musings about food, travel, creativity and life

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A Smile Can Go a Long Way

Smiling is good for our emotional and physical body. And thankfully, smiling sometimes comes easily from the little things in our life– that first cup of coffee, the view out our window, the photograph of a favorite little child, a puppy sleeping in the sunlight. […]

Comfort Reading

Comfort Reading

It’s been a cloudier-than-normal week in Carmel Valley. I have done some outdoor physical things, but I’ve also done a lot of indoor reading. One book I am enjoying is called Eat This Poem, by Nicole Gulotta, “a literary feast of recipes inspired by poetry.” […]

A New Way to Travel

Sometimes it’s nice to have a foreign trip in the hopper.  Sometimes it’s nice to stay home. Right now, we are home and California-oriented.  What this home orientation is allowing is a series of unexpected gifts. Deepened friendships–with people and nearby places; home projects finally […]

“A Short Stack, Please”

A few months ago, I was in the Phoenix Gift Shop near the Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur and I saw a delightful series of colorful little cookbooks.  Each volume focused on a different ingredient or food, was curated by a well known food personality, […]

Rabbits, Rabbits, Everywhere

      I have a rabbit fetish.  I haven’t counted how many little stuffed fabric or ceramic bunnies or silver rabbit charms I have, but let’s just say, I have many.  It all started when I had a dream about a rabbit that I […]

A New Take on Lenten Dinners

I remember Friday fish Lenten dinners around the Catholic home front when I was growing up.  They were simple fare and, because I usually gave up sweets for Lent, there were no cookies, candies,  or ice cream lying around to tempt me. Not so at […]

Light Fare

Some weeks, I just need to keep it light.  Last week was one of those weeks.  Here’s what I did when guests came for dinner and an overnight:   1. I had a simple table centerpiece*–one doll, two vases of flowers, three glassybaby candles.    […]

The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy

On my joy exploration journey, one of my favorite books has been The Book of Joy. It is a series of conversations between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, co-authored by Douglas Abrams. Throughout the book, the reader is treated to the wisdom and warmth […]

A Spring Bouquet

A Spring Bouquet

   Flowers–what sweet messengers of love and beauty.  Thanks, spring!   “I must have flowers, always, and always.” –Claude Monet                                              

The Gift of Home

The Gift of Home

The traveler in me marvels at the wooden sign I just bought. It says, “It is good to be home.” My passport quakes, but so be it for now. Being here, now–where have I heard that before?–feels right. And in keeping with the theme of […]

“San Francisco, Here I Come…”

“San Francisco, Here I Come…”

This past week, we were again in San Francisco and this time ’round, I wanted to focus on some of the places from my, and my parents’, past. The first night we walked from our inn on Union Street to North Beach…             …up Russian […]

Ode to a Duck

Ode to a Duck

  Just because I loved it my husband gave me a little ceramic duck I saw one day in San Francisco   Balanced on one foot, the other one kicking, this little duck is stylin’   Dressed in a yellow rain slicker and shiney black […]

Did I Hear “Treat”?

Did I Hear “Treat”?

I am part of an unusual blended family. For the past 11 years, my husband and I, together with a dear friend, have shared being “parents” of Cosi, a spunky dog named after the Mozart opera “Cosi Fan Tutte.” Like her two moms and dad, […]

Food for the Soul

Food for the Soul

It must have been the visit to my hometown of San Francisco that has made me so nostalgic for “all things Italian.”  I thought a lot about my parents who were my first “bring joy to the table” mentors.    Both of them had a zest […]

Food Fun on the Bay

Food Fun on the Bay

  The San Francisco Ferry Building is one incredible place. It hosts an indoor marketplace all week, with a produce-plus outdoor market every Saturday. It usually attracts tons of people but on this rainy, Super Bowl morning, there were no lines. We stopped there in […]