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Foodie Flick to watch: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

In Musings on June 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Jiro Dreams of SushiFoodie Flick to watch: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

This is a beautiful documentary of a famous Sushi chef, Jiro Ono, who at the time of the documentary was 85 years old and a grandmaster of making sushi.

His passion for his craft and attention to detail is compared to a maestro of a symphony. Along with the the artistic cinematography of this documentary and classical melodies accompanying the film, the documentary takes you into the life of a dedicated restaurant owner in Tokyo – from choosing the best fish and seafood and partnering with great vendors, to training his sons and staff, to good ecological and sustainable business sense and practices.

The sushi featured is artwork in itself – the care put into making sushi is fully shown in footage as you immerse yourself into the components and nuances of excellent sushi. The training and philosophy has subtle Buddhist undertones that are worth taking as truisms for your own journey in life. I thoroughly loved watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Netflix – I hope you do too!

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Jiro_Dreams_of_Sushi/70181716?locale=en-US

photo credit: Netflix

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Lazy Saturday Breakfast, on an Oddly Cold, Rainy May Morning

In Musings on May 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

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Rainy and cold morning for a Saturday in May…in Atlanta of all places. And there are still skeptics of global weather patterns…

Having a cozy breakfast and enjoying the company of my puppy, Remy – who was previously happily running all over the house this morning because…it was morning and that’s what puppies like to do as a good-morning ritual, but is now snoozing on the back of the couch near a window sill because he’s bored and dolefully looking at the gray morning rain.

Remy

Remy, my Schnorgi puppy, taken on a sunnier day
(‘Schnorgi’ is half Miniature Schnauzer, half Corgi!)

My breakfast this morning is no-muss, no fuss, and just plain comforting: boiled farm-fresh multi-colored eggs, Ethiopian roasted Yirgacheffe coffee, and finishing off with a slice of banana-pineapple-coconut cake from Cakes & Ale in Decatur. The cake tastes like a combination of banana bread and carrot cake, with fluffy buttercream frosting and walnuts. It’s stick-to-your-fork-and-melt-in-your-mouth moist. It’s not eye-wincingly sweet either (you know what I mean…some things are SO sweet it makes you do this >.* ), making it perfect for my Saturday indulgence, and well – I’m an adult and I can have cake for breakfast if I want to 😛

As usual, I French-pressed my coffee today and added a bit of non-homogenized milk and agave nectar. The Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is actually going great with the cake – it’s not bitter at all, and actually has some chocolatey-nutty, almost hazelnut, undertones to it. It’s pretty mellow and has some subtle spicy aromas.

The eggs made me so happy this morning in all their colored-splendor! I bought them from friends, Agatha and Emory, who have affectionately named their home and farm, Clarity Farm.

Clarity Farm - Pond

It’s such a great name for such a beautiful and serene place; I posted some pictures of their farm after we all went strawberry picking on a gorgeous sunny Sunday (view the slideshow on Facebook). They have a couple different types of hens at their farm, one of which is the Easter Egger variety.  That name is apropos for their wonderful pastel colors that the rather beautifully-feathered hen yields; you can’t help but get giddy over preparing naturally sage, baby blue, and even pale lavender eggs. They cook the same as regular eggs and are still white with a rich and deep-yellow yolk. What a treat this morning.

A few "Easter Eggers" at Clarity Farm

A few “Easter Eggers” at Clarity Farm

Apart from raising hens, tending to her two sweet horses, two playful dogs, a happy pig that dines on feed as well as wonderful vegetables and fruits, and a few plump cats, Agatha has been studying herbs and herbal cooking for years and has a wonderful blog, The Independent Herbalist, and always has great tips to use some of those herbs and greens I find at the farmers market and don’t always know how to prepare them. The greens make for vibrant and beautiful salads and soups, and are good for you, to boot, while the herbs also have a high level of medicinal properties and just bring any dish to life with their scents and bright flavors.

That’s another thing to note, fresh herbs are great if you have them – if you can manage a couple of indoor potted herbs near a sunny spot in the house, it’s completely worth it. Otherwise, using dried spices is also good, but make sure they’re not too old. I actually thoroughly convinced myself one year that I had very bad cooking skills, only to have a friend, Michael, who used to be a chef, point to all my spices in the cabinet and exclaim with a his Long Island accent, “Have you actually *tasted* these?! They’re so OOOLD! They’re not even spices anymore, they’re CONFETTI!”

New York Sicilians always put things in such perspective for you. They make you feel simultaneously loved and like an absolute idiot with their motherly “WhassaMATTA with you?” tone of voice. It’s great. I recommend you collect some of these fine folks into your life, it’s never a dull moment.

So, yes, don’t cook with herb-colored confetti, have some spices around that still smell and taste like something, and I guarantee your cooking will automatically taste better.

