Allright, here we are.
i am sharing with all of you and all the world, i suppose, my yummy foods and my history. i am: French, Sicilian, German, Polish, Belgian, Lithuanian, American. (and adopted Irish.) i believe in the rich history, tradition, culture and togetherness passed on through food. i believe in the power food and the act of cooking has to unite families and friends. i also believe that food can be made simple and that some of the finest and most delicious food in the world is "peasant food." i grew up eating very simple food; the simple dishes of the working class European immigrant family. The food that many of us in this country grew up eating. The tried and true, the ones that warm our hearts and our bellies.
With the occasionally more exotic or complicated dish thrown in here or there, you will find simple recipes here. Most of this will not be too difficult to prepare, and you won't need too much special equipment. i will tell you when you do. i'll tell you the shortcuts. Most recipes will be vegetarian, and few will have fish. You should have a rough working knowledge of your kitchen and a few tools and some pots and pans and you're ready to go.
A recommendation: Even if you are a very casual cook, and have no intention to buy yourself a stand mixer or a food processor or even a garlic press, go out and buy yourself an oven thermometer. Almost *all* ovens are fairly off, and some by 50 degrees or more. Ever wonder why your muffins always burn or rise too quickly or why your frozen pizza just never cooks right? It's not you, it's your oven. Go to the store (Target works) and buy an oven thermometer. They're only about $5 and trust me, it's worth it. When you get home, pop that puppy in your oven and set it to 300F. Forget about it for about half an hour or even 45 minutes. Go watch an episode of Law & Order. When it's over, check your oven thermometer. The temperature will then tell you what your oven is doing. Whatever is the difference between the *immediate* reading (dont leave the oven door open and file your nails before you read the temp) and 300F is your adjustment. From now on, always use this figure to adjust your oven for correct temperature. And double and triple check. When you preheat for those magic special brownies, watch another episode of Law & Order while the oven is heating up (with your adjusted number) and make sure you have the temp you need. Trust me, you will be ever so pleased with your newly precise baking results all because of that $5 doohickey.
Allright then, on we go.