Spaghetti Memoirs

Life Is All About Balance

Spaghetti Memoirs is a blog about my efforts to balance good/healthy foods, great drinks, work and exercise. All the recipes are gluten free and all the cocktails are amazing. 

National Doughnut Day Wishlist

"Hello, and welcome to the 2013 National Doughnut Day! "

That was the message that greeted me on my first sip of coffee looking through my news feed this morning. I had over 20 articles on the history of the doughnut, a few narratives on eating unique doughnuts - through I was surprised that VooDoo Doughnuts didn't make that cut- and i'm sure by the end of the day a spattering of doughnut recipes will make their way into the fold as well. 

So what will I do as a food blogger on this apparently joyous occasion? Be selfish. Rather than supply others with new knowledge on doughnuts, or recipes for gluten free doughnuts -BabyCakes is a great place for that by the way-  I am asking for a wish. Please figure out how to make a gluten free counut. 

There. I said it. The newest craze to hit the world of breakfast pastries is the cronut. Created in the New York bakery of Dominique Ansel this half-doughnut, half-croissant delight created a wave of excitement since the Friday it was released....and this gluten-free girl can not eat them!

So, again, on this day of national doughnut celebration I am wishing for the creation of the gluten free cronut. Not today, not even in the next week but sometime soon. If this time next year I can enjoy both the AMAZING gluten free doughnuts served at Per Se and a gluten free cronut I will be eternally grateful. Maybe even post a video demonstrating my gratitude. 

Any takers? 


Why Spaghetti Memoirs?

When starting this blog, more specifically when naming this blog, I had a few friend say 'that's great but aren't you allergic to gluten?  '

Why yes, yes I am. Regardless of that, spaghetti and I have a long standing history. Basically, spaghetti was the first real food that I fell in love with. Let me explain.

My History With Spaghetti: 

As a child, I had long wavy bright blonde hair to match my annoyingly sensitive light skin. It was always an uphill battle to make sure that my hair did not get into every mud puddle, finger paint, or cupcake I ate. Yes I ate all of those things. One night I gave my stepfather a run for his money in a futile battle: my platinum hair v. spaghetti. It had been a long day of running around by the time we got home. It was well past my bedtime but regardless of my drooping eye lids Lee knew I needed to eat something. So he gave me spaghetti. At the moment it was a good move on his part because he knew I would always eat spaghetti. Breakfast? Sure. Lunch? Sounds good. Dinner? Why not. Give me all the spaghetti I could eat, I’d still want more later.

This is slightly ironic considering that I later found out that I have a major intolerance to gluten. 

So there we were, me, my hair, and the bright red color of stainable spaghetti sauce. I started to dig in but my eyes began to droop. I was getting tired but I still had a plate of spaghetti left so I pushed on. Soon, I would take ‘breaks’ while chewing to let myself rest. This was a bad move. Those breaks turned into ‘resting my eyes’, which turned into slowing descending, face first, into my plate of red, squishy spaghetti. Kind of like a noodly, delicious pillow.

Lee eventually found me well into REM sleep in my spaghetti and had the horrible task of getting all the red sauce out of my hair that night. I chose to continue sleeping through this entire process. Think of trying to get a wet noodle to stand on end by holding it in the middle. While most of this night was a blur for me, I still remember exactly what I wanted for breakfast the next morning.

My Love Of Spaghetti

Spaghetti. A perfect combination of noodle and sauce that shows someone, somewhere in the universe wanted us – or maybe just me – to be happy. Noodles firm to the bite but cooked through topped with a tomato sauce that is acidic but seasoned enough to have a smooth and dynamic flavor. This may seem simple but is not achieved by many with the sauce being the difficult part. Plated it can look just like vibrant red tomatoes with oregano and hints of garlic. It only takes one batch of purely acidic, one-dimensional sauce, to realize that it is an art. Much like the characters in Good Fellas, it can be an all day experience requiring patience and precision. It is this patience, precision, and all day experience that made me fall in love with cooking. Those guys in Good Fellas have it right. Making Spaghetti is an experience. It's one of the few things in life where the journey adds to the destination. I have always loved spaghetti but after I made my first batch of sauce with my Dad -similar to the experience in Good Fellas- I realized that I loved cooking. 

