Stracciatella with Meatballs and Pasta


Since when did we start naming snowstorms?

That was the thought that occurred to me as I was perusing the news about the storm that dusted the Washington, D.C. area with snow this week.  (I say “dusted” since, in comparison to the amount of snow New England is getting this year, everyone else’s accumulation can only be called a dusting.)    Several articles made reference to Winter Storm Octavia.  Others referred to the storm that hit New England over the Valentine’s Day weekend as Winter Storm Neptune.  Where did this naming thing come from?  Is it a last ditch effort at appeasing some Roman god of winter, snow, and ice?

Well, after a bit of online sleuthing, it turns out that we owe this new naming trend to the Weather Channel.  Apparently, it began the practice in 2012, generating a blizzard of controversy in the process.  (Pun definitely intended.)  Some feel that unilaterally naming winter storms is not good science, will mislead the public, and is really just a big publicity stunt.  Others just see it as an opportunity to lampoon the Weather Channel and its new practice.

I don’t know about you, but whether a storm has a name is not what I’m thinking about when I look out my window and see a thick blanket of snow covering my driveway.  Nope, what I’m thinking about is what can I make today that will keep me, my kids, and my snow-shoveling hubby (thank you, sweetie!) toasty warm.

How about a piping hot bowl of Stracciatella with Meatballs and Pasta?

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Winter Pasta Salad


Pasta salad is one of those dishes that are supposed to be infinitely flexible.  It’s just cooked pasta, vegetables, and dressing.  What could be easier?  Well, nothing … which is precisely the problem.  Pasta salads can be so easy, they’re uninspiring.

That’s the dilemma I faced when I sat down to come up with the second in my series of recipes for easily made breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner dishes that can be substituted for store-bought items typically loaded with added sugar.  I knew I wanted to do a home-made pasta salad, but finding one that was both tempting and convenient seemed difficult.

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