April 2016

Spring Sneezing

As April showers are replaced with May flowers, many of us rejoice at the thought of spring being fully sprung.

And then there are the more than 50 million Americans who dread the blossoms on the trees, the pollen in the air because for them, spring doesn’t bring flights of fancy, but rather boxes of tissues for their runny eyes and noses.

Seasonal allergies are no joke. According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation, allergies cost more than $14 billion each year. That’s a lot of sneezing!

Is there any relief that doesn’t involve you feeling like the walking dead?

Amazing Asparagus

Just when you think there isn’t one more thing you can love about spring, along come the first tender stalks of asparagus, the surest sign of the season after tulips.  After a long winter hiatus, the first limbs of this wonderful vegetable are as welcome as the first warm rays of sun on winter-weary skin. 

The Loveliness of Lemons

In Chinese medicine, lemons are a key ingredient in remedies used to aid the liver in its functions of ridding our bodies of toxins, as well as regulating the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.  The delicately sour flavor and astringent character of lemon juice has made it an important ingredient in home remedies for centuries. When the liver is functioning at its best, our bodies are metabolizing properly and circulation is unimpeded by toxins.  The result is we stay cooler and fresher in hot weather…and warmer and more comfortable in cold weather.

The Art of Artichokes

Growing up in an Italian family (yes, I am half Irish, but we were all about the Italian food…), artichokes were a staple of our diet. As a kid, I was so perplexed by people who joined us for a Sunday feast and were unsure of how to approach this gorgeous veggie. We dove into them, dragging the leaves across our teeth, enjoying the buttery flesh at the base of each leaf. My grandfather, who adored artichokes (the only vegetable I can remember him eating…), used to play the same trick on us kids week after week. We fell for it every time.

Loving Your Liver

Truly warm days of summer seem a distant dream at the moment, but there is a shift in the energy around us. You can feel it if you really pay attention. The sun feels warmer; the buds more visible on tree branches; the nights seems a little less frigid. 

Check Out Chives

I know what you’re thinking.  She’s become desperate…she has no idea what to write about anymore, so she is writing about garnishes.  Well, nothing could be further from the truth.  Chives are so much more than the graceful slivers dressing your dinner plate.

The Joy of Cooking…Redux!

When I was a kid, we “ate out”…in a real restaurant once a year…on my mother’s birthday. It was her day not to cook. We ate at the same Polynesian restaurant each time as she loved what she considered their exotic food.


Otherwise, she cooked. Or I cooked. Or my Nonna cooked. Or an aunt, uncle or cousin cooked. Regardless, we cooked and ate at home.


Pizza night? They made the dough and the pizzas.


Onion rings or French fries? They made them from scratch.


Cookies? Baked in our kitchen.