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Italian Cooking School, Wilton, CT

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December 2014

Cari Amici,

The winter solstice has come and gone and now it is time to send this holiday greeting wishing all of you a very joyous Christmas and Hanukkah and blessings in the New Year.

I am in my kitchen today, starting the food preparations for "La Vigilia", the Feast of the Seven Fishes that Italians celebrate on Christmas Eve. While some of the fish dishes my Sicilian grandparents prepared for this special night - polpi (octopus), eel and bacala (salt cod) are not on my menu, we will enjoy insalata di mare, (a cold salad of tiny calamari and shrimp in a Dijon vinaigrette with capers), smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail, calamari (squid) in a red sauce, linguine alle vongole, (clam sauce over long thin pasta) and baked lobster tails. I should prepare one more fish dish - maybe fried smelts, my Mom's favorite!! No Maraventano Christmas feast would be complete without Arancine, those divine Sicilian deep-fried rice balls stuffed with ragu and a melted piece of mozzarella!! My daughter Fran and I have made about 34 and my sister Jo Ellen, 20. The absolute favorite antipasto of the evening!

2015 will bring changes to Cucina Casalinga. Vicki Bryn, my very capable and loyal assistant of 14 years has moved to a new full-time position here in Wilton. I will miss her constant help and great expertise in the office and in the kitchen. She is a fine cook and great at "translating" my original recipes. My husband, Ralph Kirmser, a doctor for 43 years is planning to retire as a full-time cardiologist at the end of the year. I will also cut back a bit, teaching fewer classes, but I will post enough new offerings to entice you to use your gift certificates and I encourage those who have never taken a class in my beautiful kitchen to sign up for a very special culinary experience! We hosted four private and corporate events in the last two weeks and will continue to hold team-building and private classes on demand.

So give the gift of cooking to your family and friends and come along with them in the New Year. I will look forward to cooking with all of you soon.

Buon Natale e Buon Anno,


Kids are cooking on Martin Luther King Day!

Have your kids join us on January 19th, 2015 for a fun cooking class and lunch.
They are going to love this!


Cucina Casalinga featured in Natural Awakenings

Cucina Casalinga featured in August 2014 Natural Awakenings,
“An Italian Garden Feast” and recipe appear on pages 42 and 43.
Magazine is available at Mrs. Green's Natural Market and many
other Fairfield County, Connecticut businesses.

Sally Maraventano Celebrates 32 Years of
Home-style Cooking at Cucina Casalinga!


We need your help with a new cookbook...
we want to include YOUR favorites!

How many recipes have we prepared together in my kitchen in the last 31 years? It is time to write a cookbook featuring the best of my family recipes and those that I have developed for Cucina Casalinga. I would love for those of you to share your favorite titles and maybe a few lines about why you have made them part of your family and entertaining menus. A cookbook is not only about recipes but also about memories and stories that evolve from making those recipes. There would be no cooking school without all of you so please help me to make this cookbook a really special anthology of home-style Italian cooking at its best!

It's easy! Just email me at or send me a note at
   PO Box 7714
   Wilton, CT 06897


Corporate cooking classes
makes for a memorable evening!

Cucina Casalinga
Sally Maraventano will arrange a spectacular culinary event for your corporate team or unique group. Her hands-on regional Italian home-style cooking classes in her state-of-the-art kitchen offer a great opportunity to reward a job well done or a venue to break the ice and bring corporate teams together.

Start planning an extraordinary cooking experience for your team today!
Read more or call for details!

So much more fun than just going out to eat!
Clients and employees love it!

Corporate/group classes attendees

“Thank you for making this experience for our clients and us unbelievable! 
You went out of your way to make this a memorable event together!”

- Morgan Stanley

“Thank you for a wonderful meal.  I am so glad we chose to come here and cook
with you instead of having dinner in a restaurant.  I definitely learned things about
cooking and I am looking forward to cooking at home!”

- Ernst & Young

“Sally and Vicki, Thank you so very much for a wonderful day! Our clients were thoroughly
pleased and we all enjoyed every moment.”

- Robert Reby & Co. Inc.

More from our corporate friends >

  Cucina Casalinga

Adult classes attendees
Cucina Casalinga Adult Cooking Classes

“Thank you for such a wonderful and warm experience.  I had such a great time with you,
my sisters and the others you welcomed into your home and gorgeous kitchen.  I will be
sure to enjoy these recipes forever as well as the memory of the evening we spent here
with you!  I will certainly come back foe another delicious meal".
- Sue F.

Once again, such a wonderful evening was had by all.  Thank you for making my husband’s
birthday gift so memorable.  We’ll be back yet again.”

- Lori C.

“Multi Bene! Thank you for a wonderful experience.  We learned a lot and enjoyed our
time with you thoroughly.”
- Jack B.

More from our friends >





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