Thursday, December 19, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Vanishing pies...

Old fashion apple, sweet potato coconut and blackberry crumble. Which one is your Thanksgiving favorite?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Daily Moments with Biela

In dog years, she comes in at 63 years, but how can she still look like a pup? Mz Biela doesn't seem to age. When asked to fork over the secret to the fountain of youth - she wags her tail, jumps in circles and promptly takes her beauty nap...

Monday, November 04, 2013

Leaving the Village - Ví dầu cầu ván đông đinh

Vietnamese Folk Poem, Ca Dao
Translated by John Balaban

Ví dầu cầu ván đông đinh,
Cầu tre lắc lẻo gập ghình khó đi.
Khó đi, khó đẩy, về rẫy ăn cồng;
Về sông ăn cá, về giồng ăn dưa.

Even when cross planks are nailed down,
bamboo bridges are shaky, unsound. Hard going.
Hard going, so push on home to tidal flats to catch crab,
to river for fish, to our sandy patch for melons.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Kitchenette Building

by Gwendolyn Brooks

We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
Grayed in, and gray. "Dream" mate, a giddy sound,
not strong Like "rent", "feeding a wife", "satisfying a man".

But could a dream sent up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday's garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms,

Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?

We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew 

what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice—
though the whole house 
began to tremble 
and you felt the old tug 
at your ankles. 
"Mend my life!" 
each voice cried. 
But you didn't stop. 
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried 
with its stiff fingers 
at the very foundations, 
though their melancholy 
was terrible. 
It was already late 
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen 
branches and stones. 
But little by little, 
as you left their voices behind, 
the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world 
determined to do 
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tell me...

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” - Mary Oliver

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rumi on Roses

On my way to Mount Sutro, the rose caught my attention. When the world tries to label us one way or the other, Nature shows us that we are everything and both...

What was whispered to the rose
To break it open
Last night
Was whispered to my heart.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chefing for Cooking Matters / 18 Reasons

This summer, the highlight of my week was teaching a class of talented and bright 8-9 year olds for Cooking Matters, organized and lead by 18 Reasons

Every week, at the Booker T Community Center, alongside dedicated volunteers (Erin, Andrew, Jessica) and the 18 Reasons nutrition coordinators (Nalleli and Sara), we kept our class engaged and entertained with creative and healthy recipes. Here's a sampling of delicious and fun recipes yours truly whipped up to wow and inspire the kids (and adults too):

My class, the staff and volunteers - kept me honest and true and being part of this wonderful community experience was my weekly heart transplant. 

When the last week of our class approached - I wasn't sure who was more bummed - me or the kids! Below are some pictures taken from our graduation day when we made veggie, tortellini kabobs, mini whole wheat garlic braids (2nd time) and non-dairy strawberry banana ice cream. I'm going to miss all the kids. But I will continue chefing/teaching with the program. For certain, I am hooked!

perdy rainbow kabobs
disappearing whole wheat garlic braids
Andrew and Nalleli
Thank you Jessica for taking the picture! Front Row bottom left: Blue, Sam, Evan, Nylah,
Karen and Elena. Second Row top left: Andrew, Nalleli, moi, Zayria, Gavin, Niyaz.   
so much energy!

gooey - delicious smiley

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Veggie Spaghetti Spiders

Veggie Spaghetti Spiders
Serves 8

  • 1 package whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 cup marina sauce
  • 3 cups vegetables cut in ½ inch thickness: zucchini, yellow squash, mushroom
  • Optional: parmesan cheese to serve 

1. Break spaghetti in half. Thread 5-7 spaghetti strands through each slice of vegetables.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions (7-10mins); drain well.
3. Serve immediately with marinara sauce (or any sauce: pesto, garlic).

Saturday, August 17, 2013

You are the Average...

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohn

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Taste of Sicily + Rome

homemade macaroni + pistachio ravioli @ the base of mt etna

gelato break (pear + forest strawberries)

cacio e pepe
legendary Pompi tiramisu!

Sicilian octopus stew

insalata di tonno + bruce lee

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer Fruit Oatmeal Crumble

The taste of summer to counter the cold, windy and foggy San Francisco summer weather...

Summer Fruit Oatmeal Crumble Recipe
Serves 4 to 6 


For the filling: 
  • 1 small lemon 
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • Fruit (any fruit in season or frozen and thawed): 
  • 1 pound medium strawberries, halved 
  • 1 1/2 pounds peaches, pitted and sliced 
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar or honey 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats 
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (you can also substitute ¾ c oil for a non-dairy crust) 


1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. 
2. For the filling: In a bowl, mix together the lemon juice and 2 ½ tsp flour until smooth. Add the strawberries, peaches and brown sugar. Gently toss until the fruit is coated. Pour the fruit mixture into a sprayed pan. 
3. For the topping: In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. 
Add the butter. Mix with hands until the butter is pea sized. Sprinkle the mixture over the filling and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is light golden. Cool the crumble for 5 minutes. 
4. And voila! Spoon the warm crumble into bowls and enjoy.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Mini Whole Wheat Garlic Braids

Whole wheat mini garlic braids. On the left we have team Chimichurri. On the right, old school, Garlic Powder. Which one is kid-proof?

4-inch whole wheat garlic braids

Thursday, July 11, 2013

On Action

“Action has meaning only in relationship, and without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

Saturday, May 18, 2013

SHE walks in beauty

by Lord Byron

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
  Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
  Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
  Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
  Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
  Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
  How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
  So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
  But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
  A heart whose love is innocent!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Short Discourse On Life

October 16, 1998

Dear Editor (Greenwich Times);

I’m 88 years old and I’ve lived in Greenwich for 45 years. A few months ago, my wife Bertha left this great veil of tears and I was grief stricken. I was surprised how suicidal one can become when you lose a loved one.

When I was mourning my wife’s departure, I was thinking and asking myself many questions. What is it all about? What is the meaning of our lives? What is the real purpose of our struggle and spiritual hunger? Our victories and achievements? Our sacrifices and suffering? What are we living for? What are we after?

I believe you’ll discover, as I did, that love is what it’s all about.

The love of God and man, and when you have found out what it’s all about, you’ll know that the object of life is...

not to be smart but wise,
not to be rich, but generous,
not to be a racist or bigot but tolerant,
not to be powerful but loving,
not to serve yourself but to serve humanity,
with courage and charity.

Jack Beers

On Fear by Tagore

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but

for the heart to conquer it.” 

Rabindranath Tagore

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Letz play?!

Yo - Manly!

What up B?

"Dude, play dead"

Umm... well, shucks...that's silly...

Wo...woah...BAAAM! You got me!


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