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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Heart-shaped carrots and zucchini

all heart shaped carrots

CUTE, RIGHT? Didn’t matter. I could whittle these carrots into the shape of Phoebe’s smiling face and it wouldn’t make a difference. She doesn’t like carrots. Or zucchini. And the only thing that coaxed her into eating one of each (as is our family rule at dinner time) was the promise of “cake” afterward.

Saturday scramble: Breakfast for dinner, or lunch or brunch…

Scrambled eggs with spinach and pancetta

CALL IT A VARIATION of green eggs and ham. We do scrambled eggs or a fritatta (baked in the oven for the last 10 minutes to get fluffy) often. It’s easy, inexpensive, healthy and the toddler likes it. Sold! Today’s version included pancetta and spinach (frozen, organic) sauteed in olive oil then whisked eggs, milk,… 

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Green eggs and ham

Green eggs and ham

YOU KNOW HOW TODDLERS BECOME OBSESSED with something and want it over and over? We’ve been in a Green Eggs & Ham bedtime rut routine for a while now and I’ll tell you what. It’s not awesome. But inspired by Phoebe’s unwavering passion (Is there anything that I like this much?), combined with a little… 

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Simply delicious side dish: sauteed spinach with garlic

Sauteed spinach with garlic

WE GET A PLATE OF CICORIA EVERY TIME Paul and I go to a restaurant. As usual, I’d never heard of this famous Roman specialty before we moved here but now I’m hooked. Sauteed with olive oil, garlic and sometimes red pepper flakes, it’s all at once rich and buttery, bitter and spicy. Plus it’s… 

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How to make a brownie mix healthier in seconds

Wheat germ Christmas brownies

IF YOU’VE GOT A BUSY HOLIDAY SCHEDULE this one’s for you. This weekend we had a Christmas party for the playgroup that Phoebe used to attend (and love). For the fun of seeing old friends plus 30 others who just speak English, we baked up four dozen mini brownies and headed out. On the bus,… 

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pumpkin spice mini muffins

2 pumpkin mini muffins, foodlets

DON’T GET ME WRONG, I STILL LOVE my Barefoot Contessa. But today’s makeover recipe from Paula Deen looked so good — and had so many amazing reviews (766 and counting!?) — on Food Network.com that I couldn’t really resist. They’re both big ladies with even bigger personalities, and all that laughing. Come on, it’s joy… 

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Grilled chicken salad with peppers two ways: one for toddlers, one for adults

Grilled chicken salad with peppers

IT’S AN INDIAN SUMMER IN ITALY. Actually, that’s not official but with afternoon heat still hitting the mid 80s it certainly feels that way in Rome. So we’re still into salads here and they come in two versions. One for adults and one for toddlers (aka, one that will not be spit out.) The culprit?… 

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