Category Archives: Appetizers

Homemade Cinnamon Twists

If you’ve seen my camera after I’ve been in the kitchen, you might think that it doubles as my sous chef.  The shutter button is a little greasy and there’s flour dusted along the hand grip and on the aperture dial.  There may even be a little sugar along the shoulder strap.  Even the tripod may bear some semblance of kitchen work.  Cinnamon or nutmeg may be sliding down its leg.

One of my favorite parts about creating my blog entries is assembling the collage, putting together the step-by-step tasks that create the final product.  But to do so requires shuffling my floured hands back and forth, from the cutting board to the shutter, and then, possibly, to the white balance meter and the focus arrows.

Once the shot looks good, it’s back to the board, Continue reading

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Cheese Straws

A savory alternative to cinnamon twists is cheese straws.  The preparation and process is much the same, but instead of cinnamon and sugar, try gruyere, parmesan,  Continue reading

Grape Leaves

There is a certain joy to the art of discovery.

Four years ago, I rarely, if ever cooked.  But then I discovered that it was something I really enjoyed, and that it could bring me pleasure.  I found cooking to be fun and relaxing, irrespective of the process or outcome.

And cooking is only one example.  We all have those moments of individual discovery, of learning of a new love or skill, place or interest.  Scanning the radio and stumbling upon an artist that inspires.  Picking up a paint brush and finding an innate command of the canvas.  Walking along the street and feeling the vivacity and charms of a heretofore undiscovered neighborhood.

Most recently, I discovered books on tape.  I have always enjoyed fiction and reading.  I have pleasant memories of lying awake, in bed, reading – at various times Continue reading

Crostini

Sometimes you just have to say, “Prego,” and go for it.

Between switching jobs, moving, and studying for the bar, Caitlin and I were having a whirlwind summer.  Which is why, perhaps, it was only fitting that we decided to book a trip to Italy and Croatia with only two weeks to plan for it.  But sure enough, a day after the bar exam, and three days after my belongings and I arrived in Cincinnati, we were on a plane headed to Florence.

As I said, sometimes you just have to say, “Prego.”

We arrived in Rome Friday morning, and scrambled Continue reading

Chive Risotto Cakes

Giffen goods are a hot commodity – literally.

Giffen goods, named for the economist Sir Robert Giffen, are goods that do not respond to normal economic forces.  In a normal marketplace, the price and quantity of goods situate according to the well-established supply and demand curves.  And according to these economic principles, as the price of a good rises, the demand for the good at that price, falls.  Think about your standard flat-screen television.  At $1,200, the market for the product is understandably tepid.  And for that price, you might even settle for the old tube screen.  But at $400, suddenly your living room and kitchen are now boasting brand new televisions.

Giffen goods defy that logic.  As the price Continue reading

Twice-Baked Potatoes

When it comes to potatoes, repetition is key.

For the best french fries, it’s essential to double-fry them.  It should be no surprise then, that the best baked potatoes, should be twice baked.

On Superbowl Sunday, I invited my friends over to watch the Saints defeat the Colts.  I told them to bring their wives and girlfriends, but also to bring their appetites.  Given my New Orleans roots, I knew Continue reading

Sweet Potato “Pie” or Yamakopita

When it’s not ripping and breaking, or tearing and fraying, phyllo dough can be quite a treat.

Phyllo dough is paper-thin sheets of raw, unleavened flour dough, most typically found in Mediterranean cuisine.  Indeed, the dough is most often associated with spanakopita and baklava – but little else.  Which is perhaps why one of the leading producers of the dough has a running contest involving phyllo.

Always a sucker for a good recipe contest, Continue reading