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Family Day and Crab Boil Pictorial

Well, a pictorial and a few words of explanation.

“Family Day” means quality time with the ones you love most … enjoying the day, the activities and, of course, eating well. This is how Family Day went down yesterday at Jim and Julie’s. Continue Reading

3 BBQ Side-Dish Kabobs, Mother’s Day and a Creative Cooking Crew Challenge | Crunchy Plantains on a Stick

The Creative Cooking Crew’s challenge for May — what are you bringing to the BBQ? -- was announced about the same time my nephew and his wife said they would be hosting a Mother’s Day barbecue. They’d do the meats and everyone else could bring accompaniments. Perfect timing.

When you’re a cook, it doesn’t matter if it’s Mother’s Day — you still cook. And, because I enjoy cooking, the challenge and, definitely, eating, I couldn’t bring just one thing.

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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

Family, Food, and a Colorful Potato Salad Recipe That Was Totally Upstaged by Everything Else!

In my family we celebrate birthdays BIG. Sometimes big is even x2, like Sunday when we celebrated both Cassie’s 17th and Aurora’s 21+.

‘Big’ is the operative word because (a) we’re a lot of people and (b) we always make big menus for our BIG appetites. Generally, the meal revolves around a food request from the birthday person. And then the family cooks get cooking!

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Christmas Scenes: Trees, Tables, Holiday Menus and a Tale of Traditions

Mary + Nick’s Tree, Boat Parade Party 2012

I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s postings on facebook the last few days with photos of families beside gaily decorated trees and enjoying holiday meals. It’s such a happy time of year. Full of traditions and memory-making moments.

Our season starts with the Boat Parade Party the first weekend in December and the festivities don’t end until my birthday early January. A month long of family celebrations … 6 weeks if you count Thanksgiving! And I do. 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

A Really Good Dressing for Slaws and Sandwiches

Short Post: It started as a dressing for slaw and then I realized it made a really good sandwich spread too. Continue Reading

The Marriage of Broccoli Rabe and Beans

You know you’re Italian if you grew up eating broccoli rabe and beans. We ate it as a soupy dish and dunked bread in the bowl. Any liquid that was left, we slurped. Oh, yes we did. We also ate it as a side dish (usually with sausage) and, of course, we ate it with pasta!

Broccoli rabe and beans (cannellini or garbanzo a/k/a chick peas, ceci beans) are a perfect marriage. But, like any wedding party, they need some loving attendants to walk them up the aisle: garlic, chicken broth, olive oil, onion or leeks, carrot, tomato. Continue Reading

The “Anti-Super-Bowl-Menu” Supper

I like parties, celebrations and gathering with people over food and drink, but I can’t be enthusiastic about Super Bowl Sunday. You see, the problem is I’m not a football fan and I don’t like wearing team t-shirts, drinking beer, or eating poppers and buffalo wings. What’s a gal to do? Continue Reading

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