Thursday, April 30, 2009


Once upon a time there was a wonderful restaurant, which shall be nameless, that served an incredible steak Contadina. While I'm not given to rumor-mongering, word was that they were washing more than the dishes and thus eventually closed. I found a few recipes for this dish, but they never pleased like the now-defunct restaurant's version. Then along came my copy of Carmine's Family-style Cookbook. While it isn't identical, it is absolutely fantastic and I will make it again...and again.

Let me be upfront about the changes I made. Over the years I've found myself eating fewer and fewer green peppers. At this point, I've stopped eating them altogether in favor of the sweeter red and orange and yellow peppers. So, I eliminated the 2 green peppers called for in the original recipe. Also, the original recipe serves 4 and calls for 4 sausage links and a 34-38 ounce Porterhouse. I made 6 sausage links and a 22 ounce Porterhouse, but made the same amount of vegetables called for in the original recipe. There were leftover sausage and vegetables which I used tonight for dinner.

This is a beautiful-looking dish as well as being almost too delicious for words. With it we drank a wine from my youth--Mateus. I found it in our local liquor store a few weeks ago and we've had it a few times since then. I don't like "pink" wine, but this rose is far more satisfying than a white zin.

Don't let the many steps fool you; this is not a difficult recipe. You could, in fact, do it up to the point of broiling the steak and refrigerate it. Just bring it to room temperature before heating it up in the oven while the steak broils. I can't wait to try the recipe for chicken contadina since it's healthier, but I'll be making this again, both for the two of us and for company.

Serves 2-3
6 sweet Italian sausage links
3 tbs plus 1 tsp olive oil
2 large Russett potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices, patted dry
salt and freshly ground pepper
15 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
2 large Spanish onions, each peeled and cut ino 8 thick slices
2 large red bell peppers, seeded, cored, and cut into 6 equal pieces
(if you like, also add 2 large green peppers prepared same as red)
1 1/2 lb porterhouse steak at room temperature
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup white vinegar or sweet pepper vinegar from a jar of sweet vinegar red peppers
8 fresh basil leaves, sliced
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rub 1 tsp of the oil over the 6 sausage links and place in a small roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Place the dried potato slices in a roasting pan. Drizzle then with 1 tbs of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat all slices. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until tender and brown. Set aside.

In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tbs of the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic cloves. Slowly brown them, 5-6 minutes, making sure the oil doesn't get too hot; the garlic must cook slowly.

Add the onion slices and peppers to the saute pan with the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until they are lightly browned and tender. Transfer to a colander and drain about 5 minutes.

Preheat a grill. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season both sides of the steak with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the meat.

Spread the sausage, peppers, onions and garlic, and potatoes in a shallow baking pan and sprinkle with the oregano. Roast for about 15 minutes, stirring to encourage even heating.

While the sausage and vegetables heat, grill the steak to desired doneness. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing it using the bone as a guide to slice around the filet and the sirloin.

Spread the vegetables, potatoes, and sausage on a large platter. Place the sliced steak in the center. (I wanted to put the bone in the center for presentation, but someone was already gnawing on it) Slowly sprinkle the vinegar over the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle the top with basil and parsley.

This almost screams out for some toasted Italian bread, both to sop up the juices and to spread the roasted garlic cloves on. While it wasn't the most healthful meal I've ever made, it was one of the most satisfying. All I can say about the taste is fuhgeddaboudit!

Monday, April 27, 2009


This recipe seemed too good to be true. I didn't even need to dirty the portable mixer. My taste revealed a moist cake with just enough sweetness. A cross between a cake and a pound cake, the man-of-the-house, who is also the cake-eater, pronounced it delicious. It can be served plain, with ice cream, or toasted and spread with jam. My only "twist" was to replace the vanilla with almond flavoring. I'll definitely make this again to keep him away from the store-bought junk.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously butter (I use cooking spray) an 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 2 1/2 inch loaf pan (6 cup capacity).

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Whisk the eggs, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla together until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until smooth (BTW, it does make a difference which you add to which!!!).

Finally, pour in the oil and use the whisk to gently, but thoroughly, fold into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature, right side up.

Serves 8. Per serving: 360 calories, 44g carbs, 5g protein, 18g fat, 85 mg cholesterol.

