Monday Meal Review: Monaco

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THE SCENE We have this crazy obsession, this culture of ours, with recording our memories. You've seen it before: a waiter delivers a beautiful meal to the table and, instantly, four cellphones fly up to "capture the moment." A minute later the photos are uploaded to Facebook. Suddenly, no one is paying attention to their beautiful dinner anymore - instead they're busy checking for likes and comments on Facebook. It's as if our experiences are somehow not valid if we don't snap a quick … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cognac n’ Herb Tapenade

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Introducing the black diamond of Monaco: Tapenade. She glitters in the night. She belies the briny bite of the absolutely fabulous. But here's the thing. She's also, not so secretly, rustic. This dip and crostini topper has its origins in the grassy hills of Provence. Love for this treat spills over into Monaco and parts of Italy. While many people pulverize their blend to a paste (with a mortar and pestle or even a food processor), I prefer a rustic, coarse mixture. I like seeing the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chickpea Crepes (Socca)

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I am ready for a day-dreamy sort of day. One where I walk along the pier and smell the salty, ocean air...  On this easy-breezy day I'll nibble  bits of crispy socca - an olive oil and chickpea based crêpe popular along the riviera. On this day I do not stumble. I do not stain my shirt. Nothing I say sounds silly and I'm free of heartache. Yes, there are days when a crêpe can do this for you... ...especially if enjoyed in glitzy Monaco, with diamonds on the soles of your … [Read more...]

Recipe: Candied Cantaloupe & Cherry Almond Tart (Galapian)

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. Very rarely does a dessert glisten as brilliantly as the Galapian. She's like unlike anything I've ever tasted before - slices of candied cantaloupe enrobed with a light almond cake, studded with brilliant maraschino cherry drops and glazed with lavender honey. . This movie star of a dessert was invented in 1994 by Alain Bouchard in Apt, a region of France near to Monaco. While a relatively new invention, it has all the glitz and glamour that is so enjoyed by the Monégasque. . While … [Read more...]

Menu: Monaco

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On this windy Wednesday I'm visiting with a friend who I haven't seen in seven years. We're laughing and reliving old memories. We're also experiencing Monaco, as I cook each of these dishes, one by one. Ava, each day bigger than the last, now helps serve the food. I'm all smiles. So what did I choose? For our week in Monaco I've chosen recipes fairly typical of the region - you'll find similar in France and in Italy (such is the life when en entire country spans only 0.76 square miles).   … [Read more...]

About the food of Monaco

Monaco. Photo by Senet.

Monaco sparkles. Built right up on the scrubby, rocky, Mediterranean coastline, she's bustling with luxurious yachts, zipping Ferrari, and more Formula 1 fan-wear than anyone can sport in a lifetime.  This is a place where you can pay $40 for a beer and $1,200 for vodka (just head over to Jimmy's Bar, according to  Stepping the World). Incredible. It's hard to believe that all this flashiness can be built into a teeny tiny country like Monaco. She's the second smallest country in the … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Moldova

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THE SCENE Two days before I cooked Moldova I was invited to Tulsa's local United Nations annual meeting. While there I listened to very intelligent people talk about things which are generally beyond the scope of my daily duties - being a good mother, working hard, and playing harder. Let's just say they talked about how to solve problems on a global scale. And it was amazing. Still, even as cheerleader to the world, I felt out of place. Not because I'm not interested, but simply … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mamaliga (Dense Cornmeal “Bread”)

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I've done it standing in front of my refrigerator at midnight. I've done it at 8:30 in the morning, right after eating a complete breakfast. I've even done it in celebration of eating all my veggies. I fill my belly with bowlfuls of carbs - pasta, bread, potatoes, or rice - it really doesn't matter. Simply put: I'm carb crazy. Enter Mamaliga, Moldova's favorite side dish (and Romania's, too). Carb-tastic. This thick, dense polenta is made with corn meal (the coarser the better), water, and … [Read more...]