CUCINA CARA MIA.......Random thoughts from "my dear kitchen" about food, travel, Italy, San Diego and life!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Family photos of the Tancredi clan - my daughter Alessandra and my brother Louis over the summer. The family playing games yesterday drinking lots of wine. My sister Lisa , the new blogger is on the left. My sister Laura in the kitchen -the hostess for Thanksgiving dinner.

Yesterday morning I served homemade blueberry oat bars...they seemed to be a hit...I think it was the large amounts of butter and brown sugar that made them taste sooo good.

Big news- My sister Lisa has caught the blogging bug.. She started her first blog called Morning Girl-check her link out on the left. At least someone in the family gets what this "blogging" addiction is all about.

Our thanksgiving dinner at my sister Laura's was way more fun than usual.. Of course, the food was plentiful and delicious. The best part was all the games we played. My sister Lisa is a manufacturer's rep for various toy companies- the whole family played Garage Band - a fun game about all types of music trivia, then Apples to Apples, an award winning game of comparison. Later the Karaoke machine came out and the wanna be singers in the group showed their talents!!

Of course, I was the only one who refused to put a mike in front of my face-it wasn't that the wine wasn't flowing, I just can't SING!!
Great times were had and we all went to sleep with a little bit of indigestion.
Hope you all had a great on to the Christmas decorating.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

In honor of Thanksgiving, only one week away, it is time to thank some of the awesome women whose blogs I have enjoyed and who have so nicely and regularly commented on my blog the last 7 -1/2 half months. In no particular order-

Janie @ Panini Girl
Twyla @ Two Crazy Crafters
Laura @ Shorehouse Chic
Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti
Lisa @ The Coastal Nest
Julia @ Jules Sand Castle
Linda @ Lime in the Coconut
Sabina @ Barefoot in the Orchard

All of your blogs are unique, creative, sometimes funny, and always inspiring. I really look forward to reading them. If you are not familiar with them, click on the links on the left. You will love them too!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you my blogging friends, and to your families.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I am sooo excited. My friend Janet and I drove up to Santa Monica today. Ina Garten was signing her new cookbook at a Williams-Sonoma store on Montana Avenue. We arrived at 11:15AM with Starbucks in hand. The signing was to take place between Noon and 2Pm. There were probably 200 people waiting already when we got to the end of the line. We stood on line for about an hour and a half. Much to our delight, Williams-Sonoma employees passed out samples of some of the recipes in her new cookbook: Parmesan and Thyme crackers, Raisin pecan oatmeal cookies, Mango Banana daquiris (without alcohol) and Tagliarelle with truffle butter. Everything was very structured. They sold 1300 books while we were there! She was very nice for the brief moment I had eye contact with her. She looks just like she does on TV. Warm and lovely, and so cute.
The woman in the photo is not me-her name is Fran and we met her standing in line. She purchased the book for her sister who is a big Ina fan.
After Janet and I had lunch we headed back home! Now I have all six Ina's cookbooks and look forward to getting inspired again.
Thank you Ina!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Rapid City, South Dakota, where a blizzard had practically shut down the city. My best friend of 45 years lives there with her family. I needed a little escape from my life here in San Diego and I have never been to South Dakota, so I planned a trip over the long weekend.

She lives in the Black Hills, home to many historical sites, as well as a lot of wildlife. Deer were everywhere. We took her two grandchildren to Mount Rushmore. We visited a beautiful Native American museum. Her grandchildren are half Sioux Indian. The second photo is a case filled with all types of beads that Native Americans use to make amazing jewelry, ceremonial clothing, and other adornments. Doesn't it look like bowls of candy!
Linda and I drove to Deadwood on Sunday, an old western town, that now offers gambling and beautiful mountain scenery. They got 4 feet of snow in the blizzard, We had breakfast at Diamond Lil’s Gambling Emporium, owned by Kevin Costner…All of his movie memorabilia lined the walls.. Of course, we did some shopping…and visited the graves of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.

Do you find that when you get together with old friends, you talk about the old days? Linda found the journal she brought on our trip to Europe... We were laughing and remembering all the fun experiences we had at the ripe young page of 19…..the people we met, the weird food we had to eat (because we were so poor), the fights we had and the guys we fell in love with after spending one night on a very crowded train with them.

Later in the evening we discussed our wrinkles, covering our grey hair, menopause and belly fat. Sound fascinating?…..NOT!.

South Dakota is a beautiful place, especially in the snow…it was great reminiscing with Linda, but I needed to get back to my warm weather, sure enough we landed, the sun was shining and it was a lovely 68 degrees. Home!