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Preview: taste memory

taste memory

scents sights thoughts & vivid flights about food

Updated: 2018-03-05T20:57:10.803-08:00


taste memories revisited: vibrant pancakes


taste memories revisited with vibrant raw vegan flour free pancakes Happy New Year!I truly hope you have all been well with many blessings as well stepping forward into this new season. All has been well with me and I wanted to share with you a refreshing new find in my morning repertoire. It's alot more enticing than it sounds: raw vegan flour-free pancakes. Thunk - really sounds like a mouthful and drops like a ton of bricks.Though keep in mind, especially for those types that are not *breakfast* people and you just need that little something to kick you in the boot at waking - this is a keeper....... these are perfectly made the night prior or even two days prior and stack as shown with squares of wax paper.....then enclose with a plastic baggy with the little twistie thingy at the end and they stay beautifully chilled to form in your fridgeAlso, don't embarrass yourself and mess around with funky syrup blends......just go for the pure gold.Pure maple syrup is just plain delicious. also can be made the night prior: chopped Fuji apples or your favorite slightly tart apple.......lovingly tossed in a dash of cinnamon + organic raw sugar the standout to this taste: sweet salty + savory.......lest I say: taste memories revisited - like the pancakes you grew up with but with an ample touch of vibrancy to keep you going through the no *fillers*I'm not a breakfast person. The reason being is I prefer a savory and comfort food type breakfast and sometimes the smoothie or granola won't take the bar for me.As soon as I bite into this it reminds me of how much I love eating breakfast again but it doesn't give me that slow down that the heavier cooked breakfasts are known for. there's just something about the first and last bite into these pancakes......remember both sweet, salty and how can you go wrong?Alright's the recipe to taste memories revisited:Vibrant Pancakes2 Cups raw macadamia nuts2 Cups of dehydrated coconut flakes, unsweetened1 to 2 Tbsp. local honey or maple syrupTouch of sea salt (optional)Fruit toppings:Chopped apples, bananas, berries or pineapples with touch of organic or maple sugar and cinnamonShred coconut in food processor until they become like fine snowflakes. Put into large mixing bowl. Grind macadamia nuts until it rolls itself into a fine ball similar to cookie dough. Put into large mixing bowl.With spatula mix together with just a slight amount of local honey or touch of syrup based sweetener of your choice. Taste batter prior adding salt as macadamia nuts already have a nice salt content. Create 3” balls and flatten with palms into round ½” thick pancakes. Stack on small plate with sheets of wax paper in between.Cover in plastic bag and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.Serve with fresh fruit on top with a side of maple syrup.Please note: You can always experiment and substitute the nuts. I prefer raw macadamia nuts (though they can be pricey!) and they have an incredibly healthy oil content. So with other nuts you may have to experiment with adding oils (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) so they will *stick* upon the making. Also I use Let's Do...Organic brand unsweetened, sliced and dehydrated coconut flakes.[...]

carrot cake + in the raw


It's snowing!Yes it's finally raining here in southern California. I woke up this morning to dewy dampness in the air that my skin has been favoring lately. Funny, I am such a creature of habit yet always striving for the balance of things out of the ordinary. Rain was a common theme while living in Florida and it's been surely missed. This year has been an incredible journey for me and my family. I have been trying to keep the glue in tack and the foundation down yet encourage fluidity so we can all eventually *sing*. Perhaps that doesn't make any sense for some, but for me it's important to reach beyond my comfort level. I am such a creature of independence and yet I need to root myself in order to gain momentum. My kids surprise me as well. After years of trying to get them in organized sports and programs (soccer, basketball, team gymnastics, cub scouts, etc.) they had to tell me, "Hey mom I like taking surf lessons really.......Mom, I like tumbling, but I really don't want to be on team gymnastics.......Mom, I like yoga.......Mom, I like guitar lessons.......Mom, I don't want to wear this uniform." So obvious that these must be my children. I just assumed because I grew up among hippie teachers in San Francisco during the 70's + springing off my love for visual arts, performance art + urban farms in city alcoves that my kids would prefer more organization + team efforts. But they had to tell me where they really felt at peace in their growth.How sublime.How obvious sometimes.Don't get me wrong as team efforts + working with community is what makes people as a whole grow. It just caught me off guard that my own children exactly mirrored what I strive for, so soon.......independence, freedom, fluidity + the creative life. This garnered taste memories of my mother's pineapple carrot cake she used to make when I was growing up.....I've been buried knee deep lately.Emotions have been running high.It's been a year of transitions and really, lots of surrender.The more I surrender; the more I find myself at a place I wasn't expecting.Yet what's been enlightening about the fruits of surrender aside from the element of surprise is also intrigue. Through my love of fresh foods, ingredients + even raw foods + recipes, this has lovingly lead me down the road of healing on many levels. This brought me to a place of uncovering the healing properties of food and now the healing properties of herbs. Oh yes, herbs.There's a whole population of them that have called me forth lately. I have used their healing energy to get us through the move, the transition + even through school flu season.They also shined through and eased my children through those Indian Summer days when it's HOT COLD HOT COLD + omygosh I'm gonna be sick days...... Appreciating simplicity and thank goodness a shot in the dehydrator was not necessary! 'Tis the real raw deal inspired by Ani Phyo's recipes and my own *thensome* thrown in. The *cake* is made from carrot pulp (from being juiced), sunflower seeds + almonds whirred in the food processor, lots of spices like grated nutmeg and cinnamon, fresh crushed pineapple.........I made the frosting with raw cashews alongside a sultry spin of medjool dates bursting in their own sugar.This journey of transition this year something else kept knocking on my door. It all makes sense as I am balancing my love for family life, good whole fresh foods, the vibrant life and now my obsession with the healing properties of herbs......something else came my way. You know I love *light*, I love the sun. I love the beach. I love energy. I love good vibes. It was so obvious and then I finally responded.This is after *years* of it crossing my path......calling my name. You know how sometimes we don't listen to that voice nudging at us?I am still inquiring. Still a bit skeptical. But totally open.I just recieved my first Reiki 1 attunement. Yes, Reiki.More on all of this later.Thank you for your patience.Thank you for checking in on me.You guys are swell :-)So this is what I h[...]

falling into place


Chinese Dates or Jujubes (isn't that a fun name? makes me want to break out in dance + laughter!) have been a sweet find of mine lately. We discovered we had a Chinese date tree in our backyard when we moved in and my mom was ranting about how delicious they were. Well we didn't have a full harvest of them this season but after a few bites I was tempted enough to buy a bundle at the Korean grocery store. They are similar in texture and taste to an apple without the abrupt tang. What stands out the most is their sweetness + fragrant afterglow that seems to linger after each bite. It's been an incredible change having practically no rain during the summer months which leaves me more than ample time to play outside.......The air is temperate and dry during the day.Sometimes in the morning the fog rolls in the valley and stays long enough to ease me into the day. I read somewhere their fragrance makes you want to fall in love.......I am all about the rush.Thank you for reminding me how sweet life is. Lately I've been trying to just get all my *stuff* in a row........Yet I am constantly loving living in the moment.There's a joy in having the perpetual rhythm then often times I have to break it's silence and look above the expected horizon. I've also been trying to get more focused on my passions.......I'm always in development. Perhaps a perpetual art project......Whenever I curate an art exhibit, one of the most mesmerizing parts of the process is the installation of the art. That's when I get to experience the transformation of the work itself and how it effects the space + architecture. The best part of it is the effect it has on the crew you are working with to install the works itself. It's amazing; absolutely amazing to see the change in their demeanor when you catch them experience the installation process. During the installation they are caught off guard and find themselves immersed into the experience of the art as well.That is what makes art so profound and meaningful or in this case, anything that beckons to what you are innately passionate about. Sometimes you don't know, unless somehow you've been lucky enough to slip into that other dimension and you find your soul swimming in big round fuzzy circles. It's been hard to resist all the fun going on around me. There's so little time and I want my cup to be full, like always.......So things are finally falling into place. It's been such an appropriate season for that too. I'm looking forward to sharing the fun of the new seasons with you.....Happy Autumn![...]

at the beach. misty clouds. tangerine sun.


