• Jane Evans Bonacci The Heritage Cook

    WELCOME to The Heritage Cook ... we're sharing traditions, one recipe at a time! I learned to cook at my grandmother’s side, watching her create nourishing meals for the family. I love to share the lessons she taught me. I am a recipe editor, developer and tester, a food writer, passionate cook, and baker. Subscribe to the blog and never miss a recipe or the fun of Chocolate Mondays! Creating, exploring, sharing, nurturing ... that is what I love about cooking!

  • Some comments made by readers …

    ... Woo hoo! Mondays just got a whole lot better now that you’re featuring chocolate in some shape or form each week. It’s my favorite food group, after all...

    ... We prepared the “Fathers Day Brunch” on Sunday. It was a big hit! I was amazed at the light and very tasty pancakes. It looks like your recipes are going to keep me busy!...

    ... The [Chocolate Crinkle] cookies look beautiful. First bite brings a sensational experience to the pallet. Slightly crunchy exterior at first, then the moist interior with a burst of chocolate flavor through out my mouth. The flavors lingers long enough that I feel I must have another bite to experience it all again...

    ... This chicken is delicious. So tender, even the breast meat, with a hint of onion and lemon. Definitely a keeper...

    ... Just had my first bite and WOW! I think this is the best homemade brownie i have ever tasted. Great chocolate flavor with the right amount of sweetness. And the fudgy consistency is perfect! ...

    ... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the glossary. I’ve “heard” these terms but never have I seen them in print. Keep ‘em coming! ...

    ... I made this pasta sauce this past weekend...what can I say, it was delicious! I added fresh zuchinni and eggplant for a vegetarian style meal like you suggested. Topping the pasta dish with fresh basil from my "Swiss" herb garden made the sauce perfect! ...

  • BlogWithIntegrity.com
  • Advertisements

Italian Pasta Salad

I love main course salads, especially during the summer. They are cool and easy to prepare. I usually have all the ingredients in my refrigerator and can add any vegetables I have left over from my last trip to the farmer’s market. Antipasto is a traditional Italian appetizer platter full of cured meats, olives, pickled vegetables, cheeses and breads. I have incorporated those ingredients and I changed the spelling to amuse myself! This Italian pasta salad is full of big, bold flavors and can be ready in less than 30 minutes. With pasta, salami, garlic, and zucchini, it doesn’t get much more Italian than this!

Continue reading


Old-Fashioned Potato Salad … Everyone’s Favorite!

Fourth of July Salads

When I was growing up I never liked potato salad. I don’t know why because I loved potatoes made every other way. Being Irish, they are one of my favorite food groups, LOL! So it wasn’t until I was in college and visiting a friend’s house that I discovered how much I had been missing. My friend’s mother made us potato salad and I fell in love! It was so simple and easy to make, and SO much better than any store-bought versions I had tried. I asked her to make it for me every time I visited, and it became a joke that she had to stock up on potatoes the moment she heard I was coming.

Continue reading

Two BBQ Side Dishes You Will Love

For me, when I am throwing a barbecue party, what I cook on the grill is the easy part. I always focus on what I will serve with the main course. Will it complement the grilled flavor? Does it add texture to the plate? Will the plate have lots of color? What kind of starch does everyone like? Am I serving a different menu than the last time they came to dinner? And, if it is a holiday, do I have enough “traditional” foods to satisfy people’s memories. I put a lot of thought into my party menus and try to get a good balance of flavors, textures, nutrients and “favorites.”

My mother used to say that if a plate of food was “pretty” and had lots of color, then it was healthy. She was so far ahead of her time! Today we know that fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for good health and are nature’s rainbow. Just like a leprechaun’s pot of gold, eating fresh produce will give you a happy life!

Continue reading

Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad

When the weather heats up I start looking for ways to prepare dinner without heating up the kitchen. My mind wanders to picnics and barbecues with images of friends laughing, sounds of kids playing, and sultry, balmy nights. Salads are always a good choice when the heat takes away your appetite and all you can think about is jumping in a cold pool of water to cool off.

Fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market, prepared ingredients I can buy from the store, pastas and other items that can be served cold are at the top of my list. When you think of pasta salad do you think of sweetened macaroni and mayonnaise? Corkscrew pasta with vegetables? Penne with Italian antipasti? Noodles with Asian vegetables? Pasta is endlessly adaptable – I can toss in any vegetables I have in the refrigerator, change up the sauce and have a whole new meal!

Continue reading

Memorial Day – Grilled Steaks with Spicy Hoisin BBQ Sauce

Grilled Steak and Vegetables with Slaw

Three-day weekends are the best! That extra day makes it feel like a real vacation. What are your family traditions? Do you picnic or go to the beach? Is there a neighborhood softball game, or do you enjoy pool parties. Memorial Day weather in the San Francisco area is usually perfect and it’s a great time to use our grill. While gas grills are convenient and quick, I prefer charcoal fires for the flavor. But don’t use lighter fluid. It makes your food taste like chemicals and it is bad for the environment. If you haven’t already, buy yourself a chimney starter. It is a metal cylinder that you stuff with paper and coals. Light the paper and the concentrated heat is drawn upward, igniting the coals quickly.

Continue reading

Spicy Crunchy Nuts

Tonight my sister-in-law came to dinner and, in true Italian style, we served pasta for dinner. Alongside I had a tossed green salad with spiced pecans. I love spiced nuts and will eat the entire bowl if left unsupervised. For some reason, after making the salad and eating twice as many nuts as went in the bowl, I wasn’t very hungry for pasta. Go figure!

Most of the time when I am served homemade spiced nuts they are soggy and not very appetizing. People seem to think that if they add enough cayenne powder no one will notice the texture. For years I thought there was no way to make the kind of nuts I get in restaurant salads. Sweet, a little hot, and really crunchy. And then I found a recipe in Emeril Lagasse’s cookbook, Emeril’s Creole Christmas.

Continue reading