Archive for the ‘Foodie’ Category


The five minute faux foodie must remember but a few things in society: deportment; etiquette; and a few useful phrases. We will briefly offer suggestions that may help if you are one of the many who aspire to this mantle.

Deportment: At the start of each day you must train yourself to put food first in mind. All other thought must be pushed to the side for later thought. What you will wear is not important nor are any business meetings. The weather is important only in that your menu will be planned upon it in certain ways. Sex is not important. It can wait till you’ve had a foaming cup of cappuccino and some chocolate. This should take you one minute each day to push other thoughts aside. Train well. As with all things, the training will prove well worth it!

Etiquette: Foodies come in various groups. You will find those who fill their time with foams and exquisite artistry at great expense. Others like to cook for themselves. Some groups focus solely on fast food or on pizza in foodie ways. Do not shudder in pain or disdain when you meet a foodie from a group other than yours. Remember, you are all foodies no matter how it is expressed! It may take one solid minute to learn to hide the sense of alienation you have upon meeting a foodie from a different group. One minute per day. It must be done.

Useful phrases: These change each year and must be learned. ‘Sustainable’ is your primary concern this year. Other words important to bandy about: ‘local’; ‘organic’; ‘grass-fed’; ‘sel de fleur’; ‘sourcing’; ‘porky bits’; and of course ‘exquisite’ is always useful. Learn your terms. One minute per day. Non non non! It is of course ‘fleur de sel’. Forgive me, my mind wandered – something about chocolate was at the edges, eating up all other thought!

Organic? Or not: The philosophy of being a foodie is one to come to terms with or you will be unable to carry yourself with the proper rigor. Each foodie must decide for themselves whether ‘foodie’ is a natural thing to be – something quite fine and natural that organically grew from the soil of the fertile cooks and diners before us or whether the ‘foodie’ is something created as a improved human being by, of course, the improved human beings who created it as a concept and way of being. This will take one more minute each day of study and thought.

If You Must Cook: If you must cook as a five minute faux foodie, remember to keep it simple. If you can buy the best and just put an expensive knife to it then lay it out nicely on a plate, that is the best idea. The financially-challenged foodie will have to find other means that take no time. Go to grains. Lentils, green French lentils, are always a good idea. Make sure you leave the container within sight for your guests when they walk by the kitchen. One minute for menu planning, if you must cook.

Dear readers, I do hope that those who aspire to the five minute faux foodie life will take heart from these modest injunctions and will jump in the pond with all the other foodies! You are worth it, even if you only have five minutes a day and are faux! Do not give up this chance, for after all – what else is there to do?

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You don’t need to be a rock star, neighborhood butcher. Really. We loved you just as you were before you were a celebrity.

Meow meow meow meow.

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The Saveur 100 is a quite marvelous list of Things Foodie. If you think it impossible to try all one hundred in a year for reasons of time or money you might be right.

But more important, in choosing which ones you really should try – is your horoscope sign. The food you choose must fit you or quelle horreur! I know from my own experience that chipmunk is not made for cats of my sign. Let’s not go into details.

The fact is, if you do not listen to the stars, the same thing may happen to you! The foods you dine upon need balance your system, and the constellations tell us how to do that. Or, rather, they tell me!

It is approaching dusk now, and I do not have much time to dictate this report.

Aries: With your dominant keyword of “I Am” co-residing with the element of fire, ‘Everyday Heroes‘ by James Villas (#26 Saveur 100) will cool your flames and salve your need for a show-off dish that also warms the tummy. The recipe for Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Raclette, Herbs and Prosciutto is a masterpiece that can be quickly prepared so that you needn’t waste much of your precious time, yet you will be looked upon by others as a superhero-style cook.

Taurus: You are represented by the words “I Have”, Taurus – and the earth is your element. Mix it up a little bit with this ‘Foundations of Flavor‘ entry by Clifford Wright – a well-respected author. Harissa (#35 Saveur 100) will get you popping and sprightly, which is always an excellent thing for a Taurean to aspire to, particularly in the middle of winter when the warm quilt on the couch may be beckoning so very much.