Wordless Wednesday.

abrupt thoughts.







just peeking in ;-)

comfort me with apples


(image) baby asian pears. sprigs of baby roses. thinking out loud by the kitchen window.

It's been Total. Drama. Island.

Really the first words that come to mind!

I've been truly manifesting otherwise but it's like the flood gates opened when I decided unleash those sails.

Thinking about you guys.........hope summer has been swell + full of sights that make you just plain smile.

We were surprised to find our first harvest of asian pears + blossoms of baby roses greet us this past summer. So with that I often think of their sweet fragrance that makes my many senses smile.

I hope you're still there ~ as I miss writing, sharing + sprinkling my thoughts on here. I truly look forward to posting more and look forward to that dialogue again. Thank you for coming around + sending light + love to you.

Be back very soon my dears......

peeling back to light: cantelope smoothie with hints of lychees and the green stuff


cantaloupe has been a morning ritual lately........Can't find my lights, my white boards, filters, back splash.....nothing. I had them specifically and specially packed to be easily retrieved and they are nowhere to be found at the moment.I did find my camera.Where the heck is that eyelash curler now........ so just to let you know the taste memory of litchis/lychees ring a familiar tone to me......they're not as odd tasting as they appear really......there is a familiar sweetness to them and almost wine~like fragrant quality that lingers.......Biting into lychees reminds of something familiar but perhaps not. with a slight of a paring knife or even a finely manicured fingernail is just enough to peel back the layers...... What I do is to simplify, everyday.I took these photos without my special lights, my handmade filters and such that give it the *glow* In between the uneven clouds passing and tagging around the sun, I was able to capture vibrant beginnings of my ritual morning smoothie. I recently bought a bundle of fresh lychees. Don't be dismayed by their extraterrestrial type rind. Once you get past their tough exterior, you will find the sweetest flesh to the bite. Interestingly enough, each fruit has a different finish. Kinda like wine or biting into chocolate truffles. They are sweet, soft, slightly sour for some, even briny and has a slight lingering aged like finish that reminds me of strawberry wine. They remind me of things that have been waiting, hidden.....perhaps forbidden. Lychees......the forbidden fruit. Actually my usual smoothie blend is quite simple: cantelope + chunks of cucumbers with skin and all plus a good douse of electrolyte water.Ladies.....this has been a perfect blend to hydrate your cells thus your skin. morning light smoothie: fresh cantaloupe, cucumbers, romaine lettuce + lychees To simplify, to blend, to glow.......[...]

june gloom: walking through fog


(image) I like things in a orderly disarray........I think

This blog is still alive.

I am here.


Rather than bore you with the 450 boxes I am dealing with (I took a rough count to amuse myself in between breaks), I just wanted to say hi and that I am still planning on blogging about taste memories, life, food + just plain being.

There are fruit trees at this new place; amidst dandelions as tall as my kids with minuscule thorns throughout.

I had a dream last night I was flying in between walls and windows made of wooden crates. I felt boxed-in but then I imagined a big picture window that open to a vast blue sky.

The sky opened up in my dream and I was finally in full sail in its expansiveness.

I will post soon.

I am very sorry I have been delayed.

My kids started their third school in one year.

I know, excuses......I have decided to post about our transitons as well as my continued love of fresh + savory foods.

I am trying to help lead a helm with assurance that it's okay to live like gypsies as we have.

Bare feet and all.

Just walking through and feeling the breeze.......

bright side to double delight


.....a bloom from my fire and ice rose bush last spring.....these *double delight* roses I passed on to my dear friend and neighbor prior the move. It makes me smile to know she can tend to its beauty now.....

Happy Mother's Day!

I was at my mother's house the other day to bring her a pot of homemade soup. She had been feeling out of sorts so I made a vegetable soup with chunky amounts of carrots, yellow + green zucchini, celery and roughly chopped cabbage leaves among other niceties......

Then she made her favorite dumplings which I dotted with freshly minced parsley, sea salt + garlic powder. She showed the girls how to knead + form the dumplings before they were gently simmered in a ginger, onion, garlic + rose infused broth.

I ladled the soup into the very bowls we used for soup when I was little. She used to make me soup when I was sick too.

My mother recently told me she missed her mother's cooking. She told me grandma used to be an excellent cook and she shared with me some of her taste memories from growing up in Korea. Family recipes are often not written.....especially back in the days of my mother's childhood. It made me think about the foods my mother made for us growing up as well as today. It also made me think about passing on the love of nurturing, feeding + healing to my own children, to my family + friends.

Right now I feel like I am in a holding pattern until the next flight. As an old friend and writing mentor shared with me about motherhood: "'s about the picking up and putting down in our lives.....we strive for the male counterpart where we cherish to have the long sustained amount of time to complete a mothers we pick up and put down.....just as the simplicity and moment of sweeping the walk.....take in the moment for what it is."

So as I miss tending to my roses, I am also happy to know that my dear friend has been able to enjoy their blooms. I love the *double delight* roses that have outer petals of pink and red. They were my wedding flowers that I had in my bouquet and in my hair. It was the hottest day of the year, my wedding day.

The double delight blooms in my hair lasted from the early morning photos shoot until we tied the knot at church with a kiss. By the time we drove up to the reception at the wooded retreat center in the hills......they looked like wilted rag muffins.

Back then I didn't have the multi-tasking mode as polished as I do now (or so I think!). I think motherhood does that to you. For the seasoned ladies I know that have not chosen the path of motherhood ~ I have been quite taken with the wisdom that has broadened their horizons as women. It's funny that when one door opens, another opens in unexpected places as well.

Wishing you a day of double delights......

finding peace


(image) a glimpse of the path that leads to the wooded preserve area of our former home in Florida......

Hello dear friends.

My apologies for being away. Are you still there? I am soooo sorry. So much happening + so little time.

I feel as I have been far away.

We found out last February about the confirming details of our move

Then I had a month. Less than thirty days really, to pack our lives of over six years of living in Florida to the west coast.

As those of you know that have moved, as well as moved with a cast + crew of children......there is a wealth of *closure* involved.

