"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Good Friday Pasta: Anchovy & Broccoli Rabe #Foodie Friday

good friday pasta: simplelivingeating.com

It is traditional on Good Friday for Italians to eat a simple meatless dish. Some people make fish, others a vegetarian pasta dish made with walnuts, breadcrumbs and olive oil... and some folks make this olive oil based pasta dish which is flavored with anchovy and red pepper flakes. 

Lemon Steamed Spinach: French Fridays with Dorie

Steamed Spinach
Lemon Steamed Spinach

I used this Lemon Steamed Spinach for the first time months ago. It was mentioned on a side bar of the Chicken, Apples, & Cream a la Normande dish. My family enjoyed it, and it goes with everything. I have made this spinach on numerous occasions and guests just love the addition of the lemon zest to the spinach. It just seems to make sauted spinach into a special dish. 

I am a little busy getting ready to host Easter with my family, so I wish you all of you who are celebrating this week: Happy Passover and Happy Easter. 

Au Revoir, 
and off to the grocery store. 

Click here for a Lemon Steamed Spinach recipe. 

Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


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Spring Cleaning: Touch Your Stuff: Simple Living Idea

My Stuff
My Stuff

It is Passover and around most Jewish holidays I find myself reflecting about the time I taught middle school English in a Yeshiva.

When I started working at the school I was aware that Jews were supposed to remove all fermented bread products from their house before Passover, but I was not aware to the extent of the cleaning that some observant Jewish perform.

My classroom was next door to Rabbi Slotkin who taught Torah Studies. He told me that in preparation for Passover he and his family would not only clean their house but ritually touch all of their belongings.

What a way to make you conscious of all you own. 

What a way to make you realize how much you don't need.

What a way to make you appreciate what you have.

So try it.

When you Spring clean this season really try to touch and acknowledge everything you have. I think we too often become immune... not even semi-aware of all the things we have in our possession.

Then make a conscious choice to keep or let go of your stuff.

Happy Spring,

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Join Food Bloggers Against Hunger: Healthy Eating/Weekly Menu Plan

food bloggers against hunger

1 in 6 people in America face hunger.

Food insecurity exists in every county in America.

50.1 million American's struggle to put food on the table.

In response to the release of the documentary: A Place at the Table bloggers are dedicating their April 8th posts towards the awareness of hunger in America.

A Place at the Table
Watch the Movie

If food is at all part of your blog please join us in posting an inexpensive recipe along with asking yourself and your reader's this question:

What would you do if you were hungry?

Weekly Menu Plan:

Sunday: Seafood Risotto & Roasted Asparagus

Monday: Zucchini Quiche & Beet Salad

Tuesday: Dinner at a Scandinavian Restaurant

Wednesday: Roast Pepper Goat Cheese Sausage Raviolis with a Green Salad

Thursday: Chicken Diable with Pan Roasted Turnips

Good Friday: Garlic Anchovy Pasta with Escarole

Saturday: Sushi out

This post is shared on the following link parties:
Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers
Tempt my Tummy @Blessed with Grace
Trick or Treat Tuesday @ Bru Crew Life
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Tasteful Tuesday Party @ Nap Time Creations 
Traditional Tuesdays @ Cooking Traditional Foods
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ SS& GS
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
Tasty Tuesday @ 33 Shades of Green
Tuesday Talent Show @ Chef in Training
Hand Made Tuesday @ Ladybug Blessings
Share it Link Party @ Winthrop Chronicles
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More

Wednesday Food:
What's Cooking Wednesday @ Confessions of Overworked Mom
Wholesome Foods Wednesday @ This Chick Can Cook
Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain 
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Recipe Box @ Bizzy Bakes
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade Mom
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Seasonal Celebration @ Natural Mother's Network
Wednesday Extravaganza @ Hunger Little Girl

Thursday Food:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Link it Up Thursday @ Seven Alive
Creative Thursday @ Michelle's Tasty Creations
Fantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:
Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes
Friday Favorite Finds @ Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Friday Food Fight @ Run DMT
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Friday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts 
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 

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Italian Easter Rice Pie: Foodie Friday

Italian Easter Rice Pie: simplelivingeating.com

Ok, wasn't it just St. Patrick's Day... now Easter is next week. Isn't there usually a little more time between these two holidays? 

Ispahan Loaf: French Fridays with Dorie

This is not an Ispahan Loaf.
This is NOT an Ispahan Loaf.

This IS my Ispahan Loaf.

The quest for Rose syrup was a great adventure that lead me to a classic Middle Eastern restaurant, Hanna's that happen to have a Middle Eastern deli attached to it. Voila... 1 pint of Rose syrup $5 bucks and lunch next door was pretty inexpensive too.

Ah, but the execution, that's a good word to describe what I did to this loaf... I murdered it. First by forgetting to put regular flour in it, and secondly, by seriously undercooking it. A lava cake was not my intention.

The Don Quixote that I am...undaunted by my umpteenth failure at baking; I made another loaf. This time I forgot the almond flour. Having been raised Catholic, I feel obligated to confess to you. I think I know why I failed so miserably at making this cake. First: I DON'T LIKE TO BAKE. You have to follow the recipe when you bake. I just can't do that... Baking is measured and precise... I am well, the opposite of that....

also, I kinda made a little cocktail out of the Rose syrup. It was delicious... maybe too delicious.

I did get a sense from nibbling at the cooked parts of the cake what the taste of a Ispahan loaf is... and honestly... I like rose syrup more in a cocktail. The great thing about rose is the smell. Baked the smell gets flattened out. It's not aromatic anymore.
Que, sera, sera...


