Refresh. It’s 2018.

Lemon Basil Sorbet by MyLifeRunsOnFood.com

My rose tinted glasses are tinted with reality considering the political, environmental and lifestyle chaos of 2016 into 2017. Imani is a challenge. But, for the sake of love, we have to believe that good change is going to come. It’s difficult to believe, since people’s true feelings have showed within the last two to three years. We didn’t like what we saw or heard. But, the hatred — that we knew was always there — is now in the open. And, that’s a good start.

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The Year of Maple Syrup

Maple Thyme Chicken Thighs and Pears

2014 was the year that failure was recognized as an attribute towards the journey of success. That’s if the lesson was learned from the act of failure. This recipe was a difficult dish to develop. It was perfect the first time. The second attempt was too sweet. The third try lacked a flavorful taste. And, when the dish was finally successful, it was perfect.

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The Magic of Fresh Pasta

Rosemary Chicken Stew with Stir-Fried Collard Greens

Besides being known for its Italian style-New York pizza, Saraghina recently opened a new bakery. Essential Italian pantry items, such as bread, morning pastries, olive oil by the pound, spices, cheese, candy and more, are the shop’s speciality. It’s freshly made pasta by the pound is the star. Having access to fresh pasta close to my apartment is a game changer in my menu planning. It means serving dinners made elegant with fresh pasta, and the meals aren’t time consuming. Ironically, the first recipe using Saraghina Bakery’s pasta was a time-consuming Rosemary Chicken Stew with Stir-Fried Collard Greens.

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Parade.com: 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Acorn Squash

Spicy Roast Acorn Squash

Even as a so-called health nut, I love winter squashes roasted until they’re buttery and sticky-sweet. They’re drizzled with olive or coconut oil, or a little soft butter is brushed on slices. Perhaps they’re sweetened with brown or coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. A bit of sea salt and fresh black pepper are sprinkled here and there. In my creative mind, winter squashes are flavored with any combination of herbs and spices. Read more

Parade Magazine: Roast Sweet Pepper Pizza

Roast Red Pepper Pizza

Now that cooler nights are here, I can turn on the oven to it’s highest temperature to make pizza. This pizza has a mild spicy cornmeal crust that most kids will love. It’s topped with homemade roast peppers with a smoky and candy sweet taste sans the spice. The peppers are layered over a herbal ricotta cheese and baby spinach leaves. Balancing the sweetness of the pizza, salty kalamata olives gently top the roast peppers with a handful of shredded parmesan cheese (try it with asiago, too). The result: A pizza that warms your family’s soul into the first few days of autumn.  Read more