Before the party…

I was the first one in the kitchen today. This is not always the case but it was today. I enjoy it; I find it soothing. It was a busy day today–I knew this before I arrived–but in the early hours of this hundred-year-old kitchen by myself I find it tranquil. And as usual, IContinue reading “Before the party…”

Five (or Seven) Quotes from Julia Child

Julia Child (née McWilliams) August 15, 1912 — August 13, 2004 “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” “I think every woman should have a blowtorch.” “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” “Everything in moderation… including moderation.” “Remember, ‘NoContinue reading “Five (or Seven) Quotes from Julia Child”

Bananas Foster!

Okay. So a few things first. This dish is so easy to make you won’t even have to think about it. It is really, really delicious. But it’s also really rich (every so often is ok, right?). The image above is the recipe in large quantity; I made it today for 120 people (in thatContinue reading “Bananas Foster!”

Broth, Bouillon, Brodo (y Caldo)

“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.”–LouisP. De Gouy A couple things… Firstly, I have relatively little trouble eating (and ultimatley sustaining on) meatless or near-meatless meals. Actually, I prefer it. But IContinue reading “Broth, Bouillon, Brodo (y Caldo)”

Maccheroni al Forno con Quattro Formaggi

That’s a pretty fancy name (referring to the title of this post) for something that translates to American English as Macaroni-and-Cheese (okay, macaroni-and-four-cheeses). The recipe is really, really easy, and really, really delicious. It may not be the healthiest thing to eat, but geeze o’ man is it delicious (did I mention how delicious thisContinue reading “Maccheroni al Forno con Quattro Formaggi”

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#416 & #417), a Brief Story Behind it, and a Simple Recipe

#416 (first photo above)…a canvas bag containing a few books; a double plastic bag containing a cooked turkey carcass, and a few vegetables for mirepoix. #417 (second photo above)…a cardboard box containing 18 pint contains full of still-warm turkey broth. Okay, so here’s the deal. Nearly every year, after our Thanksgiving feast at one ofContinue reading “Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#416 & #417), a Brief Story Behind it, and a Simple Recipe”

Gravy Deconstructed…

The following text was originally published in Artvoice; to see it at its original location, click here. Gravy(grā’vē) n., pl.–vies a. The juices that drip from cooking meat. b. A sauce made by thickening and seasoning these juices. –The American Heritage Dictionary It’s as ubiquitous at a Thanksgiving feast as the turkey itself. Mashed potatoesContinue reading “Gravy Deconstructed…”

A Quick and Delicious Recipe (and how cooking can be therapeutic)

I’ve posted this recipe before and it’s one of my favorite stir-fries. Sometimes I make it myself and now-and–again I order it from a local restaurant. But, as often is the case, I’m jumping ahead. Last evening I was stressed; over a few things but basically that I had too much to do and notContinue reading “A Quick and Delicious Recipe (and how cooking can be therapeutic)”

"Tis the Season…

Yes, whether we like it or not, it is that time of year again. The weather is getting colder. And with it lighter foods give way to heartier ones, and one of my favorites is soup. I’ve posted this recipe before, or at least variations of it, but it is so delicious and easy toContinue reading “"Tis the Season…”

Four Photos of Food

OK, so I’m not sure what these have to do with the subject of Urban Simplicity other than the fact that they are photos of some of the things I do at work, which of course is a big part of my life (whether I like it or not). I took these over the lastContinue reading “Four Photos of Food”

Macaroni and Four Cheeses

This is a variation of the classic American dish, Macaroni-and-Cheese. The variation from the classic recipe in this one is that I used four cheeses…cheddar, Parmesan, Fontinella, and Gorgonzola. It is–if I do say so myself–mouthwatering delicious. And while this may not be the heart-healthiest meal you can eat it is easy to make, versatile,Continue reading “Macaroni and Four Cheeses”

Three-Color Gazpacho Shooter

Tonight we’ll serve these gazpacho shooters as a component of a cocktail party menu…pureed gazpacho made from perfectly ripe red and yellow tomatoes topped with yogurt and green onion puree. Easy to make, delicious, nutritious…and pleasing to look at. There’s a basic gazpacho recipe below (omit the breadcrumbs to puree it smooth) but if you’dContinue reading “Three-Color Gazpacho Shooter”

Gazpacho Blanco (receta y fotos)

All I really need to say in this post is that this soup is really simple to make and delicious and that you should make it. But I’ll say just a  few more things. I made this for a luncheon I served at work today. It is a cool and refreshing soup, but also oneContinue reading “Gazpacho Blanco (receta y fotos)”

La Tomate

Beautiful isn’t it. It is–or at least was–as big as my fist. I ate most of it for dinner as an tomato and raw onion sandwich on whole wheat bread slathered with mayonnaise and doused with a liberal amount of cracked black pepper. It was, as I ate it, still warm from the sun. Delicious.Continue reading “La Tomate”

"Tis the Season…

Beautiful isn’t it? The first tomato of the season. Within two weeks I’ll have a bushel of them. And the season seems especially early this year. Like much of the nation, Western New York State has been sweltering this summer and the garden plants are loving it. We–WNY–have a relatively short growing season, but IContinue reading “"Tis the Season…”

Pesto!

You’ve likely had this sauce/condiment before…maybe you purchased it or had it at a restaurant; or maybe you’ve made it. But with the summer upon us, gardens–and supermarket shelves–are bursting with fresh herbs. Originally this was made by pounding everything with a mortar and pestle (the Italian word pesto loosely translates as “pounded”), but todayContinue reading “Pesto!”

Clams Casino Recipe

This is a really simple and delicious recipe if you enjoy clams (as I do), and if you don’t mind some extra cholesterol in your diet…everything in moderation, right? I wish I could follow my own advice. The beauty of these is that they can be made in advance and just pop them in theContinue reading “Clams Casino Recipe”

Baba Ghanouj and Hummus…two similar recipes but uniquely different

These recipes are equally delicious and simple to make. And while they may look similar their flavors are somewhat different. One, of course, is based on chickpeas (the Arabic word for chickpea is hummus, or hummos) and the other is based on roasted eggplant, which gives the recipe a slightly smokey flavor. If you’d likeContinue reading “Baba Ghanouj and Hummus…two similar recipes but uniquely different”

How to Candy a Kumquat and other Fruits

This is a basic recipe that can be used for nearly any hearty citrus fruit. You simply simmer the fruit in a basic simple syrup for a few minutes and allow it to cool. It turns even the most bitter or sour fruit into something soft and sweet…once cooked you eat not just the fruit’sContinue reading “How to Candy a Kumquat and other Fruits”