I made the cake on Sunday and it's almost gone and I didn't have a piece, honest!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Confidentially-speaking, the World's Best Street Food

It's time to Cook the Books! Our hostess Jodi of Food Junkie not Junk Food chose Kitchen Confidential by bad boy Anthony Bourdain. Executive Chef of Brasserie Les Halles and host of the series No Reservations, Bourdain lays bare the life of a line chef, deglamorizing what those of us caught up in the world of celebrity chefs have come to believe is the life of the ultimate foodie. Not for the faint of heart, Kitchen Confidential reminds us why we shouldn't order fish on Tuesday or load our brunch plates with seafood salad.

I have to admit upfront that Bourdain is my kind of man--raunchy--and he can cook, too. Bourdain is a modern day troubador. His stories, which immediately called to mind the years I worked as a waitress and bartender, not only resonated, but made me profoundly happy that I had not pursued a career as a caterer or chef. I always refer to this dream, with regret, as my "road not taken." After reading about Bourdain's career as a line cook and chef, I realize that this is not the kind of cooking I would ever have been happy doing--that is, if I could have lasted longer than a week. The sheer boredom would have killed me if I hadn't sliced or burned myself to death.

Bourdain's behind-the-scenes revelations were perhaps not as shocking as they would have been had I not experienced firsthand at least 2 complete degenerates who were head chefs in 2 different fine dining establishments. Forget the 3 second rule or kissing it up to heaven. I worked for one chef who must have had dropsy. After I'd seen my first half dozen lobster tails go from the floor to the broiler--yes, it was a small space, but come on--I figured it was a good thing I didn't eat shellfish. Looking back, it's a wonder I ever had the courage to sample it. The other fellow--and they were both named Freddie--ruled the kitchen with a gutter mouth and a sadism that would have put the Marquis de Sade to shame. If you were unlucky enough to get a table of 8, he insisted you carry out ALL the plates on one tray. Try that when you're 5' 3 ,weigh 120 pounds, and have to walk a hallway the length of a bowling alley.

Yes, these were stories that were all too believable. I remember, too, the "family" meals. Whenever possible, I ate before I reported for work. Too many meat sauces--mystery meat sauce would have been more accurate--and goulashes made me wary.

Bourdain makes no bones about the kind of cooking he was doing, makes no attempt to cover up his years of addiction and debauchery. He may have begun cooking to pay the rent, but his reverence for well-prepared food coupled with his knowledge of technique ultimately earned him staying power in this difficult vocation.

In the chapter entitled "How to Cook Like the Pros," Bourdain offers wonderful suggestions about equipment and pantry essentials. While this book contains no recipes, there were many dishes noted throughout. Bourdain confesses that he is as likely to order in Chinese when he is at home as he is to cook for himself. His own food preferences are wide-ranging. Were it winter, I might have decided to make a caldo Gallego in homage to his early experiences in a community heavily influenced by the Portuguese. However, as spring leads into Memorial Day, the official start of the BBQ season, I opted for the quintessential accompaniment to grilled burgers, that most sublime of street food goodness--fried potatoes. This recipe is from Bourdain's Les Halles' Cookbook and they are very much worth the effort.

Serves 4
4 Idaho potatoes, long ones
2 qts or more peanut oil

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch thick sticks. Put them immediately into the bowl of ice water to keep them from oxidizing. Leave them in the water anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight, then rinse well in cold water to take out much of the starch.

In a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot (I used my Dutch oven), heat the oil to 280˚F. Cook the potatoes in batches, about 6 to 8 minutes for each batch, until they are soft and their color has paled from opaque white to a semitransluscent white. Do not get impatient and yank them out early. Remove them from the oil with a skimmer or wire basket and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Let them rest at least 15 minutes.

Bring the oil up to 375˚F, no hotter, no cooler. Fry the blanched potatoes in batches for 2 to 3 minutes each, or until they are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oil with the skimmer or wire basket, shake off the excess oil.

Immediately drop the fries into another large bowl, which has been lined with a clean, dry lint-free towel. Add salt to taste and whip out the towel. Toss the fries around in the bowl and serve while still hot.

I can't say that I will make these often. I hate cleaning my stovetop which is an incentive to eat more healthfully (I seldom fry things) and my waistline can't afford this treat. But I know that I will make them again. Perhaps next time some aioli mayonnaise would be tasty.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


After a 10 day hiatus from the kitchen, I'm back and raring to go. After too many years of banning pasta from the daily rotation, I'm committed to trying out new and lighter versions of one of our favorite foods. I've been through the list of whole wheat and whole grain pastas and they are NOT for me. My recent experience making pasta by hand has reminded me of how satisfying even a small portion of "real" pasta can be.