PS: The cocktail is good too without vodka.

A recipe (not THE recipe) for Ispahan Cake

Rose Lime Cocktail

Rose Lime Cocktail

by Diane Balch


3/4 ounce of vodka 
3/4 ounce of Rose syrup
12 ounces of seltzer water
1 lime wedge


1) pour vodka and Rose syrup into a tall glass.

2) Add seltzer 

3) Squeeze in lime juice, stir and garnish with lime peel.

Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


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Metta Prayer Day: Simple Living Thought

Happy First Day of Spring. Today is Metta Prayer Day. I was introduced to these prayers from friends in Newtown, Ct. The message of Metta Prayers have appeal to people of all different faiths. 

Say this prayer today.

metta prayer

I realize that to choose to "Live Simply" is a luxury. That many people simply live without: 

food, clean water, medical care, sanitation, education... 

Take a moment from your first Spring day and say this pray. It is only by holding a vision for change... that change will happen.

Please share this message:

Blessings to you and Happy Spring!

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New Study Overwhelming: Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Disease: Simple Living Thought

Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean Diet

When you walked into the courtyard behind my house you left Connecticut and entered Italy. A group of elderly Italians, most of who I was related to in some way, sat outside most of the day. Playing pinochle, eating grapes, dates, and nuts. Laughing and chatting about their grandchildren and their gardens.

Once Michela who was 90 years old slipped on her stairs and hurt her leg. When my mom, a nurse, came to help her she asked. "What is the name of your doctor, so I can call him?" "Michela replied, "Doctor? No doctor, I'ma no sick. I drink my wine everyday. I have no pain."

Michela probably didn't feel any pain or had any chronic alignments. She like the rest of these agile (they walked everywhere), mentally sharp, native Italians ate the Mediterranean diet. Rich in nuts, olive oil, vegetables; low in meat and dairy. This diet  has again been affirmed in a new study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine  that it reduces a persons chance of developing heart disease. 

So please think about making fruits and vegetables along with whole grains be the centerpiece of your meal. Use meat and dairy as a condiment. Try a few of my recipes. Check out my weekly menu plan. Look at the site Oldways which is a nonprofit organization that gives out excellent information on how to eat a Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean cooking is simple, healthy, but very satisfying

You can also check out Dr Stephen Gullo's website. There you will find array of articles and recipes that connect the Mediterranean Diet to weight loss. 

Buon Appetito,
Mediterranean food pyramid
Mediterranean food pyramid

Weekly Meal Plan:

Sunday: Raviolis and green salad

Meatless Monday: Escarole and Beans

Tuesday: Rosemary Chicken, with Spinach & Quinoa

Wednesday: Snapper with Cajun Spices, Okra, Tomatoes & Onions over Roasted Potatoes

Thursday: Pasta Fagoili

Saturday: Chicken Stir-Fry with Brown Rice

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Irish Crabcakes & Colcannon: Foodie Friday

irish carbcakes & coldannon: simplelivingeating.com

I used to be in a book group with a woman from Ireland and when it was her night to host I was always so impressed by her Irish dishes, whether it was salmon or lamb stew. She made me realize that I really didn't know much about traditional Irish cooking.

I decided to do a little research for my St. Patrick's Day recipe and I came upon this wonderful cookbook called, "The New Irish Table" by Margaret Johnson. This book is filled with updated versions of traditional Irish fare that you will find outstanding. I followed her crabcake recipe exactly... it has surprises likes bits of apple and a roasted pepper sauce... wonderful bursting flavors that even my kids enjoyed.

The colcannon I created was a result of looking at many recipes for mixing mashed potatoes with greens. My kids figured this dish was invented by an Irish mom who was trying to get her kids to eat their greens, so she mixed them up with the mashed potatoes that they love.

I hope you enjoy both of the recipes and have a wonderful and lucky St. Patrick's Day. 

Click on for recipe:

Kale Colcannon

by Diane Balch

preparation time: 20 minutes       Serves: 4 - 6


8 Russet potatoes peeled and chopped into quarters
4 tablespoons of butter
1 head of Kale or other green chopped.
6 scallions chopped
1/2 can of beer
1 cup of milk
1 dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste


1) Bring potatoes to a boil in a well salted sauce pan of water. When the water is boiling time for 10 minutes. Check that a fork can go through the potatoes. Drain and rice or mash.

2) While the potatoes are cooking. Sauté the kale and scallions in a large skillet in 1 tablespoon of butter for about 1 minute. Then add the beer and cover for about 2 minutes or until the kale is well wilted. 

3) Add 3 tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg and milk to the potatoes and mix with a fork to keep the potatoes fluffy.

4) Mix kale with potatoes check salt and pepper and serve. 

Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple she has different features and a wealth of information about family and home care. 

Foodie Friday Features:

From: Poor & Gluten Free

Winter Salad w/ Local Spinach & Sweet Potatoes
Winter Salad w/ Local Spinach & Sweet Potatoes

Danielle gives such an interesting explanation of about frost sweetened spinach along with this interesting flavor combination salad. 

From: Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Spicy Orange Chicken
Spicy Orange Chicken

Yes, Miz Helen has outdone herself... this is a gorgeous bird. Oh my and the flavors: orange, rosemary, cinnamon... just the right recipe to clear away the rainy day blues.

From: Latitude Adjustment

Cranberry White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
Cranberry White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

Ok, cranberry and white chocolate sound like a pretty interesting combo add pistachio pudding and WOW... what a punch of flavor in these cookies.

This post is shared on the following wonderful food/craft parties. Be sure  to check them out:

Instructions for Foodie Friday linky:

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