Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

…how much I absolutely adore the blog Cucina Nicolina?

I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this blog before. I’m such a loyal follower, sometimes I open my Cucina Nicolina RSS feed and just stare at it, hoping a new post will come up.

Reasons why it is awesome:

1. Amazing photographs of delicious food and fresh ingredients make you just want to marry this girl. And none of them look staged, but in fact, often with an abandoned fork, looking as if they were sitting in front of you on a table. Virtual desktop dining, if you will. It’s genius.

Photo courtesy cucina nicolina.

Photo courtesy cucina nicolina.

2. She lives in San Fran, one of my favorite cities in the world. I live vicariously through her, having always wanted to have a sunlit kitchen in an apartment there myself. Subsequently, if I were into girls and I did get the chance to ask for her hand, I wouldn’t be able to in that state (shame on you, Cali). Any tidbits she drops about her apartment, her neighborhood, and life in the Bay Area in general, are delectable morsels.

Marin County, photo courtesy cucina nicolina.

Marin County, photo courtesy cucina nicolina.

3.  Her beautiful writing. She is gifted like Hemingway, with apt descriptions of salty bites and cold Gin & Tonics and sunny afternoons and Sonoma landscape.

Last summer I ate a lot of chard for various reasons — mostly because it’s so damned good you’d be crazy not to but also because it helped smooth out my finicky stomach during a rough patch (break-ups, even if necessary, are usually never easy) when I didn’t feel like eating much of anything at all. These days I still eat a lot of my favorite leafy green but I’m happy to say it’s a more cheerful consumption-of; chard and I, well, I think we’re set for life for better or worse, through thick and thin, until death (or the end of the growing season) do us part and etc.

Read a few posts and I promise you, you’ll feel the same.

[All photos courtesy http://www.cucinanicolina.com.]

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One of Rob’s and my favorite dinners is seared filet, sliced thick, between two halves of a mini baguette with some mesclun salad. It’s unreal. The best part is flying by the seat of our Hanes’/Eberjey’s and making up a sauce to go along with it. If you know Wodehouses, you know the sauce is the whole point. And you’re okay with people licking plates at the dinner table.

There is a serious shortage of recipes for steak sandwiches. I found that any that we could make ended up being way better, anyway.

Rob at work.

Rob at work.

We’ve ranged from complex, bright green aiolis (served with cold steak sandwiches; perfect for using your leftovers) to straight-up barbeque, circling back to a cornichons/capers-based mayo. Tonight: a head-to-head competition of inventive saucy awesomeness. Wait—to be fair, we didn’t establish that it was a competition until I tasted mine and decided it was better. So I took it to the next level. I’m a little sister to a competitive big brother; this cannot be helped.

“So, Rob, were you thinking this would be, like, a competition?” I goaded.

“No,” (thinking it over) “is yours better or something?”

“Yes.” An evil smile over a blur of hands and spice jars.

“Ok, then, it’s a competition.”

I hadn’t accounted for the hand blender to start working again, so his consistency is definitely up to par. I like them both equally because they are totally different. You be the judge.


Mayo, chopped shallot, rosemary, Maille Dijon Originalle & Maille Old Style Whole Grain mustard, lemon juice, minced garlic, white truffle oil, and crumbled bleu cheese—all blended.


Mayonnaise, chopped white onion, superfine ground mustard, cayenne, a splash of Stubb’s beef marinade, a few red pepper flakes, and ground coriander seed.

Sandy on the right wins!!!

Sandy on the right wins!!!

Cast your votes here…

p.s. This dinner being enjoyed with a fabulous bottle of 2001 Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel. Holy guacamole!!!

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