Cristina Ferrare's Big Bowl of Love
The 700 Club
THE CENTER OF HER UNIVERSE
Cristina grew up in an Italian family. She loved watching her mother and grandmother cooking in the kitchen. “I remember feeling the love,” she says. “Being in the kitchen was the center of my universe.” From the food preparation to the actual cooking and even setting the table, Cristina relished the time she spent with her family.
Gathering around the table to eat has always been the nucleus of her family, even today. Her daughters, Arianna and Alexandra, love being in the kitchen too. As a busy professional, Cristina knows how important it is to make the most out of every moment spent in the kitchen.
Over the years, Cristina learned an important factor to cooking for her family: to keep her pantry stocked. “Everyone is working and busy today,” says Cristina. “If you keep basic staples in your pantry, with a little imagination you can make a meal for 4 to 6 people in no time.” Keeping your pantry stocked also saves time and money by eliminating the need to rush to the grocery store after work.
STAPLES ON HAND
Even though some of the staples don’t have a long shelf life, Cristina says they will stay fresh between trips to the grocery store and should inspire you to prepare delicious meals every day of the week.
Fruits: 6 lemons, 6 limes
Vegetables: 6 yellow onions, 4 white onions, 3 red onions, 2 bunches of scallions, 4 shallots, 2 garlic bulbs, 1 bunch of celery, 2 heads of romaine, 2 tomatoes, 2 avocados, assorted veggies, 1 bag of carrots, 1 bag of frozen peas, 1 bag of frozen spinach
Herbs: Italian parsley, fresh basil
Dairy: 1 dozen organic eggs, 1 pound butter, 1 8 oz. package cream cheese and non-fat cream cheese, 8 oz. Jack and sharp cheddar, 6 oz. feta cheese, 6 oz. goat cheese, sour cream, 1 quart buttermilk, 1 pint half and half, 1 quart whole and non-fat milk
Meat: Roasted chicken from the market
Spices: salt, kosher salt, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, whole nutmeg, chili, ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, curry, paprika, dry mustard, saffron, dried oregano, rosemary and thyme, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves, ground ginger, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, arrowroot, cornstarch, sesame seeds
She has also learned to stretch her food budget. Cristina came up with the concept of “cook once, eat twice.” Nothing gets thrown away. Even tired veggies can turn into soup. Cristina will roast a chicken, show a chicken salad sandwich and show a chicken tostada salad. She says you don’t have to eat the chicken three days in a row. “You can freeze the meat and use it in a dish later,” says Cristina.
This year, Cristina taped 30 episodes for a cooking show by the same name as her cookbook, Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love, that air on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
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