28 April 2012

Fish with Leeks and Tomatoes

We're still traveling, and won't be home for a couple of weeks. Here's a recipe from the archives to keep you busy and happy till we get back. Bon Appetit!

Growing up in an Irish Catholic family meant that we ate fish on friday. Every friday, without fail. 
Actually, as Catholics, we weren’t obliged to eat fish. We just couldn’t eat meat. At our house, though, 'no meat' meant fish. So we ate fish every Friday. We didn’t live especially close to the sea (Atlanta), and the selection of fresh fish at that time wasn’t great. We were also a large family (Irish Catholic, remember?). All of this meant that we ate a lot of the dreaded Tuna Noodle Casserole. With potato chips on top. No peas. We also ate a lot of salmon patties made from canned salmon. I still like these. I haven’t made them in a long time, though. Hmmm....

28 March 2012

To Slip the Surly Bonds of Earth

I remember the first time I flew on a commercial airliner. I was 19 and on my way from Atlanta to Knoxville to visit my college roommate. I was absolutely enchanted with the experience of flying, and couldn’t wait to do it again. I loved the rush of takeoff, being slammed back into my seat and that magic moment when this enormous awkward machine became weightless.

Many years later, I had a job that required that I fly about 400,000 km / 250,000 miles a year. Every week I would leave home on Sunday (or the crack o’dawn Monday if I was lucky) and fly to a different city to meet with clients. Often I would repeat this every day till Friday, when I got to fly home. If there was a storm in Chicago or a tornado in Atlanta my carefully constructed week would shatter and I’d have to phone my bff, my travel agent. She bailed me out more times than I can count. 

22 March 2012

Ristorante Zio Gigi: Home cooked food in the heart of Florence

We're traveling again. This time we're in Florence, where we spend our mornings in Italian class and our afternoons exploring this amazing city. 

In Florence there are hundreds of restaurants, pizzerias, osterias, tavernas, bars, cafes. It’s hard to choose; there are so many. We love to wander off the main piazzas, looking for that special little place where everyone likes to go. Where they know your name and they know how mamma made lunch. 

Last November we stumbled on a place like that: Ristorante Zio Gigi. It’s a little place like many others, but something about the menu caught our eye. And when the door opened, we heard singing. Loud, boisterous, welcoming. We had to go in--we had no choice. 

07 February 2012

Mayo Clinic

Let's face it: no matter how much we love our favorite ones, sometimes we feel the need to spice things up. I get bored with the same old thing. Come on, admit it—you do too. I mean, we've all tried to make it more exciting, haven't we? A little spice helps a lot, I think. I've been playing around lately, going farther than ever before, and I think I've found some tricks. So if you're tired of plain old mayonnaise, why not send your mayonnaise to the Mayo Clinic for a little lift?

27 January 2012

Donna Hay Photo Challenge

Simone of Junglefrog Cooking has a monthly photo challenge. She picks a photo (and recipe) from Donna Hay Magazine and challenges us to replicate the photo as closely as we can. The object of this exercise is not to copy someone else's work (ew) but rather to sharpen our skills in food styling and analysing the light in a photo. Why? So that we can be better photographers and do our own work better.

I'll admit that I don't normally gravitate to food challenges. However, after the Plate to Page workshop I began to think about how to do a better job of styling and photographing my recipes, and this challenge seems to me to be the perfect way to continue the learning that I started at P2P. 

02 January 2012

New Year's Traditions: Hoppin John

I have a confession to make. I really don’t like New Year’s. To me, it’s an artificial thing. Don’t get me  wrong, I love the IDEA of it--a new start, wipe the slate clean and begin anew. What’s better than that?

The problem is that we seem to take all our problems, resentments, wounds into the new year. We can’t seem to leave them behind. We try to feel as if it’s a brand new year, but if we’re honest with ourselves, nothing is different, is it? At midnight we say HAPPY NEW YEAR! and we pop corks and throw confetti and set off fireworks and we try to feel as if something is different, something is new. But it really isn’t. At least for me.

20 December 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

of star light
and candle light
when hope lights up
all our lives, we gather to
a tree

Each ornament is a shining reminder that happiness comes one thought, one action, one day at a time.

Best wishes for happiness from our house to yours.