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After 9 days of cruising on a ship to New England and Canada, we returned more relaxed than when we left—but a few pounds heavier. (more)


On this frigid Sunday afternoon, I’m grateful to be inside, where a fire is crackling in the fireplace and pasta sauce is simmering on the stove, an aroma I have associated with Sundays all of my life. (more)


When we traveled to Italy, we enjoyed an abundance of fish and seafood—calamari, mussels, sea bass and more—whether we were in Rome, Venice or on the sun-drenched Isle of Capri. (more)

vegetable skewer

6 Ways to Make Heart-Healthy Meals in a Hurry


Think that you don’t have time to eat healthy? From experience, I know it’s only too easy to dial for pizza or pickup takeout on a busy day. But by planning ahead, you can get healthy meals on the table in a flash. (more)

Dinner table


After my husband, Dan, had his heart attack more than a decade ago, we learned to choose healthier menu options when dining in restaurants. (more)

Olive oil


Last summer, I couldn’t wait to make a gloriously colorful tomato and green bean salad that I spotted on the website of a popular women’s magazine. The photo displayed sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh green beans with an olive oil-lemon juice vinaigrette with capers, fresh mint and parsley. For some reason, however, when I made the dressing, it wasn’t quite what I had hoped. (more)

snacks for dinner


In March I wrote about the emergence of sheet pan meals. A similar trend has been the rise of snack trays for dinner—and even for breakfast!  

Cooking Light has offered many ideas for snack dinners on Instagram, which simply amount to collecting ingredients from your pantry and fridge and arranging them on a tray—lean meats and low-fat cheeses, vegetables, fruit, nuts, olives, crackers, condiments and more. (more)


Salade Nicoise


Since retiring a few years ago, Dan has taken over some of the meal preparation at dinnertime, which is a relief on days when I’m working on deadline.

As I finish work for the day, I’ll often hear clattering utensils, cabinet doors opening and closing, and strains of Andrea Bocelli drifting from the kitchen as Dan conjures up our evening meal. (more)


Reducing sugar


After I gave a talk on holiday health pitfalls, one of the attendees asked about healthy coffee creamers. Although I’m not a coffee aficionado, my husband is. After his heart attack, he began using fat-free half-and-half. However, I hated to admit that it does contain corn syrup. (more)


healthy snacks


Do tight deadlines and stress drive you to the nearest vending machine or the breakroom at work? You aren’t alone. Recent research has shown that people tend to eat foods at work that are high in fat, added sugar and sodium. Based on data from more than 5,000 employees throughout the country... (more)


Healthy dinner


A friend shared recently that her cousin had a heart attack. Several months later, he was regularly hitting the drive-through at his favorite fast-food chain. (more)


Peach Pie


Peach season is one of my favorites—whether I am baking a peach pie or crisp, dicing peaches for salsa to accompany chicken or simply biting into a blushing peach out of my hand, with the juice running down my arm. (more)


Cooking


We all know stress reduction is essential to stay healthy. What better way to enjoy a heart-healthy lifestyle than to cook a delicious meal and relax in the process?

More and more health experts are recognizing the therapeutic benefits of cooking. (more)


Cooking techniques

Learn to Cook Heart-Healthy Meals


Although it’s usually healthier to cook at home than to order takeout or eat in restaurants, people often avoid cooking because they think they don’t know how.

 (more)


Family reunion


It goes without saying that no one wants to have a heart attack. Such a frightening experience indelibly marks us in many ways. But cardiac events, as they call them, drive home two important truths: a healthy diet and exercise are critical to life and we need to savor every moment and treasure every person in our lives.

 (more)


Snack meals


People are spending much more time cooking and baking while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. You can’t miss the luscious loaves of homemade bread and plated meals everyday people display on social media, using hashtags like #coronaviruscooking and #coronavirusbaking.

 (more)


orecchiette

Returning to Italy...at Table


Last fall, we traveled to the southern part of Italy. We crisscrossed the lower part of the boot-shaped peninsula, from Naples on the Tyrrhenian Sea to Bari and Lecce in the heel of the boot on the Adriatic Sea.

After arriving in Bari, our tour guide took us on a stroll through Bari Vecchia — or old Bari.

 (more)


Eating slowly


When my son was a child, he was a poky eater. I can still picture him at the table, his cheeks puffed out with food as he picked at his plate. It’s not that he didn’t like the food. He just wasn’t in a rush to eat it.

Many years later, he still eats slowly — and so does his daughter. It turns out they have the right idea.

 (more)


Table travels


While the pandemic has brought a flood of serious worries, we also miss pre-COVID pleasures. For example, I often wonder when we will be able to travel safely again. My mind often drifts to places we’ve been and sights we’ve seen, and these memories sometimes influence my cooking.

 (more)


Panzanella


South Jersey bursts with its famous tomatoes this time of year, and I’m always looking for new ways to take advantage of them.

My social media feed gives me plenty of inspiration. A recipe that often pops up in assorted variations is panzanella salad, an Italian combo of juicy, ripe tomatoes with dried bread.

 (more)


Farm to table


As the leaves begin to turn and temperatures start to drop, I keep thinking about a restaurant we enjoyed last fall. Thanks to a gift card from my daughter-in-law and son, we ate at the Harvest Seasonal Grill, a chain of nine farm-to-table restaurants located mostly in Pennsylvania.

 (more)


Sweet potatoes

Simple Fall Flavors


When my dad was a boy in the early years after the Great Depression, he, his siblings and neighborhood kids had to create their own amusements and games. From sun up to sundown, they built forts, played cowboys and made up all kinds of adventures.

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Culinary Therapy


I love to make risotto. As I have written on my blog previously, I find it therapeutic. The act of stirring, adding broth, and stirring some more is soothing at the end of a stressful day. It encourages mindfulness because it’s hard to do much of anything else when you are making risotto. (more)


Savoring at Table


When we traveled to Italy, we discovered that Italians seem to savor their food more fully than Americans do. They lingered over dinner for hours, with no particular need to rush. 

However, in our lives, it’s not that easy to do. (more)


Pasta Traditions


A few weeks ago, our 3-year-old granddaughter arrived to stay for a few days as we awaited the arrival of her new baby sister. I was eager to pack in as much fun as possible since I had lost a lot of precious time with my granddaughters during the pandemic. As I brainstormed ideas, I remembered a decision I made when we traveled to Italy in October 2019 — a lifetime ago. (more)


Ancient grains

Exploring Ancient Grains


When we knew that a lockdown was looming last year as COVID-19 began arriving in the United States, I found myself wandering the aisles at the grocery store looking for interesting new ingredients to try, as well as necessities. In the rice and beans aisle, I pulled a bag of farro from the shelf and wondered how I would use it. (more)


Seagull


Living in Southern New Jersey, when my siblings and I were kids, we looked forward to the summer afternoons when my dad occasionally bought a big bag of clams on his way home from work.

Standing at the kitchen sink, he set to work opening them one by one with a small knife, as the five of us lined up along the kitchen cabinets for our turn to taste the briny seafood. (more)


Seagull


The key to staying on a heart-healthy diet is to keep our meal rotation fresh and interesting.

After Dan’s heart attack nearly 20 years ago, I knew we wouldn’t maintain a heart-healthy diet if it was boring. We needed to find healthy dishes that were delicious and have a variety of options.(more)