Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27, 2013


A Thought for Today

“Neither art nor wisdom may be attained without learning.”


                               Democritus (c.460-370 BC)



A Piece of My Work


                 A Memory (V)



A Recipe for the Day

Tandoory chicken


1 medium onion

1 tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger root

3 medium cloves garlic

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. cooking oil

½ cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt

1½ tsp ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground turmeric

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash of ground cloves

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. salt

6 chicken thighs or 12 drumsticks

1 lemon cut in wedges




Dice ¼ of onion. Reserve the remaining onion. Process diced onion, ginger root, and garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add lemon juice and oil and process to blend.


Transfer to a bowl. Stir in yogurt and all the spices and the salt.


Remove skin and trim excess fat from chicken thighs. Cut 2-3 small slits in each piece to help marinade to penetrate. Dip each piece into the marinade to coat the meat on all sides and place in a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.


Slice remaining ¾ onion into thick slices and place as a layer into roasting pan. Place a wire rack over the onion slices. Remove chicken pieces from marinade and set on the rack. Roast at 400 degrees until juices run clear when meat is pierced in the thickest part (about 50 minutes). Serve with lemon wedges and roasted slices. Makes 3-4 servings. 


One may use chicken breast but up to a total of 8 pieces of chicken for this amount of marinade.


Serve with rice.






Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

A Thought for Today


“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.”


                      Victor Hugo

A Piece of My Work

My son and daughter in law, Daniel and Berenice, were expecting a baby. In fact, they had  two little twin girls. I wanted to make something for this occasion. I called the piece "Awaiting our Granddaughters", in anticipation of their birth on October 17, 2013.

I gave this piece to Daniel and Berenice on the day they had a baby shower. It shows two babies in a heart-shaped basket under the protective hands of the mother and father.


A Recipe for Today

                                         Paella, Valencia style

Active work time: 35 min. Total preparation time: 1 hour. Makes 4-6 servings. 
1 cup of fresh or frozen lima beans or dried butter beans, soaked overnight.
2 cups green beans cut in 2” pieces
2 chicken thighs (10 oz. total)
4 pieces of rabbit (10 oz. total)
1 (10 oz.) boneless duck breast, cut into 4 pieces
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tomato grated (1/2 cup pulp)
2 tbsp. annatto oil
¼ tsp. saffron, crushed
½ tsp. pimentón
41/2 cups chicken broth
1 dz. cooked snails, optional
Fresh rosemary sprig
2 cups Spanish short-grain rice
Lemon wedges for garnish 
Soak butter beans overnight, cook in boiling water for 5 min. Drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
Blanch green beans in boiling water for 1 min. Drain, refresh in cold water and set aside.
Cut the chicken thighs in half along the bone, making 4 pieces. Lightly salt the chicken, rabbit, and duck.
Place a 14”-paella pan on the fire and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of salt into the oil then add the chicken, rabbit, and duck and let them brown slowly, about 10 min. Add the limas or parboiled butter beans and the blanched green beans and cook and stir 1 min. Add the garlic and when it begins turning yellow, add the tomato pulp.
In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of water, the annatto oil, saffron, and pimentón. Stir until the spices are dissolved. Dribble the mixture into the pan.
Add 4 cups of broth and return the heat to high. Add the snails and sprig of rosemary. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook 14 min. more without stirring. Add liquid if necessary. The liquid should be absorbed and the rice al dente. 
Allow the paella to sit 5-10min. before serving, then garnish with lemon edges.


Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013

A Thought for Today

“It is not who is right but what is right that is of importance.” 

                                         Thomas Huxley


A Piece of My Work

I was working on a "Memory" head in the series of heads that I like so much. I was trying to make again the 'elusive' head which broke (shown in the September 6th blog). While working on it, the head got elongated. I suddenly realized that I liked it and I called it "Thinking of Modigliani".



This is the head at the time of finish. The clay is naturally grey. It would become off white after being fired. 

Because I wanted it in the same color, I got a metallic grey glaze and it came out quite well as seen below.

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013

A Thought for Today

“Every society has the criminals it deserves.”


                                                                   A. Camus 


A Piece of My Work


Putto (V)


I am experimenting with the putto's and found that the relationship between the size of the figure and the background plate may add considerably to the overall effect. I like this putto more than the last one shown.




