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July 2009 Archives

Goodbye Bermuda

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I've been thinking about this post for a long time. What would I write? What words could I possibly use to describe how I feel right now? Today is my last full day in Bermuda. My phone has been off for a week. Cable, internet, furniture, all gone. Even my nice laptop with all my photo editing software was taken back by my job. I am writing this post in a notebook poolside at one of the popular hotels here. I guess that's how people used to blog before computers? Tomorrow when you read this, I will already be gone.

Bermuda has been an awesome experience. If I had not moved here, my food hobby would not have evolved to what it has become. This website would not exist. But sadly, the reasons that led me to my passion for cooking are some of the same reasons that we are leaving. Too much free time, lack of certain modern conveniences and food options. Pretty much I just miss city life! That's not to say that I didn't love my time here. I loved every minute of it! My job, friends, the beaches, the culture. I have met people from all over the world! I know people from Sri Lanka, South Africa, Philippines, Scotland, Ireland, England, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Japan, Azores, Malaysia, Haiti, Australia, and Canada. Just from the US I have met people from Virginia, Chicago, Phoenix, Florida, California, Texas, NJ, and of course Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Needless to say, I know have plenty of places to stay on future vacations! I have made friends for life.

So what about the site? The site will keep going. The way I look at things, the site has already been through about 5 phases. The first few months of learning how to blog, hitting a stride, the new apartment, starting to actually get some traffic, and finally the new layout. So really I would just consider this the 6th phase. My plan for the next few months involves enjoying August while catching up with friends. Most of my time will be spent between Boston and New York. Where will I end up? It depends on who's hiring! Mandi has a different plan. She is headed to LA and continuing in public accounting. It is a sad time for us because we have been together for a long time, but at the same time it is very exciting. We have been together for so long that I am not sure if I know who I am without her and I am ready to find out.

With all this happening, it is a little much to keep up with! So I am going to be taking at least a week off from the site. In internet time, this is like a decade, so don't forget about me guys! But for now, I have to go; the waiter is here with my 5th margarita so see you all in a week!

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Korean Night Part 2

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Why Korean night? Well, Amy grew up eating Korean food. Before she was born, her parents lived there for awhile when her dad was in the army. Her mom loved the food and culture, and took the recipes back to the US. Well what do you know? MY parents ALSO lived in korea in the army! My mom did not take the recipes back like Amy's did, but did take a lot of cultural memories, and a casual knowledge of taekwando! That is some super mom trivia right there, so if you are listening, and know my mom, bring it up at the next party (book club meeting?) you see her at!





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Korean Night Part 1

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It is very appropriate that Amy made us Korean on the last weekend we are in Bermuda. This is because Amy has been promising us Korean since we got to the island!!! This isn't a zing on Amy, There are plenty of food related items that we have all promised each other and not delivered on. I am super glad she finally got around to making this Korean meal! I have never eaten proper Korean food and loved every bite of it. Today is the first half of the meal (It seemed to go on forever, but in a good way) and tomorrow will be the exciting conclusion.





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Foodie Fight

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The challengers have topped themselves yet again on foodie fights! surprising since most of them seems to have never touched an eggplant in their lives! You may have noticed I never really use eggplant either. That's cause Mandi is allergic! Even before she realized she was allergic, it was not a favorite of either of us.

Welp, this was a fun 2 minute distraction, now back to losing my mind packing and finishing up my life in Bermuda!  See ya tomorrow!

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The Last Pizza Party

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One of the biggest things I will miss in Bermuda is my brick oven. I built this thing and have only had a year to enjoy it! I knew going into it that I would really only have a year or so with the oven. I have always considered this my practice pizza oven, with many others to follow. We needed to have one final pizza party to say goodbye to the oven. Mandi and I decided to take this as an opportunity to try out some weirder toppings we haven't had a chance to do yet. We even asked some friends to bring over their favorite ingredients for us to throw on the pizzas. All in all, it was a great goodbye to the oven.





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Timpano

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I have wanted to make a timpano for a long time. I have seen Mario Batali make a few, and hmm where else have I seen one? These Italian pies are made for special occasions. There are a few different varieties, but really you could throw anything you want in there! I think I will probably make another one soon and just throw anything I can think of in. This dish is totally worth the effort, and honestly it isn't even that much work! More time consuming than anything. When you unveil the pie from its baking container, it is just as much of an event as it is in that movie... So what was our special occasion? Mandi's sister visiting of course!

