Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Phyllo Wrapped Salmon w/Herbed Goat Cheese

Had something similar in a restaurant recently(Verbena) and wanted to give it a whirl on my own. This is what I do when I have random things in my refrigerator that need to be used up-- like phyllo left over from Christmas! :)

A friend of mine brought me a "present" this past weekend-- some mouth-watering, locally made goat cheese with chives & garlic.

So, between the leftover phyllo and goat cheese gift, a lightbulb went on and I started salivating.
And please believe me when I say, this definitely lived up to the hype in my head!

Phyllo Wrapped Salmon w/Herbed Goat Cheese-

Serves 2

2 center cut salmon filets
4 tbsp herbed goat cheese
12 sheets phyllo
1/2 stick melted butter
Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper

Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees.

Lay first sheet of phyllo down on a piece of parchment (to help contain the mess) and brush w/melted butter. Repeat until you have 6 sheets layered on top of each other.

Season salmon and place at an angle, pretty far into the phyllo so that the edges will close over the fish easily. Top with approx. 2 tbsp herbed goat cheese. Bring corner up and sides of buttered phyllo in, carefully fold fish/cheese over, keeping sides of phyllo in. Trim off any excess phyllo once done folding. Brush top with more melted butter.

Repeat process for next salmon filet. Let both filets set up in the refrigerator for approx. 10-15 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Egg Roulade

(pic borrowed from b/c it never lasts long enough in my house for ME to take a picture! LOL!)

This is one of my absolute favorite breakfasts. It's one of the first "fancy" breakfasts I tried as a newlywed. But, be warned! This will destroy your entire kitchen. It's totally worth it though :) and definitely a fun challenge for those seeking to stretch their culinary skills.

NOTE: I add 1 lb turkey sausage(vs. their 1/2 lb) and 1/2 a lb. cremini mushrooms( vs. the lb. of mushrooms in recipe).

Gourmet, May 2005

Makes 4 generous main-course servings.
Low Fat
1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for brushing baking pan and parchment paper(I used foil sprayed w/pam the other day and it worked fine)
1/2 lb turkey sausage, casings discarded and sausage coarsely crumbled
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 scallions, chopped(I omit)
1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps chopped(I omit)
1/2 lb fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup water
2 large whole eggs
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons fat-free (skim) milk
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/3 cup)
3 oz Gruyère, coarsely grated (1 cup)

Special equipment: a 19- by 13-inch sheet of parchment paper

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly oil a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan, then line bottom and all 4 sides with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of parchment to hang over short sides of pan, and lightly brush parchment (except overhang) with oil.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook sausage, stirring, until finely crumbled and cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and keep warm, covered.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and sauté garlic and scallions, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring, until mushrooms are softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Add sausage and spinach to skillet and sauté, stirring, 3 minutes. Transfer half of spinach mixture to a food processor and add water, then blend until finely chopped. Return to skillet, stirring to combine, and keep warm, covered.

Blend whole eggs, whites, milk, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth and frothy.

Pour egg mixture into baking pan and bake until firm, about 10 minutes.Remove from oven and leave oven on.

Sprinkle egg layer evenly with half of Gruyère, then spoon spinach filling evenly on top and sprinkle with remaining Gruyère.Bake just until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Position pan on a work surface with a long side nearest you, then gently roll up egg layer toward you, using parchment as an aid and holding filling in place with your fingers.

Cool roll in pan on rack 10 minutes, then transfer to a platter using 2 large spatulas.Trim ends and gently cut into 8 slices with a serrated knife.

Each serving (2 slices) contains about 323 calories and 7 grams fat. (analysis provided by Gourmet)

Monday, April 28, 2008


Having frequented the subterranean bar in Europa more times than I care to mention, I had yet to try their actual menu until this past Saturday. I had friends in town for a "Girls Weekend" and this seemed like the perfect "two-fer" place-- eat dinner upstairs, retire for drinks and girl talk downstairs.

I love the dimly lit atmosphere of the place. All of the serving staff could not be more helpful or kind. They are professional and accomodating. We had no reservation and were told it would be 20 minutes or so. I think we only waited maybe 5 minutes.

