It’s Fall Again!!!

28 Sep

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are as excited as I am about it being Fall once again.  Why all the excitement you may ask? This is the time of year where the weather gets cooler, the events for everything start in full swing and it is the gateway to the holidays. I LOVE the holidays, don’t you?  A chance to break out the good china, crystal, linens and set the table proper. Usually there are 50+ people at any event at our home and paper plates, paper napkins, plastic cutlery and red cups are in order. The food tastes the same and clean up is not as arduous of course. It wouldn’t feel like the holidays without a house full of family and friends.  It’s what makes it FUN!

We have birthdays in October so that is the first thing on the agenda. What does the birthday person want or are we going out? Depends on the day and if it’s a work day or not. When we do eat in that is when the china, crystal and linens get used.  Family time is always the best and now we have a grandbaby so it makes it even more special.  What do you make for events at your home. I would love some feedback about your menu and ideas.  Let’s chat at

I am sharing a picture of the mushroom toast I made the other night for dinner. One of my favorites. So easy, fast and especially good for when you are starving and don’t have time to make a full fledged meal.

Toast some good Sourdough Bread, I always butter my toast because I love the taste but it is not necessary. Wash your mushrooms and if you like slice them, quarter or throw the caps whole in the pan with butter, green onions, basil, garlic and Tuscan Herb blend.  If you have Tuscan Blend flavored Olive Oil that works great also and can be substituted for butter or…added to it!  Cook the mushrooms till they have turned colors and are soft. Put the mushroom mix on your toast and eat! Simple, easy and fast!  I don’t want to forget if you like cheese, melt some mozzarella on top before eating.  Have to have meat, no problem, put it on the toast before the mushrooms and then add the cheese.  Oh it is beyond expectation and won’t disappoint you!!!

I am all about easy, fast, simple and YUMMY! I hope you are too!

What are you making for Thanksgiving! Do you have traditional recipes and foods you make every year or do you change it up?  How about Christmas? Let’s discuss it next time! Write me at with your ideas and I will include them in the next Hugs and Baci’s from ME!

Thanks so much for stopping by and I will look forward to hearing from all of you! Until next time. Enjoy your life and live it to the Fullest because it is a Journey!

Mille Grazie & Ciao, Hugs and Baci’s from ME,

Elena Grana


Summer is Winding Down and You Know What that Means, Right?

23 Aug

The kitchen will be once again in full swing and it will be acceptable to put the oven on!!!

Summer is wonderful because every way I can think of to make meals without putting on the oven happens.  With the kids grown and living in their own homes, making a nightly meal for just two of us is not as important as it once was.  The heat doesn’t help my motivation to do something on a grand scale either. Easy alternatives to choose from are salads, sandwiches, quesadilla’s, potatoes stuffed with veggies or there is always take out!!!!

I have a new appliance in my kitchen it’s a Thermomix.  If you haven’t heard of it before don’t feel bad it’s only been in California since March and the states for 2 years. The company that makes the Thermomix is Vorwerk and was founded in Wuppertal, Germany in 1883. They started as a carpet company went into vacuum’s next, they produced Jafra make up and in 1961 made the first Thermomix. Still a family owned business even after 130 years and they believe in producing superior products and stellar customer service. This is the reason they only sell these appliances through consultants that have been trained by their company.  They have a wonderful way of presenting these fantastic appliances by having a cooking experience. You invite 3 or 4 people, the consultant demonstrates a whole meal with items you have picked out, everyone gets a chance to cook one of the choices and then you eat the meal together.  An experience with your friends and you can pick lemonade to make or Margarita’s so everyone can be Happy!!  An amazing addition to my kitchen and it makes bread dough that is heavenly and sauces that are out of this world.  A lot of restaurants in the 60 countries they sell to have them specifically because it makes perfect sauces.  If you are interested send me an email at and I can direct you to a consultant who can demo, invite you for a cooking experience and answer your questions.

