Roasted Eggplant, Heirloom Tomato & Mozzarella With Lardo & Fresh Herbs

I’ve been on the road for nearly seven months now. Which made cooking… different and set CookingforBello into hibernation mode. I will fully admit, I used to read blog posts that started with “It’s been a while since I posted” and almost immediately thought “really?” Well I get it now. Life changes and so to do…

The Abandoned Italy Tourists Never See

Originally posted on ALOR:
When Giacomo, Emilia’s beloved Husband passed, she was left as the last resident of a neighborhood once home to 38 people. Empty Homes Out Emilia’s Backdoor On her daily walk up the hill to the cemetery to visit Giacomo, Emilia passes a few beautiful well kept homes, but it’s the patina of time on the walls…

Stories of Comfort, Mashed Potatoes to Polenta

You know that dish, the one your Mom, Dad, Grandma made you as a kid? The dish that took away sadness, aches, hunger, a cold winters chill replacing it with a warm hug from the inside out? This post, is about a family with two versions of comfort food, American and Italian, Mashed Potatoes and Polenta. In my…

Lazy Cows Make The Best Cheese

Originally posted on ALOR:
Ok so maybe the Podolica Cow is not exactly lazy, it’s just a perfectionist. Why does the work ethic of a Cow matter? One word, Caciocavallo. Perfectly subtle, slightly salty cheese, lovingly stretched and shaped by hand that is made from the milk of the Podolica Cow. Grazing in the wild over Southern…

Why I’m Mad About Saffron

I’m a big fan of kitchen hacks. Little steps that elevate quick and easy dishes to meals your family remembers. Saffron while it is expensive, has a lot of quick and easy tricks to offer. Fold Saffron in with butter or mix in with salt or honey and dress up everyday items. Add a pinch of…

A Traveling Cook’s Kitchen Essentials

As Bello and I hit the road for 90 days, there is one thing outside of family and friends that I know I will miss, cooking. This long on the road traveling internationally, I had to pack up my tools in storage and it honestly killed me a little bit. Trapped in a box in…

A Home Office To Miss

As Bello and I prepare to hit the road this Sunday for Italy & Spain, my excitement is hard to contain. Our passports have missed us. With 90 days of travel ahead of us, we’re working our tails off, trying to get our business in order before we depart. For my part, I’m wrapping up my…

Etsy Lovers, This One’s for You!

One thing I know about Bloggers, is that we all seem to root for each other. It’s a community I love and one I’m gratefully to be a part of. Etsy is another community that people really love and so, without further ado, Bello finally launched his third collection for Paolo Ferraris Colors titled Skyscapes…

Join Us for 90 Days In Spain & Italy

Originally posted on ALOR:
Bello and I are hitting the road Sunday for 90 Days through Spain and Italy. To keep in touch with friends, we just launched our Twitter account ArtOfLivingOnTheRoad @AOLORGypsyTip. We would love to have you join us! We’ll be sharing #Photography #Food #Travel Inspirations and money saving #GypsyTips. We’re starting in…

A Home Between Heaven and Earth

Originally posted on ALOR:
Big Apples in her eyes, a Midwest Girl moves to Manhattan. Merry Cherry by Paolo Ferraris Colors Where she meets an Italian Photographer, capturing the world in a Crimson Poetic Haze. Crimson Lawn by Paolo Ferraris Colors He is kind, patient, respectful and wins her heart with tender care. A couple anew, they travel…

Cooking For Bello Followers, I’m Sorry

As Bello and I launch our first project together, it’s been a hard two weeks, technically speaking. I created a second blog using my CookingForBello login and profile and entered a very confusing corner of WordPress.  I can’t be alone among my fellow WordPress Bloggers on this one, now I feel your pain! CookingForBello followers, my valued…

5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is an issue I first encountered while working at Food Network on a special called “The Big Waste” with Chefs Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay and Michael Symon. On seeing the Chef’s honest shock, surprise and dismay as they visited orchards, grocery stores, went dumpster diving… it dawned on me, if professional Chefs, food industry…

Motion: Humboldt Fog as the NEW “American Cheese”

