Category Archives: reflections

Confetti Vegetable Sauce

I’ve been keeping something from you.

More than a year ago, I was hanging out in Italy. Mostly just eating, but sometimes cooking. Obviously, my life tends to revolve around food as it is, but my fixation was only exacerbated by being in a place where food serves as a language of its own.

The point is, I learned how to make this really amazing, really simple sauce, and then I proceeded to not share the recipe with you for more than a year. My host in Pisa taught me how to make this sauce. That’s right; you’re looking at a real Italian recipe from a real Italian person.

Once you make it, I imagine you’ll forgive me. Basically everything in here is easily substituted, too. Try it with eggplant. Try it with sour cream. Try it without any dairy at all. Then, let me know how it turned out!

Confetti Vegetable Sauce:
Serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 zucchini, grated
1 squash, grated
1 red pepper, grated
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
salt & pepper, to taste
your favorite pasta, cooked and drained

1) Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add zucchini, squash and red pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until most of the water has been cooked off. Drain the vegetables.
2) Place the pan back on the stove and lower the heat to medium-low. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the tablespoon of butter. Stir in the garlic. Cook until light brown.
3) Stir in the well-drained vegetables until the mixture is very warm. Turn the heat to low and combine the mascarpone cheese. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper.
4) Spoon sauce onto your favorite pasta and top with fresh basil.

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2010 Year in Review: Part 2

Last night, I wrote about my first fantastic six months of 2010–being abroad. (And, although I didn’t mention it, coming home.) Apparently I took very few pictures during the second half of 2010 that did not involve food.

If you’re not here for the first time, you’ve seen those. In spades. Then again, these past six months have been eventful in that I’ve started this blog.

I’m hoping to keep on keepin’ on in 2011. With your support, of course.

Anyway, in the second half of 2010…

I reintroduced myself to American-sized portions.

I went to Atlanta.

I moved in with this super-inspiring woman who cooks me Russian food and educates me about all kinds of international issues.

I lost a friend. He died too soon, and I try to live a little harder every day for him.

I walked on the grounds of the White House. Oh, didn’t mention that before, did I? Well. Here I am, visitor pass and all. Next time, I plan to hang out with the prez.

I dressed up like a deviled egg for Halloween, which, based on your responses, has upped the ante significantly for future Halloweens.

And while I left friends behind as I arrived stateside, I also celebrated having friends to whom I could return.

I really cannot thank you enough. For staying in with me, for forcing me to go out, for eating my food, but letting me take 50 pictures of it first.

I look forward to seeing what lies ahead of us!

2010 Year in Review: Part 1

Exactly one year ago today, I was trying to fit my entire life into one suitcase and one duffel bag, in preparation for my semester across the pond.

I took many goofy pictures, including this one at Abbey Road.

I visited my cousin in Hamburg.

And my great-great cousin in Munich.

I met the most wonderful friends. I wish there wasn’t an ocean between us.

I ate my weight in French food and gained a lil’ culture along with a lil’ weight.

Oh, and I took even more goofy pictures, this time at Christ Church in Oxford. (Where the Harry Potter Great Hall scenes were filmed.)

I befriended the coolest landlady/former tar heel the world has ever known.

That was only the first half of 2010, too. There’s more on the way tomorrow!

I’m staying with my grandparents in Florida this week. What should I cook?!

This December

has been filled with my mom’s adorable handmade ornaments.


And her never-ending Christmas cookies. (These are of the chocolate-covered cherry variety.)


This December has been brimming with good cheer and my favorite champagne.


Oh, and a beautiful buche de Noel.


We also had a party this December.


Where we documented every hour that passed, every friend who walked through our humble threshold–a pictorial representation of the festivities enjoyed and the drinks imbibed.

A new party tradition was born.

Oh, and this December, I realized that I have no clue what I’ll be doing next December.

I’ve never wondered that before, mostly because a) I’ve been in school for 17 years and b) I’m a headcase who has to plan everything at least three years in advance. Turns out that entering adulthood “in this economy” allows for a lot more surprises than I’d anticipated.

It’s part promising, part terrifying, entirely exhilarating.

Luckily, I have assembled the most superb collection of family and friends to see me through whatever is in store.

How have you been celebrating your December?