Toni Lydecker's Tavola Talk Blog

Sicilian Tuna, Potato & Caper Salad

The holidays are here, bringing a parade of delicious but rich party nibbles. If you’re like me, sometimes you have to step back and just have a salad for dinner.  This one satisfies the yen for fresh greens and vegetables, but the tuna and potatoes add heft, turning what would otherwise be a side salad [...]

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Thu, December 18 2014 » Italian food, Italian ingredients, salads, Seafood, Sicily, Tampa Bay, travel, Uncategorized » 1 Comment

Lemon Ricotta Gelato, Made at Home

Researching my Tampa Bay Times article on the best gelato in Florence, Italy, was a good excuse for guilt-free gorging. Now I’m thousands of miles away, consoling myself with my own lemon ricotta gelato. The idea of making gelato at home occurred to me during an interview with Silvana Vivoli of the renowned gelateria Vivoli. [...]

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Fri, May 16 2014 » Baked Goods and Sweets, Eggs and Cheese, Italian food, Tampa Bay, travel, Uncategorized » No Comments

Tale of a Black Truffle

Fresh truffles are usually available only to chefs,  but I can get them just by walking two blocks to my local farmer’s market. Every Saturday at Fidel Gamboa’s stand, fresh truffles–black or white or both, depending on the season–are displayed in a case like the edible jewels they are. These truffles, from Alba in Italy’s [...]

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Fri, February 21 2014 » Eggs and Cheese, Pasta, Piemonte, Tampa Bay, travel, Uncategorized » 4 Comments

Clam Chowder with Italian Touches

Cedar Key, a charming town three hours north of Tampa Bay that once dubbed itself “the Venice of America,” ships farm-raised clams all over the country. So it’s a  great place to indulge in steamed clams, fried clams and, of course, clam chowder. My husband and I hadn’t come here just for clams. After spending [...]

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Wed, January 8 2014 » Italian ingredients, Seafood, Soups and Stews, travel, Uncategorized » 1 Comment

Montevarchi: More than a Prada Outlet

It’s easy to spot visitors in search of designer fashion bargains at Space, the Prada outlet in Montevarchi, about 45 minutes south of Florence. Invariably dressed in black, they’re the ones sprinting for the parking lot or train after their shopping spree. Taking in the local sights isn’t on their agenda, but I think they’re [...]

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Tue, June 25 2013 » Italian food, Italian ingredients, Italian lifestyle, travel, Tuscany, Uncategorized » 2 Comments