Happy New Year CBE family. This Sunday Story is a snip bit about how my food and recipes website (cucinabyelena) started. I am grateful for all of you in this space. Thank you for joining me on this journey of recipes, traditions, stories, and sharing love though cooking and baking.

Summer 2020- Loneliness During the Covid-19 Pandemic

It was summer 2020 and we weren’t going anywhere. Italy, family, home, comfort, tradition, my restart… forget about it- not this year. I was born in Sardegna, Italy. After immigrating to the United States with my parents when I was six years old we still went back to Italy to live with my extended family every summer. My carrier as a Reading Specialist allowed me to enjoy summers in Italy even as an adult.

My heart felt heavy. I couldn’t move. I needed to show up and support my children when all I wanted to do was hide and cry, alone. Like many people all over the world I faced the pandemic with my own challenges.My problem felt so small compared to many, but I couldn’t help the heartbreak of not returning home.

Out of the Darkness There Will Always Shine Light

️Out of the darkness came a burning desire to turn my sadness into light. For over a decade I brought people together through food with family recipes no matter where we lived in the United States. I watch my mother do this after we immigrated here. She took her love & longing for her home country and manifested it by pouring love into cooking for others.

Turning a Thought into Reality

️During the heart of the pandemic we couldn’t even share meals with friends and family crowded and laughing around the table. What could I do to fill this void?That’s when I remembered an idea I harbored in the back of my mind for over a decade- creating a recipes and stories website.

Fearful Thoughts Come in the Midst of Goodness

️Then, the fearful thoughts came- who will care about your stories and recipes? The world doesn’t need another food blogger! Their are people already doing this way better than you- don’t even try!

Breaking the Mirror of Negativity

️A small voice whispered- “If you look in the mirror and feel like your aren’t enough, let me break your mirror. Listen to the better voice. The one that tells the truth and loves you for you”. Then I started. One day at a time… and kept going, and since that day I haven’t stopped.

One Thought Changed Everything

️One thought, turned into action, fueled by dedication and persistence changed my world and moved to touch the lives of more people than I ever imagined. Is it hard? 100%. Is it worth it? 200%. I suppose we never know unless we try…

️Thank you. Each and every one of you for being here and trusting me. Thousands of you view my website and make my recipes in your kitchens across the world. This means more to me than you know! I hope to bring more delicious recipes to your tables in 2022 and beyond…

From my Cucina (kitchen) to yours- Mangia! (Eat!).

Written with Amore, Elena

What’s an idea you have and want to try? Tell us in the comments.


Here are some of YOUR most loved recipes on Cucina By Elena. Please feel free to email me and leave comments on the recipe posts. I love to hear from you!

Polpette Con Sugo (Italian meatballs in tomato sauce) di Nonna Laura

Are you looking for a meal that can feed your family that everyone, especially children and teens, will enjoy? These…

Breaded Chicken Breast Pan Fried (Italian)

A Chicken Dinner that Brings your People to the Table… EASY AND DELICIOUS breaded pan fried chicken recipe. Italian style…

Easy No-Knead Focaccia Bread Recipe (Italian)

The BEST, EASIEST Focaccia Recipe. Can you Believe I am Calling a Focaccia Recipe Easy?! Let’s dig into the details…

Italian Lasagna Bolognese Visual Guide

Authentic Italian Lasagna Bolognese (meat recipe) Lasagna Bolognese includes only fresh egg pasta, Bolognese ragù (slow-cooked meat sauce), creamy béchamel…

BEST Neapolitan Pizza DOUGH RECIPE and GUIDE

Authentic Neapolitan Style Italian Pizza Dough Recipe! Chewy and crisp this is the type of pizza you get when you…

Easy Italian Pear Cake (Torta di Pere) Easy

Soft and Delicious Italian Pear Cake Easy Italian Pear Cake, a simple moist dessert, breakfast or served as an afternoon…

Italian Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera) Recipe

Crema pasticcera, Italian pastry cream, is one of the standard and most common ingredients used in Italian pastries and cakes….

Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl)

Soft and Delicious Italian Apple Cake Easy Italian Apple Cake (torta a le mele), a simple moist dessert, breakfast, or…

Frozen Lemon Dessert (Creamy Lemony Treat)

Frozen Lemon Dessert! A sweet summer treat that will cool your taste buds and make you pucker with excitement. Truly…

Soft AMARETTI Cookies Sardinian Recipe

Sardinian amaretti cookies are a soft and chewy almond cookies with a touch of lemon zest. These cookies are slightly…

Easy “Crack” Lemon Bars (Winning Recipe)

Are You Ready for These ADDICTING LEMON BARS? These are the best lemon bars featuring an easy shortbread crust and thick layer…

Easy Almond Sponge Cake with Italian Cream

Soft Almond Sponge Cake with Italian Pastry Cream an Berries EASY one bowl almond cake that bakes in 15 minutes!…

Baked Zucchini and Tomatoes Bruschetta

Baked Zucchini Tomato Bruschetta  Let’s make a light and delicious summer recipe to use all the gorgeous bounty of zucchini…

Italian Stuffed Zucchini (Twice Baked Zucchini)

Vegetarian stuffed zucchini (zucchine ripiene) are one of the most classic Italian ways to eat zucchini. Essentially, they are twice…