Inside Gardens


Indoor garden plantersI’ve always enjoyed gardening. Nothing too fancy, a few flowers, herbs, and the occasional tomato or pepper plant. This is a tradition that was passed down to me by my mother. I remember her planting a classic Italian garden of plum tomatoes, basil, and green peppers in the postage stamp strip of grass in back of her home in Flushing, New York.

She would dutifully tend to it every morning during the spring and summer months and the produce she’d somehow manage to coax from it was nothing short of astonishing! There was always fresh Italian tomatoes for salads or to put on sandwiches and just enough to make a small batch of fresh sauce which was seasoned by an abundance of fresh basil.

Secret to Crack-Free Cheesecake

Prevent Cheesecake CrackingAfter much debate and discussion, trial and error, as well as a few tears shed, I believe, with the suggestions received from very helpful readers, I have found the answer to baking a crack-free cheesecake. I’ve tried the hot water bath method with mixed results and quite frankly I don’t think it’s worth the extra effort. One of the suggestions sent to me worked quite well and I feel it is the answer to avoiding cracking during the cooling period in the oven:
  1. Once the cheesecake is fully cooked (toothpick inserted in center comes out clean), turn off the oven

Fluffy Cheesecake Using a Water Bath


Cheesecake Water Bath“To water bath or not to water bath, that is the question”

Some of my readers who baked my fluffy cheesecake using all the helpful suggestions have written to tell me that they had some problems while baking. The problem was usually the same one for all; they encountered cracking at the end of baking and during the cool down cycle. Well, I have also experienced that problem with either a small crack in the middle or several around the edges but never cracking completely through the cake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe


Pumpking Cheesecake RecipeNovember has arrived, which means the holidays are just around the corner! If you are like me, you probably are planning menus for those special dinners and are looking for some classic recipes. One classic recipe for the holidays is Pumpkin Pie, a tradition in many families.

However, coming from an Italian-American family we were not familiar with pumpkin pie for dessert. More likely we would serve pastries, cheesecake or cannoli. So when many of my readers asked for a pumpkin cheesecake recipe using my original Aunt Mary cheesecake formula, I was stuck.

Is Motherhood for You?


Child psychology was my major in college along with Early Childhood Education as my minor. However, I do not consider myself an expert in the field of psychology, but I had a strong desire to be a good teacher and a good mother. I enjoyed every minute of raising my two children, a boy and a girl. I read every recommended book on the best-seller list on raising children, child behavior from birth to teen years, and all the health information available on feeding and childhood illnesses. I did this reading prior to having children and felt I would be well prepared when my first child arrived and then would have that experience to help when my second child arrived.  Reading books on child rearing is one thing but the actual task is another!