Do You “Super Bowl?”

Welcome to the first day of February, friends. The US of A is kicking off 2015’s second month with its biggest party of the year, I guess. (I’m wondering if New Year’s Eve might be the frontrunner, but Americans will jump on any positive event to celebrate—yes?—and a sporting event always seems to be that much more fun.)

Super Bowl Sunday is usually a double-sporting event for me. Just finished watching the Australian Open Tennis Championships: Novak Djokovic is starting to own Melbourne Park the way Rafael Nadal is Rolling Garros reigning monarch. Congrats to Novak, and to finalist Andy Murray. Their display was dynamic, especially those first two sets.

Later in the day, of course, is the crowning glory of the NFL’s season. All the best to the Seahawks and Patriots—and to Aaron Rodgers, the NFL’s repeat MVP (another personal favorite of mine–the guy seems a class-act :)).

FullSizeRender (3)  Okay, so I fell short on the plates, lol. At least they coordinate with the napkins. Pizza dough is on the rise and onion dip’s a-chillin’ in the fridge. (No tacos and no brownie–the oblong bake pan I used went to pieces a while back… 😦 )

Before I was actually into “the big game,” I always looked for a party. (What’s better than one more excuse to chow down on junk food while hanging out with folks you like?) Since the NY Giants’ crazy run to the championship game in 2011, I decided I wanted to stay home so I could better focus on the action. My kids planned to have a few friends over that night, and a friend of mine showed up as a surprise.

I threw together a few pizzas—maybe tacos too—slapped snacks and drinks onto the table and baked a football-shaped brownie. Some football-themed paper goods rounded it all out and our Super Bowl tradition was born.

So, do you celebrate the Super Bowl? Are you a party person or do you prefer to be in front of your own big-screen so you don’t miss a play? Do you wish the hype would just go away? Any votes for Super Bowl SATURDAY? (Hear, hear!) Should the US declare Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday?

No matter how you spend it, have a wonderful day–and a great upcoming week too! Someone kindly tell that pesky ground hog in PA to feign temporary blindness against any shadows–just sayin’… 😉

Happy Birthday, Danny!

Joanna

My Kitchen–The Danger Zone

Okay, friends, I’m psyched. Spent this past Saturday at the Liberty States Fiction Writers  Create Something Magical Conference. Had a wonderful time catching up with writer friends and recharging my creative batteries. On Sunday, Rafa v. DelPo at Indian Wells didn’t lack for the trappings and flavor of a grand-slam final. AWE-some!

Here’s a photo of the champ hoisting his trophy! (So no fun not being able to one here. :() And all credit to Juan Martin for really fighting. (The guy’s pretty much gained ranking of one of my favorites.) He fought hard doesn’t describe how well he played, including blasting off three match points to make Rafa serve it out. It was a helluva day in the California desert for tennis fans, folks.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled post.

Two weekends ago my brother and his family stopped by for a visit. Although my Italian-born mom would have preferred different, we agreed to keep the fare simple: snacks, pizza and salad (which I forgot to put out) and a few desserts.

Long story short: my brother really enjoys my pizza. As he walked by with his fourth (or fifth) piece, he casually tossed out a comment. “You’ve come a long way from those eggs you used to burn, huh?”

Let’s get this right: I undercooked the eggs and boiled the milk, lol. (Hey, everybody starts somewhere.)

His comment, however, reminded me of a couple of times I did burn food; both times I was pretty oblivious. And both times, my nose was stuck in a book, too.

The first incident: we had one family car and my mom went to pick up my dad. I was most likely a teen, because I was old enough to stay home alone. Mom had two covered pots on the stove. One had artichokes, the other broccoli. In Italian, she told me to turn on the latter.

FYI, in my mom’s dialect, broccoli and artichokes rhyme. Broccoli and caccioffoli. (Bet I was already into that book while she was passing on instructions.)

That’s right. I turned on the wrong pot. Then I went out on the front porch where I read until my parents got home. They pulled in the driveway to a stream of black smoke creeping out the back window.

Appropriately so, my mom freaked out.

The next time was even better.

Without another person to whom to assign the cooking—and having hoped I’d learned something from the previous experience—she put me on lentil-watch.

This time I was actually in the kitchen.

Well, I’d never heard food burn before. And I must have been so enthralled by my book, I didn’t smell or see the smoke filling the kitchen and our first floor apartment.

When the parents arrived and found smoke seeping out that back window again, they—especially mom (she’s the anxious one)—figured the house was on fire with me in it. (Good thing cell phones were probably a prayer then. She probably would have called 911 from the car.)

Guess I have come a long way from those days, but keep me away from an electric oven. (They tend to run hotter than gas, at least 25 ºF.) The pizza I made and brought and reheated at a friend’s wound up just a little crisp at the thinner end.

Care to share your kitchen gaffs? The floor is open!

BTW, if you’re interested in trying your hand at my (almost homemade) pizza, the recipe is here. A link to my fresh-veggie pizza is embedded there as well. And if you’re looking for more in the line of easy, elegant and/or quick fare, check out Recipe Central. Scroll through or just search this site as the more recent ones are simply tagged posts. And feel free to throw in links to your own favs too.

Sorry I missed last week. Guess things got a little hectic. Tis’ the busy season at work right now.

Have a great day, all, and thanks for stoppin’ by!

Joanna