Recently, I grabbed what I thought was the latest copy of Southern Living magazine in an airport kiosk only to suffer sticker shock--$10.99--when they rang up my purchase. Turned out that I had picked up a cookbook of All-time Favorite Recipes from Southern Living. While it didn't last me the plane ride, it did yield a few new ideas for week-night and company dinners. Remember, I'm looking for satisfying and more healthy. This recipe is good enough for company, but simple enough for week-nights.

The recipe for white spaghetti and meatballs seemed a good place to start. The meatballs are made from skinless, boneless chicken breast, there are sliced mushrooms in the sauce, and the sauce is made lighter with chicken broth and Neufchatel cheese (reduced cream cheese).

The verdict after dinner last night was this is a try-again recipe. Next time, however, I will need to spice up those meatballs. With just ground chicken, egg, saltines, and a teaspoon of seasoning, they were too bland. The sauce, on the other hand, is spoon licking good. At 431 calories (8.5 WW points) per serving, this is a good value, taste-wise and nutritionally.

Serves 6
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1 large garlic clove
10 saltine crackers, finely crushed
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I'm going to try 1/2 pack Good Seasons salad dressing mix next time)
vegetable cooking spray

1 (8 oz) package spaghetti
1 (8 oz) package sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (8 oz) package Neufchatel (1/3 less cream cheese)
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Process the chicken and garlic clove in a food processor until ground.

Stir together the chicken mixture, egg, saltines, and Italian seasoning. Cover and chill 20 minutes.

Shape the mixture into 1 inch balls. Place a rack coated with cooking spray in an aluminum-foil lined broiler pan. Arrange meatballs on rack. Lightly spray meatballs with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 13 minutes, or until golden.
Saute mushrooms in olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat (8-10 minutes). Add minced garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add wine, stirring up brown particles from bottom of pan. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cream cheese, whisking until the sauce is smooth and thickened.

Cook pasta while sauce is reducing. Follow package directions for al dente pasta.

Add meatballs and parsley to sauce and simmer 10 minutes. Serve sauce with meatballs over pasta.
Lots of leftovers for lunch. I'm guessing the meatballs would taste equally good over rice or mashed potatoes.

Friday, April 17, 2009


DISCLAIMER: I apologize for not having a picture of this dish. It disappeared before I could snap one.

Don't be frightened by the word "souffle." First of all, this isn't a true souffle. But the eggs and sour cream help to make it puff and give it something of the texture of one. I love this dish because everyone else loves it as well. It is a standard on our Thanksgiving table, but goes equally well with a ham or a roasted chicken. It stands up to a buffet as easily as it works for a sit-down dinner. I prepare it the day before, up to the point of actually baking it, then let it stand at room temperature an hour before I pop it into the oven, where it bakes for 75 minutes.

If you search online for a recipe for corn casserole, you'll find many like it. I've tried quite a few of the recipes over the years and combined the best of each to come up with this final product. Some people just mix corn and cornbread for a crispy dish; others add chiles to spice things up a bit. We like ours with the souffle texture and the mild flavor of scallions.

Serves 8 - 10
2 eggs, beaten
1 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (15.25 oz) whole kernel corn, drained well
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 scallions, chopped
1 (8.5 oz) package dry corn muffin mix (Jiffy)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 qt casserole dish.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream-style corn, sour cream, and melted butter. Stir in the whole kernel corn, cheese, and scallions. Stir in the corn muffin mix until just moistened.

Bake for 75 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Martha Stewart is one of those icons that you either love or hate. I readily admit I'm in the former camp. As one "anal retentive" to another, I have nothing but the utmost admiration for her abilities in the area of cooking and entertaining. I do not admire those characteristics she shared with the Queen of Mean (Leona H) or excuse her wrongdoings, though I point out that she, unlike many others, was punished for them.

While you may argue that many of her recipes are not her own or are too tedious to be included in your weekly rotation, as the saying goes, "when she's good, she's very good." For a recent family dinner, I made her macaroni and cheese. This is not a mac n' cheese for the faint of heart. Nor is it one that you can eat on a regular basis--not unless you've found a way to flush your arteries after each meal. This is a macaroni and cheese that begins with a pound of pasta and ends up weighing 10 pounds. It is ooey, gooey, rich, decadent, filling, silky, heady, sensuous. You get the picture.

