Skinny Girls Roadshow LIVE from Tuscany — Sean vs. the Fiorentina

Every region of Italy has its own specialties. In Rome, for example, it’s pastas like cacio e pepe, carbonara, amatriciana and spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and pepper flakes. In Tuscany, where I am now writing, it’s more hearty fare — white beans, sausages, chicken liver crostini. And the most famous Tuscan dish of all, bistecca all fiorentina.

The fiorentina

The fiorentina at Trattoria l’Oriuolo

The most famous statue in Florence, capital of Tuscany where I am also now writing, is of course Michelangelo’s “David”. It is a representation of the biblical David, stone in sling, preparing to take on Goliath. This is how I felt preparing to take on the fiorentina. More

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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

Panzanella

Summer! A magical land of flip flops, sunshine, rock & roll, olive oil, zinfandel, barbecues, sunflowers, golden sunsets, the laughter of children, hummingbirds, wild salmon from Alaska, zucchini blossoms, sand stuck to your feet, pink wine, watermelon, baseball, baby deer in the park, cold beer, and, most of all, tomatoes.

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Summer makes me think of Tuscany. Once, while strolling through Florence with my sister Andrea on a blazing hot summer day, I was wishing I had some sunglasses. The very moment I had the thought, I glanced at a trashcan we happened to be passing, and there sitting on top of a pile of refuse was a pair of almost-new, round John Lennon-y sunglasses. And, they were rose-colored glasses! Tuscany is sort of magical that way. More

One Chicken, Six Recipes

Chicken can be one of the least interesting meats. Overcook it, and it’s practically inedible. But with a free morning, a good knife and a little know-how, a single chicken can make a whole bunch of really delicious, interesting dishes.

Cuban chicken and garlic, black beans and rice, mojito

As the owner of twelve chickens (and a rooster), I think of the chicken not merely as a plump, tidy ball of meat wrapped in Foster Farms plastic in the fridge, but also as a living animal scratching for food, rolling around in the dirt, resting in the sun. I can see them out the window as I write this, going about their business. More

Waste Not, Want Not

I have an almost cellular aversion to wasting food. I don’t know if it’s the result of the steady drumbeat of “There are children starving in China!” I heard as a kid when I wasn’t finishing a meal (and which I now use on my own children, substituting a non-specific “somewhere in the world” for China). Or whether it’s just because I hate to see things wasted.

Wilted veggies from the Skinny Girls fridge

Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before — I’ve written on this subject many times already in this blog. But it’s an issue that comes up often in my life, as I remind yet another dinner host to save the bones from the chicken they’ve just served to make a homemade stock. (Recipe: throw bones in a gallon of water with an onion, salt and bay leaf, cook until reduced by half.) More