Gemini: “I Think” is who you are, Gemini. At least we think that is who you are. Your element is air, of course. Anyone can see that. To your airy nature it will be important to add oil, from ‘Pantry Essentials’. Tourangelle Roasted Pistachio Oil (Saveur # 15) will have you sliding merrily through life as you drizzle it upon hot boiled baby potatoes (so cute!). This oil has an ‘intensely nutty flavor’. Well, so do you, dear Gemini – and a delightfully nutty flavor indeed!

Cancer: Cancer, your keyword is “I Feel”. Funny for a crab, but nonetheless there it is. As a water sign you will need an anchor to set your sights upon this year in what you eat. ‘One-Dish Feasts‘ offers this in the Soulful Supper (Saveur #84). Perloo is the name of the dish. It is a close relative to jambalaya. Please don’t worry about the shrimp in the recipe. They did not feel a thing. Neither did the kielbasas or the little grains of rice. A sturdy dish for a superficially sturdy zodiac sign who nonetheless prefers even a bit more sturdiness, often.

Leo: Lionhearted Leo, my cousin. Purrrrrr. Fire is your element. Your keyword is “I Will”. Your sensual nature will be well-fed by ‘Poet of the Everyday‘ John Thorne (Saveur 100 #24). After checking your mane hair one last time in the mirror, do run out and buy a copy of any of his books. Your lion-heart will be filled with just the sort of things you like: ideas, words, and to-do lists from the ideas you find.

Virgo:I Analyze”. Yes indeedy you do, Virgo. Mew mew. Yet as an earth sign you also are quite serious about proceeding with giving form to what you analyze and decide upon. Would you like to make your own ketchup, dear Virgo? It could be the most perfect of ketchups. You could make it exactly and precisely the way you, and only you, expect ketchup to be. ‘Do It Yourself’ Homemade Ketchup (Saveur 100 #37) is a good place to start. Undoubtedly it will not be quite right, the recipe. But after all, that is what you are here for – to correct it! Purrrrrrr.

Libra: Air sign Libra, your words are “I Balance”. Goddess knows you try to. It’s quite possible that you may need to go shopping in order to do so. ‘American Bounty’ (along with me, bien sur meow meow) will tell you exactly where to go: ‘Pomegranate’ (Saveur 100 #79) in Brooklyn. They have every. single. thing. you would ever. want to eat. And besides, it’s in Brooklyn and we all know that all Librans simply adore Brooklyn.

Scorpio: Water sign Scorpio who says “I Desire”.  There is something within the Scorpio spirit that calls for Sofrito (Saveur 100 #62) by Oswald Rivera. A ‘Foundation of Flavor’, it is serious enough for you to take it seriously yet it will lighten your sometimes world-weary sense that nothing is as it really should be.

Capricorn: “I Use” is Capricorn. Bound to the earth, there must be something found to serve the purpose and serve it in the correct manner. Yet the wind calls the Capricorn out to the wild. ‘Great Home Cooks’ may answer the call with ‘Swedish Venison Burgers’ (Saveur 100 #28). It is worth gnawing upon.

Aquarius: As an air sign whose keyword is “I Know”, there is not much that gets by you, dear Aquarius! You will gather friends and enemies alike around the table while making complete and full annotation of any juicy bits of gossip that feed your curiosity. To do this in an exemplary manner, you will need a ‘One-Dish Feasts’ entry. ‘Lasagne’ – Golden Standard Vegetarian Lasagne even! fits your needs to a T. (Saveur 100 # 36). It will make everyone, including you, very happy.

Pisces: “I Believe” is your keyword, water your element. One might think that sweet as you already are, Pisces, more sugar would not be needed. But I assure you, the stars are calling your name with this sugar. ‘Pantry Essentials’ has an ‘India Tree Sparkling Sugar’ (Saveur 100 #4). It comes in different colors (the one shown is turquoise!) and it is even crackly. Which you should like a whole lot. Purrrrrrr. Rrrrp?

Twilight is here. I must go. Remember, let the stars lead you to your destiny. Whatever it is. Whatever it may ask you to put in your mouth.