A Recipe for Today


Mixed Vegetables and Veal Stew

From Jeff Smith’s “Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors”
This is one of my preferred dishes. It is a great recipe that requires a lot of work but the results are much appreciated by all those lucky to eat it. I first learned about "Ghiveci" at home. When I started my travels in Turkey, I found out that the recipe is a Turkish dish that entered the cuisine of those who like 'soul food'...
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. black pepper
2 ½ lbs. boneless shoulder veal cut into 1” cubes
2 ½ tbsp. butter
¼ c. olive oil
2 medium yellow onions peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
1 c. carrots, sliced
2 c. turnips  peeled and chopped
2 c. parsnips peeled and chopped
2 c. celery root, peeled and chopped
4 c. eggplant,  cut in ½” cubes
2 c. zucchini, cut in  ½” cubes
1 ½ c. green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into ¼” strips
2 c. leeks, only the white part, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 c. cabbage (½ of a small head) thinly sliced
2 c. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 c. baby okra, cut or whole
3 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp. marjoram, dried
1 tbsp. thyme, dried
1 c. beef stock
1 c. dry red wine  
Plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream 
In a bowl combine the flour, ½ tsp. of the salt, and ½ tsp. of the pepper. Add the veal pieces and toss until the cubes are well coated. Remove the meat from the flour, sifting it through your fingers to shake off the excess flour. Sauté the veal in butter and oil in an 8- to 10-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until brown on all sides, about 5 min.
Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, about 5 min.
Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed. Cook, covered, over high heat, until the liquid boils. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Place in a preheated 350 oven. Bake, stirring several times during cooking, until the vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour. Serve hot. Garnish each serving with yogurt or sour cream.
Serve with polenta. 
Makes about 20 servings.

Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22, 2013

A Thought for Today

"Is it moral or ethical to bury an organ which could save a life?"

                  Dr. Christian Barnard (first surgeon to do a successful organ    transplant in man)

A Piece of My Work

I sculpted the putto on top of the flat medallion. I used a better transparent blue glaze that pools into the crevices and troughs of the sculpture.

Putto (IV)


A Recipe for Today


Polenta with Sage 


2 c. water

1 ½ c. chicken broth

1 ½ c. yellow cornmeal

1 tbsp. minced fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp. crumbled dried + sprigs for garnish

2 garlic cloves

4 oz. Mascarpone

¼ c. freshly grated Parmesan

2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leaved)

Tabasco to taste 



In a 3-qt. microwave-safe casserole with a lid combine the water and the broth, whisk in the cornmeal, a little at a time, whisking to eliminate any lumps, and stir in the minced sage and the garlic. 


Microwave the mixture, covered, at high power (100%), whisking every 3 minutes, for 10-12 minutes, or until it is thickened and the liquid is absorbed. Let it stand, covered, for 2 minutes and discard the garlic.


Whisk in the Mascarpone, the Parmesan, the parsley, the Tabasco, and salt to taste.

Pour the polenta into a serving dish, and garnish it with the sage sprigs.  

Serves 6.


Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013

A Thought for Today

"A good gulp of hot whiskey at bedtime it's not very scientific, but it helps when down with a cold".

                                         Sir Alexander Fleming

A Piece of My Work

                                              Putto (III)

A Recipe for Today

Tomato Salsa

For ½ recipe      For Full Recipe (~4 ½ cups): 

4                   8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
½                  1 yellow chili, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1                   2 medium beefsteak tomatoes, cored and seeded
¼                  ½ white onion, coarsely chopped
           3/4                1½ cup canned dice tomatoes, drained
            ½                  ½ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
3                   6 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
¼                  1/3 cup lime juice
             1                   2 tsp. kosher salt


In a food processor, chop garlic and chili.
Add beefsteak tomatoes and onion; pulse until chopped.
Add fire-roasted tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, and lime juice; pulse until roughly chopped.
Season with salt.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 9, 2013

A Thought for Today

"Men don't think about future until they get married; women think about future only before they get married".

                                          Pearl S. Buck

A Piece of My Work

Putto (I)

My first attempt to making a 'putto'. June 2013


A Recipe for Today





5-6 lbs. brisket

3 onions sliced

1-2 envelopes of Lipton’s dry onion soup or Lipton’s mushroom soup packet

2-3 cans golden mushroom soup mixed with ¼ -½ cups water

4 peeled and sliced carrots

4 potatoes peeled and quartered

Turkey bag 



Place sliced onions in the bottom of the bag;

Spread the dry onion soup. Pour over the mushroom soup.

Place the brisket on top and cover with chunks of carrots and potatoes.

Close the bag.

