Let Light Shine with these Stained Glass Snowflake Cookies, Merry Christmas 2020!

Let Light Shine with these Stained Glass Snowflake Cookies.

Stained glass snowflake cookies

Feeling crafty Recipe is Here (from December 2011) archive.

Merry Christmas!

(* Image and Recipe from Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg reproduced courtesy of Kyle Books, September 2011/ Photos by Catherine Gratwicke, all rights reserved)

Ralph Shadowed Me Today in New York, Ralph Ellison that Is, A Visible Invisible Man

Ralph shadowed me today in New York. Ralph Ellison that is.

Ralph ellison

I was delivering holiday treats on corner of Riverside Drive and 150th Street midday today.

A tribute to Ralph Ellison was hiding in plain sight down the street from where I was double parked, a visible invisible man.

Let Okra Flowers Shine, Savor Skillet Roasted Okra Recipe from 'Mosquito Supper Club' cookbook by Melissa Martin

Let okra flowers shine!

Prep, cook and savor this Skillet Roasted Okra recipe from Mosquito Supper Club (Artisan Books, April 2020) by Melissa Martin.

Skillet-Roasted Okra

Okra cooked in a skillet is a great side dish and simple to make. It requires no preparation ahead of time and, if done correctly, is a great accompaniment to just about anything. The key to bringing out the okra’s natural deliciousness is to cook it hot and fast, so make sure your skillets are properly heated. Place two cast-iron skillets in the oven for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This quickly sears the okra on the outside but maintains a crisp center. Like fried okra, the skillet version preserves the okra’s unique flavor and color. Eat it with fresh summer fruit like peaches and plums; with corn, lime, and crème fraîche; and with boiled shrimp and crabs. It also works swimmingly next to fried or sautéed fish.

Serves 4 as a side dish or snack



2 tablespoons (60 ml) canola oil or clarified butter

12 ounces (340 g) tender young okra pods (about 24), sliced lengthwise in half

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

A couple turns of the pepper mill

Cayenne pepper

1 lemon wedge


Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Place two large cast-iron skillets in the oven to heat for 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet or platter with paper towels.

Carefully remove the hot pans from the oven and set them on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Keep the skillet handles covered to avoid burning your hands.

Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to each pan. Carefully place the okra in the pans in a single layer. Don’t crowd them. Sear in the skillets until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip the okra and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Transfer the okra to the paper towels to soak up any excess oil and use a paper towel or rag to carefully wipe out the excess oil from the skillets.

Toss the okra back into the skillets and season with the salt, some black pepper, a touch of cayenne, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately.

3D COVER. Mosquito Supper Club

(“Excerpted from Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin -Artisan Books- Copyright © 2020. Photographs by Denny Culbert")

What's Crawling Off That Vintage Vase at Musee Georges Labit, Rue du Japon, Toulouse

What's Crawling Off That Vintage Vase at Musee Georges Labit, Rue du Japon, Toulouse.

This pocket museum dedicated to Asian and Ancient Egyptian art offers many small treasures.

Vase Musee George Labit July 2019

It is located in a Moorish villa designed by architect Jules Calbayrac.

After your visit, rest your legs in Musee Georges Labit's beautiful garden.

(* Museum is currently closed due to Covid...Photo by yours truly, July 2019)

Koyo, Red Leaves and the Colors of Autumn, Big in Japan, Catch them While you Can

Koyo, red leaves (whose colors might have faded by now) 

The colors of autumn, big in Japan!

Autumn Leaves Grover Cleveland Park

If I can trust GaijinPot Travel map, best places to still catch them early December are in Kiyomizudera (Kyoto) and near Kintaikyo Bridge in Yamaguchi.

Catch them while you can!

Tradition in Transition for Tokyo Thursdays #318

(* Not even Half-Japanese photo, snapshot today at Grover Cleveland Park)

Alsatian White and Fronton Reds, Cotes d’Ammerschwihr 2011 and Vinum La Colombiere 2016

2 of the wines that crossed my table and filled my glass in the past week, one from east of France, the other from the southwest, made it there for similar reasons.

Two wine stores that I visit infrequently had limited numbers of bottles of both of these.

In the case of Cotes d'Ammerschwir '2011 from Domaine Maurice Schoech, only one bottle was there for the taking.

Cotes D'Alsace

I dis not regret taking the plunge as this mostly Pinot Blanc (with a touch of Muscat) was pleasantly aromatic.

Wines of Fronton, a stone throw from Toulouse, are mostly an unknown quantity in the USA, so I considered myself lucky to put my hands on this agent of peace 'Vinum' La Colombiere, 2016.

Vinum La Colombiere

It is 100% Negrette, a dark and rich local variety which i learned is a close cousin to Mavro grape from Cyprus.

Bonne Annee! Bonne Sante!