Proud Italian Cook is 4 Today! and a Giveaway

Today, August 15Th is the Italian holiday called Ferragosto and the day I started my blog, it’s very fitting since it’s a holiday that revolves around family, friends and food. It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years already? It seems like only yesterday that I wrote my first post! I still feel exactly the same way about basil today.

When I reflect back on these past 4 years all I can say is that I’m grateful, grateful that I started this little blog and that I’m part of such a supportive community of people who share a little bit of themselves everyday and who inspire the heck out of me!

If you were to ask me which posts are some of my favorites I would have to say the ones that involve my family and friends, like the time my son ran his first marathon, or the post about my daughter, daughter-in-law and niece walking in The Chicago 3-Day for breast cancer, our picnics at Ravinia, the birth of my granddaughter, making ravioli together and Timpano. Foodie trips with my friends like this and this have become popular, I get quite a few emails requesting I do more.

I must say though that the most emails I’ve ever gotten on a post so far was the one I did about neckbones, silly me I didn’t think anyone would even be interested in it other than my own family so I didn’t even post the recipe! but to this day I’m still getting heartfelt emails from readers thanking me for writing that post and bringing back memories they had that were tied to that humble meal, apparently there’s a lot of fellow neckbone eaters out there! According to my stats, this has been one of my most popular posts, along with this.

I could go on and on why I love blogging but really I just simply want to say thank you, thank you to all my loyal readers those who have stuck by me since the beginning, actual friends who I’ve come to know so well. Thank you to all those new to my blog, to my many subscribers, Facebook friends, and those who take the time to write me a personal email, I truly appreciate each and every one of your comments! A special thanks goes out to my husband Tony for always being my number one fan as well as my family and friends.

I don’t know whats in store for the next year, but I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and enjoying it every step of the way!

For a small token of my appreciation I’m giving away 4 gifts for 4 years, each will consist of an amazing bottle of Mandarano Balsamic Glaze, (you’re going to love how this enhances all your food!), plus The Silver Spoon Pasta cookbook by Phaidon, (because you know I love my pasta, and I love all the Phaidon cookbooks!) The winners will be picked by my 11 year old granddaughter and announced on Monday August 22nd in my next blog post. Just leave a comment and if you’d like I’d love to hear what your favorite Italian dish is. Thanks again everyone!

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog! Congratulations upon 4 years, I read it daily and get wonderful ideas for everything italian…love spaghetti and meatballs & lasagna..looking forward to many more years of your blog.congrats, mangia, from the pacific northwest mary in the ‘couve Vancouver, Wa mary jane at momanddad00@cle[email protected], ciao!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Arlene Greco says:

    I normally don’t comment but I do love your blog and have used many of your recipes. Your rosemary/pita chips and white bean dip are always a big hit. Congratulations on your anniversary – here’s to many more years.

    Arlene

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on 4 years! Some of my favorite italian treats are Chicken Cacciatore and Pistacho gelato… yummmmmy

  4. Happy Anniversary!! Thank you for 4 years of wonderful food and photos.
    How to pick just one favorite?? I can never say no to a yummy desert(!), but I think it is a mood thing. When it’s cold, something hot and gooey (like lasagna), and when it’s warm, maybe just a fresh veg salad with a beautiful balsamic vinegrette and some roasted or grilled veg.

  5. Love your blog. Great giveaway as well. thanks for doing what you do.

  6. Happy “blogiversary”! It’s hard to pick a favorite dish – I’m going to pick one that not only is so delicious but also reminds me of childhood and big North Providence Italian families: Pasta Fagiole! My kids ask me to make this all the time. I use cranberry beans, ditalini pasta, tomato chicken stock, and a few other *secret* ingredients. Sered with buttered Italian bread and lots of parmesan, mmmmm. I love being Italian, and I’m a proud Italian cook!

    And I love this blog!

  7. I love your blog…and additionally love all foods Italian! My grandmother was first generation from Sicily and I can remember making ravioli and spreading it across her kitchen to dry. My favorite Italian dish has to be Eggplant parmesean…I also LOVE your cauliflower soffrinato recipe. Thanks for sharing all things Italian – it’s a fantastic blog!

  8. My favorite Italian dish is Spaghetti with Bolognese. I could eat that at least once a week. Thanks for such a great blog with such great recipes.

