Saturday, July 7, 2012

Greetings from Périgueux

Greetings from Périgueux, France, where I've been working for the past week as a French teacher and assistant for a summer opera program. The work has been intense. Too intense. And, to be honest, I'm more than a bit grumpy about the situation. Today was the first time I had enough time to take longer than a half-hour break in the day to explore the town. I took advantage of the rare chunk of free time to check out the medieval city where there is a gorgeous Saturday market full of delicious regional specialties. The Périgord region is known for truffles, duck, goose, foie gras, and all kind of other potted meats, as well as Bergerac wine (not my favorite, I must admit). But I can't complain about the wine in a city where you can get a platter with foie gras toast, rillette toast, jambon de pays, and salad, along with a decent glass of local wine, for only 14 Euros total!

I'm too busy and exhausted to write more but I do have some photos from my wanderings this afternoon that I'd like to share.

Enjoy and look forward to a post about potted meats.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spice meme

I just had to share this mashup meme of Dune and Pfizer-style-stock-photography-drug-ads. Her expression is just perfect.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bright, Fragrant, Dreamy

It has been a while, little blog. I've missed you. So much has happened since my last post: I hosted some fantastic but sadly undocumented dinner parties for visiting scholars; I finally finished my book manuscript after a three year struggle; I landed a gig teaching French to opera singers in Périgueux, Dordogne region (yay, France!), this summer –– so expect to see some French food posts in July; I made a huge batch of loquat jam from the tree in our yard; Chris and I will be moving, menagerie in tow, from East to North Austin in three weeks' time; my mother gave me some fantastic cookbooks for Christmas, including dreamy Mourad Lahlou's New Moroccan and the classic Spanish cookbook, 1080 Recipes, by Simone and Inés Ortega, described by some as Spain's Joy of Cooking.

The bright-fragrant-dreamy triptych represents my newest food obsessions, although of course all of my abiding fixations (curries, chutnies, salsas, sweet/savory pairings) continue to inform my cooking.


Doesn't Mourad Lahlou look just cuddly? He's so cuddly he can't help but cuddle himself in this photo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To Cut The Risk Of A High-Fat Meal, Add Spice

Check out this recent NPR feature on Penn Sate researcher Sheila West's study of the effects of spices on triglyceride levels, a known factor linked to heart disease, and remember, let the spice flow and the blood will flow more freely:
To me, the biggest advantage [found in the study] is the lowering of triglycerides and the insulin levels [which dropped about 20 percent]," explains cardiologist Ravi Dave of he University of California, Los Angeles who has reviewed West's spice research study. He explains that keeping these levels low can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome — as well as diabetes and heart disease.