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the beautiful Bella

Today was my second day cooking for my new client Bella. The contrast between cooking for a client who could potentially be dissatisfied or demanding if something is not quite right and cooking for a family who is fighting for the life of their precious daughter and appreciates every little thing is staggering. Now I have to say that the pressures of cooking for my clients and their dissatisfaction comes more from my own standards of perfection than from theirs. For the most part I have been blessed with amazing clients to cook for and it is a wonderful way to make a living; doing something that I love that also nourishes others. What I am getting at is that the experience of cooking for Bella and her family is one of pure joy for me, completely unencumbered by perfectionism and my critical mind. read more…

food for the fight…

I had a phone call today that could possibly change my life, a phone call that could possibly bestow me the opportunity to change the life of others. Early this morning when it was just barely light I read an inquiry posted in an online community newsletter called Just Ask Boo. A local woman had written requesting any advise and information on a service that could help her provide organic, vegetarian, vegan and sugar free meals for her family of four while they fight the third bout of cancer of their 9 year old daughter Bella. I emailed the mother immediately. She called me within an hour. read more…

a new garden for the new year

AAAAaaahhhhhh so long overdue this post is. The holidays and “real” work got the better of me and I have sadly neglected my cyber outlet. The bright side of this is that I have been cooking a ton and truly enjoying myself. I have had new clients, cooked holiday feasts for work and for pleasure and eaten quite a bit of delicious food…and I cannot seem to stop. One of my favorite new recipes is Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Bread that is to die for if I do say so myself and still appropriate despite the passing of the pumpkin holidays. There have been days that I did not leave the house even and did nothing but hang out in my kitchen with my new kitty Isabel, listen to classical music and “work”. In fact my house and kitchen have had such a hold on me that sometimes I have trouble leaving…although I have loved it, I am not sure that this is a good thing. After all I am a bit too young to be the agoraphobic cat lady who only leaves to buy provisions. At least I have this portal so that if it becomes too bad I can shout for help! read more…

gratitude

Thanksgiving was wonderful…so much to be thankful for! We had a house full of special friends (when I say “houseful” I mean 5 including us but our place is small and it was full of great energy!), no drama or stress and more food than you can imagine…plenty of reasons to be grateful. The food turned out amazing if I do say so myself especially amazing was the Brussels Sprout Salad with Brown Butter Hazelnut Vinaigrette that came to me at the last minute.  read more…

oh my rig’otta!

We are on a tight budget these days- for a variety of reasons, the main one being that I have taken the leap of faith to plug away at this blog and some other things related in hopes of creating something meaningful and something that one day might pay some bills. This takes faith, trust a whole lotta balls and a wonderful partner who is willing to foot the bills for a while (and he is pretty well fed in the process). Ahhh well carpe diem, life is short. Needless to say my culinary escapades are not cheap, especially in Miami (food is pricey here!) and especially when you want to buy whole foods, the real deal. This fact has pushed me to do things I have been wanting to do for years, which is make more things from scratch. Of course we make so much from scratch in the restaurants I have worked in but very rarely have I extended those efforts to my home. True it can be a bit more time consuming but so is making the money that it costs to buy things pre-made that are super easy and healthier to make yourself. Of course you have to pick your battles, I am not suggesting by any means that we all churn our own butter for goddsakes (though I would never stop you if you did).
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wonders of a well stocked pantry

This recipe created itself while on a trip to Denver (the same birthplace of the “Salad of Virtue” and might perhaps have been the same meal…I was clearly inspired that day) and trying to pull together a meal without going shopping, something that many of us can relate to. I was perusing around my friend Corinna’s pantry while on the phone getting health insurance (yuck) and trying to get ready for a photo shoot that was starting in 20 minutes…the pressure was on. I found canned chick peas (aka garbanzo beans but chick peas is so much cuter), canned diced tomatoes, coconut milk, an onion and garlic from her husbands Will’s Utopian garden, a shriveled piece of ginger and some dried spices…now 15 minutes to go. I did not have the good sense nor the time to document the experience then but I recreated it last night so that I may share it with you all. Dare I say it’s pretty damn good and really damn easy. read more…

My Ode to the Housewife or Househusband

Though I would love to post a recipe everyday complete with inspiring photos and the blow by blow experience, there just isn’t the time. How is this possible I ask myself when I am not even working full time? Well I suppose that part of it is because we have just moved and I do not need to tell you how much is involved in that, especially considering that I did it mostly on my own while Anthony devoted himself to the task of bringing home the bacon (grass fed and nitrate free of course). But the real truth of the matter is that I find this country- and Miami specifically- so gosh darn busy that I can barely keep up. read more…

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