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"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."

~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking (The Savoring Series)
by Lori De Mori

Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.

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Regional Wares

Calphalon 2 1/2 quart saucepanCalphalon Commercial Hard Anodized Collector's Edition 2 1/2-Quart Shallow Saucepan with Lid

I cannot even imagine life at this point without my Calphalon pans. Until you use one you will not understand how much better your cooking can be with quality cookware. This is my favorite shape and size pan to use, and the one that I use most often in my kitchen. It is the perfect pan to purchase to start your collection. Too expensive? Not with prices like these! Save tons off of retail with this month's drastic reductions.

4 1/2 ounce porcelain ramekinsBIA Cordon Bleu 4 1/2-Ounce Porcelain Ramekins, Set of 4

Before you say to yourself, "What on earth am I going to do with ramekins?", let me assure you that you will find hundreds of uses for them. I have over thirty different ramekin dishes, and these are by far the most practical, resilient, attractive, and inexpensive ones I have found. And I paid twice as much for mine when I bought them! What do you need ramekins for? I do use them for making individual portions of dishes…not just fancy schmancy stuff, but things like puddings, meatloaves, twice baked potatoes, chicken pot pies, and much more. I use them much more with food preparation. I can slice, dice, and measure all my ingredients ahead of time into these ramekins which makes sure that I have everything I need before cooking and really does save time. They are almost shatter resistant (after being dropped several hundred times I can say this with confidence!) and go through the dishwasher like a breeze. I use ramekins every day for food preparation and you will too!

Showtime Indoor Rotisserie & BBQFactory Reconditioned Ronco Inventions ST1000R Showtime Indoor Rotisserie & BBQ

I admit it. I am cheap, and I love a sale. Like most people I lusted after one of these rotisseries, but could just not justify spending almost $300.00 dollars (or more!) on one. I drooled over them at the houses of friends and family and loved how easy they were to work and clean up. But, phew, that price was a killer! Then I found out that they sold factory reconditioned ones drastically reduced. What a deal! The units actually come with a six-month warranty and a package of coupons that are actually worth more than you paid for the unit. No more super hot kitchens, not enough room in my oven for side dishes, scrubbing roasting pans for me, or paying megabucks for rotisserie roasted food! Need any further incentive? You can toss all the dirty pieces right into the dishwasher!

Calphalon Wok SetCalphalon Professional Hard Anodized Collector's Edition 4-Piece 12-Inch Flat Bottom Wok Set

The wok I use for all Thai cooking and stir-frying. You will see plenty of photos of it as we cover different cuisines, and it is still gorgeous after years of hard use. Perfect for stir-frying, steaming, frying, and almost every type of cooking, it is the second most used pan in our household.

Bamboo Steamer2-Tier Bamboo Steamer

Inexpensive and practical, this traditional bamboo steamer is my choice for use in traditional recipes. Large enough to steam large numbers of dumplings (yum!) or tons of vegetables, but small enough to fit into most woks, it is the perfect size.

Zojirushi Rice Cooker & WarmerZojirushi NRC-18W Deluxe 10-Cup Rice Cooker & Warmer

I usually try to only recommend items that I own, but this is one item I really wished I owned. I have used them many times, and they are marvelous. You can make huge quantities of rice quickly and easily, keep it warm for 12 hours, transport it easily to potlucks and other dinners and reheat it, and always serve rice that is perfectly cooked. This cooker prepares rice better than any other steamer or rice cooker I have ever tried. Can't afford the large deluxe model? Consider the smaller rice cooker. It is great for smaller batches of rice and will keep rice perfectly warm for five hours.