Hello! Welcome to Feeling Foodish. I’m Marie B, and one of my absolute favorite ways to spend a lazy afternoon is in the kitchen. Gathering around the kitchen table to enjoy a home cooked meal and celebrate family is a tradition that I love to celebrate whenever possible. I don’t believe that food needs to be overly complicated. My favorite recipes are simple using fresh quality ingredients.
I’m a first-generation Italian American, born to parents who are from the Campania region of Italy, home of travel hot spots such as Pompeii and the Amalfi coast. Naples, also in Campania, is the home of the Pizza Margarita. The region boasts an abundant number of lemon trees and so the Lemoncello is always flowing! Other staples in the area include high quality pasta, seafood, and coffee.
I have many fond memories that revolve around familial food traditions. I can recall the enthusiasm and pride that my father had when he baked one of his delicious pies from scratch (often apple) or when he made a large pot of spaghetti and crabs… the comforting aroma would often fill the house. My father also loved to make breakfast. A can vividly recall the “hot cakes” as he called them (ie, pancakes) or the silver dollar pancakes when he made them smaller, just for me, in the cast iron skillet and the fresh grapefruit that he would carefully carve out and sprinkle with sugar. My mother, on the other hand, is mostly about baking. Her specialties include Italian Rum Cake, cannoli, and sfogliatella, which are becoming more well known in the US. She also takes great pride in other favorites like home made pasta, home made spaghetti sauce (we call it “gravy”), gnocchi, and Italian bread. Each year, she grows her own vegetables including tomatoes. Thanks to her, I’ve grown to appreciate the outstanding flavor of just-picked vegetables, which I always took for granted growing up. On a hot summer night, there is nothing like fat slices of just-picked tomato piled high with slices of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves drizzled with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
As you might have guessed, most of my cooking is based on my Italian roots but I’m always exploring more contemporary dishes. My current obsession revolves around pizza and exploring different dough recipes based on various regions in the US. My all time favorite in NY style, whereas my kids and husband like Chicago and Detroit-style pizzas.
At this time, I’m cooking mostly for my two tweens and my husband, who loves to eat as much as I do.