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Food: Dinner Tonight – Salad with Avocado, Mango and Feta Cheese

I bought mango over the weekend – not the usual kind but Ataulfo – which I remember having a version of it in the middle east as a child. Weird I know. But I did – in the hills of Lebanon, somehow, someone had sliced and chilled a few and served it to us one very hot summer evening, seated on a terrace, chatting up with friends and family. Anyway, this is the reason I bought the Ataulfo mango and I guess the internet realizing my nostalgia, offered up this recipe for me to consider for tonight’s dinner –  and instead of feta which I don’t have at home, I will be slicing up Cotija cheese. Recipe 2 ripe mangos, cubed 1 avocado, cubed 6 oz of feta, cubed handful of mint, chopped handful of chives, chopped handful of basil, chopped 1/4 cup of pistachios, chopped juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp good olive oil flakey salt to taste fresh ground black pepper to taste {more} {featured image and recipe full credit On another note …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Beef Bourguignon

Although this recipe calls for beef short ribs, I am going to go with grass-fed organic beef stew chunks I’ve purchased from the grocers and was wondering which direction to take our dinner tonight. For the stew: 1/2 pound boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 pinch each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 large shallot, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence 1 dried or fresh bay leaf 1 cup red wine (I used a Côtes de Bordeaux) 1 cup water 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 small carrots, thickly cut on the bias (about 4 ounces) Mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice, for serving For the gremolata: 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs 1/2 garlic clove, grated 1/2 lemon, zested 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 pinch each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste  {more} Featured image and full recipe credit here On another note – what films have you seen lately? If you’ve run out ideas, may I suggest…

Weekend Recap and Some Questions

Hello Everyone! I decided to take a mini break from my computer this weekend, and instead spent more time in the kitchen learning our traditional cooking from my mother. A task I find myself needing more of these days – mostly because of the bonding we seem to have taken for granted in the past – being so busy with our lives.  But really – don’t you wonder now, why we were so busy or too busy for some things that seem to have become the more important of things since COVID-19? Besides the cooking and sharing of stories with mom,  I watched a few films which I feel the need to share since it brought up more questions. Like… The Humming Bird Project – touches on the greed factor in how businesses are run in the U.S. (in this case) where the race to build  the fastest high-frequency  fiber optic cable is at stake . The interesting part about this film was the many times human morals and behaviors were questioned and each time, …

Food: My Choice of Comfort Food – Pasta

Even on the warmest of these days, I crave Pasta paired with a glass of wine.  So, when I am asked ‘what’s for dinner’ I simply smile and everyone around me gets it. In fact, while on zoom with family yesterday, we compared pasta recipes, which naturally got me craving again – you guest it –  pasta for dinner tonight and the wine of course. Now, I normally don’t mix ground beef and Italian sausage, but I think for the sake of tonight’s efforts for positive thinking – this is the recipe I’ll be following: RECIPE 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild or a mixture, cut into coins or crumbled 1 pound ground beef 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 1 stick cinnamon, if you have one 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional) 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, if you have them 2 teaspoons dried basil, if you have them 1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole or crushed tomatoes 1 big glug of red wine, if there is some to hand Kosher salt and freshly ground black …

Food: Easy Recipes While Sheltering in Place

As we all know grocery shopping has become the most challenging – where we need to stand in-line, or shop certain hours, take home only 1 or 2 of a product even if feeding a family of 4 or 5 and after spending an excruciating amount of time walking from aisle to aisle, holding our breathes, or wearing a mask and gloves, and avoiding even eye contact with anyone – we come home forgetting something or that what you may need the most isn’t on the shelves  – so you improvise. The next step is finding creative ways to make a meal – after the usual pot full of spaghetti, or lasagna.  Is it just me, or most of us are craving more carbs these days? So, while awake at night – worrying about my aging dog, and working from home or my mother – I find myself thinking even more about our dinners. Not because of me enjoying cooking but for some reason the survival mode we are now in. Weird how our minds …

