The LePores make a variety of mini calzones
Sharing a kitchen for 24 years, with no food fights
Try to picture yourself cooking dinner with your spouse several days a week, sharing the same kitchen, "discussing" how much salt to put in the marinara.
Is it scary?
Not for Bob and Mary Kay Lepore of Bloomingdale. They've been married and cooking together 24 years - more often over the last 10 years - and still haven't had a serious food fight. Maybe some skirmishes, but nothing too messy.
At least nothing they're telling us about.
"We argue a lot when we're cooking," says Bob cheerfully. "Yesterday she's making peppers and eggs and she wants me to add milk, then she says it's too much."
"I'm a little messier," says Mary Kay.
"A lot messier," corrects Bob.
He's more organized and by-the-book, she's more "wild."
"We could have a cooking show, but not a nice one," laughs Mary Kay.
In truth, the Lepores work together like a well-oiled Cuisinart.
"Sometimes he's the lead, sometimes it's me," she says.
They shop for groceries as a team, and sometimes spend four hours cooking on a Saturday.
"If we make stuffed shells, one holds, the other stuffs like an assembly line," says Mary Kay.
While they eat, they critique their work, analyzing how to make it better.
Mary Kay is a social studies and language arts/literature teacher at Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, Bob owns a masonry business. They have two college-aged sons and a daughter who graduated college.
"When they come home we want to fill the freezer," says Bob. "We cook a lot and they go home with stuff."
Stuff like chicken cacciatore, pasta fagioli with Bob's homemade noodles, marinara and pea soup.
Bob's specialty is homemade Italian bread dough which can be baked into loaves, divided into smaller pieces and filled for calzones, rolled into pizza dough or fried and then drizzled with honey and powdered sugar.
"I could have a four-course meal just with a batch of dough," says Bob, who makes two or three loaves every other day when his kids are home.
He passes out loaves to the plumber, the guy at the auto shop who fixed his transmission, the woman across the street who had a baby, the guy down the block who did a favor.
Here's where Mary Kay smells a business opportunity.
"I wanted to open our own place called 'Dough to Go,'" she says.
Instead, the Lepores are sharing their signature recipes for Italian bread dough and calzone filling.
Grab your spouse, or significant other, and give it whirl.