This is Us!

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


Something Simple – Avocado Bruschetta

It's Friday, and I've declared Friday, the "Something Simple" Day. It is also the last day of our SUMMER BLOW-OUT week. How have you liked it? Please post comments. I really, really like the comments. And we have about 4. I'm looking for 5, do I see 5.....

OK, onto the simple stuff. AVOCADOS!!! I loooooove avocados. I have been known to eat them out of their shells with a spoon. Like ice cream. But this is even better:


1 - 2 avocados (depending on size).

Red wine vinegar (to taste)

Olive oil (a good pour)

Lemon juice (freshly squeezed from 1 lemon)

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Cilantro (a handful, chopped)

1 French or Italian baguette, cut in small slices (if you're being fancy you can do them on an angle).

What to do:

Dice the avocado into cubes (small ones) and place in a pretty bowl. Pretty bowls are important. Drizzle with olive oil, and give it a splash of red wine vinegar. Squeeeeeeze in your lemon juices (I like to cut my lemons in half and then use a fork stuck in the open end of the lemon to help me get more juice). Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro. Make sure and taste it, you may want to add more salt or lemon juice or whatevs. Give it all a GOOD mix. With a fork.

Meanwhile, toast your slices of bread. I often use my broiler for this, but i am notorious at burning the bread when I do. So keep watch, that broiler toasts things fast. Like lightning fast.

Pile the avocado mixture on your perfectly (I'm assuming) toasted bread slices. Serve. Makes a great appetizer. Or snack. Or spackle paste.

A Wedding Weekend!

John and I are in St. Louis for a wedding this weekend. John is the best man, so I'm sure there will be antics to report. Stay tuned!

How to Pick a Good Man(go)

So, we had a question on the blog. An actual question! Directed at us! We hardly knew what to do with ourselves. Actually, John gets questions all the time (what do you use in your do you pick up chicks at a bar...etc.) But not me. So I was excited. The question had to do with picking out mangoes. How do you pick out a good one?

Well, I am here to tell you, I just don't know. WAIT! But keep reading, I swear, actual information follows.

For most of my produce needs, I frequent a place called Sobsey's in Hoboken, NJ. This place is amazing. It's a tiny little shop, stuffed full of amazing fruits and veggies. They hand pick every mango that comes in to the shop. I'm not even joking. So, when I need a mango, I just run in there and grab one.  I don't think about it because every mango (and every piece of fruit I've ever picked up) there is perfect. Perfectly ripe, and ENORMOUS. Please see the photo below to better demonstrate how HUGE they are:

Toby is my dog, by the way.

Sobsey's mangoes are from Brazil. I don't know if mangoes from Brazil are better than the mangoes from other places, but they seem to be. However, for all of you who don't have a Sobsey's near you or aren't in Brazil, I have the following helpful information:

If you would like a ripe mango (ready to eat), Squeeze the mango gently. A ripe mango will be slightly soft to the touch. Like of sand...No, nothing like that, really. But you should be able to indent them slightly with your thumb. Don't pick one that feels mushy and don't pick one that has brown bruising marks on it. If you'd like to wait a few days before you eat it, you can pick out a firmer one. It's kind of like picking out a peach or an avocado.

It should also be slightly fragrant when you smell it. Go on...take a whiff, no one's looking.

Don't go for the puny ones either, get one that's plump and heavy.

Finally, don't focus on color. It doesn't mean much in terms of the ripeness of this particular fruit.

Disclaimer: We would like to note that we are NOT mango experts. Use this information at your own risk. No animals or fruits were harmed during this blog post's photo shoot.

We would also like to thank Sobsey's Produce and the National Mango Board (yes - there is a National Mango Board!) for their assistance obtaining this information.

Bagels at the Shack

As we are continuing our SUMMER BLOW-OUT WEEK (Hot!! Humid!!! You get the idea...), we have another LBI mini-review: the Bagel Shack.

I love bread. And bread in bagel-form is one of my favorites (right under pizza-form). Finding a good bagel is tough. Some argue that New York has the best bagels around. Something about the water....I dunno. I'm not here to dispute that claim. I'm just here to say that the bagels at the Shack are daaaaaaamn good.

A few words about them:

Fluffy insides....crispy crust (with those little bubbles that show they've been boiled)....puffy shape....

I believe the Shack opens around 6am. And that is when the line starts to form. But it's also when the bagels are served hot. And you can smell the bread baking....and if you can wait till you get home to eat them, you have more self control than I do.

In addition to their regular bagel flavors, they have something called THE FRENCH TOAST BAGEL (I would put neon flashing lights around that name, but wordpress doesn't allow me to). Get this bagel.

I ate my whole wheat version with a plum, fig & lavender jam that I made myself. Cuz I'm crazy like that. Who wants the recipe? C'mon, I know you do....


Bathroom of the Month - August 2010

We would like to heartily congratulate Sorella for winning this month's Bathroom Award. Nice work, guys. We will be putting your certificate in the mail. I'm sure you're eagerly awaiting it.

But seriously, this was a nice restroom. And I loved the pics of the dogs. The lighting on either side of the mirror was perfect (bright but not frightening). The lacquered wood paneling plus white mini tiles was a lovely interior design move. And notice the candle to my right (or left depending on your perspective). Nice touch!