All in Vegetarian


I had only recently graduated from college when one of my high school friends, Stacy, brought homemade Spanakopita to a party.  It was the first time I ever tasted Spanakopita, or for that matter, phyllo dough.  I don't remember much from that party, but what I do remember is how much my boyfriend and I loved the Spanakopita.  That boyfriend soon became my husband, and we still love Spanakopita to this day. 

About fifteen years ago, I had Spanakopita at Cousin Jennie's house.  She was my father's first cousin, but she was more like his aunt because she and my grandfather, Vito, grew up together like siblings.  When Vito was 11, his mother died and then the following year, Vito's father, Domenico, moved back to Italy, leaving Vito with Italia, one of Vito's older sisters.  This picture was taken the last time Vito saw his father.   Read more.

Eggplant Pan Pizza

Although it's really a fruit, eggplant is still one of my favorite vegetables.  Tom Brady might not eat it because it's a nightshade and therefore causes "inflammation," but I'm not a professional athlete so I don't mind.

Anyways, as much as I love Eggplant Parmesan, sometimes I think the crisp beauty of the breaded eggplant gets lost underneath all the sauce and cheese.  In my opinion, breaded eggplant is at its best when I can truly taste the crunchiness of the breading (made even crunchier with panko breadcrumbs!), so that's why I love my breaded eggplant atop a pizza.  The key is to slice the eggplant thin; otherwise you'll have too much topping, and your dough will run the risk of not baking through all the way.  Read more.


I first tasted falafel a few years ago at Oleana, a restaurant in the Boston area that serves phenomenal food with a Turkish and Middle Eastern spin.  At the time, I didn't even know how to pronounce falafel.  But soon after tasting it, I knew I wanted to try making it at home.  Traditionally, falafel is made with chickpeas that are soaked, ground, and fried.  There's nothing quite like falafel fresh out of the fryer, but it can become a bit heavy and dry if left sitting for too long.  Read more.

Pizza Dough

I eat a lot of pizza.  It is absolutely my favorite food.  My mom had never even heard of it until she was 17 years old and dating my father, a 1st generation Italian-American who probably thought everyone ate pizza growing up.  Everyone but her, apparently.  The way my mom always told the story, my father described pizza to her as "a pie with tomato sauce and cheese," but because she had been born and raised in Atlanta, the word "pie" made her think of pecan pie.  So she imagined pizza not as we know it, but as a pie crust overflowing with tomato sauce and topped with cheese.  Not the most appetizing visual.  Fortunately for me, she tried the real thing, loved it, married my father, and ended up making pizza once a week throughout my childhood.  Read more.