I’d like to make a motion, that Humboldt Fog Grande be named the new “American Cheese.” Forget that orange plasticky tasting, plastic wrapped single, by whom the makers… shall not be named. It’s true, America had a culinary phase where we got carried away with the convenience of processed, pre-packaged, pre-cooked foods. Yet I feel change-a-coming,…

Pepper Disguised as a Chile: Hungarian Wax Pepper

Is it just me, or is the difference between a Chili and a Pepper a little confusing? Botanistically speaking, both are nightshades, fruit born from the flower of the Capsicum Species plant. Yep, that’s right a spicy/sweet fruit not a veggie even though it’s green, check. Got it. Hmmm ok so, the same right? By the time I waxed…

Fish & Cheese Together? Why YES!

Let’s talk for a minute about the unlikely combination of seafood and cheese. My first introduction, the Filet-O-Fish, left me scarred in college. GROSS! Who puts cheese on fish! After one bite I tossed the sandwich and declared fish and cheese an unkosher combination. Like many things in life, time and experience, can and do, change opinions. Since…

Vegetarian Goulash for Goonies

Bello and I have started a Flashback Movie Night tradition on the weekends and I’m cooking! This weekend, the Movie: The Goonies, the Dish: Goulash… well Vegetarian Goulash that is. Tonights Inspiration I had no idea what a big Goonie Bello was until while on vacation hearing him exclaim “That’s It! Do you remember the scene where…

Recipe in the Making: Eureka! (Part IV)

This week, I had a flavor Eureka moment realizing when a dish is balanced, it’s the equivalent of bolting awake in the night, sitting straight up in bed. You’ve been awakened. A quick backstory: After initially sharing my Food Fail: A Recipe in the Making for Roasted Poblano Risotto with Fried Egg (Part I), I was blown away by the amazing Kindness…

Beet Haters, This One’s For You

Question for the Beet haters out there, do you turn your nose up at mushroom, spinach and lettuce too? If you lump these foods in with beets under the “tastes like dirt” camp, it’s not your fault. You really are just as cool as those Beet Salad lovin’ Hipsters. It’s Geosmin that’s to blame. People have varying sensitivity…

Martha’s Vineyard the Ultimate Photographers Getaway

As an artistic couple, my Husband a photographer, myself an Executive Producer/Writer, we’re always on the hunt for inspiring locations to visit… on the cheap. We were delighted to find Martha’s Vineyard in the off-season has a few distinct advantages. Reduced prices on stays at Historic Inns like Kelley House among them. A place so charming, you’re welcomed…

Raining Memories of Martha’s Vineyard

Drops strike the pane, trickling down memories of romantic runaways past.  Shielded safely from the storm, we laugh at our rainy day one luck in Martha’s Vineyard. Tucked inside, passing the time, we lay relaxed, contently listening to natures gentle refrain. As the clouds lifted, we strolled towards Magic Hour on the softest sun lit beach left for two. Later…

Recipe in the Making: Starting from Scratch (Part III)

After initially sharing my Food Fail: A Recipe in the Making for Roasted Poblano Risotto with Fried Egg (Part I). I was blown away by the amazing kindness of the Food Blogger community (Part II). Fellow Foodies, Friends and Food Bloggers openly shared support, great ideas and even went through the trouble of taking photos from old magazines to share…

The Princess Bride & Acorn Squash Brown Butter Sage Pasta

Acorn Squash in and of itself for me, was never a squash to write home about. I’ve roasted it as a side many times, yet it never really felt like a good enough payoff for the hard work of cutting the bugger in half! However, last night, while huddled around the family kitchen table we tucked…

A Love Letter to Your Caress

In the winter of 2012 as girlfriend and boyfriend we first found Nantucket. Siasconset Beach beach lay bare, inviting me to run Breathless with youthful enthusiasm. A runaway moment captured becoming a muse, as you quote Eric Burdon, “I live my life, breathless… A life of constant motion and excitement. A life that many will envy and most would avoid!” How…

