“If he can afford the price of the ticket, the nomad comes and goes with the seasons of his desire."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Although we officially set the clocks forward a few days ago and it has been rather warm lately...this crazy amount of rain we've been getting has been making it feel like winter all over again! To me this meant that  soup or stew must be made immediately to combat this dreary forecast. Luckily, our fridge was chock full of carrots, celery and fresh herbs that were on their way out and ready to be made into stock.
So the soup du jour decided upon was Portuguese Kale soup.
This is a soup that not only carries so many memories of childhood, but is also a celebration of where we come from. Although Luke and I aren't necessarily Portuguese via bloodline (we think), both of us have grown up with very strong influences of Azorean cuisine through neighbors and friends. Not to mention, you can find an amazing amount of Portuguese restaurants and bakeries throughout all of R.I. and Southern M.A. and Providence is  conveniently located perfectly in the middle.

As always, serve with some buttered Portuguese white bread and some Vinho Verde!
*To make my own version of this soup which I thought was more authentic than ones suggested by Rachel Ray and the rest of the so-so recipes I found when browsing the internet:
  I sauteed the onion, garlic and chourico ( I prefer Michael's or Amaral's which are local out of Fall River/New Bedford) in a dutch oven until the casing was a bit browned and the onions were translucent. I then added a finely diced potato and about 2 cups of both red and dark red kidney beans to the saute, after a minute or two I added in my freshly made stock and let boil for about 10 minutes. I reduced to a simmer and added in about 3/4 lb. of fresh kale.
S&P to taste, as always.
Fresh, comforting, simple and satisfying!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


A few of Michele's new pieces
More images and info are located in the page 'ARTPROGRESS\michele'
click on the tab located next to the 'home' and 'visual candies' pages at the top of the website, or just click on the link above.

here's a preview:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting WIRED with IPAs

IPA's are one of our favorite beers. Add more alchohol and hops and you get a bigger badder version of the beer. So for the first beer tasting we thought we would do an imperial/double IPA tasting. We thought it would be fun to taste the beers and then relate it to a character in the HBO show 'The Wire' because we are obsessed with the show right now and devouring the third season. For those that haven't had the opportunity to watch the greatness that is 'The Wire', it is a crime drama based in the gritty streets of Baltimore that follows everyone from the low-level drug dealer to the Mayor and their relationship to crime in the city. We tried the beers with our roommate J. who is not only an expert in beer consumption but also a fellow 'Wire' fan. So without any further ado here are some reviews and our opinions about which beer we think correspond with each character.........

 Stoudts Double IPA - 10 % abv. Using Warrior hops to create a pretty balanced bottle conditioned double IPA. Michele described it as "honey bitter apples" . Someone else described it as a "creamsicle soaked in hops". For such a strong beer the alchohol is well hidden and makes a good beer.

Omar "The Robin-Hood". The street warrior that holds a sweet side just as much as he'll put a shotgun in your face. You want him on your side but wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. Humorous with it's own galavanting way; the street warrior of the ipa's we tasted.

Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA- 10% abv.  A beer we've tried before but thought we'd try again in this tasting- and it did not dissapoint.  Hops, alchohol and spiciness were all apparent and not a bad thing.  J. remarked how it was the lightest of the beers we've tested. Also very crisp and clean tasting as Michele said it was a "kiss of bitterness".

Lieutenant Daniels- The no nonsense boss for McNulty and co. Likes to get in people's face just like the bitterness and crispness the leviathan does. Daniels is short and to the point like the hops and the bitterness in the beer. Plus they both have ridiculous abs, trust me.

Stone Ruination IPA 7.7 % abv. Another IPA classic that we have all tasted before. A classic "big" IPA with all the usual characteristics; nice hops, nice biterness.  J. said the beer was intoxicating. And Luke felt it was big and brash with a bitter finish. Even though it wasn't as good as Michele remembered it, still a a quality IPA.

Stringer Bell- The smooth on the outside gangster with a harsh tough inside. He's looking to win you over and if not- fuck you up, which this beer could definitely accomplish. Watch out for their arrogant logical outside- they're dangerous.

McNeill's Warlord Imperial IPA- 8.5% abv. A new IPA for all of us. A more malty IPA then were used to which added a little more sweetness. Someone described it as "fuck'n wierd". Also has a strong aftertaste that was bearable. The price was right for the bomber ($5.70) but not the best of the bunch.
Jimmy McNulty- The drunk detective that despite his alchoholism manges to still be "good police". Kind of like this beer. Despite it's faults and muddiness still manages to be good beer. Plus both are Irish, what can we say it was easy.

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA- 9 % abv. Made with some hybrid hop by the name of Simcoe this IPA ends up tasting the most un-IPA in the bunch. It seems that the beer is a little murky and doesn't know quite what it wants to be there's strong malt presence, and someone mentioned that it tasted like carmel candy apples.

Kima Greggs- The kick-ass lesbian cop on the wire. Kima creates a hybrid character slowly morphing into a dark grumbly old man while still remaining a likable character. A little musty and sweet like the beer but packs a punch that they don't want to mess around with.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Beef Heart

So my vegetarian-sister-roomate-prankster got me a beef heart from the farmer's market for V-day a few weeks ago. Having no real clue how to cook it or even what it looks like I consulted the biggest cookbook ever-> the interweb. It seemed that there were only two ways to cook it; rare after marinating it, or braise it and cook the shit out of it. Since it was a cold rainy day I decided to go with braising.
The most interesting/gross aspect of the process was prepping the heart. You have to take all sorts of arteries and silverskin to get it ready to cook. After I cleaned it I attempted to stuff it with a mixture of sauteed pancetta and mushrooms (stolen from some recipie on the web). Neither the suffing nor the act of stuffing worked very well but I decided to stick with braising it in a mixture of red wine and stock even though the outcome was obvious-it would soon fall apart.

After cooking it for about two hours it was ready. I cooked the gravy down and served it with some sauteed green beans, mashed potatoes and some pickled radishes I had made. The beef heart, well...it left a lot to be desired. The texture was a little off putting (kind of like some week old sponge cake). While the flavor wasn't bad, a slight iron taste lingered from it (which actually worked well with the pickles).

In hindsight I might have cooked it a little to high and too long. I probably should have tried broiling it med rare, at least that way  On a bright spot we had a good wine- an Italian Primitivo. Primitivo is the Italian version of the wine most of us know as Zinfandel. Like Zinfandel, it is a nice big juicy red that was quite tasty and easy on the palette. So i doubt beef heart well make it in the regular rotation but it was fun to try.....