Friday, June 18, 2010

Time marches on.

Back in Michigan today, my beloved Godson Grant graduated from elementary school. It still seems like just yesterday it was the first day of first grade. Thanks to his Mom I have a photo of that day soo long ago & its still an all time fave of mine. However....
Where does it go & how does it go by so fast??
I remember cutting up oranges to give him a visual for fractions while we did homework. I remember doing the Martin Luther King Day word search with him so the weekend could start. I also remember the issues; his goofiness needing to be tamed, his sometimes lack of focus & knowing how unbelievably smart this boy was & hoping it would all come out for his teachers to see. This is the boy who asked me when he was 5 how his tongue tasted food & wanted specifics so we bought a human body book to learn. I can still hear his little boy voice begging to read about the digestive system instead of a Transformers book one bedtime. Heck he corrected my mom when she pointed out a purple Victorian house..." Liz, that's mauve." This is one incredible little guy.
But he's not soo little anymore. He's 11 & a half, going into middle school & finally found his essence when it comes to school. Focused & succeeding all I could think about today, while I wished I was there was how fleeting time really is. Treasure the moments. I do.
We chat still weekly & always he ends with "love yous" because I'm proud to say he knows how important that is most of all. That's how I know my favorite little boy is now my favorite little man.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Books, books & more eye candy of the literary variety

Ever just go to Amazon & just peruse the cookbook covers?? I use to live for hours in the stacks but as Borders & my alma mater Barnes & Noble cease to carry the title list in house as in my days of the late 90s, that's not possible.
Here's a a few titles right now I'm loving & recommend.

Porch Parties is the newest from Dallas native Denise Gee whose Southern Cocktails was a favorite when published back in 2007. Don't let that cooling watermelon punch on the front fool you. Its chocked full of food crab cakes with lemon garlic aioli.

If you want to add a Hummingbird cake to the party go with Nancie McDemott's Southern Cakes or Mrs Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies by Mollie Cox Bryan. I'm getting hungry...

Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison is beautiful & works great with the new slo food & locavore food movements. If this book doesn't inspire trips to farms & farmer markets I don't know what will.
Perhaps Chronicle Publishing's Farmers Market Desserts by food writer & activist Jennie Schacht or Janet Fletcher's ( trained under Alice Waters need I say more) Fresh from the Farmers Market.

Cool off with The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto from the team behind Ciao Bella. If you've never had their Espresso Chip gelato at Whole Foods...holy moly you are missing heaven on a paddle. Perhaps their Vanilla Bean would go with something from The Perfect Finish from NYT food writer & White House pastry chef Bill Yosses. Get the feeling I'm in a sweet mood???? Well DIY Delicious from Vanessa Barrington does not release until August but it looks wonderful. It elevates scratch pantry cooking adding adventure but still cutting your food dollars down. As someone who makes ketchup I'm looking forward to this one. So what did I buy today?? Fred Plotkins new edition of his masterpiece Italy for the Gourmet Traveler, the ultimate gastronomic guide for our upcoming jaunt & the new Frances MayesEveryday in Tuscany. That's a no brainer. By the way the movie Under the Tuscan Sun murdered any impression one would have of the book if you had not read it. Read the book!!! Humorous, lyrical I devoured an advance copy waaaay back when & returning to the scene of her life again will not disappoint.
Finally... the new Ina Garten book is due in late October!!! Hopefully your week will be filled with treats for the your body & soul. Stay well.

Images courtsey of & Chronicle Publishing

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tuesday's surprise is still on Fridays mind!!!

May of 2011 this view will be mine in person. I'm thrilled, excited & giddy 24/7!!! My mom & I are doing 3 weeks of wandering around the Italian countryside, city vista etc!!! Best of's a gift from my Dad!!!!
Can you believe it!! Here it is Fathers Day around the corner & my parents surprised me out of the blue, well first they teased me then after threats of damage they finally let the cat out of the bag.
You see Mom & I were all set to do this trip back in 2004 but my then best friend begged for us to wait a year for her to go so we waited. I got terribly ill the end of June 04 & she met a man & dumped me in October. Yup fun huh..... did I mention my health returned right around the time the economy went bust. Fast forward another 2 plus years & now...tada!!!!!
We will be flying into Florence renting a car & tooling around the upper half of that fabulous boot. Perugia is as south as we will go. I have a few foodie guides & Caffeletto...the ultimate in inns & villas for staying. I can't stop laughing.
I hope that every ones week was as busy, hard working, surprising & laughter filled as mine. By the way an idiot in a new Mercedes nearly killed me today crossing into my path when I had a green & he had a red & as pissed as I was at his entitled apathetic attitude (what else could it be??) I realized why beat him up...he does that when he looks in the mirror every morning!!!
Wishing everyone Dolce Vita!!!!!