  9. One of my favorite Italian dishes to make is Giambotta. It is an Italian stew my Grandmother used to make with whatever vegetables she had. It can be made so many ways. Whenever I make it I need to make a big pot of it to share with Family. Garden vegetables are the best! I enjoy making it on those cool fall nights. Nothing like carrying on Italian Family traditions!

  10. Wow, I can’t believe it has been 4 years! Congratulations on your anniversary.

  11. We all love your blog because you’re so REAL – real recipes from the heart. Your love of family comes through along with all the great dishes you make. We all wish we could be in your kitchen, eating your biscotti, lasagna or anything else you make. I couldn’t pick a favorite Italian food – there are just too many I love.

  12. Picking just one favorite dish would be impossible, so here’s my favorite Italian meal: start with an Aperol Spritz and a caprese salad, then either a pasta with vodka sauce or risotto and sea bass, served with crusty bread, finished with a tiramisu, cappucino, and maybe a Lemoncello.

  13. Marie! Happy 4th Bday, my Italian cook inspiration!!! As far as my favorite Italian dish…Right now it’s bruscetta. Simple. Delicious. Easy. Fresh. Truly Italian. :) Ellen

  14. Great blog–great job! I love all the great veggie dishes,esp those beautiful platters heaped with shiny roasted vegetables. But I really love gelato too :)

  15. Happy Fourth Birthday! Love the blog!

  16. Congratulations on the anniversary of your blog. I stumbled on it a few months ago and now it is one of my don’t miss blogs!! Lots of great ideas!! Favorite dish would have to be stuffed pasta with shrimp…num!! Heres to another four years!!

  17. Ok, I have to admit I have some serious food envy going on when I see those picnics with all the amazing dishes. I love that even though I can’t make myself part of your family I can at least try some of the dishes at home. Last night my family loved the grilled tilapia we made using your recipe. Even my 2 year old ate it all up. Thanks for the inspiration every day! My favorite Italian is anything with olive oil and garlic and herbs and pizza and anything with mozzarella or artichokes.

  18. Congratulations on 4 years! It’s really hard to pick a favorite dish, I think I’ll go simple…with my mom’s pasta fagioli.

  19. Love your blog…check in once a week to see what is up! I like a weird pizza made with breadcrumbs, parmesian cheese, onions and anchovies. I’ve never heard if there is an official italian name for this brand of pizza, but my Sicilian relatives made it every Christmas Eve.

  20. Congratulations on four wonderful years of blogging!
    I especially love the pictures of your foodie trips.
    Favorite Italian meal? Very simple and rustic. Pasta with oil and loads of garlic, chopped fresh tomato, basil, and maybe a sprinkle of parm. Yum!

  21. Congratulations! I’d have to say ANY pasta with ANY sauce!! Thanks for all your hard work…

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to you, I have a great grill the best fish dish in my whole family (Thrill of the Grill 6/8/11), and everyone who visits my house becomes addicted to “my” savory baked ricotta (2/17/11). Please keep up this wonderful blog. You keep me inspired! Mary from Richmond

  23. …I was interrupted before…I have you to thank for the lunch I had today…spaghetti squash topped with red bell peppers, fresh basil, and sweet Italian sausage. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  24. Congrats on your four years! I think I’ve been reading this blog for at least three of those years…

    My favorite dish is probably this milanese pork recipe that I got out of a Giada cookbook a few years back.

    Keep up the good work.

  25. You are one of my favorite bloggers. Maybe it’s cause I’m Italian too and a lot of what you make makes me think of my Nonna’s kitchen. I think one of my favorite dishes is stuffed artichokes. I LOVE them! Thanks for the chance!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on 4 years and thank you for answering my email questions over the years. My favorite has to be porchetta.

  27. Happy Birthday! Favorite dish has to be manicotti!

  28. Happy, Happy 4th Blogiversary, Marie! You continue to inspire with your scrumptious recipes and beautiful photos. No one just “throws this together” like you do! Congratulations and keep on going, girl!

  29. Happy 4th Birthday!!
    I love your blog and all your recipes!!
    My favorite italian dish would be Eggplant parm & tiramisu – oh, and the big round plate of Anti-pasta on Christmas!!!
    Count me in – thanks for the chance to win those awesome giveaways!!

