Mama Margaret semi-retiring…ciao for now

These latest blog posts mark the end of the Mama Margaret era! After 15+ years of writing my newsletter and putting its articles and recipes on my site, I’m semi-retiring so no more blog posts or newsletters. Some of you have been reading my e-newsletter since the start and some of you have joined me recently. I thank all of […]

Three Romantic Hotels in Southern Italy

Hotel Holiday in Praiano, Amalfi Coast: a romantic escape away from it all Hotel on left and coast view Imagine arriving in your boutique hotel room, the Love Room. Where to start celebrating your love? On the big circular bed sprinkled with fresh red rose petals with a cold bottle of spumante on the bed? […]

Italian Potato Cake: simple and delicious

This recipe is like an Italian style scalloped potato dish, a way to dress up the simple potato and transform it into a special plate. It comes from my coffee table style book, The Food Of Italy, (page 154), published by Whitecap Books in Canada in 2000. Serves 4 1 small onion, thinly sliced into […]

Three Hotels To Fire Up Romance In Northern Italy

If I had a sweet man in my life (Romeo, Romeo, where art thou?), what hotels would I entice him to for a romantic little interlude in northern Italy to deepen or spice up our love? I’ve stayed in all these “special to me” hotels. (Stay tuned next week for lovely romantic hotels I’d whisk my […]

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

This decadent recipe comes from’s Valentine’s Day recipe section. It reminds me of a similar dessert I relished (and will always remember) at Chef Roberto’s Il Silene restaurant in hamlet of Pescina in southern Tuscany—like a chocolate volcano! You prick it with your fork and the hot chocolate lava gushes out! The recipe involves […]

Love Top Italian Red Wines & Italy’s Alpine Lakes? Dream trip ideas!

Here’s a dream trip itinerary for you! Explore Piedmont’s Barolo and Barbaresco wine country, Lakes Orta, Maggiore and Como and end at Lake Garda and the Amarone wine country west of Venice. Piedmont Barolo wine country town, Serralunga Fly into Turin and meet your guide for your Mama Margaret cooking, wine and local life tour […]

Lake Orta: Less Known Italian Northern Lake Gem

Going to the northern Italian lakes? Most people flock to Lake Como or Lake Maggiore and overlook beautiful little jewel, Lake Orta, west of Lake Maggiore. Don’t miss it! Discover why right here! Lake Orta is the smallest of Italy’s major alpine lakes—just eight miles long and less than two wide. Out on the lake, […]

Green Risotto

I saw this intriguing dish mentioned as I was researching Lake Orta. Here’s Rachael Ray’s delicious sounding recipe from Pictures don’t do it justice! Ingredients 2 cups water 1 quart vegetable stock 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan 1 tablespoon butter 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cups Arborio rice […]

How To Choose The Best Italy Regions For You

What region(s)  go in Italy for your 2015 vacation? You face endless, tantalizing possibilities and feel like yelling, “Help!” As a first step, ask yourself these two important questions. 1. What are your big interests? Choose the best regions for you. Are you a big wine lover and want to experience your favourite wines right […]