Tag Archives: tyler florence


I never said that as my husband will not eat them. He’d rather say “let’s go out.” But his mother doesn’t do that.

It is a matter of making leftovers different and tasty. You’ll never make what I did this evening because when I think we may be moving I make full use of frig and pantry and yours will not be the same.

No meat, I just made fettuccine Alfredo in a 2 tbsp measure of cream, butter and parm, and added the same amount of fresh chimichurri with parsley, lemon, garlic and jalapeno. Tyler Florence, gaucho steak + chimichurri at foodnetwork.com

Shopping at home is a necessity and a duty. My husband stocks us in paper goods so there is always an extra roll of toilet paper or paper towels, tissues as well. I stock us in food and always have a full pantry of pasta, flour, herbs and spices and baking stuff.

When the thought of moving or being without a job is pre-eminent I work through the frig and pantry. My family moved enough as a kid, and I learned to do it much better with a physicist husband. Uniform boxes, all the best equipment (I’m a whiz with a well-worn professional moving tape dispenser and box cutter) and the dog already has her 4″ orthopedic bed in the back of my SUV.

We do what we can with what we have. My frig has many possibilities but my pantry can expand it tenfold. I used to subscribe to a delivery service that gave us milk, juice, bacon, et al. I got the service for their apple juice and a $15 surprise package that would test my culinary skills seasonally.

Last week my dog received a wooden puzzle in which her owner places treats. There are six pegs and three sliding wooden pieces. She’s played it six times and can now do it in a minute. That’s like me and the surprise culinary package. It’s fun. Cooking for you and your family/friends should be fun. Dee


Muppets, Tyler Florence and Regimen

Let’s start with the first. My husband has always liked the Muppets. I do also but in a passing kind of way. Today I actually worked on piano so that on guitar I could improvise and play him the Rainbow Connection on guitar. Yes, it was horrible but I only had the lyrics to go on, so I made up my own chords in my head and executed. He appreciated the sentiment.

That’s how I mostly cook. On FoodNetwork.com you can look up a recipe for pork with apples and cider gravy by Tyler Florence. His recipe actually makes enough for 12 if not 16 diners. Given that the first time I made it by recipe I spent $70 just for the meat! It is a wonderful dish but I needed pork for two.

Mine was one pork tender marinated with salt, pepper, a slathering of good dijon mustard, placed in a bowl and had a nice Spreckers beer poured over to cover for two hours. Unfortunately things came up and the sauce I wanted to make from the marinade ended up a frothy mess. I bought corn bread (sorry) and used a bit to stuff apples. Sorry, Tyler I wanted a baking apple that was more tart and also good for baking so chose Braeburn rather than your Gala. And I messed with that recipe as well.

On the good side I cooked some pappardelle noodles and tossed them with butter, salt and pepper. Then I had a prepared salad in which the greens had wilted so I added the cranberries, goat cheese and walnuts to fresh greens and, voila! Or, as the French say, “Here it is!” Remind me of that story for later.

Regime. Yes, I’m afraid I’m tied to one for the rest of my life. One life event I dreaded monthly for six years (no, it’s not what you think though I am female) is spaying and neutering up to 200 feral cats in a day. The coordinators had food for us throughout the day but once I touched my first cat all I had was water. I don’t even think I allowed myself breakfast. The ordeal lasted up to seven hours. I ran transport to recovery, all the recovery volunteers including those who watched the cats’ breathing, devised a recovery schedule for monitors and breathers, also the cage cleaners who were sweethearts and stalwart volunteers.

When I arrived home I showered, went right to bed with my two cats and dog and felt I made a difference in the world that day.

Now I have a medical routine that takes a couple of hours a day, is making me well and I will be able to make a difference in our world every day. I’ve never asked anything more. Yes I did ask if my dog could be a therapy volunteer and she was turned down because she eats raw food. Hospice volunteer? Do they think we’re there to kill them? I’m baffled.

A few of my ornaments this first ever adult holiday tree are from children, an event I created 20 years ago. They’re all round and tagboard and painted with cats and dogs or glued on pieces of ribbon and they’re some of the most precious things I can show to family, friends and neighbors. I hope these kids have their own families now. These kids were orphans and all invited and everyone else who attended was given a free ticket with a donation of goods (snacks, juice, clothing) for the kids. I’ll tell you about that brainstorm sometime.

Right now I’m happy to be alive with my guy and hoping Texas has power and water soon, as it seems like my in-laws are last on the list after four days. Dee

ps Somehow mourning the fact our grocery is out of mincemeat seems inappropriate. I think when the streets are clear I’ll search for capon instead, then mincemeat for tarts.

Overdone Food… Network

This morning as I finished the breakfast dishes and started a load of wash, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction showcased the last few moments of Bistecca alla Fiorentina. This is a classic Florentine dish consisting of a thick porterhouse steak basically unadorned except for sale e pepe e olio (salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil).

Of course he had to marinate in rosemary and who knows what else, and serve with some sort of homemade steak sauce. That would be heresy in Tuscany akin to putting salt in bread. Then he took gorgeous Treviso (long-shaped radicchio) and grilled it but then had to gild the lily with gorgonzola and chives. I grill radicchio a lot but just toss quarters with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and let it speak for itself.

Then Tyler Florence started chiming in with a California home baked “smoked” brisket with some sort of homemade barbecue sauce. Our Uncle Bobby made his own rig and smokes his briskets for 13 hours and ribs for five. Texas-style.

Folks, there is no real NY/Southwest style bistecca alla fiorentina. Nor is there true Marin County BBQ brisket. These people just need to sell television shows and assume the worst of viewers: that we know nothing.

I’ve had my bistecca in Florence and brisket in Texas and think viewers should be shown the correct ways to make food before you do your riffs on it. I must say that Bobby Flay and Tyler Florence are two of my favorite television chef personalities but this is too much.

I’m beginning to agree with Bourdain, that Food Network is the “evil” channel. Just teach the basics and offer riffs. Don’t make viewers think that bistecca comes with steak sauce or that true BBQ comes from California. This, dear reader, is an extreme pet peeve of mine that I’m sure will resurface after I’m sued by the Food Network and the attorneys of Tyler Florence and Bobby Flay.

If so, I’ll plead the 1st and 5th amendments, have Uncle Bobby come to the trial with his smoking rig and my favorite Italian chef come in from Tuscany with true bistecca and the judge will decide for her/himself. Happy eating! Dee