Written by Skip Lombardi

Continued from page 1

One ofrepparttar foodstuffs she introduced torepparttar 113123 French Court, was spinach. At this point, though, historians become vague. It seems thatrepparttar 113124 French liked it well enough, but they weren't bowled over. Of course, this was also a period in culinary history whenrepparttar 113125 Royal Court was-literally-grappling withrepparttar 113126 notion of using silverware at dinnertime, so they probably can't be faulted for being less than enthusiastic.

Also, as historian Brandon Case, of King's College in Pennsylvania, writes, "other than [King] Francis I, Caterina had not a friend." And elsewhere he writes thatrepparttar 113127 Royal Court and French people at-large, referred to her as "the Italian woman."

So when spinach began to appear onrepparttar 113128 menus atrepparttar 113129 Royal Chateau Fontainebleau,repparttar 113130 diners began to refer to it, with some contempt, as being "like that Florentine." Yet over time, "alla Fiorentina" seemed to change fromrepparttar 113131 depreciative torepparttar 113132 complimentary "Florentine-style." History remains weak about whether Florentines in general ever had a strong appetite for spinach.

Today, when we go to a restaurant and order something "alla Fiorentina," we expect that it will be served on a bed of spinach, or stuffed with spinach. And we're content to think that we're paying homage torepparttar 113133 good people of Florence. But I submit that, in fact, we're paying homagerepparttar 113134 woman who also introduced high-heeled shoes for ladies.

The next time I go to brunch, I think instead of ordering Eggs Florentine, I'm going to order "Eggs alla Caterina de' Medici," and see what happens. Nah, it's probably too late inrepparttar 113135 game for that.

Skip Lombardi is the author of two Italian cookbooks.

He has been a Broadway musician, high-school math teacher, software engineer. But he has never let any of those pursuits get in the way of his passion for cooking and eating. Visit his Web site to learn more about his cookbooks. http://www.skiplombardi.com For comments or questions, e-mail at info@skiplombardi.com

Calling All Singles - Cooking for Busy Lives

Written by Marybeth Gregg

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Invite guests when making a large meal – they can help you cook and then you can divide leftovers into smaller portions, enough for one meal and have 3-4 meals ready. Make it into a mini-party. Save leftovers and create new meals by adding rice, pasta, vegetables, or a different kind of cheese.

4.Your well-stocked pantry – this is key to cooking with ease. Use some wonderful ingredients in your cabinets so that you can come home and just throw them together. Roasted peppers, tapenade, fig balsamic vinegar, capers, a great extra-virgin olive oil, a variety of spices, walnuts, almonds or pecans, all ingredients that can help you make a piece of plain chicken or fish into a delicious and fast meal and in barely more time than making a sandwich, or waiting in line for take-out.

5.The Niceties of Life - To make your meal more of a treat, rather than a chore, rememberrepparttar table. The ambiance often makerepparttar 113122 meal, even when eating alone. Varyrepparttar 113123 color of your foods – a meal of foods that are allrepparttar 113124 same color is dull. Choose multi-colored foods and use your nicest plates and place mats. Maybe even place some flowers onrepparttar 113125 table. Make it fun to cook and eat for one. Make a recipe you’ve been wanting to try so that you can use it for entertaining. Why not?

And you know you can always invite a friend to dinner. No matter what your age, company is really important to making us feel good. Sometimesrepparttar 113126 only socialization people get is at work or with family. Company during meal times can make a difference in what and how you feel about eating. It doesn’t have to be a fancy meal. A simple menu, using onlyrepparttar 113127 fresh ingredients, will go a long way. So do something different and just enjoy a home-cooked meal for a change. You surely don’t need to cook every night, but when you do, you will get great satisfaction, and your body will love you for it! Have fun inrepparttar 113128 kitchen- it can be done.

Visit her at www.cook-with-confidence.com and ontact her with any thoughts or questions at: Marybeth@cook-with-confidence.com

Marybeth Gregg has been cooking, entertaining and giving cooking advice for almost 20 years, is well-known for her wonderful cuisine, great parties and started her successful cooking school several years ago. She has been featured in several newspapers, is currently working on cookbook, a dvd'series of cooking lessons.

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