Our table ordered an array of tapas. You don't have to stick to just tapas, there are main course offerings as well. The pastas looked pretty good and I might pop back in at some point to give them a try.

Here's the line up of what we ordered between 4 of us:

Garlic Shrimp
Steamed Mussels
Goat Cheese Trio
Crispy Eggplant Sticks
Parmesan Grilled Asparagus
Beef Empanada
Beef Hangar Kebabs
Chicken & Ham Croquettes
Spanish Meat Plate
Spanish Lamb Meatballs

Everything tasted fabulous. My fav's were the Chicken & Ham Croquettes as well as the grilled Asparagus. The Asparagus were cooked to perfection-- I was afraid they might be soggy and gross-- but, they were crisp with no mush in sight! The Beef Hangar kebabs were a little too rare for my taste. The beef Empanada seems to be made with pulled beef surrounded by puff pastry. A tasty little gem and large- I had to cut it up into little pieces for the table to share. The eggplant was also done well- coating crispy, vegetable al dente.

I will go back to any place that doesn't cook the life out of it's vegetables! :)

Our bill came to $30 a head, including tip which is $120 sum totalled. Which, I feel is a bit pricy, considering we were all sharing little plates. And considering no one ordered drinks since we brought ours up from the basement (we ordered them while waiting for a table). But, overall it was a satisfying experience. I def. think I'll be taking the hubs by there sometime soon b/c after writing about their asparagus, I'm now craving it :)

Oh happy day.......

......when Penzey's had a store come my way.........
It's official, Penzey's is up and running in Carytown. (3400 W. Cary St.) I managed to poke my head in this last Saturday. I love that I don't have to pay shipping any more! :) Penzey's also has a lot of great gift ideas--spice sets for the griller, first time home owner, different ethnic cuisines etc.

I happened to pick up this Italian Sausage Seasoning for the first time. And as expected, it really packs a gustatory punch! I added it to my basic meat sauce with chicken and now I feel like I don't ever have to buy turkey Italian sausage premade at the store ever again. Yay, Penzey's! :)

You could just throw this in the sauce or put a tbsp in with a pound of meat and let it sit for a few hours to overnite to really absorb and intensify the flavor.

They also suggest on the label that you can add it to burgers to make "Pizza Burgers" - how yummy does that sound? :) Ok, so here's what I threw it in today:

Basic Meat Sauce with Chicken

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
Penzey's Italian Sausage Seasoning
1/2 c. fresh chopped basil
1 lb. ground chicken
1 28 oz can crushed plum tomatos
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 c. chicken stock (or broth will do)

Sweat onions and garlic in olive oil over low-medium heat. Add 2 tspns sausage seasoning and let it "toast" for a minute or two. Throw in meat and crank heat to medium, toss in 1 tbsp sausage seasoning. Cook meat until chicken is no longer pink. Add tomato sauce & paste as well as the chopped basil and chicken stock. (remember to boil your stock before adding to the sauce). Let simmer on low with the lid on for 1/2 an hour to a few hours- whatever your schedule dictates.
Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Grilled Chicken Tarragon

Please meet my new favorite ingredient: Lea & Perrins "white" worcestershire sauce. FAB-u-lous!

Apparently, this is supposed to be great by itself as a marinade. But, I went hunting around the internet today for a spiffy recipe and found a great one on the actual L&P site-- Grilled Chicken Tarragon. It's a winner. Hubs and I both agreed it should be on our regular grill rotation.

I also found a White Wine "Beer Butt" chicken that uses this ingredient. Sounds interesting, so I kept the recipe for weekend experimenting sometime later down the road.

Grilled Chicken Tarragon

1/2 cup Lea & Perrins® White Wine Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp. Finely minced shallots
1 Tbsp. Minced tarragon
4 Raw boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)

Prepare marinade by cominbing all ingredients except chicken.

In gallon baggie, pour 1/2 cup marinade over chicken; turn to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator up to 3 hours. Refrigerate remaining marinade.

