Wednesday, June 28, 2006


it happens to everyone, blog clog. you know when you are not as inspired as usual and you feel like none of your photos or writing is good enough to post? that, for me, is blog clog. i do have an excuse, if you accept it or not, here it is. the american clients. these clients are staying in a villa in southern tuscany and have hired me to cook for them for three nights. now as i have already told you, it is HOT here and all i can think of feeding myself is cold melon, limeade and beer! but these clients want the “tuscan experience”, full on tuscan cuisine. for those of you who are not familiar with traditional tuscan cuisine it includes things like homemade pasta with wild boar sauce, roast pork and potatoes, salami and salumi, baking and grilling with lots of heaviness and heat! needless to say, i have officially become a walking sweat factory and cannot bare the thought of one more dinner preparation. but this friday night, i have to muster up the energy to cook my last meal for the clients. they are perfectly nice people, but they get to stand by sipping their chilled wine as i cook, and bake, and grill, and serve, and clean, and feel like i never want to cook again in my life! the biggest shock came on my first evening with them. i walked into the kitchen only to discover that they were preparing frozen chicken nuggets and something that resembled mexican food called “taquitos” (frozen of course). have i been away from the states too long to understand such blasphemy? i know that in the u.k. they have similar habits and jamie has done an amazing job battling against them. i still can't believe that people really feed their kids that stuff and then wonder why they turn into beluga whales and/or have no brain power!! i know, it’s true, i eat fonzies and the food whore drinks pickle juice, but only every once in awhile. and come on! frozen preservatives warmed up and served on a plastic plate? what has the human race come to?! ok, stop. enough already with this ranting. but just in case i haven’t been comprehensive, please see above picture of mr e. and my favorite gargoyle in venice (not in that order) to get an idea of the state i am in! and if you are the client reading this, please forgive me for being so brutally honest.

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Monday, June 26, 2006


as everyone knows, it is SIZZlin’ hot in southern europe right now. italy has the added "attraction" of humidity and the world cup. i was truly amazed that italy won tonight, taking them to the quarter finals. but THAT is enough about of the liquids that is keeping me on my feet through the heat is “limeade”. i love lemonade, but there is something about tangy limes that satisfies my tastebuds even more. for an easy batch of “limeade” pour the juice of 10 freshly squeezed limes in a one liter jug. dissolve 1 cup sugar (i used brown sugar which changes the natural green shade of the juice into a color that is much less attractive) in 2 cups of hot water. add the sugar syrup to the lime juice and fill the jug to the rim with still water. chill and serve with ice and mint (if you have it), and vodka (which every civilized soul must have in their freezer, no?!).

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006


everyone has their weaknesses. one of mine is a junk food called fonzies. for you americans out there, fonzies are another version of cheetos and are made in germany. in general, i am adamant about using only seasonal produce and i make most everything i eat fom scratch. but every once in awhile i fall for these cheesy crispies (empty bag pictured above!). i know, i know, you are thinking "how gross!". but, they aren’t fried! they are baked so they can’t be THAT bad for me, can they?! i know the food whore drinks pickle juice (see june 14, 2006 post), so i am feeling fine about admitting to my fonzie addiction. and when they are accompanied by a beer and a good movie at the cinema i bet you’d be tempted to try them too! so go on, fess up! and make your junk food confession!

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006


this little joy looks like a sweet and sour gumball but it is actually a tomato called “camone”. i don’t know anything about it except that it comes from sardegna, it has a thin crunchy peel and a juicy center. can anyone help fill me in on the details??

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Sunday, June 18, 2006


these guys reside in the part of venice called san lorenzo. i was busy taking lots of photos of them when someone stopped to ring one of the bells. as i looked up to apologize for being in her way, i was greated with a warm "ciao, come stai?!". the owner of these funky faces is a person i know! what a small world. anyways, she gave me a brief history: they were custom made by a venetian artisan and are copies of gargoyles from the notre dame catherdral in paris. to ring the door bell, just pull!

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Monday, June 12, 2006


i'm heading to venice tomorrow for a wedding and for the sampling of tasty treats! i will be back next week with plenty of pic's and news from gondola land!

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006


latteria literally means milk shop and this one has been around since 1931. as a milk shop would do, they used to sell only fresh milk and dairy products. clients would arrive with their glass milk bottles and have them filled up on the spot. obviously things have changed since then. matteo missoni now runs the the latteria and still sells milk, but now it is in cartons and you wouldn’t specifically go there to buy your milk. however you must go their to have a mega capuccino served in an oversized american style coffee cup and one of the best brioche in florence! baked fresh everyday, they have a mouthwatering selection including “assaggiare senza chiedere” (don’t ask, just try it) and “sfoglie napoletane” pictured above. i won’t tell you what either one is filled with, you just have to go and try one when you are in florence. i would suggest booking your hotel in the neighborhood.

la latteria
via de’ neri 50/r
open monday to saturday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
closed sunday

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Monday, June 05, 2006


is it as cold there as it is here?! the days are crisp and cool, gorgeous for september and october weather, bit geeeez! it is JUNE! it is supposed to be balmy and sizzling hot already! however, despite the crap weather, last weekend we did our best to adapt and i think we did a hell of a job eating and drinking and eating some more. the main course was the "schiacciatine" pictured above (from vale', in forte dei marmi) - crunchy, hot, salty yumminess paired with cold beer went down quit well. but we are still flying kites and praying for summer to arrive..........

da vale'
piazza garibaldi, 4
forte dei marmi
tel: 0584.89361

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