Summer is officially over and it is the start of a beautiful fall in the Midwest.  The fall palette of colors that unfolds when I step out the door is overwhelming with its beauty. There are so many variations of colors.   The trees range from bright green to fiery red to a mustard yellow.  The brown and tan cornfields seem relaxed after a long hard summer.  And the fall wouldn’t be complete without seeing a bright orange pumpkin patch setting the mood for the fall harvest. As much as I love the fall, I will miss this summer.  The colors I enjoyed this summer cameRead More →

Do you watch the Emmys?  I do.  Of all the award shows it is probably my favorite.  (Except maybe when TV Land does anything that involves shows from the 70’s.) I like to watch television (Gasp!) so I actually know some of the shows/characters that are nominated each year.  I don’t know a lot of the nominees because I also watch a lot of non-Emmy worthy programming.  (Also known as, reality television.) So each year when I watch the awards, there are plenty of shows and actors that I have not personally seen.  (By a lot, I mean, anyone on HBO, PBS or with anRead More →

I am Barbara Felt-Miller and I approved this post. It is an election year and you can’t look anywhere without seeing something about the candidates.  I understand that voting process is complicated.  (I did see every School House Rock.)  The part I don’t understand is why is there so much “smack talking.” People these days seem to always be talking about bullying and how it needs to stop.  Why doesn’t that mentality apply to election campaigns?  Isn’t all the name-calling and negative advertisements just a form of bullying? Why do people need to tear each other apart to prove that they are the better candidate? Read More →

As I promised last year, I was going to let you all know about some food event opportunities BEFORE they happen in case you were interested in attending. With that said, I wanted to remind you that Chicago Gourmet is in less than two weeks and tickets are still available.  This is a great event for Chicagoans (obviously) but I encourage my small town readers to plan a trip to the city for this one!  You won’t regret it!  (Or ever forget it!) Chicago Gourmet is special to me because it was my first BIG gourmet event and it introduced me to so many fabulousRead More →

If you haven’t guessed by now, I was far from “cool” when I was a teenager.  (I’m far from cool as an adult too but I embrace it now.)  I wasn’t the gal with the coolest clothes or the best hair.  And I was far from being as sophisticated as any of my peers.  (Part of that was being a late bloomer…I’m still waiting to bloom obviously.) I think I felt my coolest in my junior year of high school mostly because I had a friend, Tina.  She was a year younger than me but she was funny, uninhibited AND cool!!  She was great atRead More →

Meatballs.  Did you ever see that movie from 1979?  I wasn’t feeling well the other day and it was on one of the “classic” movie channels.  (I always feel old when movies I grew up with end up on the classic channels.) I couldn’t resist cuddling up in my woobie and watching the whole thing.  I’ve seen it numerous times since I was a kid but it is fun to watch movies like that at different ages in your life.  (I never did see it in the theatre.  I was too young.) My dad had rented it on VHS in the early 80’s and IRead More →

I love Italian food but it is not something I actively seek when I am eating in restaurants.  I am spoiled from years of my family’s cooking.  It is rare that something can compare to the flavor’s I grew up eating.  (I was never picky when it came to Mom’s sauce.) Over the years, I like to think I have learned to mimic what I saw and tasted in the kitchen.  (I’m sure my great grandfather would have loved the sauce I made from ingredients only in my garden.) But there is one dish that I never seem to make at home as good asRead More →

Every now and then I get an email from a person asking if I could use more “prepared” items in my recipes.  I’ve gotten suggestions about potato buds (what part is the bud?) And hints about modern conveniences like pre-cooked bacon and dehydrated onions.  There are even stir-in mixes that can make your food taste like you are magically in a café in Paris.  (Okay, that was a little sarcastic and maybe a bit snooty, sorry.) I understand that everyone is busy.  I do things the “long” way because I have the time to do so.  Part of my joy in cooking is standing overRead More →