All posts by amscooks

Soup’s On!

Antonia Steriti in the kitchenNothing says “I love you” more than a piping hot bowl of soup. Close your eyes and try to remember coming home from a fall football game or chilly evening to the wonderful aroma of soup cooking on the stove. Whether you throw some favorite fall vegetables in a crock pot or spend an afternoon recreating your grandmother’s favorite recipe, welcome the season with a bowl of soup.

Creating a delicious soup is quite easy. Begin with a simple homemade chicken broth and add in your favorite ingredients. I like to add fresh seasonal vegetables to the broth. Now is a great time to add kale, escarole or sweet potatoes for a tasty soup. If you prefer a perkier soup, add your favorite beans.

Hearty soups paired with homemade breads create a wonderful fall meal and make the house smell inviting and delicious. Even though I cook all day at Periwinkles, I love to go home and make a batch of fresh soup. Next time you have a window of time, lay out all your favorite ingredients, turn up your playlist, chop. dice and whip up a nice pot of soup. Your family will appreciate the bowl of TLC and you can freeze the extra for another chilly night when you can share the magic of a bowl of soup. Here is one of my favorite soup recipes:

Sausage & Kale Soup

  • 1 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1 Pound Kale, washed, stems removed & chopped
  • 1 Pound Sweet Potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth (homemade or canned)
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 16 oz can cannelini bean, drained and rinsed
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper (to taste)


  1. Bake Sausages in 350 oven for 25 min.
  2. Remove sausages from oven and cut into ½” pieces
  3. In a soup pot add 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté diced onion until softened, add garlic cook for another minute.
  4. Add stock, oregano, red pepper flakes & potatoes to soup pot simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add Kale & Sausage, continue to cook until potatoes are tender.
  6. Add can of beans, Serve hot.


Fill your senses with fall flavors and favorites

By Antonia Steriti / Periwinkles Food Shoppe
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Originally appeared on

Antonia Steriti of Periwinkles Food Shoppe says fall is a wonderful season to behold for many reasons, including soups, pies, pumpkins and apples.

It’s official. Once the calendar page turns to a day after Labor Day, we must say farewell to sun-speckled beach days and the carefree casualness of long summer days. While it’s hard to trade beach bags and towels for number two pencils, backpacks and the return of long commutes, fall is a wonderful season to behold for many reasons. Here are five ways to celebrate the falling acorns and cooling temperatures.

Nothing says “I love you” more than a piping-hot bowl of soup. Close your eyes and try to remember coming home from a fall football game or chilly evening to the wonderful aroma of soup cooking on the stove. Whether you throw some favorite fall vegetables in a Crock-Pot or spend an afternoon recreating your grandmother’s favorite recipe, welcome the season with a bowl of soup. Add the special ingredient of TLC for fun.

When I looked up the origin of the phrase “as easy as pie,” I discovered the phrase, which is used to describe something being both simple and joyful, refers to not the creation of a pie, but the consumption of it. I say grab your apples, pumpkins, pecan, green tomato or whatever you fancy and bake a pie. When it comes to enjoying a slice of pie, it’s really a piece of cake!

My mother seldom bought bread in a grocery, so I grew up with the scent of fresh bread baking wafting through the house. Baking homemade bread is a wonderful way to creatively express your feelings. Fall is the perfect time to bake a hearty loaf.

Pumpkins and apples
Who can forget the simple joy of picking apples or decorating pumpkins? I fondly remember special Sundays when my parents and five siblings would go apple picking. My mother would bake delicious pies and freeze the extra apples so we could enjoy baking with them in the winter. I continued the tradition of apple picking and baking with our daughter, Alexa, who could roll a pie crust at the age of three! I love baking mile-high apple pie for our customers at Periwinkles.

Who can resist the allure of cinnamon? Pastry chefs sprinkle the spice generously to add its wonderful flavor and aroma. Health zealots adore its myriad benefits, including boosting brain function, lowering blood sugar and being loaded with anti-oxidants. I am crazy in love with the spice and quite persnickety about using specialty cinnamon when I bake. Exploring the difference of rich, strong and sweet specialty cinnamon can add to your baking projects.

