Voting for Birthdays

May 31, 2011 by

“Do you have a birthday coming up?”, I wrote.  “Skipping it, thanks.”, my friend wrote back. Really? I find this hard to understand. Why would anyone skip an opportunity for birthday cake, balloons and the possibility of sparkly confetti? It’s not just the bright colors that make birthdays a delight.  Every birthday is a chance to celebrate the lives of those we love, and even those we merely like!  What makes them so fearsome to adults? Whatever you think about aging, it’s hard to argue for the alternative.  Someone ought to caution us not to let the inexperience of youth inform our opinion of age.  What treasures will the lucky ones find?  What does a person know at 95 that she didn’t know at 55?  Why decide we don’t want to be older before we...

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Ah-Vo-Ca-Do! Worth A Chorus Of Its Own...

May 27, 2011 by

I hope I have just implanted the word Avocado as a worm in your brain with the Hallelujah chorus playing beneath it. And I hope you already know that avocados are among the most versatile of fruits which we tend to relegate to only a few recipes.  As in Guacamole, which I won’t bother revisiting. But they offer more than that wonderful mixture and take to many more flavors than Mexican. And, as the Avocado growers and others have been telling us for years, they are good for us. Very good. A quick Internet search will reveal claims that they might help prevent or inhibit the growth of a variety of cancers, lower your cholesterol, improve your eyesight and keep your heart healthy. The oil is good for our skin and brains and the...

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In Atlanta: The Old Hickory House...

May 27, 2011 by

At Old Hickory House the barbecue is so hickory infused it gets into your fabric, literally. I know that it might sound strange that a Eurogirl from France and Italy would have a passion for barbecue but in Italy smoked and cured meats are a staple in most Italian ‘special’ dinners. It is served in small portions as antipasti along with pickled vegetables and cheeses. What the French call charcuterie, (i.e.; salami, sausage, terrines, pâtés). In America it can range from a great hot dog to awesome barbecue! At Old Hickory House, a southeast based barbecue chain, they focus on hickory smoked barbecue and when I say Hickory, I mean Hickory. While a chain, this place had a very friendly staff but busy, so if you go at lunchtime make sure you order quickly...

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New Twist on Cobb Salad

May 27, 2011 by

The weather in Baltimore has been really crummy lately.  Between bouts of intense thunderstorms we’ve had the 3 H’s– hazy, hot and humid.  The saving grace is that our backyard comes equipped with a pool and hot tub. So on a perfect Sunday evening I decided to host an impromptu dinner and swim session for some friends.  But what to make to beat the heat?  I found the perfect hot weather salad that works just as well for dinner as it does for a picnic.  So thanks to Maureen Callahan and the May 2011 issue of Cooking Light, you too can impress your friends and delight your stomach all at the same time. Here is what you need to create a wonderful Memorial Day treat.   INGREDIENTS: 4 slices center-cut bacon (I used microwave...

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Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends...

May 23, 2011 by

We’re excited to launch a very special interview series on All The Single Girlfriends — “Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends.” Through creating a forum to tell the stories of girlfriends, who are making a difference in the lives of women and young girls,  we hope to honor these amazing women and inspire us all! Please join me in welcoming … Lya  Sorano, CEO The Oliver/Sorano Group, Inc. Favorite Quote: One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship and compassion. ~ Simone de Beauvoir atsGf/Toby: Who are you beyond your professional resume? Lya  Sorano: A mother, a grandmother, a gardener, the happy owner of a cat named “Praline” (uh, actually, I think she owns me . . .), and a person very concerned about the preservation...

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Think Buttermilk! A Summer Cooking Staple...

May 20, 2011 by

I’m a buttermilk devotee. Especially in the summertime, this old-fashioned ingredient becomes an essential staple in my refrigerator.  And unlike some of the more exotic ingredients I have to search for on the internet or in specialty stores, you will always find buttermilk on the shelves of most grocery stores. I like drinking it straight, with a sprinkle of salt or mixed with honey and lemon the way my daughter’s Danish dad learned to do as a child.  And I use it for transforming all sorts of summer bounty into cooling, easy-to-prepare soups.  And of course there is Buttermilk Pie – simple, sinful, totally delicious! Here are three of my favorite Buttermilk recipes: Moroccan Cold Tomato-Orange Soup This is a simple assembly job and makes a great way to begin a summer meal. Ingredients...

