musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Food/ Beverage

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 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, […]

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.    […]

“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 […]

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 […]

What a City!

What a City!

Every time I return to my hometown of San Francisco, I feel good.  As we drive by my childhood home, I am transported back in time.  I reminisce about feeding squirrels in Golden Gate Park with my dad, walking along Ocean Beach watching the sea […]

What Can I Bring?

What Can I Bring?

  We’ve just been invited to a potluck and we’re on the list for a main course.  I don’t know yet what I’ll bring, but I do know which cookbook I’m going to use.  Appropriately, it is called Bring It!:Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks […]

“On Wisconsin”

We spent a lot of time this last week around Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin, a wonderful hub for all kinds of activities. We tasted, and bought, cheese at one of our favorite cheese shops anywhere–Fromagination, a great source of Wisconsin cheese gifts (https://fromagination.com) We […]

A Special Blend

    When I first drove by our local Testarossa Winery tasting room (www.testarossa.com) , I was reminded of one of the nicknames my Italian grandfather gave me–testa dura or “hard head.” Hmmm. Telling. As it turns out, Testarossa means “red head” and was the nickname […]

Ah, Health!

A few years ago I attended a workshop on the health properties of wine and olive oil given by a local vintner and a cardiologist. Growing up as an Italian-American, I knew intuitively what they were talking about! I remember seeing those healthy staples of […]

Coffee Therapy at Its Best

Many years ago I saw a sign in a coffee shop in Ireland that asked, “Is there life before coffee?” Some mornings I feel like that. But then–Ta Da!–I make my first cup of coffee and I’m alive and well and perked up! My usual […]

Art + Food + Friends = Fun!

Moroccan cooking anyone? Sashiko embroidery? Scarecrows? These were all part of this week’s events when a group of women friends and I made our 7th annual art retreat to Cambria. Cambria is a delightful town on the Central California coast. During October, the town is […]