Category Archives: the cooking agents

summer supper

A few number of things have been keeping me from blogging including work, yummy dinner dates, moving Ray Ray to his new nest, and almost drowning (no big deal).  You know, the usual.  To expound on the drowning bit, I went white water rafting up in Maine on the Penobscot River.  Some crazy girl used me as her life preserver — silly! I’ve concluded that you’re one of two people in a scary situation: 1) a chicken without a head or 2) someone that actually has half a brain and remembers what the instructor told you 5 seconds ago. Durrr. If anyone is around the New England area, give the guys up in Northern Outdoors a go.  Tour guides are friendly, fun, and will love you if you mention “surfing”.

In the meantime, I’m back on track for weeknight salad dinners with the twinnie.  I found myself wandering the aisles of Whole Foods after a rather long day at work.  Anything food related is a real stress reliever for me.  Without resorting to the chocolate bacon bars (which are SOOO good), I left with some good produce and other random treats.

Treats from Whole Foods! — Salmon Sashimi and Summer Rolls Tonight’s summer salad — baby heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, kalamata olives, baby arugula and feta with a lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, evoo, S&P)twinnie time – this only took a few tries with the timer and we finally gave up on actually centering the thingAll pau!


It’s not even the official start of summer and already, I feel like my weekends are booking up!  They’re all fun things of course, but this happens every summer.  I’ll have things I intend to do, which somehow always get thrown on the back burner.  I’ve resorted to making a list to solidify some of those plans and actually hold myself accountable to achieve them.

1. Spend more time with food and drinks on my balcony.  Afterall, that’s what it’s there for!
2. Go bike riding around Martha’s Vineyard or the Cape.
3. Replace old pictures on my walls.
4. Learn to shuck oysters, preferably somewhere warm.
5. Get that bleeping tattoo you keep talking about!
6. Throw that guacamole party inspired by Rick Bayless.
7. Travel far and wide.*
8. Skydive in Newport, RI with girlfriends – adrenaline rush and a tan as an added perk.
9. Take a cooking class.
10. Dine at No. 9 Park again (that and/or Menton).**

* This one is kind of unfair since I know this is going to happen already.  I’m very excited to announce I will be staying in a France apartment for a week.  I plan to eat, cook, and be merry.  Nothing like some Paris air to breathe some summer life into this blog.

** Yes, I know I have a sick obsession with Barbara Lynch.

I hope you all stick to your summer lists this year!


I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend

Sometimes, we’re a little ridiculous (and really bad at spelling).

Katie for the win.

Couch Surfing

My recent absence was a result of having to move out of my apartment of 2 months due to my roommate leaving suddenly and without warning (he was a weirdo so I wasn’t too sad). Because I wasn’t able to find a replacement in time, I ended up moving in with my sister until I find a new place. The upheaval led me to getting a storage unit where the Cuisinart product line and the majority of my kitchen gear sit. That and my camera. As a result, there has been a lack of documentation of recent eats and kitchen equipment. The good that has come of it include saving a good chunk of change and being able to walk to most parts of downtown Boston when the weather permits.

Too Much Money Spent on Kitchen Gear…

Goodbye Toys

In my search for a new digs, I’ve been rather picky, trying to sacrifice as little as possible for convenience. That includes affordable groceries, cheap restaurants, and located near the T. Davis and Porter Square fit the bill nicely, but nothing great popped up on Craigslist yet. Also in the running are Central Square (people getting shot), Coolidge Corner (long commute to work on the Green line), and North End (small apartments, no groceries). Long shots include South End (expensive, no good cheap restaurants) and North End (small apartments, no groceries).

I Wish I Could Live in the City Too

If anyone has a magical solution, it will be welcomed!

stack ’em high

I’ve decided to come out of my hell hole to give Ray a break.  Ray, you can thank me later by posting a video.  If you don’t, you will be sorry.  Please refer to crazy statue monkey below.

