Everyone has a story. A personal journey that leads us on a winding path of self-discovery, drawing upon our innermost desires and passions. Food has always been one of my passions and several years back, I created this blog to share my family recipes, some new, some old. Having started this blog essentially for my daughter when she first left for college, many seasons of our lives have filled these posts. And for us, food naturally mingles together in our most cherished memories.
Just as I was raised on healthy home cooked Italian meals, fresh vegetables and herbs from my father’s garden, I continued my Sicilian heritage with my children, family and friends. I was always aware of selecting organic, seasonally fresh vegetables and fruit, organic dairy and lean protein. Mainly, because they just tasted so much better! However, as I became more aware of what was actually in my food, I began searching out only grass-fed, non-GMO, no antibiotics, no hormones, no steroids….to the point of waking up one morning, Mother’s Day, 2015, declaring to myself; why even bother eating animal products…I’ll just eat plants, fruit and grains!
And so, it began. My blog pretty much stalled in place as my recipes changed. I searched out plant alternatives and became plant based certified through the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course from Rouxbe. A whole new excitement built up in me as I now had a new arena of beautiful, colorful ingredients to prepare my meals. Needless to say, those close to me, as in, those who enjoyed my cooking and baking, were not as thrilled. Worries over never having my cheesecakes again, meatballs, pizza and holiday Italian dinners bombarded me daily!
I have been plant based now for several years. It didn’t take much time before my son followed and then my daughter. No one seems to complain much about missing my former meals. We have plant based holidays, rich, decadent desserts, and a fridge full of gorgeous ingredients. I can honestly say, from that first day I declared my new style of eating, I have not, intentionally, had any meat or dairy cross my lips. I add that intentionally disclaimer, as I questioned my early restaurant visits in whether or not some dairy slipped into my food!
How do I feel? AMAZING Would I every go back? N O W A Y
I could never put animal protein back into my body. I could never imagine taking advantage of animals for my eating pleasure; which truthfully doesn’t even sound pleasurable to me now.
I truly believe eating plant based is healthy, flavorful, and extremely satisfying. Cravings caused by sugar and chemicals are gone. Eating to Live replaced Living to Eat. My passion for food is enhanced by my passion for health through an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits.
So, it is with this belief and many months contemplating the fate of this blog, I decided rather than delete my small blog of memories, I will attempt to recreate, one by one, each post – “veganizing” the recipes if possible, hopefully with improved photos and new memories. I wish to not offend anyone coming to my “vegan” site and seeing omnivore recipes; they are merely there as part of my journey. And possibly…. yours as well!
You, your food, your family, and now your blog… all so wonderful!!!!
Only you could be so creative! I admire this in you and your “jump” to pass on this love to your children. Congrats and good luck!
You are so incredile. Mark, Stephen, Ken and I are reviewing your site now and so IMPRESSED!!! I love the new layout, absolutely gorgeous design. You are my new favorite website. I made some wonderful fritattas this weekend, you would have been impressed.
The guys are drolling and want to come with Ken and I in May!!!!
Love you and miss you!
Just looked back at your site. Wow, it looks wonderful – and what great recipes. Congrats on your continued success. Yum!
wow, girl, I just love your site and I will be scanning all these great recipes..thank you!!!! Have a great Memorial Day Week-end!!!! keep on a keepin on!!!!!And, as a harley rider, ride like the wind……..Peace be with you and your family!
Love this! So jealous of your location in FL. We used to live in West Palm and I miss it so much. Especially year round planting of herbs and all the local produce stands.
What a blog!! woop woop. I love it just a little! Glad I found you
Linda brings to her food and blog what she brings to people that are lucky enough to have met her. She is real and what she writes is real too. Try her recipes and you to will know what I am talking about.
Keep on blogging Spicegirl… Que Rico!!
Lisa (Smart Food and Fit)
Hey paisano! My parents are from central Italy. We eat pasta every Sunday too! I try to go to church every Sunday with the kids and then pasta later for dinner, the kids love Sunday pasta dinners!
My mom never baked traditional Italian desserts! My aunts that lived an hour away are the ones that always did the baking. I was so jealous of my cousins when my aunts would teach them how to make homemade Italian food and desserts. So I took it upon myself to learn how to make it from Italian cookbooks or from my aunts recipes. Though I like to play around with it to lighten it up a bit. For instance, I try not to use so much olive oil, seriously like half the can is gone just from one meal when my dad cooks!
Keep on blogging Spicegirlfla, you have amazing recipes on your site!
I just found your blog and think I will come here for recipes and food inspiration instead of my cookbooks. I cannot wait to try some of the recipes.
Your recipes look awesome!!! Could be a great experiment for me!
I created a separate food blogroll and added you to it! 🙂
Thanks so much for posting to my blog! What a fantastic blog you’ve created. Such beautiful fresh recipes. Love it!
Where in FL do you live? It looks like where my parents live in Jupiter…but then I guess most of florida’s residential area’s look similar, hehe.
The Orange Bee
Hi Linda, My name is also Linda – ha! I received a message from you that I didn’t approve is it is a very strange bunch of words and google interspersed for quite a few lines. Please try to message me again – I’d like to approve but don’t think it looks right. Internet snafu I’m sure. Glad to have found your blog – I bookmarked you to my favs! Have a glorious day and weekend!
I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award 🙂
It’s been a pleasure reading you and I appreciate all the support you have given me on my blog.
Thank you so much! I’m very flattered you thought of me!
Your website is great. I spoke to you on the phone with Maritza a few weeks ago. The website is great. I wish I had more time to cook. Hope to see you soon.