Food: Craving Tacos Again and So It Is

I left my house early this morning with the intend to replenish some of the grocery items I could not get my hands on last week, particularly toilet paper, rice of sorts, and bottled water. Even the almond milk in the refrigerator section has dwindled. At times like these, I cannot help but reflect on just  how much granted we take everything. So due to the limited supply on some things and alternatives of others, I am continuously shifting my plans for dinner. Also, I haven’t had a solid appetite either, I guess not getting out much and burning any energy.  But today, after my hunt for necessities, I craved food, in particular Tacos, so here’s a cool recipe I am going to try tonight. I’ve never considered pineapple in Tacos.  Also, I won’t use a crock pot. Just my thing. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS start something like this 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, thighs, or a pork shoulder/butt 1/2 cup pineapple juice 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 1/3 cup honey   {more} Featured image and recipe full credit On another note – I …

Culture: I Watched A French Film and It Helped

In my efforts to remain calm and positive as the captain of my ship here in San Francisco, I decided to open a bottle of red and watch a film that would,for a few hours, take me far away –  like Europe,  and in particular the French wine region. Now, if you are not familiar with French films, they tend to run long – sometimes over two hours, to include every detail and then some. Which I love about – film makers outside of the U.S. – They do away with too much editing, to keep true to the story. The other aspect of French films, is the English translation – which is the only thing I can relate to – of their beautiful language, metaphors  and to some extend wisdom. If you listen to the narrative throughout a film carefully, you might just pick up on it. This aspect keeps me nostalgic because I’d like to think I was a Frenchwoman in some former life, and therefore able to relate. Er…perhaps it could be …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Easy Chicken Recipe and Oh Don’t forget the side dish

My mother, who I care for, asked what was for dinner tonight and I told her it was surprise, but had to do something with chicken. She made a face ‘chicken!’ and I walked away telling her to trust me 😉  and went searching for that fun recipe because she has grown tired of chicken or maybe it’s her cute senior attitude. So here we go – I have everything in the cupboard except fish sauce, hate the damn thing from my childhood days.  And we are going to omit the chili – or any super spiciness – since she also can’t stomach that. Otherwise, chicken it is! INGREDIENTS 1 pound skinless boneless chicken tights cut in 1-inch pieces 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided kosher salt 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup fish sauce 1/4 cup water 3 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 shallot thinly sliced 1 teaspoon fresh ginger 1 teaspoon minced garlic fresh Thai chili, halved, or dried red chili 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper 4 cilantro sprigs (optional) Steamed rice  {more} …

Food: Corned Beef and Cabbage Pie Altered

A Topic very difficult to avoid right now is the concern and fear over COVID-19, which is naturally on all of our minds . Even if we pretend a strong front, the worry about spreading the disease or contracting it, has become part of our daily routine, as we figure out ways to adapt to a new lifestyle. The only thing I want to ask, is that we don’t freak out, nor become obsessed, but rather do our part through legitimate sources online to help contain the spread of the virus. Not to say that I am downplaying the situation, but panic is the worst enemy in times of global threat or affliction. For the time being I keep my family engaged in much cooking, and alternative conversations to help distract – and finding interesting recipes to consider fits both of my efforts. INGREDIENTS 2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided 1 head of Savoy cabbage 3 thick-cut bacon slices (about …

Decor: Defining An Artist’s Home

I watched a film last night – Poison Pen – and in it, someone mentioned  how one can tell when they’ve landed in an artist’s home – which I am proud to say includes my detached studio apartment –  in the San Francisco home I grew up in – all by the shear eclectic of it all. Kind of like this beauty: Do you ever watch a film by accident, and think it is actually pretty good even if its the cheesiest film you’ve seen in a while? That happened Sunday night – Poison Pen 2014 and not the classic film 1939 – is the story about a writer with writer’s block needing to fulfill a contractual obligation for not delivering a finish book three years overdue. The deal he would write a gossip column for a Celebrity trash magazine.