Tell me, how do you survive the turbulence of life?
I’d like to think I’ve got a stomach of steel but there are times when I can’t bear it. I might as well be a traveling salesman because I fly a good amount — I’ve clocked in over 20 flights in the last 20 weeks — but no amount of flights prepares me for the hassles, especially those of TSA. I’ve learned to wear slip on shoes, keep my jewelry off until I’ve cleared security, and to never get in line with anyone carrying a stroller (sorry, Moms), but it always throws me for a loop.
Heck, even on the best, easiest days, that amount of travel just throws everything off. My mailbox gets so overstuffed it looks like a bad mattress; my orchid of 8 years (longest relationship I’ve ever had so I can’t lose it now) threatens botanical suicide, and I just feel out of sorts.
Continue Reading: Surviving the Turbulence of Life: TSA and Ginger Aid →
My Mom has a language all her own. Well, for all the etymology geeks out there, it’s not so much a language as a vernacular or even a jargon. No matter how you categorize it, it’s a sort of word pizzazz that’s distinctly hers.
Over the years, we’ve collected these terms with the goal of someday making a bound thesaurus — a Mom-saurus if you will. (Though, on second thought, that may sound more like something from the Paleolithic era than a word reference). Semantics aside, it’d be packed with turns of phrase, idioms, and sayings that just might be on an endangered words list were it not for my mother.
A few of the real gems include terms like: ravs instead of ravioli; sconces for, well, sconces but used at a rate higher than that of true sconce sightings; fisticuffs for any sort of run-in, but, when said, it must be accompanied by the action of spinning clenched fists under your chin in the manner of the Fighting Irish mascot; and excessive use of the word traipsing, as in, “the cat was traipsing about the garden with no regard for the orchids I had just planted.”
Continue Reading: What I Learned From My Mom: Jazz Hands and Fisticuffs →
I know, the title of this sounds more like a weird album name than a post, but it’s the best way to describe the last 30 days of my life. Avocado season kicked off about 1 month ago and I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed well beyond my yearly allotment in that time.
I blame it on the fact that I’ve spent a good deal of the last month with Gaby – the self-proclaimed avocado queen — but, let’s be real, it’s not her fault. She didn’t convince me to make an avocado version of Green Goddess Dressing. She wasn’t there when I stuffed these Griddled Chipotle Chicken Tacos with tons of avocado. And she wasn’t the reason I had guac every two seconds during my weekend getaway to Cabo.
Continue Reading: Tiny Hats and Tons of Avocados →
493 is the number of miles, 4 the number of days, 9 the number of meals, and 3 the number of amigas.
As a nod to our trip from a few years back, Gaby, Lillian, and I (or as we’ve coined ourselves, the Three Amigas) hit the road again — this time up the California coast along Highway 1 from Los Angeles to Big Sur. Though Lillian lives in Berkeley we somehow convinced her to fly south for the sole purpose of turning around to drive north again. It was all for the adventure of it, you know?
Continue Reading: Getaway: California’s Highway 1 →
It’s fair to say I’m a bit of a food floozy. You see, I fall in love easily — a new, delicious thing comes my way and I am totally smitten. But the reality is, I’m discerning too — unless it’s really, truly phenomenal, I eventually move on to find something else. The moments where the dish does right by me though? Well, then I’m a convert for life, as is the case with these griddled tacos.
A few month’s ago I was in Texas for work and spent each and every mealtime educating myself on TexMex. You see, I have a total, unbridled prejudice against TexMex and I’ve tried many a time to become a convert. The thing is though, TexMex is just too sauced, too cheesy, and just too over the top and I’d rather have real-deal Mexi any day.
So, I was ecstatic to find my education had stuck when I came across my first plate of Tacos Norteños. It was a rainy day down in San Anton and I tucked into a bustling restaurant in search of lunch. Though everyone kept talking up the puffy tacos, I couldn’t resist the sound of the toasted, melty taco that the menu had listed as Tacos Norteños. To be honest, I’m not really sure why these are even called Tacos Norteños — there are much more authentic versions of Tacos Norteños out there and these don’t bear any resemblance to them.
These tacos are what you’d have from some sort of food hybridization of a taco and a quesadilla – a tacodilla? Well, I’ve concocted my own version that’s even less authentic than TexMex — some AidaMex tacodillas if you well.
Continue Reading: Confessions of A Food Floozy →
I can’t tell you the first time I ever had tostones — aka crispy, golden plantain deliciousness — but I do recall the first time I fell in love with them. It was while I was eating at a sidewalk table at Cafe Habana in New York City circa 1999, which meant I was doing my best to channel J-Lo’s style a la her If You Had My Love video.
It was my summer after freshmen year of college, the first year I lived away from home for the summer, and my main concern was how many clubs I could get on the VIP list for and which shoes would be best for dancing until the wee hours. Cafe Habana was where I’d regularly meet my girls to recap the drama of the night before, to refuel with high octane Cafe Con Leche, and to nosh on plates upon plates of cuban sandwiches, Mexican-style corn, and, of course, tostones.
Continue Reading: Tostones with Chunky Avocado from Absolutely Avocados →
It’s hard to believe that Gaby and I only met three years ago because it seems she’s been in my life forever. I recall that she was uber friendly, perfectly tanned, and absolutely obsessed with avocados.
What I didn’t realize is that she’s so into avocados that she eats them everyday, has a whole section of her site dedicated to avocados called Avocado Central, and that she uses them for everything from guacamole to body scrubs.
Suffice it to say she’s the unofficial queen of avocados, so it was really only a matter of time before she wrote a book on the subject and that time is now. Her first cookbook, Absolutely Avocados, was just published and it’s filled with all sorts of food true to Gaby’s cooking style, which, in her own words is “(mostly) healthy casual California recipes along with the occasional indulgences.”
For the occasion, I asked Gaby to share one her recipe for Tostones with Chunky Avocado as well as her top one (er, make that two) key(s) to the kitchen. And, speaking of avocados, be sure to enter the giveaway over on Gaby’s site for the chance to win a giant box of California avocados!
Continue Reading: Gaby Dalkin’s Keys To The Kitchen →
These are “let’s stay in bed” waffles — they’re the domino that sets in motion the chain reaction that leads to a lazy Sunday. In other words, if you have the need to get anything real done today, do not start off with these waffles.
It’s not the waffles fault, really, they can’t help it. But if you start off with crisp savory-sweet waffles with prosciutto and parmesan, well, you’d have to have an all-out, 5-star, blue ribbon day to stay up to par.
Continue Reading: Let’s Stay In Bed Waffles And Lazy Sundays →
Marla and I were virtual friends long before we ever met in real life but, from the first time I read her site, Family Fresh Cooking, it was clear we were kindred spirits.
Marla’s approach to food is focused on making real, unprocessed, whole foods approachable and attainable, even for the busiest of families. Her cheerful approach is evident in everything from her photography to her recipes and she always seems to have an answer for just about everything. As such, I asked her to share some of her wisdom on just how she does it all.
Continue Reading: Marla Meredith’s Keys To The Kitchen →
I need a vacation from my vacation – no, seriously.
If that’s not a thing, let’s make it so because after this past weekend, I’m in desperate need. I was only in Mexico for 72 hours but I felt like I had been gone eons when I returned. It was like Cabo abducted us and ten years passed during the weekend — and I blame it all on my sister’s friends. They may be 10 years my senior but that only made them ten times more ready to party.
Continue Reading: A Vacation From Your Vacation →