Friday, July 24, 2015

National Tequila Day

So today is national tequila day. Why?  No body knows.  But, who cares.  As far as I'm concerned any reason to celebrate is a good reason. I believe yesterday was National Hot Dog Day (July 23rd)...what-a-party!

If you are a follower of Avanti Savoia then we know you have a bit of a refined palate and have, hummm..., grown up a bit from the typical tequila shot.  But, lets just say for the sake of an argument you have a friend;  and, this friend needs a little help with what other options are available to bring tequila to the party in a new and fun way.  Well, we've got you covered with a few ideas.

Enjoy, and please drink responsibly.

The Paloma
The Paloma

  • 1 1/2 shots of your favorite blanco tequila
  • Juice of half a ruby grape fruit
  • 1/2 shot of agave syrup or sugar syrupAbout 75ml club soda
  • A squirt of fresh lime juice (optional)

Mix the grapefruit juice, tequila and sugar syrup until well mixed.
Pour over a tall glass filled with ice and top up with soda water

Upgrade:  If you would like you can reduce the agave or sugar syrup and rim the glass with these fun and tasty sugars. Try Bourbon Vanilla or Smoked Sugar)

(Image and recipe adapted from

The Bloody Maria
Bloody Maria

  • 2 oz Favorite Tequila
  • 4 oz Tomato juice
  • .5 oz Lemon juice
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 dashes Tapatio Hot Sauce
  • .5 tbsp Prepared horseradish, to taste
  • 1 pinch Celery salt
  • 1 pinch Ground black pepper

  1. Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
  2. Shake briefly and strain into a pint glass filled with fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge, a lemon wedge, a cucumber spear and a skewer of sweet pepper slices, jalapeño slices and queso fresco.
**Suggested upgrades**
Lowcountry produce Tomato Sauce
Salish Smoked Sea Salt (rim)
Aleppo Pepper flake
Marash Pepper flakes
Dilly Beans
Pickled garlic or Pickled garlic with jalapeño

Pickled Okra

(Image and original recipe adapted from

The Skinny Dipper Bold Mixer
The Skinny Dipper

This Skinny Dipper

This quite possibly is the easiest craft cocktail to make.
Simply mix 1 oz of The Skinny Dipper Mix to 1 oz of your favorite tequila.  Stir with ice and then strain.  Garnish with a twist of lemon.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bourbon Barrel Smoked Peppercorns on Candied Bacon

Long name, easy recipe.

Bacon is awesome.  Candied Bacon is awesome.  But, once you add Bourbon Barrel Smoked Peppercorns to the recipe, well you finally have a reason to use the fake word "awesomer!"

Here is the recipe:
  1. Mix the pepper and the sugar together in a bowl
  2. Pack/press/cover both sides of bacon with pepper and sugar mixture
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until bacon is cooked just the way you like it.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bourbon Vanilla Spiced Iced Coffee

Iced coffee ranks up their with Italian ice and Popsicles during the hot months of late spring and summer at my house.  Whether it is a lazy Sunday or a hoppin' neighborhood get together there is nothing better than a good iced coffee.  I'm a bit spoiled when it comes to always having good freshly roasted coffee on hand from our supplier Vienna Coffee Company.  So what do you do when you have all these yummy ingredients at your finger tips?  Well you play.  And, play we did.  Check out this wonderful Bourbon Vanilla Spiced Iced Coffee recipe that our chef Karen Crumley came up with as her take on this summer time treat.

What is your favorite summer time treat?

From my family to yours,





  1. Make a pot of your favorite coffee and cool for 30 minutes to an hour
  2. Mix all ingredients together in pitcher and serve.
Want to print?  Click here

Tips and variations: 

A couple of takeaways that should be noted. 1.) If Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sugar doesn't meet your personal preference then try the Bourbon Vanilla Sugar. 2.) Freshly grated Nutmeg is the way to go.  Trust me, you will never use pre-ground nutmeg again after grinding a small amount each time you need it. Plus it lasts longer. 3) For a bit more coffee flavor and less water, freeze another pot of coffee in ice cube trays and use that instead of regular ice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

12 Things you can do with Pumpkin Spice that doesn't involve pumpkin.

12 Things to do with Pumpkin Spice that doesn't invole pumpkin
How do you like your pumpkin spice; just a touch or pour it on? Here are some ideas to put the official taste of fall into every bite! Use a pinch, a dash or a whole teaspoon to spice up your life. And if you really want to have that pumpkin flavor, add some pumpkin puree to the mix. A couple of hints on the pumpkin puree cook it for a couple of minutes so it doesn’t taste raw and in some dishes you will need to “dry” it out. Just remember to start with a little knowing you can always add more down the line. Better yet, cook a whole can at a time and store it in the fridge to have on hand for whenever you feel the need.

