Awesome ideas for summer dessert. I am going to try this for sure. If you try it too, send me a message!


Sorbets are here!!

Sorbet is my answer to this scorching heat and hot air this year. Pick up your favorite fruit and turn them into these icy cool, vibrant sweet treats. They are even guilt free– it does not get better than this.

You are golden if you have an ice cream maker! It basically means you can pretty much make sorbet out of any fruit you like.

For the rest of us (non ice cream maker holders) life will be easier if you pick fruits that have more pulp in it…like mangoes, strawberries, peaches, pears etc. Reason being, the pulp in the fruit helps the final product come together much…much easily and also the final result is more like the sorbet consistency. Whereas if you pick a fruit that has more juice…the final result will be more like italian ice.

I made two kinds of sorbet, pomegranate and…

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Found these very cool portrait paintings, reminiscent of Francis Bacon. Nice work!

Blank Space BLOG

I love to see artists who are classically trained doing something MORE. Anyone can paint a perfect still life with enough  time and practice, but to truly see things differently is a great talent. Its great to see his realistic work (which, by the way, I think has amazing volume to it… another rare skill in a 2 dimensional medium), and then see how his abstract faces are eerily lifelike. Its like ghosts of ourselves, somewhere in there…


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Our indoor Memorial day barbecue

I was reading my monthly subscription to Bon Appetit, and it inspired me to make a Skirt steak from a portion of one of their recipes.

Of course I tweaked it to what we had in our pantry. I don’t keep ALL fresh herbs on hand, wish I could, would and did, instead I substituted the fresh oregano for dried oregano. No biggie though, still turned out delicious!

It was a luscious marinade, well more of a wet rub, with lots of smoky paprika, garlic, sweet Florida onion (instead of shallots) red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, dried oregano (instead of fresh oregano), the zest of one lime with its’  juice (instead of an orange) and a couple of tablespoons of canola oil.

I salted the skirt steak liberally with Kosher salt and marinated it at room temperature for 1 hour. Then I opted to broil it instead of grill it outside in the HOT Florida sun, well… really we don’t own a grill!

Alas, fantastic flavors, perfect for an indoor barbecue!

Red hot smoky-ness!

Yum! A perfect char and succulent taste!

This one I made up myself, easy to put together since I had some super fine produce on hand from the farmer’s market.

Peach Tomato Salsa

Peach Tomatoes with a Georgia Peach add a sweet variety to this fresh salsa

Fiery jalapeno!

Fresh organic parsley and cherry tomatoes

Chop it all up, mix it in a bowl…

Fresh squeezed lime juice

Perfect on Skirt steak!

Farm fresh and snappy green beans!

Tasty Skillet Potatoes

Taters rock!

Time to eat!

Bon Appetit!

A down home indoor barbecue!

Yum Food!! Yum Art!!












Fellow poet

I found this and I Love this!


In recent years, when I am home, I tend to live in silence.

There is beauty in the near silence.

My TV isn’t on and neither is my radio.

Yet, there is the sound of the birds twittering,
the voices of children laughing,
the cicadas crooning in the evening,
and the frogs calling for mates after a good rain.

True, it isn’t a perfect silence.

There is the thrum of the neighbor’s air-conditioner.
the yipping bark of some pocket dog,
and the rumble of the occasional train that passes by.

Yet, each adds, not subtracts from the silence.
Each noise reemphasizes the beauty of the silence when it seems to reach perfection.

I live in the city, a vast collection of noise and turbulence.

And yet I find silence when I seek it.
I find solitude and peace in moments others seem to miss as they scurry to fill their…

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Surprise at the Farmer’s Market

We only have one more week before our favorite organic veggie booth, Worden Farms, shuts down for the summer. Rats!

It is that time of year in Florida where it’s hard to grow anything because the sun is so blazing hot!

So, we will fair well with our local Whole Foods Market and some conventional veggie stands for now.

This week I made a purchase at the homemade pasta and pizza booth (Peperonata Pasta). I bought some homemade Porcini Mushroom Ravioli, yum! They had some beautiful looking pizza crusts and focaccia I’ll try next time.

Next we headed over to the bread booth where we bought a lovely sandwich loaf that was a mix of Sourdough, Rye and Wheat. It has the perfect crust and flavor, especially when you toast it!

Also at this booth a nice woman named Gail was selling some of her relishes and jams, alongside of some luscious and fruity bottles of artisan olive oils.

The Sweet Green Tomato Relish was delightful.

What a nice variety of jams she made.

Olive oil, next time for sure!

I know… you’re wondering WHAT the surprise is I was talking about this week!!

Drumroll please….. 

An Arts and Crafts Market right next to the Farmer’s Market!! Woo hoo! Two of my favorite things at once!

Colorful handblown glass bubbles.

My fiancée knows this puppeteer “Doc” who set up his “Lions, Tigers, and Bears productions” stage on the back of his bicycle, very cool!

