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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • Hi everyone and blessed Holy week to you! We are having a "potluck" at church after both morning Masses--and I am not sure what to bring? Last year I made mini-pecan sticky buns and they went over really well, but they were rather time-intensive. Any different ideas? Also I have a dear friend who just found out that she is allergic to several things...like 50 {!} I am offering prayers and support to her but don't know the best way to help? Several of her kids have the same allergies, and she feels guilty about this. She is pretty much in shock, and needs to change her whole paradigm of food/cooking/nourishing her family. Pretty much everything on her mini-farm is the problem. Prayers for her, and any other ideas, would be MOST appreciated!

    Posted on Mar 26th, 2013 at 2:24 PM by Donna L.

  • Donna L., I like to bring biscotti to things like this. It is easy to make, hard to mess up and doesn't make too much of a mess. Giada Laurentis has a good recipe on Foodtv.com for Holiday biscotti, although it is written for Christmas, I think an orange/cranberry flavor would be great for Spring time too.

    Posted on Mar 26th, 2013 at 3:09 PM by Danielle M.

  • Donna, I have a recipe from Pampered Chef where you use crescent rolls to make mini cinnamon rolls--they go very quickly here, and are quick to make. Maybe that would work for you? Just press 2 triangles into a rectangle, spread with softened butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll, starting on the short side, and cut into 5 mini rolls. One can makes 20 mini rolls and fits in an 8 inch pan. Of course, I think you should add the pecans too, but my family doesn't care for them. ;) No advice for your friend with the allergies, but I'll say a prayer!

    Posted on Mar 26th, 2013 at 3:18 PM by Mary Therese

  • My daughter is peanut and tree nut allergic. My first suggestion about what to bring for the potluck is that whatever you make, make an ingredient list available at the potluck. Any situation that involves homemade food is a nightmare for food allergic people--which leads me to your friend. I strongly suggest that she look at www.foodallergy.org, which is the official website for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. It has of useful and reliable advice on it. It also has links to allergy support groups and online forums. (There are a ton of such groups out there, but the ones on this site have to meet certain criteria to be listed and are therefore pretty reliable.) Beyond that, just be a good listener for your friend. Being diagnosed with that many allergies means she's going to have to rethink a lot of how she lives her life--from eating out to shopping to attending parties and donut socials. It can all be very disorienting.

    Posted on Mar 26th, 2013 at 3:30 PM by MR

  • Thank you ladies, for those great potluck ideas! MR thank you for the "heads-up" I will make the ingredient list to help those trying to navigate that challenge. Yes, from living the "self-sufficient life" of dairy cow, chickens and eggs and lots of homemade things--that they were eating on a daily basis to not...will be a big change!

    Posted on Mar 26th, 2013 at 6:19 PM by Donna L.

  • I love my crockpot for potlucks (and care calendar type meals). You can make a pot roast which is super simple and very tasty. Hot main dishes always go well. The down side is you need a place to plug it in...... Also, I am a fan of trifle (esp fruit this time of year). Bake a white cake. Crumble it up. Then layer the cake, berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries), vanilla pudding. Looks good, tastes great, always a success! And finally, I'm from Texas, and cold watermelon is super easy. Takes about 10 minutes to cut up but everyone always makes it disappear.

    Posted on Mar 26th, 2013 at 8:31 PM by JM

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