Thursday, June 17, 2010

The end of a really long year!

By this time in the academic year my brain has slowly taken on a mush-like consistency, making even most contrived of tasks burdensome. Desperately, attempting to retain whatever capacity to function I have by means of wholesome meals and sleep. They each seem to be only in vain as I wake the next day more tired than the day before. Such is the life for the medical student, and before I allow myself to sink any lower into a state of self-pity, allow me to state, there is no place else I'd rather be. The numerous relationships fostered, countless lives divulged over scrumptious meals, and secrets confessed through the moonlit hours of the night, I've come to realize, I live a wonderfully blessed life, and I'm happy to share the experience with anyone within an ear shot.
To those cruising through this blog, I wish you all the very best, and pray all that is good and wholesome may continually showered upon you and your loved ones!


Pizza Party!!!

There is absolutely nothing more fun to create with friends and family than homemade pizza! The process of making the dough, patiently allowing to rise (also a great time to sip on the vino!), then adding all sort of exciting colors, flavors, and textures as your topping. For evening we would be following in the steps of our Sicilian counterparts; a little bit of Genoa salami, some red peppers, fresh mozzarella, basil, followed by some sliced red onions. Outcome: wonderful!!

Wake & Bake

Struggling to get a start on my day, I decided it best to call up a good friend for some much needed Mimosa's and Eggs Benedict. We met at Mariposa, a hidden little gem inside of Neiman Marcus, and I must say, having spent my fair share of time in this haven, their food is just as good as the shopping experience. From fresh hand-squeezed orange juice blended with Veuve Cliquot. Your day could not begin any better. Once our meal was brought out to us, the aroma of time-honored homemade biscuits permeate your nasal vestibule. Your mind was swimming in the glistening tides of orange goodness, while your spirit coasted in a "champagne supernova!" It was a good start to the day!

Deliciously Light & Simple Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

At the end of a long day I was hoping to enjoy the company of a friend without all the fuss of going out. My only challenge to myself was to still create a bit of a vibrant ambiance. My solution was the following recipe accompanied with an amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. I highly recommended this meal as a delicious approach to sinfully delightful evening without the hassle of leaving the house. Recipe from Epicurious:
Prep Time: 30min
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 28.2-ounce can peeled tomatoes in puree with basil
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved, pitted
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with puree, olives, anchovies, capers, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Simmer sauce over medium-low heat until thickened, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; return to same pot. Add sauce and parsley. Toss over low heat until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Serve with cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

Canlis for the win!!!

To commemorate the day's toil, I invited a fellow food snob to explore the birth site of Pacific Northwest cuisine. Canlis, has been a Seattle landmark since the 1950s, family owned and operated, Canlis chefs have allowed the local taste and flavors to truly speak for themselves. One must ask themselves, resting on one of the most picturesque views of the sound, heavenly live piano music, and supreme aesthetic appeal, is it truly hard to disappoint? Certainly, simply put. But there is no disappointing here. Everything from the wait in the lounge, to the dinner table overlooking Seattle, was a salute to those of us striving and straining to live life to the fullest. Our meal was as follow:
Appetizer: Peter Canlis Prawns
Entree:Muscovy Duck (for two)

Outcome: Definitely recommend!! Would go back as soon as I pay off the bill in 3 months (-:

Pho you?!

Having moved around every 3-4 years, it is rare I have the opportunity to bring together various people from different parts of my life. This past weekend, my sole surviving relationship from high school happened to be in Seattle. Typically when he's in town our time together consist of reminiscing about fading memories, mixed with a time honored tradition we've carried from Germany, drinking. Instead of our usual rendezvous, I decided to introduce my old friend to some of my newly acquired buddies. My only reservation about doing such a thing was exposing a history of excessive behavior to my professional colleagues. In hopes of avoiding any such awkwardness, I thought it best to include a bit of social lubrication (Vietnamese beer) with some good homemade Pho. Conclusion, two distant lifestyles becoming acquainted in a way, you realize after all the disastrous decisions you've made throughout life, to end up here and now, makes it all worthwhile.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Soul Food

