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I’m an acting/improvising optimizing son of a gun.

I’ve been living and working and performing in Chicago since 2005. I love to eat, travel, talk and make people laugh. So for me this blog stuff is pretty neat.

I also like you. Whoever you are. I like you. For coming to my blog and sharing in my thoughts. I appreciate you. And I think you’re hot. So here’s to you, readers of my blog. Thanks for being awesome. Share and share a like!

Follow me on Twitter @toddawatomi and listen to my podcast with my besticle Ethan at!

Ricotta Pie with MamaG

Ricotta Pie has been a staple of our Easter dinner for as long as I can remember.  It’s basically, an Italian cheesecake…because ricotta is cheese and because pie is basically a cake that’s reached a higher level of existence. Truthfully, it’s not something I ate while I was growing up. I’m not sure why maybe it’s due…

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Pineapple Upside-down Cake

    My most recent memory of this cake (other than when I just made this) is when Stacey met my parents for the first time.   We were driving up to Wisconsin to my parent’s house and I remember Stacey was pretty worried about meeting my mom. An Italian mom meeting her son’s non-Italian girlfriend…

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Dora’s Eggplant Parmesan

  This is a dish I remember making throughout my entire life; with my mom, with my roommates in college, with my friends, and now with Stacey in our grown-up adult house. I’ve made this so much I could probably make it in my sleep.   That, of course, would be incredibly dangerous and I…

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Anselmo’s Pasta Dough

If you know me (and my build) then you probably think that the stoic eye-tie on the right is my Great Grandpa…but you’d be wrong. Look at that scrappy little guy on the left, that’s my Great Grandpa Anselmo. Honestly, I feel like one of my thighs weighs more than he does soaking wet. But, I…

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Mary’s Pasta Tonnata

My Mom and Dad came down this Sunday to visit with Stax and Me… and even though they won’t admit it, Batman and Lester too. I was glad they were able to come down and see some of the progress I’ve been making. I’m very lucky to have their support. This weekend, that support came…

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Dora’s Cocktail Meatballs

Stax kept us in the realm of appetizers for this week’s cooking sesh, though that’s not too surprising since Stax loves snacks. Aunt Dora was the younger sister of my Grandma and was a DiBattista before she was a DiPompeo. (suuuuper Italian) There are some pretty amazing stories that followed her through life: Meeting the…

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Grandpa’s Calzone

That handsome Italian kneading dough in that picture is my Grandpa. And just in case you were worried he wasn’t Italian enough just by looking at him, his name was Al DiNunzio. I was flipping through the cookbook yesterday, trying to figure out where to start this journey, and when I saw that face smiling…

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Back to basics

It’s been a while. I wish I had some news, something interesting that kept me from writing and cooking the past few months…but I don’t. As I’ve mentioned, I struggle with depression that rears it’s ugly head from time to time and, unfortunately, keeps me from doing what I love. As a whole 2017 wasn’t…

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