The path going into the back lot of our preserves is a brocade of overhanging leaves, blooms, branches and vines. The groundworks of the path itself is mottled with degrees of soil, rocks + tree roots grasping it's way to the surface.

My kids grew up on the little teal colored tree swing shown here.

It was the only tree on the property that securely held their care free recklessness so they could do what kids do.........abandon themselves into the ride.

My recent path has just done that.

Abandoning myself into a ride that is often times unfamiliar and un-orchestrated creates a harrowing yet liberating journey.

Especially the journey returning home.

(image) The enclosed deck overlooking the trees + spring-fed pond in our backyard was a place of good memories. When I look at this picture, it reminds of the kid's birthday parties, breaking bread with family + friends, having Saturday morning coffee with hubz, watching the glow of the sunset highlight the tall trees and in closing, the fragrance of chilled white wine lingering through the frost of translucent wine glasses.......

Those are the memories I have that capture perhaps the more evocative times of living here.

So hey, thank you for sticking with me and coming back.

I am saying my goodbyes to my old home. Allowing myself to feel the emptiness of being away from good friends, familiar faces + places that brought me joy + comfort. Letting go of the old to make way for new possibilities. I love the fact that I can share this with you and hope there is a similarity in ways we journey through transitions.

I love this old house, but I know it's time to let go.......

So now I gather my cherished thoughts, scent memories, taste thoughts, taste memories and tuck a few away in my heart. The rest I'll scatter like fresh petals and remind myself to fear not if I bruise a few petals along the way.

Most definitely if you were wondering.....yes new food finds + savory fresh delights have treated me well lately in southern California!

Talk with you soon.

xoxo ~ tastememory girl

comforts of home: going back to Cali


sweetly tempered with pure maple syrup over a hot griddle.......sticky gooey carmelized seduction: fried bananas with bits of chocolate shavings Fried bananas. My saving grace when I was transitioning my diet to incorporate more raw foods. So instead of the glass of red wine after dinner or the bowl of ice cream or chocolate torte, I would linger over a sweetly glazed fried banana carmelized with pure maple syrup. It was inspired to me after reading Natalia Rose's The Raw Food Detox Diet book that literally steered me forward on the positively feeling ever so clarified + focused track. As many of my readers know, I have a healthy + loving balance with raw foods, gourmet cooked foods as well as the love for pure, natural + savory ingredients. To this day, these true loves of mine make me crazy passionate about my intense commitment for fine food, cooking, family, friends + life!Many things happening here........First I want to apologize for the delays in my postings as of late.As I mentioned in my previous post that I spent 2008 cleaning house in more ways than one and the effort brought me back full circle tapping constantly at what I really wanted in my life. In my consulting work, I am versed with the business plan + fine tuned proposals for my clients. I decided to take a step back and develop my *life plan* *divine plan* *master plan* or some call it the *vision board* of what I really WANTED out of my life. It also included short term, mid-term + long term goals. Then I went in to fudge back my details to make things more fluid in my way too organized life! I think we all have some sort of plan for ourselves.....I decided to take it a step farther and make it more concrete. Mind you......I also had to take in consideration the munchkins in tow + the hubs. As a marketing specialist, I did pitch them well.....he he he! But found that after orchestrating the *vision board* that really, I had to let it BE and just let things transpire on their own. Like planting seeds + watering.Mind you......the whole intent of the *vision board* is to make reality of what you are desiring or wanting, thus taking steps in the direction and walking through the doors that open along the way. Overall, I felt fulfilled yet oddly, knowing that something had to change in order for me to get to the next level of my life. So now, I am happy to say.......I am going back home. We are moving back to RIGHT NOW!We just found out, so my life is a bit of a flurry right now. We will be leaving on our one way flight to California (that sounds soooo good to say, ONE WAY FLIGHT TO CALIFORNIA, I've been wanting to say that!) in the middle of March.Can you believe it?When it rains, it pours.From the research I gathered, it was suggested to be very specific when you create your *vision board* For example: dates, places, needs, timeline, etc. When I created the *vision board* with my hubs in 2008 we were very specific. For everything to *flow* in accordance to our family's needs, our hopes were to return to California no later than March 31, 2009. Plus it has to be southern California for family reasons. I know, I know......NORTHERN CALIFORNIA is the place to be, especially to the haunts of Passionate Eater and Foodhoe's Foraging. You guys are the BEST! We did consider noCal, but the cards were not flying.....So surreal. I am finding the *vision board* to be a quite a process. It involves some down time that can be hard to relinquish for busy types. But the down time makes space for the empty space to be created in order to be filled again. You often wonder what will be filled in that void when one goes on a diet, breaks up with a boyfriend, let's go of a bad situation/relationship or perhaps make a TOTALLY different career leap......there's always that fear.My vision boar[...]

full plate special + taste memories: california chopped salad


(image) remnants to livelihood........

I spent last year clearing house.

Clearing out my house in so many ways.

It can be hard to let go of familiar ways and routines.

With all that empty space, open ground, the blank page, the slot to be filled......oh my goodness it will be a void in space.

One might wonder....what's next? What will happen? I don't know what!


I need a doughnut. Just give me a freaking doughnut.

No gravy. I want GRAVY. Remember that old time Warner Bros. cartoon with the bull dog going crazy looking for GRAVY? Perhaps half of you don't! Remember Gumby? Underdog? Land of the Lost? Very scary how long ago that was......

I have had so much on my plate today. This past week. The weeks gone by.

Yet I keep thinking about this place. My next blog post. You guys.....fellow bloggers......enthusiasts.......lifers of the blog life. Love you guys!

I spent 2008 clearing house. In more ways then one. I spent 2008 sowing seeds.

Yes a lot on my plate as of late.

It is as if being in a garden; blossoming, tending, grooming, mending, watering and watching the blooms return.

Today, right now.......outside my window.....the sun is shining. Half the trees in the backyard are slightly bare naked of their leaves. Some green leaves linger the color of last summer as the remaining dried up faintly red maple leaves falter + dangle a bit prior their fall on straw-like winter crab grass. The pool filter is humming and there is a faint spell of fighter jets in the distance reminding me of time we are in and the fact that I live near a naval base.

And NO! I am not pregnant, jumping ship or running off with the butcher/baker or sushi guy.....

More words + pictures to follow......very shortly.

view from the kitchen sink


(image) © 2009 Ingar Brunnett, original illustration VIEW FROM THE KITCHEN SINK: duo of roses, potted basil + chives, fresh cut daisies, bowl of cherries being washed......

I read somewhere that adding illustrations onto your blog will add depth and interest to your blog. Not that I believe everything that I read but it made me think about a series of pen and ink illustrations I created during the years that we lived in northeast Ohio. So I thought to give you a glimpse......

I was also constantly *preggers* which seemed like a 5 year span in my life.

My memories of Ohio: I remember lots of pot lucks, lake effects snow, lots of sleet, driving on ice, skidding on ice, maple syrup, being pregnant (hah! I already said that!), more pot lucks, more snow, falling on ice, really good corn on the cob, orchard apples, my Mennonite best girlfriend forever Ida, having babies, late harvest grapes, mud, having a *mud room*, writing poetry, my writing circle, my first writing mentor and another best friend forever, the blanketed silence after a heavy snowfall, the maple syrup festival, harvest festivals, children's tea parties and the memory would not be replete without my kitchen window.