The cheese sauce begins with a simple bechamel to which you add a mixture of shredded Gruyere and sharp cheddar. Depending on the quality of the cheese, it can be somewhat costly. I indulged in a good Gruyere and rounded it out with a preshredded sharp cheddar which I bought in a huge quantity (I froze the rest in 2 cup packages; a vacuum sealer is a great investment). I always prepare too much food and was, at first, skeptical that this would feed 12--especially my family. There was fully half of this left, not because it wasn't gobbled up, but because I served it with a corn souffle, spiral ham, peas, and homemade biscuits and because there's only so much mac n' cheese we mortals can consume in one seating.

I urge you to give this recipe a try. It put to shame all the other macaroni and cheese recipes I've made before (and some of those were mighty tasty). On the website where I found the recipe were many rave reviews. One of those referred to this dish as "crackaroni and cheese," citing its addictive qualities. I'd have to agree.

Please leave a comment if you try this. I'd love to know your opinion.

Macaroni and Cheese (adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook) - serves 12
8 tbs unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
6 slices white bread, crust removed, chopped in food processor
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp Kosher salt, plus more for water
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups (18 oz) grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 oz) grated Gruyere cheee
1 lb elbow macaroni

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter a 3 qt casserole dish and set aside.

Chop the bread and set aside. Melt 2 tbs butter and pour over the bread crumbs; toss and set aside.

Warm the milk in a medium saucepan. Melt the remaining 6 tbs butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring for one minute.

While whisking the flour and butter mixture, gradually add the hot milk. Remember to whisk constantly and to add the hot milk just a little at a time. You will be adding and whisking for 8-12 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 3 cups of the cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups of the Gruyere. Stir until the cheese has melted. Set aside.

Cook the elbow macaroni al dente; you want it cooked on the outside, but underdone on the inside since it will cook further in the oven. Transfer to a colander, rinse under cold water, and drain well.

Stir the macaroni into the cheese sauce, then pour the mixture into the prepared casserole. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup of Gruyere, and the breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then prepare yourself for lots of ooohs and aaaahs.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


If all goes well, I'm sitting on the beach gazing at the Gulf of Mexico, but I wanted to wish you all a very Happy Easter.

This is Isabelle Marie, my beautiful great-niece, and I on Palm Sunday. It's always wonderful to see how much she's grown. She's quite the chatter-box and was resting after her Easter egg hunt. Next time she comes to visit, I've promised her that we can "make something." She was trying to sit at my sewing machine when she made the request, but I think we'll need something a bit simpler first.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I'm not going to say I've never popped open a can of biscuits or whipped up a batch using a box of Bisquick. I have and they've served their purpose. But if you want a real biscuit, one that's slightly sweet, a bit crispy on the outside, but flaky on the inside AND if you don't want to spend a lot of time and effort to get such a biscuit, this is the recipe for you.

One of the secrets to a flaky biscuit is the fat you use; in this case, it's shortening. Another secret is in the mixing. Don't overmix; just mix until the dry ingredients and the wet come together and then knead exactly 20 times! Use a combination of rolling and patting to get the dough to the requisite 3/4 inch, cut out your biscuits and bake no more than 10 minutes, no less than 8.

I whipped up a double batch of these biscuits in no time flat. Leftovers were revived in the microwave the next day and with butter and honey made a lovely accompaniment to my morning tea.

Makes 12 biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Beat the egg with the milk and stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Turn onto a well-floured surface and knead just 20 times.

Roll and pat to 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Serve warm.

Friday, April 3, 2009


When I woke this morning, I was thinking about my next few posts. Before I was halfway through my first cup of coffee, I learned that I'd been tagged by Ria ( to come up with 25 facts about me. That part is easy; editing out what I don't care to share proved a bit more troublesome. So here, in no particular order, are 25 facts about me that are rated G
1. I wanted to be a teacher almost from the time I could talk. I subjected my sisters and cousins to school--with homework--and I brooked no argument from anyone. It was easier to rein my class in since I'm the oldest in the family. When it came time to go to college, I decided the LAST thing on earth I wanted to be was a teacher. Old habits die hard, though, and I taught for 14 years before becoming a school principal.

2. I remember my Easy Bake oven and the gourmet food I prepared in it. Even before I was old enough for an Easy Bake, I would prepare food using Play-do. Food was destined to be a big part of my life.

3. We grew up poor, but happy, in a family that loved to eat, sing, and talk. People who don't know my family or me well don't get that we can follow more than one conversation at a time.

4. I am a perpetual student. A "child of the sixties," I decided in senior year of high school that I did not want to go to college. I wanted to study to become a bi-lingual secretary, then a translator. P.S. I ended up getting my B.A., M.A., M.S., and Ed. D. If Columbia were closer to home, I'd still be auditing courses.

