Tonight, it was biscotti.  Tomorrow I’ll have another culinary fancy.  Folding the lemon-zested sugar into the lightly whisked eggs leads to a satisfactory evening in my book.  Chopped, toasted almonds and citris steal the spotlight tonight.  Hopefully my coworkers will enjoy this light European breakfast with their coffee for a Monday morning lift.

One tip that I found extremely useful, as found in Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food, was dampening one’s hands when molding the two logs of dough before baking.  This simple technique allowed me to keep an aesthetically pleasing shape to my project, but allowed me to actually feel what I was about to create.

Trying to avoid the tooth-breaking version of biscotti, I kept a close eye on the oven.  I’ll try to get a report from my baking-saavy roommate.

After much consideration (or lack of follow through), I decided to record my baking adventures. Often times I’ll experiment with an interesting ingredient (rye flour, almond extract, perhaps a generous splash of Grand Marnier), or I need to perfect my double crusted apple pie.Ralph's Restaurant and Sarcone's Bakery

I also enjoy getting culinary inspiration from local businesses.  This city is rich with innovative foodies, and merchants bringing local produce to appreciative urban- dwellers.  I adore the warmth that a market generates from the dwadling grannies and the meandering tourists.  The usual harmonica and guitar-playing man beside the door brings his own contribution to the daily buzz of the scene.  Though I never make out the correlation between his harmonica playing and guitar strumming, he brings life to this common meeting place.

Other times, I soak in the tranquility of sitting on the bench outside Sarcone’s Bakery, handling a fresh piece of pizza. The swooning vocals of Frank Sinatra from Ralph’s next door sweetly romanticize the scene.