The Natural Beauty of Mushrooms

Welcome to Mushroom Monday!

Words cannot adequately describe just how busy we’ve been at Shami’s Gourmet.  We’re working on something very special for you and unfortunately, our blogging will suffer over the next week or two as a consequence.

As usual, though, we will do our best to not leave you hanging by sharing exceptional content from elsewhere.  Today, we’ve found a beautiful gallery of mushroom photographs by Michelle Lunato.  As a rule, we’re more concerned with how food tastes than how it looks. And where we are concerned with food’s appearance, it’s generally about how it looks on our plate.  It’s interesting and refreshing to appreciate its beauty in nature.

Bon Apetit!

Hubby’s Birthday Lunch at The Penthouse in The Huntley Hotel

When two big annual events fall less than 2 weeks apart each year, it is inevitable that after the big buildup for the first, the excitement of the second lags a bit behind. Not that my husband’s birthday should be celebrated any less enthusiastically than our wedding anniversary, but with our big anniversary dinner at Saint Martha just 12 days before . . . we both sort of forgot to make any plans.

I woke up early to a Groupon email about a deal with Cantor’s Deli (described as “an authentic deli experience unparalleled anywhere on the West Coast”).  As two good Jews from New York, we never like to pass up a good deli.  But just as I was thinking what a great idea that would be for lunch, a light went on in my head: let’s Groupon Mike’s birthday lunch.

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Throwback Thursday . . . Wandering Jews in Dijon, France

Time for Throwback Thursday’s trip down memory lane.  Today our adventures take us to Dijon, France.  Follow us along this tale of new friends.

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As self proclaimed wandering Jews, we were, of course fascinated when we accidentally stumbled upon what appears to be the one and only local synagogue in Dijon.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we were wandering the streets late Wednesday afternoon, when we wandered onto Rue de Synagogue and found the Synagogue of Dijon which was locked up tight. After doing some research on line we found no contact information other than their website. I sent an email asking permission to get a peak inside.

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What’s With Wine Wednesday?

Welcome to Wine Wednesday!

Several people have asked us why we bother to write about wine, since we don’t sell any on our site.  The answer is quite simple:  Shami’s Gourmet is not only our business, but also our passion.  For us, a gourmet meal paired with the right wine is one of life’s great pleasures – especially when shared with friends.  And a good bottle of wine on its own is not far behind.


In our travels, we always seek out local grapes and vineyards to complement the local food.  And whereas this habit has led us to taste some truly foul swill, it has also led us to discover some real hidden gems in some surprising locations.  For example, did you know that Uruguay produces some world class wines?  We didn’t before we went there, but we do now.

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Shami’s Gourmet Guide to Truffles

Welcome back to Truffle Tuesday!

This week, we’ve done something a little different, which we hope you’ll enjoy. Given all the confusion surrounding what truffles are, what the different types are, and what forms they are available in, we’ve created an infographic which we hope will clarify things a bit.  Click on the thumbnail below, or get the pdf here.  Please feel free to share it with anyone and everyone you think could benefit from it.


3 Unique Morel Mushroom Recipes You Can Prepare at Home.

Since we have already shared some of the basics of cooking with mushrooms (see our earlier post “Want to Cook Mushrooms Like a Pro? Start with the Basics.“), we now want to focus on the various mushrooms individually. This week we begin with the Morchella, or the true Morel mushroom.

Morel Mushrooms

Amongst the most highly prized of all mushrooms, Morels don’t look or taste like regular mushrooms. These honeycombed, capped mushrooms have a smoky-nutty flavor and aroma all their own which is favored by cooks worldwide. When in season, chefs tailor their recipes to highlight and preserve the natural Morel flavor.  Morel mushrooms are affordable enough to be enjoyed quite often, but are also seen as a luxury ingredient for special occasions.

While researching Morels I found not only some really creative recipes, but also some interesting and humorous factoids about this visually stunning tasty tidbit.

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What is Sauce Sarcenes?

Welcome to Freaky Spice Friday!

So why are we discussing a sauce on Freaky Spice Friday?  Well, because this week’s featured spice is Cubeb Berries (bear with us here).  The only modern cuisine making extensive use of Cubeb is Moroccan (though it is also used to flavor gin and as an adulterant in Patchouli oil).  But in medieval time, it was used and traded extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

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Throwback Thursday. Mendoza . . . Back in the day . . . 2008 that is!

Back in 2008, after living in Costa Rica for about 2 years, we got the itch that it was time to move on.  But where to go??  We decided to leave our home during the rainy season and check out South America hoping something would light the spark in our minds for where to move to next.  It sure did and we ended up moving to Buenos Aires about 6 months later. This post, first written in 2008, tells of our winery tours during our first trip to Mendoza!!

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Bodega Ruca Malen

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Wino Wednesday – Let’s Visit Mendoza, Argentina

While we wish we were able to share an original post every day, life and work sometimes have other plans.

Things have been a bit crazy over here these past few days and sadly we got a little behind the eight-ball.  As such, we thought we would share with you a Wino Wednesday post by our good friend Sorrell Moseley-Willilams.  Between her intimate knowledge of wines, Argentina, and so many other subjects, you are guaranteed to be entertained.

Mendoza Wineries

We met Sorrell when we lived in Buenos Aires and have shared quite a few wino related experiences together (details of which are for another time).  Sorrell recently passed her sommelier exam and is an official graduate Level One Sommelier!!  Congrats to Sorrell!

Please enjoy her insightful article, “A sommelier’s guide to Mendoza’s historical wineries”.

See you tomorrow for Throwback Thursday!