Following the footsteps of Celia (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) who started this party now hosted by our friend Maureen (The Orgasmic Chef), I invite you for a small virtual tour of our kitchen.

Starting with gifts, this month I have some pretty special ones….

…from our friend Dr. SL, fantastic selected goodies he got in a recent trip to Paris: truffles galore! Truffle mayo, truffle mustard, and truffled salt.  What have I done to deserve such great friends?



…from my beloved husband, a surprise gift for Mother’s Day…


When I opened the package.. here’s what I found: a huge platter, heavy-duty, very very beautiful… it makes any salad into a stunning meal!


He keeps showering me with gifts from this artist, Mary Rose Young…  How about this for cuteness in coffee cup format?


Or these adorable salad plates? Each a little different from the other… Irresistible!

Our dear friends Karl and Virginia left a package in my mailbox at work…  Inside I found such a thoughtful gift for our home! It’s in our kitchen, where it definitely belongs…


But, I can give gifts too!  This one I gave to Phil just because…  He loves to have a black and tan after playing golf, and this tool makes a perfect one.




In our kitchen…


A very delicious apple cake made for one of the receptions we hosted last month.  The recipe, already in the blog, is the most popular in the site!  And for good reason, it is wonderful and so simple to make…

In our kitchen…


A rolling-pin I ordered all the way from Poland, after reading this post from Mimi… could not resist it. Stay tuned for a post on my first attempt at Polish Sugar Cookies.

In our kitchen…

heart2A nice heart on my morning cappuccino, made by the resident barista… I married the right man, obviously…

In our kitchen…


My new addiction: Go-Chu-Jang sauce, the Korean darling of the food world these days. I resisted as much as I could, but when I saw the product for sale in our very own grocery store, I said what the heck, and brought it home. I love the paste so much I also bought the sauce which is like catchup on steroids.  I used the paste on sautéed ground beef for a flavorful lunch. If you are like me and resist all sorts of trends, do yourself a favor and cave to this one.

In our kitchen…


Canned tomatillos and canned yellow tomatoes, both products bought with specific recipes in mind.  As soon as they went into my pantry I lost track of the recipes.  The one using canned tomatillos I suspect was in a cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen, but the yellow tomatoes?  I am clueless. Clue-less.  If anyone suffers from the same type of culinary amnesia, let’s have a virtual hug…


This time our dogs are silent.

It is with a very heavy heart that I share the sad news that Chief was put to sleep on May 26th, a decision that crushed us, but had to be made. We will always remember him at the top of his game, rarely sitting still for a photo. In this shot (Summer 2001), his personality shines. He had just spotted a squirrel on the corner of the backyard, and one nanosecond after the picture was taken he was gone so fast our eyes could barely follow him.

SPC copy
In my mind, the two inseparable buddies are finally together again…



February 05th, 1999 – May 26th, 2016

Chocolate Toffee Banana Bread

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, June 2014

THREE YEARS AGO:  Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

FOUR YEARS AGO: Baked Coconut and “The Brazilian Kitchen”

FIVE YEARS AGO: Honey-Glazed Chicken Legs

SIX YEARS AGO: French-Style Rolls


Today Chief turns 15 years old!  He was just a tiny, incredibly cute puppy when I got him, but his strong personality was already evident. Whenever I corrected him with a loud and firm “NO!” he would furiously bark back at me, much like a teenager challenging the orders of a parent. To celebrate such an important milestone in the life of our dear four-legged friend,  let me share  a few pictures.

chief11This is perhaps my favorite shot of Chief ever!  Before getting married to Phil, I lived in a small house, my backyard separated from the neighbor’s by a simple wire fence. My neighbor also had a dog, a female Springer Spaniel called Maria. Chief used to squeeze through the holes of that fence very easily to play with her. At some point, I traveled to attend a meeting, and left Chief with a friend.  When I came back 10 days later, he had grown so much that passing through the holes was impossible! The photo captured well his expression of frustration faced with a reality he could not quite comprehend. 😉

Chief2He loved to eat his treats laying over the lawn. But you can more or less read his thoughts… “Why are you taking my picture?  I am not sure I should allow it!

chiefp~1All those treats gave him strong jaws!  As an adult dog, he had no problem to deal with leftovers from a pulled pork.   The bone ended up clean as a whistle… And, in case you are wondering about that bulky thing on his collar, it is a gadget he had to wear all the time to prevent him from digging under the solid wood fence in our home in Oklahoma. Quite a digger!

CrzyMidgt3He loved playing with the hose… Still does, but his jumping days are over…

mudchiefAnd loved playing in mud almost as much. This particular photo was taken 45 minutes after a bath, and almost caused me to go into cardiac arrest.

DSCN1279Always able to find the best spot in any room…

compositeHe loved his buddy Pits, and we know his life has never been quite the same ever since we had to say goodbye to our beloved dalmatian. Pits had the patience of a saint. Seriously.

Happy Birthday, Chief, you will always be a puppy for me!


ONE YEAR AGO: Sesame and Flaxseed Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Green Beans with Miso and Almonds

THREE YEARS AGO: Saturday Morning Scones