It’s obvious that there is this deep rooted idea of hospitality within the Italian culture.  Each and every time I stop by my parent’s house, we subconsciously gravitate towards the kitchen.  Before you know it, one of my parents or my grandma is behind the stove whipping something up for us to snack on.  Regardless of the time of the day, whether I’m hungry or dieting…my parents are very insistent that you eat.  Food is everything to Italians and is one of those ways we know how to take care of the ones we love.

Being Italian meant we ate just about anything and everything.  I’m grateful for the introduction to such a wide variety of foods, but in all honesty I didn’t appreciate it until recently.  As a kid, I craved some form of normalcy and begged for dishes like mac-and-cheese.  But instead my parents would serve us spaghetti with clams or some other odd ball dish that would have me mortified.  When it was convenient like so, I’d pretend to be a vegetarian as a practical way to skip out on dinner.  It’s down right hilarious and beyond ironic that I’ve turned into a foodie.

There’s a few foods that I tried as a child and had a bit of a traumatizing experience with.  I don’t remember the details as to why I was so turned off, but knew that it was enough for me to avoid them at all costs.  Radishes were one of those foods that unfortunately I missed out on for sometime.

Ginger, radish, peppers and a variety of cheeses all go in the same category for me.  Although they share nothing in common they all have a strong, distinct flavor and therefore an acquired taste for most.  Aside from the importance of properly pairing foods I think it’s key to introduce new foods in small doses.  This is something that I have been working on with Felix.

It makes me so happy to see Felix truly understanding the importance of choosing local, organic, whole foods when possible.   But lately he has become a bit narrow minded at broadening his palette.  “Can’t knock it until you try it” is something that I’m constantly saying.  Though he will try a small nibble, it seems like most flavors aren’t making the cut, and similar to my radish situation, get thrown out without a second chance.  This is so unfortunate as some foods need to be tried a few times before making a final decision.  So lately I have been on the hunt for ways to secretly sneak ingredients into dishes so that he can slowly develop a taste for new flavors.  Does anyone else have any other ideas of how to get your kids to experiment with new foods and flavors?

Going back to radishes.  For those of you who have been following along, it’s pretty obvious that Jeanne and I are both crazy for this beauty of a vegetable.  Lately I’ve been dipping them in some hummus or kopansiti which is a perfect mid-day snack.  But I also love adding some thin slices to some avocado toast or a salad.  This week we are sharing some new easy and unexpected ways to incorporate these beauties into your meal planning.  You can also check out our Pinterest page for a gazillion other recipes.  Happy Monday friends…


Taco Pickles

Taco Tuesday is a bit of staple here in Southern California.  Though we have insanely good local Mexican food I prefer to cook tacos at the house.  Whether I grill some fish or grab some marinated carne asada from Trader Joe’s it only takes a small amount of prepping for a gorgeous and satisfying meal to come together.  I love this taco pickle recipe.  Not only does it add some nice color to your tacos but it’s a fun way to bring in some of that flavorful heat from the jalapeño.  Best part is you can throw this in a mason jar and keep it for a week or two.

Recipe and photograph from Eva Kolenko


Roasted Radishes

We experimented earlier in the year with roasted radishes.  Seems odd since raw radishes have that strong, bitter bite to them.  Oddly enough they turn into this sweet, crisp, zucchini-like vegetable when roasted. Finished with a handful of parsley it’s one of the prettiest vegetable dishes I’ve made and simply perfect to serve when entertaining especially with the holidays around the corner.

Recipe and photograph from Home With Her


Cucumber Radish Avocado Gazpacho

Typically by dinner time I’m exhausted from the heat and running around for the past twelve hours.  Though I love cooking I’m not a huge fan of clean up which is why I love one-pot meals like so.  You literally throw it all in the Vitamixer and finish with some delicate micro greens, toasted pine nuts and radish.  Plus gazpacho sounds like a nice way to mix things up as it’s refreshing yet satisfying, especially in this heat.

Recipe and photograph from What’s Cooking Good Looking