I am a cat. I know these things.


I am Moira’s mother. Prrrrrp. She is right. You must listen to the stars.


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How our shoes define us! (Maybe even moreso than our haircuts? Arguable.)

Link to the online boutique of Jean-Paul Hevin, Master Choclatier

The feminist in me growls at this shoe. The image, the pain, the everything! The girl in me purrs at this shoe. My god. Or rather my goddess. How gorgeous. The chef in me bows in deep admiration at this shoe. My highest accomplishment in chocolate work was a chocolate cabbage (which is rather simple to make, if anyone wants to know). And the chocolate-lover in me wants to take a big bite of this shoe, if only I could dare to!

There was an old woman
Who lived in a shoe;
She had so many children,
She didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth,
Without any bread.
She whipped them all soundly,
And sent them to bed.

No, this was not the shoe of the old woman in that nursery rhyme.

Poverty is a hurtful thing. And those who can not afford chocolate shoes at this time, with all the careening power of the information superhighway slamming at them in every arena of life that they must do so, that they should do so – may be hurting right now.

Strangely, this hurt can come not from lack of anything really important or necessary but merely from the comparisons made between ‘them’ and ‘the Joneses’.

I know of no old woman who whips their children but I do know of a man who hits his wife at this time of year. He is angry. The anger is brought on by the season.

The season has its beauties, but every beautiful thing has a flip side.

I hope that nobody reading this (and nobody not reading this, for that matter!) has let the flip side bite them.

Chocolate shoes are fantastic things. But even better is peace of mind.

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If I can’t have too many truffles, I’ll do without truffles.

Penny-pinching has infiltrated every part of life if one takes as generic starting-point that of Colette and her crowd.

Over-truffled turkeys are Out. A hint of truffle oil, disparagingly dabbed here and there accompanied by a bit of heavy breathing, is In.

Trips to the Continent for months on end, scraping and bowing while dining with le Compte and his bevy of mistresses, are Out. Dining at home and worrying over how to stretch the untruffled turkey bones into a decent stock for gravy, are In.

But we’ll always have Paris.

After all, there is Le Monde online, and there is le blog attached to it.

It’s the In thing to do. Just imagine all the energy use in the food system you’ve saved!

Enfin. Clickey here for Clin d’oeil gourmand. You will be transported, tout de suite! a Paris.


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Holiday gift-giving. Three little words.

How often two little words of response come to mind!

It’s funny how gifts (meant to be things of grace) can become more like things of measurement.

And when measuring begins, in comes arithmetic.


‘Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,’ the Mock Turtle replied, ‘and the different branches of Arithmetic – Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.’

Nevertheless, like lemmings, we must persevere. The path must be followed! ~ the race is on and hopefully it will not lead over the cliff.

Here are some ideas for things to put in boxes under the tree. They just may bring delight. It’s even possible they might end up being the lucky gifts not destined for the Dreaded Closet of the To Be Re-Gifted.

Mathematically, from the most expensive to the least:

1. A pair of MBT shoes. Happy feet make happy cooks. There is no shoe on earth that makes happier feet. Granted, one has to plan one’s other clothes around these shoes rather than trying to fit them in with most any usual outfit one would want to wear or risk looking like Yertle the Turtle, but it is worth it. The shoe for kitchen people, without question.

2. A huge electric griddle with warmer pots attached along the sides to melt fondue-y things. There is one on Amazon which is designed for eight people. Just imagine the elbow-bumping, cheese drips, sibling bickering, and friendly angling for the best spot on the griddle for one’s personal skewer this electronic marvel could inspire!

3. A stacked insulated bento thingie to bring lunch into work. Fashion-forward foodie, YEAH! Plus very practical and wonderful.

4. The Nanny Ogg cookbook. I’m sure I don’t have to explain this.

5. A collection of various misos, wrapped in a basket. Smart and useful, inspiration-oriented.

6. Pismaniye (Floss Halvah). Heaven.

7. Edible Gold Leaf. Nice stocking stuffer.

Seven ideas.

If none of them work, the only other thing I can think of is to put together a Sauerbraten Kit.

