Posts in travel
radish + apple ceviche // some pictures from a trip to Cartagena, Colombia

With the never-ending winter we've been having here, I've been yearning for a little warm weather fun so last weekend Michael and I headed down to Cartagena, Colombia for just that. 

When we were trying to figure out where to go, we were surprised to find that Jet Blue now has direct flights to Cartagena from NYC. Michael is Colombian and this was our first trip there together, and my first time to Colombia, so when we figured out that we could easily get there, there was no question. Yes. Take me there. 

The old town in Cartagena is one of the most colorful and vibrant cities I have ever experienced. Being surrounded by bright beautiful colors and humidity makes me happy. We had such a great time wandering the streets, eating, drinking out of coconuts and taking tons of photos. I loved being there with Michael, hearing him reminisce about certain foods that he would eat when he lived there and experiences he had as a kid. 

Since Cartagena is located on the Caribbean sea, there is no lack of fresh fish and light, tropical meals. Ceviche is big there, and we made sure we tried our fair share. So fresh, so good. 

While we were eating and trying all kinds of seafood ceviche, I thought to myself, why haven't I seen a vegetable ceviche on any menu? You know what happened next.

When we got home the first thing I made was a vegetable ceviche with radishes, apples, and a lot of other tasty ingredients like avocado, red onion and lemon juice that make a typical seafood ceviche taste so good. The zesty radish flavor pairs so well with the sweetness of the apple. It's such a fun and colorful snack or appetizer. The only thing that was missing was the 80º weather. 


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my favorite meals from 2012

2012 for me was the year of food. Actually, come to think of it, every year for me is a year of food. 

But 2012 was a particularly special year of food. Graduating from culinary school and surrounding myself with food and cooking almost everyday was a big contributor. Getting married, traveling through Italy for our honeymoon, and moving to NYC also played a large part in having some amazing food experiences. 

Here is a list of my 16 favorite meals, restaurants, and recipes of 2012 (in no particular order - but to follow along with the images go left to right, top to bottom).

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aran goyoaga food styling + photography workshop // whistler, british columbia

I’ve long admired the food photography and styling of Aran Goyoaga of the beautiful and wildly popular blog: cannelle et vanille, and last week I had the opportunity to learn from her and learn more about her approach and technique at an ACE camp workshop in Whistler, BC, Canada. It was an incredible and wonderfully overwhelming  experience. I'm still trying to take it all in ...


Aran was just as I would have pictured from reading her blog. Knowledgeable, passionate, kind and generous. It was mesmerizing watching how effortlessly she styles a photo, or how she knows just where to go to find the perfect light in a room or prop for a photo. She has a love for food and an amazing ability to see the beauty in raw ingredients. It's truly what makes her a great photographer + stylist.


As amazing as it was to watch Aran at work, it was just as great to meet and form friendships with all of the other food bloggers, chefs, photographers, and other talented people at the workshop. You learn just as much from each other as you do the instructor. We had a blast, there were a lot of laughs and great memories made throughout the weekend and I'm excited stay in touch and watch the others grow in their careers and as photographers.



These photographs were shot over three days as we took trips to the local farm, had a picnic on the top of whistler mountain, visited the farmers market, and hung out at a lake house. Some of these pictures were styled by Aran, some were styled by us students, and many were taken candidly. Whistler made for an excellent backdrop for the weekend. It was my first time, and I cannot wait to return. 

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italy (part 2) ravello & a recipe for the best ever tomato sauce

On the second leg of our trip, we spent a few days in a little mountain town called Ravello which is perched high above the Almalfi coast. Ravello is home to some of the most breathtaking views in the whole world, and one very special cooking school.

If you want to learn real, authentic, no-fuss Italian cooking, what better way to do it than in the home of an Italian woman who has been cooking professionally for decades for some incredibly famous people like Frank Sinatra and Jackie O. 

Mama Agata is the beloved woman at the heart of the cooking school. Her daughter Chiara, the soul of the school, is the one who runs the day to day, assists and translates for her mother who speaks very little english. They teach out of their home, perched high on a mountainside overlooking the Mediterranean, which has been in their family for over 200 years. 

Mama's recipes are simple, clean, and all about the ingredients. Her technique has been perfected in both her kitchen as well as her garden.  On their property their garden stretches down the mountainside where they grow everything from capers, to lemons, and of course plenty of tomatoes. In August, the family closes down the cooking school so that they can harvest and preserve their tomatoes so they have plenty to last through the year.  

After a day of learning, helping mama cook, and wandering through her gardens, it was time to sit down an enjoy our lunch.  It was a meal I will never ever forget.  The eggplant parmesan was the best I have ever had, and the pasta dishes were so fresh tasting and absolutely incredible.  

The most important lesson from the day ...... that good food comes from the heart. Love is the secret ingredient in every great meal.  This was evident from seed to plate at mama's home, and will be something I strive for in every meal served in our home. 

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