Remove chicken, discarding marinade. Grill or broil, turning occasionally and brushing frequently with marinade that was refrigerated separately, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Basic Risotto

This is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. In fact, I make it so often, I've deluded myself that I could impress even Gordon Ramsay w/my mad Risotto-making-skillz. Ha! :)

I wanted to include this recipe b/c I used some of my homemade stock in it. Thus, it might encourage some of you to make your own stock if you could actually envision using it! :)

I don't claim that this is an "original" recipe of any sort. Merely an amalgamation of literally 100's of recipes I've read and tried over the years. This is my particular favorite combo. You can also add precooked chicken and asparagus to this for a "one pot" meal! Delish!

Basic Weeknite Risotto-

1 large shallot, minced (you could do garlic & onion as well)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 c. arborio rice
1/2 c. white wine (I used a Gewurtzraminer I had on hand, I really like a reisling in it)
1 c. homemade chicken stock, warmed
2 c. broth, warmed
(you could just use approx. 3 cans of chicken broth)
1 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
squeeze of lemon
fresh chopped parlsey (optional)

Over medium heat, warm oil & butter together. In a separate sauce pan, have broth & stock warming. (* Remember to boil stock before using and prob. before combining w/broth).

Add shallot and saute until fragrant. Add rice and "toast" for a few minutes in the fat. Add wine and stir occasionally until absorbed. Add 2 ladles (approx 1/2 c.) of warmed broth/stock. Stir occasionally until absorbed. Repeat this process until rice is al dente. (usually until broth is gone, if you run out of broth, don't panic. Just add a little water, it won't hurt anything).

Add cheese, squeeze of lemon & parsley. Serve immediately! :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

A lesson in chicken stock--

I have to make a confession here-- it really peeves me when folks use the words "Broth" and "Stock" interchangeably. They are NOT the same thing! Broth is made from the meat and stock depends on the bones. Thus, stock is actually very thick and gelatinous. I also feel that the flavor is more concentrated in a stock vs. a broth. And stock certainly works in sauce much differently than broths as a fat(cream etc.) typically is not needed b/c of the consistency of the gelatin.

I like to make stock once I've roasted a bird. Typically I will pick what meat I can off of the bones before throwing the carcass into a pot. This is a great way to really get your money's worth from a $10, 6.5lb roaster!

Tip: I am not sure why, but I do know you get a better stock from roasted bones (post-cooked chicken carcass) vs. using a fresh chicken/chicken parts.

Here's my standard recipe:

White Stock-

1 cooked chicken carcass, picked clean(6lbs + /or 2 smaller birds)
1 - 1 1/2 gallons of water (2 finger lengths of water over chicken)
1 whole chopped onion
2 ribs celery cut into chunks
3 carrots cut into chunks
3-4 cloves peeled garlic
8 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
few sprigs of thyme & parsley (dried thyme works here too)
a few tspns salt

Bring everything to a boil, cut to a simmer. After a while, skim the scuzz off that rises to the top. Simmer for approx. 6 hours. This is the optimum gelatin extraction time.

Set up a strainer/colander fitted with cheesecloth over a large bowl. When stock is ready, pour into seive, straining all chunks in the cheesecloth. Take newly strained stock and set it in a quick ice bath to bring the temp down(I leave it in a very large stainless bowl). It won't cool fast enough in the fridge to keep harmful bacteria from forming. So, the ice bath will give it head start and keep you safe!

Once cooled in the fridge, the next day, skim fat from top of stock. Stock will be very thick and jello-esque (if you've done your job right! :) ). I typically will freeze in quart sized baggies in 1/2 cup measurements. Stock will keep in the freezer for up to three months, so date those bags. Please bring any homemade stock to a boil before using (in order to kill any leftover cooties!)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Roast Chicken Dinner

I've gotten to the point in my cooking adventures that I start to wing things. Items, that in the past, would've given me heart palpitations if I varied from a given recipe in the slightest. I guess so much information flows through your brain, that some of it starts to stick? I feel like these recipes and tips I'm about to share with you are a congolmeration of all that information running around my brain as well as my southern soul.