  30. WOOHOO 4 years!! You were one of my first blogs that I’d read. I was researching on Italian desserts and then discovered a cannoli cake.. Ever since then I’m in love. Your photos are beautiful and every meal you make is just amazing.

    One of my favorite Italian dishes is actually from your blog and it is an eggplant ricotta bake. No noodles, just a delicious ricotta mixture layered between baked eggplant slices.

  31. Wow 4 years! Congrats.My favourite is Neckbones and Gravy and Melrose pepers(harty dishes ,maybe because its freezing here)::)

  32. Congrats, love your blog! Ravioli!

  33. Congratulations on reaching the 4-year milestone! I have many favorite dishes from my home country, but if I have to choose one, it is something I cannot replicate here: torta al testo col prosciutto, which is typical of my home region of Umbria and in its simplicity it well represents important elements of Italian regional cuisine.

  34. Congrats!!

  35. Love your blog……my husband’s family is Italian and we are doing our best to keep all of those wonderful dishes and traditions alive! Our daughter fully embraces her Italian heritage! Thanks for bringing all of your wonderful recipes and experiences to life!

  36. I get the best ideas from your blog! I happily pass them on to friends and family, too. Thank you for being there.

  37. Happy 4th Marie.
    I love your blog and I love you!
    xo

  38. I love blogs and was THRILLED to accidentally come across yours! I have added it to my favorites for 3 reasons: 1) you write beautifully; I feel like I am sitting across the table from you in your kitchen and we are sharing a meal and laughter. 2) You write from the heart and I enjoy your passion for food; and 3) your recipes are so nicely detailed I feel like I can smell the aroma of fresh homemade cookng!!!

    My favorite Italian dish is baked rigatoni served with crusty garlic parmesan bread and a wonderful chilled green salad. YUM!!!

    Thank you for making this little Italian feel as if I am a partof your kitchen!

    Hugs!

  39. Congrats on your 4th Marie!!! Sorry to say I’ve been missing in the blogging world for sometime now. You have one of the most delicious recipes that are so close to home….. Hugs & Kisses!!

    You know I’ve been having a joyous time w/my little Grant and I know you’re having the best time w/your grandchildren too!!! <3 <3

    Lucy

  40. Congratulations! 4 Years…you’ve been tempting me with all of your delicious posts and I’ve enjoyed every minute! As for my favorite Italian dish…well like you I’m all about the pasta! Thanks for a wonderful giveaway and I look forward to the next 4 years.

  41. Happy Four Years! and thank you!

  42. Wow thank you everyone! Love all your comments, you’re the best!

  43. Happy 4 years! I love all things Italian, food (all of it), wine and my hubs.

  44. Congratulations on four years! What a a great accomplishment. My favorite Italian dish is lasagne, and my favorite Italian dessert is tiramisu. Yum!

  45. Happy 4 Years! I love homemade pasta!

  46. Congratulations! My favorite Italian food really depends on my mood…could be lasagna, pasta e fagioli, tiramisu…so many to choose from :)

  47. What an accomplishment! Very inspiring. Gelato is my favorite.

  48. Amanda Thompson says:

    Happy 4th Blogiversary!! My favorite Italian dish is Pasta Carbonara!

    adb6{at}humboldt{dot}edu

  49. It
    Happy Anniversary
    It’s got to be lasagna!!!

  50. Congrats on your 4th anniversary.
    I have to say one of my favorite dishes is my Nonna’s meatballs with any pasta and sauce. To die for. And my favorite Italian Fig cookie.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750(at) aol (dot) com

  51. Heather P says:

    Happy Anniversary! Love your blog. Your recipes and your photos are fantastic. I really love your field trips, I always look forward to those, like Caputo’s and the last one in Cicero?

  52. congrats!

  53. Congratulations! Your blog is such an inspiration. Love your recipes and your photography. You’ve got me making fresh pasta and planning ravioli making get-togethers with my family. Please keep sharing with us.

  54. Congratulations! I’m originally from the Chicago area and enjoy the posts that talk about your family, garden and the community restaurants and shops! Thank you for sharing and bringing a little of my former home close. Yum!

