A photo by Alina Sofia. unsplash.com/photos/DI_QApfe2Zs

Eat, drink and be merry: What to serve at a Wake [advice column]

Dear Velvet, What should I serve at my mother-in-law’s wake? Of course, all the planning became my responsibility. That was her way of getting back to me for marrying her only son. I could just order something lame, but I’m better than that. (Which is more than I can say for her.) Anyway, what should […]

Penne pesto pasta

Penne Pesto Pasta, with salmon and white wine

This penne pasta recipe is so quick, you’ll be in and out of the kitchen fast enough to go out drinking all night.  It’s not what I do all night every night, but, hey, a girl’s gotta have her dreams. Ingredients: 16 oz. Penne pasta 2 T olive oil 1 large onion, sliced thin 2 zucchinis, […]

grill with food 2

American Hearts

Dear Velvet, My mother-in-law wants to host a July 4th barbecue, but my husband doesn’t want to go.  Basically, he wants us to start our own traditions.  I’m caught in the middle.  I don’t want to disappoint the in-laws, but if my husband would rather stay home and do our own thing, then I think […]


Sweet Chili Pistachios-sugar and spice and everything nice

These are addictive.  Save me from myself, and these sweet and crunchy pistachios. Ingredients 1 large package roasted pistachios in their shells 3 T Canola Oil 1/4 cup Dark brown sugar 2 tsp Ginger powder 2 tsp Paprika 2 tsp Cumin 2 tsp Onion Powder 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper powder Place the pistachios on a […]

sweet potatoes

Coconut Ginger Sweet Potatoes

These sweet potatoes are insanely good.  Hide them from yourself. 3 cups cubed sweet potatoes (about 3 peeled sweet potatoes) 2-3 T Pure maple syrup 2 tsp Cinnamon 1 tsp Ginger 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper 2 T Coconut oil   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub the coconut oil onto the bottom of your […]


Better than Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grandma deserves your respect.  Don’t tell anyone your cookies are better.  That will be our secret. 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 Tablespoons molasses 1 cup oil 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 3 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 10 oz. chocolate chips Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cream the sugars, molasses, […]