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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

Chinese New Year's Resolutions

So since I just celebrated the new year this past weekend, it seems appropriate to have new year's resolutions.

Probably one of the most common resolutions made is "to eat healthier." I cannot really claim to need this resolution. As a vegetarian who generally hates butter, cream, fried foods, oily foods, potato chips, most processed foods, and generally anything that is considered "american," I do not tend to have a problem with this.

My bigger problem is variety. I don't actually care too much about variety; I can eat the same things every day for a week on end and not really think twice about it. However, my last roommate brought this fact to my attention when he saw me, night after night, make salad for dinner. While he would be chopping endives and leaks while panfrying bacon for a new sauce, I was dumping my traditional can of chickpeas into the salad bowl.

So his point was well-taken, and I have been looking for other interesting ways and things to cook. Then my friends told me about the Griddler!

I am sure that this is by no means a revolution to the cooking world, but it was to me. I now have a new way of cooking vegetables and creating proper panini.

Eggplants, spinach and feta cheese: my first attempt with the griddler was a successful one. Salad and chic peas no more!

However, since I have already had this concoction two days in a row, does anyone have good panini recipes before I replace panini for salads as my nightly tradition??

Why am I doing this?


  1. yum! i have a panini press that i've actually never used...i'll have to pull it out. here are some recipes you may like - i purposely left out the meaty ones: (similar to yours),0,4654393.story

    there was recently a 'panini off' at an LA restaurant and the winning one sounds right up your alley: Mango Masala Panini made with spiced chickpea masala, roasted cauliflower curry and tamarind mango chutney. (recipe here:

    also, you can never go wrong with a caprese panini...those will always remind me of eating on the streets in paris. :)

  2. fun! I like the sound of the chick pea masala. And I agree, Caprese is one of the best inventions ever!


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