Oysters Part 2- How to Buy, Clean, and Open Raw Oysters

February 9, 2013
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For a historical background on oysters, please read Oysters Part 1-Introduction; The seduction from the sea.

Buying, Care and Cleaning:

Buy the freshest oysters possible from cold waters (look for oysters from the Pacific Northwest, both coasts of Canada, and places in the far southern hemisphere like New Zealand and Chile). Do not eat or buy any whole oysters which are open as this means they have died and are not safe for consumption. Sometimes a live oyster will open slightly. Give it a tap and if it snaps shut, it’s still alive. If not, toss it.

Store fresh oysters in the refrigerator with the cup side down and their flat side facing up. Cover with a wet kitchen towel. Do not store them on ice because sitting in melting fresh water can kill an oyster. Don’t store oysters in an air-tight container because lack of oxygen can kill them. …

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Oysters Part 1- Introduction; The Seduction From the Sea

February 5, 2013
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“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.” -Ernest Hemingway

Oysters are one of nature’s finest “whole foods”. They need no adornment, no processing, and no cooking to eat them at their very best. There is a reason oysters are considered an aphrodisiac. Not only do they seduce with their flavor, shape and texture, but they’re loaded with zinc and other minerals said to encourage amorous feelings.

Eating an oyster is to experience a seduction from the sea. Like the ocean misting your face during beach walk on a blustery …

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Restaurants in Istanbul Turkey

January 28, 2013
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I was in Istanbul last year, and while I shared the gorgeous markets, I didn’t really share the fantastic food in the various restaurants we tried. I’ve put a post on my travel blog with much more detail. If your travel plans include Turkey any time soon, take a look. Even if they don’t, perhaps you’ll find some culinary inspiration in the photos; I know I did when eating there.

In the meantime, here’s a little taste to entice you…

The photo at the top of the post is from Sultanahmet Köfteçisi where we ate grilled lamb, white bean salad and kofte (meatballs) washed down with Coke in tiny bottles. To see more food in Istanbul restaurants check out the post on my travel blog, wired2theworld. 

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Ginger Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

January 21, 2013
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Has everyone just about given up on their New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy yet? It’s about that time now when people start making exceptions in their new diet and take “just a day off” from going to the gym, isn’t it?

Well, here’s one more thing to tempt you (she said with a devilish lilt in her voice), Ginger Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. I originally created this recipe a couple of years ago for my mother for her birthday dinner. I asked her what flavor she wanted and she told me about this ice cream she’d had in a restaurant. When she tasted it I could tell from the look on her face that I’d nailed it.

You may not think of ice cream as a winter dessert, but I think any time is ok for ice cream. Plus the flavors in this one feel more winter …

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French Green Lentil, Brown Rice, Tomato and Feta Salad

January 7, 2013
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It’s that time of year again isn’t it? When we all start wondering why our jeans are just a little too tight, feeling that post-holiday letdown, and seeing the ads for gym memberships, weights and exercise outfits. Everyone is ready to get fit, get lean, and start eating healthy, myself included.

I learned a long time ago to stop buying those gym memberships (I know myself all too well) but I do know how to eat healthy when I want to. For me that includes lots of vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. A great start includes adding salads like this to the meal planning. They are tasty and filling and can do double duty as either a Meatless Monday main course, or side dish. For more salads like this check out a few other Simple Sunday Salad recipes.

If you’re not familiar with French green lentils you can read …

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Permission to be Imperfect (Beef Soup with Wild Rice)

January 3, 2013

One of the pleasures of being a comfortable cook and having some basics on hand is that you can throw together something to eat at (relatively) the last minute. Case in point; after the holidays I had a little over a pound of beef from a standing rib roast. It was beautifully cooked rare, and I anticipated that we’d make sandwiches with the leftovers. But days passed and for whatever reason, it was still there. Suddenly I found myself with this delicious piece of meat, and a need to make something with it, lest I allow it to spoil.

I rummaged through my refrigerator and pantry cabinets pulling out remnants from past meals (half a diced onion leftover from brunch, a couple of ounces of sliced bell peppers leftover from making pizza, about of cup of dried wild rice in the cabinet, etc) and slowly the meal came …

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