Posts tagged ‘Personal’

Let’s talk olives and obsessions

If you’re a semi-regular reader of my blog, you no doubt have figured out that olives are truly my favorite ingredient. They’re my guilty pleasure, and something I’d sorely miss if I didn’t have access to them.

According to Greek mythology the Olive tree was Athena’s gift to the people of Attica and it won her patronage of the city of Athens over Poseidon. And if it was, thanks be to Athena – because in my opinion, there is no more perfect food. I love the texture, the complexity, its versatility in a variety of cooking and packing styles, its saltiness, the variety of colors and its ability to totally transform a bland dish into a powerhouse of flavor.

My favorite kinds of Olives are Greek or or the young Italian variety. I find olives grown, cultivated and fermented in these climates to be the most flavorful and that they offer the best consistency for cooking in pastas and eating with antipasto.

I value Kalamata Olives for their saltiness and frequently add them to spicy pastas in lieu of salt or anchovy paste. I also tend to pop small handfuls into my mouth when i pass by the refrigerator (don’t tell Vita!).

Since Vita and I have been talking about one last really great trip before she starts her surgical residency, we’re leaning heavily towards Greece. I think with the availability of fantastic bread, tangy feta cheese, olives and a Mediterranean breeze, I may never come home.

So, with all those thoughts of olives and Greece running through my brain this morning, I made a very simple Greek salad for lunch. I won’t bother posting the recipe, as I’m sure my version is nothing to write home about. But I am curious my dear readers… what food items do you go absolutely crazy for? I plan on compiling some of your thoughts and doing a post at the beginning of October “foodie triggers,” which I’ll explain later. If you want to be included, post a comment and I’ll follow up with you through your blogs or e-mail and give you four or five quick interview questions. They’ll be painless and fun – I promise!


September 11, 2008 at 10:24 am 5 comments

Preview – Food at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

Hi gang. Sorry for the lack of communication this weekend. Vita and I have had a very busy weekend, spending time with family, but I should have a very interesting and very cool post coming from The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

I’ll be there for work and pleasure purposes and am looking forward to seeing what sorts of food stuff will be both in the grandstand area and in the press trailer.

Check back later for more updates. Hope you’re all enjoying the food and family aspects of the holiday weekend. Back to regular blogging on Monday!

August 31, 2008 at 8:17 am Leave a comment

Commuting and cooking

I work about 45 miles away from my home. And if you’ve ever been in traffic in the metro Detroit area, you know that 45 miles can equate to about an hour and 45 minutes in rush hour traffic, and even more if you happen upon an accident. It makes cooking very difficult when you’re simply starving.

Since I began this little project, I’ve found a renewed interest in developing new recipes and trying new things, but I also don’t want to eat at 8 p.m. every night. So, I’ve been searching for ways to pre-prepare some of the items I’ve been cooking with, and my wife and I are now planning a week’s worth of meals every Sunday night.

Last night, I began something new for me, pre-chopping and light prep for the next days meal. Tonight for instance, I’m making Chicken Marsala for the first time (look for a post on the turnout tomorrow morning), and I went ahead in chopping of the shallots, moving cans in from the pantry and pre halving my chicken breasts so that they’re ready to be dredged in flour. I pre sliced my mushrooms, minced the garlic, seasoned the flour and placed everything in a quickly accessible location.

So, needless to say, all I’ll need is my apron and I should be able to hit the kitchen full steam ahead, whipping out the meal in less time than if I had to chop and get everything else ready.

Any of you have any tips for a commuting chef who’s tired of 7:30 to 9 p.m. dinner bells?

August 19, 2008 at 10:16 am 1 comment

This morning’s coffee

At one point in my life, I took coffee VERY seriously. Going to high school in a fairly upper middle class Michigan suburb, there were no shortages of places to stop for coffee on my way to or after school.

I was so in love with coffee that I actually became a Barista at a now defunct coffee house called The Coffee Studio. I managed the place during the evening shift during the week and opened on Sunday mornings. And while I was at it, I learned a lot about coffee – which in turn, created a coffee snob. Since I haven’t been working as a barista for some time, I’ve relapsed into drinking stuff from the large aluminum cans (albeit fair trade thanks to the wife), but occasionally, I’ll treat myself to some great whole bean stuff.

This morning was one of those days. The bean of choice – Tanzanian Peaberry.

It’s a delightful cup of coffee that grows mountainside. The blend I made today actually comes from the Ruvuma growing region, southwestern Tanzania. Most Tanzanians are sweeter than your normal cup o’ Joe and this particular blend is incredibly bright, with an aroma that has almost a citrus nose. If you’re a coffee or a wine snob, you should notice hints of lemon, orange, cherry (if it’s a stronger brew0 and even hints of honey.

The acidity is very rich and carries the sweetness you’ll no doubt detect in the nose. It gives the coffee a really nice and long finish. If you ever have the opportunity to try a cup, I highly recommend it.

August 7, 2008 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

Once upon a time…

… there was a boy.

He was athletic, clever and sensitive. The boy enjoyed writing, fishing, playing outside and generally didn’t get himself into too much trouble.

The boy’s mother spent a great deal of time with him – teaching, nourishing and providing a very stable upbringing. The boy shared his dreams with his mother, often over tea, animal crackers and the smell of that night’s dinner cooking in the kitchen. It was in these early days a seed was planted deep within the boy’s heart. That seed blossomed and grew into a love for home cooking. And from the love for home cooking grew appreciation for fine food, fast food and the process of creating it.

The boy always held this passion for food and contemplated becoming a chef. But somewhere along his journey though life, the boy became a writer instead of a chef. That boy – now a man late in his 20s – is again yearning to cook, create and share. This is a newly planted seed; a seed planted out of desperation to recapture the passion the boy felt so many years ago. Come along for the journey, and feel free to share your thoughts with me.


August 5, 2008 at 2:36 pm 2 comments

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