For my daughter’s recent birthday, I asked her what she’d like me to cook and she immediately replied that she wanted the Zucchini & Sausage Penne Pasta that I’ve made for years. It’s a long-time family favorite that never seems to get old and is always a dinner party pleaser. And best of all, it’s an easy and relatively quick meal to prepare!
Earlier this week I celebrated my birthday, and thanks to so many of you, it really was the best day! One of the sweetest presents I got this year was a fantastic collection of recipes, “From Our Kitchens to Yours,” shared by some of my fans.
Okay, for starters, that this group of fans would come together, from places all over the world, to put this together warms my heart. But my favorite part is that each recipe is accompanied by a sweet little story that gives me a glimpse into the lives, heritage and backgrounds of each of the ladies who contributed.
One thing I have always struggled with on this acting life journey is that I don’t get the opportunity to really hear much from the wonderful people who support us. The events are great, but it’s especially hard – knowing people have waited patiently in line to meet us – when we only get to spend a couple of minutes with each person. It all goes too fast, which is why I must confess to not knowing a lot of your names … or at least I’m not always able to put names and faces together. So please forgive me on that …
A Few of Grandma’s Tips
- Vacuum slowly.
- Use steam when ironing.
- For scrambled eggs, put the cracked, unbeaten eggs all in the pan, stir around the yoks until the end and then chop them up.
- To wash your silver, place crinkled foil in the bottom of the sink. Then disolve Spick & Span in hot water and let siver sit in it for a while. (I’ve never tried it, but I’ve never forgotten it … and I’ll take her word for it)
Last month, I asked for some questions and you guys sent in so many good ones! I tackled a bunch in an earlier post, but there were so many, I wanted to come back and take on a few more …
Once again, thank you all for your questions and your continued support!!
In October, I shared with you my quest to get back on the health wagon with the Whole30. Since then, several of you have asked about my experience, so I thought I’d share a little update.
As I said in my original post, I’ve tried so many diets over the years that I’ve lost count. I seem to be perpetually in search of something that will help me stabilize my weight. And for that last 5-10 years, I’ve been in a pretty consistent cycle – I’d be really good during the week and drop a few pounds, only to gain them back over the weekend. Sound familiar?
Who knows how traditions start. Certainly some cooking traditions develop over generations, or, like in the case of my cornbread & sausage stuffing, they take off quickly. In that case, I found the recipe and started a tradition that spread through my family and friends.
However they begin, cooking traditions are fun, and I find it heartwarming to look forward to certain dishes each year.
As I shared before in my blog about Passover, I have always enjoyed the rituals, camaraderie and sense of belonging to a community that comes with Jewish Holiday celebrations. Early on in our marriage, my husband and I were lucky enough to find a group of couple friends who, like us, had one member who was Jewish; and we started celebrating Passover and Hanukkah with this group. My life-long best friend Carrie is among this group, but others are friends we’ve made along the way.
As children were born and families grew, so did our annual celebrations. Over the years, even some of our non-Jewish friends have joined in on what has become our most fun and anticipated party of the year. For a while the the parties were HUGE, but as some families moved away, our group shrunk … and now we are typically about 15.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring … in fact, I love challenging myself to find new and interesting dishes that keep me on track, while also satisfying cravings. I am not a fan of cauliflower, but a couple months ago PLANK editor Mandy shared this great, guilt-free take on pizza that uses cauliflower. I gave it a shot and it was a hit!