Never entered my mind's Blog

A 20 something culinary school graduate. Lover of la cuisine, style, coffee and travel.

Time flies.

“This life is like a breath..”


Some days this feels so painfully far from the truth. Those days when I watch the minutes crawl by, willing their passing so that the next moment, day, season can finally come and with it the hope of more happiness than the present time is offering. Always waiting for the next thing. Never content with where I am now. And yet, inevitably, when I finally reach that next thing and look back, the heavy weight of moments lost in this place called the past press down on my soul with the unbearable realization of time as fleeting. Like rushing water through my fingertips. Leaving only a faint trace of what I had yesterday. Only a feeling of confused sadness and memories of things lost.

It is beyond my grasp that there is an eternal Creator who sees my life from beginning to end like a line on a piece of paper. Always knowing the full picture of my story intertwined with all of creation, above and beyond time and the worldly measures of it.

Yet, the only way to find peace is to continuously reach for the comprehension of this other worldly truth.

Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreath; the span of my years is nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth, without knowing whose it will finally be. But now Lord what do I look for? My hope is in you… Surely everyone is but a breath.

Psalm 39

Photo via Adam Golfer

Tips for single women

How times have changed and how thankful we all are for that, yes? They’ve finally smartened up and given the passenger seat its very own vanity mirror. Ahh, these photos are too much.

via Retronaut, 1938

Just some thoughts on food I’ve seen floating around the web lately:

The connection between music and food.

The evolution of young foodies. (this is what they look like.)

knew I was onto something: Excerpts on  Hitchcock & food.

The lazy cooks caesar salad. I’d be okay with this.

Calling all carnivores.

& a lovely video from the beautiful blog RoostHello spring, won’t you stay a while?

Photo of deeply roasted tomatoes by Peter Bagi

Hitchcock, gin cocktails & seared tenderloin with risotto

Some things just go together. Like a bloody steak and a perfect murder. Like Gracy Kelly and a fabulous dress. Like Hitchcock and cocktails. And of course, Alfred Hitchcock knew all this very well. Kelly appeared in three of his most popular thrillers, always threatening to steal the show in her gorgeous gowns, often with cocktail in hand- a perfect accompaniment to the murderous plots surrounding her. Despite the horrific undertones of murder orchestrated under Hitchcock’s direction, like Kelly, his films never fail to exude class.

In Dial M for murder, a vengeful ex- tennis pro schemes to murder his beautiful wife after discovering her sordid love affair with an American. The film carries all the elements with which modern Hollywood would love to tarnish with shock value and crudeness, yet, as always, Hitchcock tells his homicidal story tastefully while still proving wildly entertaining.

Speaking of taste, the tenderloin entree we paired with the film satisfied our palettes brilliantly. We served the succulent steak with sauteed garlic prawns, a creamy hericot vert risotto and a rich red wine demi glace. Our cocktail of choice- gin, always gin– was inspired by the brilliant quite continental charm school and by george if you have not yet attended, go at once!

The Godfather & Vegetarian Chili

“Come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you may have to cook for 20 guys some day. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil, you fry some garlic, then you throw in some tomatoes, some tomato paste, you fry it, you make sure it doesn’t stick, you get it to a boil. You shove in all your sausage and your meatballs, add a little bit of wine, and a little bit of sugar — and that’s my trick.”

Clemenza to Michael, The Godfather

It snowed. A lot. Not quite enough for a snow day, but enough so that when classes were over and the work day was done, there was still a feeling of being snowed in which gave way to rich, hearty comfort food and long classic movies with a plot equally as rich. The Godfather is one of those trilogies which turns the most pleasant, peace-keeping person into a hot-tempered, Italian wanna-be with a thirst for vengeance. Even if you know vengeance can’t bring Don Vito’s son back from his swiss cheese death.  The first 1972 movie is beyond a doubt a classic, as Tom Hanks rightfully puts it,  “The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question”. The 1990 film, on the other hand, is best left forgotten. I am one of the vast majority who believes watching the GIII is much like finding yourself in the weeds during dinner service on a Friday night- dreadfully painful but you just can’t help it. Unfortunately, when you’ve committed yourself to a movie marathon, you’ve got to see it through till the end. And see it through we did, with the help of a spicy cremini and zucchini chili. It wasn’t quite Clemenza’s tomato sauce, but with added kick of smoked paprika and cumin, I’m sure this chili would be an offer even he couldn’t refuse.

