Stories

pike noble pigxWhen it comes to serving wine with seafood, we want the wine to marry with the delicate flavors of the fish. In other words, the wine or the fish should not upstage each other in any way. Remaining complementary is key.

Retaining a refreshing palate with wine acidity and working with the flavors from rich and buttery sauces accompanying fish can be challenging.

Most dry white wines will work but it's good to keep some things in mind. Paying attention to the flavors of shellfish or fish you are serving will help guide you in your choice of varietal wine.

Overall, lots of fish have the same basic, gentle taste. A fish like tilapia comes to mind. So with tilapia or any other similar white fish there are lots wines to fit the bill. Choosing wines aged in steel rather than oak, wines like unoaked Chardonnay, Albarino, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Gruner Veltliner will reward you with a nice acidity, cutting through the heavy, buttery sauces commonly served with these types of fish.

When it comes to lobster, crab and scallops, the sweetness pairs nicely with the flavor profile of an oaked Chardonnay.

Read more ...

vegfrittata.jpgWhat do you turn to when it seems like there's nothing to eat and the stack of leftovers in the fridge is way past its prime? I turn to eggs. It's a staple I always have in the fridge. It's great to have on hand for baking and of course for a fast healthy and nutritious breakfast. But eggs can also make a great meal in a pinch. The other day I had nothing to eat and all I could find were some vegetables I hadn't yet used and a carton of eggs. So supper became this simple frittata, an Italian-style omelette that's baked. Dinner doesn't need to be complicated when you have a frittata recipe in your back pocket.

With only a few easy steps, this egg-forward dish is very quick to put together. Some light sautéing is required, but beyond that it's just assemble and bake. Any vegetable at hand works well. I happened to have cremini mushrooms, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Fresh herbs are also very welcome in this dish. Parsley or basil work the best. And a frittata is not complete without a topping of cheese. A good melting cheese, like mozzarella, Swiss, or Parmesan adds an abundance of flavor. And for some ultimate decadence, add bits of crisped bacon or pancetta.

Read more ...

thecampI'll never forget my first trip to Maine. My husband (then boyfriend) spent his boyhood summer's at his family's camp on a lake. Driving from Chicago to Bangor every August with his dad, they'd meet up with his older brothers along the way to this sweet spot right at the water's edge. It's nothing fancy. Hasn't been updated or changed in any major way since they bought it over 35 years ago, but it satisfies my basic requirements for "camping." It has real beds (no sleeping bag on an air mattress or cot for me) and indoor plumbing (you can't drink the water but that's a small price to pay for being able to pee inside). Electricity is also key, but up until a few years ago and the invention of wireless HD receivers there was no phone service or television. This was and is a place to get away from it all and reconnect with nature 24/7…whether you want to or not. We spent our first few days hanging about on the dock, reading and listening to the baseball game, occasionally taking a dip in the clear, shallow water. Nothing too strenuous. We were here to relax.

That he was bringing me to this place 6 months into our relationship was important. He had family who lived up there I was meeting for the first time. His Aunt Dot and Uncle George also had a house on the lake, about a 1/2 mile down the dirt road. Their place is much larger than ours and is more house than camp. It's two stories with several bathrooms, laundry facilities and cable TV. So when they asked us to dinner, after a few days of "roughing it", we were thrilled, though I was a bit nervous. He'd never brought a girl to the lake before. I wanted to seem cool and interesting and fun. So I suggested we take the canoe over to their place instead of walking. I thought it would be nice to get a little exercise and a funny story to tell our friends back home that we canoed to dinner. Fueled by a few beers, the lovely view and gross naivety, we got a better story than we bargained for.

Read more ...

radar.jpg

Radar, a statesman with a discerning palate, whose first known name was Scabby due to cigar burns sustained as a puppy on the rough and tumble streets of Brooklyn, made the transition back to puppyhood on February 7, 2009 at home in Venice, CA in the arms of his loving family.

Radar was found in 1993 just a few months old and in very bad shape in a garbage can near Brooklyn Heights by an employee of the Humane Society. He became the house dog of the Humane Society on East 59th street in Manhattan for over two years as he healed up, grew up and kept getting passed over. He happily ate the house dog food but somehow developed an innate curiosity of exotic cuisine. When he was discovered by producer Sam Sokolow in 1995, his luck and menu started changing.

Read more ...

fighting-couple-300x264Saturday morning, I was headed downtown for a walk with my dogs.   On the corner of West End and 116th street, we passed a couple in the midst of a tiff.  She was crying and he was saying “I want to say something that will make you feel better!”  She replied “Then say different stuff!!!”  I chuckled and slowed the dogs down to catch more of their fight- eager for a little distraction from my walk.  The fight wasn’t explosive though, it was just a steam blowing off-er.  I slipped my earbuds back in and trudged onward.

Two blocks later, another couple was fighting.  Actually, it was more of a mutual whine than a fight really.  This time, there was something that needed to be picked up at the store for their baby (that was anxiously cooing from the sling around dad’s neck) and neither wanted to do it because there was other stuff that needed to be done.  Again, there was sighing, head shaking and clenched fists from both contenders, but nothing that entertaining.

We crossed into the park and stopped suddenly when we hit yet another couple deep in conflict.  He was bellowing about dirty laundry and she was yarping about laundromat quarters.  I honestly thought I was on some hidden camera show or something.  Three couples in less than 10 blocks?  Was this sunny day in May a secret relationship Armageddon?  I wiped the pond of sweat from my upper lip and thought, “Huh… maybe”.

Read more ...