My kitchen window looked out to our back woods. We had close to an acre of woods (which was a lot of space for someone growing up in California) full of oak and maple trees. Many times deer ran through our backyard.

One time, when my kids were toddlers they were playing in the sandbox in the backyard. I was doing something over the kitchen sink and watching them here and there through the kitchen window. I loved the view from the kitchen window into our backyard. It was always a beautiful scene that changed with the seasons. The children were quietly playing making sand mounds.....then I happened to look up and I saw a male buck charge toward the sandbox! I screamed at the kids out the window and then ran out to the back yelling at them to get into the house. The buck continued to charge at them and suddenly steered away when he saw me run out with my hands swaying, hair flying and me, mama bear going crazy.

We still talk about that day and now we can laugh about it.

It was really weird that happened since the kids were just in the sandbox and not doing anything to provoke the deer.

Just a glimpse of a memory to share......while I am working on my next savory post.

something about strawberries....


dairy free + free love: coconut cream, mango + chocolate......such bliss and no soyFinally, today and I realize all of us have such a diverse stance on life, politics + even food (the *diversity*; isn't that fantastic?!).Perhaps just for one day we can be t r a n s p a r e n t. As always, the rest will just trickle forth and fall into place.*A day to celebrate our similarities, embrace our differences, send good vibes + prayers and just chill the f*ck out*As a recovering Type A personality ~ I do try to relinquish to this on a daily basis { lol } My life of organized synchronicity which also included the every so often rewards of planned chaos that celebrated the artist in me came to an abrupt halt once I started having kids.The more children arrived, the more everything became, you know? So { { { s i g h } } } 'tis better to sink into the bliss of happy rather than restraining order.Even in art school I was quite an odd egg. I think I was the only art student/artist that had to have my studio in order, car cleaned + check book balanced in order to go forward with whatever spectacular project I was working on. Do you ever find you just exhaust YOURSELF? Maybe it's just me. By the way, always ALWAYS celebrate + live the artist in you. Perhaps if there were more arts funding + flourishing + beauty of the creative life encouraged......what if? as for me and my house......all heck has broken loose.January 17th: My dad's birthday.......Happy Birthday Dad as you're forever in my heart.January 19th: Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as you are forever reminding us so eloquently of the importance of our dreams.......January 20th: Inauguration Day here in the states ~ A place my parents have held in their hearts to be their homeland.......whatever our differences, I truly hope today will spring forth a new era for you, your lives, surrounding communities we all touch, as well as throughout globally. non-dairy, non-soy, nothing artificial + lotsa organic loving cream made with coconut milk ~ tastes just as creamy as the real thing without the dairyI have been in the process of making dairy free, young coconut meat + milk based homemade ice cream. It will eventually get posted here.Meanwhile, I discovered PURELY DECADENT non-dairy frozen dessert (I call ice cream since it tastes just like!) at Whole Foods recently. It is not considered a raw ice cream. But I find this a great transitional ice cream for those increasing raw foods in their diet, or even if you are looking for dairy and soy free alternatives. The ingredients are quite pure including organic coconut milk and organic agave syrup instead of white cane sugar. Life is pulling in various directions so instead of striving for order today, I thought to let loose on my canvas of colors and even dessert. Talk soon,xoxo Yes ~ amazingly enough it's strawberry season in Florida right now......By the way.......Happy Blessed New Year to you![...]

Iron Chef: what is myth, passion + tomatoes


amuse bouche ~ playfully taut shot of freshly puréed tomatoes, watermelon topped with a layer of pop rocks.......artistry of Chef Erika Davis of Ponte Vedra Inn & ClubCatching up with my 2008 posts!This past summer I had the opportunity to be on the panel of judges for a local Iron Chef competition hosted by Publix Aprons Cooking School and Shands Jacksonville for the annual Art & WineFest at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront.First off ~ my apologies about the photography.These were done by *ahem* a friend in between the evening's gourmet tastings + open bar, so you can well imagine.Well, at least he was having a good time.Alas, the photos are by unless otherwise noted.Also, I have been having a serious problem with people borrowing my photos without asking (((sigh))). Please see copyright notice @ the sidebar and be nice.So the secret ingredient of the evening?from the left: Chef ?, Chef Tony Corrente, Chef Erika Davis, Chef Grace Glhan discover the secret ingredient......tomatoesThe annual event is hosted to benefit the UF & Shands Medical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Jacksonville Florida. It's a community event that unites local chefs, restaurateurs, artists, collectors, the business + medical community as well as food enthusiasts.platingI thought to share with you just a glimpse......Chef Patrick Walley of Publix Aprons Cooking School overseeing the assembly........for the babies: proceeds for the event benefit the babies in the UF & Shands Medical Neonatal Intensive Care Unittoasty beginnings: an earthy bowl of tomato soup with potatoes, bacon and of course toppled with truffle oilperfectly caramilzed scallops with chutney like tomato salsa served wtih blanched asparagus al denté to the bitesavory + sweet: grilled snapper lovingly takes bed with yellow heirloom tomatoes + topped with just a breath of microgreens *Photo courtesy of Publix Aprons Cooking SchoolChef Patrick Walley, Publix Aprons Cooking School I met Chef Patrick a couple of years ago when I signed up for The Basics of Culinary at the cooking school. He definitely inspires his students to learn skills with great ease, fun and insight. Also to note, the local 'Iron Chef' competitions hosted by the cooking school have become his signature appeal which is a perfect example of how Chef Patrick is dedicated to building community + comradarie around the gourmet food culture. The cooking school also offers everythig from knife skills, dim sum, Italian cooking, regional cooking, kids camps and sushi making. They are also noted for having incredible celebrity guests as Top Chef's Tom Colicchio, Food Network's Michael Chiarello and the ever cool Chef Ming Tsai.You can learn more about the cooking school here.Also here's my interview with Chef Patrick Walley.TM: What made you decide to become a chef? CPW: Most chef's will claim that watching their mother, aunt or grandma magical whip up childhood treats in the kitchen is what spurred them into the crazy world of culinary. This is partly true for myself.....but I can pin point the moment that I just know that I had a connection with food. My senior year in high school in West Virginia. I needed to fill a class so I enrolled in home economics and that hand made cherry pie scored me a date with a very pretty girl. I found the power to lure women my way!! WOW. The rest is as they say, history.TM: What was your first job in a professional kitchen?CPW: Mostly every chef started as a dishwasher, or they should have. I to was a sud buster at a local chain steakhouse in my hometown. My true first pro chef job came when I had ran into C.M.C Michael Russell at a culinary salon in Morgantown West Virginia in 1985. I apprenticed under Chef Russell[...]

as sweet as can be: season of lights + memories


(image) from our house to yours......

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas ~ Season of Lights ~ Happiness + Peace!
I wanted to share this vintage spot from Coca~Cola which I think aired back in 1971. I recall watching this when I was little and to this day it brings back insightful taste memories of the late sixties and early seventies. There was so much going on during that time socially + culturally. Coca~Cola came out with a later version of the same commercial in the mid-eighties and it just didn't have the same feel.