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In Atlanta: Grindhouse Killer Burger...

May 20, 2011 by

You can have it almost your way! I wonder if it might perhaps be symptomatic of our current economy that all of these gourmet burger joints are cropping up all over the country. People want to go out and treat themselves to a fun dinner with or without the kids but the less than romantic QSR fluorescent lighting of  a Burger King or Chick-Fil-A might give them pause. When I first stepped foot into the cozy location off of Piedmont road that houses Grindhouse Killer Burgers, I was excited to try their version of the ‘killer’ burger. Their famed location on Edgewood Ave is relatively close to my home and all the hipsters brag about their options including an excellent veggie burgerTheir parking lot is tiny but I noticed a good number of the...

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Vegetarian Chili

May 20, 2011 by

OK. I confess. I’m not single, I’m a carnivore, and my husband is always trying to convert me to veganism, or at least give it a Girl Scout try.  I’m the classic Irish Potato head, and if I had my way I’d be eating hamburgers and corn beef hash behind his back. So, being married is definitely not all it’s cracked up to be girls.  If you’re Catholic and married or Jewish and married, there’s a ton of guilt that could even result in your confessing, “Oh, I feel so guilty that I ate that”. It may be only slightly exaggerating to say that I feel guilty that I’m not a more “healthy” eater because I talk about health all the time and shine the light on others who actually…are the ones I wish...

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Serena Kovalosky Exhibits at Bedlam Farm...

May 19, 2011 by

Best-selling author Jon Katz and his wife Maria Wulf are launching a new gallery right on their property at Bedlam Farm in Hebron, NY. The Pig Barn Gallery will feature sculptural artist Serena Kovalosky who will be among the four artists who take familiar objects such as computer parts, dried gourds, pieces of fabric and discarded antiques to create extraordinary works of art. In keeping with the rustic atmosphere, Jon Katz will conduct a fascinating sheepherding demonstration on both days with his famous border collie, Rose. For more information, visit the exhibitions page at Serena Kovalosky’s website Link for Maria Wulf Link for Bedlam Farm Link for...

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200 Years of Being Female In America...

May 18, 2011 by

A couple of weeks ago I happened on two articles, published the same day in the New York Times. Each addressed the challenges, triumphs and failures of being female in America – 200 years apart. The first, “Poor Jane’s Almanac”, told the story of Benjamin Franklin’s sister Jane. It contrasts the lives of these two close siblings.  Benjamin struggled his way out of poverty to international prominence.  Jane, married at fifteen, gave birth to twelve children and buried eleven. Certainly two of her sons, and probably her husband, went mad. She provided for her waxing and waning family as best she could. Times and circumstances kept her from the education she desired, although, as she wrote to her brother, “I Read as much as I Dare”.  Author Jill Lepore’s message is that “especially for...

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Chicken Faith

May 16, 2011 by

“…And their sayings appeared before them as idle talk, and they were not believing them.” So says Luke 24:11 about the reaction of Jesus’ disciples when the women told them Jesus was risen.  Silly, irrational girls.  Don’t worry your pretty little heads about such weighty spiritual matters. I learned about this at an Easter service last month.  I love Easter.  It’s a holiday of second chances, what with its story of springtime after such a bitter winter.  Our weather here in Colorado mimics the metaphor.  We had snow last night and a luscious rain today.  My chickens hide under the deck when it snows, but they run around looking like tiny, passionate dinosaurs in the rain. Aren’t women sometimes compared to hens?  No doubt, the idea comes from our similarities.  Hens are usually found...

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3 Bs: Berries, Basil & Balsamic...

May 13, 2011 by

When I lived in Boston Saturday meant a trip to Haymarket Square for fresh veggies, fruit, cheese and a visit to my favorite fishmonger.  Don’t you love that word: “fishmonger?” Haymarket Square was farmer’s markets before farmer’s markets were cool. I tried to time my shopping to just before the close of business when the vendors would compete with each other on the lowest prices. “Best tomatoes here!” “You don’t want his .. mine is fresher and cheaper!” It was like being in the middle of a food circus complete with characters and clowns. And let me tell you Gf, some of the best people watching wasn’t the vendors but the shoppers! While there are farmer’s markets where I call home now, Atlanta, including Sweet Auburn Curb Market, one of my favorite things to...

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