  55. Congratulations on 4 years! I get a little excited every time I see your blog in my in box. My favorite recipe is the asiago cheese, herb and black pepper biscotti from September 2010. I put them in housewarming baskets with wine and wine glasses.

  56. Four years? Wow! Congratulations, that is quite an accomplishment. I’m just a newbie myself.

    I can’t pick just one favorite Italian dish. My whole family is from Italy (I was the first born here) and I LOVE watching my grandmother cook. She, just like you, can make anything, and it’s always delicious. If I had to pick, it would be the Christmas cookies she makes us each year. I’m not sure if they have a real name, but we have always called them befana, like the old woman who gives children gifts in Italy.

    Keep up the great work!

    christinamthorne(at)gmail(dot)com.

  57. Marnie Kelley says:
  58. I used the links going back and then back further and I found the Ricotta Pound Cake recipe!! I am making it tomorrow! The strawberries are in so I will have some to pour over, a la strawberry shortcake!

    Love, love, love your recipes. It’s a refreshing change in blog reading. Of course, I would love your wonderful gifts, but it will have no impact on my being a follower!

    Gracie mille, dear friend,
    Abbey ♥

  59. p.s. my former husband’s mother put neckbones in her spaghetti sauce every week! What flavor!!!

    Blessings
    Abbey ♥

  60. Happy Blogbirthday! Thank you for pouring so much of yourself into your blog- it’s such a treat for the rest of us, and clearly a product of your heart!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Excellent blog. My favorite dish is pasta Norma.
    Dave

  62. Your blog is one of my favorites…I love Italian food and I’m hoping to try my hand at homemade pasta soon! I have made gnocci’s and they were fabulous! Keep doing what you do…I look forward to every post!

  63. Wow! This is exciting! I just found you today and like your blog so much that I am following you… and I “like” you on FB.

    My favorite Italian dish is my Grandma’s Ricotta Gnocchi. She shared her recipe with me since 40 years ago and to this day we still make them together. My Grandma is 93 years young!

    Happy 4th Anniversary!

  64. Happy anniversary! I don’t eat a lot of Italian food but my favorite is your recipe for the fig cookies. I made them last Xmas, and everyone loved them! They are going to be a tradition for my family. Other then that, my favorite food would be a plain garlic and olive oil, tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza, or a bread and tomato salad (when I can get ripe tomatoes). Thanks for sharing your recipes. Jamie

  65. WOW 4 years that is great congratulations. My family is from the Abruzzo region of Italy and grandma made some great dishes one of my favorites Fettuccine with Parmigiano & Prosciutto Cream Sauce.

  66. Congratulations on fours years of your wonderful blog! It is one of the best food blogs in Blogland. Your giveaway is great, I love balsamic vinegar. I would say my favorite Italian food would be fresh,-slightly-warm-from-the-water mozzarella. I always enjoy a good red sauce with tasty meatballs over ziti or spaghetti. xo,

  67. Congratulations and thank you for all of the wonderful recipes. I have made so many of them and loved them all! If I want a special recipe that will stand out, I turn to your blog. You inspire me.

  68. andrea erickson says:

    Congratulations on 4 wonderful years, I love seeing “Proud Italian cook” on my email, its the first email I open. I just really enjoy reading your recipes and thoughts. My favorite italian food would be eggplant parmeson and any kind of pasta, but I must say you have inspired me to cook more vegetables, you make them look and taste delicous ! Thank you !

  69. Congratulations Marie!

    I found your blog very early on four years ago and I have been one of your many fans since then! I love the way you prepare traditional Italian recipes with a healthy innovative twist.

    How can I possibly pick one favorite Italian recipe? I love them all! I just asked my husband and he answered home made manicotti … I think I’d have to say Frutta di Mare. :)

    PS: I have wedding flowers exploding in my head …planning my duaghter’s wedding is harder than I thought it would be!