Doc hand carves amazing puppets!  This is one snazzy cat puppet,  playing a piano he made as well. Bravo!

Below is the side view of the stage and bike.

We thought this gentleman made some nice looking tee shirts by hand, cutting different fabrics and making one of a kind images with the cut up pieces.

This guy was pretty sweet too!

Mr. Panda, what a face,  he’s a beautiful sculpture.

“Waters Edge Studios” had beautiful copper and glass sculptures by, Terry Andrews.

This booth had glass vases as well as some very cool fake food art by “The Frozen Moments”

These Pet-it Fours looked so real you wanted to gobble them up, I actually had to double-check to see if they were real!

Fake cupcakes and chocolates.

Chocolate cake with fake strawberries too!

Huge flower-pot!

Next we spotted a large hand carved gator lying in the street!

We got closer…

C’mon it is Florida after all, gotta have a gator…oh and some tropical birds as well!

This Old Salty Dog in the background of the photo below, made these two out of metal, stunning in person!


These were full size Pirate metal sculptures, simply awesome and also very Florida!

What a great morning, and a great surprise – two markets in one today!!

We were pooped and HOT, after a long, but fantastic Saturday at the Farmer’s/Art market. We ended the morning with some chilled black and green Mint tea and some organic watermelon, from our favorite Worden’s Farm booth, of course!!

Yum Food!! Yum Art!!

© [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Community comes together

I love this idea! I hope it takes off around the world.

from scratch club

I grew up loving food, so much so that I fluctuated between 180 and almost 200 pounds from the time I was 18 until after marrying my hubs at 33, almost eight years ago (we joke that I was overweight and he was bleach-blond when we got married…must have been true love). Much of what I ate after leaving home as a teenager was consumed gluttonously and carelessly, without thought of origin or substance.

A few cherished food memories from my childhood lingered and nudged at me every time I looked a fast-food sausage biscuit in the face…seeing which cousin could pick the biggest, blood red tomato or neighborhood-wide admired zucchini from my “Paw Paw’s” garden, carefully tended every year; gorging on watermelon or pomegranates in summer gleefully with my Dad on our back porch; sweet summer corn slathered in butter, salt and lots of pepper, plucked from the bed…

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Dogzzzzz….Rule! (well, you know the rest)

Now that you saw from my post about the farmer’s market, that I have the BEST Dog On THE Planet!


 and one more snoozy pic! (note the faraway look in his eyes)

 Being the big dog lover that I am, I decided to create two pastel pieces in honor of my boy. Enjoy!

“Cave Dog”  Oil Pastel on Watercolor Paper

“Dog Run” Oil Pastel on Watercolor Paper

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh


Homemade Organic Vegetable Stock

Whoa whoa whoa! Hold on a minute…don’t throw away those good veggie scraps!

Not when you can make your own homemade organic veggie stock!  I just throw all my scraps I get each week from the farmers market into a container and freeze until ready to use.

As you can see, you can create some fantastic looking sculpture as well. LoL!!

 I get a flavorful stock with a variety of earthy notes each time, depending on what I buy from the local farmer’s market that weekend.

Don’t throw any of it out, because as you can see here, with the diverse amount of veggie scraps I collect I achieve a nice complexity of flavors.

I use the biggest stock pot I have with this bunch, and fill with fresh water just to cover the top of the veggies,  and I add 1 Tablespoon of sea salt, then simmer for 3-4 hours.

Until I get this rich full-bodied stock!

Plus this!!

Now I can freeze some and use some now in all the yummy recipes I whip up for the next couple of weeks!

Yum food!! Yum art!!

© [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Did you visit your local Farmer’s Market this weekend? We did and it was a blast!!

I am coco-nutty!! for the coconut.

ImageWe love getting up early-ish every Saturday morning and heading to our local downtown Farmer’s Market, here in sunny but hot Sarasota, FL. 

Now that I am free on the weekends we have made this our Saturday morning ritual. After hitting the local coffee bus “Java Dawg” for our cappuccino’s, and gobbling down a ham and cheese empanada for breakfast we hit the rest of the fabulous booths!! 

And I ended our excursion today with this chilled coconut, freshly pierced by the pineapple coconut guy. It was a HOT morning!!

On the horizon it rose, the “Java Dawg” a local roasting company whose big red bus is a sure thing at the Sarasota farmer’s market!

This thing is too cool, it has everything a traditional coffee shop would have, but it is mobile!

What is really, really, REALLY cool, is they have tables and chairs with umbrellas, on top of the bus! You enter from behind and inside the bus, then up their spiral staircase and Wa-lla!  you can view the entire market from above, while enjoying your select coffee drink. 

Oh, and no that isn’t coffee coming out of that spigot below, that would be over the top, wouldn’t it?!  They offer free water for hot shoppers and hot doggies. Awesome!!

