It's no wonder that my favorite things to buy when I'm traveling are cheese-related. This cheese board from a small town in Puglia, called Ostuni, and I have yet to see another one that resembles it. I purchased something else while there, too, and its use is far less obvious than the cheese board's.
I've wanted to write about my Japanese ice cream spoons for years, but because I haven't been able to find them anywhere outside of Japan, it just didn't seem fair to rave about how they are the perfect spoons for eating ice cream, how my guests always love them, and how beautiful they are if you, the readers, couldn't buy a set of your own. But since we are talking about special travel souvenirs this week, now seems like the right time to share these spoons that can only be found in person, at a particular place.
I try to be a good house guest, especially when invited to stay at a friend's country home in Italy for a month, free of charge, with my three children. When my host, originally from South Carolina, expressed her sadness at her inability to find one of our un-official state foods in her new home, you better believe I tried to make it happen. Here's how I made pimiento cheese, from ingredients we found in a regular grocery store in the Italian countryside.
Sometimes, if you're traveling, and always, if you're a cheese fiend, bringing your own cheese is the way to go.
Whether you're going to the beach or the woods where cheese selection might be spotty or you're visiting your hometown with nary a cheese shop in sight, you might want to take note of these notes on how best to transport your little gems. You might be surprised at just how far you can bring your cheese.
Last August, I spent a relaxing week vacationing on North Carolina's Outer Banks with a friend (and fellow personal chef) and our husbands. Away from our work kitchen and surrounded by fresh seafood and summer's best produce, cooking was a real joy instead of part of the daily grind. No complicated menus, no stress, just a week of straightforward, satisfying meals made from scratch. The vacation kitchen is where easy-to-memorize recipes like this classic blue cheese dressing really shine.
Remember the whole controversy about Baby Gaga (since renamed Baby Googoo), the breast milk ice cream served by a London boutique? That was the work of Matt O'Connor and The Icecreamists, who have continued to provoke with their punk-inspired "vice creams," cocktails, sundaes, and other guilty pleasures, as they call them. I was ready to roll my eyes at their deliberately outrageous approach, but after flipping through their new cookbook, I'm more hungry than shocked.
It doesn't often get swelteringly hot in Seattle. Even in the heart of the summer, we'll have a few record-setting days, but rarely more than a handful. But when I visit my mom's cabin in upstate New York, the marriage of heat and humidity can often make for pretty uncomfortable days and a loss of appetite — which is why we always have this cool, easy yogurt dip at the ready.
I was holed up in a strange apartment, my legs were swollen and I was quivering with pain. The sweltering heat pulsed from wall to floor to ceiling without mercy or regret. It wasn’t just hot. It was an inferno. I had been in Italy for mere hours and was already living out the trip from hell.