Showing posts from April, 2016

Strawberry (and Rhubarb) Poppy Seed Crisp

I love poppy seeds. These kidney-shaped black seeds from the opium poppy are highly nutritious, for they boast high levels of iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc, and magnesium. Further, they are a good source of B-complex vitamins. They even are chock full of oleic acid , which helps lower LDL or "bad cholesterol."  But let's face it--I love them because I like to pop them with my teeth. As a teenager, I always ordered the lemon poppy seed muffins or the lemon poppy seed breads when faced with the vast array of pastries at the coffee shop. As I munched the overly lemony pastry, the seeds would pop and crunch.  And according to Wikipedia (site of all reliable information), it's a fine thing that I have enjoyed them, for they not only promote health but also wealth and, apparently, invisibility.  That just might be the opium talking. I did a lot of experimenting with this recipe, but I leave it--for the most part--intact b

Bicicletta (White Wine Spritz)

Who knew there were so many apertivo subcultures in Italy? Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau, that's who. This breezy little bar-cart book from Baiocchi and Pariseau tours you through those sub-cultures, and our authors bring you to the other side where you, too, can sip on a spritz on your own (Italian or otherwise) veranda. However, I would recommend this compact book for your next Northern Italy vacation or a gift for your most enviable friend who is about to embark on said vacation. Baiocchi is the editor of the drink site  Punch , which publishes fabulous narrative nonfiction on wine, spirits, and cocktails. Pariseau is the site's former deputy editor. These two know their libations, and they put that knowledge to the test when they road-tripped through northern Italy in a Fiat 500 researching the regional spritzes. What I want to know is why they didn't invite me. Even better, they know how to write. The opening sections take you through spritz histor

Rhubarb Rose Gin Gimlet

If a sorority could have a drink, they would be wise to choose this one. Sweet, hyper pink, and packing a punch, this little concoction is a fine addition to anyone's backyard barbecue or next sorority rush party (for those of legal age, of course). It's rhubarb season, and it's time to start trotting this perennial rhizome out for all of your treacly desserts. Often paired with strawberries (which I will do soon in a dessert, I promise you), this hearty vegetable has a strong, tart, and distinctive taste that makes your mouth pucker and becomes the perfect pairing for sweet prosecco and earthy gin. In Tara O'Brady' s twist on the classic gimlet, that gin and rose's lime juice concoction from the 1950s, one can be sweetly pleased while sipping on some rhubarb in the backyard.  Curious about the origin of the gimlet?  Apparently it comes from The Long Goodbye from Raymond Chandler: We sat in a corner of the bar at Victor's and dran

Insalata Smoothie (or Juice)

I am a smoothie drinker. Almost every morning for breakfast. While one might imagine I do it for all the health benefits that smoothies provide (It's salad! In a jar!), my predilection for blended fruits and vegetables is deeply rooted in laziness.  You see, I like to sleep. I like to sleep a lot. I particularly like to sleep in the mornings. Which means I do everything I can to eek out another 10 minutes in bed.  Enter the blender. The night before, I gather up all of my ingredients and put them in a leftover plastic bag from the grocery store or into a bowl (sometimes I need to do two of these--one for frozen goodies and the other for refregerated ones). And then the next morning, at the last possible moment, I blend up those veggies, and pour them in a recycled jar, cap it, and take my breakfast on the go to be consumed sometime mid-morning while sitting at my desk.  It is not glamorous. It does not smack of health consciousness (or the dreaded &q