My Return to Food

“Digging one’s teeth into it” is a rather pleasantly nasty sounding metaphor.

Gnash. Gnash. Chomp.

I have been digging in a bit with varying results. I love it!

(Enough with the “it’s”, let’s talk specifics!

First, cooking. Whenever I get a chance to cook, I do. For a work gathering or when my son visits, I enjoy cooking. I have always loved it, but I now look at the process in several different lights.

I returned to Italian cooking other than spaghetti. My contribution to the gathering was antipasto and tiramisu. Now I have a history with antipasto. A bad memory. I had prepared the platter a decade ago. I planned it, purchased the ingredients, then realized it might not be a “nice gathering” of people.

Fast forward please. I was pleased as punch that I returned to my enjoyment of food preparation and balance of ingredients.


It felt good to be happy, even as I felt the memories of the last time I had even proposed to formally create it.

And the tiramisu! Years ago (probably decades ago!) I remember shopping for ladyfingers and creamy marscapone. I really fretted to find the exact ingredients and the best I could.

That was before googling was possible.

I found a suitable replacement for the ladyfingers in a sponge cake I could prepare then let dry out just a bit. I prepared espresso then wondered why I had not bought it before. My treat among treats is an espresso when I am out and about. Why had I not made it at home.

The smell of it brewing was heavenly enough!

I whipped heavy cream and mascarpone cheese.

I assembled the confectionary dessert, dipping strips of sponge cake into espresso. These strips were layered alternatively with the sweetened cream and cheese. I sifted cocoa powder atop the final layer.

Wah-Lah! My no cook tiramisu is now part of my recipe repertoire


Who isn’t a lover of leftovers? (Well…) But I found a surprising combination from my return to Italian cuisine. The antipasto returned to my refrigerator post-event. I had been a bit afraid of expense, quite frankly, of the variety needed for an appropriate presentation. Expense of food has never concerned me as long as I do not waste it.

And that is where my concern came. I knew I would have leftovers. What would I do with them? Typically in an average week I am not a cook at all. So what easy yet tempting dish could I create from leftover antipasto?

I suppose the answer ‘salad’ is not an eye-raising surprise. But even that can get boring which surprises me. Here I had a smorgasbord of olives, garnishes -giardiniera, cheeses and fresh vegetables, none of which were my usual refrigerator stocked items.

How would that ever get boring?


I decided to shop differently for myself just as I had in preparation for the event. Mixed spring greens included arugula and other lettuces. To partner with the strong flavors, I chose a basic blue cheese. For a drizzle of dressing, I picked a basic balsamic vinaigrette.

And it was marvelous!

The Herb Garden

My reintroduction to the joy of cooking prompted me to think of meals and menus. Food combinations caused me to think more of the ingredients which lend to pleasurable flavors and beneficial impacts. That smell of espresso brewing was such a simple, pure aroma.

The robust taste of a multi layer salad made me think of spices and herbs. When I ran across herb plants and a plant person who urged me to ‘go for it,’ I decided to do just that.

My expansion of herb plants include all the basics and nothing exotic. In true form my mother gifted me with the perfect mini wooden crate. It’s truly a decorative piece with enough sturdiness to confine my herbs!

My fresh herb offerings include rosemary, English thyme, lemon thyme, lavender, Italian oregano and curled parsley.

I am finding my indoor garden to be a bit heavenly. It’s peaceful with the promise of experimentation of taste and smell.

Soothing, especially with an espresso!

My life feels like I have leapt in these past weeks. With incredible joy and astonishment really, I find myself creating for myself.

May you be filled with love and similar blessings.

Thank you for reading,

Always love,


Published by Stephanie Monka Springborn

Hi. Welcome to my blog, the brick dandelion. I am... just me. Thank you for joining me. Love and Blessings, ~Stephanie

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