  70. Happy 4th Birthday! I look forwards to many years of more mouth-watering recipes. My two favorite Italian dishes are veal scaloppini done Hunter’s style with mushrooms and wine sauce and classic fettuccine Alfredo or with freshly made pesto. I love Balsamic vinegar and use it in salads, to spike up vegetables and to dip chunks of bread in with olive oil. Thanks for this great giveaway.
    lyndaclark81(at)yahoo(dot)com

  71. Congratulations!!!! 4 years already! Many more great recipes years to come.

    I have favorite foods…

    Pasta, Bracciole, fried Baccala, Rappini and pasta…..Ricotta Pie

    I could go on for days with fave food.
    Being Italian and growing up loving good food makes it hard to chose only one.
    I love the old dishes such as panna cotta, pasta fagioli etc.
    Think I will make a nice green and pepper and egg sandwich…yummmmm!!!!

  72. I love Penne pasta!!!
    I want to learn to make good meatballs!
    Carla
    cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

  73. Anonymous says:

    Happy 4th Anniversary! I always love to see what you will be making next. Everything you make looks mouth watering. My favorite
    Italian dish is simply homemade meatballs and thin spaghetti with a great homemade sauce. Comfort food!

    Valerie H.
    VeeChee123(at)msn(dot)com

  74. Congratulations on 4 years! I love bruschetta..yum..

    beccalim(at)gmail(dot)com

  75. Congratulations on four years!

    I love bruschetta..yum.

    beccalim(at)gmail(dot)com

  76. Anonymous says:

    Marie, Thanks for 4 years of wonderful recipes and stories.You are an inspiration for all cooks. Our family loves home made gnocchi and our own Italian sausage. Also they call me the Eggplant queen, so I guess my Eggplant Parm is also a favorite.

  77. Congrats! I’m a fan of dessert myself :) Especially zabaglione and cannolis! Best – Jeanne

  78. Happy 4th!!

    Love your veggies recipes!
    They inspire me to create simple but truly lovely and flavorful dishes!!!
    Thanks for sharing your creativity!!!!~~~:)

  79. Congrats! And many more blog cooking years to come! One of my favorites is
    Ravioli Gnudi with Tomato Sauce.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations. Loved your blog from the first time I ran across it. My favorite food would be eggplant, parmigiana or any way you want to make it. By the way, the smoked olive oil that you posted about recently has changed our kitchen. Can’t get enough of the stuff.
    Thanks.

  81. Proud Italian Cook –
    Well Happy Anniversary! 4 years of blogging food and look where you are! I myself joined your blog and Facebook page just this summer. I was googling for “guchadadi” only to come across your page as well as the real spelling for Cucidati! I married my Sicilian husband in October 2010 and have tried many recipes, however he still comes out on top in the kitchen. Your blog inspired me to just go for it. I want to cook for him and make wonderful meals for our family. I ordered the Timpano pan as you suggested and cant wait for it to come in. Im also trying your ricotta and herb stuffed chicken tonight. Thank you for the inspiration and for sharing your passion – FOOD. Salute!
    Stefani Paolucci

  82. Anonymous says:

    Happy blogoversary Marie! Your site is precious. Not only for the wonderful recipes, great photography, and warm emotions and memories it brings, but for the gifted and beautiful person behind it that I have come to know as a friend. Can’t believe it’s been 4 years!
    -Maryann S

  83. I’m very simple and easy to please; I LOVE a good bowl of spaghetti with home made sauce. Give me some good crusty bread; glass (or two) of wine and I’m in heaven!

  84. Athough I am fairly still a newbie, yours was one of the first blogs I fell in love with. Congratulations on four great years!! Oh, and spaghetti of course :)

  85. Happy 4th Anniversary! That’s quite an accomplishment! My fav Italian dish would be eggplant parmesan!

  86. congratulations on your 4 years. love your blog. i just found blogs about 6 months ago and am in love! it is like a surprise every morning when i find out who has posted. i love Italian food. I love to make bolognese, pesto, caccitore…anything Italian! it is all soooo good.

  87. Congratulations, Marie. Four years of blogging is a real accomplishment. My daughter and I were talking about you yesterday. You have given us so much great information about Chicago and recipes that have become our favorites. My daughter recently made your chicken vesuvio and her family raves that it’s the best they have ever eaten. So we all thank you so very much for your wonderful blog and recipes we can count on. Here’s to another four great years.

  88. P.S. We will have to go back to Danny’s and try their neck bones.

  89. Anonymous says:
  90. Jeanne Krenning says:

    I have only been reading your blog awould little over a year, but it is great. I love all things Italian but my favorites to cook are foccacia and hand made pastas. My grandmother was from northern Italy and would take 2 days to make ravioli…My dad was adopted so I can only claim adopted Italian blood ! Happy anniversary.