5. I love cats. I currently have 2 fur babies, Molly Bloom and Pittypat. They are spoiled rotten and have the run of the house.

6. I love to learn new quilting techniques and so I have a big collection of books; I take lessons, online and at my guild; and, I've returned to a lot of handwork recently, though I still love using the machine to piece.

7. I began teaching when I was just 19 years old. I was still working toward my B.A., but Catholic schools were in dire need of teachers, so I was hired. Over the years, I taught second grade, seventh grade, fifth through eighth grade reading, and high school English. I've also taught as an adjunct professor.

8. I can't remember a time when I didn't want to lose a few pounds. I've always had an hourglass figure, though, as my friend Geri would say, the time has redistributed itself. I haven't been thin enough in about 10 years and am always looking to take off 15-20 pounds.

9. It saddens me that young people don't read as much as they should or value education for education's sake.

10. I am appalled by misuse of the past participle. I cringe when I hear things like: I should have WENT; I SEEN my friend; I should have DRANK.

11. I am curious why men pick their noses so much and women don't.

12. I'm at the point in my life when I don't want to eat bad food and I've become incredibly picky about the restaurants we frequent. As a result, lunch is my favorite meal. You have a better shot at getting a good wrap or burger or pizza than you do a good dinner.

13. It is true that you can tell a great deal about a person's social status by looking at his or her shoes--not the style so much as the condition. Are they polished? Are the heels scuffed? Are they made of leather? (OK, maybe that makes me a little bit of a snob.)

14. I'm a Cancer, a moonchild, and very loyal to my friends and loved ones.

15. Like Elizabeth Taylor, I used to marry the men I loved (instead of just living with them) . Currently, I'm in a 12 year relationship that is stable. I've outgrown the need to marry to conform.

16. I always dreamed of living in a log home and my dream came true 5 years ago. While we didn't build our home, it is nearly perfect for us. We live on 4.5 acres in the woods. The rooms that need to be large--the living areas--are. The bedrooms, while smaller, are just right for us. I have my own sewing/computer room. I love looking out the front windows at the wild turkey, hawks, deer, and the occasional red fox.

17. I believe in volunteering to share what talents one has. I'm about to begin a new commitment in my hometown which strives to help the disabled and elderly with some basic needs--companionship, rides to doctors' appointments and to shop, and some around-the-house assistance. My role will be to coordinate the efforts of other volunteers and to do most of the paperwork involved.

18. I love to read. I used to read mostly murder/mystery, but have branched out to truly trashy romance novels and the occasional nonfiction book. Periodically, I reread the classics, but after teaching English for 10 years, I could recite many of them.

19. I love blogging and wish I'd had the time to do it while I was working. I always said I had enough stories after a 35 year career to write a book. I even have an outline of one, but so far have just written a few recollections.

20. While I don't do as much of it now as I'd like, I've traveled extensively. A few of the places I've visited are: Morocco, China, Vietnam, Bangkok, France, England, Ireland, Spain, Israel, Egypt, Italy (of course), Alaska, Hawaii (been there over a dozen times), and lots of mainland states.

21. Longboat Key, Florida is my second home. Every time I ride over the Ringling Bridge I'm amazed at how lucky I am to have a place there.

22. I'm spiritual, but not religious in the sense of being a weekly churchgoer. I despise the fact that religion has been at the root of so much conflict and war throughout the ages. I believe in the power of prayer.

23. When sabbaticals were still being granted, I had made the decision to apply for a sabbatical so that I could attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. I reasoned that after a year, I could decide to continue, or return to teaching. That year, I was offered my first administrative position and the culinary arts became the "road not taken."

24. I love music. A dream as a child was to become an opera singer. While I had a good first soprano and the chest for it, I certainly wasn't good enough for that vocation.

25. I've been retired 5 years and am "antsy" at this point. My resume has been sitting on my desk for a few months as I ponder if I want to do consulting or teaching or......? Like the man says at the end of Pretty Woman: ya gotta have a dream!

WOW! That was hard work. Part of me doesn't want to "burden" others with this task; yet, it was eye-opening to see what I've written. So.....instead of going to my "usual suspects," I'm tagging these foodie friends whose blogs I've been lurking around for this 25 things about me "me-me": Mike, a new father, spans the globe with his recipes. Lisa, the eponymous Homesick Texan, has a fabulous site with great recipes. It makes me want to hop on a plane so I can be there for dinner. Gabi, with a history of good cooks in her background, has been blogging for a while and has a wonderful "recipe box."

Please visit their blogs; you'll be glad you did.