Thursday, April 29, 2010

~~Summer Soup~~

So...I've been craving GAZPACHO for weeks!  If you don't know what gazpacho is, you don't know what you are missing!

Gazpacho is a cold, summer, vegetable soup.

I searched the town thoroughly for some pre-made, but to no avail, so after I saved a baby's life (another story), I made my own.

Enjoy this completely "guilt-free" treat!

  • 1 quart bottle tomato juice
  • 6 large tomatoes, diced chunky
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced chunky
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, diced small
  • 1/2 red onion, diced small
  • A splash of red wine vinegar
  • minced garlic to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cilantro to taste 

Mix all of the above and refrigerate for at least two hours.  Serve with lemonade or a lovely pino grigio!



Monday, April 19, 2010

~~Salad Nicoise~~

Cooking ranks in one of my top ten passions!  

We had a dinner party this weekend, and this is one of my favorite dishes to make when you want color, variety and fun!  I learned of this dish in a tiny village in France.  When I got home from that trip, I made a few adjustments, and VIOLA!  

~~Salad Nicoise~~
(pronounced, "nee shwa")

This is a cold salad, so prepare everything in advance and keep it in the refrigerator.

Shopping list:
  • Ahi tuna
  • New potatoes or fingerlings
  • Fresh green beans
  • Kalamata olives, pitted
  • Eggs, hard-boiled
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Lettuce (I like spring greens)
  • Any vinaigrette salad dressing that you like (I like Newman's Light)
  • Spicy mustard
  • Capers
  • Anchovies (if you like)
  • Olive oil, the best you can find
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Course salt
Again, prepare the ingredients well prior to assembling your edible art!

Sear by heating a grill pan until hot.  Sear on each side for about a minute.  You want it brown on the outside and rare in the middle.  Cool and then slice in to 1/4" pieces.  

Boil the potatoes until they are tender.  Then  toss them with really good olive oil, course salt and fresh rosemary.  I keep these at room temperature.  Yum~! 

~~Green beans~~
Steam or boil.  Cool in the refrigerator.

Now...right before you serve this scrumptious get to have the most fun!

In a large bowl, prepare your dressing.  I don't measure, so use your sense of taste and balance to mix the vinaigrette, mustard and capers.  (If your guests aren't looking, chop up a couple of anchovies and throw them in!)

Toss with the lettuce.

Place your dressing'ed lettuce in the middle of a platter or large plate.  Arrange all the other ingredients around the edges of the lettuce to create a balanced presentation.  

Finally, place the tuna slices in the middle of the plate.

Serve this colorful, tasty dish with nearly any wine of your choice.  I served a Chilean Carmenere!

Bon Apetit!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

~~April 12~~

Today I write about the first conversation I had with someone that carries the same name I did when I was born: Parisotto.  When your name is "Parisotto" and you live a small town like Springfield, Illinois, it is likely that you are somehow related.  Ya think?!

Several months ago, I read an obituary of another Parisotto that lived in Springfield, Rudy Parisotto. After a few days of thinking about it, I took a deep breath and wrote  in his on-line memorial guest book.  I wrote something like, "Rudy seemed to have been a wonderful person that I would have loved to have known. I am somehow related."

I left my email address, and two people responded.  One of these people, Rebecca Parisotto, corresponded with me over the last few months.  On the day before what would have been Rudy's 79th birthday, Becky and I connected on the telephone.

As you would imagine, I melted down before I could tell her who was on the telephone.  But then again, she already knew.  We instantly connected. She was able to tell me a lot about the Parisotto (my birth father) side of the family, but knew nothing of my mother.

We talked via email and telephone all day yesterday. Who knew someone could go from laughing to crying to cursing (oh phor phuck's sake!) and back in 90 seconds or less...every 90 seconds! 

We made plans to have me attend her mother's surprise 80th birthday party next month!  (Don't tell...)

...and stay tuned!

....with a tear and a sigh....

Friday, April 9, 2010


Someone from Springfield responded to my reach is my response to her.... (It is my policy not to use names in my blog, so please understand the blank spaces.)


At age 45, I am embarrassed to tell you that I am afraid to share, as I lived a horrible life because of my father.  I was born, at St. John's, as Martha Mary Parisotto.  My brother, 11 months older was born A F Parisotto.  My "father" is J W Parisotto.

I have never met my mother, and I "KNOW" something terrible must have happened to her.  I am very afraid that my father, living in southern Illinois will, once again, scare people in Springfield so that they will not talk with me about what really happened. 

My father was TERRIBLY much so that his rights as a parent were terminated by the state of Illinois.  I became a ward of the court....again.

If this is too scary or difficult for you, please tell me.  I will truly understand.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

~~Moms are funny~~

Sooo... My mother-in-law is a lovely woman, 85, and bed-bound.  She has bright eyes and a wonderful smile.  She is on hospice and is virtually unable to communicate.  However, she has moments of bursting light.

Yesterday, I wheeled her from her home to the dentist, as one of her teeth broke.  Due to a miss-communication, we were there over an hour early!  UGH!  

Mom was in and out of sleep in her wheel chair, but when she was aware, she was VERY AWARE.  Enjoy her loud...and in front of everyone.....observations...

"MiMi, you have pretty fingernails."

"You have a black eye. Does it hurt?"  

"You are one tough lady."

"Your eyes are pretty."

" have big BOOBS!"

Yes.... moms are funny.....