Provence 2016

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Musings | 0 comments

It’s raining, and it’s wonderful. There are puddles in my yard and sandbags at the top of the driveway to divert the river of water that flows down from the hills in my neighborhood toward my front door. I’m grateful to need those sandbags this year and to hear the sound of raindrops on the roof. But my mind is drifting toward summer and sun and France. Janet Valette and I will be offering our second annual Flavors of Provence: A Gourmet Getaway this June 20-26 at Bramefam, a 300-year old farm nestled between the woods and vineyards in northern Provence. We invite you to join us for an intimate, week-long food and wine extravaganza of market, winery and artisanal...

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Vegetable Supper

Posted by on Jun 13, 2015 in Musings | 14 comments

I knew summer had come when we packed our green Mercury station wagon and headed out of Atlanta for Montreat, North Carolina, the mountain retreat for Southern Presbyterians nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains just west of Asheville. Nothing said freedom like rolling down the windows, hanging my head out to feel the warm, humid air blowing through my hair as we headed north on I-85. No more homework. No more early bedtimes. Just wide open days to explore, swim in icy cold Lake Susan and read for hours in the Pawley’s Island Hammock on the porch. The drive took four hours, mostly on highways and then on the windy roads through North Georgia and into North Carolina....

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Summer Retreat in Provence

Posted by on Mar 7, 2015 in Musings | 1 comment

Imagine yourself sitting on a private terrace, a glass of Côtes du Rhône in your hand, watching the sunset over vineyards and fields of lavender in the south of France. You and your friends have prepared a delicious meal from local products you bought in the farmer’s market. Your day tomorrow may start with group meditation and yoga. Or maybe you’ll just sleep in and wake up when you want to, hearing only the sound of birdsong. Come rediscover what makes you happiest in life by unwinding and tapping into your purest joys. Fill yourself with deep rest, beauty, excellent food & wine, connection to culture, nature and amazing friends. You will have the chance...

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Musings, Recipes | 0 comments

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when the memories of those bountiful Christmas meals past are fading and the reality of tight clothing is upon us. Or maybe it’s just me. Whatever the inspiration, I am eating a lot of salads these days and trying to pack flavor and nutrition into one big happy meal. This salad is a meal in itself if you are feeling virtuous, but also a delicious side for pork chops, roast chicken or seared salmon. Already cubed squash is available in many produce departments now as is already cleaned kale. The baby kale mixes are a great substitute, tender and sweet. Pine nuts, almonds or hazelnuts can be substituted for the pistachios. Be...

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Veal and Porcini Meatballs with Parmesan Cream

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Musings, Recipes | 0 comments

This photo is so deceptive. There is no way I or anyone else gets away with eating just two of these Veal and Porcini Meatballs. The recipe for these may be my Most Requested Recipe, or at least a close second. And, so I am choosing to kick off my new, and probably sporadic, series here of Most Requested Recipes. I will periodically post recipes that people ask for all the time which will force me to measure, weigh and write them out legibly. Many of these recipes are on odd bits of notebook paper, napkins or torn off pieces of parchment paper. They are hastily scribbled as I throw them together or try to remember what I did that turned out to be so delicious. ...

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Duck Fat Potatoes with Preserved Lemon

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Dinner, Musings, Quick Meals, Recipes | 0 comments

I had the best duck fat cooked potatoes of my life around this time last year, in an out of the way café tucked into the side of the Atlas Mountains, a few hours outside of Marrakesh. After days of eating richly spiced tagines, feather light couscous and a myriad of vegetables salads, I was surprised to find duck confit and Pommes Sarladaises on the menu of this high desert restaurant, surrounded by date palms, fruiting prickly pear cactus and massive agave plants. It was the special of the day. I ordered it, ready for something simple and familiar after the exotic, palate-awakening flavors of Morocco. When the plate arrived, it was just that – a mahogany brown...

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