Cook at 325˚ for 2.5 – 3 hours until fork-tender;

Remove meat from the bag. Keep the gravy;

Slice the meat at an angle across the grain;

Place the meat slices into a Pyrex rectangular dish;

Pour gravy on top and add more golden mushroom soup;

Wrap in thin foil and seal edges. Bake one more hour at 325˚. This is the key to a terrific brisket.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1, 2013

A Thought for Today

“A great president should instinctively sense the popular need because he himself has lived through the hardship, the labor, and the sacrifice, which must be endured by every man of heroic mold who struggles up to eminence from obscurity and low estate. Between him and the people is that subtle bond which makes him their champion and makes them enthusiastically trust him with their loyalty and their love”.

FDR at nomination of Alfred Smith, June 28, 1928



A Piece of My Work


"Putto" (cherub, cupid) has been a decorative pattern started by Italian Renaissance artists. I started to experiment with this model. I did not do very well at the beginning. I used a transparent blue glaze that is supposed to emphasize the outlines. It will be better in future trials...




A Recipe for the Day


"Avgolemono" soup is a traditional Greek soup with chicken , rice, and eggs, and lemon. Very tasty.





2½qts. chicken broth

1 small chicken breast

1 cup rice

3 tbsp. + 1 tsp. cornstarch

¼ cup water

3 egg yolks

1 lemon juice

1 tsp. salt




Three cups of broth. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken breast, cover and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked (10-15 min). Remove the breast to cool and shred it into strips.

Bring the broth to simmer and stir in the rice. Cover the pan and simmer gently until the rice is cooked, about 20 min. Remove and set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring the remaining chicken broth to a boil over high heat. While the broth is heating, whisk together the corn starch and water in a small bowl until fully combined to form a slurry.

Off heat, whisk the slurry into the broth to thicken, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

Temper the egg yolks with the broth and whisk the warmed egg yolks into the broth.

Whisk in the lemon juice, and then taste the broth and season with salt, which depends on the brand of broth used.

Stir in the shredded chicken and rice. 

Makes 8 servings.


Friday, October 25, 2013

October 25, 2013

The Thought of the Day

"The real friends are known at time of misfortune".

                                                           Aesop - Fables

A Piece of My Work

A Memory (IV)

My efforts to achieve the fine lines of the first "Memory" (see September 6th blog) are not yet fully rewarded. There is more work to be done.


 The Recipe of the Day

FILIPINO PANSIT   (Edgar’s version) 
This delicious rice noodle dish probably came into the Philippines from China.  The Filipino cooks worked their wonders on the dish and brought it with them to Hawaii and finally to the mainland.  It is easy to prepare. 
  One 8-ounce package rice noodles (“bijon”) from the Philippines (found in most Oriental
  markets). I prefer the “Vermicelli bean threads” noodles, which in the US are called “glass
¼ cup peanut oil (sesame oil is OK).
  2 cloves garlic, peeled, and crushed
  8 oz. lean beef sausage, julienned, and cut across in small pieces
   1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
   8 oz. breast of chicken, sliced in thin 1” pieces
   1 cup chopped Napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage) thinly sliced
   ¼ cup thinly sliced and lightly chopped leek (only the white part)
   2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
   2 Tbsp. fish sauce (nuoc mam)
   1½ cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp. annatto oil (optional) 
   Note: One may add fish or shrimps. 
   Garnish:  Freshly chopped coriander leaves  
   Preparation:  .
   In a hot pan, place the peanut oil.  Heat the oil, and then add the garlic and the beef sausage.  Stir until the sausage is browned. Set aside. In the same heated oil, sauté the onion and fry the chicken.  Return the sausage to the pan and add the cabbage. 
   Chow and add the leek, soy sauce, fish sauce, stock, and annatto oil.  Chow until the cabbage is tender;

   While the beef, chicken, cabbage, and leek is cooking, soak the rice noodles in tepid water (barely warm, about 105°F) just until supple, about 10 minutes. When the noodles soften, drain the water. I like to cut the long threads with big scissors then add the drained noodles to the pan and mix thoroughly.  


   Cook about 15 minutes on low-medium heat until the noodles are just tender, not soggy.  Cooking should be complete when there is no more liquid in the pan.

   Place in a large bowl and top with the garnish.
Serves 6-8.

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013


A Thought for Today

"To regret the past is like running after the wind"

                                                    Russian proverb

A Piece of My Work

December 12, 2012 - The Lady Doctor

My father gave my brother who was a surgeon a fine Lladro piece of porcelain showing a physician. I inherited this from my brother and we kept it on the shelf in the living room. One day, some lady friends came for dinner and, while saying that they liked the Lladro, were asking us why we don't have a lady partner to the it. Here it is, the Lady Doctor.