With that, I hope you enjoy Spaghetti Memoirs. 

3 Ingredients For a Relaxed Travel Experience

I arrived at the terminal, bag in hand, ready to start my cross-country trip to Washington D.C. The company I work for has several clients out in the DC area and as such I usually have to go at least once a month to either talk to clients, speak, or just hang out with some cool people. This time I was also stopping in New Orleans for a conference, which would be my first time to the home of Oysters Rockefeller. Regardless of my excitement about visiting the restaurants of the French Quarter, I was a little bummed because I had been home for three weeks. My daily work schedule was as follows:

7:00-7:30 am: Wake up slowly and change into work clothes. Since I work from home this means I am usually wearing some form of running shorts and a shirt.
After 7:30 am: Bozley, my dog, waits patiently while I grind the coffee and start the water to make coffee. As I place the kettle on the stove Bozley instinctively goes toward the back door knowing that this is the time that he gets to go outside and then get fed. If he’s sneaky he’ll drag a tennis ball outside and I’ll throw a few rounds of fetch to start his day off right. Once Bozley is taken care of I finish putting the hot water in the coffee press and open my computer. From this point on I am working, writing, and triaging emails. You know, manager stuff.
How can you not LOVE that face?!?!

How can you not LOVE that face?!?!

Between 12:30 and 2:30: Bozley has completed his wicked post-breakfast nap and has decided he wants to go outside and play fetch again. At this time I also realize that I probably should eat as well otherwise my co-workers will start to refer to me in some nasty expletives. If it’s been a long day already cocktails may start here as well.
Between 4:00 and 6:00: My bestie decides her work day is done and heads over to the house with her pup Loreli. -She is super smarter and more adult than me and therefore she has to go to an office to work. From this point the night is started with cocktails. When we decide that we are hungry we throw a hodge podge of food together than can range from cauliflower tortilla tacos or macaroni and cheese depending on how many drinks we have had. Regardless, the night is filled with good food, laughing and hanging with pups. Even on the most stressful of days, this daily routine left me relaxed and always happy to be home.

Because of enjoying this routine for three weeks, the concept of waking up on eastern time, jumping into ‘business casual’ attire and running through my day hoping to pass something resembling a salad or gluten free pizza was not something I was completely looking forward to. To prepare I packed my newest Jeffrey Steingarten book and looked forward to good food and good company in New Orleans.

After walking into the airport I went up the escalator to a pleasant surprise. The security line was empty. Since I usually give myself at least an hour before boarding time, breezing through security with a smile and an e-ticket in less than five minutes left me with over an hour to kill before my plane started boarding. As  walked to my gate to sit and wait I passed a Vino Volo Ale House. It was 12 in the afternoon. Should I?

While not the food porn seen on most blogs, my samsung did an ok job. 

While not the food porn seen on most blogs, my samsung did an ok job. 

One look at “It Must’ve Been Something I Ate” and the decision was made. I was going to start my trip with a glass of Malbec, a bowl of marinated olives and a hilariously intelligent and slightly snooty food writer.

After the waiter took my order, and reluctantly asked to card me, I settled into my bar stool and let the world fade around me. The high stress couple traveling to Ohio no longer distracted me. The clean cut man and the boisterous woman next to him faded into the background as I started to read about Mr. Steingarten fishing for Toro somewhere outside of North Carolina (Jeffrey and I are not yet on a first name basis). It was marvelous. What felt like 10 minutes later turned out to be 60 and it was time to board my plane. As I headed to my gate I realized that regardless of the stress around me in the airport, I was relaxed and happy. I walked at a leisurely pace. I wasn’t annoyed when someone decided to just stop dead in her tracks two inches in front of me. I felt no need to elbow my way to the front of the line while boarding. My wine, olives and reading experience had helped me zen out and start my trip on a relaxed note. Once again, food and wine had saved the day. 

And then the guy next to me wanted to chat...