Quick and Easy Apricot Mostarda

Ever heard of the name “Mostarda”? The translation in Italian is a sweet and savory fruit condiment.  Welcome Wednesday cooking with @Giada’sItaly cookbook.

Apricot Mostarda


  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder (or red pepper flakes, crushed)
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 5 TBSP. sugar
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 cups dried Turkish apricots, chopped

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallot and salt.  Cook for 1 minute, or until the shallots are fragrant and soft. Stir in the mustard seeds and cumin powder and cook an additional minute.  Add the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.


Whisk in the mustard and 1 cup of the chopped apricots.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often,  until the mixture has a jam like consistency.  Take off heat and stir in remaining 1 cup chopped apricots.  Cool completely and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.  Serve at room temperature.


Add to your charcuterie platter, spread on crostini with cheese and salami or on a pork loin or lamb loin. Tangy, sweet, delizioso!!

Love and Light,

Jeanine on the Scene

(note: This and all the recipes from Giada’s Italy that I share have been modified by me)



Spiced Stuffed Medjool Dates

It’s Wednesday! Cooking With @Giada’sItaly cookbook. Stuffed dates, Tuscan style.  The fun of going through this cookbook is learning new recipes; but also putting my own spin on them, creating a new variation of the recipe.  This one was super easy and made the house smell so good from the cloves and cinnamon.  They were definitely a hit at my Italy dinner party.  Please try them out at your next gathering and let me know what you think.



port wine, apple cider vinegar, whole cloves, cinnamon stick (I did not have a stick so used a tsp. ground cinnamon), orange zest, sugar, pinch of salt.  Medjool dates, parmigano-reggiano, prosciutto di parma.

I brought all the ingredients except dates, parmigano and prosciutto to a boil.  If you use prunes which are heartier you can soak them in the cooled liquid.  I used pitted dates which are softer so mixed them gently in the liquid and poured over the top instead of soaking.  I used shredded cheese to stuff the dates as I did not have a chunk of cheese.  Always good to have on hand for soups and stews as well as appetizers and anything Italian.  You can use the rind in soups.  So stuffed the dates and wrapped them with the prosciutto and baked them in the oven until the prosciutto is crispy.  Cool and toothpick for a yummy bite sized appetizer.



Love and Light,

Jeanine on the Scene




Antipasti in a jar

Such a simple recipe, yet it looks inviting and easy to prepare. It keeps in the refrigerator for unexpected company; to take to a dinner party as a hostess gift; or to set out for appetizers at your next dinner party.


  • Mozzarella balls
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • dried oregano
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • grape tomatoes, halved
  • chopped fresh basil
  • pitted green olives

Toss the mozzarella balls with the olive oil ( I used avocado oil to lighten up), salt, oregano and red pepper flakes.  In a separate bowl toss tomatoes with salt and basil.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes to meld flavors together.

20180523_105013433749965467100920.jpgI placed one leaf of fresh basil at the bottom of the jars, then added the mozzarella balls evenly between two 10 oz glass jars.  Spoon the tomatoes over the cheese and then add the olives.  I used pitted castlevetrano olives. I also topped each with a slice of dehydrated roma tomato and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  These will sit in the refrigerator until ready to serve; up to 3 days.  Delicious and easy!

Love and Light,

Jeanine on the Scene

Five Ingredient Appetizer

Giada’s Italy – Recipe 3 – Avocado White Bean Dip


Today’s delicious and super easy appetizer is Avocado White Bean Dip. This appetizer with only 5 ingredients, is great for a last minute dish when unexpected company shows up or to take to someones home.

  • 1 can Cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 TBSP. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Blend all together in a food processor; adding the basil to incorporate at the end.  SIMPLE AND EASY.DSC_0706

Serve with fresh cut vegetables, hot bread, crackers or pita chips.

Love and Light,

Jeanine On The Scene

Day 1- Potato Crisps

First recipe in Giadas Italy cookbook is Potato crisps with Goat Cheese and Olives.
I used white sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes and gorgonzola cheese instead of the goat cheese.  I also substituted lactose free sour creme for the mascarpone cheese. The fresh taste from the orange zest adds dimensional to this simple appetizer.  I baked the potato chips instead of frying for a healthy version of this appetizer.  So simple, yet so elegant and delicious.  The crisp chips and cream from the cheese spread with the orange zest, adding the salt of the capers and olives; make this an easy go to appetizer.  Delicious!!  (all recipes are available in Giada’s Italy cookbook) Please email me for my variations.  Thank you!!!

Kalamata Olives, Castelvetrano Olives, Capers, Rosemary
Mix olives, capers and Oil
zest of 1/2 orange
mandoline for even slices
The finished product! Dollop of cream mixture, scoop of olive mixture and rosemary sprig