A Lobster Dinner for One

My wife was going out for dinner for a girlfriend’s birthday. The kids would be eating fried chicken and pizza. And here was the rare opportunity to make myself a fancy dinner for one.

Look who's coming to dinner!

Look who’s coming to dinner!

When I was a bachelor living in an apartment in Santa Monica, I often made myself a fancy dinner. I’d open up a bottle of wine, get out the pans, cook up a multi-course meal, light some candles, put on some music and sit down by myself to eat. It felt like it was me taking good care of myself. Many people were surprised when I told them this. More

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More Tips for a Happier Kitchen, Pt. II

It was so good, so helpful, I just had to do a follow up.

Actually, I mostly did a “part II” because of a fun video I wanted you all to see. And also because of a little trick I learned from our Mexican cook, Marilu, on our recent vacation south of Puerto Vallarta.

Enjoy!

Vietnamese spring rolls with lime peanut sauce

Vietnamese spring rolls with lime peanut sauce

Lime Juice on Apple Slices
This one I learned on our recent vacation to Mexico. Each morning, a platter of fruit would emerge from the kitchen. Of course, the tropical fruits — mango, pineapple and papaya — were perfectly ripe and wonderful. But the best thing of all was the apple slices. It took us some time to figure out that the reason they were so good was that Marilu, our resident chef, had squeezed lime juice over them. And, as a bonus for you folks with kids, the lime juice keeps the apples from oxidizing in school lunch boxes! More

Venice Envy

People may complain that it stinks, others that it is sinking, and still more that it is too expensive. Those who are there in the winter lament the floods that render every street and alleyway a canal. But nothing anyone will ever say can sour my love for the most romantic city of them all — Venice.

Your host on Piazza San Marco with Venetian carnival mask, a foggy morning in March, circa 199?

So it was with some degree of green that I accepted the news that our neighbors and friends, Chris and Glennis, had rented an apartment in Venice this summer. Chris added insult to injury by sending me the website for the place they were staying, complete with perfectly framed view onto the Grand Canal. In response, I did what any affronted friend would — I invited them over for a “bon voyage” Venetian dinner. More

Crustaceans in Oz

I do a lot of shopping. I go to farmers markets, Japanese markets, Persian markets, Vietnamese supermarkets, Indian spice stores, Mexican carnicerias, Chinese poultry shops… And on the way home, I usually stop at the regular old grocery store. It’s where I get staples — sugar, cheese for the kids, bananas, hamburger buns, etc. Our local one has reasonably good produce, an excellent wine department and a nice view of the Pacific Ocean across the street.

Butter-poached Australian lobster with saffron risotto and lobster sauce

On Valentine’s Day afternoon, I dropped by the local overpriced seafood market to see if anything caught my eye to serve with the bottle of Perrier Jouet I had chilling in the fridge. And everything was, well, overpriced. More