Sunday Dinner: Italian Gravy

Italian Gravy before simmeringA few years ago, I took a trip to the east coast with my parents.  My dad was going to attend Thrillerfest in New York City, and we decided to make a week of it and stop in Philadelphia for a couple days first.  My boss recommended a few restaurants because she is from Pennsylvania, and we were well fed our whole trip.

The most memorable stop was Dante and Luigi’s, the oldest Italian restaurant in Philly.  They had a terrific lunch special with a choice of entree, salad, and an option for pasta with “gravy.”  Having never heard of this, I opted for something more safe, but my dad, not one to pass up gravy, went for it. It was easily the best thing on the table.  Basically, it was a rich, red tomato sauce with tons of meaty flavor, but no meat!   Continue reading


Chocolate Matcha Babka A.K.A. Cake for Breakfast

Chocolate Matcha BabkaI was inspired to bake babka because of the Seinfeld episode, The Dinner Party. In the episode, the gang is going to a dinner party, and Jerry and Elaine are attempting to purchase a chocolate babka to bring.  When the bakery runs out of chocolate, they are forced to purchase cinnamon, which, according to Elaine, is the lesser babka.  Jerry disagrees, stating that “cinnamon takes a backseat to no babka.”

So, being tempted by this debate, I had to have a taste-off.  But first, I had to find out what the heck babka is. Continue reading

Portabella Mushroom & Black Bean Tacos

Mushroom and Black Bean TacosI haven’t had time to write in a long time.  I have been creating/revamping dozens of lessons since my district has not purchased curriculum that meets the Common Core Standards.  So, that is my excuse, and I’m sorry!

The positive thing that has come out of being so darn busy is that I have also had very little time to cook.  This means that I have had to get creative with some quick and easy recipes because I can only eat so much roasted salmon and broccoli.  One of our new all-time favorites is roasted portabella mushroom and black bean tacos. These are super easy and will satisfy even the most devoted carnivore because of the savory, hearty mushrooms.  Topped with quick-broiled peppers and onions and a delicious lime sour cream, these tacos will soon be a go-to meal for a busy weeknight. Continue reading

Healthy Start Updates, Plus Green Tea & Chia Energy Drink

Aloha Belly ChallengeYou all may remember my vow to have a healthy start to my school year.  I am happy to report the exercise portion of my plan has been going swimmingly. I completed my 21-day exercise commitment and bought a Misfit Shine to boot!   Continue reading