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Penelope Wall's Blog

May 31, 2011 - 12:38pm

I guess it’s just my age: each summer as wedding season rolls around I know for sure I’ll be attending (perhaps even hosting!) a few bridal showers. I love bridal showers. I love that they happen during the day when the sun is shining, that they’re in the summer when all the ladies can wear their pretty little dresses and nibble on cucumber sandwiches and sip fizzy drinks guiltlessly. Everything is just so simple and light and lovely.

And that includes the menu. Here’s a simple picnic-style lunch menu for your homemade bridal shower.

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May 3, 2011 - 11:58am

It happens every time I decide to cut back on meat: My husband is supportive. I’ve got an arsenal of delicious meatless recipes to cook to keep us inspired and satisfied. Things are going smoothly. Until. 1) We decide to go out to a restaurant for dinner. 2) We are invited to a dinner party. 3) We are hosting a dinner party. (And this month, when I’m taking EatingWell’s Meatless May Challenge, I’ll surely be faced with this dilemma when my dining companions aren’t eating meatlessly. Are you vegetarian, vegan or just interested in cooking without meat? Take our Meatless Challenge!)

What’s a veggie-loving girl to do? Luckily many restaurants are smartening up and have at least one...

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April 26, 2011 - 11:13am

A few weeks ago, my family sat down together for a traditional Latin American meal. Before we began, we raised our glasses together for a toast: “Salud, amor, y pesetas, y el tiempo para gustarlos,” which is Spanish for "Health, love and money, and the time to enjoy it."

We make that toast whenever we’re together. But no matter how many times we’ve said it before, I still forget the ending. So my Auntie Lucy coaches me through it, forgiving my horrendous accent along the way. Despite the imperfections, I love our family ritual—just thinking about it conjures up so many good memories of quality time spent together with people I love.

As Cinco de Mayo rolls around, I find myself wanting to extend the sentiment beyond familial tradition and invite my friends over for a celebratory fiesta.

Must-Try:...

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April 21, 2011 - 11:23am

Every year, right about this time, my birthday rolls around. Yup, it happens every year. And I welcome it. The change in season inspires me to have a fresh perspective on things. There is newness everywhere. (And it’s just warm enough to don a really fantastic birthday outfit!)

Even if it’s not your birthday, spring is such a wonderful time for celebrations. And for that reason, light, luscious cakes are always in order. Here are some of my favorite cakes from the EatingWell Test Kitchen. (See their 5 secrets for baking a perfect cake from scratch here.) There’s something for everyone here. Happy Birthday, Spring!

Must-See:
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April 12, 2011 - 11:36am

The other day, my sister called to tell me, “I had lamb. With mint sauce. And it was actually good!” You see, for us, such a meal brings to mind the traditional Easter dinner of our childhood: strong-flavored meat served alongside a glob of chartreuse-hued jelly. Granted, it was hard for us kids to appreciate when we had visions of chocolate eggs rolling around in our heads. But I think I tried just a little bit to like it for my mother, who loved the dish dearly and worked so hard to put a lovely dinner on the table.

In truth, though, it was the mint jelly that did me in. There was always a jar of that stuff in our cupboards, the sight of which, if it caught me off guard, would make my heart sink. I do love mint, when it’s the real deal. And I think folks are more daring these days, willing to try something new, something healthier...

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