Not a bad thing to be called


I’ve been called many things in my life – but my favorite thus far has to be the moniker courtesy the Boise Weekly – ‘all-around foodie.’

It was fun getting to share my foodie favs in their recent Restaurant + Bar Guide along with other mangia-fans in the Valley. (and to get my headshot next to Idaho’s best NY slice :)

Thanks BW for pulling together this annual culinary bible.

Mangia Fan from the Start

ImageWeighing in at 10.5 pounds at birth could have been one indication.

Or perhaps being born half-Italian, where eating and the art of mangia is an art form.

Thanks to my dad for reminding me of my oft-messy foodie origins ;)


Tres bien Janjou Patisserie!


After tantalizing me with its sleek white lines and empty cases promising French pastry nom-ness for months, Janjou Patisserie is open! (

I had to make a Saturday morning pilgrimage down to 17th & State (next to the Moxie) to sink my teeth into the flaky loveliness that is a true French croissant. (& to stock up on Moshit’s Palmiers which I dream of)

I’m in love with this little slice of European cafe chic in Boise. And Moshit’s story, passion and determination in bringing Janjou to life is one to toast – with a rich cup of espresso and buttery, flaky pastry.

Fantastic Foodie Experience at Boise’s Fuel for the Soul

One of my favorite foodie experiences during my Argentine sojourn was the Puertas Cerradas - or ’Closed Door Dining.’ Essentially, it’s a hidden restaurant run out of someone’s home. Less than a dozen diners gather in someone’s living room as the host chefs cook for you in their home kitchen.

No idea if it’s global or not, but there was a lot of it in Buenos Aires and it was awesome. I never thought I’d have such an experience again.

But, my recent evening in the North End in the home kitchen of Fuel for the Soul came awfully damn close.


Fuel for the Soul is truly a labor of love by Chef Titti Lancedelli and Joel Marx.In their own words, “The biz partnership features Tiziana “Titti” Lancedelli as the master chef, recipe maestro, demo queen & cooking class guru, while Joel Marx is the business maven, scribe, chief dishwasher, food peddler & overall slave-at-large.”

Relatively new Idahoans, they started as a retail gourmet prepared food company featuring gluten free items like Bureks & Crostata d’Italia. Fuel for the Soul has now expanded to offer regular cooking classes. Through our monthly cooking classes, we also seek to equip you with the knowledge on how to eat fresher& healthier at home. Whether you’re a total spaz in the kitchen or a true gourmand chef, our series of classes specifically targeted to kids or adults can definitely broaden your culinary horizons. Hop on board as we tour a vast world of edible delights.”

In a lovely coincidence, a colleague’s wife had just signed up for a class and they forwarded me the class lineup for August - a virtual tour de delicioso of Italian cuisine thanks to Chef Titti’s Italian roots. (She’s also spent time in Southeast Asia – hence the Thai classes). I had to sign my Mom, sister and I up for the Bistro di Italia: Simple classic dishes fit for your own personal backyard bistro.  Quick, healthy, substantial dishes begging to be eaten Al Fresco and of course accompanied by a chilled Pinot Grigio or a bold Spanish Rose. 


Titti’s casual ease in the kitchen, endearing candor and approachable teaching style made the class a lovely and fun evening. No pretention and like I prefer – not a lot of strict recipe rules. More along the lines of teaching attendees to become intuitive chefs. Reminiscent of how my grandmother cooked – ingredients, instinct and ‘to taste’.


And the other half of Fuel for the Soul – Joel – acts as resident sommelier and sous chef for the class, regaling students with tasting notes for each selection.


This was my fav (one of the many wines Joel sources from Boise’s Bueno Cheapo Vino)
So – to get down to it, the amazing menu for our Bistro class. 


