The Incomparable Valle de Guadalupe

The Incomparable Valle de Guadalupe

Zipping southbound along the shimmering coastline mid-morning, there is a familiar feel and look.  Not for long.  From La Misión, La Ruta del Vino (the Wine Route) twists east to a vivid contrast of vines and olive trees, the Sonoran Desert and looming mountain...
Epicurean Puerto Vallarta

Epicurean Puerto Vallarta

Astonishing storefronts and restaurants march up and down the Malecón, but my eyes gravitate to the art spectacles framed by the Pacific.  As we meander the mile-long esplanade, from “La Nostalgia” (Nostalgia) to “La Rotunda del Mar” (the Roundabout of the Sea) to the...
Prowess in Pittsburgh

Prowess in Pittsburgh

Heinz.  Duquesne.  PPG.  Brats.  Pierogi. Neighborhoods.  Primanti sandwich.  “Pittsburgh left.”  Bridges. There’s something about Pittsburgh. It was the big city across the bridge from the little town I visited as a kid, playing and biking the “Old Road” with eight...
Chef Nicosia Does Piemonte

Chef Nicosia Does Piemonte

For over a decade, we’ve had the pleasure of dining at Sassi (in Scottsdale, Arizona) alone and with friends and family, celebrating an event or simply the day.  The mostly southern Italian-inspired menu with many imported products and housemade pastas tastes sublime...
Oh, Savannah!

Oh, Savannah!

It doesn’t seem possible that this is our first visit to Georgia’s first city. SAV airport is sleek and friendly. We’re on our way a little after 10 on New Year’s Eve. Sequined revelers light up Savannah’s Historic Center.  Our B&B is off Broad Street, past...
A Year in My Kitchen: December

A Year in My Kitchen: December

December is holiday time in the kitchen: sharing, giving, cookie baking, indulging.  Our Christmas feast took an Italian twist a decade ago after one too many turkeys in a row. We often begin our morning alone with coffee and my Mom’s Danish, now in the shape of...
A Year in My Kitchen: November

A Year in My Kitchen: November

For over thirty years we’ve made this scrumptious fall dessert in celebration of our little pumpkin’s birthday. Now he is an adult with a November pumpkin too.  A few years ago we brought the baked layers to Costa Rica, whipped the icing and assembled the...
Catania x2

Catania x2

“Coastal Italian” is an inviting descriptor for the restaurant on the top floor at Wall and Girard.  So I went twice. Initially, we were a group of journalists hosted for Saturday lunch at Catania.  The streets were blocked off for the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival. ...
Character in Carmel

Character in Carmel

It’s not as though I was surprised those three days in Carmel-by-the-Sea were so pleasurable.  How surely this one square mile penetrated my psyche was the zinger. Homebound along the Salinas Highway, smiling at the fog as it tended the vines in the Highlands beyond,...
A Year in My Kitchen: October

A Year in My Kitchen: October

A Year in My Kitchen: October Karo Krunch It’s hard to beat this 1960’s popcorn recipe from the bottle of Karo syrup in my mother’s kitchen. It presents nicely in a basket lined with orange or brown napkins or in a plastic pumpkin that the kids carry...
A Taste of Harmonie: Mauricie et Lanaudière

A Taste of Harmonie: Mauricie et Lanaudière

Our 550 km adventure swept us northward from Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal to two regions within Québec, Canada’s largest province.  The aerial approach to YUL hinted at the watery proportions below, as did the myriad blue squiggles on my...
A Year in My Kitchen: September

A Year in My Kitchen: September

A Year in My Kitchen: September Rosinka’s Peppered White Beans This month’s recipe ranks high in our family favorites.   It’s been shared among family, friends and coworkers.  It’s an easy and sought-after addition to any potluck, pleasing to...
Zaré at The Fly Trap

