Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Overheard in a Grocery Store in Manhattan

Two firemen are grocery shopping at a store on 9th Avenue and 35th Street.  They're dressed for a, topcoat, etc.  Their truck is parked outside in front of the store.

The first fireman with a grocery list says to his buddy, "Don't forget the bacon."

Originally uploaded by mudpig

Friday, May 7, 2010

Didn't Make It To The Finish Line

...but it was a great race.  Thanks so much for all my friends and family who read my novel on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award site and wrote reviews.  The odds were staggering (10,000: 1) but at least the book made it to the top 250!  Many thanks and love to all.  Your support is terrific and means the world to me.

For those of you who still want to read it, the link is here:
Just click on the link below for the free download on the Amazon site.

The Incident at Montebello  

Monday, May 3, 2010

Arthur's Heavenly Tomato Sauce

After months of grabbing quick meals, I've been dreaming of getting back into the kitchen and cooking up some of my favorite meals...which usually involve some form of pasta, fresh cheese, and thick, crusty bread.  So this weekend as I finished up my remaining projects for school, I had some free time, so I cooked for some friends.   Eggplant parmegiana, pasta with homemade sauce, a fresh green salad shot through with arugula, fresh crusty ciabatta bread.  Delicioso. 

My friends loved this sauce made from roasted tomatoes.  The taste is unbelievable.   Rich, savory, the flavor just bursts in your mouth.   You might never want to eat bottled again.   Serve it with some thick, crusty Italian bread, a salad, and some wine, and everyone will be happy.  Here's the recipe I adapted from one of my favorite food writers, Arthur Schwartz, who hosted a food radio program on WOR in New York for years.  

Roasted Tomatoes (And Sauce)
Adapted from Arthur Schwartz, The Food Maven
(Makes enough sauce for a pound of spaghetti or macaroni.)

5-6 medium very ripe tomatoes (about 2 lbs.)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup fruity olive oil
8-10 fresh basil leaves shredded or snipped
Kosher or table salt
dried or fresh spaghetti
grated Parmegiana or Asiago cheese

1.  Cut out the tomato cores with a small sharp knife.  Half tomatoes crosswise.  Coat bottom of a baking dish (Pyrex or disposable work well) with about 2 tbsp. of oil.  Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, in a pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Press minced garlic into each half; drizzle with olive oil.  Pour on any remaining oil.

2.  Place tomatoes in a preheated 375-degree oven and cook for 2 hours, basting them two or three times with the oil and the juices that collect in the pan.  When done, the tomatoes will have collapsed and some of the juices will have burned a little.  (This is good.)

3.  Cut tomatoes into small pieces and slide them into a pot.  Scrape burned bits into the pot to amalgamate into the sauce.  Heat as you cook the spaghetti.

4.  Drain the cooked spaghetti.  (I take it off the heat when it's a little al dente because it cooks a little when you add it to the sauce.)  Toss it into the sauce along with some shredded basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  (I also add some dried oregano.)  Don't forget the red pepper flakes for everyone to add at the table if desired.

5.  Serve immediately with grated cheese.


Note:  This freezes well.  It also stores well if you have leftovers.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Knocked Down? Well, It's Time to Get Up.

Sometime life sneaks up on us and gives us a kick in the pants.  Our dreams get derailed.  Our plans go up in smoke.  The unexpected happens.  So today, I'm happy to share you with some uplifting words from one of great minds at TED.  It's a 3 minute talk...and 3 minutes well spent.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Results Are In

Landscape Tuscany
Originally uploaded by enzo.tiberi

Thanks so much dear friends, for participating in the Pick A New Title for my novel survey. You’ve given me valuable information about which names spark the reader's interest. I realize that some of you wanted to judge the titles based on the plot, but my purpose at this point was to find out which titles had “grabbing” power. So without further delay, here they are. Drumroll, please.  
  • 1. Mussolini’s Secret
  • 2. The Incident at Capodichino 
  • 3. Remembering Sofia.
Because of your comments, I will also be changing the name of the village in my novel to something other than Capodichino because of the difficulty remembering and pronouncing it. 

Again, many thanks!  You made a difficult task a lot of fun!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Favorite Shot of the Week--Welcome Home

This week I got a great tip on a fantastic lens at a seminar at B & H Photo in New York.  The instructor was describing lenses that cost thousands of dollars, but happened to mention that their 50 mm f/1.4 lens for $89.00 was one of the best deals Canon offers.  Of course, I promptly bought it.   This shot of Tiffany's doors was taken with my brand new lens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  What do you think?  Is there enough green in the doors?