Mariooch’s Kitchen Food That Will Gather Your Family

My cookbook has been released and it has received a 5-star review which you can read below. It is currently available on ibooks on the Apple store. To order the hardcover book please click on this link. As a special promotion I am offering a discount if you use Coupon code GMRYXP at check out for the next 30 days. I hope you pick up a copy!

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Mariooch’s Kitchen – Food That Will Gather Your Family is a nonfiction international cooking/food book written by Mary Abitanto. As a child, Abitanto was surrounded by family who loved to cook and passed that love on to her. Her Italian grandmother and Aunt Rose shared their Old World recipes and techniques for crafting delicious meals with what was at hand, and her parents were also a large influence on her interest in cooking. Abitanto’s recipes will be of particular interest to those who have food allergies or are cooking for persons with food sensitivity issues. She offers egg-free, nut-free and vegan alternatives for many of her recipes. Her recipes, while having a distinct Mediterranean flair, also make use of healthy ingredients and fresh local produce, as well as offering more modern, time-saving options for preparing classic menus. Preparing great food is more than an art for this author; however, as with her grandmother, she sees the creation of irresistible meals as a way of celebrating family life and traditions.

Mary Abitanto’s nonfiction international cooking/food book, Mariooch’s Kitchen – Food That Will Gather Your Family, is chock-full of recipes and techniques I can’t wait to try. Italian dishes are my particular favorite, and she offers plenty of mouth-watering options, but she also includes some American favorites that were quite a pleasant surprise to discover. I’m looking forward to trying her recipes for Chicken and Dumplings and classic Macaroni and Cheese among others. Her vegetable ideas are exciting and fresh, and the Spinach Lasagna Recipe is a definite choice for the near future. Abitanto’s photography is awesome. Her dishes are beautifully arranged and artfully presented. The colors pop up from the page, and she even recommends plate colors and arrangements designed to duplicate those eye-catching and appealing pictures when serving those dishes. Best of all, Abitanto’s book shows the careful reader how they too can be like Maria Libra, her grandmother, for whom creating a dish was an art form while incorporating fresh, healthy ingredients. Mariooch’s Kitchen – Food That Will Gather Your Family is most highly recommended.

When you host a party always have some freshly cut flowers on your table or counter. I get them from my yard. It brings color into your kitchen, and is an organic and inexpensive way to decorate a space. Hosting a party is right up there with one of my favorite things to do. Enjoy the rest of your summer! xo

A Neighborly Visit

I have fond memories of going to my Italian grandmother’s and my Aunt Millie’s house on Sundays. They lived in a two-story home located in a small Italian neighborhood.  Everybody knew them. Any time you stopped by, there was always company, and someone speaking Italian. Aunt Millie was the ultimate chef. She would always have mounds of food ready to be eaten the moment her boys (and girls) jetted in the house from school. Grandma lived upstairs and Millie was downstairs. Later when Aunt Millie had grandchildren, they would call them Grandma upstairs/downstairs. Being a part of the hustle and bustle of their home was where everyone wanted to be: family friends, neighborhood kids, and relatives. My mom worked in the area sometimes, and always stopped in, no phone call necessary. You were always welcome!

My neighbor and I are like that. We still keep that open door policy and stop in and chat. These days finding that time, to stop in and visit with our neighbors has become much more difficult given our kid’s busy schedules. However, I still think it’s nice to bring over a dessert you made to share with a neighbor, or invite them over for tea. I have often sent over many freshly made desserts like my banana bread, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, vanilla cake, among other yummy and scrumptious desserts like these lemon drop cookies. It just takes a few minutes to call or drop over. That is what keeps us connected in a society where face-to-face time has been replaced with Face time and Facebook!  Challenge yourself to reconnect like they did in the good ole’ days. If you are not in close proximity to your neighbor, you are just a phone call away.

My husband, Peter and I  were at a local restaurant one night. We live in a University town and get to meet some wonderful, and very interesting people. This particular night we sat at the bar and sat next to a man named Jim. He was dining alone, so my husband and I struck up a conversation. He was a Princeton University graduate and a former business developer. We had a lot of laughs and a pleasant conversation. He was an older gentleman in his seventies and he discussed texting on the phone versus a phone call. He mentioned that to him texting was just not the same as a phone call. During a phone call you can hear the inflection in someone’s voice, and hear their tone etc. Nothing is left to guesswork, like in texting. Obviously, face-to-face is the best, but calling is the second best option.

Today my house is a lot like Aunt Millie’s. We have many of my kid’s friends coming and going all the time. I think they like to stop in to eat! Haha! Anyway, it’s a nice to remember that if you want the kids to hang at your house – feed them! They love to hang and chat with me in the kitchen. They are always welcome! They have become some of my best taste testers for my recipes.

Hope the summer is going well for you. Book launch coming soon!