    Jeanne

  91. Congratulations on four years. It’s wonderful to read all of the notes from your friends! It’s a fabulous blog!

  92. Congratulations on 4 years!

    I am a new follower of your blog, but confess that I look forward to each and every post.

  93. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog, and I have just started making my own pasta. I like a simple topping so I can let the pasta really shine.
    christysapp at hotmail dot com

  94. Imbottito says:

    Congratulations,and Thank you,for having such an authentic,and delicious blog,all of your recipes are fabulous and near and dear to my proud Italian heart,I was completely smitten with the cauliflower sformato,so divine,I have made that for my own family and shared it with others and it always gets the best comments.Living in the suburbs,I have trekked to many of the places you have recommended,and always been pleased.Thanks for sharing.Cant wait to see what this year brings.ciao.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations upon reaching 4 years. I love your blog and try to visit it everyday.I love the simplicity and deliciousness of italian cooking.
    Keep posting your wonderful recipes!

  96. Marie, many of your recipes have brought back fond memories. I love all of your eggplant recipes, but my favorite recipe you posted was for cucidati! Happy Anniversary! Cheers to many more:)

  97. Heather M says:

    Happy Foodblogiversary!!I love your blog and am so happy that I found it! It has changed the way I cook and you have changed my life…

  98. Happy 4th Blogiversary!!! I never miss your posts. You’ve brought back many fond childhood memories and given me the incentive to preserve many of these delicious food preparations for my family. I thank you and my family thanks you! Keep it coming :)

  99. Congratulations on your anniversary. I always enjoy reading your blog and love, love, love your Cauliflower Steaks. Here’s to many more years.

  100. Tanti auguri. I, too, am in August but for me it’s only 3 years. You already know how I feel about your blog…I’m a big fan and happy to read that you plan to continue.

    P.S. Favorite — it has to be pasta with fresh tomatoes, vegetables, garlic, good olive oil, hot pepper and parmigiano reggiano.

  101. Congratulations on your blogiversary! As for my favorite Italian dish, it has to be penne a la vodka!

  102. Congratulations! I really like your recipes and your style of cooking and writing. My “favorite” dish is whatever vegetables are local, seasonal, and delicious, cooked simply and served with excellent olive oil!

  103. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday! Sure want to try the balsamic glaze since you wrote about that

  104. Anonymous says:
  105. I just discovered your blog, and, being Italian myself love your posts. Congratulations on 4 years! I only hope to make it to 2….lol

    If you would love to guest post a healthy recipe for my readers (I blog for Diabetes) I would love to showcase your dish.

    I can be reached at [email protected]

    Best Wishes!!!

  106. Anonymous says:

    Congrats on your blogoversary!! Love reading your blog! I have to say that my favorite italian dish has to be a big homemade lasagna with all the good stuff!!

    –Julie

  107. Happy blogoversary, Marie! I have been cooking and inspired for for years! I remember so many of your fondest entries – but must say – neckbones are part of my heritage – so have a love of that!

  108. Maria Luisa says:

    Happy Anniversary!! I love your blog and your photos are amazing.I’m Italian and your passion for cooking is contagious. I love making all kind of Ravioli with my kids.

  109. Congratulations to you and your inspiring blog! I wish you many more years of good food and good posts!

  110. You were the first blog I ever bookmarked ! I made your Chicken Vesuvio and I was hooked! Since then I have found so many wonderful and talented writers and cooks to follow all thanks to you. Keep posting…and congrats to you!
    Cheers!
    Erin

  111. Happy blogoversary! I have absolutely loved following you over the years!!
    My favorite Italian dish is lasagna…any and all ways but my family especially enjoyed the butternut squash lasagna. I have also tried three of your eggplant dishes :) Thanks to you my kids eat eggplant!!
    Hope you have a great week!
    SaraLynn

  112. Happy Blogoversary! My husband and I both love your blog. You have inspired many culinary adventures in our kitchen. My favorite all time Italian dish is Eggplant Parm, however, your recipe for Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs is a very close 2nd. :0)

  113. Congrats on four wonderful years (and thanks for all the amazing recipes!).

    My favorite Italian meal–that’s just difficult! I LOVE polenta. LOVE it. Any type of pasta. Does Italian wine count as food? :)

  114. I made your chicken vesuvio and my family loved it! favorite Italian dish—simple beans and escarole!

  115. Congrats on 4 years of blogging! I enjoy reading your posts, they bring back lots of great memories of growing up in an Italian family.
    I have many favorite Italian foods, but it I have to choose, I will say Tiramasu!

