pear pancetta risotto


as the sweaters come out (YAY) & the temperature drops (double YAY) i am ready to introduce all the comforting cold weather foods back into my diet. while i am someone who makes risotto during the summer months too, i know not everyone wants to stand over a steamy hot stove for an hour in the dog days of summer! this risotto recipe is inspired by all things fall & features the sweet taste of fresh tree ripened pears from the orchard.

off topic: is anyone as excited as me to go apple picking this month?!? okay, back to the risotto.

to start this risotto off, i opted for cambria wine's: benchbreak chardonnay. i can't stress how important it is to cook with good quality wines & this chardonnay adds the perfect flavour base to any flavour of risotto! it features a lively fruit & oak spice aroma that pairs perfectly with the pears. i used pancetta to add a touch of heartiness & saltiness, but prosciutto or guanciale would be an excellent subsittue as well. cured italian meats make every dish better. lastly, i highly reccomend using a low sodium chicken stock. this allows you to control the amount of salt that gets added to the rissoto as the rice soaks up the stock because there is no saving a salty risotto!


  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 pears, peeled & diced
  • 1/2 cup pancetta, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup cambria wines: benchbreak chardonnay
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  • heat chicken stock in a large pot over low heat.
  • in a separate skillet over medium-low heat add the butter, oil, onion, pears, pancetta & sage. season with salt & pepper.
  • cook until the onions are translucent & the pears have softened.
  • add the rice & cook until the rice begins to turn translucent. about a minute.
  • turn skillet down to low heat & add the wine. once the rice has absorbed the liquid, add a ladle full of chicken stock. once the stock is absorbed add another ladle full stirring in between each addition. continue this step until the rice is fully cooked throughout (about 6 cups of stock). taste it to confirm the rice is cooked throughout.
  • stir in the parmesan cheese & a touch of cracked black pepper. serve immediately.

zucchini fritters


my zucchini plant is starting to bloom flowers & i know this means home grown zucchinis are on the way! we didn't plant a big garden this year as we had a lot of other landscaping to take care of first, but i am excited for what is to come in late july & august. my favourite thing to make with fresh zucchini is fried fritters! my mom made them growing up & now each summer we fry up several batches of them together. my friends & family give us batches of fritters too. i love seeing everyones twist on these because no two fritters ever taste the same. some incorporate the zucchini flower, some incorporate cheese & so on (FYI i am a cheese person). this year to lighten mine up, i added a black pepper harvest snap twist in replacement of some of the flour. harvest snaps snapea crisp are light, airy & crisp so they add a great texture to the mix. i am so excited to finally share these to the blog as i was always worried the photos wouldn't do them justice! but seeing these images makes me want to dive in & eat the whole batch to myself... wait, i already did:) what about you?



  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1 tablespoon basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup romano or parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup black pepper harvest snaps, crushed
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • canola oil, for frying


  • sprinkle the zucchini with salt & strain out as much of the liquid as you can. it is important for the water to be drained as much as possible so the fritters don't end up soggy.
  • in a mixing bowl add the zuchinni, basil, garlic, eggs, cheese & milk. mix well.
  • sift in the flour, black pepper harvest snaps, salt & pepper.
  • heat a skillet over medium heat & generously coat it in oil (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep)
  • scoop a spoonful of the dumpling mixture and fry on each side for 60 seconds. if the dumplings are thick, bake them in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
  • season with salt & enjoy!





with the start of modest marce's kitchen this month, i decided i would post a little throw back to the beginning of "east+liberty", my etsy shop! the thing i love most next to baking, is home decor and design. here are a few photos of the "work shop" where me and my mom spent all day and night cutting, sewing, and hand stitching pillow after pillow. i picked out a few of my favourite pendleton fabrics to create the pillows, cause i like pendleton a little too much [i have a blanket obsession].

but i have to say.. the best part of this night was when my mom decided it would be a great idea to make gnocchi from scratch [like any true italian mother would], because we didn't have enough work to accomplish!

all in all, it was a great first night to kick off the shop & hope for many more pillow-making-italian-feast nights like these:) check out the shop! hope you like it. xo