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It has been a long time since I have heard the question, who’s hungry?

More often today if you are with friends or family the question surrounds what kinds of food are you hungry for or what do you want to eat.  Depending upon the time of day and the age of the person being questioned the responses can run wild.  The type or culture of food we prefer is also wide open.  Do you want spicy, healthy, vegan, vegetarian, meat and potatoes, or a bowl of ice cream and call it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

In my cookbook, Generations of Good Food, you can find most anything your palate desires.  The book consists of predominantly Italian dishes, because that is my heritage, but there are a number of other foods which are family favorites.  My maternal grandmother was an awesome cook who taught all of us granddaughters to cook the old-fashioned way.  We did not have food processors to mix, chop or blend.   The labor of love was doing it all by hand.  For example, today we have electric pizzelle makers which make up to four cookies at one time. When I learned, the pizzelle maker made one cookie at a time over the heat/flame of a stove. My mother stood by the stove and made full batches of cookies which numbered 12 dozen at a time. The age-old art of making pasta by putting flour on a board, making a well in the middle and adding eggs, salt and a bit of oil or water.  Today we prefer to put all the ingredients into a machine with a dough hook or food processor and let the machine do the heavy work.  Is the outcome the same consistency as though it had been kneaded by hand? Yes.

Families today are busy with multiple schedules to keep.  The cost of food makes eating fast food a luxury on days when the schedule is back-to-back with after school activities and appointments.  Because we are so busy it is important to ensure the entire family gets a healthy meal. Today we can ensure dinner will be ready for the table by setting a crock pot before going out the door in the morning. Nothing like a pot or pork roast with root vegetables to fill everyone’s tummies at the end of a day.  I make a big pot of pasta sauce with hamburger and sausage and then freeze it in containers.  While the pasta cooks and sauce warms on the stove, I can prepare a salad and place a hearty meal on the table in no time. Another quick and easy way to satisfy anyone who’s hungry is to grill.  Today many families grill year-round as the cold weather doesn’t deter them from enjoying summertime favorites in the winter.  Want another age-old favorite? Pick up a couple cartons of tomato soup in the grocery store deli and make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Quick, east and oh so delicious. 

If you have a bit of time, make homemade pizza dough.  Generations of Good Food has a simple recipe that makes one medium pizza. Double the recipe and make calzones by rolling out individual rounds and filling them with your family’s favorite pizza toppings.  Pizza dough also makes an Italian dessert favorite – pizza fritte. Tear off chunks of dough, stretch them and fry them. Drain on paper towels and enjoy with a sprinkling of sugar or dip them in honey. Another quick after school treat, I enjoyed growing up, was when mom would make a pie and cut the extra dough into strips, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake. These were always a favorite after school treat in my home.  My mother would make a mountain of both, and they would be devoured by children and adults alike. Simple pleasures to make for who’s hungry.

Pick up a copy of Generations of Good Food at amazon or visit my website The book has 200 recipes ranging in skill from the kitchen novice too the trained cook. There are main and side dishes, breads, desserts, pies, cookies, and candy. Just reading the recipes and stories of the dishes will make you hungry and want to go into the kitchen to find something to satisfy who’s hungry in your household.

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