Here's the original version from 1971.

Wishing you blessings, p e a c e + prosperity ~

the importance of being: The Present Moment Cafe


fresh pecan-apple cobbler with dairy-free house made ice creme Dessert first?No, although I do like the concept.I recently made several trips to one of my favorite restaurants The Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine Florida.The restaurant features organic, raw, live + vegan cuisine. Their slogan of excellence: Fresh Organic Living Food Made With Love & GratitudeI just love that!simple beginnings: pot of fresh mint leaf tea, cucumber infused water and Samuel Adams......Middle East Peace Hummus: light + fluffy, no beans, "no mean hummus is blended with cashews and topped with mint oil and tahini sauces.....served with fresh veggies and FRESH corn chips" ~ excerpt from The Present Moment Cafe menuThe creamy hummus always arrives with an array of dehydrated crisp and crunchy house made corn chips.I am completely addicted to them as they are sweet, savory and enticing. The chips are made with finely ground golden flax seeds, almonds, fresh corn, yellow bell peppers, onion powder, cumin seeds, oregano + Himalayan pink salt. Thus spread onto flat trays and dehydrated to crispness.The use of conventional heating elements such as a stove, grill or oven are obsolete here. It's the art of raw food preparation which relies much on the marinating process to 'cook' down the natural elements of vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits without losing the nutritional healing properties. Don't fear, as I grew up an ardent meat eater, gourmand and still consider myself a slight food snob. Okay, serious food snob.....the dishes are delicious, intriguing and you will NOT leave hungry. That always seems to be the fear for those entering here without knowing....will I still be hungry?No, and the best thing about it is you'll leave feeling fantastic. vegetable sushi maki roll made with ground fresh parsnip root with shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers, herbs, carrots + avocado rolled in nori and served with wasabi aioli + namu shoyu dipping sauce.I make this at home often. I like to make my *sushi rice* with ground parsnips, fresh + raw ground almonds and a bit o' ginger.You can see my raw maki sushi roll here. Too answer your question: YES it tastes like a sushi vegetable roll!coconut wrap samosa filled with curried veggies + lentils with a creamy cashew nut creme drizzle on a bed of fresh spinach leaves.....Fresh young coconut meat is ground to a pasty consistency and spread on flat pans then dehydrated to form these lovely samosa wraps that are crisp + tender to the bite.The dining room itself beholds for creativity, ease, tranquility + lotsa fun...... pad thai noodles - savory, crunchy, slightly spicy + sweet with glass noodles made out of fresh sea kelp......Is this getting too weird?Upon visiting The Present Moment, you will want to note the menu does change with the they must be ~ in the present moment.*Me, TasteMemory and Jenn, The Left Over Queen just being girls + foodies.....*Isn't Jenn cute? She is the sweetest thing too. She wrote a lovely post on our visit with her usual intrinsic + passion fitted detail.If you haven't already, you must visit her blog and read about it hereAnd mind you ~ she's the real deal (exquisite food writer that is)....did not even see her flick out a pen + pad during the dinner! Now that's expertise + taste memory! flourless pure cacao truffle with cashew nut ice creamImagine chocolate in its purest form.Imagine food in its purest form. The Present Moment Cafe*this photo courtesy of The Left Over Queen [...]

yellow curry with pumpkin: savory spun thoughts over rice alongside taste memories


like stone soup: little bit of pumpkin.......little bit of asparagus......little bit of spinach........shredded just sosimmered to slightly sweet savory spicy perfectionThis is one of my favorite seasonal dishes to make for the family. I like to make a vegetarian version as well, but opted to make this version to blog about since it's a definite crowd pleaser. I often times cook with organic preferably free-range chicken. The meat is more tender + tastier. I pre-marinate tender bite size trimmed chicken breast meat with a little bit of yellow curry powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil and a touch of agave nectar to bring the flavor forward. Cover + chill in the refrigerator for three hours or overnight will do. adding coconut butter + coconut milk adds another dimension to this dish......The fresh pumpkin wedges are simmered slowly in a heavy saucepan with minced garlic, olive oil, extra virgin coconut butter, fresh ginger root, coconut milk, garam masala and freshly ground black pepper. Simmered and stirred on occasion to avoid scalding the curry concoction developing.....comfort and delight in every biteStir in the marinated chicken.Add dried chiles, curry powder, chili garlic sauce, touch of fish sauce, water to smoothe and asparagus. Fast simmer . stir . reduce to low simmer . stir on occasion . saucepan to be simmering until chicken is cooked through just so yet still tender to the chew........Fold in shredded spinach leaves, fresh basil + cilantro just prior serving with steamed Jasmine or Basmati rice. homespun curry with asparagus, pumpkin, shredded spinach, organic well-tended chicken breasts + spiced to loveWhen I was little my mother used to make Japanese inspired yellow curry served over rice for the mid-week meal. Curry brings back taste memories of home. Reflections of home include thoughts of nourishment, enclosure, growth, sense of community, peace, a place to take flight, a place to come back to and nourish again.......This is a version using the abundance of pumpkins from this season. You can also add your own batch of favorite vegetables.....As usual, am time sensitive here. I have FOUR posts I want upload before the end of 2008, including my visit with fellow food blogger Jenn at The Leftover Queen in St. Augustine recently. She wrote a lovely post about our recent visit together, you can read about here.I plan to blog about my recent happenings + insight before the end of December ~ yikes!With that said, I'll be right back.....[...]

the abundance of giving thanks.....


fruits of our labor: new granite counter tops for this foodieWell here it is.Brand new granite counter tops.The former was a Formica powder blue atrocity.It took us awhile to pick out this design. What's amazes me about the beauty of granite is that it is not a man made design. So you can image me in the granite yard (yes a huge Flintstones like quarry with a variety of granite slabs) as I was overwhelmed with the natural beauty of granite. I felt as if I were at The Louvre.Each slab, quite exquisite. For the new counter tops; I am ever so grateful!pomegranate season: illuminated, jewels, vibrancy and the visual harvestthe morning cup: my le petit déjeuner cup reminds me of the *white shoulders* perfume bottle......wish one could forget the scent thoughintermezzo toward winterDay at the beach: Dad and I in Vung Tau, Vietnam during the warRemembering Dad.I was born is Seoul, Korea yet we moved rather swiftly to and through Vietnam during the mid-60's. This picture was taken when we lived in the coastal resort town of Vung Tau, Vietnam. Dad rented a French style villa not too far from this beach. This was during the war and just prior the deadly takeover that prompted us to leave. When I look at this picture it reminds me of how courageous Dad was. This was a difficult time for Korea's economic make a long story short, Dad was able to gain employment with the U.S. Army stationed in Saigon. Yes, he was a risk taker. Amazing to recall, his job had to do with managing services for food and beverages for the various U.S. Army barracks stationed throughout Vietnam. Another point in my food lineage! A taste memory: I remember going to bed after eating homemade ice cream made with condensed milk and orange juice (the dreamsicle, 50/50 bar) while watching fighter jets go by. You can read more about it here and here.This was a very strange, scary + sad time. Talk about fate and all things falling into place.......Dad had friends in high places, we left swiftly left Vietnam through the central port city of Can Tho by way of army helicopter to Saigon, then somewhere in between a flight on a military cargo plane, then finally we boarded Pan Am to Hawaii to San Francisco.My mom gave me Juicy Fruit gum to ease my nausea from all the traveling. To this day, I have mixed feelings about Juicy Fruit gum!My father passed away six years ago, November 29th. Remembering you Dad for your brilliance, sowing the seeds for a new life and most importantly finding ~ freedomFor this, I am so grateful.biting into bliss: just like jewels from a crownPomegranate fruit is the perfect seasonal dichotomy. The abundance of these seeded capsules loaded with high vitamin juice content during the Autumn season of harvest is a peripheral reminder of more things to come.What are you expecting as the new year beckons around?Isn't amazing how much you have lived in this past year?Do you already see what the new year is unfolding?Of course, new taste memories revealed.To American readers, blessings that you had an incredible Thanksgiving holiday!Autumnal equinox + winter solstice bliss as well to everyone. Also to many others welcoming in the new spring; a new found vibrancy.Wishing you today + the days to follow an abundance of peace, good cheer + most of all.......freedom[...]

