Archive for category: Advice

Restaurants Are Evil and Why Loving Food Means Cooking at Home

Restaurants Are Evil and Why Loving Food Means Cooking at Home

Cook More at Home, Duh Mark Bittman, the reductionist food critic and cookbook author, published an interesting op-ed in the New York Times recently (“Make Food Choices Simple: Cook”) where he argues, in a simplistic fashion, that you (viz., American consumer of food) should cook more so that you’re not overwhelmed with choices when it comes to what to put [...]

An Italian American Easter and Happiness

An Italian American Easter and Happiness

(photos: discovered on a town street during an Easter walk with our son) One of the cocktail party fun facts I often recite is that the burgeoning field of “happiness studies” correlates life satisfaction via a few simple items, including friendship, travelling, social outings (including participating in sport), and time spent with family.  Of course, some of the non-correlative items are large [...]

Warm Weather, New Ingredients, and Italian Food

Warm Weather, New Ingredients, and Italian Food

The “warm weather” hasn’t exactly arrived here in New Jersey but there are signs of spring all around. Our flowering pear trees have budded and our ancient Forsythias have yellowed and now brighten our otherwise drab landscape.  And our purple bearded Iris have come up along our narrow driveway along with a host of tullips, lillies, and crocus shots.  So, there are signs [...]

USDA Dietary Guidelines and My 3 Step Food Philosophy

USDA Dietary Guidelines and My 3 Step Food Philosophy

(photo: eat more real food like tomatoes, red onion, sardines packed in olive oil, fresh whole milk mozzarella, great bread, and red wine)  The web is on fire with talk about the recently revised dietary guidelines from the USDA.  The USDA, which updates their food recommendations every five years, now suggests reducing the intake of sodium, eating less food, and consuming more fresh [...]

A Plea to Cook at Home: Fast Italian Food

A Plea to Cook at Home: Fast Italian Food

(photo: cooking at home begins with basic ingredients; olive oil is key) “By becoming a cook, you can leave processed foods behind, creating more healthful, less expensive and better-tasting food that requires less energy, water and land per calorie and reduces our carbon footprint. Not a bad result for us — or the planet.” Why Don’t Americans Cook at Home? [...]

Italian Rituals: The Sunday Visit

Italian Rituals: The Sunday Visit

One of the nicest Italian rituals I continue to observe  is the “Sunday visit.”  The idea of the Sunday visit is centered on spending time with your family and friends, maybe consuming an espresso or aperitif, and celebrating a leisurely day without work or obligations.  I was exposed to the Sunday visit early on at my grandparent’s home, where we [...]

On What it Means to Be and Live As An Italian American Today

On What it Means to Be and Live As An Italian American Today

The year was 1997 and I was a college junior applying for a prestigious fellowship for first generation college students.  The fellowship provided funds and a mentor to guide and prepare students for graduate work in the humanities and sciences.  The fellowship had strict academic and social-economic requirements.  On the socio-economic side, students were expected to be first generation college [...]

The Italian Diet, Meat Consumption, and How We Eat in America

The Italian Diet, Meat Consumption, and How We Eat in America

  (photo: various Scordo family members during the late summer wheat harvest in Pellegrina, Calabria)  You can say, unequivocally, that Americans love their beef. Compared to their Mediterranean counterparts, American’s are ranked third in the world (only behind Argentina and Uruguay) when it comes to choosing beef for their dinner table (Italy is ranked 9th, per 1999 statistics).  An educated guess as to why beef [...]

Recipe: Grilled Veal Rib Chops with Chinese Eggplant and Feta and Tomato Salad

Recipe: Grilled Veal Rib Chops with Chinese Eggplant and Feta and Tomato Salad

Many personal finance gurus will tell you to head to your local food market with only certain items in mind and shop only by price.  Moreover, the penny pinching crowd would argue that the purpose of buying, and in turn consuming, food is to be as efficient and cost effective as possible.   As you probably guessed, I don’t subscribe to buying [...]

Why Food Experts Don’t Matter and the Philosophy of 30 Minute Meals

Why Food Experts Don’t Matter and the Philosophy of 30 Minute Meals

Recently, a heated food debate has surfaced between the dyed in the wool “food expert” Michael Ruhlman (he’s written some fine books on food, appeared on TV, and speaks at conferences) and the food philosophies espoused by celluloid FoodTV starts such as Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver.  In a Huffington Post article, Ruhlman argues that people should make the time [...]