gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: Food

Healthy eating

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I moved to Chicago six months ago and I’ve lived in three different apartments since I’ve been here. The first one was an Air B&B, so the kitchen was not really my own to use. The second apartment was a sublease for three months, and the other two people in the apartment had lived there for a few years before I moved in, so I almost felt like an intruder on their space. Again, I did not use the kitchen frequently to cook meals for myself. I moved to a third apartment at the beginning of the summer, and thankfully, it feels a lot more like my own place. SO, I’ve started cooking again after a hiatus and many nights of unhealthy (although tasty) microwave meals.

I’m not a super adventurous cook, despite loving flipping through cookbooks to get ideas. One of my favorite things to make is simply pasta, along with my own sauce that usually includes vegetables or seafood. I mean I did grow up in Italy after all, so I think having a love for pasta (even though it’s a carbs guzzler) is perfectly understandable and acceptable!

This weekend I made pasta with zucchini and swiss chard. In addition to its light and fresh taste, it was a feast for the eyes because I think vegetables are just so darn pretty. It was a perfect little summer meal if you ask me 🙂

 

 

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City of Gold

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city-of-gold-documentaryI recently saw the documentary about food critic Jonathan Gold, City of Gold, and it was not only inspiring for the palate, but also for the ethnic niches of Los Angeles. I have not been to Los Angeles, but I certainly want to go there now to try all the little family-owned restaurants featured in the movie. Gold’s ability to find all these little family-owned places is remarkable, and I wonder how he decides which ones to try.

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What I found most interesting were the stories of the immigrants coming to this country in search of a better life and ended up opening restaurants in L.A. to support their families. The success they have achieved with their restaurants is inspiring and the success of their children is equally touching. Gold brought up an interesting point about the way in which we can attempt to learn about and understand a culture through its food, and we may think we understand it after eating a fair amount of its food, but that we really only scratch the surface. There was also an interesting discussion of the connection between food and writing about food, that dating back centuries, especially in Chinese history, there are records of writings about food and its importance to a culture.

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The power of food, especially visually, is astonishing. In fact, to experience food visually through a movie rather than actually being able to taste it is almost a more powerful experience – maybe because it allows the imagination to dream about how it tastes based on how it looks, when in reality it may not taste as one would expect based on its appearance. So in a way, looking at food and hearing the stories behind it can be more exciting than tasting it with the potential of being disappointed. In any case, check out the movie! Jonathan Gold is entertaining, and it’s a treat for the eyes.

Christmas eats

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Undeniably, food is a big part of the Christmas holiday. This year, my family tried a new chicken recipe from The Kinfolk Table Cookbook, which is a marvelous book if you don’t know it. It’s actually one of the first recipes I’ve tried from this cookbook, but surely not the last, because, again, it’s a beautiful book filled with unique delicious-looking recipes. My mom and I also made our annual traditional trip to the Christkindlmarket in Chicago, which we look forward to all year. The hot chocolate, spiced wine, crepe booth from Paris, and authentic German Christmas ornaments really pull at our heartstrings. Fortunately, we stumbled upon a French booth run by Catholic nuns, who were selling French pastries and desserts. Not only were the nuns the sweetest, and very happy to speak French with my mom, their desserts were to die for. We bought an apple pie and a chocolate Buche de Noel, which were as yummy as they were beautifully-presented. This year, we also made our own egg nog for the first time, and I have to say I thought it was better than the store-bought egg nog!

A Thanksgiving celebration

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, perhaps even my favorite day of the year. Although I’m not always proud to be an American, Thanksgiving is one thing I appreciate about America. Here is documentation of our Thanksgiving this year.

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Because I think cranberries are so pretty when they’re cooking…

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Only three gourds since we’re a small family – one for each of us.

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DSC_3736DSC_3737 Loooveee pumpkin pie…DSC_3738

Chef

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It’s no secret that food elicits an almost spiritual experience in us because of the fact that it demands the participation of all our senses – sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. Chef is a movie that certainly lends itself to our senses. There are beautiful scenes of the chef, Jon Favreau, or his double, cooking exotic-looking dishes, paired with fun music that demonstrates the fluid nature of cooking and how it can turn into an event rather than just a chore. An observation I made, though, was that no one seemed to eat some of the beautiful dishes he made, which didn’t make any sense to me because I wish I could have eaten it! The best part of the movie is when he drives a food truck around the country with his son and sous chef, making stops in New Orleans and Austin, both major food cities in the U.S. It’s also not just about the food; it’s about the way that food brings people together, as those who eat the food admire the ones who made it and as they bond while they share it together. This is a powerful thing that food can do and why something as simple as sharing a meal with someone can mean the world. Of course, it helps when the food is to die for.

The beauty of food

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Labor Day

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Labor Day is a film about loss, one of the hardest things that we face in life but also something that we all inevitably experience. I know it hasn’t gotten the best reviews, but there were definitely aspects of it that I really appreciated. I thought the cinematography was beautiful and captured light and intimacy very nicely. At times the plot felt like inorganic and like it didn’t flow, but the film did have some redeeming qualities as it went on. The character development was good, especially of Frank and Adele, and watching their relationship blossom was touching. Food and the art of cooking was a nice addition to the film, which is something that I personally always enjoy. There is something about cooking and the way that it employs all the senses that is almost seductive and I thought the way the film portrayed food was captivating. There were elements of fear and suspense as the plot revealed itself and I began to feel sympathetic towards the characters who at first seemed unlikeable and emotionless. The plot takes place over the course of a few days, Labor Day weekend, but the present is intertwined with flashbacks from the past, which make the film feel longer than just a few days. This also allows you to get to know the characters better than you would otherwise. The sense of loss is the most prominent part of the film and it can genuinely be felt at times throughout the whole film, which is heartbreaking but very relatable since it is an inevitable part of life and something that affects all of us in varying ways. There was, of course, also a sense of hope at the end and it did have a happy ending, but it shows you how life is a journey with many hardships and only some rewards.