August 29, 2010

A Double Comfort Dish

The Little Italy Burger...and last chance to get in on a fantastic GIVEAWAY!

We Americans like our comfort food. We are always trying to turn the unfamiliar into the familiar. You have to agree, this is a better than the old tradition of shunning the unfamiliar altogether! American fusion food is a great example of this new-found fascination. Dishes such as Mexican pizza and Asian-style hot dogs are just the beginning of our efforts to bring world flavors into the main stream. You can hardly go out-to-eat without seeing menus with ingredients from all over the globe. What an exciting time in culinary history!

August 25, 2010

A Peachy Encounter

Peach and Basil Salad.

After moving to the South,  I quickly noticed an abundance of road-side produce sellers. Some with little wooden shacks, others selling out of the back end of their pickup trucks. I would drive down the road and suddenly see the most glorious melons or deep purple heirloom tomatoes piled high in a gravel turn-off. On one of these occasions, there was a little old man with picnic baskets full of peaches cascading out of the back of his truck! I made a quick u-turn, and parked next to him.

The peaches were radiant! Enormous, flawless...bashfully blushing peaches. Ready to be taken home and devoured in silent dripping reverence!

August 22, 2010

A Grand Party and 7 GIVEAWAYS!

Today, I present you with my FIRST giveaway and I'm SO EXCITED!!!

Last weekend a couple good friends and I went to the Asheville Food and Wine Festival sponsored by WNC magazine. It was belly-bulging day of tasting! We sampled regional wines, dishes from local restaurants, and many specialty food made right here in Western North Carolina.

August 18, 2010


Gingersnap Ice Cream Cups with Fresh Blueberry-Lavender Sauce!

You know the story of the ugly duckling. Well, I would NEVER address my beloved frozen treat as ugly or undesirable...but there ARE ways to make a good thing even better!

August 15, 2010

An Ode To Ina

Grilled Tuna and Avocado Salad and Panna Cotta with Balsamic-Black Pepper Strawberries.

As a child I was enamored by cooking shows. You might remember my favorites. Of course, Julia Child on The French Chef. How could you not love Julia? But I also eagerly watched Wok With Yan, mostly focused on Asian stir-fries and The Cajun Cook, Justin Wilson, who seemed to shove whole garlic cloves into just about everything. I'm showing my age, aren't I? These shows were delightfully quirky and on some level...enlightening!

Now days there are two people I always stop to watch:  Bobby Flay and Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. As I have already given away my feelings for sweet Bobby in Ready For A Throwdown, I'd now like to take a moment to pay Ms. Ina her proper respect.

August 11, 2010

Free yo' mind, and the rest will follow

Seared Scallop and Watermelon Salad with *Sparkling* Mint Vinaigrette!

Need a little Va-va-voom in your life? Something to help you break out of the mundane? Every now and again, I feel like I'm stuck in a rut. Same schedule, same clothes, same workout, same thoughts, same conversations, same meals...BLAH! Of course by nature, I'm a planner so I like schedules. Yet, even we planners need a little excitement in our lives!

Sometimes, one tiny change can get the ball rolling for transition out of dreary gray routine. One minuscule shift can starts the domino effect in ALL areas of life!

August 08, 2010

Chai Pani~ A Dream Incarnate

If you had to reinvent yourself...if your family's future, and your personal joy, depended on a new career choice, what would you do?

In the last couple years, many have had to ask themselves this question and resolved that life can be different. No, life can be BETTER than it was before. The brave have pressed a mental reset button and haven't looked back!

August 04, 2010

Can't Beat The Heat?

Mexican Chile Pops and Cantaloupe Cucumber Chop Salad.

Before my last post, Adobo Grilled pork and Esquite Stuffed Onions, I went to a small Latin market to shop for chiles. I knew our grocery store would have ancho chiles, but I wasn't sure about the dried pasillas. Plus, I love these kind of markets! They always have such wondrous diversity and great deals!

After wondering around, dreaming of the infinite possibilities with the unique ingredients piled high on shelves, I found exactly what I needed and headed to the resister. In front of the counter was a freezer case filled with Mexican popsicles. The kiddos looked up at me with pleading eyes. It was a hot day after all, and there were so many to choose from! I started reading the flavors to the kids...coconut, pineapple, tamarind, lime, watermelon, banana, sour orange. Then I saw one simply labeled "Chile."

Now up to this point I wasn't craving a popsicle, but I had to know! What would a chile-flavored popsicle taste like? I had that inkling it might be something special! We walked outside and unwrapped our pops.

August 01, 2010

A Granted Birthday Wish!

Abodo Grilled Pork with Esquite Stuffed Onions

People often ask me where I like to eat, as if I have some magical ability to find the best restaurants. Ok...maybe I do! You could call it my secret super-hero power. (Wink, wink!) Along with the galactic ability to pull a party together in moments, I have "flavor-sonar" for sniffing out the best food around.

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago. My husband wanted to know where we should have dinner, as if he had to ask. I simply replied, "You know where." For as many incredible independent restaurants Asheville has, there is ONE that I place on a pedestal, Curras Nuevo Cuisine.