Pantry Must-Have: Dried Mushrooms

For years I was a little intimidated by dried mushrooms. It’s not something most American’s grew up using. I’d pick up a package in the grocery store and put it back not knowing for sure how to use them, thinking it was FAR more complicated then it is. It wasn’t until while sitting beside my…

Recipe in the Making: Kindness of Foodies (Part II)

Last week I shared a Food Fail story of my attempts to develop a recipe, Roasted Poblano Risotto with Fried Egg. Despite research, planning and painstaking prep, the dish fell short of flavors floating in my mind. It was still tasty and Food Pornerific… That’s the trick though isn’t it, to developing a great recipe? Not stopping, not giving up…

Love Letter: Art in Venice

Excitement bubbles over, a dream coming true. Finally, an American in Venice. Venice cinematic, a Vaporetto arrives as if on a Catherine Hepburn cue. Grand steps of Stazione di Venezia introduce a floating city, romance lapping paved shores. Italian Charmer Bello slips into his native tongue and I to his arms. Glasses lifted  a toast begins our tale. As wine…

Cooking For Bello Author Brandy Shearer

Nice to meet you, I’m Brandy Shearer Cookingforbello is a reflection of my growing understanding of what “building a life together” really means. Do you remember as a kid, staring up at the stars, dreaming of the handsome Prince who sweeps you up to live a big romantic life, far away? I too dreamed, sharing…

Un-Junk-Ucation

Over the years, I’ve moved 19 times. Apparently, I’m unable to settle since I sold my childhood home… while my Mom was traveling in Germany… but that’s another story, Love you Mom!

That many moves makes you really, really good at two things.

Food Fail: Recipe in the Making Part I

With food bloggers, one thing I don’t see a lot of, is food fails. The dishes tried that didn’t go right. I can’t be the only one who has these right? It’s a natural inclination, to only show the finished product, the perfect dish. Even America’s most beloved TV Celebrity Chefs consult recipe developers, test a…

Love Letter to Art in Progress: Costa Rica

Costa Rica was a game changer for Bello and I, a trip that started our journey into a nomadic lifestyle. At the time, we were newly engaged, nature starved New Yorkers on vacation. Our conversations took flight, love birds planning a future. Everything around us seemed brighter, moments Bello captured in my face. We were enchanted, with…

Unserved Dishes Around the World

Some of the best food in Manhattan, never, ever hits the tables for customers front of house. While working hard in Italian Kitchens, Latin cooks bring a few ingredient from home, peppers, juices, herbs and more to spice up pasta, making it more to their liking, their palates for a quick meal. Front of house gets Spaghetti, back of house gets…

Love Letter to Art in Progress: Nantucket

While photographing Bello, photographing the world for five years, I’ve been witness to his life as an Artist, his endless dedication to his craft. I think of myself as romantic, Bello says I’m a “Mush, Mush.” Yet he sees boundless creative possibilities in the exact same moments in time that I do. When I sit back and relax, exhale,…

Promised Quesadilla a Year in the Making

One thing that fascinates me, something I’m increasingly grateful for, is the curiosity North America displays for the cuisines of the world. I intentionally use North America, not just America here. Canadians hate that BTWs. That American’s call the U.S. “America,” please, as if we are the only country on the continent of North America! The Unites…

When You’ve Got Thyme

I’ve talked in posts before of a simple Lemon Vinaigrette that tops Smoked Salmon perfectly in Spring. This weekend, I whipped up a batch to top Chicken, Bread and Romaine hot off the grill and added just one small ingredient that made a big difference, Thyme. With the weather finally turning the corner into Spring, we yearned…

Generation Selfie

The word Selfie represents a generational divide, a single word evoking amusingly variant visualizations depending on the age of the person in pose. GenXers, we started posing with friends, our partners, our parents to record a great moment on vacation, a birthday, a coming together after an absence. We look ok, we’re smiling, we’re getting the…

It’s Friday: I need a Beer

Originally posted on Paolo Ferraris Colors – Blog:
Art Print: I need a Beer “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.” Benjamin Franklin “For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God…

The Devil’s Gulch Made Me Do It

It’s dangerous, having cheese like Devil’s Gulch around. If the full wheel is out, not fire, nor brimstone, nor the fear of snug jeans will keep Bello and I from finishing it off. I mean look at this cheese. Cowgirl Creamery is a coaxer of curd, a provocateur of cream, the ultimate seducer of suckers for cheese. Once…

Wine Country Romance in Santa Ynez

While in California, Wine Lovers owe it to themselves to make it to Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County. Napa and Sonoma are as beautiful and enchanting as ever. However, after watching a man pass out drunk by 11am in the Oxbow Market with his rowdy companion, I could understand why they are getting a reputation…

United by Food

Today is a hard day. Hate spoken loudly, the news repeating it, a cruel nonstop refrain. As a blogger, I debated, should I add my voice to the digital noise, today? I will not go silent. Chances are, if you read a blog today, you are seeking escape too. Looking for comfort from a community…

Quesadilla: “Cotija, Cheesed to Melt You”

Ok it’s true Cotija softens more than it melts, but that’s precisely why it’s perfect for Quesadillas. I’m well aware that it’s not a traditional Quesadilla pick, but we’re talking about an American, Norwegian, Irish woman making a Quesadilla for her Italian Husband. Tradition went out the window a long time ago. So why opt for trying…

Smoked Salmon and Lemon Vinaigrette

Seeing as today is the first day of Spring, and Mother Nature is sleeping in, I decided to bring a little Sunshine to our lunch table in the form of a bright, tart Lemon Vinaigrette. Paired with Smoked Salmon, this dish takes just minutes to prep and has become one of my ultimate Kitchen Shortcuts….

Top 10 Reasons to Own Cast-Iron

One of the hardest parts of life on the road, is not having your own kitchen. While, I pride myself in being able to cook in nearly any situation as I’ve talked about in my 5 Cheap Travel Tips: Saving on Meals post, I’m giving myself a little room for kitchen nostalgia. Despite not having my own…

Grilled Caesar Salad

If you’re looking for a way to get your family excited about salad, try grilling it! Romaine Lettuce is low in calories and high in water, helping it stand up to the heat of a grill (indoor or out).  It takes just a few minutes of heat to transform this cool, crisp, slightly bitter green to a more…

Secrets to Cooking the Perfect Steak

It took me a while to master but put a steak in me, I’m done. I found my own tried and true way to cook the perfect rare steak at home. There are a lot of methods that work but this one results in that “slow walk through a warm kitchen kinda rare” that restaurants often blaze over. Fair warning, this…

Gnocchi with Creamy Blue Cheese a Recipe of Love

Homemade Gnocchi is delicious, satisfying, inexpensive and it’s relatively easy to make, but that’s not the reason I love it. Rolling out Gnocchi reminds me of two beautiful, intelligent, highly capable, caring, warm hearted women, I respect and love greatly, my Moms. In 2012, my now Husband brought me home to Italy for the first time….

Scallops with Sweet Pea and Avocado

Scallops freeze surprisingly well and thaw with little effort. If you move the scallops to the fridge before you go to work in the morning, they will be ready for dinner when you get home. Which makes this a simple and quick way to feed 4 hungry adults dinner. NOTES: I like a little heat to…

Welcome Justin Trudeau, Did You Bring Any Coffee Crisp?

Justin Trudeau’s trip to the US is the first official visit of a Canadian Prime Minister in 19 years. Hearing the excitement in the US Press did my heart good this morning. I’m pretty sure the excitement goes beyond his sexy charm, or the fact that Mr. Trudeau is adorable cuddling Pandas. After living in T.Dot (aka Toronto)…

Robiola, Robiola, ROBIOLA!

If you’re looking for a big hit on your next cheese platter, it’s worth the effort to track down a good Robiola.  When it comes to getting a balance of flavor, one that tends to appeal to a nearly everyone who worships at the alter of cheese, three milks are better than one. Since 1876, the highly prized…

International Women’s Day: A Tribute to Strength Through Adversity

In 1923, in a letter to Sherwood Anderson, Georgia O’Keeffe wrote: “I feel that a real living form is the natural result of the individual’s effort to create the living thing out of the adventure of his spirit into the unknown — where it has experienced something — felt something — it had not understood —…

Top 10 Wines Under $10 @WholeFoods

With my Husband and I hitting the road and working for ourselves, we’re pinching our pennies, and our wine budget is no exception. Yes we have a wine budget and yes, it’s painful–almost like an audit during tax season–to have to cut back. Bello and I like the good stuff. Not the crazy expensive, collector,…

Love Letter to Art in Progress

To saying building your own business as an artist is “hard work” is like saying the Cliffs of Moher “get windy.” An accurate statement, but lacking in the emotional depth that is impossible to explain, without standing at the edge in person. Bello and I are standing at the edge right now and words often fail…

Lord All Murray’s Cheese is in Town!

Hold up, wait. You mean to tell me in the nearly 14 years I’ve been living away from Ohio a few things have changed? Among them, cheese has progressed beyond Gouda, Colby Jack and Sharp Cheddar? I’d started to think of New York City as the Big Cheese rather than The Big Apple while I…

Returning To Flight: The Power of Being Debt Free

Do you ever have that magical dream, the one where you’re flying? A normal dream full of random people, surroundings, conversations, everyone walking along together, then, a feeling of defiance, “I can do this” and you take off running. With one flap of your arms (yes silly as that seems) and a mighty leap, running turns to flight and you…

A Pickled Onion Walked Into a Jar

Onions are notorious for making us cry but usually it’s when you cut them. This quick, easy, and slightly spicy Pickled Onion Recipe is so good it… well I think you get the joke from here. What’s not a joke? The fact that you can keep them around (stored in the fridge in an airtight…

A Plea, Let Travel Change You

All through last and this year, I honestly and sadly, for the first time was aware of news reports of slave labor in the Myanmar (formerly Burma.) Also sadly, this is nowhere near a new problem in Burma. It’s been in the news for years, decades even. I just missed it, glossed over the headlines….

Memories of Myanmar (Burma)

When my Husband and I traveled through Myanmar (Burma) with his parents, we noticed cameras were not just focusing on the Buddhas, they were turning on us too. Burmese life expectancy is nearly 20 years shorter than Italian, so few men ever achieve the snow white hair of my Father-in-law. My Husband has a thick beard, something Burmese men can…

Put an Egg On It

Many a night, I turn to eggs to make a meal seem more hearty and complete. It’s usually unplanned and last minute, but when the Veggies are down and my Husband is hungry, it’s my crutch. It maybe #memeish of me, but I find the always on hand, super versatile egg, ripe for topping anything from veggies…

Snooty Free Affordable French Wine

When it comes to wine, my Husband and I have a theory, no a rule, in a wine stores. If you want a good but inexpensive bottle, skip the French section. Maybe it’s his days spent growing up in the Piemonte region that prompts a little good natured French vs Italian rivalry, but for the most part,…

The Perfect Recipe for Second Day Bread: Panzanella

Nothing beats bread warm and fresh from the bakery, except maybe a  recipe that brings new life to your leftover loaf. You know one that doesn’t scream, stale bread walking. I’m with Oprah’s, I LOVE BREAD. You’ve seen this ad right? We love it too Oprah, we do. Unlike Oprah though, we don’t indulge in bread everyday,…

Easy, Healthy, Homemade Granola

I realized a few years back, my Sister and I, could officially call ourselves adults since we started swapping homemade gifts. Come on, who doesn’t love homemade sugar scrubs with orange zest. Hint, hint send more Sis. My Homemade Granola is my Sister’s first pick and reoccurring request for a homemade gift. This one is for you Sis….

Holy Cheeses That’s Good

My Husband is to cheese what pigs are to truffles, wait that sounds wrong… what bird dogs are to… no, this is getting worse… what trained Cormorants are to Fishermen in China… nope, no better. Bad metaphors aside, when it comes to cheese, my Husband is genius. If there is a cheese to top all cheeses he will root…

5 Cheap Travel Tips: Saving on Meals

It’s a big beautiful, evolving world and nothing thrills us more than being somewhere for the first time together. Why, oh why, can’t magic carpets or teleporters really exist? Delta, do you need a spokes-couple? No… just saying, have passport, will travel. Seeing as we’re both pursuing artistic fields and as my Mom puts it “honey, I made…

All Else Fails, Roast an Onion

Ever find a recipe so simple, easy and yet so tasty it changes your entire opinion on an ingredient. That happened to me recently, with always on hand humble red onion. I don’t mind left overs and thankfully now my Husband doesn’t either. My rule of thumb to get an Italian man’s buy in on second day…

Countless Outbursts of Genuine Happiness

Each year, my Husband creates a gift that shows more love for me as his wife than an acceptance speech co-written by George Clooney and Tom Hanks. Being a photographer, Bello takes countless photos. At the end of each year, he combs the archive selecting his favorites. Then, he shares them with me by printing a book…

$7,210 NYC Wedding Planned in 64 Days

Have you heard? Couples who have cheaper weddings stay married longer! If that’s the case, my Husband, my love, my Bello had better get used to my annoying habit of being bright, happy and perky the moment I wake up each morning. I’m pretty sure most humans would need more coffee than Bello to handle…

Wednesday Wined Up: Bodegas Muga Reserva 2010

Last week, in my first Wednesday Wined Up post, I introduced myself as a wine novice and invited you along for some judgement free wine exploration. This week, I’d like to share a story of finding one of my favorite wines. The strong, dirty, earthy, downright regal yet highly drinkable Muga Rioja. Specifically, the Bodegas Muga…

Dirty Vicar Pasta: Trofie with Creamy Mushroom and Crispy Bacon

There are times when I really knock a dish out of the park. When I do, my husband is not shy in letting me know it. Bello was so pleased with my Trofie with Creamy Mushroom and Bacon last night he dubbed it “The Dirty Vicar” after a Monty Python Sketch he once saw at a rather impressionable…

Wednesday Wined Up

When it comes to wine, I’m a novice. My bacchanalian self is merely a child, born just under a decade ago when I first moved to New York. Pre NYC, a good red was an Astica Syrah at The Old Mohawk. Don’t get me wrong, even now, I will absolutely tip back an Astica, it’s a great…

Top 20 Portland Picks: Beer, Food and Fun

In my life I’ve moved 18 times. One would think, with as happy as Bello and I are in our current home in Jersey City, I would never want to move again. Minutes from Manhattan, $1,000 a month saved in rent redirected towards travel and far more amenities than our Upper West Side apartment… and then we…

Squidgy Bits

Like many American women, I grew up loving Julia Roberts. She seemed real, more so than many women depicted in Hollywood. Her laughter explodes forth with such exuberance, one might expect its power to shock the woman herself. What’s more, she gravitates towards scripts that allow her to play robust characters. While she’s a beautiful woman, that’s rarely…

Goonies for Big Kids

On a recent trip, I learned something new about my Husband… he’s a Big ‘Ol Goonies Fan! While strolling Cannon Beach in Oregon a few days before driving into Portland, he turned to me with a look I thought I knew well. I was expecting a romantic turn of phrase like “I swim in your eyes.”…

Perk From Home

While my Husband tells me I am a brave woman, I’ve always thought of myself as lucky. One only need look as far as the people in my life to see my luck is true. I am fortunate enough to have the kind of friends, that you learn from, admire and respect. Just a few years ago two of my best…

Is Raclette a Thing Now?

Do you ever have that thing happen? That thing when previously unaware of the existence of something, once you become aware of it, you see it everywhere? That thing is happening to me now with Raclette and I find myself wondering, is this a Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon thing… or is Raclette just very in right now? Food trends are a…

You, Me, Cicheti and Vino in Venice

I count myself extremely fortunate to have found a partner who shares my passion for travel, food and wine. Day after day, my Husband and I tailor our lives to ensure all of our extra time, energy and money can be funneled towards traveling the world together. This year, one of our many trips was to…

Secret to Growing Herbs in the City

Ok maybe these are not so secret… but when I found the Lechuza self-watering planters, they truly became my number one weapon in fighting high grocery bills. In an earlier post The Little Things in Spice, I blogged about the financial benefits to growing herbs at home. I’ve been saving hundreds of dollars a year since I picked up…