Hey! I nominated you for Versatile Blogger! Apparently there is a tradition of doing the three following things:
1. Seven random things about yourself
2. Nominate 15 bloggers that you follow
3. put the “Versatile Blogger” picture on your post.
My latest post is about it!
your recipes are wonderful….even used on this Thanksgiving for the stuffing…gave it a few tweeks of my own….but still gave you the credit of coarse! lol…..i would like to suggest that you include pan sizes( ie….9 x 13 or 8 x8 size) and number of servings estimated with the recipes. That would be very helpful to me. Sometimes i am cooking for 7 , sometimes 2…..so it would help in my preparations and shopping. For your eggplant lasagna does that make a full 9 x13 pan?
Thank you Pat! I’m glad you tried out my stuffing – we all tweek recipes to our liking!! I know Ayesha does; I’m just glad to offer inspiration!
I do need to get better on my details! I always try to measure as I go so I can write up the recipes correctly. The pan I used for my lasagna was 9 x 13 for the 2-3 eggplants, etc. I’ve made it smaller with just 1 eggplant tho and for servings, depending on the size of the cuts, I served 6 with leftovers. We had other foods along with the lasagna. Please comment on anything you see, I like to learn what everyone likes!!
ps………….Beautiful Ayesha is my niece! She turned me on to your website! I love it.
As soon as I saw your name, I thought it might be you!! I’m so thrilled you came by to visit my blog!!
Greetings! I’ve just nominated you for the Food Bloggers Unplugged Award. Surprised? I was too. I hope you don’t mind my passing this on. You came to mind because of how you write about food, like every dish is an exotic dance and something filled with zest. Simply return to Granny’s Parlour to retrieve 10 questions. I had a lot of fun doing this light-hearted soul searching this morning. I hope you enjoy it as well. ~ Granny
The Orange Bee
Linda – I too being a wordpress blogger have not figured out exactly how to link to the Citrus fest – blog hop. You mention moving on to self-hosted blogging. Any info you could pass on about that I would appreciate. I’m still not great at figuring out the whole process of blogging, computers, hosts, etc.
my email: email@example.com – Thanks for any help you’d be willing to give!
I see you are already a Versatile Blogger. I nominated you, as well. Love your blog. Love your food! 😉 Lea
What a great intro to a blog. It reminds me to go and update mine!
I am so happy to have found you (via “freshly pressed”)! I’m a fellow Sicilian, and mother of three grown kids. I am a decent cook, but I am at a point in life where I am looking for new, more challenging and more interesting dishes.
Does it count against me that the first recipe of yours I intend to try is the Champagne Mojito?
Molto Bene, I am thinking!
So nice to have you stop by! I think your choice of the Champagne Mojito is perfect!! I hope you enjoy it!! It’s a nice refreshing twist to a glass of champagne!!
Really nice, very nice Linda! A great way to pass down the love of food to your family (espeically your daughter) Congrats.
Thanks so much!
Just found your blog and I love it! It’s great to “meet” another Sicilian – my grandmother was born and raised, but moved to Greece where she met my grandfather and had my dad. Please forgive my nosiness, but I’m moving to S. Florida within the next two years and was wondering if you knew anything about the city of Naples. Would like to get opinions from those who actually live in FL. before I make the official move. 🙂
Nice to meet another Sicilian as well!! Thanks for stopping by. I love the Naples area! I live on the East Coast of Florida but often take weekend trips to the West Coast. I love the shopping and restaurants there! It’s clean and beautiful, the people there are warm and friendly. I would actually love to retire in that area. Sanibel is nearby and a great beachy vacation spot! Good luck!!
Linda, I have nominated your blog for four blog awards. If you do not wish to be included, please respond to this comment and I will be more than happy to remove the link to your blog. J. Boudreaux, http://contemporarymusings.wordpress.com .
I just left you an email to the address listed on this page. Have a great weekend! Just voted…again!
I just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award and I noticed as I scrolled down that you already have the award. Hope this gets you more clicks anyway! http://bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/versatile-blogger-award-and-sunshine-award-yeah/
Oops, I’m confusing myself by juggling two awards at once. I actually nominated you for the Sunshine Award, which I’m not seeing here. That list is way down on my post: http://bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/versatile-blogger-award-and-sunshine-award-yeah/
Leigh, thank you so much! I appreciate your thinking of me and am very flattered!! I will definitely acknowledge this very soon!!
I just discovered your wonderful blog, and cannot wait to try some of your delicious recipes! Keep up the awesome work!
Ellen from NJ
Hope your move has gone OK Linda! Take care…miss coming by here but I totally understand. Life has its priorities and somehow blogging, which takes up a crazy amount of time for no monetary gain, has to slide to the bottom.
We have similar backgrounds and a great love for our heritage and its cuisine. Welcome back to Florida.
everything looks soooooooo yummy !
Hi! Found your blog when searching “Italian Easter egg cookies” and then I happened upon several other familiar recipes such as the fig cookies and the Italian Tu Tu Cookies which sound very much like my Aunt Lil’s (Leonarda’s) Chocolate cookies which she made at Christmas. I too am of Sicilian ancestry with my mother’s parents coming from Salemi in Trapani Sicily which is southwest of Palermo. I am curious where your ancestors were in Sicily just because the recipes are so similiar. By the way, I’ve been experimenting with Easter egg cookies over the years– both recipes and shapes. My family called them “cunaduna,” spelled phonetically but this may just be what we heard! Love your blog and finding many recipes I want to try. I believe I inherited my grandmother’s and my mother’s love of food, family, and celebrations. Hope to hear from you.