Lifestyle Recipe

Classic Hummus

Pasta making

Add a Mediterranean Twist to Your Meal

Cooking with Talia Segal Fidler at The Lodge at Woodloch

Show Notes

Sponsored by the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau

There’s nothing quite like cooking your favorite foods in your own kitchen. If Mediterranean cuisine is on your list, begin with this classic hummus recipe courtesy of Talia Segal Fidler, MS, HHC, AADP, and The Lodge at Woodloch, an award-winning spa destination in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.

Plain and simple, you are what you eat, according to Talia, a holistic nutritionist, and whole foods chef, and taking charge of what you put in your body begins with non-GMO good wholesome ingredients. This classic hummus recipe has deep roots in the Mediterranean region and is available in grocery stores but the dish is so simple to create, why not try it at home today?

After watching this week’s Featured Chefs from Around the World cooking video, you’ll be able to treat yourself and your family and friends to hummus that’s packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fat. Yes, the good fat that comes from olive oil, a staple in Mediterranean diets for thousands of years.

classic hummus


Chickpeas, a staple in many Mediterranean kitchens are one of the main ingredients in hummus.

She begins with the Chickpeas (a/k/a Garbanzo Beans), delightful round legumes; Tahini, a creamy sesame paste; and lemon juice, for a dose of vitamin C, soluble fiber, and plant compounds. You can’t go wrong with this combination and particularly when the flavor is enhanced with roasted garlic, high-quality olive oil, toasted pine nuts, spices, and parsley. 

Without a doubt, Talia is the perfect addition to The Lodge at Woodloch team of professional chefs and educators who reinforce the important role of nutrition in disease prevention and healing, and how powerful the mind-body connection is in relation to our eating habits. The lodge’s state-of-the-art Chef’s Kitchen is the perfect stage to watch the cooking and baking demonstrations you’ll enjoy throughout the week as a guest at the lodge.

lemons are high in Vitamin C


Lemons not only add a delightful citrus flavor. They’re high in Vitamin C.

Meet the Chef

Talia’s mission is to empower her clients to take control of their health and improve their eating habits and their well-being by making sustainable changes that will be appropriate to their own individual lifestyles. In her workshops and group lectures, she covers a variety of nutrition-related topics such as food and longevity, seasonal eating, detoxification, foods that fuel, mindful eating, plant-based nutrition, navigating the supermarket, and nutrition for disease prevention. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts and has been teaching art at the JCC of Manhattan for the past 15 years, as well as participating in the wellness and culinary programs. You’ll find her art in galleries and museums throughout the United States.

We hope you’ll incorporate this classic hummus recipe into your diet and reap the benefits a healthy lifestyle can bring. This chef cooking demonstration video is sponsored by the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. Read more about the visitors bureau here at 



Tahini is ground sesame seeds.

Looking for a getaway spa retreat? Learn more about the myriad of services The Lodge at Woodloch offers and book a visit for you and a friend.


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Lifestyle Recipe

An Authentic Italian Dinner

Pasta 101

In the Kitchen with Stefano Picciocchi, Picciocchi’s Pasta, Clarks Summit, PA

Sponsored By Fidelity Bank, Dunmore, PA

What foods are served in an authentic Italian dinner? Pasta making with Stefano Picciocchi Picciocchi's Pasta gives you the information you need.
Featured Chefs from Around the World, a free service I offer to restaurants and chefs, highlights the culinary accomplishments of some of our finest and most creative cooks. Fidelity Bank, Dunmore, PA, and I teamed up to bring you this Pasta 101 feature with Stefano Picciocchi, Picciocchi’s Pasta. Scroll down to find important links.

What’s An Authentic Italian Dinner?

So you’ve invited guests for dinner. Congratulations. After more than a year of isolation, you’re finally able to share an authentic Italian dinner with some of the important people in your life.

What will you serve?

Pasta reigns as the go-to food in Italy and if you want to treat your friends and family to an authentic Italian dinner, pasta should be at center stage. But not just any pasta. Fresh pasta.

Fresh Pasta Rules!

Yes, forget the pizza for this meal. While pizza ranks high on American tables, you’ll be surprised to learn it’s not AS popular in Italy – at least it’s not as important as pasta.

