food for thoughts and tastebuds alike

Category: Italian (page 1 of 1)

Beginning and End

There are two steps in every recipe that almost everyone I know takes shortcuts through – and I think they are apt analogies for how we live our lives. And strangely, the two steps are the bookend steps to a recipe.

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What better way to progress from philosophy to poetry for a post than with Caprese Salad flowers? I discovered this presentation style of tomatoes one day when I had a few extra moments to play with them. Now it is a tradition with my daughters and I as to who can arrange the most bloomingly floral versions made from tomatoes, kalamatas, mozzarella, and basil – sprinkled with our herbes de provence and balsamic / olive oil drizzle. These photos are a couple we’ve made the past week.

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Life as a Verb

Family reunion time, 7 adults and 6 kids. How to make “Welcome to Portland” meal? Ah the old standby of Porchetta – this time delivered via a massive 13 pound bone-in rib roast that includes 15+ pork chops in it, plus a bunch of tenderloins to boot. So big that the grill was the only option. And with such extravagance, I could finally justify the purchase of that $55 bag of fennel pollen I’ve been lusting after for two years. Sheridan’s even keeps it behind locked doors to enhance the mystique. Add in grilled asparagus, mini potatoes roasted in the drippings, some heirloom caprese salads.. Ah, a treat befitting to the company!

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Cognitive Dissonance

My thoughts today are recursively battling themselves, and then stepping back to assess if there is a winner behind the carnage of the mental battlefield. Before getting to the bloodshed, though, let’s hit the food part first.

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Nomadic Life

One of my dearest of friends is a nomadic world traveler. The world truly is his oyster and home, with no particular place in x,y,z that defines his identity beyond today, and possibly tomorrow. Those of you who know me, know who I am talking about.

In thinking about him today, I realize just how much the mind uses location to anchor the identity of a person in the mind’s perception and organization of its social or mental network. I think of the well-known memorization technique that uses location clues to “hang” concepts onto, like hanging the numbers of Pi onto different bookshelves and countertops in a virtual representation of your house. So too does our minds orient people in a location-based mental map in order to organize our network of friends.

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We have a saying in our house that “Boredom is indication that you aren’t being creative enough” – and with kids in the house, this has proven to be an easily digestible life learning to emphasize even at a young age.

That’s why I have an internal struggle of late in my own boredom in finding new people that break the perception I would otherwise have immediately upon meeting them. For those lovers of the Art of Human Nature, you learn pretty quickly how to assess people quickly and know their motivations and insecurities. I’m blessed to know some truly amazing people in my life with accomplishments and mindsets that leave me in awe.

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I can never speak highly enough on the value of creating enduring traditions. Our family is so laden with them that at times spontaneity takes the third seat after mundanity and tradition.

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