drinks

Tummy Tamer Soda Syrup; Orange, Mint, Ginger and Anise

January 10, 2011
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For all I love to eat and travel, my stomach does not. I wish I could boast of an iron clad gut as many travelers do, but alas I’m easily afflicted with tummy trouble. It doesn’t really matter how careful I am or how much or how little I eat on the street, any change in my usual diet can result in distress, even at home. This can be the result of over-indulgence of rich foods in places like Rome or Paris, or over-indulgence in spicy foods in South East Asia or my local Thai restaurant.

My travels have led me to try many a local remedy. In Morocco, a carpet salesman sold me a small vial of orange oil which he told me was medicinal. He said I should put a few drops in some water or open it and smell it if I was ever feeling sick and …

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Kick-Ass Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

December 31, 2009
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When I was little, I used to spend every holiday with my grandparents. While they always hosted Christmas, on New Years Day we would usually go to a party held at the house of a family friend. I remember this tradition fondly and about 10 years ago, decided to recreate it, inviting friends over for a hangover-busting New Year’s Day brunch. The central theme of this brunch has always been “Bacon.”
As in, “come for the bacon, you know you want it.”
Yes, the uber-trendy ingredient of 2009 has been the most popular part of brunch at my house for the better part of a decade. Every year I cook at least 5 lbs of it and it disappears like sharks into the swirling chum. This is no fancy-schmancy bacon, nor it even my own homemade stuff, just plain old Farmer John, cooked to a crisp. It’s …
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Home Made Key Lime Syrup and Posting on Auto Pilot

October 12, 2009

limes2 limesyrup

Posting on auto pilot? What’s that all about?

Well folks, this girl is enjoying the dolce far niente in bella Roma this week but I went ahead and put together a little something for you in advance so you wouldn’t go wanting or miss me too much. There’s a nifty feature of most blogs which allows one to schedule a post in advance. Who would have thought?

A couple of weeks ago I was in one of my favorite local markets and came across a bag of key limes. They were so cute and cheap I bought them, with no real plans as to what to do with them. Time passed and they kept looking at me, like, “well, what are you going to make with us Miss Fancy Pants?” Yes, my food taunts me and yes, it can be rude too!
I could have made the typical Key …

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Homemade Ginger Syrup and the SodaStream Soda Maker

September 13, 2009
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Over a year ago I was reading an article in the LA Times about reducing the carbon footprint of the food we eat. It occurred to me that the Pellegrino bottled water we loved to drink is shipped here all the way from Italy. Suddenly I had a vision of a giant cargo ship stacked with shipping containers filled with green glass bottles chugging its way across the ocean. I was horrified at the thought and vowed right then to stop buying it.

But there was a problem. We love our bubble water. So, we switched to buying carbonated water from Trader Joe’s which comes in plastic bottles and is manufactured locally. Still, I felt bad. We would drink almost a bottle a day, and even though we recycled the bottles, it seemed like a lot of plastic going in the bin, not to mention the cost adds up after …

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A Tale of Two Lemons; How to Make Fresh Lemonade

April 19, 2009
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Yesterday I came in from the garden to find my husband juicing lemons. He said he was going to make lemonade. “Really?” I said, dubious. Then I proceeded to barge my way in on the whole process in order to turn it into a blog post. We had two different types of lemons and I thought (or was it he thought? No matter, can’t remember…) it would be interesting to compare the two.

dsc_4531a Meyer lemon on left, Eureka lemon on right.

We have an ancient Meyer Lemon tree which just this year gave us a bounty of lemons like we’ve never seen in the 9 years we’ve lived here. Funny what a little extra water will do for a tree.
Meyer lemons have thin skins and a sweet, almost orange-like flavor. These lemons were extra ripe and had been sitting in the bowl for a while so …

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