    Here’s to many more happy years of blogging! Salud!

  116. I so enjoy your blog!! and though I don’t comment often, I try many of your recipes!! my family’s favorite is your country style rigatoni!!

  117. Your recipes and wonderful sense of teaching people how to cook the Italian way–I love everything you have put out there for us to read and learn from. You are amazing and I have got to say—when I have made your recipes—they actually turn out and taste awesome! The one recipe I loved the most was the stuffed ricotta meatballs—OMLORD!! It doesn’t get any more Italian than that—-super comfort food!! Happy Anniversary and may God continue to give you the words, wisdom and love of cooking for many many years to come.

  118. Your posts always brighten my day and provide inspiration to try something new! I especially like the Balsamic Glaze…..delicious on fruit! You can tell you really love what you do. Keep it up and pass it on! Love real Italian food!!!

  119. CONGRAT!
    I think my favorite italian dish has to be the Crabs and “GRAVY” my Nana used to make for us when we were young.

    Susan

  120. Pick a favorite, I don’t think so. Eerything I have made from your site has been a hit. thanks for all the great recipes.

  121. Though I don’t think I’ve ever commented, I have been reading your blog regularly for the past few years.You have wonderful healthy and tasty home cooked meals that are also elegant and showcase Italian food well. Congratulations.All Italian food is great food, so I can’t pick a favorite.

  122. Happy anniversary! Four years feels pretty good, doesn’t it? Have always loved reading your blog and look forward to many more stories and recipes in the years ahead.

    I can remember the fist recipe I ever made from your blog. It was grilled zucchini ribbons that were dressed with lemon, garlic and olive oil. They were a hit as a side dish at a dinner party I threw one summer.

  123. Congrats! My favorite Italian dish is cavatellis with my Dad’s sauce.

  124. Happy Birthday-I am not a commentor but do come over and visit. Favourite Italian dish-hard to say-last night I did roasted veggies, eggplant, squash, tomatoes, asparagus-love that in the summer, lasagna is always great in the cold of winter.

    chocolate and croissants at yahoo . com

  125. Happy Anniversary! I have been following your blog for about two years now, and look forward to it every day! Thanks! :)

  126. The “Proud Italian Cook” is the very first food blog I have followed! Happy Anniversary! I love your blog.

  127. The “Proud Italian Cook” is the very first food blog I started following. I love it! I live in the suburbs of Chicago and love when you do local places. Happy Anniversary!

  128. Happy anniversary! Of the recipes I’ve tried from your blog, I’d have to say I most enjoyed the Baked Rigatoni. However, my favorite Italian dish comes from Salute Italian Restaurant in Racine, WI. I lived in Racine for a couple years and have not been able to replicate or find anything similar in any other restaurant. It’s called Gemelli alla Rustica:
    A tightly twisted pasta, combined with silky roasted red peppers, cannellini beans, black olives, garlic and light glaze of olive oil in romano cheese. Here’s to many more years blogging! Cheers!

  129. I love your blog and looking forward to many more years of great recipes and fun. The giveaway looks fantastic!

  130. i just love simple good ingredients like a nice pasta with a good tomato sauce, what’s not to love. Thanks for a fabulous blog!

  131. Great blog – love your style and food! favorite italian dish is whatever i make up on the spot. tonight: whole wheat pasta (not as good as regular) sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh oyster mushrooms, ricotta stuffed squash blossoms, and parmessian cheese! all from the farmers market. buen apetito

  132. My favorite Italian dish is eggplant parmesan and good meatballs/spagetti. Congratulations on your accomplishments!!