Upon graduating from high school I had this wild idea to become a youth pastor. Throughout the up and coming years of my adolescent youth, I could remember those captivating speakers that challenged something far deeper than my superficial need for acceptance. Through their testimonies of belief, sacrifice, and forgiveness they had found an eternal peace that ultimately lead them to place of validated purpose. To an impressionable youth, the world seemed an endless array of opportunity each glistening with idealistic possibilities of wealth and success. Yet, tucked away beneath the humble words of my pastor I found a richness and fulfillment no other occupation seemed to reflect.
As I began to map out the next steps of my endeavor, I quickly came to realize how imposing a conversation on faith and spirituality could potentially be to a complete stranger. I needed a vehicle through which I could penetrate the spirit, yet appease the mortal vessel before me. In this vortex of fueled ambitions, I thought about the comfort of food and how it nourishes our physical bodies. That's it I thought!! I'll go to Culinary school, this way not only could I provide physical sustenance, but spiritual nutriment as well! It was a winning combination!

Follow me through my thought process,
whenever, we come upon an enticing meal, in order to fully enjoy this wonderful experience we must let our guards down. Once open to this culinary exploration, our senses are overcome by the array of simulations placed before us. While each morsel is thoroughly enjoyed, our bodies needs are replenished. In addition to this physical revitalization,

I have chosen to include the topic of faith.

Just as the meal you've recently enjoyed provided everything you needed to meet the physical demands of the day, along with daily requirements necessitated by your body. Our spirits are very much the same. How incredible it could be nourish both our physical and spiritual selves. How fulfilling our lives would be if we tended to the unseen aspects of ourselves as much as we do the obvious.

Next time you sit down to a meal ask yourself, does this effort to sustain my body match my efforts to sustain my soul??

Photo courtesy of


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Friend In Food.

After a rough, somewhat skeptical introduction I feel ready and willing to forge forward with the concept of this blog. After a great deal of time pondering the numerous aspects of food and health, I've chosen to emphasize the importance of realizing the spiritual relationship we posses with food as a way to draw closer to the inner spirit, the energy of the food, and the Great Provider from which this wondrous bounty is blessed to us.

For starters, let us begin with a note on prayer. Through this timeless ritual, countless individuals have chosen before dining, to express their gratitude and appreciation for the meal before them. In this humble moment of reflection, a realization is made

We are blessed to have such nourishment before us.

Remarkably in this admission we open our spirit to the many blessings of food. Begin by allowing your senses to explore the enticing smells, incredible colors, and rich textures before you, as you take in this gift. Then as you close your eyes, rejoice in the experience you've just had, while remembering its only about to get better.

In health and wellness,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kindling a self-perpetuating blaze.

As another stroke of this virtual pen bleeds upon the unbounded realms of collective minds. I've come to realize throughout this venture in order to challenge and intrigue my audience, there will inevitably be an opposing thought, convention, opinion, blog, skeptic to argue the contrary. Ultimately, leaving the impressionable thinker in more of a dilemma than they had previously anticipated. In lieu of such pitfalls, out of appreciation and respect for you, the reader. Allow me to simply illustrate the advantage of being challenged as such. As it is my hope, in your personal endeavors to have a firmer grasp on the latest opinions on food and health. You may inevitably experience a sense of overwhelming confusion with the seemingly infinite variances of opinions on the matter.

Alas, do not tarry with such contrivances friend!!

Feel liberated, and validated in whatever you so choose to do from that point on. For in your laborious pursuit of knowledge, you've demonstrated to yourself, first and foremost, your dedication to take your own education seriously and responsibly.
It is only during such instances, we may truly appreciate what we've come to know and understand about the world we live.


Monday, April 12, 2010

And so it begins...

As if the physical word and all its universal quagmire wasn't enough to preoccupy/entertain any neophyte epicurian. By academic mandate, I've been summoned to explore and share the didactic delectable delights of food and health with you, my invisible virtual audience. I suppose some comfort may be found in the feeble possibility of there actually being a vested interest from you, otherwise, I presume this endeavor will at best, be an on-going conversation with myself on a virtual stage. My only request is, should you incidentally find yourself within these virtual walls, drop me a line from time to time. It can get awfully lonely in here.

Until my next titillating evolution...