Sep 132014
Winter Panzanella + Rosso di Montalcino

I’ve gotten an early (wishful thinking) jump on colder temperatures with this wintery hybrid of two classic Italian salads — panzanella and puntarelle alla Romana. Panzanella typically features a lot of bread cubes and summer-ripe tomatoes, plus a variety of other accents — depending on who’s making it. Puntarelle alla Romana involves an Italian variety of chicory called puntarelle that shows up in Rome in late fall and throughout winter, […]

Aug 262014
Tanqueray 10 Julep + Spiced Candied Walnuts

It is truly the dog days of summer around here, with upper-90s temperatures and tropical humidity competing for what’s left of my sanity. This Tanqueray 10 Julep has been on heavy rotation at my house, and I suspect it will stay there for at least another few weeks — or at least until we get some break in the weather. Even a whiff of fall would help! Tanqueray 10, to […]

Aug 152014
Favorites: August 15, 2014

How has a whole year gone by between Favorites posts? I’m telling you, time is really flying… Well, here are a few things that I’ve been loving lately — enjoy! Is grilled bread with really good, deeply green Italian olive oil simply the very best thing ever? Quite possibly… On my Kindle: The Lady in Gold Have been trying meat substitutes here and there, and this one I actually liked. […]

Aug 102014
Marinated Bocconcini + Crisp Italian Whites

Bocconcini (“little mouthfuls” in Italian) are traditionally served as part of an antipasto selection, but I wonder if they’ve been forgotten lately in all the burrata craze? And I guess I can understand. What chance do these little mozzarella balls stand against the dreamy, creamy center of burrata? Or against slices of 100% mozzarella di bufala, for that matter. Bocconcini are typically made from a blend of buffalo and cow’s […]

Aug 042014
Sardine & Potato Salad with Pine Nuts + Quinta da Aveleda

I suppose there are people who cannot stomach the idea of sardines in any form, much less the ones out of a can. (If you qualify, I guess you can skip this post!) But it’s a pity, because these lovely little fishes are so tasty — and so good for you! And here’s an easy summer salad that makes good use of them. I highly recommend sourcing a good quality […]

Jul 252014
Restaurant: Coppa Osteria, Houston

Had to share some highlights and pics from a couple of delicious meals at one of my new favorite Houston restaurants: Coppa Osteria. It’s part of the burgeoning Clark Cooper Concepts mini-empire, which makes me feel slightly less guilty about going anywhere other than my home-away-from-home, aka Ibiza. (Sorry, Todd, you know I love you most of all!) Executive Chef Brandi Key puts out some terrific food here, from outstanding […]

Jul 202014
Humboldt Fog "Caprese" + California Sauvignon Blanc

Here’s a take on a classic caprese salad — that popular combination of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. All I’ve done is swap out the mozzarella for thin slices of Humboldt Fog, mostly because I had the other ingredients but no mozzarella, but also because Humboldt Fog is an all-time favorite cheese. The first time I tasted it was at a Sonoma winery visit years ago, and it was definitely […]