The empanadas’ were a nice way to start our morning. Below is a ham and cheese, and a spinach empanada.

They have a nice variety of shapes and flavors of empanadas’ available.

If you are a true meat lover The Alpine Steakhouse, a local restaurant, is serving up a BIG supply of various meats.

We always try to buy some artisan bread, this time we chose a Rye bread.

The traditional German pretzels ROCK too!

Alas, there’s Gluten-free for those who can’t have the gluten in the rye bread or pretzels!

Some  yummies for the gluten intolerant…

a local gluten baker always impresses…

Next time I promise to get some of the homemade pasta and/or sauce  from our local pasta connection. They also make homemade focaccia that is VERY popular.

Next we head to our absolute favorite stand!  Locally grown organic produce presented by, Worden’s Organic Farm!! WOOHOO!

I love fresh produce, and especially if it’s good quality, budget friendly, organic produce to boot!

They have a large selection of veg, and they are the most crowded, so get here early! I love the variety they have as well as some of the staples they offer.

They also have a nice choice of organic herbs. We got a slamming deal on a HUGE bunch of fresh basil here, yum Pesto!

Great root veggies!

Organic watermelons!  Super hydrating in hot and humid weather!!

Their produce is amazing AND their prices are very reasonable for organic!

Now, any good local farmer’s market usually has a wide array of non-perishable but complimentary goods for sale as well.

Below is some nice local greenery available for sale.

This Red Ginger plant is impressive!

Perhaps you are looking for Orchids, this stand showcases some gorgeous ones! This large hanging one blew me away!!

Beautiful, don’t know the name of these plants, but someone, somewhere does.

I know it seems like we we’re there all day! But here are just a couple of colorful items made by community folk, enjoy!

Rain buckets!!

Of course I can’t leave the market without getting something yummy for the best dog on the planet!

Khalil went crazy for his poached Goat Horn!! Yep, I said POACHED goat horn.

Now before anybody gets their feathers ruffled, this is not illegal goat poaching happening here. 

This horn is cooked (poached) buy a local holistic pet food company called, “Petmopolitan” .  They also sell other things like poached hoofs, and some pretty awesome antlers; that seem almost petrified. Great for your dog’s teeth!


Ahem….did I mention he’s the best dog on the PLANET!

After playing with the dog for a while, I cracked open that coconut I was drinking in the beginning to show some pretty sweet looking coconut flesh!

Tonight- Coconut rice with garlicky, white asian eggplants for dinner!


YUM Food! YUM art!

© [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Foodie photo’s

Here are some beautifully composed foodie photo’s.


So, this dessert is healthytastes delicious, promotes local business & farmers and can be vegan as well.

Ever since I discovered fresh coconut milk (if you are a frequent visitor, you must have heard me blabbering about how I love the fresh coconut milk) I’ve been trying to develop this recipe.

I was extremely happy with the results. The mild flavor of coconut custard complimented with the tartness of fresh strawberries and the intense flavors of balsamic vinegar and dark honey.

I was very pleased with the way this dessert tasted for a few reasons:

  1. I did not use any sugar in it, only honey.
  2. I used two different kinds of honey- a mild one to sweeten the custard and a dark one for the balsamic sauce.
  3. The honey (both) were organic and I bought it from the local farmers at Auroville. Therefore making it a “Real” ingredient.

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Chick Pea’s

The Chick Pea, also known as the garbanzo bean!

otherwise known as the garbanzo
Highly versatile, full of protein and delicious!

The Chick pea as stated in Wikipedia:

The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) (also ceci bean, garbanzo bean, chana, sanagalu Indian pea, Bengal gram) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its seeds are high in protein and it is one of the earliest cultivated vegetables; 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.[

I am intimately connected with chick peas, as they are a staple in the Middle Eastern diet, which I grew up on.  The chick pea is the base for hommus, most of us know hommus  as the mid-eastern dip that is pureed into a lovely whip of tahini, lemon, garlic and sometimes cumin then sprinkled with any variety of spices such as paprika, Zataar (a mid- eastern finishing spice) or for a kick, cayenne . It is spread on sandwiches, dipped with chips, dunked with pita, scooped with veggies or just dolloped up with our fingers, because the combination (if done correctly) creates a symphony of flavor in one’s mouth!

The Chick pea’s versatile nature allows it to be created into a variety of delectable’s such as another middle eastern staple, Falafel. Falafel is a vegetarian fritter that is mixed with spices and herbs and shaped into either a fritter or a ball and deep-fried. It is then made into a pita sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and a yummy tahini sauce. The Greeks use a yogurt sauce called tzatsiki, for their version of a falafel sandwich.

Enjoy the chick-pea in stews, as they do in the Indian dish called Channa Masala. Or use the garbanzo in salads or saute’s as the Italians do. Anyway you prepare this little bean it is sure to pack a big punch of flavor and is a viable alternative for protein. Low in fat and high in nutrition.

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