This Sunday's meal consisted of a 6lb roasted chicken, roasted potatos (& a few carrots), gravy, steamed asparagus and cracked pepper drop baking powder biscuits. My house smells insanely good right now!

Bella's 'Sunday Special' Roasted Chicken-

1 4-6lb roasting chicken (mine was 6.5)
5 tbsp butter for compound (+ extra melted for basting)
1 tbsp fresh chopped chive
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tspn lemon zest
1/2 tspn fresh cracked black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 large lemon, thinly sliced
a few large chunks of carrot
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper for seasoning

This recipe, in part, was inspired by my standard Julia Child roast chicken recipe (see Poultry tag/Cooking Nite).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove giblet sack, wash chicken and pat dry thoroughly. Combine 5 tbsp butter, chives, garlic, lemon zest & pepper. Rub compound butter under chicken's skin, and then all over the bird. Season the cavity and outside of bird liberally with kosher salt and pepper.

Stuff chicken with 1/2 of chopped onion and lemon slices. Truss legs together with twine (I prefer linen). Place in roasting pan (I place on 5 foil balls to keep chicken from touching roasting pan since I have no roasting rack) and then into oven.

Roast for 15 minutes at 425. Baste w/pan juices. If there are no juices yet, baste w/extra melted butter. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, set timer for 15 more minutes. At the end of the second 15 minutes (1/2 an hour into roasting process)-- baste chicken again and throw in the rest of your onion and chopped carrot.

Baste chicken every 15-30 minutes-- follow directions that came with bird as far as cooking time vs. size of chicken. Let chicken rest and recover while you proceed on to roast your potatos.
Bella's Roasted Fingerling Potatos-
1lb assorted fingerling potatos
Pan juices from chicken (leave about 1/4 c. in the roasting pan)
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice fingerlings lengthwise into uniform sizes. The red potatos tend to be fatter than other fingerlings, so I quarter them. Toss with kosher salt (to taste) & chicken pan juices on a cookie sheet.

Roast for approx. 1/2 an hour or until crispy!

While the potatos were baking, I whipped up some baking powder drop biscuits. This is basically a "family" recipe I suppose, since the measurements have been in my brain since childhood. I baked them during the last half of roasting the potatos on the oven rack underneath.

They are "drop" b/c you don't mix until it's a dough you have to roll out. You mix until barely combined and then "drop" by spoonful on a cookie sheet to bake.

Bella's Cracked Pepper Baking Powder Drop Biscuits (BCPBPDB?!) ;)

2 c. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/3 c. butter
1 c. milk
pinch salt
1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Cut butter into flour mixture w/forks or pastry cutter. Make a well in the middle of butter/flour mixture, add milk and stir w/fork lightly until combined. Drop by large tablespoonful onto cookie sheet.

Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes. I brush tops w/melted butter during the last 2 minutes of baking.
Steamed Asparagus-

This dish was the easiest thing on the table tonite! I took a handful of asparagus, dove tailed them in a gratin, threw in a few tspns of water and let it rip in the microwave lightly covered w/cling film for approx 1 1/2 minutes.

Toss w/melted butter and a little salt! Easy Peasy!

And last, but certainly not least, Gravy!

This is the basic gravy method I was brought up on. A lot of gravy is really about "eyeballing" it or about feel-- you don't want it too runny or too thick. The trick to being able to adjust your gravy is getting the roux right to start with.

Bella's Roast Chicken Gravy:

1-2 tbsp pan juices (still in roasting pan)
scant 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth

1. Heat pan juices until simmering over med-high heat. Add flour and whisk.

2. Whisk until roux (flour and drippings) becomes a medium brown color.

3. Start adding chicken broth 1/3 of a can at a time-- whisking all the the while the liquid is being added. Continue to whisk as it simmers and thickens. Add more liquid, repeat until desired amt is acheived as well as desired consistency. (I'm happy to answer questions on this as I know this prob. isn't the best gravy instruction ever written! LOL!)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

So, I've been tagged.......