Chocolate chip cookies always served with love

By Antonia Steriti / Periwinkles Food Shoppe
Posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Originally appeared on

Alexa, left, and Antonia Steriti of Periwinkles Food Shoppe share a passion for baking and making people smile.

When I opened Periwinkles Food Shoppe 28 years ago, I never imagined that I would be sitting here today reminiscing about almost three decades of cooking up great memories with customers I think of as family.

As long as I can remember, cooking has played a central role in my life. From the time I was a young girl sharing snacks and secrets with my three sisters in our bedroom to just last week sending a box of goodies to my daughter’s college, I have always derived tremendous joy finding just the right combination of ingredients to celebrate special moments.

While I love planning birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, I also take great pleasure in simple slices of life. Throughout the years I have enjoyed watching friendships form over morning coffee and scones or seeing families outside on the picnic tables smiling over chicken salad sandwiches and a ray of afternoon sun. It really does take a village to create a successful business, and I treasure every customer that I’ve had the pleasure of serving over the past 28 years.

When browsing through my recipe box for a recipe to share, I kept circling back to my personal favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe given to me by my mother-in-law, Betty Steriti.

Betty was a wonderful cook who always had a sauce simmering on the stove on Sunday afternoons and was such a great baker — her chocolate chip cookies stole the hearts of many lucky people.

It seems like just yesterday I was teaching my daughter Alexa the secret ingredients of her grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. All good cooks agree that the main ingredient is a sprinkle or two of pure love. I am thankful to all my customers for giving me the pleasure of sharing their celebrations and everyday moments.

Keeping it simple means success at Periwinkles

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 3:00 am
Originally appeared on

Periwinkles is a family affair. Eddie and Antonia Steriti combine their talents to run the business and treat customers like family.
Periwinkles is a family affair. Eddie and Antonia Steriti combine their talents to run the business and treat customers like family.

Antonia Steriti’s passion for fresh food was born in her grandfather’s garden, helping him sow 200 tomato plants, in her childhood kitchen, creating homemade gnocchi and cavatelli with her mother, aunts and sister, and around the table with her large Italian family enjoying their weekly pasta dinners.

“When I was in high school the only class I liked was cooking,” says Steriti. She learned the basics in home economics class and honed her skills at home alongside her mother.

After high school Steriti attended Essex Agricultural School and subsequently worked at Cricket’s and Lilly’s in Boston while taking business classes at Salem State University. She then worked for caterer Ruth Slater, who led a successful women-run catering business with her three daughters.

Inspired by Ruth’s great energy and creativity, Antonia found a business partner and opened Periwinkles in Lynn in 1987. For the past 28 years, her dad, who is now 80, has been involved in the business, lending a hand when needed in everything from making eggplant and sauce to important business decisions.

Fresh, seasonal, simple and reasonably priced were the main ingredients for Periwinkles and continue to be the winning recipe for success at the Salem location that opened in 1996. After the Salem location opened, the Lynn store closed. Antonia delights in seeing her loyal and treasured retail and catering customers enjoy the homemade and fresh foods prepared at Periwinkles Food Shoppe.

“If I had to pick one ingredient that embodies my recipe for cooking success, I would select simplicity.

“Rather than smothering vegetables with butter and herbs, I would prefer to steam them and enjoy their natural flavor,” says Steriti. “A cherished memory I have from my childhood is the sweet sensation of eating a fresh slice of watermelon on a hot summer day. I love the taste of enjoying a simple flavor that organically sprouts from its natural origin,” says Steriti. She infuses her affinity for simplicity and freshness in both the retail and catering sides of Periwinkles.

“We prepare our food daily, offering hearty soups, fresh salads and abundant sandwiches on our delicious daily baked bread. Our oversized portions, reasonable prices and pleasant atmosphere will be pleasing to your taste buds!” says Steriti. Visit to learn more.