Slow Carb Multi-Bean Burgers – Not Too Shabby

Beans are an integral part of the Slow Carb diet. On Monday when we started, we sousvided a pound each of black beans, red beans, white bean and chick peas. (Note to self. . no need to sous vide them. . .just buy the cans and rinse. . .sooo much easier!!)  I like beans, we both do actually, but having a side dish of beans at almost every meal was starting to get a little boring.

Meanwhile, I had created a new board on Pinterest called Burgers  (Just started thinking that burgers really do need a board of their own. Cook them. . . look at them. . talk about them. . . eat. Beef, lamb, bison, chicken, turkey, veggie . . . Who doesn’t love a good burger!!)  and that light went off in my head. Let’s just make some veggie burgers. Unfortunately almost every recipe I came upon included some ingredient we cannot have. Whether it be cheese, flour, breadcrumbs, or some other sort of carb, I was starting worry about how they would stay together. This is what I came up with.

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Octopus Croatian Style – Peka

OctopusPekaPeka, which means “under the lid” or “under the bell”, is a traditional Croatian way of preparing food. Peka is made with lamb, veal, or chicken or my personal favorite, octopus. Variations of Peka also include potatoes, carrots and onions. All the ingredients for Peka are placed in a round pot and covered with an iron lid.  This lid is then covered with embers from the fireplace in which it sits.

While visiting friends on the island of Hvar in Croatia back in 2006, I had my first experience with Peka at a restaurant called Konoba Humac.  That summer we were truly blessed by being invited to share in the Konoba Humac experience.

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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. 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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Sunday Bloody Brunch Sunday . . . Thanks Bono

While I am sure that title (or some variation on the theme) has been used millions of times before when discussing one’s Sunday Bloody Mary brunch, it really does seem fitting this morning.

Sunday Bloody Mary Sunday

Today just couldn’t have come fast enough for us here at Shami’s Gourmet.  Our Ubons Bloody Mary Mixes arrived earlier this week (sadly they were sitting in the managers office for a few days but no one bothered to tell us it had arrived) so we spent the last few days discussing ad nauseum our menu both in and around the Bloody Mary’s.

While waiting for our Bloody Mary mixes to arrive, we prepared a Pinterest collection featuring some of the wild and wacky Bloody Mary concoctions out there.  Sliders, shrimp, pizza, asparagus, pickles, eggs, bacon and even entire chickens adorn some of these monstrosities!!!  Sadly, we were not in the position to be as grandiose.

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Have You Had Your Dukkah Today?


Since starting Shami’s Gourmet, we have learned about so many new and exotic foods. One that really caught my eye is the Egyptian spice Dukkah (or Duqqa). It is a mixture of herbs, nuts and spices and it’s most common use is as a dip with vegetables or fresh bread.

The origin of the word “Duqqa” is from Arabic which means “to pound”. The mixture of ingredients in Dukkah are pounded together after being dry roasted to a texture that is neither powder or pastelike. It is a texture all its own.

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Throwback Thursday Continues: Happy Anniversary to Us!!

In anticipation of our 11th wedding anniversary tomorrow, we started reminiscing about some our favorite anniversary celebrations. Our 7th anniversary extravaganza in Buenos Aires stands out amongst the very best.  Not sure where we will end up tomorrow . . . we are just hoping that it will be at least half as good as this one!!

Bon Appetit!

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As someone who responds to the question “So, how was your trip to . . . ?” with “It was great, you would’t believe the dinner we had at . . . “, it is no wonder that many of the best memories of my life revolve around food.

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