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”


Ratatouille is the perfect summer vegetable dish. The ingredients are at peak season, and are easily grown in a home victory garden…I in fact grew these. The main ingredients–zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and basil–need very little tending, they almost grow like weeds. With its tongue-twisting title it may come off as a somewhat intimidating recipe,Continue reading “Ratatouille!”

Moules Marinière!

I’ve posted this recipe before but not in a while. It is really delicious and so easy to make…quite literally put everything in a pot and place it over a fire. Anyhow, I made a large pot of these at work this evening (a scoop of them is pictured straight from the pot) and thoughtContinue reading “Moules Marinière!”

Confit d’ail

The French name for this two-ingredient but flavor-packed recipe translates simply as preserved garlic, but what it is in the literal sense is garlic that has been slowly simmered in olive oil. And this has many great outcomes. The most obvious is that it removes the garlic’s sharpness (but I like that, too). It alsoContinue reading “Confit d’ail”


Tapenade. Mmmm. Delicious. I haven’t made this in a while but it once was a staple on multiple restaurant tables where I was chef. And I made this for a dinner I served this evening. It is basically an olive puree seasoned with anchovies, capers, and lots of garlic. It’s of Southern French origin andContinue reading “Tapenade!”

La Quiche…

 Mmm…Quiche Lorraine. Incredibly decadent and delicious; simple to make, too. The beauty of this is that you can have all of the ingredients ready (including the pre-baked shell) and put it together and bake it a half hour before serving. Heck, you can pre-bake and slice the entire thing–if you think you’ll be pressed forContinue reading “La Quiche…”

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”

Salade Niçoise

Mmm…I love this salad; delicious; one of my favorites. I’ve also been fortunate enough to visit the beautiful city of Nice on a couple occasions, which of course is the namesake of this particular recipe. Anyhow, we served this salad for a luncheon today and thought it appropriate to post the recipe…it is also theContinue reading “Salade Niçoise”

Le Nouveau Tarte Tatin

This recipe is a play on the classic Tarte Tatin, which of course is normally made with apples. I’m currently researching and testing recipes for an article I’m writing about Tarte Tatin for Buffalo Spree Magazine and thought I’d try a couple savory recipes (the poor Tatin sisters must be rolling in their graves); thisContinue reading “Le Nouveau Tarte Tatin”

Fish Meat(less) Balls

This is a play on traditional spaghetti-and-meatballs…in place of meat I used fish for the balls. I could have called it by it’s fancy-sounding Italian name, polpette di pesce, or it’s French cousin, boulettes de poisson, but in English it is what it is…fish meat(less) balls. Anyhow, these are so easy to make and reallyContinue reading “Fish Meat(less) Balls”

Quiche Lorraine

I made this today at my job (for 120 people actually) and it looked so beautiful and was so delicious I thought I’d post a few pictures and share a very simple recipe for it. The classic recipe calls for bacon, but in this version I use ham (both are equally delicious). I also includedContinue reading “Quiche Lorraine”

Hearty and Meaty Spring Ragout

I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog that while I am far from being vegetarian I have been making efforts to eat less meat for a variety of reasons…but sometimes I crave it. Today was one such instance. Maybe it was that I swam 1/2 mile and hauled concrete blocks about 5 miles (oneContinue reading “Hearty and Meaty Spring Ragout”

Ma recette préférée de moules

This is by far my favorite mussel recipe. It is so delicious and so easy to make…simply put everything in a pan and cook it for a few minutes. I made this for staff lunch today at work. They can be eaten alone or served over pasta or rice (the recipe yields a delicious broth).Continue reading “Ma recette préférée de moules”

Four Unrelated Photos and a Few Words to Describe Them

The only way these photos have any relation to one another is that they were all taken today. Other than the one  directly below–which was taken earlier in the day while at work–the other three were all taken within about 20 minutes of one another. Here’s a bit about them, from top to bottom: IContinue reading “Four Unrelated Photos and a Few Words to Describe Them”

Two Cream Soup Recipes

Vichyssoise (Serve warm in the winter months and chilled in the summer) Yield: 4-5 cups 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 bunch leeks (white parts only), cutcrosswise, and washed three times 2 cups chicken stock 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon white pepper 1 cup heavy cream Heat the butter inContinue reading “Two Cream Soup Recipes”

Stuffed French Toast is Anything but "Lost"

Pictured on this post is a breakfast I made for my son (and a friend) and it’s his favorite…French Toast. I’ve posted numerous pictures and versions of this simple but delicious recipe in the past (click here), but what sets this one apart is that the toast is stuffed. As usual, I used homemade wholeContinue reading “Stuffed French Toast is Anything but "Lost"”

Chaudrée (deux recettes)

Many American foods have their rootsfirmly planted in Europe and have developed in this country in a sortof convoluted fashion. The recipes were often brought to our countrywith immigrants when they migrated here, and usually adapted toutilize ingredients that were readily available. Chowder, forexample, had its beginnings in France, then was brought to FrenchCanada beforeContinue reading “Chaudrée (deux recettes)”

Three Photos and Six Recipes

Did you know that January is NationalSoup Month? Well it is, and rightly so. It’s perfect for the cold weather and seemsto nourish both body and soul. Soup is delicious and nutritious,and it’s easy to make. If you can boil water you can make soup. Andthere’s something about a simmering soup pot…it’s the originalcomfort food.Continue reading “Three Photos and Six Recipes”

Handmade Pasta

Homemade pasta is not only simple to make but also fun. And besides that I really believe it is one of the most brilliant foods there is. Think of it’s versatility, nearly every culture has a version of it, and its most basic form it is nothing more than a paste made with flour, andContinue reading “Handmade Pasta”

Whole Wheat French Toast with Pineapple Syrup and Caramelized Apple

This is a simple-to-make hearty and flavorful breakfast, and it also happens to be my son’s favorite (somewhat of a Saturday morning tradition). French toast can be made in any number of ways, but the key to a really good one is great bread and flavorful syrup…of course the syrup can be purchased but itContinue reading “Whole Wheat French Toast with Pineapple Syrup and Caramelized Apple”