Big ol’ Pot o’ Beans

On Friday, I posted about my family’s tradition of eating meatless soups, chills, and the like together each Friday of lent.  My aunt invites and hosts everyone each week.  The no-meat on Fridays during lent is a Catholic thing, if you aren’t familiar.  Since I was raised in an Italian and Catholic home, lent was as much part of my cultural upbringing as it was a religious practice.  Even now, as a “heathen protestant” (as my father refers to me in jest) the practice and tradition are deeply ingrained.  I can’t fathom abandoning them.  For most of my family, the practice isn’t about religious dogma, doctrine, or rule following.  Rather,…

Fridays in Lent: Meatless One-Pot Meals

Growing up in a big Catholic Italian family, makes the season of Lent as much cultural as it is religious.  Even though I no longer practice faith from the Catholic tradition, lent and the practices around it remain.  This 40 day period begins on Ash Wednesday (which was Wednesday, February 14th this year… Hello, Valentine’s Day!) and continues until Easter.  It commemorates 40 days of prayer and fasting Jesus spent in the dessert. Most of my family members gives up something (usually chocolate, coffee, sweets, or alcohol) individually for the duration of lent.  Outside of a food-motivated Italian family, I know people who have given up gossip, social media, or…

Pistachio Honey Rosewater Shortbread with Dark Chocolate

For when you want to combine all of the most romantic and decadent things you can think of into one food, make these.  Whether you are making them for your Valentine, for your girlfriends for Galentine’s, or for a Fat Tuesday feast, these will be G.O.N.E. in no time at all. Tender honey shortbread with chopped pistachios and a hint of rosewater!  Drizzle with or dunk in dark chocolate.  Give them a little sprinkle of chopped pistachios. We taste tested 3 different variations with our professional taste testers – more commonly known as our friends Chloe and Ricky.  These were the unanimous winners.  Although people had strong feelings about the chocolate…

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Recipe Round-Up!

Is it really Valentine’s Day without chocolate?  According to the seasonal aisle and every end cap at the grocery store, apparently not.  In case you are like me and giant heart-shaped boxes of mystery nougat-filled chocolate aren’t your style… I rounded up my favorite chocolate recipes from the blog! So if you want to treat your sweet to something sweet, give one of these Valentine’s Day approved chocolate recipes a try!! If you make any of my Valentine’s recipes including anything from this list, you can be entered to win a Valentine’s themed surprise from a local Seattle artist!  Just post a pic of the dish to Instagram and tag @almostproperly!…

3-Course Valentine’s Day Dinner-IN: 2 Menus!

1-Hour, 3-Course Gourmet Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day is fast approaching!  While I love trying new restaurants and date-nights out with the hubs, I do not love eating out on Valentine’s Day.  I know I’m a crusty-old-married-gal, but I know I’m not alone here.  I hardly know anyone who goes out for Valentine’s honestly, but alas, restaurants are packed so I know young love birds and romantic loyalists are out there.  Maybe I could benefit from fewer romance skeptics and people who reject the notion of greeting card holidays (i.e. 95% of Seattle).  Either way, I’m making a reservation at my own dining room table.  For two, please. The past two…
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