1st Course: Orecchiette ai Funghi
Orecchiette Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce


2nd Course: Pesce alla Catalana
White Fish Steamed, then Chilled and Dressed with Olives, Basil & Sweet Onions

3rd Course: Frittelle di Zucchine
Fried Zucchini Fritters Made with Grated Zucchini, Parmesan Cheese, Ricotta Cheese, Bread Crumbs & Fresh Herbs


Dessert: Torta Mandorlata
Sicilian Tarte with Ricotta Cheese & Almond Filling

Simple. Straightforward. Amazing. A cooking class you thoroughly enjoy from start to finish, and then realize when you get home, ‘Hey, I can really make this!’

In the wake of the unfortunate demise of many of the cooking classes in the Valley, Fuel for the Soul is a welcome upstart. Beyond that, it is a dynamic and enjoyable new foodie and cultural experience for the Valley. The couple genuinely believes in building friendships through the communal experience of breaking bread in the warmth of their beautiful North End home.  

A tavola non si invecchia!

(There are a slew of cooking classes every month offered by Chef Titti and Joel. Here’s thelineup for September and the landing page for all the latest class info)


When the Wandering Table Wanders Into Boise

Spread the word…discreetly

Now, who doesn’t love getting a first bite of something. Especially when it’s served via a discreet pop-up dining experience for an intimate table of 20?

Those four words enticed me. The creativity, wit a whimsy of the chef inspired me. And I find myself sending foodie vibes to the universe that The Wandering Table wanders back through Boise again.

So what is it?

This is about passion. We have an insatiable appetite for cooking and creating food. We love what we do and is something we enjoy sharing with other people. This is our anti-restaurant. This is our way of cooking what we want to cook. This is how we share the food we love to eat. This is a chance to taste a meal prepared from the seasons. There is a reason that all great chefs of the world use seasonal, local ingredients. Where can you gather more inspiration, when you get a tomato, still warm from the sun, or from the farmer you work with, or from a day of foraging for mushrooms. There is in inherent appreciation of great products that makes my job so much better. I go out of my way to seek the best products, and to honor those who grew them by doing my best at serving them to people in way that makes food memorable. This is how we create great experiences, traditions, and communities. This wandering table is making stops in various locations from airport hangers to barns to vineyards, and everywhere in between. Our menus are created and meant to reflect the best  of the season. We’ve created one of the most interesting and unique dining experiences in the Northwest and you’re invited.

When it landed in Boise – here’s what Chef Adam Hegsted served up.


With a menu like that – every course was a visual and brain-tantalizing feast. But here were my favs

Cucumber Tasting – featuring pickled, dried, sorbet, smoked and sauce


Egg Yolk Caviar – featuring asparagus, parmesan, yolk vinny


Herb Waffles – with chicken fried morels and pine syrup


Wild Steelhead Tartar with crispy skin, radish, first grass and river sand (the most delicious I’ve ever had :-)


And this photo doesn’t do the dessert justice – Chocolate Textures – crispy, cold, dry, hot, firm


Bravo to Chef and his team and David Hale and IPTV for bringing the Wandering Table through Boise. 


Maybe I should give up the Cheese Gal dream…

…and work on becoming the Baklava Queen!


Sent from my iPhone

Foodie Finds in Utah

A long-delayed post about the foodie finds we stumbled across on our Tour d’ Utah at the end of November. And by stumble, I mean found thanks to Foursquare, Yelp, and recommendations from friends on Twitter, Facebook & by a good old fashioned, "You MUST go there!"

First up, the Italian joint, Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli in Salt Lake. 
They had me at??? cheese cave. It’s one of just a few in the whole country and replicates the perfect environment for aging cheese. (Puts my thoughts of using my tiny wine fridge for aging homemade cheese to shame.) Needless to say ??? 200+ farmstead cheeses from around the world. Pure cheesy heaven.
And what’s a slew of cheese without charcuterie. They have their own Salume Maker, "With over 14 types of proscuitti and dozens of salami, including those made by the house salame maker, Cristiano Creminelli, Caputo’s can claim the best cured meat selection in Utah and, possibly, in America. Cristiano’s family has been hand making salame for over 400 years and their salumificio (salame shop) was named best in the entire region of Piedmont in 2006. In 2007, he came to Caputo’s to make all natural salame with all natural Utah pork. Already, he has garnered many local and national awards for his "babies," which you can watch during the curing process through the glass doors of the curing cell."
While the deli was fantastic (I had a killer meatball sub with sublime provolone) the market was what was truly breathtaking. Pastas and sauces and breads of every variety.
And, stacks of flavored, smoked and wonderful salts. We brought home some truffle salt that has been amazing on everything.

