I always feel lucky to have grown up with parents who could cook and bake really well! My dad loves to feed people and if you come over to my parents house, I guarantee you won’t be leaving there hungry.

My dad is not only a grill master, but he is THE grill master. My god, he seriously makes the BEST cheeseburgers and ribs ever!!!!

Sorry to keep you waiting, but here is what I ate while relaxing at Squam Lake.

My dad’s amazing scrambled eggs with some delicious buttery sourdough toast and 2 sausage links.
My dad made marinated steak and cheese sandwiches with a side of potato salad.




Every time my dad makes ribs, I swear they get better and better!
Altogether, I had my dad’s famous cheeseburgers along with 2 ribs and some salad. Mmmmmmmm!


It was also my dad’s birthday over the week. He is a huge fan of anything ice cream, so of course we got him a Carvel Ice Cream cake and it totally hit the spot.



My sister and I made breakfast on the day we had to leave. I was in charge of the pancakes and she cooked the bacon. I think my dad was pleasantly surprised when he got back from fishing because he finally didn’t have to do the cooking for once.

Don’t worry, while eating all this I was able to squeeze in 2 really good runs and lots of swimming!

I was lucky to grow up with parents who could cook and bake really well. My mom is the baker in the house and has many amazing recipes including Death By Chocolate Cake and her holiday Waffle Cookies. My dad is the cook of the house and I very much miss all of his delicious meals he would make us while my sisters and I were growing up. My goal is to obtain and write down all of my parents recipes so I can make them for my own children.

My dad doesn’t have any recipes written down for any of his creations, so this is going to be the hardest part. I’m making this one of my goals for the year. I’m going to start this as a series on the blog; called Family Recipes. I’ve started tonight with Chicken Marsala, one of my favorite dinners ever!


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup marsala cooking wine


Flatten out each piece of chicken until it’s rather thin. In a large skillet melt the butter on low heat. Add the garlic to the pan and continue to cook on low heat until the garlic has softened. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour and place into the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium and brown the chicken on each side. Add in the mushrooms and continue to cook for a few more minutes.


When the mushrooms are soft, add in the marsala wine and scrape off anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. This will create a sauce after only a few minutes. Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, plate it and top with the mushrooms.



What’s your favorite family recipe?

This recipe was sent to me by my Aunt Paula. I am going to write it exactly as how she sent it to me. There is a paragraph of tips/comments at the bottom that is very helpful. Enjoy!



  • 1/2 cup shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


Thoroughly cream shortening and sugars; add eggs and beat well.  Add dry ingredients; mix thoroughly.   Chill.
Roll 1/8 inch thick on lightly fhoured surface.  Cut with floured cookie cutter.  Place a tsp of filing on each half of cookies; top with remaining cookies.  Press edges together with fork.  Pierce fork in the middle of cookie.  Bake on greased sheet at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.



Combine one cup of chopped dates, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup of water.  Cook over low heat until thickened.  About 5 minutes should do it.  Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired.


The dates come in an 8 oz. package which is what you need.   Make sure you are buying CHOPPED dates.  I do not have a cookie cutter so I use what I have in the kitchen.  You can use the bottom of a round glass.  The size I used this past time was about 2 3/8 in diameter.  I think I make larger cookies than Nana did.  The amount of cookies I made with this recipe last time made 30 cookies, with some of the dough left over.

Regarding chilling the dough, the last time I made the dough late afternoon & kept it in the refrigerator until the next morning.  I wrap it up in wax paper, (flour the paper so it doesn’t stick to the paper when you try to use it.  It doesn’t take long to make the dough but it is the cutting out 30 circles with 30 tops & filling them in, etc. That takes time but they are SO GOOD and completely worth it.