Cremini&Zucchini Chili
Smoked paprika and cumin
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large yellow onion, small dice
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 zucchini, small dice
8-10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1-2 tbsp chili powder
1-2 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp dried oregano/ thyme
1 can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water, or enough to thin till consistency

Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. Add onions, carrots and celery and sweat for 2 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini and mushrooms and continue to cook over medium heat. Add spices and beans, stir and cook out the flavors and add tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour and adjust seasoning. Serve with some grated edam or mozzarella, a dollop of sour cream, or some guacamole.

Words I Like

“Slowly the meadow filled with people and fireflies and laughter—just as my father had imagined—and the lambs on their spits were hoisted off the pit onto the shoulders of men, like in a funeral procession, and set down on the makeshift plywood-on-sawhorse tables to be carved. Then the sun started to set and we lit the paper bag luminaria, which burned soft glowing amber, punctuating the meadow and the night, and the lamb was crisp-skinned and sticky from slow roasting, and the root beer was frigid and caught, like an emotion, in the back of my throat.”

Blood, Bones, and Butter excerpt, Gabrielle Hamilton. Photo via ohpioneer

A summer affair.

These photo’s were taken at my parents home, out in the country, on their 25th wedding anniversary. My dad built a bar stand, where my younger brother played bartender. My mom set out her wedding dress, strung lights through the trees, and invited our closest family and friends. I catered the event, sending my little cousin and her friends out with canapes throughout the night. We made crab cakes with red pepper jelly, goat cheese&caramelized onion puff pastry, sliders with salmon and dill, and flank steak and garlic aoili. It was a beautiful evening, and I felt so blessed by the love and commitment between my parents, and the wonderful life and community they’ve built together.

All photo’s by Lucy Bruni.

breakfast.

 

Eggs in a basket.

The Chemex coffee brewer.

My daily two eggs on toast&french press.

Lemon ricotta pancakes.

 

LIFE

Recently picked up this 1949 edition of LIFE at a local antique store. How these glimpses into another time sit in a corner gathering dust is beyond me. This article on Inland Sailing drew me into another world altogether. Throw me on any sailboat and I am one happy clam.

Photographs for LIFE by Charles Steinheimer, July 27, 1949

Hand-rolled pasta

Cooking can be hard. Professionally, I mean. The hours are long. And your mind has no choice but to run a mile per minute with the prep list, orders, pick ups and why your dishwasher hasn’t brought you clean pans yet. When you go a few months focused as all hell, just going through the motions, you start to forget why you love food. It’s a mystery, but somehow the venison sirloin and braised pork belly become mundane. What got me out of my hazy working monotony tonight was fresh eggs and flour. Simple staples such as these, which knead into delicate hand-rolled pasta, somehow hold divine fulfillment capable of reviving passion. I’m not sure if the mystery lies in the way the starches bleed into the boiling water and bind the parmesan to the linguini, or if it’s the earthy flavor of the mushrooms complementing the acidity of the bright lemon, but either way, this bowl of pasta brought my dream to life once again. The dream that one day I will by rolling gnocchi with an Italian Nona in Tuscany who has been anonymously been feeding her children for decades. Cliche? Yes. Unrealistic? After breathing life into this pasta tonight, no. With that, here is the crazily simple recipe that will transport you to a Sicilian pasta cucina before you can say bellisimo.

Fresh Pasta

400 g white flour
2 whole eggs
1 tsp salt
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and crack in eggs. Whisk the eggs with a fork and slowly incorporate the flour. When a shaggy dough has formed, continue to knead dough using your fingers. Work the flour into the dough until it comes together. On a floured surface, knead dough until uniform and soft, about 10 minutes. Mold into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and let chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes.

To finish:

1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 lemon, juice and zest
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesiano reggiano
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Use a pasta roller to cut pasta into linguini. While pasta is drying, heat olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add garlic and heat for 1 minute. Add sliced mushrooms with a pinch of salt and fresh black pepper and saute until slightly browned. Boil fresh pasta in a pot of salted rolling boiling water, about 3 minutes. Deglaze mushroom pan with lemon juice, and add pasta with about 1/4 cup of starchy water. Add fresh cracked pepper, lemon zest, and parmesan. Toss and reduce until pasta is coated with the sauce.

Images via instagram.

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