Zaré at The Fly Trap

“I was supposed to be a brain surgeon,” Chef offered, grinning ear to ear. His presence is as bold as his red chef coat.  The Persian/ Mediterranean/Californian menu is brilliant.  At The Fly Trap, Hoss Zaré builds upon lessons from his mother’s...
FoodSpeak  

FoodSpeak  

  From the Bay area to the Mexican border, feed your mind at 10 AM Saturday mornings on AM 830. Co-hosted by Andrew Harris and Executive Chef Andrew Gruel, the SoCal Restaurant Show is a two hour broadcast on clear radio, its menu chock-full of zesty food,...
A Year in My Kitchen: August

A Year in My Kitchen: August

On a hot August evening, try a salad of hand-picked, grilled vegetables fresh from your garden or the local farmers’ market with couscous and the vinaigrette of your choice. Flavors peak when a wooden plank is used on the grill.  Select the wood flavor...
A Year in My Kitchen: July

A Year in My Kitchen: July

 A Year in My Kitchen: July LIMONCELLO Limoncello is the generic name for an Italian citrus-based liquer.  Limone is the Italian word for LEMON.   We often make Limonettacella because our backyard limes are abundant.  Another option is Arancella, made with oranges....
A Year in My Kitchen: June

A Year in My Kitchen: June

June Raspberry Watermelon Surprise The first month of summer calls for cool refreshment, but do not assume you know what you see. This veritable trompe l’oeil is a family favorite. It’s no illusion that the featured recipe is berry sorbet masked in a...
Quintessential PV: A Foodie’s Fondness

Quintessential PV: A Foodie’s Fondness

As we ventured south to explore our neighbor in Jalisco, Mexico, new regard took hold. Puerto Vallarta, famed in the sixties when Liz and Dick fell in love during the filming of “Night of the Iguana,” is so much more.  Steeped in history and culture, this hilly...
A Year in My Kitchen: May

A Year in My Kitchen: May

May Fruit of the Season Tart This tart recipe, featured in the LA Times Food Section eons ago, is a sensation any time of the year. Fresh, ripe fruit is best, but avoid overly juicy additions so your almondy crust remains at peak. The almond paste base complements the...
Simply Seggiano

Simply Seggiano

The little red Fiat took the curves and inclines in 360 degrees of glorious countryside and tiny villages on the Cassia from Firenze.  Spring showed its presence in wildflowers, mustard, shocks of wisteria, roses, supernatural  green quilted fields, and hints of...
Red in Montalcino

Red in Montalcino

The Tuscan panorama is forever as we make our way on the strada. Here in Montalcino, vineyards, olive and fruit trees share the gentle verdant hills with medieval villages and castles. On one perch, historic Castello Poggio alle Mura (meaning walled hilltop) graces...
Brunello’s Origins

Brunello’s Origins

  The famed terroir is situated about two kilometers from the imposing fortress in Montalcino. Five hundred meters of cypress trees frame the entry to Tenuta Greppo, home of Biondi-Santi wines in southern Tuscany. We join three other couples and Sabine, our...
A Year in My Kitchen: April

A Year in My Kitchen: April

Risotto Sofrito…riso…vino…brodo… formaggio…condimenti… Risotto is made with prepackaged short-grained  Arborio rice which originated in a village in the Piedmont region in Italy.  It’s widely available at cooking shops, Trader Joe’s and Italian delis, though not...
A Year in My Kitchen: March — Lemon Squares

A Year in My Kitchen: March — Lemon Squares

Lemons hint of the promise of spring.
This recipe from Mother accompanied us from the east coast to the west coast.
The crusty base and lemony layer combination is sensational. We found the lemons from our backyard tree made a surprising difference.
Enjoy and share.
Seconds, anyone?

Delicious NOLA

Delicious NOLA

The city beckoned as the 737 landed mid-afternoon at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.  We craved NOLA’s offerings and anticipated people and places prepared to satisfy. Four days and three nights later, ten highlights are too delicious to keep to...