This year I celebrated my birthday a bit late due to a business trip to Dallas. While drinks and Texas BBQ with my fellow attorney Jane were fun, I was itching for a proper celebration. The Pirate travels a bunch for work and usually goes to Chicago about once a month. I had never been so I decided to join him for the weekend. It was a lot of fun. especially because we got together with our Austrian friends: now I know why they call them the Fun Version of Germans! And I know plenty of fun Germans already. The Pirate planned a great dinner at Spiaggia, Obama’s favorite restaurant. I was curious to see if the President and super fit Michelle have a refined palate, too. Oh yes they do!
Growing up I always had a bad relationship with beets. My mom would buy them, boil them and serve them as a salad. But I was never a fan of the deep purple color of the fact that they would stain my shirts. I was a messy eater back then and I guess that never changed, but what improved was my relationship with beets. When I moved to New York, I noticed them on many menus and ordered them as a shared appetizer. It was love at first bite: when cooked properly beets are fleshy and supple with a sweet and salty flavor that is best enhanced with a simple vinaigrette. Next step was learning how to cook them and for that I have to credit Martha.
travelling is great, you visit new places, learn about new cultures, taste amazing food…. but it usually wreaks havoc on my skin. I turn into an oily sensitive mess. I know, I know, no one ever accused me of being sensitive, usually it is the opposite. Well it looks like age is making me the owner of sensitive skin, especially when I travel. I would love to tell you that I landed in Dubai after 12+ hours on a plane with glowing skin perfect hair and smelling like a rose (that part was true thanks to a Tom Ford fragrance sample). In fact I NEVER take pictures of me landing anywhere because I am afraid you all would see how frightful I look… and it usually takes me a long shower and a couple of melatonin tablets to recover. But this time around the sensitized, dehydrated skin followed me to New York. So I turned to my beauty arsenal and decided to fight back because no amount of concealer can cover stressed out, over reactive skin.
this is not your average, boring, ” green stuff” vegetarian dish. I always have a bag of cauliflower or broccoli florets in the freezer because that is my last resort when I really have no time or patience to concoct a side dish or a vegetarian option. Since I started following #meatlessmonday I began to experiment with different techniques to cook vegetables. Oven Roasting vegetables has become by far my favorite technique: (i) it is easy to clean up because you use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; (ii) it doesn’t take room on your stovetop because you dry roast in the oven; (iii) you can use frozen vegetables just off the freezer no thawing needed; (iv) you can season with a variety of herbs and spices.
The warm weather brings many good things like lighter clothes, gelato, picnics in the park, going to the beach…. and some bad ones, like oily skin becoming unmanageable. I have nothing against oily skin, on the contrary I know I should count my blessings because mine is keeping me young. But trust me, when your make up melts on your way to work and you have the BIG BOSS coming in for a meeting, it’s just not fun!
Sorry I was MIA last week. I was in Dubai and I promise I’ll describe my Arabian adventures at length in an upcoming post. In the meantime I need to keep a promise to my friend Cathy who is traveling to Florence in May and asked me about our trip to Tuscany last summer. The Pirate and I only had 3 1/2 days in Florence before driving into the so called “Chiantishire“. Too little time for such a marvelous city, especially when you have so much art, history and architecture to admire! But the city’s geography was on our side: in Florence everything is within walking distance so pack your walking shoes and get ready to burn some calories (after my restaurant recommendations you will need it).
if you haven’t been to Sicily you are missing out! Aside from the island’s natural beauty and history, the food is to die for. It’s all about location of course: the seafood, butter orange, capers, pistachio and almonds (just to name a few) are key ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet, and nowhere in the world you can get that freshness and quality. So if you don’t want to go to Sicily for the sightseeing you really can’t miss the food. After all, one of my favorite restaurants La Madia, is in a little town called Licata and it truly serves the meal of a lifetime. Back to today’s topic, Sicilian food is very big on texture, and one of the main components of the recipes is the “Crunch”. Used as a stuffing, seasoning or garnish the Sicilian Crunch is easy to make, store and use.
just in time for Easter, check out my latest video tutorial. Do you need to make a side dish in less than 5 minutes? Do you want to cook asparagus without losing all the nutritional value in the water? Here is my very simple technique:
You can use the same technique for string beans as well, although I confess I am not a big fan and I would rather eat asparagus instead. No more excuses, you can have your veggies ready and eat them too!
Enjoy and happy Passover & Easter to everyone!
This post was written by Serena Palumbo on March 28th, 2013
Let me take you to Spain, one of my favorite food destinations. Among the many delicious tapas involving Manchego Cheese, Jamon Serrano, Croquetas for different kinds and other fried jewels, there are also lighter options. This is one of them, and I find it perfect for a #MeatlessMonday, especially because it packs the protein of chickpeas and the flavor of anchovies in one neat package. Here is my renditions of Espinacas a la Catalana!