We recently got back from a vacation to Tortolla! Though I now realize that I am not so fond of Caribbean food (two restaurants proved to be exceptions to this general rule as you’ll see below), everything else on the island was fantastic. The weather was reliable, the beaches were clean, and the water might just be the clearest and most PULCHRITUDINOUS shade of blue I have ever seen. I snorkeled from the morning to the evening for six days and was so content to just explore the fish and wide-open ocean for hours at a time. If I needed a break from this, I stayed on the beach and INDULGED in some quality relaxing, or as the locals DUB it, “limin.” If you ever have the chance, explore the island of Tortolla, mingle with some of the welcoming locals, and dive into the fresh water!
Paddle Boarding in Tortolla: trying and failing miserably.
We snorkeled at Brewer’s bay and Carrot Bay. Though most of the reefs were dead, the diverse fish life was a show!
My favorite place to snorkel was in Virgin Gorda at the Baths.
Making faces with the brother!
We also took a ferry to Anegada. The clear water and vibrant fish life was incredible to see at Loblolly Beach.
Loblolly Beach with mom!
Conch fritters and fresh lobster were among the delicacies served at the seaside restaurant in Anegada, Pam’s Kitchen.
My mom, dad and brother all agree that the fresh lobster served at Neptune’s Treasure was the most tasty and fresh shellfish we have ever had!
We will miss you Tortolla. Christmas in the Caribbean is the way to do it.
Happy New Year, let’s make 2013 the best yet!
- PULCHRITUDE =beauty
- INDULGE =to allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of
- DUB =to give an unofficial nickname
Tis the season for ripe macintosh apples!
There’s just something special about fall. Maybe it’s warm pumpkin pie, ACERBIC yet somehow-still-sweet apples, or orange leaves, or maybe, it’s the farmer’s markets across New England that are fixed with a CORNUCOPIA of seasonal produce. The farmer’s markets I go to in R.I. usually begin in late spring and end during the last part of October. Last weekend, I went home because I needed a break from school. But really, I was just eager to see and taste fall-time foods.
Don’t judge a book by its cover! Their appearance may scare you, but these pumpkins are sweet and tasty on the inside.
These Japanese white radishes are very unique. Dipped in fleur de sel, their flavor comes alive.
I’m a DEVOUT lover of summer because of its markets that usually have sweet corn and ripe tomatoes. As we move into fall, we start seeing more root vegetables. My favorite are sweet pumpkins, which scream pie! Their seeds can also be baked with cinnamon-sugar to enhance their flavor.
- CORNUCOPIA = a large abundance of, a spread
- ACERBIC = bitter, tangy
- DEVOUT = religious
Why do you love fall?
Fig and olive tapenade is a perfect spread on baguette and a dip for crackers.
Choate has been a pressure cooker this year, so to decompress, I’m spending the weekend at home with one of my best friends. How serendipitous that her mom is part Turkish and knows some wonderful Middle Eastern recipes! For dinner last night, she made a bounteous spread of koftes (similar to meatballs,) basmati rice (tasted like no rice I’ve ever had before,) and a feta cheese and mesculin green salad. The dinner reminded me of a great Mediterranean recipe I have for fig and olive tapenade, featured in “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” Try it… you’ll like it!
Ingredients: 1/2 cup dried figs, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the figs into a food processor.
Next add in the olives.
Add the olive oil, 1/4 cup at a time, and pulse the ingredients together. Salt and pepper to taste.
Fig and olive tapenade requires only a few ingredients to make for a great dip and spread.
- decompress = relax
- serendipitous = fortunate and accidental
- bounteous = abundant
The greatest GLUTTON can top off a baguette all by himself.
Our two hour PEREGRINATION through mountains surrounding Mont Blanc proved to be much easier than the twelve day tour we did two years ago.
I IDOLIZE prosciutto and melon, my favorite appetizer. The one I sampled in Provence was possibly the best I’ve tasted yet. Slate plates are very typical in the region and add a rustic touch.
I am a kayaking ZEALOT and enjoy canoeing just as much.
The PIQUANT taste of fresh, spicy radishes can be complemented with a sprinkling of Fleur De Sel, a french salt.
- GLUTTON = greedy eater
- PEREGRINATION = journey, adventure
- IDOLIZE = worship
- ZEALOT = fanatic
- PIQUANT = sharp, biting
CHIVALROUS knights once roamed the streets of Mont Saint-Michel.
The gusting wind outside of Mont Saint-Michel is anything but a ZEPHYR.
I have a PREDILECTION for all things Italian, especially Nutella. In France, it’s easier than I thought to get your Italian fix.
The fish dish at “Auberge De Launay” in the Loire Valley was ADORNED with an edible flower. What a wonderful touch!
You can’t help but MARVEL at this innovative and space-saving oil and vinegar decanter.
“La moche Americaine” AKA The ugly American AKA The REPUGNANT American.
At Hotel Mas De La Croix D’Arles, Etan, the PROPRIETOR’S hunting dog, is surprisingly lovable.
The adventure continues!