I bet they wouldn’t dare re-gift that.

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Moira Tuscanaro

Moira Tuscanaro

Catty Corner with Moira Tuscanaro

As a cat, I must say I admire Gwyneth Paltrow. She is cool, elegant, sleek, and can even smile like one of us – which we cats like to see. And she can act, which is so very much like us too!

Today I learned there is more to Gwyneth than just these things to admire. People Magazine bellowed out the headline below with a

thorough article to follow

Gwyneth Paltrow Just Says ‘No’ to Personal Chefs

I have nothing against personal chefs, myself. I’ve even known a few! They have been kindly sort of people, always carrying food about here and there. But to “Just Say No to Personal Chefs” is a lifestyle choice ( of course we cats do not have lifestyles we merely have lives and nine of them to boot) and lifestyle choices must! be respected.

Then I happened across even more current news about Gwyneth!

News about her life (and lifestyle!) is everywhere – and honestly, I can see why. The New York Times reports that not only does Gwyneth now have a job talking about food while driving all over Spain. . . . but that she even got to be on the Oprah show to let everyone know about this fun activity!!!

Ms. Paltrow, the 35-year-old star of films like “Shakespeare in Love,” was admitted to the group, and the show, “Spain … on the Road Again,” is already a game-changer for public television in terms of attention. Even Ken Burns, PBS’s biggest star, didn’t get a segment on “Oprah” for his epic World War II documentary series last year; Ms. Paltrow and Mr. Batali, however, nabbed an entire hour of exercise talk and Spanish cooking on Wednesday.

All this may not be understandable to some of you women reading.

You may be asking “How does she do all the cooking for the family as she tells us in the first story (and all without a personal chef!) yet also travel around the world at the exact same time doing television shows and talk show performances?”

You may even be saying to yourself “Why is it that I struggle with finding the time to even do the grocery shopping and make the family meal each day when I am not even traipsing across Europe with a couple of old bald guys getting paid good money to be filmed while we talk, laugh together, and eat things???

You may be wondering how this all can be.

As a cat, I do not wonder.

I know how to be in two places at the same time. My mistress will vouch for me on this one. I can be laying my decorative fur all over her clothes while at the same exact time, not be found anywhere at all, if she is looking for me. It is a talent.

And I am even willing, as Gwyneth is, to travel across Europe being the singularly attractive one wherever I go. As we cats so often are.

For I am a Cat and this is our way of things.

Gwyneth apparently has discovered our way of things. I admire that.

But really though I am not sure whether to purr to meow.

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A 2006 article from Discover Magazine discusses This (and that) on molecular gastronomy, how to cook the perfect egg, and more. Two years later it may be, but this is still an excellent article.

The confounding of molecular gastronomy with a sort of hipster cuisine drives even a patient man like This a little crazy. Non, non, non: Molecular gastronomy isn’t a cooking style, he insists. “We shouldn’t confuse science with technology. Molecular gastronomy is only the science part. It asks: How does something work? What is the mechanism? The application of that knowledge is the cooking part, and that’s technology. Cooking is a technique”—his voice softens—”combined with art.” He adds, “Here in the lab, we do the science part—experiments.

A fine distinction made, but an important one. 🙂

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A Mad Lib in Real Life?

A Mad Lib in Real Life?

What a year this is! Not only is it the Smurf’s 50th birthday . . . not only is it Paddington Bear’s 50th birthday (reminder to self: must make some marmalade! 🙂 )  . . . it is Mad Libs 50th birthday also.

If you’ve never played Mad Libs, your life has been missing something very important.

Silliness is what it has missed, in bucketfuls.

I discovered Mad Libs the year I was twelve. My best friend and I played it every day, inbetween practicing “Gibberish” (which is a language something like Pig Latin but even better!).

The idea came to me a while ago that Foodie Mad Libs would be a wonderful thing. Food and laughing are both very good things, so why not? There is no actual Foodie Mad Libs published (as of yet! hint hint to the Mad Libs guys) but I did find a site online where you can fill in some arbitrary words and end up with a story on food that (if you’ve done it right) will be hilarious.