Thanks, Kate :)

4 Jobs I've Had: Florist, Hotel Guest Services Mgr, Caterer, Web Conference Trainer

4 Shows on my TiVo/DVR: Rob & Big, Real Housewives of NYC, The Tudors, The Riches

4 Places I've Been: London, Chicago, Mexico, Jamaica

4 Favorite Foods: Creme Brulee, Totino's Pizza Rolls, Potstickers, French Fries

4 CD's Recently Listened To: Rabbit Songs, Hem; Seeds, Martin Sexton; Raising Sand, Alison Krauss & Robert Plant, Back to Black, Amy Winehouse

4 Things You Can Do to Make My Day: Bring me flowers, let me cook for you, accept my idioscyncrasies as "charming" ;), listen to me

4 People I Tag: I'm sure everyone has already been tagged by now! LOL!

Herb Garden Project

Ok, here we go-- I am an idiot with plants. And that's putting it nicely! It kind of "hurts" my feelings, b/c I like to think I'm a nurturing soul. And I do nurture my plants. To death.

I have OVER watered since I can remember trying to grow plants as a child (my mom has a green thumb and encouraged my bro and I to try and grow different things). I think it speaks to my co-dependent soul. :) If you want to "dig" that deep! LOL!

I am attempting an herb garden this year. I'm not successful bringing things to life from seed, so I got some plants that have already started growing. In the large trough we have sweet basil, thyme, italian parsley and chive. The two smaller pots are cherry tomatos and mint.

Now, I do know enough to know that mint NEEDS it's own container. Even if you plant everything else in the ground, mint should always be in a container (the size is up to you)-- b/c it grows like a frickin' weed. You blink and it will take over your whole yard! And luckily, it's about the only thing I can't kill.

I'm basically posting this in the hopes that someone out there might have some encouragement and possibly some tips for me-- help is appreciated! :)

Eggs Benedict

Ever want the warm, yummy goodness that is eggs benedict without leaving the comfort of your own home, pj's and slippers? It IS possible, it just takes some good timing. I always say that making this dish is like a carefully coordinated dance or symphony :)

You have 4 items to bring together all at once: bread/toast, poached eggs, warmed ham/canadian bacon and the hollandaise. I generally toast the bread first as I'm heating the water for the eggs to poach. I then start the ham off in a pan to warm and finally I start the hollandaise. Make sure you have all your items mise en place before you start the sauce or it could get a little crazy! :)

I will go on the assumption that you already know how to poach, make toast and warm something in a pan. I'll focus in on the hollandaise, which is surprisingly easy.

I take my recipe from The Joy of Cooking (p.55).

Hollandaise Sauce

3 egg yolks
1 1/2 tbsp of cold water
1/2 cup hot, not clarified, butter(sometimes I sub in Smart Balance)
1-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (depends on how tangy you like your sauce)
few shakes texas pete
white pepper

Set up a double boiler or small pan with a large stainless bowl on top. Lift top part of your double boiler or makeshift double boiler and add egg yolks and water off the heat. Whisk. Put back over double boiler. Make sure the water in your double boiler is at the lowest simmer possible, so as not to curdle the eggs.

Keep whisking until egg mixture thickens (2-4 minutes), remove from heat and add butter slowly. Whisking the whole time to make sure you have full integration. Add desired amt. of lemon juice, a few shakes of Texas Pete, salt and white pepper. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more butter. Not thick enough, I leave it over the double boiler, whisking, for another minute or so once all ingredients are added.

The real challenge, I think, is getting the eggs, toast and ham all to the plate at the same time that the sauce is ready. :) Time and practice will help with this endeavor. I hope you try this recipe b/c it really is better made fresh at home!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Phoenician

What can I say? A perfectly lovely evening out.

Hubs and I landed over at the Phoenician via our good friend's birthday. And I could not be happier that we did.

The interior is QUITE the departure from La Casita-- sumptuous fabrics draped from the ceiling, moroccan lanterns, rhythmic middle eastern musc playing in the background against sensuously deep red walls.

