Good & Strange

On a recent visit to my favorite 5000 square foot Italian market/restaurant empire I picked up a few new things to try. Some were good, some were strange, and one was actually strangely good.

just strange So these were just strange. I had high hopes for them but no. They literally are just corn flour dried into these long shapes. A snack to to crunch on or use to dip into things. They were scarily crisp (as in break your teeth crisp) and really didn’t taste like anything. I think you could find a better vehicle to get that onion dip into your mouth.





always good


This was just good. Afterall I was just following directions. “Winemaker notes: best enjoyed with fruit and cheese.”









strangly good

This one was strangley good. These crunchy little nuggets promote themselves as a snack to “sharpen the appetite.” They have 2 kinds of wine in them – red and white! To me they have a flavor that completely reminds me of stuffing. (Like thanksgiving stuffing!)  Strangley addictive too.  According to the manufactuer I should be sipping a glass of “Agricola del Sole Jazzorosso” wine while I snack on these. Maybe next time.



Fruit Cubes

When I have extra fruit that I might not get to in time I like to puree it and freeze it for later use.  You can just simply puree the washed, clean fruit and freeze it or add some honey or sugar to it before freezing for instant drink mixes!

Certainly I didn’t invent this great idea but I do like to inspire and remind folks that it is a perfect way to have fruit on hand for blending smoothies, flavoring ice teas or my favorite adult beverage… “boat drinks!”

I use small 2-3 ounce containers so each one is just a portion size.

I use small 2-3 ounce containers so each one is just a portion size. (Make sure to leave a little room at the top for expansion!)

Simple Smoothies

Raise your hand if you thought you would get on the smoothie band wagon with Doctor Oz, Daphne and the whole gang!

Raise your hand if that lasted even a week.

All that shopping, cleaning and chopping of various ingredients is too much! I love and recognize kale’s magical benefits along with the rest of the world, but frankly I would rather eat it for dinner in a savory dish than hide it in a fruit smoothie. Or how about lime and cucumber? Some how I don’t think they belong in the same glass unless it is with vodka at some over-priced, trendy Boston bar specializing in “hand crafted” everything.

So I like to keep it simple when it comes to smoothies. Banana plus 1 fruit. Usually a berry. Could be fresh or could be frozen. Depends on the time of year. I add one unexpected surprise in the form of a spice. Usually a dash of cinnamon. It goes beautifully with all berries. Not too much – just a couple of dashes. Now add milk. And if you are feeling sweet – a little honey or agave. Blend and drink. No fuss, no muss – tastes yummy. Like a healthy shake. No sneaky stuff. (Plus it is a nicer color than puke green don’t you think?)

An Evening on The Marsh

Author’s note: Sorry I have been slow about new postings but have just emerged from summer session final projects. So will now be able to resume my usual pace of cooking and eating. Stay tuned for lots of new posts!

Recently I took a little time out of my summer semester at grad school to attend a 50th birthday party of a friend and colleague. It was my first time over to her house and what a spot she has!

daily sunsets such as these! Can you even imagine!

view from the edge of the backyard – daily sunsets such as these! Can you even imagine!

She is perched right on the edge of Boston, just 10 mins from a local “T” station. (that’s subway for the rest of you folks) But a world’s away in atmosphere.

I always love a party for the obvious reasons, but I secretly really love the food and drink the best!

She not only had great food but great style AND bravery.

First the style: Sangria!




no plastic ware for her, just really gorgeous fruit with some great Spanish wine ( choice of red/white sangria) and you topped it off with a flavored or non-flavored fizzy of your choosing.

Second the Bravery: Paella


Brave because she cooked this BEAUTIFUL pan of paella on her outdoor fire pit. I could never trust my fire-skills with a such a dish. You can’t tell from this photo but this pan was about 24-30″ across! It took 2 guys to get it on and off the fire. And she even offered up a second pan with a vegetarian version.

Of course there were other yummy things to eat and fine folks brought other offerings. The mango salsa was to die for! So simple and yet delicious! But the paella simply stole the show!

So the moral of the story is anyone can have style but “BE BRAVE!” at your next party! ( oh and be sure to swap recipes!)


early in the party