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This is Us!

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

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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...

John's Personal Message

When I'm not lawyering, golfing, or imagining myself as the star of an 80's movie of some kind (more Maverick than McFly), I'm allocating time and deep thought towards my utter adoration for Italian fare.  And although I harbor a liking for all quality foods of various ethnic influences, it is Italian and Italian inspired dishes which really provoke my culinary enthusiasms.

I'm not a food critic or scholar, but I'm optimistic that you'll find my and Elana's reviews, recipes, and random spastic thoughts on this site to be helpful, understandable, and entertaining.  Also, I listen to this song every day as I dress for work, and I'm forever bitter about the Series Finale of Lost; a horrible - perhaps criminal - excuse for "closure" towards an otherwise beautiful and magical story.

Elana's Personal Message

I explode my ktichen (aka the Laboratorio Semi-Moderno) with cooking experiments on average once a week (think Bunson and Beeker from the Muppets). Fried pickles, homemade pasta, and pizza after pizza after pizza have all fallen victim to my culinary curiosity. And yet...family members, friends, occasional strangers and stray dogs (and sometimes the fire department) still find their way to my apartment, attracted by the enticing aromas emminating from the kitchen.

When I'm not cooking, eating or photographing food, I'm usually swimming, biking or running with my Triathlon Team, Full Throttle. Any time not devoted to these activities is usually spent listening to John wax poetical about his hair via gchat. And wondering what meal I would cook for Agents Mulder and Scully if I ever met them. I post all of these mental olympics on this blog for you to enjoy. My goal is to make you laugh, make you cry (with laughter), and make you a better all-round eater if I can.
Additional Blog Contributors/Characters

Mom - a.k.a. Marmo, Marlene - Mom is perhaps solely responsible for setting us on the right path towards our ultimate appreciation of fine Italian cuisine.  As kids growing up, she worked part time as a travel agent, but always found time to deliver a delicious home cooked dinner every night.  Today, Marmo owns and operates Gourmet Getaways, a business which organizes cooking and wine tours throughout Italy. Elana and I have both happily played the part as assistant tour guides during these voyages, and, when it comes to Italian food and culture, owe much of our adventurous, inquisitive side to her.

Dad - a.k.a. "The Box" - And on the opposite end of the culinary curiosity continuum lies "The Box", whose Frankie Valli blasting, spaghetti slurping, 3 a.m. cookie snacking habits still deserve their due respect in shaping our ultimate palates and views concerning Italian culture and fare.  An accomplished attorney of considerable intelligence, yet simple needs - pasta, naps, and the Jersey Shore - Dad's culinary preferences seldom stray from known tastes and hefty portioned plates.  Take Dad's temperature on Scipio Africanus' contributions to the Punic Wars and he'll beam with pride and suffocate you with impressive historical fact flinging.  But mention to Dad the idea of leaving the Garden State on a trip to Italy and he becomes paralyzed with fears of pedestrian exploration and lack of access to the Golf Channel.