So what topic am I skirting around in that first paragraph? What other time have I seen one? What movie? Well Big Night of course. Apparently on the internet, you can't cook a timpano without talking about big night! (yes every word is a different website) So what do I have to say about it? Nothing that hasn't been said already, just that if you haven't seen it, watch it because it is great.





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Bermuda Restaurant Roundup

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Today I wanted to do something a little different than usual. When I first started this blog I debated with myself about whether or not I should occasionally do restaurant reviews. In the end I decided that it was not a good idea because I am usually a pretty positive person and didn't want to be trashing restaurants all the time. However, occasionally I get emails where TFiMB followers are traveling to Bermuda on work or vacation and they ask me for restaurant recommendations. So I thought that since I am leaving Bermuda next week, I should take this opportunity to address these questions. In this post I am going to talk about my favorite restaurants here on the Island and what I love about them. But first, just some general criticisms about the restaurant scene here...

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Buffalo Turkey Burgers

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Inspiration comes at weird times. Mandi's sister was coming down for the weekend and all week I was trying to think of something I could cook that would be tasty and fairly easy, but still something new I could put on the website. I sort of gave up and just got some ground beef and hot dogs for a bbq we were attending Friday night. On my scooter ride home at lunch to meet Angela and Jason after their flight, I was remembering a conversation with Angela about how much she loves buffalo chicken. I realized I would make buffalo burgers that night! I ran home and threw everything I had already gotten into the freezer and went out and bought some ground turkey. I quickly realized that the butter in buffalo sauce would be perfect for the turkey burgers because the additional fat would prevent them from drying out on the grill!





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Antipasti Pasta Salad

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Flashback to pasta salad week? This was one I actually wanted to include that week but never got around to making it. We made it this past weekend for a boating excursion and everyone seemed to love it! Yes I understand that antipasti is NOT pasta, but the idea here is to mix in with the pasta a bunch of stuff that you would normally see on an antipasto platter.





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Beef Enchiladas with Tomatillo sauce

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I am struggling to keep this blog together. You guys, having a blog is effortless! No just kidding, both of those sentences are a little extreme. It's just that sometimes I hit strides and am cooking a week or two ahead of my posts. Other times like right now, I have a lot going on in my life and I am literally cooking the night before I post the recipe. Sometimes, like last night, I even have a lot going on WHILE I am cooking and when I look at the pictures the next day I think ugh... really? Who had the camera last night? People were literally in and out and in and out of my house last night during the 3 hours I was cooking this! I think I pulled it together and have a pretty decent post today. And hey, the meal was EXCELLENT, so that's what its' all about right?

So why enchiladas today? I haven't had Mexican in awhile, and there is no Mexican place on the island (well one, but let's not talk about that.) The craving kicked in extra hard when one of the foodie fighters made enchiladas for the recent pine-basil battle and it was out of control when my rival made some chile rellenos yesterday! I HAD to make Mexican! We made enchiladas once a while back, but these were mucho major.





Two Dips

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As our time winds down here in Bermuda, some of our friends are requesting their favorite dishes "one last time" before we go. On most occasions, I would say "go on my site and get the recipe!" But with certain foods, the recipe is only half the story. One example is pizza from our brick oven. They don't all have brick ovens in their houses; in fact a pizza place here says that they have the only one on the island! (Should I sue them for false advertizing?) Another example is the cheesesteaks we made this past Sunday afternoon. The recipe from my site a while back is a great start, but you need a nice stovetop flatgrill, and the years of experience and love Mandi has from growing up in philly doesn't hurt either! This post isn't about the cheesesteaks though; we have been over that exhaustively already. Today is about the two dips I made to snack on as people were arriving.





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Foodie Fight

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You know the drill.  Every other Tuesday is Foodie Fight day on my other website, Foodie Fights.  Go check out the entries, and vote for a winner in battle Pineapple Basil.  If you know me at all, you know who is getting my vote this round!

