featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Kimbra Kasch stops by today to give a Killer Cooking Class on Ciopinno. Learn more about Kimbra and her writing at her website. 

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
That’s what little girls are made of.

QUESTION: But what are ladies made of?

ANSWER: It’s a complete mystery. Just like deciding what makes a dynamite dinner or delicious dessert. It’s hard to say.

One person likes chocolate; another wants the tart taste of lemon meringue. So, how do we decide between sweet and savory?

Sometimes the best answer is not to decide at all but instead to have a little bit of both. We do this exact thing when we serve dinner with dessert. If you want to see what I’m talking about, simply follow along on this Killer Cooking Class and learn how to make homemade Ciopinno.

First you might ask: just what is Ciopinno?

Italian fishermen came up with Ciopinno (or Seafood Stew) back in the mid 1800's. It was probably the first potluck. The Fishermen would come home from sea hungry after a hard day on the water, and someone would called out, “Chip in” or “Ciopinno.” Everyone threw a little something they’d caught into the pot, and it became a beautiful blend of seafood.

I begin with a little homemade fettuccine:

5 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water

Pile the flour up in a circle, crack the eggs in the center of the flour, and slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs with a fork. After you have the dough formed into a ball, add the water, olive oil and salt. Blend until smooth being careful not to overwork or the dough will become rubbery.

Roll out the dough. Using a pasta machine, work the dough through the rollers until it’s thin. Then run the dough through the cutters to prepare your fettuccine. If you don’t have a pasta machine simply roll the dough up, like you would for a Christmas yule log, and slice the ribbons by hand.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta for 3-5 minutes at a full boil. Strain pasta and cover to keep warm while you make the stew.

2 pounds of clams, mussels, scallops and shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 package of mushrooms
2 jalapeno chile, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups dry white wine (Chardonney)
Zest and juice of 2 large or 3 small limes
1 cup chopped parsley

Using a small saucepan, sauté onion until clear.

Using a large saucepan, heat olive oil then add garlic, then onions, mushrooms and chile.

Pour in wine. Add zest and juice. Add clams, mussels scallops, and shrimp. Heat 5 minutes, then turn off and cover.

Place a helping of pasta in bowl and pour some of the Cioppini over the top and serve with a side salad.

For dessert serve a store-bought sweet. This is the simple part of the dinner…the dessert. The sexy part is the Cioppini.

Having a dinner that’s sweet and spicy is like reading a story that’s sweet but with a romance woven into the middle, just like The Cats of Cullaby Creek. There’s plenty of mystery stirred into the story because when Savannah meets Kyle, its love at first sight. And why wouldn't it be? He's perfect, as far as she can tell. But Kyle appears whenever things go wrong. Maybe he isn't everything she thought he was. This is another complete mystery until she discovers the water in Cullaby Creek is being bottled and sold as vitamin “infused” water. Mistic Water promises the impossible. And then, like a magical elixir, it delivers. People who drink it feel younger, smarter, faster...healthier. But it doesn’t take long before side effects hit. Literally. The secret has to be in the water…or is it something more? To find out, you’ll want to read the entire delicious story. And, if you do, I’ll want to hear what you think of it. Was it savory enough for you?

The Cats of Cullaby Creek
Savannah meets Kyle and quickly starts to fall for him. And why wouldn't she? He's per-fect, as far as she knows. But when she starts finding dead animals in her yard and hears something scratching at her window, after the sun goes down, she starts to worry. Maybe Kyle isn't everything she thought he was - maybe he's something more.

It's a complete mystery until she discovers something about the water in Cullaby Creek, which is being bottled and sold as Mistical Water. And there’s definitely something mystical about that water, everyone who drinks it begins to change. They are “morphing” or mutating into animals. The secret to the animal they morph into is in the water.

Want a chance to win a free copy? Kimbra is giving one away. Post a comment to enter the drawing she'll be holding.


Angela Adams said...

Yummy recipe, thanks! Great looking book cover, too!!

Kimbra Kasch said...

Thanks for popping by Angela :)

traveler said...

This post is very interesting and the recipe very tempting and special. I enjoy cioppino very much. The novel sounds captivating and intriguing. Thanks.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com