Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aunt Rosie's Kitchen

Aunt Rosie, Me, Steve and Aunt Mary in Aunt Rosie's Kitchen

One of the "happy places" in my life has always been my great aunt Rosie's kitchen—the pictures of children, grand children and great grand children on the fridge, the warmth of the wooden cabinets and chairs, the white and gold coffee mugs, and most of all her loving spirit and positive energy. When you're there, the rest of the world seems far away and worries over everyday life are left behind. I think of her all the time, especially when I am cooking and baking. I never miss a visit with her when I am back in WV. There is something peaceful and magical about sitting with her and having coffee—and always some snacks—in her little kitchen on Hunsaker Street. Aunt Rose is my grandfather's sister. I have always cherished her and admired her for being a strong woman and an amazing cook. I get a lot of my culinary inspiration from her and from my grandfather. I believe I get a lot of my spunk and strength from them as well. Since my grandpa passed in 2001, Aunt Rosie has been my link to the family food traditions. I love talking to her and working my way through her specialties—recipes that are not completely achieved by reading a hand written list of ingredients. These are family traditions that might be lost—or at the least changed completely—if not passed down directly by word of mouth from generation to generation.

Today I have her in my thoughts and prayers even more than ever. She is in a hospital fighting life threatening blood clots. As I prepare dinner tonight, she will be close in my heart. My mind will be in that happy place, praying for a speedy recovery with much love and admiration for a woman who is a pillar of my family.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Wow — I can't believe it is already mid-July! Time goes so fast. A few of my favorite food endeavors so far are:

Grilled Shrimp Wrapped in Prosciutto Skewered with Rosemary
Homemade Rustic Olive Oil Foccacia
Kicked-Up Pimento Cheese Spread
Bunless-Wonder Grilled Burgers
Grilled Corn with Lime and BBQ Dry Rub (An old stand-by from last summer)
Daryl's Napa Burgers with Pesto Mayo
My Homemade Pesto
Grilled Chicken and Chicken Sausage Salads
Chocolate Ganache Cake (Made for my Dad's Birthday)
Spicy Beef & Pork Burgers

As is all too often the case, my busy schedule and somewhat upside down life leave me little time for my writing. I hope to start remedying that and making time to blog about these and other food adventures on a weekly basis. Stay tuned for more food chat from Stephanie's Kitchen. In the meantime, Cheers to good food, good wine and good friends!