I just got this food meme from one of my favorite blogs: Palmabella's Passions — thanks, Palma, for something fun and easy to get me back to blogging!
What is your go-to ingredient?
Just like Palma, mine is definitely pasta — so many shapes, so many things to do with it...
What nationality of food do you like the best?
Again, this would have to be Italian because I love, love, love it. But then again if you count California as a nation, then I would say California/Santa Barbara Cuisine is my favorite. It's got the Italian influence combined with all my favorite local ingredients.
What’s your favorite meal of the day to prepare?
I'll pick something different - afternoon tea. I don't get the opportunity to do it very often, but I love a good pot of tea and some delicious scones or tea sandwiches.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Minestrone or Ribollita soup with some good crusty bread and brownies for dessert.
What cooking shows do you watch?
I love Top Chef. Sometimes I watch Iron Chef, No Reservations and any show with Jamie Oliver in it.
Your top three favorite cookbooks are:
Two by Alice Waters: The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution and Chez Panisse Vegetables and a sentimental favorite the original Silver Palate Cookbook 25th Anniversary Edition.
Your must-have kitchen accessory is:
A Microplane Grater/Zester — it's a must with just about anything I cook.
Do you ever eat fast food? If so, what?
At first I thought, no I don't eat fast food. But actually I do eat at Chipotle. Their pork for their carnitas is naturally raised — not factory farmed, and it's delicious in the burrito bowl, especially with the addition of guacamole.
Most memorable meal you’ve had while on vacation:
I still talk about the amazing lunch I had in Spain in 1998 somewhere outside of Barcelona at a place whose name I can't remember. We had an incredible fixed price meal of 4 courses that I will never forget... gazpacho, fried sardines, seafood paella, beautiful plate of fish, peppers and potatoes, fresh fruit for dessert... I wish I had taken pictures.
What restaurant do you want to eat at that you haven’t yet?
What’s your favorite dessert?
It's usually something with chocolate, but I also love fruit tarts and I'm extremely partial to gelato in Italy.
What scent in the kitchen do you love?
The smell of bread baking or gingerbread in the oven.
What ingredient(s) do you avoid/dislike?
I hate to admit it but I'm not wild about beets.
What’s your secret splurge at the grocery store?
The frozen pizzas by Full of Life Flatbread.
What’s the most decadent dish you’ve ever had?
The lobster or crab raviolis at Gianfranco's Trattoria in Carpinteria — they are so deliciously decadent!
What’s your favorite midnight snack?
I'm not usually up that late! But I guess if I was it would be a cup of hot chocolate made with really good chocolate.