According to Stefano Picciocchi, founder and owner of Picciocchi’s Pasta, Clarks Summit, PA.,

Throughout Italy, Stefano said, “We, Italians, eat pasta every day. I eat pasta every day.”

Stefano Picciocchi

But Is Pasta Healthy?

Like most other carbs, moderation is the key.

Try fresh pasta if you want to avoid that heavy feeling in your belly, Stefano said.

In fact, he swears by pasta made from simple fresh ingredients without additives as a healthy choice that won’t leave you feeling “stuffed.” Of course, that depends on how much you eat.

Inside Stefano’s Kitchen

In this Featured Chef from Around the World demo, Stefano takes you inside his commercial kitchen for a close-up view of his pasta room, (also known as his “bunker”) where he gives you pasta-making tips. He emigrated from Genoa, Italy, a few years ago and he and his wife, Kristy, set up their pasta business in a busy strip mall in the Abingtons where they offer a dine-in and take-out lunch and dinner menu. Customers can order entrees and side dishes throughout the day. But if you visit the store, I guarantee your mouth will water when you gaze at the selection of prepared lasagna (pesto lasagna caught my attention), pasta, parmigiana, and dessert displayed in the refrigerated section in the front of the store.

Ingredients Make the Difference

Although Stefano was trained to make pasta by hand, he relies on a variety of commercial machines to keep up with the demand for his products. He produces pounds and pounds of pasta every day with varieties that range from linguini to tagliatelle and ravioli. You’ll find his comment about one of my favorite varieties, angel hair, surprising.

Meanwhile, you might wonder if you can capture the flavor and texture commonly associated with handmade pasta with commercial machines. Stefano says, “Yes, you can. However, the ingredients are important.” He’ll demonstrate the process he uses.

Finest of Kitchen Memories

Throughout most of our video interview, his mixing machine was preparing the dough for the outrageously delicious focaccia bread he makes from scratch. I had a chance to sample a slice before he brought a small plate of spaghetti with his 4-Cheese Sauce for me to taste. I was in heaven with fleeting flashbacks from my childhood in my maternal grandmother’s home kitchen. She came to the U.S. from Avellino around 1917 and most of our family gatherings were centered on the homemade pasta she rolled with a broom handle. Fettucine and ravioli were her specialties. You can read more about my love for Italian food and culture in the first edition of my newsletter, “This and That & Whatever Strikes Me.”

Stefano Picciocchi’s spaghetti dressed with a 4-Cheese Sauce. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Menu Guide

Kristy Picciocchi took the time to provide you with her guide to a traditional Italian dinner menu that will impress your guests and keep you on course as you plan your dinner.

“This is for a typical Italian dinner,” Kristy said. “All of these items come out one by one, in small portions and in this order. The menu will always stick strictly to either fish or meat.”

Antipasto is the first course of a traditional Italian meal
Begin your Italian meal with an Antipasto brimming with cured meats, olives, pepperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, various cheeses, pickled meats, and vegetables. Oil and vinegar are most commonly used as a dressing.

What and When to Serve

  • Antipasto
  • Cold Antipasto platter consisting of mixed cold cuts such as prosciutto (cooked Italian ham), prosciutto crudo ( raw cured ham) mortadella, salami, etc, assorted cheeses, marinated vegetables, olives, etc
  • Primo piatto (first plate)
  • Plate of pasta or ravioli with sauce (70-100grams of pasta) 
  • Secondo piatto (Second plate)
  • A piece of chicken (roasted chicken or chicken cutlet) or meat (meatballs, pot roast, steak)
  • Contorno (side dish)
  • Salad or roasted, steamed, or fried vegetables 
  • Dolce (dessert)
  • Fresh fruit, pastries, or cake 
  • Espresso coffee 

What’s on Today’s Menu?

Picciocchi’s Pasta is located at 100 Old Lackawanna Trail, Clarks Summit, PA. Order your next meal by calling 570-319-5167 or visit their website for more information on authentic Italian food you can serve at your next gathering.


Mon – Thur:  9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fri –  Sat: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Many thanks to my sponsor, Fidelity Bank, and Stefano and Kristy Picciocchi for sharing their passion for Italian food.

Read more about Fidelity Bank in an exclusive feature.

Stefano Picciocchi and Pasta Making 101 – Featured Chefs from Around the World

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