When in Rome

When my husband and I vacationed in Italy, we discovered that Italians have an entirely different food philosophy than Americans do. When Dan ordered coffee at a roadside stop, it was served in a ceramic cup with a saucer — no paper! That meant he had to actually sit and sip it mindfully, rather than drinking it as we continued sightseeing.

Meals in Italy were long and leisurely affairs, with multiple courses spread throughout the evening. Italians cherish mealtime as a highlight of the day. We tend to squeeze eating between our activities, rushing to finish as quickly as possible — or worse — eat while we’re shopping, driving or doing many other tasks.

What We’re Eating

  • Taco Tuesday: Blackened Tilapia

    A couple of weeks ago, as we impatiently awaited the arrival of spring, I almost (almost!) felt like I was sitting at a sunny outdoor café on vacation when we had Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos from the New Way to Cook Light: Fresh Food & Bold Flavors for Today’s Home Cook. As an added bonus,…


  • Pantry Meals: Expecting the Unexpected

    For days when our plans change and we need a speedy dinner, I have a few healthy recipes that can be made at any time using ingredients in my kitchen cabinet and freezer. I’m going to add Chicken Puttanesca with Angel Hair Pasta to that list, which is from The New Way to Cook Light:…


  • Keeping it Fresh: A Key to Heart-Healthy Eating

    The key to staying on a heart-healthy diet is to keep our meal rotation fresh and interesting. After Dan’s heart attack nearly 20 years ago, I knew we wouldn’t maintain a heart-healthy diet if it was boring. We needed to find healthy dishes that were delicious and have a variety of options. I scoured “light”…


  • Taste of the Sea

    Living in Southern New Jersey, when my siblings and I were kids, we looked forward to the summer afternoons when my dad occasionally bought a big bag of clams on his way home from work. Standing at the kitchen sink, he set to work opening them one by one with a small knife, as the…


My granddaughter and I make homemade gnocchi during the pandemic.

About Us

How we discovered La Dolce Vita

My husband and I love to eat, but after his heart attack we had to make some changes.

In the beginning, I took an extreme approach, stripping meals and snacks of every trace of obvious fat. Pork chops? Gone. Meatloaf? Vanished. Rather, our meals consisted of chicken, chicken and more chicken. Delicious food suddenly seemed far beyond our reach.

Luckily, we found a new balance, discovering that such an austere diet only pushed us off the wagon more often. And in that process, we rediscovered the joy of food and a new appreciation for it as a part of our life (la dolce vita!). By poring over cookbooks, magazines and web sites, I’ve learned to prepare lighter meals that my family really wants to eat. (No small feat when our kids were younger and pushing peas under their napkins!) I’ve even found tricks to help me to coax richer flavors from food while reducing the fat and adapt recipes for old favorites.

In this blog, I’d like to share some of the tricks that I’ve learned and link to some of our favorite recipes.


  • Exploring Ancient Grains

    When we knew that a lockdown was looming last year as COVID-19 began arriving in the United States, I found myself wandering the aisles at the grocery store looking for interesting new ingredients to try, as well as necessities. In the rice and beans aisle, I pulled a bag of farro from the shelf and…


  • Passing on Pasta Traditions

    A few weeks ago, our 3-year-old granddaughter arrived to stay for a few days as we awaited the arrival of her new baby sister. I was eager to pack in as much fun as possible since I had lost a lot of precious time with my granddaughters during the pandemic. As I brainstormed ideas, I…


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