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An Asian-Inspired Dinner Party or Anyone Can Cook Anything!

Yeah, that’s my take on cooking food outside your ethnicity. All it takes is knowing what you like, a few good seasoning agents*, a dash of confidence and access to google for recipes or to answer any last-minute questions. It may not be “authentic”, but it could (should) be tasty.

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Fiesta de “Tres de Mayo”

I invited two friends for dinner Saturday night and, based on what I had on-hand, planned to make Italian fried shrimp and spaghetti with no-cook tomato sauce. But, Saturday morning, I changed my mind and went in a totally different direction. The no-cook tomato sauce became salsa, the spaghetti was opted out for black rice … and, with a few other additions, we were headed south-of-the-border just in time to celebrate Tres de Mayo. What? You never heard of Tres de Mayo? Continue Reading

A Latin-Inspired Birthday Lunch Was the Answer to a Super Bowl Day Conflict

As you may know, in my family, we celebrate everyone’s birthday with a group dinner generally late Sunday afternoon of the birthday week. So, a couple of weeks ago I sent out a family text announcing I would host Gram’s (the family matriarch) and Julie’s (my d-in-l) birthdays on 2/2 at 5:00. Yikes … the push back was immediate. You think I said the world was coming to an end!

Not being a fan of football (or bad fried and cheesy food-fests), I didn’t realize there was something else scheduled for that day. We compromised and I moved the festivities up to lunch so ‘those who cared’ could be home or wherever for the big kick-off. Continue Reading

Yearning for a Boiled Dinner … with Variations

While everyone was eating corned beef and cabbage this past weekend, I ate a “cajun spiced Salmon Rueben” and an “open-faced chipotle shrimp tortilla”.

They were both great, but left me yearning. I had an itch that needed scratching. Continue Reading

Creating Dinner Around a Tuscan Dish I Never Tasted – with no recipe!

Well, I mean, I’ve tasted variations of it but not the specific dish I’m talking about here.

Two years ago when my travel gal pals and I were in Tuscany, we had many memorable meals. Apparently, some more memorable than others. One such meal stuck in Maryann’s head because she hasn’t stopped talking about it. As she recalled, it was over-sized rigatoni stuffed with fish. I must have been at the other end of the table. I didn’t see it, I didn’t taste and I didn’t remember it.

When she mentioned it again recently, I thought “how difficult could it be?” And then I said,  “Come on over and I’ll make it“. Continue Reading

Warm Lentil and Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Celery — and Questions

If you like lentils (I love!) and if you enjoy vegetarian meals, this probably looks good to you.

It was — and it wasn’t. Continue Reading

Creative Cooking Crew: Meat n’ Potatoes Challenge

What’s comes to your mind when you think of meat and potatoes?

I bet most people would say a Sunday roast or, perhaps, a slow-cooked stew or meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Undoubtedly, beef would be the most popular answer — so I went with ham. 

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Tips on Hosting Stress-Free Dinner Parties (Large and Small)

I know most people who read blogs like FOODalogue or create boards on pinterest are really into entertaining and generally on the troll for new tips to make the effort stress-free so I thought I’d tell you about 2 dinner parties I hosted recently.

Last week I hosted a dinner party to celebrate 2 family members’ birthdays. It was joyous, over-the-top loud and a wee bit chaotic. That’s what happens when four generations of family (18 people) get together. Continue Reading

Green Bean Casserole Makeover: It’s Italian, contemporary and it has fried spaghetti!

The ‘green bean casserole’ was created in 1955 by the Campbell Soup Company and has been a Thanksgiving favorite on a gazillion tables across America for more than 50 years!

This one is a makeover. It’s Italian. It’s lighter. And, it’s contemporary. This is an ‘instead of” recipe.  Continue Reading

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