Skip to main content

Pizzelle from Camilla's Cucinotta #FoodieReads

I bought The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate* probably half a decade ago. And I probably even read it when I bought it. Parts of it seems oddly familiar. But yesterday, on the last day of the boys' Fall break, I crawled into bed and read it from cover to cover. They were at robotics for part of the day, so my house was quiet and peaceful.

On the Page

This is chick lit, no doubt about that. But it's chick lit that's not trashy...and it involves food.

Holly Maguire has recently had her heart stomped on by a long-time boyfriend in California. She returns to Blue Crab Island, off the coast of Maine, to spend time with her grandmother Camilla, a fortune-teller from Italy and owner of Camilla's Cucinotta, a local cooking school. When Holly was 16-years-old, her nonna Camilla told her that her great love would like sa cordula, an old-world delicacy made with lamb intestines and peas in a butter sauce. Needless to say, not a single one of her boyfriends has ever liked that dish.

When Camilla dies, Holly inherits the house and the cooking school. She is determined to make it work and embraces her grandmother's legacy.

Her students want to learn more than just Italian recipes. Simon, a newly single father, want to learn how to make his daughter's favorite Italian dinners. Mia, a tween, wants to learn to make lasagna so that her dad will break-up with his barbie doll-esque lasagna-making girlfriend. Juliet, Holly's childhood friend from the island, has retreated from a personal tragedy. And Tamara is a serial dater who is finding solace in the company and recipes she's learning.

As the class convenes each week, they add Camilla's essential ingredients of wishes and memories into every dish. "All of Camilla Constantina's recipes called for wishes and memories, either sad or happy or unqualified. They were as essential to Camilla as were the minced garlic or the tablespoon of olive oil. Her grandmother had told Holly that when she first started cooking as a young girl at her mother's hop, she began the tradition of adding the wishes and memories, which had delighted her elders" (pg. 12).

Friendships are formed, confidences solidified, love found, love lost, and love re-found. The book made me wonder: Do you only have one great love of your life? I don't think so. I think we are better equipped for love at certain times in our lives. Then, we just need to keep that connection going with intention and passion!

But through the book, Holly finds strength in herself. She finds peace with her mother. She finds love. And she finds her purpose in life. Does it sound formulaic? It was. But it was an enjoyable read with lots of food mentions.

On the Plate

There were so many things I thought to cook from the book though sa cordula was not on the list! Just the menu she plans to try out for a wedding catering gig had my mouth watering. "She lay her notes, covered in scribbles and Post-its, on the counter. White bean pâté on crostini, and cheese; antipasto platter, Tuscan roast beef tenderloin roasted with pancetta, herbs, and red wine; risotta alla Milanese; gnocchi filled with herbs and mushrooms and served with asparagus; cotoletta Milanese, her grandmother's favorite dish, with roasted pine-nut and fontina cheese sauce" (pg. 123).

There were also recipes in the back of the book for Camilla's Chicken alla Milanese, Risotto alla Milanese, Holly's Heartbreak Pasta Salad, and Camilla's Cucinotta Tiramisu. But I've made plenty of risotto dishes such as Roasted Lobster Risotto, my recent Sweet Potato Risotto, or Risotto all'Amarone. And Tiramisù is often our celebratory dessert of choice: Tiramisù for My Love, for example.

So, over dinner I was talking about this book and the Kitchen Elves said that I was making them think of pizzelle. They offered to make a batch if I made hot chocolate. Done! As for the 'from Camilla's Cucinotta' part, that refers to my kitchen, not Holly's nonna Camilla.

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t pure coffee extract
  • 1 t pure almond extract
  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 C melted butter
  • zest from 1 organic lemon
  • oil for greasing the pizzelle maker (he used a non-aerosol grapeseed oil spray)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee and almond extracts until well combined. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour  and baking powder.

Add the melted butter to the egg mixture. Then, with a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture and the lemon zest. The batter will be thick.

Heat your pizzelle iron. Lightly grease with oil. Cook the pizzelle according to the instructions that came with your iron. D's suggested 1 to 2 t of batter per pizzelle.

The pizzelle cook rapidly, browning in about a minute or two. D used a setting between 3 and 4 on his machine. Remove the pizzelle from the iron, and cool. As the pizzelle cool, they will harden. 

Repeat till all the batter is gone. You can use a pair of kitchen shears to trim any ragged edges. Or leave them rustic.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Click to see what everyone else read in October 2019: here.


  1. Sometimes it is great to have a quick easy read that you can just enjoy and not have to think too hard about.

  2. It sounds like my sort of read, all the way! And the protagonist's nonna must have called to you :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Connecticut Lobster Rolls, Canned Lobster Bisque, and a 2019 Henry Fessy 'Maître Bonhome' Viré-Clessé #Winophiles

This month the French Winophiles group is looking at affordable wines from Burgundy.  Host Cindy of Grape Experiences wrote: "Burgundy, or Bourgogne, is known for its wines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir... as well as Aligote, Gamay, Sauvignon, César, Pinot Beurot, Sacy, Melon in lesser quantities. Many of the well-known wines are quite expensive, but there are plenty of values to be found." Read her invitation here. And there won't be a Twitter chat for this event, so you will have to dive into the articles themselves to read about our pairings and findings. Here's the line-up... Wendy Klik from A Day in the Life on the Farm enjoys Domaine Chevillon Chezeaux Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits, 2018 Paired with a Maple Pecan Chicken . Camilla Mann from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares her love of Connecticut Lobster Rolls, Canned Lobster Bisque, and a 2019 Henry Fessy 'Maître Bonhome' Viré-Clessé. Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick! explains why we should Look t

Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our  Pinterest board  right here. Links are also updated after each event on the  Bread Bakers home page .  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Stacy of Food Lust People Love  is hosting and she wrote: "Your bread can be large, as in one big animal, or small - animal-shaped rolls. Use your imagination! Points for flavor and shape!" If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at Here's the animal-shaped bread basket from the #BreadBakers... Beef and Sweet Onion Dim Sum Pandas from Karen's Kitchen Stories Bird Bread Rolls from Ambrosia Easter Bunny Buns from Cook with Renu Ham and Cheese Elephant Rolls from Food Lust People Love Hedgehog Bread from Making Mir

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce