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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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….

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)…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Juicing Made Easy

Why was I waiting? I knew better! It was me who diligently bought the expensive designer fresh juices from the grocery store for my Bello to make sure he got some fruits and vegetables with lunch. What was I thinking? Did I really think that I HAD to have that $429.95 Hurom HG Elite Slow Juicer?…

Cartagena Top Culinary Picks

Like many, I sometimes bristle at the use of the word Foodie. So pervasive and overused it often comes across as a joke. When Hipsters have rejected the phrase, surely so should I. Yet, when it comes to describing the type of person (me for instance) who spends weeks planning where and what to eat before their next adventure,…

Saying I love You with Figs

Growing up, Sunday was my favorite day of the week. In our house, those days started with a big breakfast, followed by a big lunch with dinner always being popcorn. We loved it, the tradition, the taste of the buttery, salty popcorn in a big ol’ bottomless kettle my family happily scarfed down while watching a movie. I…

Cock’s Fresh in Belgium, So’s the Beer Eh?!

One of the ways I knew my Husband was the man for me, was how I felt completely at ease being myself with him instantly. He’s never rolled his eyes at my silly jokes and accepts that my sense of humor is that of a 12-year-old boy. One of the reasons we both love to travel,…