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Fresh Pasta with Chicken and Broccolini

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I haven't made fresh pasta in awhile. Also have not made a Food Network recipe in a long time. This Giada De Laurentiis pasta dish is one of the first things Mandi and I ever made together. It was a good 4 years ago and for some reason in my parents' kitchen. When we finished cooking, I said I liked the meal, but it wasn't my favorite, mainly cause of the pine nuts. To Mandi, this meant I hated it and hate pine nuts and she has been teasing me about that ever since (she claims it is why we haven't made the dish again in the past 4 years.) We were drawn to the recipe at that time because it was so easy to make with many shortcuts suggested by Giada. This time we made it all the way from scratch. Going from scratch really brought this dish to a new level, but don't be afraid to go the simple way, it still tastes great, and is pretty quick for a weeknight.





Caprese Burger

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I was sitting at a relative's house in Rhode Island this past weekend enjoying the New England summer and (comparatively to Bermuda) low humidity. We were having a bit of a post wedding hang out and grill session, exchanging stories from the night before, All my cousins being sure not to take their sunglasses off. As the burgers were on the grill, I couldn't stop staring at the basil plant behind it. My mouth was salivating for basil! I have a basil plant in my own yard, but for some reason when I see one I have the need to eat basil immediately. Of course I snuck over and grabbed a few leaves to put on my burger only to be called out 3 seconds later. I thought I had been sneaky! The burger was fantastic and I don't know why I have never thought to put basil on one. This got me thinking, we already have a tomato, the addition of basil means I only need to switch the cheese to mozzarella and we have a caprese burger. A Hamburger Today in 2006 says caprese burger is a bad idea, but after making one, I disagree! The picture on that post looks awful, any burger that looked like that, caprese or not, would be gross! The key to this burger is nice fresh thick summer tomatoes.





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Flank Steak with Tomato Cucumber Salsa

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The only time I get food magazines is when I am flying. Living in Bermuda, this means I have 3 years worth of Food and Wine's Christmas, Thanksgiving, and summer BBQ issues. I was home this past weekend, and on my flight back to Bermuda I was reading an interesting article about a chefs plan to lose weight that involved cooking lean cuts of meat, accompanied by fresh salsas. After reading that, the craving set in. I made this meal the night before Mandi got back, thinking it would be simple quick and fresh. Well it was simple and fresh, but after playing with celery puree for a half hour it was no longer quick. I still felt bad making it without Mandi though cause it was some of her favorite flavors and techniques! But there was plenty leftover for her to eat the next day.





Zucchini Wrapped Halibut

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The idea for this meal sort of came out of nowhere. Mandi and I wanted a healthy(ish) easy(ish) midweek meal and we had a huge beautiful leftover whole zucchini in the fridge. We had wanted to make the classic French dish that involves wrapping a fish in potato, so you end up with a piece of fish in a big crispy potato chip. This idea merged into wrapping the fish in the zucchini, but we knew it wouldn't end up crispy like a potato would. The final verdict was that the fish tasted great with the zucchini wrapping, BUT we wouldn't make it like this again unless we were doing it for guests or a fancy party. There was plenty of zucchini in the hash and the fish would have tasted great with just that. The Zucchini wrapping was an extra flourish that did make a nice flavor enhancement, but it wasn't enough to balance the effort of wrapping it, especially on a weeknight.





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Aloe Mango Lassi

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Ever since reading this post on preparing aloe, I have been dying to try it!!! Fans of TFimB will know that anytime I can make food that is not from the grocery store, I jump at the chance! Wild bananas and banana leaves are a few examples of doing this in the past. I am leaving Bermuda very soon, so I knew the clock was ticking down on a chance to cook wild aloe. Finally this weekend provided the perfect chance hanging out cooking with Mandi and Amy.

Is anybody out there today? I just realized the US has the day off today so a lot of my workforce following won't be checking the site today. But I am not posting on Monday, so you guys can look at this then! See ya next Tuesday!





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Chicken Mustard Tikka

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Amy was house sitting this weekend so we decided to head over and cook up a feast. After being indecisive all day, we came up with some sort of Indian skewer thing. Mandi and I narrowed it down to a mustardy curry flavor similar to something we get at a restaurant here. When it came down to it however, we decided not to take the bones out of the chicken and skewer them. They were beautiful pieces of chicken and deserved to be grilled bone-in. Be sure to read to the bottom of this post to check out descriptions for all the Indian spices we used.





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