Here’s the site. I played several of the stories today (Burp!; The Missing Food Mystery; Simply Delicious; and Super Salad), and loved it.

Here’s the original Mad Libs site (hey Indiana Jones you’re looking good!), with lots of information about one of the most wonderful additions to humor and pop culture that was ever invented (IMHO).

Have fun! And never forget to play with your food.

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* July 12, 2005 Moira Tuscanaro‘s Cue-b’s for the Week (Post #3 eGullet Literary Smackdown Winners Round 25)

* September 25, 2005 Moira Tuscanaro Foodie Cat-Astrologer Dines Upon the Celebrity Chef Originally posted on eGullet during the same time as this topic, Moira’s horoscopes received a good response from readers. Unfortunately these astrologic notes were quickly deleted by admin for not being about food at all and for being selfish. (Note: Said Admin has now gone on to blog about restaurants to dine in, cooking, and other things along with the personal topic of obesity and diabetes.)

* September 30, 2005  The Amateur Gourmet – Food Astrology

* Date of Posts Below N/A

AOL Horoscopes Snack Food by Sign

iVillage – Your Astrological Food Personality Quiz

Astrology.com Foodscopes Blog

If you know of other online food/astrology/horoscope links, please do let us know so we can add it to the compendium. One never knows when one might need a little help from the stars above in any way – even with food. 🙂

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The quiz is “from” the F Word. Not “with” the F Word. But do as you please.

I scored 14. But that was my first try and it’s only my first cup of coffee and I’m sleepy.

A link to the game (from BBC Channel 4 online) is here.

An example of sort of questions in the quiz is below. The player has three lives in which to gather points.

Surely you can beat my score. 🙂

What is unusual about the famous Barcelona restaurant, Mim?

*It is a nudist restaurant
*The waiters mime
*You have to cook your own food
*There is no menu

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When you eat something delicious, do you say it was quite palletable? Some people do. They write of their palettes (a thing which supposedly is measuring and analyzing the tastes entering their mouths). I see it written this way fairly often.

Did they stick the artist tool in there?

Or could it just be BAD SPELLING?

I haz a palate.

I haz a palate.

I haz a palate too!

I haz a palate too!

Nope, no palettes in there.

Good doggies. 🙂


From msn encarta online dictionary:

pal·ate [ pállət ] (plural pal·ates)
1. roof of mouth: the roof of the mouth, which separates it from the nasal cavity. It consists of a bony hard palate at the front and a muscular soft palate at the rear.
2. sense of taste: a personal sense of taste and flavor
3. aesthetic taste: intellectual or aesthetic tastes or sensibilities
4. botany part of flower: the lower projection of a flower such as the snapdragon, divided into two lips

Spelling Note
palate, palette, or pallet? Do not confuse the spelling of palate, palette, and pallet, which sound similar. A palate is the roof of the mouth, or a personal sense of taste, as in the soft palate, dishes to please all palates. A palette or pallet is a board for an artist’s paints, or the colors available on a computer display. As well as meaning “an artist’s palette,” pallet also denotes a tray on which to stack loads, a board on which to dry ceramics, a tool with which to mix clay, or a straw-filled mattress.

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I haz hungree. Quik.

I haz hungree. Quik.

Several years ago a book came out titled “1000 Places You Must See Before You Die”. Then there was another book titled “100 Things You Must Do Before You Die”. And now there is a new book titled “1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die”.

I love the idea of these books. How wonderful to consider that someone would take the time to write a list for me! I love lists. They sort things out so well. On paper, anyway.

But now I have a problem. What am I supposed to do? What book am I supposed to read and follow first? After all, they all hint that I will die. And that worries me. “When will I die?,” I want to ask them. It makes a difference. Should I travel? Get spiritual? Sort my sock drawer? Or eat?

I like these books. And am particularly interested in this last one, which offers not only 100 things I must do (before I die); not only 1000 things I must do (before I die); but actually 1001 things I must do (before I die). A whole bonus thing to do!

Thank you.

Obviously I must get cracking. No time to waste.

