Find Me Here

image | my hand via instagram

Oh no....not on Capri, overlooking the majestic 'faraglioni' rock formations.  No.  I'm here, in Boston, sitting at my desk actually.   I haven't really posted in well over a month....you see, my life and work and family and stuff is getting in the way of my hobby-bloggy. 

Therefore, I invite you to check out other forms of web gratification here:



Italy's best Christmas Cake

Panettone.  I know....all of you Christmas bread haters, complainers of dry, fruity, brick-like loaves...you have good reason.  I know.  But this - this panettone.  Panettone.  Made by Italian hands, in a little coffee shop in the valley of Po, in the town of Bovolone, nestled between the Italian Alps to the north and the Apennines to the south, is beyond bread.  This panettone is set apart from others because of the natural yeasty magic and recipe that's been used since 1891.

Also, molten butter is added.  And some dazzling Italian sugar.  So, it's moist and soft.  And perfect in every way.

image | formaggio kitchen

And the twig tied to the package comes from a local Muscat grape vine - from the Valley of Po.  Making this not only a delicious gift, but a beautiful one, too.

You can find this and a whole world of other delectables at:

268 Shawmut Ave.
Boston, MA  02118
(617) 350-6996


Take pause....

Reflect. And through it all.......

re-borrowed image | wooden hive

When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was a day of touch-football, hot chocolate, family, friends, and too many mashed potatoes.  Now, for our kids, it's kickball or a hike and a whole bunch of togetherness and reflection.  It was and will always be a solid tradition of love, generosity, and compassion for all of those far and near.  

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.
-W.J. Cameron                                  


London | 2011

Apologies to all my Bookface friends that got inundated with every step I took in London.  It was an incredible trip.

And it was a quick trip.  Just 5 days total - 2 days of travel - so, really 3 days.  And 2 of those days I was on my own.  And I managed the underground totally solo (gave myself lots of air high-fives), which I thought was a pretty big deal.  Granted, the tube is easy.  London has signs that actually mean something and are helpful, as opposed to the signage I'm used to here, which are in some confused Yankee gibberish.

Allow me to share some of my highlights......oh, and all images taken by my own hand and phone.

Day 1: Tate Modern, St. Paul's Cathedral, Occupy London

Tacita Dean | 35mm projected on 45' wall
Ai Weiwei | Sunflower Seeds

This was, perhaps, one of the most moving pieces I saw at the Tate Modern and it just doesn't translate in a photo.  Just imagine a pile of seeds, maybe 20' in circumference.  And then realize that each, individual seed is handmade of porcelain and hand painted.  And then google Ai Weiwei.

View of St. Paul's Cathedral from Millenium Bridge

Organized, orderly, and clean Occupy London surrounding St. Paul's

Day 2 | Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Mallais, and a walk

London cab.  Round and roomy.  And polite.
Tate Britain

Lucian Freud  
Francis Bacon | Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion
Sir John Everett Mallais | Ophelia
Enormous handblown chandelier 

Big Ben through the gate
Big Ben not through a gate

London Eye, Big Ben, Londoners
Pretty Red on Black
The View from The National Gallery
Day 3 | Random Sites
The Victoria Tower Gardens

See if you can find: dingly dell, haunch, rump

Yeah, apparently I don't smile so much when I travel.



Oh, it's been a long while since I've posted.  Life and a trip to London (more on that later) have gotten in the way.  But with the leaves (they're still on the trees!) getting all golden and red, I'm finally ready to turn my head towards Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

With all the hosting we do, I was finding myself getting a little bored with the whole gargantuan meal of fowl and mushy side dishes.  Don't get me wrong.  Thanksgiving is, by far, one of my favorite holidays.  It's not religious - no Old or New Testament significance.  Instead, it's all about getting together with friends, family and digging togetherness.  And feeling really thankful for it.  Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.

It's the meal with which I am so very, very bored.  I've got the cooking technique nailed, for a moist, flavorful bird.  I feel confident with gravy, jazzed-up mash, and some colorful veg - like brussels sprouts, yams, and any other colorful creation that peaks my fancy.  And the stuffing....yup.  Got the stuffing.  The tried and true stuffing.  Which deserves to be shared with you lovelies.