I have his number… don’t make me call him

Haha, I am too much sometimes.  On this past Friday, I cooked dinner for my extended family and built the menu around my grandma’s favorite foods, cauliflower and salmon.  Though the result was out of this world fantastic, I neglected to bring my Nikon with me for the trip home since I told myself I would focus.  Damn it for being responsible and studious!!!!!  However, I loved the salmon en papillote and roasted cauliflower puree so much, I’ll probably do it again when I go back to Boston.  I vow to be a cooking/photographing/blogging monster.  Pinky swear!

In the meantime, I will post about a guilty pleasure of mine… pancakes!  I have a thing about ordering pancakes when I go out for breakfast.  And by a thing, I mean I don’t.  When I visited Ray, I ordered over easy eggs at the Original Pancake House. Really? you’re thinking.  Yes, really.


I am by no means a snob because Lord knows I make terrible pancakes from scratch.  I also loudly and proudly support the use of Bisquick.  Yes, I said Bisquick.  Deal with it.  When I make my “lazy man’s” pancakes, I’ll jazz them up with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and some combination of mushed up bananas, blueberries, and/or chocolate chips.  The result?  Always a perfectly fluffy and satisfying stack of pancakes.  Do I doubt the pros can do this better than I can?  Maybe.  Perhaps I’m just not willing to let them win.

the pour

Fortunately, I “the lazy man” have not resorted to the shake and pour Bisquick.  I would not allow myself to fall plummet from grace like that.  And so the mystery continues as I will never concede defeat to restaurant/diner pancakes.

Good to be back for 15 minutes.  Until the 28th guys!

in loving memory

I will be absent from the blogosphere starting today through February 28th, my D day… or what could be known as the best day of my life.  Until then, I have officially taken a sabbatical from work and unofficially from everything else that sucks away my precious CPA study time.  If I don’t pass this last part, I will begin to lose parts I’ve already passed and by that time, let’s just say it won’t be pretty.

I did want to submit one final post prior to my studies.  Very recently, my grandpa Augustine Joseph Palermo passed away.  Aside from Jen, my grandpa had a very strong influence on me in the kitchen.  Not only was my grandpa a wonderful cook, he had a deep passion for food and for eating things he loved… whether or not he was supposed to eat something like garlic or oregano or onions (and the list goes on and on) was another story.  We even used his small Garden City kitchen as our ballroom floor as we’d dance and dance around every major holiday.

My grandpa was by no means a snob, but he did enjoy some of the finer things in life and had a real appreciation for them.  When we had osetra and champagne for New Year’s, you’d think he was eating manna personally sent down from God in heaven.  He would often recall fine foods he and my grandma would share in popular New York eateries.

My grandpa cooked beautifully.  What started as a necessity at a very young age (my grandfather’s mother died when he was only thirteen and he and his sister Toni had to watch the younger Charlie and Ginge) turned into a pleasure.  I’m not sure that I would enjoy cooking as much had I been under similar circumstances.

Over the holidays, my grandpa would pull me aside to discuss recipes he’d be hankering to try but never got around to.  The most recent was an easy but rich beef stew he’d seen on America’s Test Kitchen.  He’d drop the book title in conversation 3 or 4 times during the appetizers and another during dessert.  Got it.  Cooks Country, grandpa. A few months after he was diagnosed with “pre” leukemia (a euphemism for just plain old leukemia), I ran to Barnes and Nobles to buy him Cooks’ Country.  I found the beef stew recipe and dog earred the page so he’d always have a quick reference for the next time we were together.  I went back to Boston after New Year’s planning on buying all of the ingredients so we could make it together when I came home for Easter.

Sadly, on late Tuesday night, my sister and I got the call from my mom saying grandpa was being rushed to the hospital and they were doing everything they could.  After a tearful conversation with my cousin Aly, death seemed inevitable.  Not an hour later, my grandpa passed away.

On Friday, after the final wake service, I grabbed the book from my grandma’s room.  The page is  still dog earred, ready for my return to the kitchen come March.  I plan on making the beef stew with a few extra splashes of red wine in my grandfather’s honor.  My dance partner may be gone, but our dance steps are still in that kitchen.  I will never sip good champagne or gorge on a piece of lasagna without missing you.