12 Things:
  1. Add to your coffee: It’s cheaper than Starbucks!
  2. Vegetables: Use it in or on roasted whole small pumpkins, baked butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and sautéed Swiss chard.
  3. Meat and Fish: Salmon, pork a roast or chops, turkey, chicken and a dash in veal scaloppini.
  4. Snacks: Maple glazed pumpkin spiced nuts, pumpkin spiced popcorn, cranberry and pumpkin spiced granola.
  5. Pasta: Like some of our Tomato pappardelline, black squid ink linguine, whole wheat pappardelle, or for those of you avoiding gluten - gluten free casarecce.
  6. Sage Pesto: Add 1 teaspoon or to taste.
  7. Whipped Cream: Add 1 teaspoon or to taste and use on desserts, breakfast and don’t forget (and most importantly) your coffee.
  8. Breakfast: Pancakes (in the batter), in scones, in biscuits, and in waffles.
  9. Cream cheese: Mix in 1 teaspoon to 8 ounces or to taste and spread on toast, bagels, a spoon ;) Fall treats: In cupcakes and cake pops and decorate them for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  10. Desserts: Mix 1 teaspoon or to taste into rice crispy treats, sugar cookies, apple fritters, muffins and coffee cake.
  11. Maple Pumpkin Pie Popsicle
  12. Last but NOT least: Ice cream. [Yeah, I know its fall]. Mix in 1 teaspoon or to taste, into softened vanilla ice cream and re freeze or make your own.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe
Don’t be afraid to spice it up.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl to combine, and store in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teriyaki Chicken Wings Recipe with a Twist ('s bourbon!)

Kentuckyaki Sauce available at avantisavoia.comWhat happens when you take a traditional Teriyaki sauce and mix in one of Kentucky's specialties?  Well you get Kentuckyaki that's what.  Lost in enthusiasm and excitement our customers scoop this up for themselves or as a gift, but we later find out that for some the bottle remains in their pantry unopened.  Well to help fix this minor problem Chef Karen has come up with this simple and forgiving recipe to get you started.  Enjoy and let us know what you think.


Kentuckyaki Wings

For the Wings
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl except wings. When all ingredients are combined add wings tossing to coat set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour to marinate or over night
  2. Lightly oil a sheet pan, place wings on the sheet pan spacing them apart. Pour the remaining marinade over the wings and place in a 360 degree oven.
  3. Set timer for 30 minutes and at the 15 minute mark, glaze the wings with about half the glaze.
  4. Return to the oven for the next 15 minutes.
  5. Set timer for 15 more minutes at the half way point glaze the wings with the remaining glaze.
  6. Check for doneness the juices should run clear and the internal temperature should read 160 degrees
  7. Move wings to a serving dish, garnish with thinly sliced green onions and black and white sesame seeds.
For the glaze
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a glass bowl.
  2. Stir to combine and microwave for 2 minutes
  3. Use glaze as needed
You could make these “Kentuckyaki Fire Wings” just add 2 tablespoons garlic chili sauce to the glaze. That will over power the delicate balance of teriyaki to spice, but they always say you only live once.
* denotes items available at

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pizza Pizzazz!

Was there life before pizza?
Such a recent arrival
As popular and beloved as pizzas are in the USA, it's hard to believe that the dish is such a recent arrival. Italian immigrants introduced the dish to America in the late 19th century, but it was GIs returning home from Italy after WWII that really got the pizza ball rolling. By tradition, it is thought that pizza probably originated in the backstreets of Naples late in the 18th century.
New versions appearing constantly
Styles and ingredients can vary enormously with new versions appearing constantly. Traditional Italian pizzas include such classic styles as: Napoletana (tomatoes, Mozzarella, anchovies, capers, and oregano), Marinara (fresh tomato sauce), and Margherita (tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, torn fresh basil leaves with a dash of Parmesan). Calzoni are half-moon shaped pizza "Foldovers" that are prepared with pizza dough and feature similar fillings. Before baking they are usually brushed with olive oil and then baked in a hot oven just like pizzas.
Originally baked on the hearth stone of the fireplace
Focaccia derives from the Latin word "focus," as they were originally baked on the hearth stone of the fireplace, which was indeed the center or "focus" of the home. This style of flatbread dates from the very ancient Mediterranean world. Our Basic Quick Crust can also be used to make excellent Focaccia. Although often topped with olive oil, coarse salt and herbs, toppings can include many possibilities.
Cook it hot and cook it fast
Making your own pizzas at home will quickly ruin you for the usual commercial chains. Homemade pizza can even be baked on a pizza "stone" that will approximate the results obtained in a traditional brick oven. The following recipes are from one La Cucina's most popular classes. The key to wonderful homemade pizzas is simple- start with the best ingredients and cook it hot and cook it fast!
Basic Quick Crust: Yields: Dough for two 9 or 10 inch pizzas
  • 3 cups Unbleached white bread flour (approximately)
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt*
  • 1 package Fleischman's RapidRise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil*
  • 1 cup Warm water