oh so easy mulligatawny soup


freshly chopped cilantro the final touch.....secrets to my mulligatawny soup: blended yellow + red lentils, ginger root, fresh tomatoes, extra virgin coconut oil, black mustard seeds and......The temperament of this soup has a rustic appeal. Perfect with potato stuffed roti or toasted flat bread with hints of olive oil, garlic + freshly minced cilantro slathered about. I like to make this soup often and it makes a common place in our home as a quick comforting meal that satiates without the fuss. Slightly nutty, very savory + smoky, with hints of spice of ginger, garlic it is robust + opulent as the broth is drenched with chopped zucchini, celery, carrots, tomatoes, parsley + cilantro.I love making this soup in the cold weather because it's like serving the fruits of the sun in a bowl on a drab wintry day.mulligatawny as defined in the Tamil language literally means *pepper water*spooning up my efforts: simmered with chopped curry leaves and lime leaves would be a delight as well......I have to admit this is not the traditional method. I have taken out the initial step of *tempering* the spices in oil. Instead, the blender works swell and so does the slow simmer. I do promise this will make a sure fire hit to even non-lentil lovers. Kinda like my beet salad, even if you don't like beets. Poor beets have a bad rap since many of our earliest memories stem from aluminum ridden beets from the can.....we were forced to eat: *Eat Your Beets*! Anyways, about this soup: it is my tried and true oh so easy recipe that is nourishing, yummy and healing to the bod + senses. At least way easier than some of Emeril's recipes.......oooh though they are quite yummy. This recipe is definitely shorter.Also, perfect to ease the chill.It has been colder than usual......oh forbid, last night there was a pre-frost warning so I hauled in a surviving potted plant that I have not neglected. It's a white orchid that is massively blooming and to my amazement has survived my brown thumb.My experience with soup made out of lentils has always been a mass of brown murky chunky lentils in a bland broth. Perhaps with a ham hock leg sticking out with overt douses of smoke liquid that left little to desire to my spoiled palate.Later, I discovered mulligatawny soup at our neighborhood Indian restaurant and found myself smitten.....totally.Nowhere to be seen were the gooey eewy brown bad mush muddy lentils.They were lovingly replaced by a brocade of bright yellow dal(lentils) and a sunny shades of orange-red dal as well. Then I also found myself at the Indian market immersed with decadent shades of dal that reminded me of the brightness of the sun.New found *inventory* always makes me happy.Screw the brown lentils......cheers to sun-kissed lentils to brighten any drab Fall/Winter day.TasteMemory's oh so easy mulligatawny souprecipe written by me, Ingar B.3/4 cup yellow lentils(moong dal), soak in cool water 1 hour1/2 cup red lentils(masoor dal), soak in cool water 1 hour3 garlic cloves1" knob fresh ginger root, peeled2 whole tomatoes2 cups filtered waterAfter soaking yellow + red lentils together in water, rinse well + drain. Combine about half the lentils in a blender with the garlic cloves, ginger root, tomatoes + additional water. Put aside the remaining lentils in stock pot. Blend ingredients until smooth. Add to stock pot with remaining lentils and combine with:1/4 cup good olive oil3-4 cups filtered water4 dried chilesCombine these ingredients well as the oil + water will help prevent the lentils from burning. Bring to medium simmer while stirring often so lentils do no[...]

freaking out about Fall: weak in the knees about Autumn


All photography © 2008 property of Ingar Brunnett, TasteMemory + Melt Into Arts Inc. I often wait until late Fall to buy concord grapes.....they are so much sweeter later in the season with just enough tang in the skinI don't know what to say except that I've been a bad blogger.I have been cooking....eating....taking photographs....breathing + easing into Fall....yet not blogging.I am sorry.I still love blogging.Just taking a breather ~Another excuse (aside from the daily drama of my life) is the new kitchen renovations as of late. It's near done. I've had this embarrassing kitchen for a food lover + food blogger......yes, overall I am thankful....quite grateful for a roof over my head and a kitchen that works, but......if you saw this kitchen.....I do have before *pictures* of powder blue kitchen counters and stained off-white appliances that are no longer.Of course, with the new range/oven installed; I am AGAIN doing another weird thing......I am afraid to cook or even bake as so not to dirty the new stovetop and oven!This is where raw foods + grapes comes in handy, but for awhile was without a kitchen sink too.But really.....can you imagine a brand spanking new oven with NO *crustineeys* embedded within? So I do a weird thing often; open the spanking new oven and just smile at it's beauty. Well, I plan to line with foil shortly and it will be initiated to baker's bliss with the holidays looming ~Otherwise; I am alive and well.Just thought to take a breather during summer......oh yea, summer is over....right!a lone concord grape in a long shot with one of my robes in the background. Every time I look at that robe it reminds me of nursing my kids when they were little babies. I used to wear that robe while nursing. Very strange taste memories. Actually, I now use that robe as a tint for lighting my food shots. In the foreground are remnants of a few concord grapes I smashed for a shot that will follow below in this post. a concord grape owtcha my knee! no not my knee.......peeling back some thoughts with late harvest concord grapesSeckel pears that I often crave can be quite haunting to the tasteI first came across these baby pears at the Union Square Greenmarket. It was love at first bite.Seckel pears are petite in size compared to other pears. To the bite they are crisp and firm yet slightly gritty. I love the earthy texture and they have floral after taste that lingers sweetly. They are a definite must try compared to grocery store pears like Bartlett, Anjou or even the Bosc pear that packs a punch with sweetness.Seckel pears are shaped to fit perfectly in a child's palm.Perfect for the lunch box or picnic basket too.these white grapes I picked up at the grocery store remind me of the late harvest Niagara grapes we used to buy at the fruit stands in northeast Ohioinsight into late harvest grapes: sweet with honey undertonesplaying with my palette I have been intrigued lately by micro images as you can see. I have also been lingering with foods + cultures that keep haunting my taste memories.I promise to be back very shortly with my findings.....[...]

