Blog

a taste of delicious things from my adventures the worlds of food, travel, beverages, fun, frolicking and beyond

20
Jul 2018
Grilling Oysters

There are so, so many delicious things to toss on the grill this time of year. Burgers, salmon, corn, steak, ribs, hot dogs, pizza, shrimp, chicken, sausages and countless types of vegetables....as just a starting point. It's understandable that oysters aren't top of mind when summer prompts us to make the most of cooking outside. But it's a shame, because cooking oysters on the grill is one of my top three favorite ways to enjoy them (the other two being ...

01
May 2018
Rooting for Steelhead Migration

There's no better way to get a message across than to make it personal. Which is exactly what the folks from Long Live the Kings are doing with their second annual Survive the Sound campaign, engaging the public to follow the spring migration of 48 steelhead heading up the Puget Sound toward the ocean. Long Live the Kings has, for over 30 years, been devoted to the task of restoring wild salmon and steelhead ...

12
Apr 2018
My Travel Bug

A friend nailed it in a recent email, lamenting how hard it is to coordinate our work schedules to plan a group trip... "Why can’t we all just be independently wealthy and travel the world at our leisure?" Yes! Why not, indeed. It's almost enough to make me buy a lottery ticket now and then (someone does win, right?!). I can understand logically why some people don't like to travel, or don't even like the ...

02
Apr 2018
Glorious Tarte Tatin

My first stab at making tarte tatin came back in high school and was a terrible flop. I'd never had tarte tatin before, and even without an existing point of reference I knew something wasn't right. Having just pulled that recipe out of my decades-old collection of recipe cards, clippings and other early recipe notes (a collection more nostalgic than anything), I now see it was doomed on so many points. A ...

08
Feb 2018
The Mountains Calling

I get a lot of wonderful cards in the mail from my wonderful sister, for any number of reasons, and for no reason at all. She has a knack for finding really great cards that are arty, fun, clever, and touch on any number of my favorite things (France, gin, that sort of thing!). I particularly loved this card I got today, which gets extra points for the very cool envelope. Many, I'm sure, can relate to the sentiment shared on ...

30
Jan 2018
A Most Elegant Rice Pudding

I've had this rice pudding recipe on my brain since a September trip to France, during which dinner one night in Paris included a dessert of riz au lait with a salted caramel sauce. Egad, it was amazingly delicious and reminded me of a recipe from many cookbooks ago: Jim Drohman's Gâteau de Riz from his beloved French bistro Le Pichet, which was included in the Best Places Seattle Cookbook I worked on. Seriously, every few days I was ...

03
Jan 2018
In Praise of Dinner Parties

I looked down at the memo app on my phone, where I was jotting notes while reading Brunch is Hell on a flight recently. Right along side it was another note titled 'brunch,' essentially menu planning for the one day a year on which I fully embrace that mash-up meal: Christmas Day. The two camps, summed up: Brunch, woo-hoo!! and Brunch, go away!! While I wouldn't go so far as to refer to brunch as 'hell,' the rest of the ...

02
Dec 2017

A Return to Dijon

A Return to Dijon

I thought it was hilarious at the time, during that visit I made years back to the city of Nîmes in the south of France. I don't know of any historic record that my last name, Nims, has any connection to that city -- but it didn't keep me from an occasional reference to myself as Cynthia de Nîmes, like when checking in to the hotel, showing the clerk the name on my passport (ha, ha, ha...see?!). But I recall ...

11
Oct 2017
Oysters in Paris for Jon Rowley

It was 6 or 7 days into my trip to France last month when I first saw the link to a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Jon Rowley, telling his huge circle of friends and colleagues that he was facing a serious illness. Sitting there in Dijon, immediately my mind went to Paris. And oysters. I was disappointed to be so far away and unable to hop over to Vashon Island to pay Jon a visit. On the plus side, ...

02
Sep 2017
Lemon Verbena Inspirations

My lemon verbena is blooming like mad right now, so I clipped some yesterday to bring inside to accentuate the kitchen. As usual, I stripped spare leaves from lower part of the stems before popping them into the vase. So I stared at that pile of gorgeously aromatic herb leaves...hard to just toss in the compost when it offers so many possibilities. A syrup to use in cocktail? (One of ...