would say an almost certainly superfluous review since it has already become a best seller). I’ve found this book elegant but never pretentious, sophisticated but suitable for everyone, both for the recipes and the used ingredients. It brings a breath of international flair and winning ideas, undoubtedly something so applealing for a blogger!

What I liked the most was the intro, and you can easily understand why seeing what I wrote at the beginning of the post:

So, if what you make by yourself is better (…) on the other hand, when you give something  made by yourself you gift the other person with what is so sorely lacking these days: the human mark, the unrepeatable uniqueness, the ‘authentic’ personalized, the taste of real…

Here is a selection of two proven recipes, made I soon as I got the book, perfect for the housewarming of a friend or to cheer up a friend from a cold (season desease!).

Tortilla Chips – pag.92

Ingredients: 50 g flour, 50 g cornmeal, 80 g water, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon salt ,1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder. For about 20 tortillas

Mix flour, salt and spices. Bring to the boil water and oil and pour over dry components. Mix well and allow to cool for ten minutes. Roll out the dough very thin with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Cut out triangles an bake them at 200°C until chips are golden.

The book originally required a fresh and yummy guacamole dip with tortillas, but since I was short on avocados, I brought a hot Mexican style dip for Dario’s hosewarming cocktail.

Hot tomato dip – my recipe

Ingredients: a dozen of little red ripe tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 1 white onion, extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 pinch of salt. For 2 small jars.

Finely chop the onion and sautee in olive oil. Add tomatoes and bell pepper cut into small cubes, spices and salt. Let simmer over medium heat until the tomatoes are melted down, the pepper has become soft and all the liquid has evaporated.

Lemon and polenta cookies – pag. 12

Ingredients: 300 g flour, 200 g of butter, 15 g cornmeal, 150 g sugar, 4 egg yolks, the grated peel of 2 lemons, a pinch of salt. For about 50 cookies.

Beat sugar, butter and lemon peel with a whisk until you have a pale and creamy mixture. Whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, then fold in flour and salt. Knead quickly and form a ball, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough to 4 mm, cut out cookies and bake them at 200°C for ten minutes, until they start to brown.

A perfect gift for? everyone! From curious friends and food lovers to those who will always give you the wrong gift, the one that you really do not need (in this way they will have good and delicious ideas for next time!). But the first person to whom you can give this book is you: it will become your source of quick and special ideas to surprise anyone!

My gift wrapping ideas:

  • brown paper bags, purple raffia and recycled paper for notes: from my official supplier of paper, paperboard and related services in Colle Val d’Elsa, Panteri.
  • jar labels: order them on line at
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This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. This is so true – cooking is all about sharing and enjoying food together. Generosity gets forgotten sometimes but you my dear are a great example how to keep it alive! I’m overly excited to be able to have a chit chat with you again soon! x

  2. One of the best things about cooking is sharing the goodies, and these are two lovely ways to to do it! Love the wrapping… a bag of those cookies would certainly lift my mood if I was under the weather!

  3. Wonderful post! Ed e’ proprio vero: il piacere sta nel condividere quello che si cucina, il come si cucina e anche il quando. A me piace coinvolgere gli ospiti di una cena nella preparazione della cena stessa. E grazie per le belle idee per gift wrappins. Sono sempre a corto di nuove!

  4. I have bought Sigrid’s book myself and it looks like the book I would have written myself….I love to package the things I make. At Chirstmas I use to give to my relatives a basket full of homemade things as a present and I love to draw labels and choose nice bottles, cups and jar…It’s wonderful….This recipes you have just prepared are the two recipes I had choosen to make myself after reading the book! I will make them soon….Bye bye…;)

  5. Just what I absolutely love about blogging G … the generosity, the spirit and the connect! What a fabulous book that sounds like, and what a great selection you chose to make from it. Those tortilla chips are calling my name. Got to make those asap, with your tomato dip! DROOL! I love the way you pacakged the gifts; this is something I love to do too!

  6. I always forget to visit the English version of your blog!! Finally tonight I remembered that I could actually READ your posts and not just sigh in delight at your photos. 🙂 Lovely!

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