Naji, the owner, is the consumate host. He took such excellent care of us during this visit. We also got alot of good insight as to how this place came into being. He had thought about opening a Lebanese place for a very long time, but just didn't get around to it. He almost sold La Casita! (As fate would have it, there were no buyers!) He actually helped his sister open her own Lebanese restaurant a while back and upon her passing it was almost like she had passed the torch to him to take care of Richmond and their growing taste for Lebanese cuisine.

And take care of us, he has! The hummus is seriously to die for, I asked immediately upon tasting it if they did take out-- I could just eat this for dinner! (And for the record, they do!) Fab. Baba Ganouj, sprinkled w/pomegranate seeds (which are hard to find this time of year!) I had the chicken shawarma grill (you can also have it in a pita as a sandwich) and most of our table had the mixed grilled.

The spices on the chicken combined with the accompanying tsatsiki is mind boggling. One friend had the special roast chicken and potatos. He was silent the whole meal which is a good sign that it was delicious! The guys at the table also had a Lebanese beer, Almana, which I had a taste of-- very smooth and rich without being too hoppy. Definitely worth a try for all you beer drinkers out there. The girls had the Pinot Grigio on the wine menu, which was perfect with dinner.

We wrapped up our meal with dessert, which consisted of: tiramisu, baklava and a type of "cheese pie"-- couldn't tell you the type of cheese. But, I can tell you my hubs enhaled his! So, that alone touts success!

All in all, I am so pleased with our visit and would recommend the Phoenician to anyone. It's a trip to the exotic and a treat for the senses without really having to leave your back yard. We love you Naji!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Apple & Goat Cheese Clafoutis

Alot of the desserts you see on this blog are born of desperation. I am no baker, but it's amazing what I can whip up when the urge overtakes me. Like today, I literally have no junk in the house in a last ditch effort to shave off a few lbs for spring. However, my sweet tooth begs to differ and thus we have:

Apple and Goat Cheese Clafoutis
Courtesy Richmond Chef, Dale Reitzer
Serves 6

3 Gala apples (peeled, cored, and sliced thinly)- I had granny smith
2 Eggs
5/8 c. Sugar plus additional for sprinkling
3/8 c. Butter (soft, unsalted)
1/2 c. Goat cheese (soft)
3/8 c. Flour

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix sugar with egg, butter and cheese. Sift dry ingredients together, fold in with rest of ingredients.

Divide evenly into buttered and sugared non-stick pans or rings. You may also use a 9 inch springform pan(which is what I used) or cake pans lined with parchment paper.

Overlap slices of apple over the batter and sprinkle with sugar. You will use about 1/2 of an apple per clafoutis.

Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes for individual rings (35-40 minutes for the springform pan) until brown on top. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

3 CD's I Can NOT Get Enough Of:

Just to mix it up, I thought I'd throw in a little music today.
There are 3 CD's currently in constant circulation in my CD player right now (yes, I'm old skool, no MP3 player ....... yet. ;) )

Hem- Rabbit Songs
From what I understand the lead singer is from Richmond. Got her gig answering an ad in the Village Voice in good old NYC. I love the myriad influences on this album. You start out in a Parisian cafe, then suddenly you're lying on your back looking at the sky in a clover-filled field in Appalachia only to ultimately to find yourself wandering aimlessly and alone down rain soaked city streets......THANKS ELLY! :)

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss- Raising Sand
Magic. Pure Bliss. Their voices just wash over, console and nurture me.

Words can't do it justice. Give it a listen! :
(Click link at top of page)

Martin Sexton- Seeds, Particularly "Will It Go Round In Circles" originally by Billy Preston and dedicated to him upon his passing by Martin during his XM radio debut.


Had the chance to pop into this cute little neighborhood restaurant Sat. nite. My friend and I took the last table in the place- you know, that weird little 2-top that basically sits out in the middle of the restaurant? :)

We split the pork potstickers that are a special offering right now. And they were excellent! But $10 for a handful of potstickers? That seemed a little much for me, however delicious they may have been. My burger and fries was only $5.99!And I will tell you that my burger was one of the best I have had in town!

And now Bamboo is going to come to mind anytime I'm craving a burger. Service was great, they took good care of us. Love the cozy interior of the place. Just can't believe I've overlooked it in the past and had never popped in.