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In this article about a (mute) swan that I found in a rubbish free paper that someone had left on a rain sodden table outside a Manchester bar, the interviewee claims to hear the sound of quacking outside. However, swans don’t quack on account they are swans and not ducks so someone is lying and I don’t like it one bit. Needless to say I am furious.

This news is from squacco and it must be said I agree with her. Like mutton for lamb, swans for ducks simply does not work and it is an appalling idea. It raises my hackles. Or it would if I had them.
Nobody serves swan anymore that I know of except for one small famous college over the pond. And it’s my feeling they do it mostly for the feathers.

If you’re looking for something motivatingly healthy to read this weekend about food, Clean Eating is out – it is the second issue of this new magazine, and it is very good. Ellie Krieger (who we mentioned earlier this week) is a contributor. You can get a taste at their beautiful website, just click here.

I wonder what ever happened in this town in Spain – from a story dated June 6, 2000 in Salon:

In two years, the northern Spanish towns of Villabilla de Burgos and Alcala de Gurrea will be running on artichokes. No kidding!

According to a Reuters report, the towns plan to burn giant, 10-foot-high artichokes at their twin power stations to convert the thorny vegetables to electricity.

Any guesses?

Back on Earth As We Know It, Men’s Health with their ongoing compendium of “Eat This Not That” offers yet another list up to the world: 125 Best Supermarket Foods.

Ladies and gentlemen, rev your appetites—and steer your shopping carts toward the delicious staples of a healthy diet. We scoured the grocery aisles and chose the most reliable basics and the best secret ingredients that will improve your diet and take your cooking up a notch—all in one trip to the supermarket!

God it sounds exciting! Rev rev.

In “the best thing I’ve read all week” category lives something by Rachel Laudan. A snippet to taste:

Sustainability. It’s up there with motherhood and apple pie, who could be against something so eminently desirable. Yet the fact is that we have no analysis of what is sustainable and what is not. Assuming that if it’s small and organic it’s sustainable won’t do.

Some of the topics Rachel writes on, from her blog:

Big issues in food history. Does America have a cuisine? What is a cuisine anyway? What are regional cuisines? Is it possible to eat locally and why would anyone want to? What about servants?

Big issue in food politics. Basically I think that for all its problems, there’s never been safer, tastier food. So why is that? What are we doing to keep it so? What about all the naysayers and their doom and gloom?

Not only can she write, she has the academic background to back it up and even better, the woman is brilliant. 🙂

If you’re still hungry just click on the YouTube video below. It’s possible you may never be hungry again.

Enjoy your week-end!

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MoiraCatty Corner with Moira Tuscanaro

I’ve been planning what my mistress should wear this week over the week-end. My method is to choose what I like to see her in then find a way to lay upon everything else, leaving as many of my lovely cathairs as possible upon them. It has to be done secretly and at the last moment so that she has no option but to wear what I’ve chosen for her. Purrrrrr. It’s a fine, cat-like activity.

In between this activity (which can be quite vigorous and tiring) I looked at some photos of the last expedition we made to the grocery store, myself with my mistress and several of her people-friends. They took me along as naturally! they value my opinions about food. They need my advice as what to buy.

I must tell you those girls can spend just too much time in front of the purple cauliflowers musing about what it is and how to use it. Stuff and nonsense. Nobody needs a purple cauliflower and I tell them so. Meow.

Sadly, you can not see me . . . for the photographer did not know how to aim his camera at a real star. But I am there, down close to the floor. That market did have very clean floors – I only had to stop once for a good washing-up the whole time.

You may notice that nobody looks too happy. It wasn’t the cause of the market! That market was wonderful- they were offering little bites of ham at the deli! Sadly though we’d stopped at Burger King on the way and the guy at the window must have had a bad case of passive-aggression for he refused to give us more than one ketchup packet each and surely you realize the bad karma that spreads. I feel deeply sad even now, thinking of it! Mew. Mew.

Back to work here – there are more clothes to be sorted and I am the only one with the cat-hairs to lay upon them.

Vogue Paris October 2007 Le Gout de Robes photographed by Steven Klein Credit: thefashionspot.com

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