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We are here to bring you our life through food. Especially Italian food. You can learn more about us here.

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Saturday
Jul122014

I Don't Know Where We Are Going, But We Are Going There

The title line of this post was first used during a hair-raising, moutainous French biking experience a few years back. Since then, it's become one of my favorite lines for life. And now, I am going to apply it to this blog.

John and I started this blog as a happy place — a breakfast nook on the internet where we could discuss our passion for Italian food (perhaps redeeming Italian-American fare), run around like maniacs in search of cannoli and pizza, and discuss our father’s fascination with Diet Orange Crush.

But more than that, the blog was about our lives. Food feeds our bodies and also our souls, so we thought of the blog as a reflection of who we are as people, not just what we choose to put in our mouths.

But life changes, and sometimes things get a little out of hand. John's been focusing on his career (and his golf game), and I've been engulfed in mine (and spending about 239071092 weekly hours on my bike). Where is the time for blogging, people?? I just don't know.

John is currently on hiatus from blog posting. But I'm going to be throwing you some bones once in a while. It's going to be different around here, brace yourselves and don those safety goggles I'm always promoting.

Here's a little explanation of where I'm coming from and where I'm going: 

I consider food an art form. Preparation, cooking, presentation… Every ingredient that is used, every fork that accompanies a dish adds to the piece. It’s about the entire effect. And I cook and eat with an eye toward design.

Please click on the photo to see my friend Marite's beautiful pottery (some photos courtesy of yours truly!)

I’ve been a graphic designer for 14 years. Some of that time has been spent as an art director and creative director. I truly love what I do. I’ve always been an artsy kind of gal. I like throwing fonts, colors and textiles together. When I was a young, I would set up my own still life situations: cereal boxes, salt shakers, and wooden spoons, pilfering from my mom’s kitchen. This was perhaps my first foray into combining food and art.

Now I get paid to do this. How cool is that?? It's actually bananas. I've been working on my own for over a year now trying to focus in on where all this is going. I don't have that answer yet. What I DO have, however, is a ready-made spot on the interwebs for all this food and design experimentation (often accompanied by my wack-a-doodle thoughts on same). So, I am going to use this blog as a place to demo my work, and hopefully solicit reader reactions. Because I love reactions! Good ones...

And if John ever feels like pulling his head out of his golf bag and throwing up a post, so be it. In the meantime...let's get on with the show!

Also,

Xo,

Elana (and John...sort of...)

Wednesday
Jul092014

The Cap'n

Saturday
Jun212014

My Life As a Pie

Monday
Mar172014

Staying Vertical — A Tribute to Mitch Leigh

A while back I encountered an older gentleman at my physical therapist's office. We would often chat while waiting for our appointments.

One day he paused mid conversation, looked at me and said, "Sweetheart, if I were 30 years younger, I would show you a good time, but now all I can offer you is conversation." We both laughed.

And so converse we did.

I came to learn his name was Mitch and that he was a composer, though of what kind of music, I didn't know. He learned that I was a triathlete and liked to play with my food.

Finally, he told me about The Man of La Mancha, Yul Brenner and his real estate ventures. I also learned about his children and family.

When asked how he was feeling by anyone in the office, he would look them squarely in the eye and say, "I'm vertical!" That brightened the moods of everyone in the office.

I adopted the phrase and started saying it all the time. To me, it encapsulated the best reality check. Yes, it might be a shitty day. The music may not be flowing, the legs not going anywhere fast, but I was vertical so, you know, world's smallest violin—the rest is just details.

I only saw him on occasion, but he was always positive, thoughtful and interested in chatting. I began hoping I would run into him during my PT sessions and looked forward to his stories.

My physical therapist texted me today to tell me he had passed away. I felt an odd sadness at the news. Odd because I didn't know him that well, but he had touched my life in a comparatively large way with his outlook.

Staying vertical.

And so, I dedicate this recipe collection to Mitch Leigh. It's a collection of past recipes that I think fall in line with his theme...staying vertical, remembering what's important in life and being grateful for all that good stuff.

Rest in peace, Mr. Leigh

Potatoes for Rocky

Tiramisu

A Post About Toast

Forbidden Donuts

Kitchen Sink Granola

Smoothies

Apple Pie for John Locke

Thursday
Feb132014

Be a Man and Celebrate Valentine's (Video)

Pizza Drives Me Crazy from John Iaciofano on Vimeo.

 

This week contains the wildly controversial holiday: Valentine's Day.  For many men, V-Day is often coupled with some sort of negativity.  It could be owing to a paralyzing inability to make plans with your honey for fear of underwhelming her expectations.  Or maybe it's because you're just not an emotional type of guy.  Nothing wrong with that, Clint Eastwood.  Perhaps you don't even like your girlfriend/wife/significant other.  I've been there, bro.  Even still, maybe you are on the other end of the spectrum in that you are single, and Valentine's Day makes you feel lonely, depressed, and susceptible to crying at strange events, like that time over Christmas when you teared up after viewing that awesome Dick's Sporting Goods Commercial.

Fellow men, fear not.  Your lady, or lack thereof, may indeed be screwing with your ability to process rational thought, but regardless of your parallels with any of the aforementioned criteria, you indeed have the ability to enjoy this Valentine's Day in some way shape or form.  Simply find what/who it is you love, and celebrate the freaking hell out of it.  It doesn't need to be a person, per se, just something you can't live without -  like Sam Malone's relationship with Cheers.   Let me give you an example from my own life.

One thing I love in this world? Pizza.  I love it so much that I often google image pictures of melted mozzarella blobs against the brilliant red backdrop of crushed San Marzano tomatoes.  I love it so much, I've written poetry about it.  And, lately, I love it so much, I'm willing to publicly profess my love for my favorite pizzeria (DiFara's in Brooklyn - previously reviewed on the blog and truly one of the world's greatest pizzerias) by featuring it in a self made imovie-music video to the tune of, what else, "She Drives Me Crazy" by the Fine Young Cannibals.  The above video is how I (prematurely) celebrated Valentine's Day, and I could not have been happier.  And my date was Elana, so there were no awkward good-byes, or fretting about eating my six slices to her two (true story). 

So, Happy Valentine's Day, everybody.  Go out and give that special someone or something your emotional "all" - however "crazy" it may be.