It wasn’t until age 32 that I ate my first stuffed bell pepper. I even made it myself.
Neither of our parents made stuffed peppers. In fact, my mom hated peppers. Stuffed peppers became like eggplants in my mind. I added them to the list of foods I watched TV chefs prepare in utter fascination and hoped to try someday when I was older.
On a recent trip to the library I rented Nonna’s House which compiles recipes from the Italian grandmothers who work at Enoteca Maria, a restaurant in Staten Island. At Enoteca Maria, Italian grandmothers take turns leading the kitchen and sharing their family recipes. One evening I prepared my first batch of stuffed peppers following Margherita Amato’s recipe. They baked up beautifully and tasted even better. We enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This post is sponsored by Farmer Girl Meats.
When Leslie, a third-generation beef producer and owner of Farmer Girl Meats asked if I wanted to partner on a recipe post, I gladly said “Yes.”
Farmer Girl Meats offers a delivery service for Kansas and Missouri pasture-raised meats including beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. Or, if you live near her farm in Warrenton, MO, you can also pick-up your order. Leslie offered to send me two pounds of ground beef from her family’s farm where their cows feed on native prairie grasses. Meat delivery to St. Louis costs $5 per order, or $25 per year, unlimited. She let me try it out for free. Learn more about delivery here.
I’ve been riding a baked doughnut pan roller coaster of emotions.
I have always loved doughnuts. In fact, I even work at a specialty doughnut shop. The owner typically makes fried cake and yeast donuts, but also bakes these little, gluten-free donuts on Fridays. I’ve never tried one because they’re in such high demand and limited quantities; I want the people who actually need them to have them. What I have noticed is that they are light in texture and fluffy. I began to assume baked donuts were all just so.
Baked donuts enticed me at work while baked doughnut recipes filled my social media feeds. Finally, I bought a doughnut pan for myself. It only cost about $7 on Amazon. When the package arrived, I ripped open the box with zeal and admired my new pan. I hugged the pan and reassured it that we’d have a happy life together.
One thing that’s not a mystery: How much I love ham.
Growing-up, I looked forward to our family’s Easter dinner because of ham. Partly because of that cheesy potato hot dish topped with crushed corn flakes, but mostly because of ham. The leftovers were the best.
The good thing about preparing a ham is that it’s really, really easy. It’s already cooked, so all you have to do is heat it through and add some sauce. Our family was divided over raisin sauce. Half loved it and the other half hated it, reaching for the mustard instead. My favorite glaze combines the best of both worlds: Sweet fruit jam and mustard.
Ham ramblings aside, here’s a guide to all of my recipes that include ham. You’ll find my first adventure cooking a giant ham to ideas for using up your leftovers.
Do you ever just want to eat pasta salad? I’m having a lot of deep questions this week:
- Do you ever just want to drink Lambrusco? You know, the good stuff, like they serve at Olive Garden.
- Do you ever just want to buy those frozen potato disc puffs shaped like happy faces?
- Do you ever just want to wear something Bedazzled?
- Do you ever just want to eat a corn dog?
I didn’t end up caving for Lambrusco, potato happy faces, Bedazzled clothing or a corn dog, but I did make pasta salad.