A Recipe for Today

Keftes  de Prasa (beef and leek croquettes)

(A Persian traditional Passover dish)


4 large leeks

½ lb. ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup matzo meal

¼ cup fresh dill, minced

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper


Olive oil for frying


1 lemon cut into wedges for garnish




1. Wash well the leeks. Trim the root and discard the tough outer leaves. Cut crosswise into thin slices and swish in a bowl of water, changing the water two or three times to be sure the leeks are free of dirt.


2. Put the leeks in a saucepan and cover with water and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the leeks are soft, about 30 min. Drain the leeks in a colander and cool. When the leeks are cool, squeeze out as much water as possible.


3. Place the leeks in a mixing bowl with the meat, eggs, matzo meal, dill, the rest of the salt, and pepper. Mix well. Place a small piece of the mixture in boiling water, cook and taste.

4. Form into small patties, about 2½“across. Fry in olive oil on both sides about 4-5 min.


Makes about 22 patties. 

Each croquettes = 250 cal.



Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11, 2013

A Thought for Today

"The essence in life is not only to be able to do what one wants, but to want what one can do".

                   Brandt, Ibsen

A Piece of My Work

A Serving Dish

I designed this serving dish with the idea of placing a dip well in the center and surround it with a  space for crackers.


A Recipe for Today

Red Bell Peppers (a side dish) 

2 medium red sweet bell peppers, cored and seeded
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp. tomato paste
1/3 c. dry white wine
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. salt


Cut the peppers into 1”1/2 wide strips lengthwise and across.. Heat a large frying pan and add oil, garlic, onion, and pepper pieces. Sauté over medium heat, covered, until just tender, about 15 min. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook covered over low heat for 5 min. more. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 4, 2013

A Thought for Today

"The most important fact is not what society and environment made of us, but what we ourselves made under these influences"

                             EMM, letter to IR, 1960

A Piece of My Work

A Memory (III)


I hoped to be able to remake a head similar to that I made in June 2012, which broke in my hands. It's like the desire of having again a child like the one lost... I am not there yet...

A Recipe for the Day

Meat Ball Ciorba

The word "ciorba" come from Turkish and is used to describe a soup that had some "dressing" with lemon or lemon and eggs.

3.5 quarts water
2 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. ground beef (15% fat)
½ cup rice
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. savory
1 tsp. thyme
¼ cup flour 
1 bunch of green onions, finely sliced
2 medium sized carrots, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 large green pepper, chopped
3-4 tomatoes, chopped
½ chili
½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 eggs
Juice of 1 lemon 
Preparation: Combine water, 1 tbsp. salt, and1 tsp. pepper;
                      In a food processor, chop coarsely the green onions, carrots, green pepper, and tomatoes and add to the water in a large kettle. Cover, bring to a boil, and immediately lower the heat and simmer 30 minutes;
                      Combine meat, rice, 1 Tbsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, paprika, savory, and thyme and make 1” balls.  Roll them in flour;
                      Add meatballs to the liquid, cover, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.                      
                      Add chili and continue simmering 5-10 minutes;
                      Remove chili and continue simmering 20 minutes;
                      Add parsley and simmer 5 minutes;
                      Beat the eggs with the lemon juice.  Stir 1-2 tablespoons of hot soup into the egg/lemon mixture, and then stir the mixture into the soup.
Makes 14 servings.

Friday, September 27, 2013

September 27, 2013

A Thought for Today

Solitude develops perspicacity and reflection.

                                                   EMM, 1959

A Piece of My Work

Human memory is a wondrous matter. I recall my first visit at a physician who was not a pediatrician. I believe I was about 14-15 years old. It was a routine visit required for admission to a particular school. While listening to his talk, I noticed on his desk a human hand made in stone, which impressed me by its expressiveness. It was saying to me: "I will". It stuck in my memory... Now, after so many years, I suddenly felt that I must make it in clay and I glazed it.

" I will" (Made in August 2012)

A Recipe for Today

Leg of Lamb


2 cups tamari soy sauce

2 cups orange juice

4-6 lbs. leg of lamb

1 head of garlic, each clove slivered

1 sprig of rosemary

6 oz. Dijon mustard




Combine soy sauce and orange juice. Put leg of lamb in a non-reactive container and pour soy-orange juice mixture over. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


Cut slits 1” deep and about 1” apart all over the meat. Stuff each slit with a sliver of garlic and a few leaves of rosemary.


Cover generously with mustard.


Cook at 325 degrees until meat reaches internal temperature of 140 degrees for medium-rare, about 15 min. per pound of meat.


Let stand 15-20 min. before serving.


Makes 8 servings.


Each serving contains about: 298 calories; 4211 mg. sodium, 109 mg. cholesterol, 7 gm. fat, 14 gr. carbs, 44 gm. protein, and 0.24 gm. fiber.