  133. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog and the photography. How about my favorite Italian ingredient? Prosciutto!!! Congratulations on four years. -Shawn

  134. I was delighted to find your blog via my “lemon twist cookie” google search. My great Aunt Mary used to make these for all of the family weddings, and in planning my own wedding I can’t help but wish she were still alive to have her part in mine. I would have to say one of my favorite Italian dishes is my mom’s lasagna…but I don’t get excited about any Italian dish or pastry like I do a fresh ricotta chocolate chip cannoli! I lived in the Boston area for about a year and Mike’s Pastry on Hanover made the best cannoli known to man. I have tried making my own but without luck. Congrats on 4 years and I can’t wait to dig through all of your blogs and start learning how to make some of these dishes! Getting back to my roots! :)

  135. Congratulations on four successful years! I don’t always comment, but I’ve been following for at least 1/2 the life of your blog.

  136. Congratulations! You’ve got great recipes!

  137. Beans (cannelini) and Greens (kale)! Thank you for a wonderful blog. Here’s to many more years of inspiration in the kitchen…

  138. I love reading your blogs and i have sent this link to many friends that enjoy cooking. You are an inspiration to your internet friends, Happy Anniverary. and keep the recipe’s coming. thank you.

  139. HAPPY 4 YEARS! Your blog is the best. Every post is interesting to read and I love your enthusiasm for family, friends and food. I will say it again… I wish I was your next door neighbor.
    I love ANY pasta.

  140. maggie's mom says:

    Congratulations and Happy 4th! I love anything Italian but I especially love ravioli, making it even more than eating it. Keep up the great work.

  141. Your friend & B-I-L, UJ says:

    Congratulations on your 4 year anniversary. To me, you amaze me, on your photography, you capture everything from the way it looks to the taste and smell. For the past 30 years, you make me emotional and I am spoiled to enjoy the gourmet feast that you whip up,in a moments notice. You keep my memories of my Mom and Dad and families cooking alive. You are truly the proud Italian Cook.
    Love ya!

  142. I’m so glad you included your timpano post as as popular post, that’s actually how i first found your blog. Now its one of my favorite to get inspiration for a good italian meal. Congrats on four years!!

  143. Congrats on 4 years! My favorite would have to be lasagna!

  144. Happy Anniversary! I am fairly new to the blog, but my favorite recipe you’ve shared was from 2009 – pita chips w/ the tuscan white bean dip. Those pita chips are a huge favorite in my house & we make them a lot – they are better than any other pita chips I’ve tried!
    Thank you :) :)
    Liz

  145. Oh Marie – I am so sorry that it took me a few days to wish you a happy anniversary. I’ve enjoyed your blog from the very beginning…and what an absolute pleasure it has been to get to know you personally. Best wishes for continued success with your awesome blog.

    My favorite Italian dish is anything you cook. Really. Truly. You are my Italian inspiration.

    Toujours Bon Appetit,
    Your friend,
    Lori Lynn

  146. D I T T O ! ! !

  147. I must say I have been following your blog since about 2 years ago. I adore all of your recipes, but also your emphasis on family. My entire family loves to cook together and holidays are about the most special times in our lives where we can be together and enjoy wonderful food. My favorite italian dish is one that I make with linguini, a garlic balsalmic vinagrette, and always a different assortment of vegetables, although broccoli is always a must. Thank you for your inspiration not only with your recipes, but with your attention to family with which to share everything with. Thank you very much.

  148. Congratulation on your blog! Too many things to pick one…but after being away from home for a period of time, all I want is a bowl of linguine with bolognese sauce.

  149. Congratulations, Marie! I have been inspired through the years by your enthusiasm and creativity in the kitchen – to many more in good health and happiness!

  150. connie gotch says:

    I am a fairly new to your” PROUD ITALIAN COOK”, burt I hAVE JUMPED IN WITH BOTH FEET AND HAve made so many od your recipes…love them all!
    I make my pasta by ghandmgnocchi, cavatelle, spaghetti, but would love to have such a wonderful machine…I am teaching my three Granddaughters to make pasta and to honor their heritage by sharing the good things we have.
    Love your recipes and the obviously love you have for making people happy. Bona fortuna, Connie

  151. Marion Puddu says:

    I am english and have lived in Sardinia for 40 years, I found your blog by chance when searching for a recipe and must say how much I enjoy your modern approach to traditional italian food and often serve your recipes to family and friends, with great success, thank you and congratulations on your 4th
    birthday

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