I love Mother’s Day! It’s the one day a year I completely take off and just enjoy my husband and daughter. No work, no errands, no cleaning, no cooking. Not that I mind cooking, of course, but it’s nice to have someone dote on you and cater to your every food whim. In our house, this means brunch, starring my husband Michael’s killer French toast. Continue reading
It’s no secret that I love meatballs. Growing up in New Jersey, just about every large gathering was catered by an Italian restaurant and featured all types of pastas and proteins. Swim team banquets, first communions, funerals – you name it, there was probably a steaming chafing dish of meatballs there and me cutting in line to get them. Continue reading
I grew up one of four siblings in Freehold, New Jersey. My sister Jen is the oldest, and my brother Terry, born four years later, is the youngest. My sister Pam and I are smooshed in between. The older half, Jen and I, were born in Chicago. In the late 60s, my father took a job as an editor for McGraw-Hill in New York and we made our way east, moving into our house on Christmas Eve. Pam was born a month later, then Terry soon after that. Continue reading
Every time there’s a get together in my neighborhood, I’m amazed at the amount of yummy food people bring to share. I lucked out and moved into a subdivision with lots of people who enjoy cooking and sharing their wares. Quite the opposite of the bridge parties my mother used to host in the 70s when people brought Triscuits with wine cheese spread. Continue reading
The Sanchez family, native Miamians, moved in across the street from me a few years ago and quickly became known as the nicest people in the neighborhood. Carlos and Ines and their three boys (Gabriel, Nicholas and Michael), along with Ines’s mother Gladys, are incredibly pleasant, upbeat people. Carlos and I both enjoy cooking and have been known to pop across the street and share what we’ve whipped up in our kitchens.
Around Thanksgiving, Carlos mentioned his family was going to roast a whole pig either Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. I immediately perked up. Like Homer Simpson, I believe pork comes from a magical animal, and I had never experienced a Cuban pig roast. I’m not exaggerating when I say I salivated just a bit when I heard the news. Continue reading
I’ll say it – thank goodness Christmas is over! I don’t think I could have eaten another bite! Don’t get me wrong – I love the holiday. I love the build up, the sense of good will and hanging out with my family. But my goodness, it’s one food over indulgence after another. The fact that I haven’t developed diabetes this month is the biggest Christmas miracle of all. Continue reading
Emily is my stylist, and I adore her. She’s been giving me a cut and color every few months for several years and never gives me a hard time for doing my own box color in between appointments. She’s always been very supportive of my blog, so when she told me her mother is from Germany and still cooks traditional German food, I knew I had to meet her.
I’ll just say it – I’m a terrible dough roller. Terrible. When I first learned to cook, I had visions of lining my window sills with fresh, homemade pies. My friends would visit and we’d share a cup of tea and enjoy a slice of pie. A pie utopia of sorts.
And then I tried rolling dough. My first attempt was so abysmal, I’m surprised I continued to try. The dough stuck to the rolling pin and my work surface; it got too thin in spots or gummy; or it spread and cracked at the edges.
But I soldiered on. I consulted dozens of magazines and asked my friends who cook for any insight that could improve my situation. And I tried them all. Chill the dough. Don’t handle the dough. Put the butter in the freezer first. Use Crisco. Use margarine. Use lard. Use a rolling pin with handles. Use a rolling pin without handles. Put your rolling pin in the freezer. Continue reading
Heidi is the wife of an old boss of mine. I met her a job ago, probably at a Christmas party or charity golf tournament. I liked her immediately. Not only is she tall like me, she’s very, very funny and totally committed to her family. So is her husband, Phil. They’re good people.
Like so many metro-Atlantans, Heidi’s not from these parts. She’s actually a real midwestern girl, from Michigan. Another reason to love her. As much as I get a kick out of being from New Jersey, both of my parents are from Chicago, and most of my kin are still out there. My mother’s kitchen reflected her midwestern sensibility. Lots of meat, lots of potatoes, lots of gravy. Continue reading
I met Amy Norton through a mutual friend on twitter. See if you can follow this: I featured my neighbor Tim Gaddis in a blog post about his amazing barbeque sauce (see: Barbeque & Extraordinary Moments). Tim tweeted the post, Amy follows Tim on twitter, she made his sauce, tweeted a picture of it, Tim shared this with me, and like a good blogger, I cyber-stalked her and introduced myself. When I found out she lives locally, I set up an interview with her. A modern-day, social media miracle!
Amy lives in Atlanta in a neighborhood of modest ranch homes built in the 60s. When my husband and I pulled up, the first thing I noticed was her lovely red hair that fell loosely on her shoulders. Amy is a self-proclaimed barefooted earth child – a description that fits her to a T. I was struck by the genuine warmth and hospitality she radiated during our visit. Continue reading