Todd's Delicious Orange Cookies

If I had several lives to live, I would be a gourmet cook in one of them.  Boy, my husband would love that!  I grew up in a big family where the litmus test of a good recipe were affirmative answers to each of the following questions:

1) Can it be doubled easily?

2) Is it inexpensive to make?

3) Are the ingredients “normal”?

4) Can it be made in the crock pot or very quickly?

5) Can some ready-made food be included (boxed potatoes, for example…)

When I got married, these “test” questions came with me.  I’ll never forget one of the first meals I served my newly-wed, Italian, lover of made-from-scratch-food husband: Shepherd’s Pie.  Made from scratch, of course, with boxed mashed potatoes on top.  I love to tell this story on my husband (with his permission):  We were eating the meal and I asked him if he liked it.

Todd:  “Yes, it’s good.  We just didn’t have any potatoes in the house, right?”

Me:  “What? Yes, I have potatoes.”

Todd:  “Oh, okay… I just thought we didn’t have any potatoes in the house.”

Me (flabbergasted): “What??  You mean you wanted me to make this with real mashed potatoes??”

Well, the story gets better.

It appeared at first that my loving husband (who lived on ramin noodle soup in college) didn’t know his way around the produce section of a grocery store, let alone the kitchen.  I would constantly be annoyed as he would suggest different spices and ingredients for my food.  But, as it turns out, he has an incredible knack for cooking and baking!  Everything that he has ever made turns out to be delicious!!  He is now taking semi-weekly cooking lessons from his Italian Grandma and Great-Aunt with amazing results!  I’ll be posting some of his cooking adventures (as well as my own) here.

Why Gluten-Free?

We had no idea until recently that my dad and at least three of my siblings had a gluten intolerance.  Talk about a change of lifestyle!  They are handling it quite well, though, and are experimenting with all kinds of gluten-free (and dairy-free) recipes.  I’ll be posting some of their favorites here, as well.



Tea Parties

Ever since visiting my dear friend, Heather, in Scotland (while she and her family lived there for a brief time), I have been absolutely hooked on tea!  I don’t currently have any daughters, but I am grateful that my husband loves to drink tea and make scones with me, and our three-year-old son has even given tea a try!  My mom, my sisters, and my “southern mom” (dear Atlanta friend) and I all LOVE putting on tea parties.  Look for themed tea party ideas, photos, recipes, and suggestions from all of us here.  I will also post about tea rooms in the Pittsburgh area.



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