art, history, film, books for the culinary enthusiast

Recent Posts

Napa Valley Food and Wine Mysteries

Napa Valley Food and Wine Mysteries

Nadia Gordon’s Napa Valley wine mysteries take the cozy to a level of sophistication not often found. The protagonist is Sunny McCoskey, a smart, savvy accomplished chef who owns Wildside, a small, gourmet cafe in the heart of California’s wine country. There are four novels […]

East Side Sushi, a Follow Your Food Dreams Movie

East Side Sushi, a Follow Your Food Dreams Movie

Knife skills… East Side Sushi recently appeared on my television’s On Demand menu and although it was released in 2014 winning multiple awards, I’d never heard of it. I guess this is the beauty of the On Demand, Netflix, Amazon etc era – all kinds […]

Cake Decorating with Geraniums

Cake Decorating with Geraniums

A Genoise Cake…and Decorating with Geraniums

Don’t do what I did!
Okay, I love Geraniums, who doesn’t? So when I saw the pretty geranium petals mentioned and used in the Tartine* book, I was inspired.
Also, yesterday I asked Elisabeth Prueitt (author) where to find geraniums that could be used on baked items etc. She told me that if my own plant had been around long enough to sprout new leaves it was probably okay for culinary use (in other words, not straight from a nursery where it may have been sprayed – or in my case Home Depot.
What’s the difference? About $10.00 per plant potted plant where I live).

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Food in the Louvre, Book Review

Food in the Louvre, Book Review

‘Food in the Louvre’ and other thoughts on food in art…. Food in the Louvre, by Paul Bocuse and Yves Pinard is a collection of food-related art that resides at The Louvre. I purchased this book because I love art, I love the Louvre, and […]

Chef’s Table Massimo Bottura Food Documentary

Chef’s Table Massimo Bottura Food Documentary

 Massimo Bottura’s Table In 2012 two earthquakes hit the Emilia-Romagna region that caused wide-spread damage. This is the land of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and where the medieval Italian village of Modena sits. It’s also where famed chef Massimo Bottura and his three-star Michelin restaurant Osteria Francescana reside.

Whites, a tasty series now on Acorn TV

Whites, a tasty series now on Acorn TV

A busy kitchen, a country hotel…Whites

Whites centers around the bustling kitchen of a grand country estate turned boutique hotel in the English countryside.

The hotel’s star chef, Roland White, a once driven and brilliant man about kitchen, now spends most of his time dreaming up ideas to promote his image rather than cooking (though flashes of his culinary mastery appear now and then).

The everyday workload he leaves to his sous chef, Bib, a very tall man with a responsible demeanor who is constantly being un-rewarded for his actions.

Not only is Bib underappreciated by Roland, but from the first episode we are introduced to a new hire, Skoose, who five minutes in makes it known h’s after Bib’s job.
Skoose does everything to undermine him, despite the fact that Bib is his immediate supervisor, and he has a lack of experience.

Like many a British comedy, there is an amusing cast of misfits. The tone and the interactions of the characters remind me a little of the original (British) The Office series. But of course, Whites is set in a kitchen, with good food, and in a lovely mansion rather than a non-descript office building with reams of paper.

Whites is a dramedy, tilting more towards comedy, and I enjoyed every episode of season 1. However, this being an original BBC production that came out in 2010 (and was just made available in the US via Acorn) I am sad to say that it was not renewed, and so one season is all we get.

Whites is available to view on Acorn TV. You must be a subscriber to the channel, however you can check it out with a free trail at the link below:

Acorn TV series

If you like this series, you’ll probably like another ‘foodie’ series, also set in a beautiful, boutique hotel, also on Acorn (I love this channel btw):
Delicious

 

French Lessons

French Lessons

French Lessons I have a confession to make. I’m a Francophile. It started when my friend Kathy and I shared a crush on our 9th grade French teacher. His name was Monsieur Leiggs, and he had smooth blonde hair that swept across his forehead with […]

French Countryside Food and Wine Mysteries

French Countryside Food and Wine Mysteries

Mysteries set in the French Countryside Food and Wine Mysteries… Love wine? Love food? Love a peaceful, yet deadly, small village in France? Then pack your magnifying glass, corkscrew, and baguette and head off to your favorite traveling armchair for a series of Food and […]

Father Brown Mystery series and Mrs. McCarthy’s Strawberry Scones

Father Brown Mystery series and Mrs. McCarthy’s Strawberry Scones

Father Brown is a BBC television mystery series based on books by GK Chesterton, starring Mark Williams.

It’s the 1950s, it’s in the English countryside, and it’s all about a progressive, mystery-solving Cathlic priest named Father Brown and his circle of parishioners, staff, and friends.

Father Brown…Murder, Mystery, and Strawberry Scones in the Cotswalds

Father Brown is set in the fictional Cotswolds village of Kembleford where, like most BBC cozy mysteries (Poirot, Marple, etc) there’s always a handful of colorful characters and a church at the heart of the community.

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Scottish Highland Vacation, Travel Walks

Scottish Highland Vacation, Travel Walks

Magical Scotland Walking through an enchanted Scottish wood, such as this one in the Highlands, there are stories to be imagined. Medieval and magical themes come easily to mind, and the feeling of ‘other worldliness’ pervades. I took this photo on my trip through Great […]

A James Bond Breakfast & Vesper Cocktail

A James Bond Breakfast & Vesper Cocktail

James Bond Breakfast according to Ian Fleming…

“Then there were two thick slices of wholewheat toast, a large pat of deep yellow Jersey butter and three squat glass jars containing Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberry jam…” – Ian Fleming on James Bond Breakfast

Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ is a conserve (aka preserve) made with a special tiny strawberry that only Tiptree grows…yes, they’re the only growers in the world. But that’s not what made me buy it.

It was Bond. James Bond.
Or rather, the author of that super spy series, Ian Fleming, with his description of James Bond’s breakfast.

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Julia Child’s French Omelette Recipe and The French Chef Series

Julia Child’s French Omelette Recipe and The French Chef Series

The Perfect French Omelette according to Julia To go straight to Julia Child’s French Omelette recipe, proceed to end of post. If you’re of a certain age you may have watched Julia Child’s first television show, The French Chef when it originally aired back on […]

The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook, a Review

The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook, a Review

National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook Review, along with a recipe for Devon Scones From historic houses to castles, forests, mills, pubs, parks and ancient monuments, the National Trust works to preserves Great Britain’s heritage. As it happens they also put out cookbooks, quite a few of […]

Vintage Cocktails, Inspiration from Evil Under the Sun

Vintage Cocktails, Inspiration from Evil Under the Sun

White Lady, Side Car, Main Brace, or Between the Sheets?

NOTE: to go straight to the Vintage Cocktails and recipes, proceed to bottom of post.

If someone asks you what your favorite movies are, often times the list will change over the years. But for me, there are a few that have always been, and always will remain on my top ten. A Room with a View, Rebecca, To Catch a Thief to name three. Another would be Evil Under the Sun – the big screen version starring Peter Ustinov as the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot (vs. the television version with David Suchet, who I love as well).

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All Time Favorites

Afternoon Tea with The Allis

Afternoon Tea with The Allis

Afternoon Tea at The Allis in Chicago You know I love Afternoon Tea…or maybe you don’t. Well, I do, and I am well on my way to sampling all that Chicago has to offer in the way of this pleasing between-meal repast. Let’s see…I’ve enjoyed […]