Spago, in July (yes, this is late).

In July, Cailin, Greg, Mike and I had a tasting feast as Spago. Somehow, all my food notes were lost to my iPhone, but I still remember what we ate (and it was delicious). We also had wine with each course, but that, unfortunately, I do not recall.


Turkey tetrazzini: Recipe style

A couple people have asked for various recipes I made during the holidays, and I can do this one by memory, so I'm typing it up for your reading pleasure. This recipe is from my mother's cookbook (I think she got it from my grandmother on my father's side, actually) and I augmented it slightly to spice it up. So here goes. Turkey tetrazzini, Tobey style.


October's been good. Engagement, wedding ideas, planned Christmas, moved into a new place (expect pictures early next week) and got to announce happy stuff at work which always is a bonus. Also, Halloween is coming up, which is my favorite holiday, and being in a new house I think I might actually have kids come by and I can give them CANDY which I haven't gotten to do in years and makes me REALLY FUCKING EXCITED.

I need to start planning Thanksgiving. My house is big enough to host one now, but I don't know if anyone else is stranded in this state and needs a place to eat turkey.



just say no to airplane food.

so, you probably know i went on a quick "tour" of london. so now i can officially say yes, i've been to europe. which is actually really awesome, except i can only say i passed by windsor castle, was hartleypool, newcastle, a bit of the tube, and a lot of heathrow airport. i landed on monday morning about 7 am, spent the day at the office, flew out to newcastle 8 am tuesday, back that night, (and at a lovely meal that the cow, if you know it, it's great) and then flew home on my amazing london-->LA-->SFO 14 hour journey 11 am wednesday.

so if you call that seeing london, next time, i'll see it a bit more.

anyway, the point of my story is this: business class rocks, and everyone should try their damnedest to get free miles. i always thought miles were for free tickets, and i'm sure they are, but by god, man, maybe buying a coach ticket and upgrading to business is where it's at. especially on the SFO to NY or SFO to london trips i'll be taking. nevermind the czech republic. you get a printed menu, a fully extending BED of a seat, and a pretty amazing meal. and for my london trip when we got in i got access to a shower and a lounge where i could drink some actually decent coffee.

now, in comparison, coach class home on my 12 hour flight was not as godawful as you would think. i was on a window, and sure, the woman behind me thought it was heinously awful i put my seat back as far as it would go, complained to high heaven about how shitty i was for that, and kicked my seat every 20 minutes, but i snoozed, read, and played DS. and they served me this horrid chicken and rice thing, some crackers, and a pizza, and while that doesn't compare to warm nuts and salad and steak and a cheese plate, hey, at least they feed you, right?

well. no, actually. because at 4 am the next morning (the morning of thanksgiving, mind you, the morning i'm to cook a 17 pound turkey, stuffing, and gravy for all my friends) i'm on my knees wretching up all that so-called coach class airplane food. until about 9 am. and the horror of the food poisoning doesn't stop the entire day. yes, i went to the dinner, although i could barely walk until around 11:30, and probably shouldn't have gone (i'm a moron.) i didn't really cook, but sat around and had people do what i told them, which was pretty much the only way food was going to get put in the oven. well, my part at least.

in a roundabout way, i'm saying my thanksgiving was really fun, and the food turned out well, and yes i had to go home by 8 and was dead asleep by 9, but by friday i was fine. and in some ways, i suppose being sick on that holiday was nice, because i was in too much pain to miss mom until friday, and somehow it being friday, and not thursday, the day i thought i'd be spending with her, the first thanksgiving i'd have with her since i was 15... somehow being sick and not thinking about that was really good. being around all my friends playing rock band trying desperately to stay hydrated, that was good.

today i was sitting on the couch and mike was talking about the list of stuff he was asking for from his parents for christmas, and i said "get fallout and fable for me!" and he said, "i'm asking for fallout" and i reply "fable II also please, i want!" and he says "why don't you ask for it?" and i replied "i don't have anyone to give my presents anymore." and he just kind of looked at me, and i didn't mean it in a guilt trip, or a pity, or a sad kind of way. it was just that way. basically, these days, mom did the still-a-kid christmas. which adults don't need at all, but it's fun and awesome in its own way (albeit with its drawbacks, but that's mom.) but, of course, when i said it, and the beat set in, and he went back to his thing and i went back to mine, i realized i was trying desperately not to cry, and even typing this, i'm trying desperately not to cry.

the best coping is still not thinking about it, except in metered, measured doses, or when i'm alone, and sadly, always when i'm driving my car.

i wish i could ask her exactly why her gravy is always so much better than mine. i've gotten mine down to damned good, but it's this weird light beige color and it's just wrong. i have no idea what exactly she does that took it to this holy good god heaven of a gravy level.

i do not miss her waldorf salad, not a bit. mayo as a dressing always weirded me out.

but i really miss her.

foray into french onion soup!

i'm adding a new category to my blog. this food category will cover what i cook, the places i eat in and love, and perhaps the wine i covet.

i'll start with my french onion soup recipe:

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups thinly vertically sliced Walla Walla or other sweet onion
4 cups thinly vertically sliced red onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
8 cups less-sodium beef broth (NOTE: don't use lower sodium if you aren't watching your weight. you need salt in this recipe.)
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (NOTE: you can use dried thyme, it's okay.)
8 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace) (NOTE: if you aren't watching your figure, regular swiss will be fine. try guyere too, that's my next choice, and for added wow, sprinkle a little parmesan on top of your swiss before you stick it in the broiler)

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours.

Preheat broiler.

Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute.

Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

8 servings

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 290(30% from fat); FAT 9.6g (sat 4.8g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 16.8g; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 317mg; SODIUM 359mg; FIBER 3.1g; IRON 1.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.4g

(NOTE: if you change the recipe with higher sodium broth and better cheese, round up to about 400 calories for a cup of this bad boy. it's okay. eat a salad, it will still be good for you.)