whole wheat penne with sugar snap peas & pork

pasta with pork and sugar snap peas

I DON’T THINK THEY HAVE SUGAR SNAP PEAS IN ITALY. And if they do, I didn’t know how to say it (surprise!) so my kids were new to peas until last week. Now to be clear, my brood is not always interested in new foods. Before a bite of anything unfamiliar ever touches her lips,… 

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easy penne pasta with cauliflower, sausage & parmesan cheese

cauliflower penne pasta with sausage

IT’S NOT ALWAYS EASY TO GET KIDS EATING veggies. Especially those with a funny smell when you cook ‘em. That’s right cauliflower, we’re talking about you. The good news is, we’ve discovered three ways to make cauliflower an easy sell at dinner. Roasted cauliflower, baked into macaroni and cheese, and this way right here. I… 

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italian casserole: baked zucchini, brown rice and tomato sauce with sausage

Baked zucchini with rice & sausage

PHOEBE WASN’T EXACTLY PLEASED. Suddenly my four-year-old is opposed to everything being combined into a one-pot dinner. “Only one thing?”, she asks as incredulously as only a preschooler can. And to that I say (at least in my head), “When you start doing the dishes my dear, we can use all the pans for every… 

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ham, cheese and apple melts

Ham, cheese and apple melts

RECENTLY I’VE GOTTEN A LOT MORE STRATEGIC ABOUT MAKING LUNCHES AND DINNERS. Our kids are so small that we always have tons of leftovers. And while none of us are crazy about eating the same thing over and over, I’ve found that many meals can be made into something tasty later in the week. That’s… 

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Sausage & spinach with raisins, pine nuts & rice

sausage, spinach and rice

THIS ONE STARTED WITH BUDDY. Do you know the Cake Boss? I’m sure you do but I didn’t. In Rome, we have a bit of American TV but it’s a small selection and always a bit behind. Anyway, it appears that in the time I’ve been away from the States, one Buddy Valastro has become… 

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Sausage & sour cream pasta with peas…a Stroganoff-ish dinner idea

Stroganoff pasta in the pan

We’re on “vacation” this week, on the southern coast of Italy. It’s our first trip with all three rascals so I’m out of the kitchen. So far, I’d say everything is gorgeous and exhausting, sometimes both at once. Meanwhile, I saved up a couple of fresh ideas to post while we’re gone. Be back soon…trust… 

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Pork & pineapple skewers with fresh green beans

pork and pineapple kebabs

IF YOU’RE FROM THE WEST COAST, YOU EAT HAWAIIAN PIZZA. If you’re not, you think it’s weird. Happily, I fall into the former category. In the small town where I grew up in Washington state, we had one pizza place, Rome Pizza. And the only pie my family ever ordered was Canadian bacon and pineapple…. 

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no-cook dinner: antipasto with ham, cheese, breadsticks, melon and more…

proscutto e melone

IT’S BEEN OVER 90 DEGREES EVERY DAY in Rome for weeks. This is a normal summer in Italy but that doesn’t mean we’re not melting! Particularly those of us from the Pacific Northwest where it simply doesn’t do this. Ever. My Floridian husband, however, is soaking up the sun, humidity and all the heat for… 

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Sausage rolls…pigs in a blanket all grown up

sausage rolls how-to

I MAKE THESE EVERY TIME I HAVE A PARTY. Everyone loves them. So, when I saw Jamie Oliver make something similar for his family, I broke out one of my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes. Trying to make it a little healthier, this is sausage with puff pastry after all, I added protein-rich white beans that… 

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Baked risotto with sausage, barley & fresh green beans

Sausage & green bean risotto

AS THREATENED PROMISED, baked risotto has made its way into our weekly repertoire and here’s why: the kids love it! Plus, a baked version of this traditional Italian dish is easy to make before they even get home from nursery school. Sitting on the stove, it’s ready to be warmed again at dinner time. No… 

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corn dog mini muffins and sautéed green beans with garlic

Corndog mini muffins

IS IT ME OR ARE CORN DOGS having a moment? I’ve seen tons of ideas all over Pinterest, including this gorgeous batch of fried mini dogs from Food Glorious Food, and decided to give it a whirl. The results were mixed: one-year-old Estelle liked them, nearly three-year-old Phoebe wasn’t thrilled. And so it goes…

Homemade skillet pizza with pepperoni, salami and peppers

Pinch the pepperoni to add texture, pizza

BARBARA KINGSOLVER, in the gorgeous memoir, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle“, says her family eats pizza every Friday. Homemade pizza (her husband whips up the dough), and while toppings always vary, never having to think about “What’s for dinner?” just simplifies their week. I think it’s brilliant.

Bacon-wrapped pork roast with mustard sauce

Finished bacon wrapped pork

IT’S EASY TO BE JEALOUS OF GIADA. After growing up in a famous family, Giada De Laurentiis is now an acclaimed cookbook author, Today show contributor and Food Network star. She’s also gorgeous, happily married and mother to an adorable mini-me named Jade. And let’s not forget the biggest kicker of all: she’s a wonderful… 

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Turkey sausage meatballs and easy pasta with peas

Turkey sausage meatballs with easy pasta and peas

WE’VE JUST RETURNED FROM A THREE-WEEK TRIP to the US where we plan to relocate at the end of 2012. North Carolina looks like our future destination but first all things related to jobs, houses, schools and the other million details that make a life must align. (Wish us luck!) In the meantime, I’ve stocked… 

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