I am sharing a photo of the mashed cauliflower I made with my Thermomix. I love the fact it came out hot and ready to put on the table and it was just as good as mashed potatoes without the carbs. All I added to the mix was one onion cut in half, a little olive oil and then two bags defrosted cauliflower. I added a small amount of Sour Cream, some cream cheese and butter.  The onion infused flavor throughout the cauliflower and it was so very Yummy!

Thanks so much for stopping by and let’s connect again next week.  Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy the sunny days ahead and RELAX!!!

Mille Grazie & Ciao!

Hugs and Baci’s,


#Thermomix  #ThermomixUSA   #Summerwindingdown  #Cauliflower  #cookingfortwo  #perfectsauces  #easymeals #fastmeals  #hotsoup  #lowcarb





Friday the 13th and all is well!

13 Jul

Hello Everyone and Welcome to Friday the 13th!

Isn’t it amazing even in the 21st century superstition is still alive and thriving around the world. Always a lucky day for my Dad since he was born on Friday the 13th in 1929.  This day can conjure up images of men with knives and guns coming after you.  So smart and so dumb at the same time.  So…what are you eating today?

Friday’s in the summer are usually go to the park and watch the municipal band or a cover band they bring in.  Meeting friends, chatting, catching up on what happened over the week. Everyone brings their dinner and we share snacks or desserts.  It’s a good time to try a new recipe and have everyone taste test!

Tonight we are buying Sushi Rolls from our Pavilions who have Sushi Chefs on site all day.  I have never attempted making rolls but a lot of people do hand rolls with rice  paper and they look great!  There are classes close by that will teach you to make Sushi, Sashimi and Rolls.  I am getting out of work later than usual so I am not finding time to make something up to bring.  I was too busy swimming till 10 pm last night at a friends solar heated pool to think about putting in a loaf of bread for today.  The bread machine would have had it done this morning but when I finally made it home it was late and I was too tired!!  Next Week!!

I shared a picture of the newest recipe I tried for the Bread Machine. It was Bread Flour, Rye and Whole Wheat. The seeds included were toasted sesame, poppy seed and raw Pumpkin Seeds.  The compound butters I made were Garlic powder and Onion Powder.  Very simple concoctions compared to what I usually devise. Still a hit no matter what.  Everyone at the 4th of July party raved about this bread and said it was their favorite so far. I forgot I had flax seeds which I could have added also.

Being a creative cook is my MO. Adding things that I like or taking things off the recipe that are not part of our taste approved ingredients is what I do always.  Cooking is easy and you can be creative with it.  Baking on the other hand is Chemistry and I tread easier when I am baking anything because the margin of error is much smaller.

In February I arrange a ski trip to Yosemite for 40 families. This is our 27th year coming up. Yosemite is a passion of mine. You will see lots of info on the park, pics, info on Ansel Adams and the events that take place in the valley. Thought I would give you a heads up about that particular issue.

I appreciate you coming by and I hope you have had your feet up and been sitting in a comfy chair.  Send me your feedback and let me know about what you do in the kitchen.  I have a lot of interests- cooking, baking, theatre, art, museum’s, dance productions of any kind, music, singing, gardens, interiors, real estate, income property, and the list goes on and on. I hope you love everything too!

Have a wonderful weekend, stay cool, relax and let’s connect next week!

Hugs and Baci’s

Mille Grazie & Ciao,


First Blog for Hugs and Baci’s from ME

29 Jun

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to write a quick Hello and say I hope you will follow and visit very often.

This is going to be very interactive so please visit my Facebook and Instagram pages with the same name if you want to post ideas.

That’s what I want this to be an exchange of Ideas and Information, that we can all benefit by and make our lives more interesting, creative and easy.

Of course recipes will probably lead the pack of what is posted but I promise there will be other items shared as well.

The more variety the better for a more creative, fulfilled, satisfying life.

If you want to contact me directly my email is-

Mille Grazie, Ciao, Hugs and Baci’s,


Hello world!

6 Jul

Welcome to After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

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