A finicky guy's exploits in finding gustatory (and other) satisfaction in his kitchen, his neighborhood, and beyond.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In which Michael bids adieu (temporarily)

Hello, those of you who are still bothering to check my blog for new posts.  I know that I haven't been providing much incentive lately to return here.  But I have a good excuse, I hope you'll agree.

I have decided to focus all my creative energies in the coming months on producing a cabaret show.   Like my blog, it's going to be a largely lone venture.  I'm writing the text, choosing the songs, and performing it all myself.  (Well, I AM trying to persuade a certain world-famous model to join me for at least one number.  But we all know how busy Cathy's schedule is.)  When I get a working draft of the show, I will bring in some other people, like a band, a director, a choreographer, and perhaps someone to sew me some costumes.  (I wonder who could do that?)

But, for now, it's just little old me hard at work (between students) writing, practicing, and organizing.  With all these tasks to accomplish, I'm not sure how I'm going to feed myself, much less blog about what I'm throwing together in the kitchen, so I hope you'll forgive me for taking a hiatus from Pleasing My Palate while I indulge another passion.

Thank you all for visiting my blog in the past months -- I hope you'll return once I'm blogging again.  And I hope that many of you will be able to come to my show!  (You might recognize some of the material in that show from this very blog.)



Saturday, April 30, 2011

Untitled #1

We're off to Marlton, NJ, this morning (without Freddy & Willy, who will be breaking in a new dog-sitter) to attend a 70th-birthday party for my dad.

My dad, who has the best hair EVER.  Even Dmitri Hvorostovsky would covet those thick silver locks, which have been white since Dad's 30s,  if I remember correctly, and which have caused more than one temporarily excited stranger to think she'd just sighted Phil Donahue.

Random Michael factoid: I've always wanted to go prematurely grey, and now it's too late. 
I've chosen today's blog topic in honor of Dad's birthday.  Or, to be more accurate, I am risking breaking the 5th Commandment* by addressing Dad's exasperating perennial question: "What is this dish called?"

*Honor thy father and thy mother.  I hope my Dad is impressed that something stuck with me from all those years in parochial school and Sunday school and church and youth group and church camp and home devotions.  Actually, Dad, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I had to Google this.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In which Michael comes out of hibernation

I seem to have reached that threshold — about 2 weeks — at which readers begin dropping hints that it's been perhaps too long since I last posted.  I am not proud to have to admit that I am enjoying being begged to return to the spotlight.  (Well, "asked" is perhaps a more accurate word, and the only spotlight I've been in recently was at my gym, where the lighting has been designed for maximum drama.  My fellow gym members are so jaded by the over-the-top environment that I'm sure nobody even bothered to glance in my direction as I performed yesterday's perfectly lit set of single-leg squats in front of the huge mirror, while Gaga belted out how she was born this way in the background.  She may have been born that way, but I have to work hard to achieve glorious glutes.)

Seriously, it warms my heart to discover that certain of you miss my posts enough to write in when I'm silent for a time.  But one of you (Mae) has outdone herself, not only expressing her concern over my busy schedule, but also leaving a detailed comment (scroll down to her April 27 comment) about quick-and-easy cooking that practically qualifies her as a guest blogger AND giving me, as a not-so-subtle kick in the pants, a suggestion for my next post.  So, out of gratitude for Mae's information and inspiration, I am going to take her suggestion and blog about quickies.

Not that kind of quickies.  Boy, you people always seem to have sex on the mind.  I am referring to quick MEALS that can be prepared in minutes when your schedule is as crazy as mine has been lately.

For you crackpots who are here only for the titillation factor, this picture should get your juices flowing.  The rest of us will focus on the juices bubbling in our crockpots.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In which Michael forges a relationship with Mariah Carey's husband

First I run into George the sexy pleather-clad dancer at the gym.  (Well, he was towel-clad when we "met.")  Then, yesterday, a world-famous fashion designer/fragrance purveyor who shall remain nameless was — Bang! — changing at the locker next to mine in the very same gym.  (How rude of you to wonder if I was tacky enough to snap surreptitious photos of this fit and tattooed but here-unnamed celebrity in his blue and white undies with my phone.  And, no, I'm not going to post them on my blog.)

Well, my encounters with the glitterati continued into today, when I had a long, meaningful 47-second conversation with Nick Cannon — radio and TV personality, actor, comedian, rapper, and husband of Mariah Carey.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Back in the Kitchen with Michael: Capellini w/Salmon and Mushrooms (and a Salad!)

Has it really been 3 whole weeks since I've posted a cook-along recipe?  Boy, how time flies when one is attending Broadway openings with a renowned fashion model on one's arm, experimenting with French methods of home-scenting, and chasing towel-clad dancers around the locker room.  (Hi, George, if you're reading this — I'll be at the gym later this morning!)

[Note: do not read this caption unless you are George.]  Hi, George — remember me?  If this picture isn't ringing any bells, you could try imagining me in a towel.   (Oh dear, now I'm imagining you imagining me in a towel......)

Not to mention inaugurating a new teaching space, starting a program of working out under the guidance of a personal trainer, and walking the dogs for longer periods now that the weather is getting milder.  Whew!  It's actually a respite to enter the kitchen and spend some relaxing time cooking a meal.  The seed idea for today's project was the container of garlic scape pesto I'd discovered in the freezer yesterday.  What fun, to discover a few tablespoons of this heavenly stuff left over from almost a year ago — garlic scapes appear early on in the growing season, so we get them in one of our first CSA deliveries each year, in late May or early June, and I always make pesto out of them.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In which Michael decides a Lampe Berger is for les oiseaux

Well, I just spent over $100 to discover that my old trusty, noisy diffuser may do the best job at scenting my teaching space after all.  The land that contributed to world culture such brilliant things as Champagne, Debussy, the Curies, and french kissing has, malheureusement, struck out bigtime with their fancy-schmancy room deodorizing system.

Lampe Berger, my derrière — it burns my buns to realize that it's just a glorified bunsen burner:

Friday, April 8, 2011

In which packages are eagerly anticipated

I want to start out by assuring Treadle27 that her chocolatey prize will soon be winging its way to her home.

That's all the varieties my prize-winner did not select as well as her chosen Maple Pecan all packed up in the envelope underneath, which Peter has kindly agreed to drop off at the post office later today.  Don't you just love the gorgeous papers that the Mast Brothers use to wrap their bars?