Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Icy Pickle

These pickles keep winning the Blue Ribbon at many a county fair. Hence why the recipe for them is included in the new cookbook Blue Ribbon Kitchen. Author Linda Skeens stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her recipe for these award winning pickles, and why the special "ingredient" has nothing to do with how they're made. Instead, Linda told Tonia soaking the pickles in ice water for a few hours means they come out crisp, and not soggy. Everything else is pretty standard. It's an interesting way to make a pickle, and one that's a winner!

Monday, July 15, 2024

A Special, South of the Border Cornbread

It's so good, and you can even eat it by itself! But you won't want to do that. No, you'll try this Mexican Cornbread with tacos or chili! Linda Skeens, who wrote the new cookbook, Blue Ribbon Kitchen, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her recipe here, and the fact that this is her first cookbook effort. Trust us, if this first cookbook is this good, we can't wait to see what comes next for Linda, who told Tonia that green chiles give this cornbread it's South of the Border flavor. But the real draw here is the fact that this cornbread is extra moist. Give it a try and find out for yourself!2

  • cups self-rising cornmeal
  • 1(8-ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1cup buttermilk
  • 2/3cup oil
  • 2eggs
  • 1(4-ounce) can chopped green chilies (mild)
  • 1small onion, chopped fine
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 400 F.


In a bowl, mix all ingredients — except 1/2 cup of cheese — together.


Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan (I use Pam cooking spray) and sprinkle the 1/2 cup of cheese on top.


Bake for 30 minutes. This is great with taco soup or chili beans.

Friday, July 12, 2024

A Traditional Cookie Turned Upside ...

...and into a scone! Renato Poliafito, who wrote the new cookbook Dolci, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about some of the fun recipes located within the book. Renato told Tonia about a traditional Italian cookie called the Cuccidati, which he describes as the Original Fig Newton (except much tastier). It is a Fig-paste filled cookie normally very popular with the Italian-American community, especially around Christmas. But Renato said he wanted to spice things up a little with this tradition, and turn it into a scone. One of the great things about this recipe is that you can customize it, and use various ingredients to make it your own. But one thing you can be sure of, it's delicious!

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Pizza Bombs!

Well, not exactly, but these appetizers are super delicious, and in the authentic Italian tradition! Renato Poliafito came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about his new cookbook Dolci and one recipe in particular; Caponata Bombas. Essentially, these appetizers are pizza dough based, but include a number of authentic Italian ingredients. Renato told Tonia that these "bombas" are part of what makes this cookbook unique, in that he takes a number of traditional dishes from Italy, and puts his own spin on them. Give these a try.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Leave The Cake, Take The Cannoli

Massive apologies to the movie The Godfather for appropriating that line, but this next one fits the title to a tee! Renato Poliafito, who wrote the new cookbook Dolci, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen with his Cannoli Cake recipe. Essentially, it's all the flavors of a Cannoli, in a cake. Renato says it's a simple, rustic cake, with a ricotta cheese cream top. It's a single layer cake, that's cinnamon-based with chocolate chips and candied orange, and topped with pistachios. Renato promises there's not a single recipe, either simple or challenging in the book that you can't do, no matter your experience. Just as long as you read the recipe all the way through!