A couple of the families I teach for live close to Claro’s Italian Market in Tustin. This means that once a week on my route, I am consumed with one thought:
We don’t really have many options here in Orange County when it comes to good, authentic Italian bakeries and stores. Growing up in Arcadia & Monrovia, CA I was lucky enough to live close to another Claro’s and I have tons of nostalgic memories of going there with my Nana on her trips to get fresh deli meat, cheeses and of course, cookies.
So, once in a while I cave in and make a pit stop for some of my favs. I really want to master some Italian cookie and pastry recipes (namely, the chocolate buttons, rainbow cookies, shells with cream, plain anisette cookies, Mom’s chocolate chip biscotti, fig cookies and sfogliatelle, which you can’t find in So Cal). My Nana is the person to go to for that Italian fig cookie recipe. Every year she makes them around Christmas and I hope to have her teach me this year so I can continue the tradition in my own home.
[gasp: stolen photo from the internet #1]
Anyhow, I went to Claro’s a few weeks ago to garner all of the ingredients for tiramisu which I brought to Dhi’s family reunion in Cayucos. The tiramisu turned out “ok.” You definitely need to soak the ladyfingers in authentic espresso and a liquer to give it any sort of oomph. Mine was only soaked in (dare I confess it) instant espresso. It was an Italian brand, but it was on a pinch since I was sans espresso maker at the time. The actual dessert is REALLY expensive to make though! I mean, for the sweet marsala and marscapone alone, you’re looking at a $15 cake.’
Anyhow, sweet dreams of cookies.
[gasp: stolen photo from the internet #2]
(PS: Despite having a crazy birthday week including a 6-course French meal, lots of cupcakes, sweets galore and many splurges, I lost 2lbs at my weigh-in today! How cool is that? The pilates, walking and counting points paid off for the rest of the week. I’m officially down 4.6lbs on Weight Watchers, and loving it. I’ll post more about it when I hit my 10% loss and have something substantial to boast about.)