Next up, the Mexican joint. One of those ‘You HAVE TO go there!’ places that we almost skipped. It would have been a foodie miss of a lifetime if we hadn’t decided to snag dinner at Salt Lake’s Red Iguana (described as Pre-Hispanic Food Imperial Aztec Cuisine and Moctezuma’s Table) 
The New York Times did a great story on the Salt Lake institution’s decision to open a second location just blocks from its original site.
With an overwhelming number of moles to choose from, we tried their ‘mole sampler’ to decide. While they all converted the ‘I hate mole’ Kevin to a huge mole fan ??? I wound up going with Mole Poblano while Kevin tried one of their signature dishes, the Puntes de Filete a la Nortena.

Our other great find in Salt Lake was a wine & tapas joint Meditrina
Great selection of wines by the glass, cool atmosphere and yummy small plates like crab-stuffed piquillo peppers, beef tenderloin carpaccio and bulgogi pork belly ??? but the real star of the show was dessert.
Hello Drunken Oreo! Red wine soaked Oreos in a port reduction topped with vanilla bean ice cream. #Nom-worthy

And finally, one of those side of the road finds that make you smile. Moab’s Ye Ol Geezer Meat Shop. Literally, one of those places we whizzed by on the way to Canyonlands National Park that we just had to stop at to snag some dinner for the cabin grill
Two delightful ladies (one hiding behind the meat case below :-) had a wealth of knowledge and directed us to an awesome aged New York strip. Heavenly. 
Along with the homemade jerky, cured bacon and a bonus of fresh pork sausage??? we left with a stash of protein goodness. Of course, made all the better by finding people who relish in their craft and delight in sharing their foodie knowledge and passion.

Love is…


…your better half buying a torch & fancy spoons to surprise you with delicious Grapefruit Br??l??e at home. Flame on!

Oh Gino, how I’ve missed you…

I’m sorry that my Boise snobbery kept me away for so long… But I’m so glad I finally got over it and made the trek to your not-so-new home on McMillan in Meridian.


You’ve been my favorite Southern Italian foodie stop in the West since my family moved to Boise in the mid-90′s and my Gramma Angie (aka ‘Tootsie’) gave your food her blessing. If Tootsie from Astoria, Queens said your food is legit and of the old country, count me as a believer.

So thanks for the trip down memory lane, for serving up meatballs just like Gramma’s, for employing a staff who treat you like family, for making me swoon with pillowy gnocchi goodness.

Just goes to show – yet again – that the address doesn’t matter, it’s the soul and spirit inside the kitchen that makes a meal memorable.

Fresh from the garden…onto the grill

Though I’ve lamented the weak production of our backyard veggie garden – I’m pretty proud of this week’s bounty (& what we turned it into!)


In our grill basket – tomatoes, garlic, onions (& eventually basil) all from our garden.

The various detailed recipes for Fire-roasted tomato soup had me torn, so I went with my gut on this one.

Toss them in olive oil, dash of sea salt and fresh ground pepper then onto the grill at 400 for about 25 minutes (until they get some nice char)

Afterwards it was into the food processor for 5 minutes to turn roasted whole goodness into roasted soup.

Some recipes called for heavy cream or chicken stock but we kept it vegan :-)

18lbs of peaches are headed my way from the awesome Kelley Farms. This gal can’t wait to get canning! And I also can wait to be inspired by all I’ll see and devour at this weekend’s Sun Valley Harvest Fest. I’ll be a food blogging fool so get ready for some fast and furious foodisms. (More info: