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

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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

Easy, Slow Cooker Carnitas

Carnitas Plate 1My uncle is so amazing.  He takes care of my grandparents, who pretty much need care 24/7. He works hard to make sure they have everything they need with very little respite.  My mom, who lives here in California, travels to Hawaii to help as often as she can, but he is the caregiver and our family is super grateful for everything he does for them and us.

I think he enjoys cooking, but dinner ideas can to be a struggle.  It’s hard to be in charge is pretty much every meal every single day.  Last time I talked to him on the phone, he requested a recipe for Mexican food. Since I purchased them a slow cooker last year, I decided to share my slow cooker carnitas recipe.  It is simple to put together and just cooks all day.  It’s perfect for my uncle (or any other busy person) because it doesn’t need tending.

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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Pancakes with Brown Butter Apples

Apple Cinnamon PancakesAs you may remember, John and I like to make a big breakfast on Saturday mornings.  We take this first weekend morning as an excuse to wake up late (7:00 am instead of 5:00), drink coffee in bed, and take some time to make a more time-consuming breakfast dish. This is our lazy time before our Saturday workouts. This week, we decided, was a pancake week.

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