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1/2 cup heavy cream

5 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons butter

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

or chopped bittersweet chocolate

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat the cream, sugar, and butter in saucepan. Stir until butter melts and liquid simmers, but do not let mixture boil! Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate (in a glass or metal bowl). Waiting two minutes, whisk well until smooth, and whisk in vanilla. Let ganache cool for a half hour in fridge, no more! Next drop (or pipe with pastry bag) about a teaspoonful on the flat side of one cookie and gently sandwich together with a second cookies flat side. Press lightly to seal the kiss! Repeat until all cookies are kissing. (Optional use: while still warm, ganache can be used as a glaze for a cake.) If ganache harden too much, reheat. Makes about 2 cups.


Like Nunzios Lovers Spring, this classic cocktail was created in Italy. It was invented in 1943, at Harrys Bar in Venice, during an exhibition of art by the fifteenth-century Venetian painter, Giovanni Bellini.

According to the man who created the drink, Giuseppe Cipriani, the cocktails color matched the hue of a toga in one of Bellinis masterpieces, so he named the drink after the artist.

The Bellini is traditionally made with pureed white peaches, but in America (due to the limited availability of the white variety) yellow peaches are often substituted. Sometimes a touch of cherry or raspberry juice is added to blush the drink into an especially vibrant color.

Prosecco is the sparkling wine of choice when making this cocktail. Other sparkling wines can certainly be substituted, but the heavier flavor of French champagne doesnt pair as well with the light, fruity taste of the peach.

1 part well-pureed peaches (remove skins) [2]

2 parts chilled sparkling wine or champagne (Prosecco is best)

Peel the peach and puree it in a blender. Pour the puree into a pitcher (or a single glass), add the well-chilled Prosecco (or champagne), and stir well. Serve in chilled champagne flute.

Machu Picchus Paella

This hearty and tasty dish is brimming with Spanish flavors. To give it the Peruvian flair, follow the example of Machu Picchu s chef and exchange the rice in this recipe for quinoa. The paella name, by the way, comes from the paella pan in which it is prepared and served (large, flat, and shallow like a frying pan). Its traditionally cooked with a variety of meats and shellfish, but this is a versatile enough recipe for you to experiment. You can add fresh seared chorizo instead of dry, or try substituting different types of seafoods and meats to make it your own!

Serves 8

1 large Spanish onion

1 large yellow onion

1 large green pepper

1 large red pepper

6 ounces hot, dry chorizo (Spanish sausage)

5-7 cloves fresh garlic

1/2 cup scallions

1 large red tomato

12-15 clams

1 pound mussels

8 ounces green peas

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 1 pound chicken tenders

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

12-15 large shrimp

1 /3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4-5 cups (at least 32 ounces) chicken stock, more as needed

1 pound white rice [3]

2 teaspoons crushed Spanish saffron

Dice the Spanish and yellow onions, the green and red peppers, and the chorizo. Mince the garlic and thinly slice the scallions. Peel and slice the tomato. Clean the clams. Clean and debeard the mussels. Cook the green peas. Cut chicken breasts into strips and season with salt and pepper. Peel and devein the shrimp, but keep the shells.

In a large pot, saut'e the shrimp shells in 1/3 of the olive oil, until they turn pink. Add the stock and saffron, and simmer for thirty minutes. Strain out the shells and set aside the hot liquid.

Add another third of the olive oil and heat to medium-high. Saut'e the chicken, browning on all sides, then remove.

Add the remaining oil, the onions, tomato, red and green peppers, and saut'e for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saut'e for another minute or so. Add the chorizo (dry or fresh) and rice. Make sure to stir the pot to coat the rice with oil.

Add the hot stock, the chicken, and the clams to the pot. Cover and reduce heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until the clams open. Do not stir during the cooking process.

Add the mussels and shrimp to the pot. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes. Add more stock during this stage if necessary. With 1 minute left, add the precooked peas to reheat them. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

Lomo Saltado

This hearty dish is the Peruvian version of meat and potatoes. Its a mom and pop meal with versions served in virtually every restaurant and home in Peru. Like spaghetti sauce, Mulligan stew, or shepherds pie, no two versions of lomo saltado are exactly alike. Make this dish your own by tossing in additional ingredients, such as a pureed tomato, or try different types of peppers. You can even marinate the meat for an hour prior to cooking. Use your favorite beef marinade recipe, or try soy sauce, or even cold coffee (which will impart an earthy note and help tenderize the meat).

Approximately 6 servings

Sirloin tips sliced thin, approximately two pounds

2-3 russet potatoes

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic

Tomato pur'ee (optional)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 yellow onions

2 red onions

2 red peppers

2 yellow peppers

1 large (or 2 small) jalapeno pepper

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1 /3 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup white rice (optional)

Cut the meat into thin strips and marinate for one to two hours (if desired).

Julienne and fry the unpeeled potatoes in a separate pan and keep them warm.

Now place a nonstick pan over medium heat and add the oil. Saut'e the minced garlic and add the meat. When cooked through (two to three minutes) reserve the juice in a separate container.

Add the tomato pur'ee (if desired), the sea salt, and ground pepper to the meat in the pan. Cook for a few minutes, then add the soy sauce while stirring the contents of the pan. Next add chopped onions, chopped peppers, oregano, and the chopped cilantro. Return the reserved juice from the meat to the pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.

To serve, place meat and vegetables in a large serving dish and garnish with fried potatoes. In Peru, this dish is also served with cooked white rice.

LEMON GLAZE | Espresso Shot | c