latest obsession: green papaya salad


saigon bistro's perfectly seasoned green papaya salad: freshly shredded green papaya, topped with shredded basil + faux beef (made of tofu + other accoutrements I am not familiar with. The owner says he buys his fake meat from Japan). The marinade is sweet, saucy, slightly salty with hints of heat from the chili sauce. Just enough savory appeal is also provided by the faux beef. It really REALLY tastes like beef.....spooky.I crave this dish about once a week.The green papaya yields a mild + mellow flavor that is both tender yet crunchy.For the life of me, I cannot find green papaya anywhere here.I have found it on amazon for $20 through one of their vendors.We recently discovered a dining hideaway called Saigon Bistro. I rarely post about restaurants in this area because for one reason or other, if it's not a chain the longevity of the establishment is up to question. With that said, call before you high-tail it over there.Saigon Bistro is a fairly new restaurant located in one of northeast Florida's brand new precalculated strip malls. Every time we go there, the strip mall itself appears somewhat.....haunted. No patrons as far as the eye can see, well except this bistro.The restaurant is invitingly friendly, in itself pleasant, handsomely designed and quaint.Service is slightly shaky but the overall menu is the something to rave about since leaving California. This area is known for ethnic restaurants using the foulest of ingredients, hardly any fresh produce to appease to the meat + potatoes crowd as well as watering down it's ethnic identity in order not to scare off the daily grind. The owner/chef of Saigon Bistro stays true to his Vietnamese roots. The ingredients are absolutely fresh, lively and intrinsic to Vietnamese flavors. The menu does offer typical dishes for those in fear of eating God forbid I don't know whats, so for that bunch: egg rolls, fried rice, etc. ( ( ( y a w n ) ) ).Aside from trying to please the timid, the menu is quite diverse and lovingly spectacular to fresh, fragrant Vietnamese cuisine.Traditional bowls of Phở are offered in chicken, beef, veggie and more options. The delicate broth is served with a side of fresh crunchy bean sprouts, cilantro + basil alongside spices + sauces to bring it up a notch. They provide a great deal of vegetarian options as well as dishes with tofu and fake/faux meats that look and taste really like meat!Also in true Vietnamese form......lots of BEEF options.I have also tried the green bean salad which is stock full of crunchy green beans, veggies and only flash blanched to retain it's fresh snap.The kitchen's hand is quite versed in delicately marinating their dishes to exquisite appeal to the sensitive palate.We have spoken to the owner on several occasions and he is passionate about his menu, his customers and foremost Vietnamese cuisine. His passion is contagious.My best wishes for culinary success to Saigon Bistro.Saigon BistroUnit 2023546 Saint Johns Bluff Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32224Tel 904.645-0222[...]

breakfast beauty + memory of light


breakfast bowl in the raw: granola with trinkets of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dried sulphur-free mango snippets, bananas + figs glorious sexy figs...... doused in homemade almond milk and agave nectar it's like biting into the earth and revealing the sunFor the most part, I am not a breakfast person. I would rather have a smoothie on the go and just get it over with. For the most part, I wake up not a least bit hungry.But as you know by 11 a.m. for the most part, I am violently hungry and unable to focus unless I eat something gratuitous.So to avoid further drama in my life, as if I don't have enough drama; I have decided to include a solid breakfast on those mornings that I know an extra shimmy will be needed to get me through the day. So why not include a combination of ingredients I just adore? I love bananas.Let's throw in some bananas, mangoes, dried mangoes specifically. As well as granola. I found something called the *sugar free buzz free* granola at my local health food store. I don't like sickly sweet overtly syrupy granola. Figs.....what's there not to love about figs. Okay, I know a lot of people don't like figs. Like beets, not a lot of beet fans either. But here's to figs or perhaps pears. When outta figs, chopped pears are perfectly dicey!Add some almond milk like I have made here. I love granola. I would make homemade granola but already have a yard long list of too many things to orchestrate in a day. Granola reminds me of GORP. When I was growing up in San Francisco, they used to call trail mix: GORP (granola oats raisins peanuts or gobs of raw protein). GORP reminds me of my post-hippie teachers I had in elementary school in the Mission District. I loved how fluid, relaxed and non-traditionalist they were!The post-hippie teachers wanted the students to call them by their first names. Of course, never addressing them by names like Mrs. Tipton or something. They wore loose fitting cotton garments, nose rings, curly rambunctious hair or the time spun 'fro.One specific year I recall I had a slew of these teachers for a summer program. For the most part their classes held no structure throughout the day. We would go through our required math and reading lessons before lunch. Then after a long leisurely lunch and recess they would teach us about performance art. We wrote plays in the third grade. Experimented with costume design, set design and body movement. I loved how they let things slide into made me feel daring.They revealed a Pandora's box of options for us when it came to creative play. They *shared* with us about their personal relationships and spoke to us as if we were their confidante friends, not children. I recall that made us children feel comfortably confident about ourselves. I felt our insecurites and shyness that children often harbor, slowly dimish that summer. One teacher shared with us about the misconception of beauty in our society. She was not a beauty according to iconic movie star standards. She looked like an exotic gypsy to me. I thought she was ravishing but she told us about an old boyfriend that used to tell her often times how ugly she was. She shared with us how important it is to take pride in our individual beauty and not hold fast to negative opinions brought on by others. I recall her speaking with us about the subject matter quite intimately as the girls in my classroom including myself, did not mirror the blue eyed blonde Barbies we loved to play with. My homegirls were Mexican, Filip[...]

creating taste memories: American Girl Café


creating the setting with pretty bows + detailed ambiance throughout.........Last summer while visiting in southern California, I took my girls out to lunch at the American Girl Cafe in Los Angeles. Yes, I said last summer, so this is a back-logged post soooo long overdue!We had scheduled to spend the afternoon with Grandma and Auntie but due to some last minute travel issues they were not able to join us. Fortunately, we were still able to have a *girls day out* on a wonderful sunny southern California afternoon.Ahhhhhhhh, so nice to be without humidity for awhile. dessert first concept: toasty warm miniature cinnamon rolls were served upon arrivalThe American Girl Place is located inside The Grove shopping area located adjacent to my favorite Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax. So much to say here about all this.First off, the American Girl Place is just plain HUGE.Downstairs is a shop with the variety American Girl dolls displayed plus their outfits, toys and other accessories.Yes......accessories and lots of it. This store; namely this brand teaches young girls to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Learning about accessories at a young age may be quite harmful, don't you think? Especially to the gullible parent(s) involved. He he....There is also a beauty salon downstairs where the dolls can get their battered faces, eschewed and entwined knotty hair refreshed and revitalized.Ooooh and did I mention ear piercing? Yes, ear piercing for the earrings, earring sets and more accessories.Upstairs, there are more dolls, more clothes and more accessories. There is also a doll museum. My girls loved the doll museum. The cafe is located upstairs as well. You can traipse through the store and do a bit of damage before you finally hit the cafe. sparkling apple cider with Samantha.........You MUST make reservations at the cafe. This is a highly coveted experience.My brother told me about this place. He said he had never been inside, but the last time he was at The Grove he said he *saw kids looking through the store window and salivating* We arrived, checked in and were given a place number. We browsed until the doors were open for our allotted time span to *lunch*. There was a HUGE mob at the door. It reminded me of trying to get into a stadium of a rock concert or sports event (my brief mention about sports here). I haven't been to a sports event since leaving California.......another story.Everyone was being quite pleasant though. I did have thoughts that kept rewinding forward from months back of a stage mom shoving me aside while I was walking up the stairs to get seats in the theatre to for my daughter's ballet recital. Motherhood can be quite intense. I am trying to go with the flow.......really.So about The Grove. The Grove is a pleasant outdoor shopping mall, complete with water fountains, shady sitting areas and lots of decadent shops.There is even a movie theatre embedded in between which I just adore. The movie theatre located within the hub of shops, restaurants and other activities is such a southern California concept I have surely missed. Many movie theatres or lets say ALL the movie theatres on the east side of the coast where I live near now are stand alones. My kids gotta kick out of the movie theatres in the midst of shops and community-centric activities. This is from a consumer + marketing p.o.v thought - but I do relish the thought of urban-centric gathering areas especially in su[...]

