Archive for 2010

Thinking of Oysters

Oysters and pork rillettes at le Comptoir du Relais St. Germain

It’s no secret that I love oysters–fresh and cold, raw on the half shell with just a squeeze of lemon. The more they taste of the ocean the better. I grew up eating Gulf oysters–raw, in stews, fried and piled high onto French bread, or charbroiled. Ten years in France had me favoring Belons and ...

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Super Tuscan Lessons in Pasta and Crostata

Poet, Ed Mayes, saves the afternoon with a shot of espresso

Here’s a quick video I shot while shooting with Frances Mayes in Tuscany this past October. We spent hours and hours cooking and styling for her upcoming cookbook, The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. Just when we were deliriously tired and didn’t know if we should laugh or cry, Ed (much more charming and handsome than his ...

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Hebrew Language Edition of Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home

Trail of Crumbs, Hebrew Language Edition, Arie Nir Publisher

This is a day of thanks: to the dedication of my agent, Joy Tutela, of the David Black Literary Agency who helped me get my book proposal into the hands of the talented and dedicated team at Grand Central. I was also so so fortunate to work with the brilliant AMY EINHORN (now of Amy ...

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Under the Tuscan Sun: 65 pizzas, 75 guests, and 2 tired pizzaioli

the first pizzas of 65....

As we prep for the celebratory Pizza Party (to celebrate 20 years of Frances and Ed in Cortona), I find myself in the kitchen with a sweet Italian man named Ivan and his robust and big-hearted mother, Domenica, who live just up the gravel road at the “House of the Sun.” Together, we make pizza ...

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La Bella Porchetta: the Tuscan Sun Party Continues…

tuscpizzas

As if we didn’t have enough food with 65 pizzas, endless bottles of wine, and a cake to feed 50 or more, Frances ordered up a whole porchetta from a friend who has a porchetta truck at the Saturday market in Cortona and also in the Porta Colonia parking lot every Wednesday p.m. . The kids ...

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New Orleans Sandwiches–po-boy, muff, and loaf

Casamento's Oyster Loaf

Some of my favorite New Orleans sandwiches from Central Grocery, Casamento’s, and Parkway Bakery and Tavern.        

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Parma Day 2

prosciutto di Parma in Torta

The Osteria La Maesta in Emilia-Romagna is a lovely family-run open-air eatery where the good life is made of simple, delicious bites and a bottle of Malvasia seco frizzante. Addictive fried puffs of dough called Torta Fritta…

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Parma : Ghirardi Onesto producer of Prosciutto di Parma

Paolo with freshly-showered hams

I was lucky enough to spend the morning inside the Ghirardi Onesto production facility in Langhiarano as a guest of the Consorzio del prosciutto di Parma where, along with Elissa Altman and Rowan Jacobsen, we watched Paolo, the production manager, show us everything from salting the hams to showering (the hams) to testing with a ...

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le club sandwich Italiano

le club sandwich for dessert

Not only did Chef Rossetti pull out all the stops, he also has a tattoo of the prosciutto di Parma crown…on his thigh. He showed it to me on his iphone but would not let me get a photo.

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Summer, Lucini, and the Essence of Amalfi…

photo Dan Schumacher

I’ve been working all week with talented (and hungry) writers in Seaside, FL at the Floating Island Writers’ Workshop. Aside from my editing duties and acting as Camp Director, I’ve been making sure all are well fed. We’ve been able to appreciate fresh local Gulf seafood from Goatfeathers; thankfully, this part of the Gulf hasn’t ...

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Afternoon Snack: Chivda, Indian Peanut Trail Mix

Chivda Indian Trail Mix

Suvir Saran decided to toast up some chivda, “Indian Trail Mix” for our book signing at Sundog Books later this afternoon. Thanks to the NATIONAL PEANUT BOARD, we were spoiled with treats–everything from travel peanut butter snacks to delicious ROYAL OAK Peanut Brittle, a favorite of the participating writers.   As he searches for spices, I hear ...

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Yale: Celebrating Our Sweet and Savory Heritage

Yale Master Marvin Chun and Miya's Bun Lai

This is a belated note to say thank you to Yale, Master Marvin Chun of Berkeley College, and students Paulina, Eunju, Jerry, Christine and so many more for hosting a wonderful gathering of students and authors to discuss food, words, and what it means to follow, not what others want for us, but to take ...

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First Bites: Alaska

Sue, Paul, Neil

From the moment I landed in Alaska, I have been overwhelmed by the abundant and majestic beauty of this other world, which explains why so many have come here from elsewhere and found a place to call home. I was fortunate to spend the day with Sue and Paul–former Atlanta residents–who fell in love with this ...

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Seattle Eats and More

nightmarket

  I love Seattle, love the water, the favas and morels on every menu this time of year, fresh crab and oysters…the markets. Spent 3 glorious days and dined at, among other places, Restaurant Zoe and Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie. (You can order the decadent triple coconut cream pie from the bakery next door for dessert.)      

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Reward Yourself: Go Green with artichokes, fresh garbanzos, mint, and more

artichokes with fresh mint, lemon slices, fresh thyme

I just got back from a quick 24-hour trip to speak at Berkeley College at Yale (more on that in the next post) and now, 5 airplane and 2 shuttle rides later, it’s time for a relaxing Sunday supper with friends. We’re cooking up a perfect simple menu to celebrate the season: leg of lamb ...

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No Grits, No Glory

fried green tomatoes on basil goat cheese grits

I’m into the final testing of recipes for Tupelo Honey Cafe and their upcoming cookbook. Today, I had a kitchen full of grits–McEwen and Sons stone ground grits, quick-cooking, yellow, blue…Here are some shots from today’s testing: fried green tomatoes and basil goat cheese grits. A dash of Tabasco green pepper sauce is always a ...

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Every Day in Tuscany, a new memoir by Frances Mayes

Tuscany in bloom

I was recently honored to write a guest Amazon review for the wonderful new memoir by Frances Mayes. Frances, a poet at heart, is one of the most gracious and generous people I know, and EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY (Broadway Books) is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. EVERY DAY IN ...

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Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook Shoot in Asheville, NC

tupelo honey cafe fried chicken blt

Fried Chicken BLT, just one of the many Southern-inspired dishes you’ll find in the cookbook. Those of you who have been keeping up with the recipe testing I’ve been doing for the forthcoming Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook know that I am almost finished and in need of a major juice cleanse (and some soul-soothing, body ...

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The Floating Island Writers’ Workshop

2010 Floating Island Workshop with Kim Sunee

Last summer, we held our first and very successful writing workshop in Seaside, FL. There were poignant stories, fish tacos, salted caramel cupcakes, wine, Champagne, the sea, a roving gourmand (aka Pableaux) who cooked up red beans and rice, twilight dancing, and so much more. I’ve received many requests to organize more writing workshops at the ...

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Heart of Darkness Tomato Tart

More recipe testing for the upcoming Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook. And Brian’s Tomato Pie (think almost Pimento cheese in a shell) was the hit among taste testers…Cookbook coming soon. Thanks to Beau for the photo.

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