Roasted Beet Puree with Feta

This is yet another soup from Williams-Sonoma's Soup of the Day cookbook. (Eventually I will cook my way through the entire book). Like everything else I've made from this cookbook, the soups come together quickly and always please everyone around the dinner table. I made this soup as the first course for a dinner where my guests could not eat pork. This, of course, excluded the use of bacon as a flavoring. Not to worry though. The roasting of the beets intensifies their flavor with the results being a savory vibrant red color. Use vegetable broth to make a vegetarian version of the soup....more

Popovers- A Recipe

In the News

How do you get your news? Print media or broadcast? Online or in actual newspapers? Television or radio? A combination of the above or do you eschew the news in its entirety? For me, its a combination of all of the media forms listed above. When we were living stateside, I was a regular subscriber to whatever our local newspaper happened to be at the time and I had my preferred television networks from which I gleaned what was going on in the world. In the car I would faithfully listen to NPR during my daily commute....more

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake With Chocolate Ganache

This is another tasty cake courtesy of From Away, my latest, go-to food blog. The combination of olive oil, rosemary, and chocolate is intriguing and surprisingly good. The cake comes together quickly making it a perfect ending to a weeknight dinner where dessert is a necessity. The ingredients are also staples in my kitchen and combined with our rosemary bushes in the garden, I will never have an excuse for not making the cake. I cautiously served the cake at our dinner last night---I am always hesitant to try out a new recipe on guests--- but it was a hit....more

A Rubber Ducky In The Snow

A Rubber Ducky In The Snow With the exception of a few very cold minutes at the top of the Zugspitz in Germany this past Christmas, Sidney has never really experienced snow. He knows what it is since he can see it on the tops of the nearby mountains, but he has never truly experienced it in its purest form. Both Glenn and I had grown up playing in the snow; snowball fights, building snow forts, skiing, and sledding were all a part of our winter childhoods. This weekend we decided Sidney needed to learn what this is all about. (Glenn also wanted to test out our new-to-us vehicle (a.k.a....more

A Viennese Cultural Weekend

I'm back! After a brief weekend away from Albania, from blogging, and from the stresses of daily life in general, I'm getting back into my groove. The first day back to work after the weekend is always hard and it is even harder when the first day back is a Tuesday that follows a Monday holiday. When you add in the fact I'm coming down with a cold and need time to fully recover and settle in from being away, the conditions make for very slow going. Was it all worth it though? Absolutely!...more

Artisan Gouda & Prosciutto Bread

One of my culinary goals for 2013 is to bake more bread. I'm not talking quick breads; rather yeasted doughs that, while they take more time to put together, are worth the effort. To kick off this year's effort, I tested a bacon-cheese bread from the blog. As the recipe promised, the dough came together quickly and didn't require any kneading. I didn't even get to break out my trusty Kitchen Aid dough hook! As usual, I was not able to find any cheddar cheese, so I swapped it out with an aged Gouda, achieving what I deem are with tasty results....more

A Child-Free Zone??

We've all heard the debate. And I'm sure we've all heard the children as well. Nothing seems to fire people up more than the question of children in public. One side accuses the other of being "anti-child" while the other lashes back saying that poor parenting creates children who run amok. Throughout the debate the underlying question remains: when and where is it appropriate to bring children and will we even be able to all agree? Where you stand on this issue depends on where you are coming from. Personally, I know my own position on this question has changed since I became a parent....more

Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Nothing says fall or winter more than pumpkin.  From pies to breads to soups, I love everything pumpkin....more
Mmmm, yummy...I may have to try to make this. It looks and sounds delis! Thanks for sharing! ...more


Slivovitz (Plum Brandy) Gezuar! Earlier this fall I came across a recipe for plum brandy in the Food Section of the Washington Post. With only five simple ingredients, the recipe promised to produce a traditional Eastern European plum brandy. The kicker? It had to sit for ninety days before it was ready to drink. Because plums happened to be plentiful here in Albania, decided to give this recipe a try. For the first two weeks the brandy in the making did require minimal daily attention. After that I put my jars on a shelf in the pantry and forgot about them....more