- CHIVALROUS = brave, valiant
- ZEPHYR = light breeze
- PREDILECTION = preference
- ADORN = decorate
- MARVEL = to be astonished
- REPUGNANT = repulsive, obnoxious
- PROPRIETOR = owner
First stop: Monet’s Garden. Me, Ross and my dad among the ANGELIC lily pads.
On June 6th, 2012 we visited Arromanches to COMMEMORATE the events that occurred on D-Day, ironically, June 6th, 1944. Me, my mom and brother in front of Gold Beach, one of the numerous beaches invaded by U.S. soldiers decades ago.
Cod served with whipped potatoes, vegetables and an ETHEREAL sauce at Au Bouillon Normand in Honfleur. All of the ingredients were “du marche,” meaning, “of the market.”
McDonald’s, the ESSENCE of America, chez France.
In the kitchen at Château de Chenonceau, baking bread was a QUOTIDIAN activity.
HONING your inner French self made easy with riverside picnic.
I LOATHE the artificial sweet taste of stevia leaves.
- ANGELIC = divine
- COMMEMORATE = remember
- ETHEREAL = heavenly
- ESSENCE = spirit, nature
- QUOTIDIAN = daily
- HONE = sharpen
- LOATHE = hate
The garçon at the wonderful restaurant, Auberge De Launay, in Amboise, France, offered us a selection of cheeses from the region, which ranged from mild to funky.
France is known for its cheese. For Americans — us ugly American, francophile wannabees — we like the idea of IMMERSING ourselves in foreign culture, so you can imagine my excitement when presented with a cheese tray last night, after a marathon meal in Amboise. Following a dinner of GASTRONOMIC delights, including white asparagus and pig’s trotter, the garçon arrived with an attractive platter of cheese. He explained our selection, the smell and taste of which ranged from funky to what the funk. We opted for both the standard — brie, goat’s cheese — and the unusual — garlic and beer aged cheese.
Beer cheese proved to be the funkiest thing I have ever tasted.
Of particular note, the beer aged cheese had subtle notes of ammonia, perfumed with the aftertaste of something INEXPLICABLY rotten. In an attempt towards cultural PREENING and self AGGRANDIZEMENT, I convinced myself that my palate could stomach, and even enjoy, such obviously disgusting food. Only after I had brushed my teeth that night and removed the smell RESIDING under my fingernails did I have a chance to determine that I’m happy with RUN-OF-THE-MILL, non-experimental, at times Wal-Mart produced and processed, cheese.
- IMMERSING = Involve, submerge, dip
- GASTRONOMIC = Of or relating to food and cookery, especially the art of good eating
- INEXPLICABLY = Unable to be explained
- PREENING = Devote effort to making look attractive
- AGGRANDIZEMENT = increase power or reputation, enhancing
- RESIDING = Be present, situated
- RUN-OF-THE-MILL = ordinary
What is the funkiest thing you’ve ever tasted?
Our "Rhode" trip from Rhode Island to Florida.
“Eating in is the new eating out” has become a MANTRA in my family. As we head home from our southern road trip, I’m hearing it more and more in my mind. If you are health CONSCIOUS, southern cuisine presents a special challenge. Grease and grits excite my brother, but don’t nearly have as much appeal to me.
I'm craving fresh fruit.
In the olden days, before fast food was available, eating out was more of an occasional treat than a daily routine. These days, eating out happens nearly as much, if not more than eating in. Fast food USHERED in convenience at the expense of nutrition.
Chicken nuggets "nutrition facts" = oxymoron.
I have had one too many plates of southern fried chicken, shrimp and grits and macaroni and cheese. Because we are on vacation for 10 days, we have eaten out at different restaurants, 30 times. Right now I’m craving vegetables, salad, fruit bowls, roasted chicken and every other “clean” food. The advantage to eating in is that you can make exactly what you want and consume healthier and more nourishing food. For me, eating out just doesn’t have the same appeal as it used to. If we eat out with more rarity, then it just might put back the excitement into restaurants.
- MANTRA = motto
- USHER = lead
- CONSCIOUS = aware
Cheramie Sonnier, a food editor for the Baton Rouge Advocate, just reviewed “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.” Her team actually tested some of my recipes, which was really cool. She published my “Meal In A Pita Pocket” and mentioned that my “Orange Tea Infused Hot Chocolate” was too chocolatey.
Cheramie’s review made me look back at my old photos and remind me of the great time I had the last time I visited Louisiana. My family traveled through Baton Rouge last March and we ate at a truck stop. Our trip was about having my brother Ross look at colleges in the south. I just focused on the food.
The sandwich was worth waiting for.
On the way to Tulane, we lined up at Domilise, a famous po-boy restaurant in New Orleans to experience an authentic taste of Louisiana. Po-boys consist of either fried chicken, fish, octopus, or other meats and seafoods that are served on a baguette with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and sometimes pickles. They are a guilty pleasure and should not be eaten that often, but, if you are in the mood for one of these delicious sandwiches, Domilise is the place to go. My Mom and I split a fried oyster po-boy and it was awesome.
Thanks to Cheramie and the Baton Rouge Advocate for checking out my book and giving me some great memories.
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