October 28, 2012


I love the earthy smell of freshly fallen leaves and the way they crunch under my feet on a perfectly crisp fall day.  It was as if the entire universe aligned for that one perfect moment of complete serenity.  One of those moments that you wish you could put on a loop so it never ended.

When I was home last week, I took a couple of hours and went to one of my favorite spots.  It's a state park about 2 miles from my parents house.  I spent countless hours there when I was younger and autumn is the best time of all to wander through the park. 

I was walking along the water and came upon this boy playing his guitar and singing his heart out.  It could not have made for a more idyllic setting.  We smiled at each other as I walked around shooting photos of trees while he provided a beautiful soundtrack.

These are the things that I miss living in a big city.  It's never quiet here, there are people everywhere no matter the time of day.   It was exactly what I needed.  Those two short hours allowed me to "reset" and I felt so connected to nature again, a feeling that is hard to come by in the city.

So as my dog and I hunker down in my tiny Brooklyn apartment waiting for Hurricane Sandy to huff and puff, these are the images that will be my source of serenity as we wait it out...


October 15, 2012

(Re) Union

A few days ago I had the good fortune to spend time with family members I haven't seen in awhile and met some new ones for the first time.  Those of us that live far away from the rest of our clans aren't able to be a part of each others daily life, so the chance to gather in one place for a few hours is extra special.

We had a lovely afternoon sharing food and stories, laughing and catching up with each other.  At times we are all so busy in the day-to-day that we fail to take a few minutes to just say "hi" to people we care about.
It was a chance for all of us to do just that and make a few more connections on Facebook, of course!

Connecting over food is a common experience for everyone on every continent, of every color and every religion.  It is good for us to acknowledge the commonality that ties us all together instead of focusing on the differences that fracture us.   Food is definitely one of those common denominators   It is an integral part of almost every celebration from birthdays to weddings, holidays, family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, etc.

And if you happen to be like most of us, where there's food, there's drink!  One thing I leaned about the guys in my family this weekend is their shared feelings toward bourbon.  They like it.  So, combining fall flavors with a little bourbon was the goal and I think I may have become a convert.


  • 1 1/2 ozs bourbon (I used Bulleit)
  • 3 ozs fresh-pressed apple cider (or best quality store bought)
  • dash fresh nutmeg
  • ice 

  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg

Mix last 4 ingredients together, place on a small saucer and set aside.
Wet the outside rim of a glass and dip into sugar mixture to coat.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a shaker and shake for 30 seconds, pour into prepared glass. Imbibe.

October 06, 2012

Fall is for Football

This is the kind of food I want to have bubbling away in the oven making my kitchen smell of divine porkiness while I am preparing to entertain a group of friends waiting for my beloved Buckeyes to take the field.
(whew...  how's THAT for a run-on sentence?!)

For most people, this is summer food... For me however,  I equate having my oven going for over 4 hours with cooler temperatures and for me, cooler temps automatically mean football.

I'm sure this seems absurd to most of you.  Everyone else in the blogosphere is making pumpkin this and cinnamon that and here I am making pulled pork.  Well, I'm sure someone somewhere understands my particular brand of crazy...  it's called football people and it's not just football, it's my Ohio State Buckeyes. 

If you are from the Midwest or the South where meetings are rescheduled and Saturday afternoons are off limits "on account of there's football", then I needn't explain any further. 
To the rest of you who can't quite conceive of this, it's irrational.  Those of us that love football with the fervor of a sale-seeking Jersey Housewife with a platinum card understand what it's all about.

This is one of those great "do ahead" meals that you can cook the night before and then put in a crock pot to stay warm for game day!  I will admit, I ate this for 3 days in a row.  It was that good.  One thing concerns me though,  the amount I consumed and that old saying "you are what you eat"...  oink oink.

Oh yeah,  I'll try to get to that pumpkin-cinnamon thing soon...

Pulled Pork

5 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cleaned
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
2 cups orange juice
4 cups water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 + cups of your favorite BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat.  Season pork with salt & pepper.
Sear pork on all sides.

Add onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, orange juice and water.  Cover and place in oven for 4 hours.   Check liquid level after 2 hours and add an extra cup of water if needed.

After 4 hours, remove pork from oven and let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes, then place in a large bowl or on a platter.   With two forks, pull the meat apart until all of it is shredded.  While warm, add BBQ sauce and mix well to completely coat pork with sauce.
Pile onto your favorite roll or hamburger bun, sit back and watch some football...