Heirloom Tomato and Green Beans with Ginger Vinaigrette
Photo by Bill Kontzias at http://www.billkphotography.com

Farmer’s markets have many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and they’re expensive because of high demand. However, when I see them, they bring memories of tomatoes growing in my father’s backyard. Their irregular, bulbous shape with a fresh cut strong stem indicates a juicy tomato ready for picking. It didn’t matter if they were mild green for frying in cornmeal or fiery red for a garden salad. Today, those same type of tomatoes still grow in my father’s backyard for free. Since, he lives a few states away, I purchase them for too many dollars per pound at fancy markets in New York. Regardless of price, I continue to buy them, because their sweet taste reminds me of home. As a New Yorker, I’m influenced by diverse cultures, including adding tons of ginger, a hint of fresh mint, rice vinegar and a dash of sesame oil to a vinaigrette traditionally made with a no-frill oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper that is tossed with green beans and tomatoes. Since most of the ingredients are in my pantry, the vinaigrette is cheaper to make versus the price of a large heirloom tomato. Only in New York…  Read more

Spicy Saffron Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Clams and Shrimp over Spaghetti
Spicy Saffron Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Clams and Shrimp over Spaghetti

There was a “to do” list written for a productive, busy day. There’s a design proposal that needs to be delivered to a client. The food blog needs a new post. Pictures need to be downloaded. Work beckons my creative-thinking skills. All I want to do is lie down and sleep. I admire all my coworkers and friends who were able to leave out of town for at least a week this summer for a real vacation. New York City has been my vacation hot spot for years.

Despite being stressed from all of life’s beauties and fiascoes, the boyfriend casually announced he was going to the beach. He coyly smiled, “You can come, too.” He knew there was a slight chance, a break or a second option of me saying yes. Beating the odds, I said, “I’m getting my swimsuit.” I needed a break. Some rest. Splashy fun. This was my only chance of escaping from this summer’s excessive heat for a few salty airs of change. Read more

A Summer Salad
A Summer Salad

Summertime, summertime, summertime
and the living is, living is easy
Fish are, I know the fish are jumping
and cotton is so high
Your daddy is so, so rich and your mama good-
she had to be good-looking
so hush, little baby, don’t you cry
don’t you cry, no no, don’t cry
no need to cry, don’t cry, don’t cry
summertime, summertime…
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