I love this time of year when the last of the summer tomatoes hang on their vines. Where there were many only a few remain. Easily picked with very little resistance, these tomatoes are perfectly ripe, beautiful in color, and naturally sweet from long days of being left uninterrupted basking in the warmth of the sun. The two basil plants living on my deck have had its leaves picked all summer with very few new ones growing. Instead I have long empty stems standing like naked autumn tree branches. These basil plants have done a remarkable job feeding my family through the summer adding depth of spiced flavor in contrast to the many bowls of cut sweet fruit and enriched pasta we’ve enjoyed. [click to continue…]
“Mom, come try these peaches! They are so good,” says my 11 year old daughter Mimi, referring to the bite sized samples luring the passersby of a vendor at our local farmers’ market. A small container sectioned in four quadrants contained a variety of stone fruit cut into toothpick ready portions for tasting. Mimi wasted no time in trying each and every one. Of the two varieties of peaches being offered yesterday, I was told by the friendly guy behind the table one was very sweet and one wasn’t as much. The glory of summer can be found in one bite of a perfect ripe peach sweetened by the sun picked at its peak. [click to continue…]
I love discovering new dishes and ingredients combined together in ways I have not experienced before, especially when the dish is good and memorable. Today I’m sharing with you an adapted recipe I learned from Chef Romney Steele of the famous Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur, Ca. I recently participated in a cooking class with her and was tasked with making this soup. Although we were given copies of the recipe to take home, I misplaced mine and made this version from memory. It isn’t exactly the same, but close enough to what I remember it tasting like, which our entire group enjoyed. [click to continue…]
Next week school starts for my kids and in the famous words of late night comedian Jimmy Fallon, this is when the expressions on kids and parents faces switch places. We’ve had a good run of summer finding refuge on 90 degree plus heat at the beach under the shade of trees while the kids swim in the water until the sun sets. Not until this week did I need to bring a sweatshirt as the sun goes down earlier and one can tell the air feels slightly crisp with a light scent of autumn to accompany it. Fall is coming sooner than later and this means I can use my oven again without fear it increase the temperature in our house to unbearable sleeping conditions. [click to continue…]
In my teenage years I lived on a steady diet of regular Coke, chips, ice cream, and whatever else I wanted to eat… without much thought about the consequences. Keep in mind I had been a year round competitive athlete since I was a young kid and my metabolism probably neutralized the negative impact of excessive calories; I was still growing and my world revolved around playing sports. And like many teenagers I believed I was somewhat invincible. I had convinced myself the natural laws of aging would not apply to me, nor would they into the future.
In my early twenties I remained active playing in adult tennis and volleyball leagues still convinced I could still eat and drink whatever I wanted without much consequence. Then I got pregnant and everything changed. [click to continue…]