*Stretch*

I’m off to go curl up in a nice corner in the house and read a book that I recently bought, “Cheesemonger: Life on the Wedge,” by Gordon Edgar, a punk-rocker-turned-cheesemaker.

"Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge" by Gordon Edgar

“Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge” by Gordon Edgar

This book is more of a food literature read instead of a pictorial cheese dictionary, but it has a handy guide in the appendix on how to purchase cheeses. Throughout the chapters, it has blocked out sections to provide more details on names and types of cheeses, which is great. After reading it, I’ll write more about my thoughts on the book!

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BEEF UP!: Filetting Whole Fish

In Musings on April 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

BEEF UP!: Filetting Whole Fish

I’ve recently become of fan of Sheepshead fish at the farmers’ market for both the flavor of the dense fish, since it tastes more like shrimp or crab, but also because it’s economical too. Sheepshead can be cooked a lot like shrimp as well – fried, grilled, blackened, baked, dipped in butter, etc.

The last time I cooked sheepshead, I had the skin on and realized it was way too tough and unpalatable for eating. For some reason, the farmers’ market no longer fillets fish, so I tried it at home. I probably should have seen this video prior to savagely mangling the fish, but I am sharing the basic way to fillet a fish, so you can try various fish that you see at the market and explore the different flavors and textures. Have a sharp boning knife for best results.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1e2FdspN5E

Spread the Love, Restaurant Owners!

In Musings, Restaurants on April 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

In Atlanta, all the great ethnic restaurants and even particular local cuisines are all bunched up in certain areas of town – there’s not a nice even spread to expose people to various cultural expressions of food. For example, all the Korean and Vietnamese restaurants are lined up on Buford Highway or Jimmy Carter. Is that the case in your town? Why do you suppose that is?

The neighborhood I live in has a lot of Mexican and quasi-Mexican (think Korean-taco, Cali-Mex, Tex-Mex, and the like) places available. So when I want something yummy nearby, in my mind I get a bit irritated that my choices are “Hmmm,….do I want a real taco and tamale dinner, taco with kimchi in it, or super fancy bistro taco that I have to get out of my yoga pants for?”

Ugh.

Furthermore, I have to hike 20-30 minutes to get decent Asian food, 40-60 minutes drive to get my hands on some German sausage (yes, I LOVE me some sausage, sausage from all around the WORLD even! That’s another blog post for another day, my hungry little food | porn readers) and get giddy over spaetzel. ALL the Ethiopian places are right next to each other in one neighborhood, so I really have to know that I’m having a massive spicy Kitfo craving before I head out.

Yoohoo, restaurant owners! We need Asian, Ethiopian, Argentinian, German, Italian, French, Middle-Eastern, Jamaican, Indian, and other great restaurants available in different areas and neighborhoods! We food enthusiasts crave and appreciate the variety.

Build it and we will come!

The Cupcake Craze is Slowly Getting Stale

In Musings on April 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm
The cupcake craze is slowly getting stale. Thank the food Gods.I like cupcakes and all, but if I had a choice between cupcakes and cake, I’d take CAKE!Look… comedians like Eddie Izzard and Gabriel Iglesias talk about *cake,* not cupcakes. It’s “CAKE OR DEATH??!” not “ummm CUP-cakes…or death?”

When you can have a mouthful of layered rich buttered sugar goodness that clings to dear life on a fork, however big you can possibly make it without it falling off the split second it reaches your piehole, why choose cupcakes?

That leads me to another grand and delicious invention: PIE.

Pie.

Need I really say more? You can stuff just about anything on top of a crust or between multiple crusts – savory, sweet, sour, BURSTING with goodness with flakes of buttery pie crust delivering the goods….

*Sigh*

Cupcakes are fine…they’re kinda fluffy and non-committal. I’m a full-commitment, let’s dig into this thing, kinda gal.

The world needs more cakes and pies, bring it on!

http://www.neatorama.com/neatolicious/2013/04/19/The-Market-for-Gourmet-Cupcakes-is-Crashing/

Eddie Izzard’s Skit “Cake or Death” (Contains some adult language)

Welcome to food | porn – Where Foodies Can Drool and Be Schooled Without Abandon

In Musings on January 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm

The quintessential foodie, in my mind, is very sensual. They’re often open-minded about many things in this world, but when it comes to all things culinary, the sheer excitement is such for them, that it is likened to being incredibly turned on. Face it, food can be downright sexy. The tastes, textures, aromas, and sometimes even sounds, is enough to tantalize your senses. You can enjoy food alone, but is even better when you share the experience with someone else. Food can be a physical, cerebral, emotional, and spiritual experience.

My hopes for this blog is to celebrate all that is food, from the people who put their love into preparing food, the cross-cultural, cross-gender, cross-generational boundaries that food always breaks through, to the foodies who appreciate all the nuances that food has to offer in terms of nourishing the mind, body, and spirit.

Life is short – stay hungry.

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