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     Welcome!  I started this web site at the request of my family, friends and readers.  I am not a professional cook but have loved cooking from an early age.  I am now retired from writing a weekly recipe column called "A Piece of Cake" for Anton Community Newspapers in Mineola, New York.  I  volunteer cook on a weekly basis for soup kitchens, sheltering programs and families in need on Long Island. 

    My recipes come from many sources, my own ideas I've developed using the foods I love, from my friends and also inspirations from food tastes I have experienced.  All my recipes are my favorites and have been used over and over again.  I would call them foolproof.  There are still many recipes I have been unable to put into proportions since my instincts take over when I'm making a dish.  My goal is to put these instinctive recipes into print.    

    My earliest recollections are being at my mother’s side in her kitchen.  She was Italian but was a fantastic cook in any cuisine.  To this day, a smell or sight of a particular food brings back such wonderful memories.

    My mother would cook every thing edible and try every new appliance that would make her kitchen work easier or faster.  Mom was one of the first to have a pressure cooker, an apparatus that frightens me to this day.  Yes, it did cut cooking time provided you were there when it needed your attention.  I remember hearing such a loud noise, running into the kitchen seeing the cabinets and ceiling covered with pea soup; but the small amount of soup left in the pot was delicious.  I still make my pea soup in the crock-pot!  While my little classmates were eating canned tomato soup, I was eating Minestrone with Pesto. 

     I remember the day my mom bought two new “stainless steel” cooking utensils at a little kitchen shop on Plandome Road in Manhasset.  I don’t remember the dollar amount but I do remember she was quite concerned about telling my father how much she had paid for a simple roasting fork and soup ladle with bakelite handles.  Every time she would use them she would offset the purchase price by saying, “They will last a lifetime.”  Well, every time I use them I know she was right. 

Toby with his first rolling pin and
crisp sugar cookie
Pooch, Pat and Toby
Mom's roasting fork and soup ladle into their second lifetime!
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