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    Summer in January

    By Chef Domenica Catelli

    I had the privilege of spending the past three days working with the wonderful team from Better Homes & Gardens magazine on a story they are going to be running, featuring me, in the June issue.

    Nancy Hopkins, the food editor, gathered the team up at Catelli’s (my restaurant) to bring to life the casual, summer entertaining meals that evolve when my friends and family get together. When she mentioned the story to me I was thrilled and honored. When she clarified that we have to shoot for June in January I was petrified. In the Northern California town I live, late January is typically very cold and rainy. They were convinced shooting the story outside would not be a problem. And guess what? They were right!

    The team from Iowa brought the sun with them! We were blessed with clear skies and weather that reached almost 70 degrees one day. They left this morning and…it is cold and rainy!

    I did want to remind you how important it is to stop and gather with the people that make us laugh, love and think about life from a different perspective. Our group of nine included three of my closest girlfriends, my 16 year-old daughter, my husband, brother, cousin, and cousin-in-law. We dressed in bright summer colors and forgot the photo shoot for a few hours and just truly enjoyed being together. The clinking of glasses and laughter drowned out the thoughts of homework, work deadlines, and the doldrums of winter.

    There were candles, kale salad, great wine, and plenty of cheer. The simplest recipe of time well spent with those we love can bring a summer moment into any winter day. I encourage all of you to have a dinner party for no reason and invite those you love and have not seen in a while.

    Until next time, stay fresh and delicious!

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