With your next Thanksgiving feast, please consider this savory-sweet, texturally diverse recipe that, were it not for the Tawny Port, might be another gloppy brown mound of wet bread.  With dried cherries, apples, sausage, and hazelnuts, it is a solid score on the table.  And leftovers.

The Best Turkey Stuffing Ever
New Basics Cookbook

1 large loaf of bread, cut into 1" squares and dried on a cookie sheet for 10-12 hrs.
3 c. celery
2. c. chopped onions
2 tart apples, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, browned
2 T. vegetable oil
1 c. toasted and chopped hazelnuts
1 c. dried cherries
1 c. Tawny Port
1 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. sage leaves
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl.

Sauté sausage until brown.  Remove and drain in a separate bowl.  Add celery and onions to the same pan.  Cook until translucent.  Add cooked sausage, onions, and celery and all cooking juice to the bread.

Add to the bowl: apples, hazelnuts, cherries, salt, thyme, sage, and pepper.  Toss.

Add Tawny Port and chicken broth to the bowl and toss.  I try not to over toss, as I prefer non-mushy stuffing but feel free to crunch and smush away with your hands to create the preferred consistency.

Roast in a covered dish at 325˚ for approx. 40-45 mins.  Unbutton your pants and tuck in.


Wild about Wild Boar

I had a reason to visit (yet another) South End Formaggio - or, really to get my monthly fix.  I wanted to spice up some hors d'oeuvres-y snacks I was putting together this past Friday night.

We found this amazing Wild Boar dried sausage (soppressata di cinghiale)  in Brussels a couple of summers ago. At one of those awesome outdoor markets.  Corsican wild boar.  So, you can imagine these feral pigs are eating all sorts of good Corsican nuts and berries and maybe a small Corsican animal or two.  That salami was sweet, robust, and a tad gamey.  And a perfect accompaniment to what was slowly becoming a predictable cheese plate.

And back to South End Formaggio - purveyors of just about everything delicious, crammed in a space no bigger than 30' x 20' (but still easy to lose yourself in thought).  I picked up a half a pound of their wild boar sopressata.  Theirs comes from Salumeria Biellese.  And these pigs are mostly raised in Texas, on a ranch, where they probably scamper about, play tag, or maybe set up a variety of houses to see which might get blown down - while gobbling up all kinds of yummy nuts, berries, and happy little animals.

Looking for something to add to your charcuterie - a party cure-all? something that tastes like maybe a little Mediterranean, a little rustic, and a little wild?  Grab a stick of wild boar dried sausage.  And serve immediately.


Creative Genius

Thomas Edison.    Alexander Graham Bell.     The Wright Bros.    Eli Whitney.      Henry Ford.

Steve Jobs.


The Cheesemonger's Kitchen

Fresh Goat Cheese "Pears" with Pistachio Dust

Burrata with Asparagus, Pine Nuts, and Golden Raisins

Roasted Butternut Squash with Fresh Tuscan Pecorino and Devil's Honey

Ricotta Fritters with Chocolate

Just in time for dinner party season.  Clever, creative, cheese-y ideas for both the savory and the sweet.......(having a very difficult time not drooling all over my keyboard).....Can you dig those pears!?  Roasted butternut discs with pecorino?  Buratta with asparagus!

I can't get over the simplistic beauty here, nor the crazy-tastiness.  Plus, I know texturally cheese can get a little tiresome, but Chester Hastings, Capt. Cheesemonger and Chef extraordinaire, has nailed nearly every suggestion in his new cookbook by pairing his arsenal of dairy with something either fresh, al dente, or kick-in-the-pants spice.

all images | by Joseph de Leo from The Cheesemonger's Kitchen

You can find this cookbook, as well as other glorious foodie books, and wonderful entertaining accoutrement at pod.  Right in Brookline Village.  


Outstanding in the Field

A traveling restaurant.  On tour.  With events throughout North America and Europe. With one ginormous table.  One incredibly setting -  a field,  mountains, seaside, or river.  All about celebrating community through food - locally cultivated, locally created food. 


Our mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food,
and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.
Join us in the field for an amazing dining experience. - outstanding in the field

Follow the big white bus *here*.
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