triple buzz: florida food bloggers + todd english's bluezoo + foodbuzz


before twilight set the amuse-bouche: clam + bacon ragout Last weekend we had a fantastic evening meeting up with Florida food bloggers at Todd English's bluezoo in Orlando. It was an incredible night hosted by Foodbuzz of San Francisco for featured publishers.....and I have to say quite decadent. Again, my heartfelt thanks goes out to Jenn at The Leftover Queen, Judy at No Fear Entertaining, Ryan at Foodbuzz and bluezoo for orchestrating a memorable evening of community, enlightment and good cheer. A personalized six course tasting menu was prepared especially for all of us. As shown above, we began with the saucy n' savory clam + bacon amuse-bouche that elevated the evening into bliss along with the ease + flow of great company...... first course: shrimp cocktail steamrollers in modern form My sweetie took a picture of me in action. Basically this first course had to be sucked out of it's tube. The picture of me doing this came out a bit too weird so...... Instead, you may view The Leftover Queen in action.....gawww she's so pretty too! ;-) second course: beet salad avec candied walnuts et goat cheese fondue You know me, I could have had another plate of this! Delightful; it was like walking into a candy store with each bite. third course: spice route char with curried beluga lentils + zhataar carrot et yogurt spill My hubs just loved this dish. The preparation of the char absolutely was exquisite. Perfectly seasoned and *charred* on top; yet the interior was delicate but flagrant and quite sheer of being cooked through so biting into the center was almost near sashimi tenderness with hints of soft heat. Lovely. sous vide amish chicken with parmesan polenta hidden in between...... I have always preferred Amish Chicken especially from my experiences of cooking with it when we lived in northeast Ohio. The skin on the sous vide preparation was perfect, yet parts of the chicken were slightly dry. The parmesan polenta combined with the picholine olive tomato sauce became its redeeming component. and quite lovely the picholine olive deconstructed tomato sauce The faint olive spell in the tomato sauce furrowed the taste memory of olive trees in northern California.......on a very sunny day. warm chocolate cake with liquid ganache center awaits a maracaibo chocolate cream pudding and peanut ice cream atop By this time debauchery had set in. Hubs told me by the time he got to finishing 1/3 of the wine in his glass they filled it back up again....... it was quite comforting to take food shots with a table full of other food porn fantatics...... It was soooooo nice to take food porn photos with other food bloggers. I felt less of a freak. This was a fantastic evening spent! You've gotta check out everyone's blogs as I am sure they have/will be posting on the triple buzz of a night we had. These are also some fabulous + insightful food blogs you must read if you haven't already: Lys @ Cooking in Stilettos Christey + Peter @ Foto Cuisine Rachel @ My Little Marshmallow Judy @ No Fear Entertaining Chris @ Pickles and CakeSusan @ Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy Moi/Ingar @ Taste MemoryJenn @ The Leftover Queen Erin and Chris @ The Olive Notes Bryan @ The Tattooed Gourmet Chef de Cuisine at Bluezoo: Aaron Christian describes his approach to sous vide amish chicken and more....... Thank you Chef Aaron for an exquisite dining experience! Not enough can be said about our dining experience at bluezoo. It was *dining* at its p[...]

crazy beautiful: delicious definitious without the dairy


remnants of chocolate pots de crème re-inspired in a vintage sherry glass I picked up some years back.....I have been holding onto what remains of summer with dear life. I love the yellow glow of the sun......especially when I photograph food and exquisite lively things. They respond so well to the vibrancy of the sun visually. Who doesn't love the swirl and curl of a creamy chocolaty dessert?This past summer has been an inspiring time between the sun, sand, storm + ocean blue to re-define the tumultuous desserts I love to linger over by rummaging through the pages of my taste memories of years gone by......chocolate pots de crè with mocha mousse frosting and......We know how everyone feels about chocolate, don't we?I wanted something crazy beautiful to elevate my palate into a bliss like state without all the remnants of dairy, creme, eggs and white sugar that make me feel a bit tuckered out, bloated and edgy.This version is dairy free, egg free, soy free, sugar free and even gluten what gives?I don't want to fool you, but this is pretty full~proof stuff and very much tastes like the real thing.Ever since I've had children, my taste + smell senses have blustered full force as I find my palette extremely sensitive.It was weird when it happened.Actually the more kids I had, the more sensitive my sense of smell became thus effecting my taste buds. My last pregnancy I recall I was sitting in the middle of the pews during Sunday Mass. Some guy sitting behind me was reeking of steamed buttered corn, cigarettes and beer that he probably drank a half hour prior.It was the twisted sour scent the beer that silently beckoned toward me which eventually put me over sensory overload.Love thy neighbor.Well, I just couldn't stomach that one at the moment so I ended up standing in the back of the church for the entire service......and as I recall until I eventually delivered. a lovely version in cup and saucer from our wedding registryI have so many of these cups and saucers. What was I thinking back then as a young bride~to~be to allow myself to register for such an endless sea of china? Today we use mugs from World Market with vintage inspired prints for our hot drinks: tea, coffee, hot cocoa or gently warmed homemade tomato soup topped with crushed pistachios rolled in trinkets of garam masala........ near grandmaster fudge~nessThough I have already made several versions of this recipe, it is still in development. I don't cook with measurements as it restrains the evolvement process. Yet during final phases, I am able to lock down exact measurements for proper use. I will say that the chocolate pudding~custard portion is similar to the one found in RAW FOOD REAL WORLD ......btw, an amazing book! One of the main ingredients is the soft flesh of the young coconut. If you have ever been wondering how to open one of those you can see how I did it here. I have re~dubbed this pots de crème with other ingredients to add weight and silk to the texture without the dairy and other frills some of us may have issues with.The whipped cream portion was made to re~create the taste and texture of the fresh dollops of creamed frosting on the Japanese/ French inspired cakes I grew up with as well as the Danish desserts I used to frequent when I was a young working stiff in L.A. For this I used grated cacao as one of the elements. The orange twist atop is well.....[...]