  1. Mix dry ingredients including yeast together in a mixing bowl. Make a hollow well in the center. Pour olive oil and warm water into the well.
  2. Stir together until liquid is mixed with flour and then work the mixture with your hands until it is smooth. If it is too sticky, you may need to add a little more flour, but be careful not to make it too dry. Each bag of flour will have slightly different moisture content.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a warm, damp cloth and allow it to proof (or rise) about 30 minutes. While dough is proofing (rising); prepare the sauce.
Basic Uncooked Sauce: Yield: sauce for one pizza


  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender on high for 1-2 minutes and set aside.
AMERICA 'S FAVORITE PEPPERONI PIZZA Yield: One 9 or 10 inch pizza
· 1 half recipe of Basic Quick Crust
· 1 recipe of Basic Uncooked sauce
· Two cups of Mozzarella cheese, grated
· Sliced Pepperoni (2 to 3 ounces), grated Parmesan and oregano* to taste


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. (If using a pizza stone, place it in the lower third of the oven to pre-heat it.) After dough has risen, divide it in half (you may freeze it or make another pizza).Shape it into a ball.
  2. Place on a lightly floured surface and flatten it with your hands.
  3. Finish rolling out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/8" thick and about 9 or 10 inches in diameter. With a little practice, you can toss and spin the dough using centrifugal force to help stretch it. It is really much easier than it looks and your friends will be dazzled.
  4. BAKING ON A SHEET PAN: Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of cornmeal on a pizza pan or sheet pan and then place dough in the middle of the pan. BAKING ON A PIZZA STONE: Sprinkle 2 teaspoons cornmeal on a pizza peel and then place dough in the middle of the peel.
  5. Pinch edge of dough to form a border to keep the sauce from running out.
  6. Pour sauce onto dough and spread evenly with a spatula or wooden spoon. Be careful not to get sauce or other ingredients on the border.
  7. Next sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella cheese evenly over the pizza.
  8. Now top with as much sliced pepperoni as you wish. You may finish topping your pizza with grated Parmesan cheese and a little leaf oregano.
  9. Of course you can use an assortment of your favorite ingredients: sliced mushrooms, chopped green onion, chopped bell pepper, sliced olives, Italian sausage, etc. However, with whichever toppings that you choose, distribute them evenly and do not add too much. The biggest mistake made by novice pizza bakers is to add too many ingredients and pile them up in the middle of the pizza.
  10. When you have finished adding all the toppings and cheeses; IF USING A SHEET PAN; place it in the lower third of the oven and bake for about12 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. IF USING A PIZZA STONE; slide pizza off peel and onto the hot pizza stone in the oven and cook for about 12 minutes.
  11. Before cutting, serving, and eating; allow the pizza to rest for 3 or 4 minutes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"You should always trust your own data."
A favorite Burgundian appetizer
Gougeres are small baked appetizers of choux paste with Swiss cheese and are a favorite Burgundian appetizer, typically served with a Kir. Choux Paste without the cheese can also be used for cream puffs, éclairs or even filled with savory fillings as starters. I've been making them for over thirty years and have always had perfect success with the recipe. Looking back at that reality, I have no idea what prompted me to decide to serve another recipe, especially without trying it first.
Well, yet another lesson learned yet again.
Maybe, it was the simply the gravitas of a very famous chef's reputation and an assumption that his must somehow be superior to mine. The only real difference was the famous chef's version had another egg and a bit more butter. The results were not inedible but, they were kind of flat and deflated looking. As an IT skilled friend of mine put it "you should always trust your own data." Well, yet another lesson learned yet again. I assure you that although the following recipe does not come from the repertoire of a world famous chef, it does work consistently and taste great. Gougeres are usually served cold but, I really prefer them served hot as a hor-d'oevre.
*Available at
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ Teaspoon each Fleur de Sel Sea salt*, freshly ground white peppercorn* and nutmeg*
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Cup hot water
  • 1 Cup sifted flour
  • 3 Whole eggs
  • 1 Cup grated Gruyere or other Swiss cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg, sugar, and hot water in a large sauce-pan. Bring to boil. Lower heat and add flour.
  3. Stir vigorously until batter pulls away from the side of the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and place batter into a mixing bowl
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each one. Fold in grated cheese.
Using an ice cream scoop, drop mounds of paste on an un-greased baking sheet. Bake in hot oven for 20 minutes; reduce temperature to moderate heat (350) and bake about 20 minutes longer. Enjoy hot or cold!