I am a writer, a cook, and, to borrow the tag of the moment, a maker. Translate the latter as creating style-y stuff for my table and my house to make them pretty, welcoming and comfortable.

Long ago, in a far off career land, I was variously a copywriter, creative director, art director, test kitchen director, and contributor to the NBC TODAY show and the Food Network.  I wrote four cookbooks. See them (and what the hell, buy them) here.

 I grew up in a lively (read: pazzo) Italian household with my parents, three sisters (shout out to the 3Ds!) and an ever-present cadre of relatives and friends. When we weren't hosting them, they were hosting us. Birthdays, holidays, Sundays, any days. There was (and is) always a reason to get together and eat, talk, drink, eat, eat, laugh, eat, cry, drink, eat, and eat some more. The undulating interior landscape of my Italian (Pugliese) family and the food that nourished us physically and emotionally made me what I am today, for better and worse.

 Not surprisingly, then, Ciao Donata touches on the intersection of food with family, friends, and everyday life. It's a conversation with recipes. It's a chat about what's going on in the world at large and what's going on in my life that just may intersect with yours. I'm Italian. I always have an opinion. (And please, share yours.)

No obnoxious list of “likes” except these: My husband and sons (they should be under the heading “love”), my dogs (ditto “love’), Italy (duh) and Hawaii (Aloha). And in the spirit(s) of full disclosure, vodka. In all its guises.   Sometimes I like to wear big black sunglasses and pretend I am Anna Wintour.

 Italians say "ciao" when they greet and "ciao" when they depart, a perfect metaphor for when our day begins and when it ends. In between the "ciaos," deliciousness, beauty and fun (!) happen.

 So, ciao amici! Welcome to my musings, along with some nice recipes and everyday style ideas. I know we'll get along like Parmesan and Prosecco. 

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