Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas

I have tons of these chickpea recipes stashed away in my recipe archives.  I think by now, I have so many, I could probably blog "Chickpeas 50 Ways." So, last weekend, I finally got bored enough to give it a try. Isn't it funny how some recipes you see and just have to make right now!!! I remember one night before I started this blog, I  ran out of work and straight to the grocery to get ingredients to make an amazing Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. It could not wait!!! Thank goodness our grocery stores here in South Carolina sell wine or my "sweet dreams" would have been shattered.  I would have had to wait 24 more hours and that was not possible. Ironically, my "OMG emergency recipe cravings" are always something involving chocolate and sugar. Ironic?  Probably not. Stress induced you say........ you must have been reading for a while.

On the other hand....chickpeas..... not such an emergency.

I am happy to report that this recipe was excellent. It was super simple and made a great tasty, treat that was healthy. When eaten right out of the oven, they taste a lot like a peanut.  After cooling a little, they have a crunchy texture that is a great substitute for many common snack foods such as chips or pretzels, but much healthier. Maybe through this little experiment, I have realized that those recipes that are stashed away are my attempt to save the best for last. Next chickpea adventure- Curried Chickpeas!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pagash AKA: Pierogi Pizza

Pagash- Pierogi Pizza

On the passing of a really great man:

This December 28th, my family said goodbye to my Pap (my mother's father.) After 20 plus years of valiantly, fighting Parkinson's disease, it was time for my Pap to rise up to a better place. Although his disease restricted him in his last few years of life, I know that when he was called on December 28th, he did not walk to God; my Pap danced!

Pap and I.

It is hard to know what to say about someone after they have passed; to give them praise that they deserve. At his wake, as I walked around the room of friends and family, I heard one common statement; "Chuck was a character." And he was! There was no one more enthusiastic about life than my Pap! My sister and I knew this from a very young age. We used to stay at my grandparent's house when we were young and go out on errands with my Pap. Man, did we look forward to that!!  He knew everyone in his little town and they all knew him. We would stop at the local restaurant, at my great-aunt's house and the grocery store and everywhere we went he was like a small town celebrity. Pap was always dressed to the nines and not afraid to ask anyone how he looked. Even as little kids, we saw that he was the light in the room. No matter what situation he was in- people came to him; and when we were young it was as if the people were coming to us too!! He made us feel loved as he showed off "his girls" to his friends, bought us cherry soda, drove around town listening to big band music and waving to almost every person we passed.

As I grew a little older, he and my Gram were a constant presence in my life.  He helped teach me how to drive in his relaxed "Pap" way-  with all the car windows down and calmly talking about Notre Dame Football. As a surprise,  he showed up to my college football game, two hours away from his house, to see me work as an athletic trainer- something I was very proud of.  And one of the last times that I saw him dance with my Gram was at my wedding in 2003. They were beautiful.  I could go on and on.....

Everything Pap did he did with gusto!! He loved his family, he loved to dance, he loved Big Band music, he loved the NY Yankees, Notre Dame and the Chicago Bears, he loved Spangler (Northern Cambria), he loved his garden, and he loved his girls- all 4 of us.  He loved my Gram who took care of him tirelessly till the end.  In life no one is perfect and some may say that he lived life in excess, but I believe that his motto was- "Whatever you do in life- do it passionately."  And in no way did he ever let himself down...

Thank you for teaching me to live life to it's fullest.

Love Always,
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