Baked Eggplant with Tomato and Mozzarella

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How quickly time passes… last week I was vacationing in the beautiful surroundings of Italy and now…well, it’s all a cherished memory as I work my way back into the daily routines of my life.  Yet, I brought back a different me from this trip.  A woman who once feared venturing out alone, pretty low on the confidence pole and decision doubting, to a renewed, refreshed, totally in awe of life and beauty, humbled by my inner strength and a new amore la vita, love of life! Continue reading “Baked Eggplant with Tomato and Mozzarella”

The Best Homemade Pita Bread

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Can you pass up freshly baked bread? I can easily pass on the bread basket served at most restaurants, unless with one sniff as the basket is laid before me, it’s freshly baked, warm from the oven.  Then I need to immediately rethink my ordering to balance out the bread.  I am one of those, do not combine foods girl.  That means no protein and carbs at the same meal.  Yes, it gets tricky with sandwiches and spaghetti and meatballs, but I’ve done it for so many years, I hardly think about it.  When I eat pasta, I eat pasta!!  but no meatballs!

And when I eat bread, it has to be worth every bite.  There is a pita bread that I so love and miss from Ohio that every time I visit I have to bring some back with me.  They make it ultra thin, soft with a slightly chewy texture.  I can eat them warm from the oven, toasted for a crisp crunch, topped with a tossed salad, perfect with hummus and especially good paired with a warm brie which we enjoyed over the holidays.  Continue reading “The Best Homemade Pita Bread”

Savory Sundried Tomato and Herb Biscotti

Savory Sundried Tomato biscottiStep aside crackers, a new love has entered into this Spicegirl’s life.  Happy hour has just gotten a bit happier.  Wine and cheese met a savory new companion to take to the party.  The flavors mingled, flirted and fell in love.

You never know when someone special will come into your life, in just a wink of an eye, a casual smile, a knowing look.  Or in this case, an unexpected email, from a Savoring follower, describing a savory cracker recipe full of butter that she wondered could be possibly made into a biscotti? Continue reading “Savory Sundried Tomato and Herb Biscotti”

Gorgonzola Grape Salad

Gorgonzola Grape SaladHave you ever been to one of those Brazilian or Argentinian Steak Houses?  You know, when you have to prepare yourself days ahead eating light foods so that you can enjoy, or at least get a portion of your money’s worth, at these all-you-can eat Churrascaria restaurants!

Since my return to Florida, I’ve been invited several times out to dine till I die at Texas di Brazil, which is coincidentally located at The Villages of Gulfstream Park, so that once you’re filled up on food, you can stroll all the shops, boutiques and casino.  (Feel free to click on the Village link and listen to the music as you read this…just as I am while typing this out! Continue reading “Gorgonzola Grape Salad”

Pumpkin Granola

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On the positive side of all my recent relocations, I’ve definitely downsized, including my pantry.  Over the last year and a half, my pantry stores the basics for healthy Mediterranean style cooking and baking.  I prepare meals mostly from scratch so having good quality basic ingredients on hand; I can easily pull together a simple and delicious meal. Continue reading “Pumpkin Granola”

Italian Fried Dough

Fried…dough…really?  Just around the time when those healthy eating resolutions are starting to weigh heavy (no pun intended) and that strong willpower is beginning to weaken….ooh, I am so sorry.

But just take a bite…a little bite….warm and soft with a sweet sugary kiss on the lips.  If you grew up on these as I did, it is a sentimental kiss, one that warms my soul with precious memories. Continue reading “Italian Fried Dough”

Puttin’ On The Ritz: Spiced Pecans

Have you ever stayed at the Ritz Carlton and tasted their spiced pecans? Oh my heavens, they are addicting but oh so good!

I recently spent a few days at the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation where I was surrounded by nature and Southern charm.  My balcony overlooked a tranquil lake and inside my room was the ultimate comfy bed with crisp white linens, the softest downy pillows and a little glass jar of these naughty pecans! Continue reading “Puttin’ On The Ritz: Spiced Pecans”

Roasted Mahi Mahi Bites

There are three little words I hear so often.  No, it’s not those three little words.  Not the ones you long to hear and melt your heart.  No, it’s three little words my son has always said to me….”will I like it?”  

It doesn’t have the same deep meaning and significance of those other three words but it warms my heart nonetheless as he places his trust in me for the answer.  There are times when I’ve told him that he may not like something as I know there are some ingredients in it he has not liked in the past but to give it a try anyway.

And so the question was asked the other day when I placed this in front of him.  Yes, Adam, you will like these.  You will like these as an appetizer, as part of a buffet or as a meal itself.  I’ve made these several times in the past, obviously when Adam was not around to recall how much he really did like them…alot.  I know this when the plate is empty and he’s made several comments on how good they taste! Continue reading “Roasted Mahi Mahi Bites”

Peachlove: Peach and Basil Gazpacho

It’s Peachlove month with the Love Bloghop!  I am happy to be back hosting again with this group of awesome bloggers.  Each month they select the “love” ingredient to be used as a main part in the recipe.

I was thrilled to see that August was dedicated to the Peach since I’ve moved from the “orange” state to the “peach” state!  While I’ve purchased some Georgia peaches at Trader Joes, I’ve been looking forward to finding some fresh markets to visit.   It’s been on my long to do list and with Gina’s visit, I made it a definite plan to search for a market. Continue reading “Peachlove: Peach and Basil Gazpacho”

Polenta Fries

I just had one of the best weekends since I’ve been here in Atlanta!  It didn’t have anything to do with where I went or what I ate, but simply because my baby girl came “home” to visit!

It’s been a few months since I saw Gina when she flew up for a weekend in May while Adam and I were staying in Buckhead.  This time it felt more “family” and real as she began to decorate her room and helped me in hanging some pictures around the house.  While we did get out exploring, shopping and dining, the moments spent smiling and laughing together were those I cherish most.  Even the banter between my kids, they are so different in so many ways, had in the past drove me crazy, now felt so comforting.  Either it’s that they are getting older or the relocation and distance has caused a change of attitude as I noticed a certain softening between them.  Just enough to make me very happy 🙂 Continue reading “Polenta Fries”