italian spritz cocktail

Italian Spritz cocktail

I made this little drink. Well, truth be told I’ve been making it (and ordering it at bars) quite a bit recently. I wanted to raise a glass especially to say cin-cin as I celebrate a new look for familystyle food and the Spritz seemed a perfect choice.

I’m smitten with the new cookbook from the restaurant of the same name; Polpo, “A Venetian Cookbook of Sorts”. It’s got everything I want in a book, cooking related or not: great stories and photography, maps, and a really stunning design. I’m in love with the book’s Japanese-style exposed binding, which looks strangely sexy to me. Like a 19th century woman stripped down to nothing but her corsets and crinolines….oh, wait, I’m getting off topic.

Polpo: A cookbook of sorts

I meant to say I’ve been flipping through the book, getting hungry and wanting to buy a trip to Venice. The recipe for a Spritz in the book – the way they do it in the Veneto – is made with white wine and soda water. It made me thirsty, but I like mine with Prosecco because the wine and bubbles are all in one.

I also like Aperol in place of the more usual Campari, but that is a personal choice. Aperol has a tiny bit less bitterness.

Giving this blog a facelift has been on my list for a long time. But life, work, fits and starts complicated the process a bit.

I finally found a perfect fit with Katelyn Baird and Smitten Designs – I’m so, so happy I did. I’ve become a fan of Katelyn’s blog Katelyn Brooke too..she shares smart, savvy ideas about design, life and style.

A simplified, clean layout and way to print recipes was my main agenda, but I also updated my logo with Katelyn’s help. I hope you’ll come and visit me here often. I promise there will be drinks. And lots of good things to eat.


Check out:

Aperol Spritz Cocktail at The Italian Dish

Venetian Spritz at Coco & Kelley

italian spritz cocktail

Yield: makes one drink


  1. Ice
  2. 1 slice of lemon
  3. 3 ounces Prosecco or sparkling wine
  4. 2 ounces Aperol or Campari


  1. Fill a small rocks glass with ice. Squeeze in the lemon. Pour in the wine, followed by the Aperol or Campari. Garnish with additional lemon slice and drink.

Ricotta Flatbread with Pomegranate Salsa

It’s late fall again and the beginning of my favorite time of year for cooking. There’s such a great variety of produce piled up in the markets having their “it” moment right now it’s almost overwhelming. I want to gather everything up and devour it all before it’s gone.

I’m thinking of the fruits that were recently harvested – apples and pears that haven’t been in cold storage for months and months; the last of the late season figs, and the fleeting appearance of big, beautiful jeweled-red pomegranates.

Ever since I first made this recipe for Pomegranate Relish from chef Suzanne Goin’s cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques it’s been a favorite. I made it this time around with some dried cranberries to top some creamy ricotta-topped flatbread.

This month I’m sharing a few other favorite recipes and ideas for Thanksgiving entertaining at the Wisconsin Cheese blog - go check it out.

Ricotta Flatbread with Pomegranate Salsa

Yield: 6 - 8 servings


  1. ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  2. ½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries; roughly chopped
  3. 1 shallot, finely chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon honey
  7. 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest strips
  9. Pinch salt
  10. 1 oval pre-baked flatbread, such as naan or pocketless pita
  11. 8 ounces Bel Gioioso Ricotta con Latte
  12. ½ cup baby arugula


  1. Combine pomegranate seeds, cranberries, shallot, oil, vinegar, honey, parsley, orange zest and salt in a bowl.
  2. Place flatbread on a preheated grill rack or baking stone in a 450-degree oven; toast until warm and edges are lightly toasted, 5 – 10 minutes.
  3. Spoon ricotta over warm flatbread and spread lightly. Arrange arugula over ricotta; cut into serving pieces. Top each slice with salsa.

Olive Oil Granola with Pistachios & Pumpkin Seeds

I’ve mentioned before why it makes sense to make homemade granola – it’s fresh, tastes really good, and is missing preservatives, extra sugar and artificial junk. I’ll add that it costs so much less to make a batch of your own than buying those fancy little bags of granola that can be priced at 10 bucks each, or more.

I’ve had this recipe from Melissa Clark on my hanging-magnetic-refrigerator file for quite a while, and I’ve seen it featured on other website and blogs. I think of it every time one of those fancy bags tempts me to throw it into my shopping basket. I make a mental note to myself to make some when I get home and then…don’t. But since I don’t buy any either, things have been sadly granola-less in my world.

Seems like getting around to making granola, as simple and good as it is, nonetheless becomes one of those tasks that seems to lose priority. Like Swiffing (Swiffering?) up tumbleweeds of dusty dog hair or sorting the accumulated piles of stuff that like to live in the third row of the minivan.

After making a few batches, I see how much it resembles my favorite granola recipe, but I think I like this version even better. Maybe its the olive oil. This stuff is deliciously addictive; salty, sweet and crunchy, and it has a nice chunky texture, my favorite way to eat granola.


Olive Oil Granola with Pistachios & Pumpkin Seeds

Adapted from Melissa Clark


  1. 3 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned)
  2. 1 1/2 cups raw, shelled pistachios (Trader Joe's is my favorite source for these)
  3. 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  4. 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
  5. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  6. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  8. 2 tablespoons ground golden flaxseed (optional)
  9. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees, with oven racks placed in the middle of the oven.
  2. Put the ingredients in a large bowl in the order listed, then stir very well to mix.
  3. Spread the mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes, until the granola looks golden and toasted.
  4. Transfer to a bowl to cool. If you let it cool too much in the pan it tends to harden and stick.
  5. You can mix in dried fruit of your choice - cherries and cranberries are my faves..