We curated our family’s favorite recipes and tips and tricks for throwing a great party. But we’re not the only ones who are passionate about food and parties – we have a bunch of friends and neighbors who are just as crazy about entertaining eats as we are. Here, we share our recipes and stories with you.

  • Winter Warmth, Chicken Pot Pies
    One of Carla’s favorite winter-time meals is a warm, creamy chicken pot pie. The recipe is pretty quick and easy, and is definitely one the kids can help with, especially […]
  • Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies with Sea Salt
    This recipe is a variation on my standard Chocolate Chip Cookie.  Instead of toffee pieces, I’ve done pretzel pieces and even chopped maraschino cherries. (I like to save those for […]
  • Spicy Asian Noodle Soup For What Ails You
    Spicy Asian Noodle Soup, A Family Favorite The fall cold season settled heavily upon the Labianca/McDaniel household.  With three sick kids sporting four infected ears among them and two sniffly […]
  • If You Relish Pickles, You Will Love Our Pickled Vegetables
    Every year we host at least 2 big outside parties – the pig roast on the 4th of July and Oktoberfest in the fall. One of the first things I […]
  • Baskets of Hot Peppers in the Garden? Make Hot Sauce!
    Our garden this year has been a juggernaut – kale that grows faster than we can eat it, tomatoes everywhere, carrots with greens shooting up over our kids’ heads, and […]
  • 10 Tips for a Killer Outdoor Party
    If you’ follow this blog, you know that Gary and I like to throw parties – like the 4th of July Pig Roast. In the beginning of October, we host […]
  • Italian American Comfort Food, My Mother’s Baked Ziti
    Baked ziti is Italian comfort food. Several pounds of rich, delicious cheese, pasta, and my marinara sauce are the key components added to this dish. To me, there’s nothing so creamy […]
  • My Marinara Sauce
    It’s said that each Italian knows how to make good marinara sauce. It’s learned by watching the elders, but never participating in the act. They cook for YOU, they don’t […]
  • Roasting a Pig in a Box, A 4th of July Pig Roast to Remember
    How the hell does one go about roasting a pig in a box?  If you’re like Carla and me, you love good food, good friends and you LOVE a good […]