Food With Soul

Everyone has an idea of foods that satisfy inner feelings. Some cultivate fulfillment; others promote happiness. Take coffee, for instance. I look forward to my morning cuppa joe. Coffee does make me happy. I begin every day with a cold double espresso, slightly sweetened and creamy followed by a flavorful espresso shot. Then I’m done. Don’t ask me to give up my Nespresso machine because that’s not going to happen. When my husband and I lived in a hotel for nine months while our new home was being built, the Nespresso machine was my daily companion. Sure, the hotel offered a complimentary breakfast, but come on……don’t ask me to give up my soulful morning espresso. Would you? This round of recipes might give you ways to substitute foods and ingredients that appeal to your soulful lifestyle and palate. It’s all about the possibilities, ideas, and balance. I encourage you to make substitutions in the recipes I offer without sacrificing taste. I do it all the time; you can, too.

Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures one bite at a time. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Food With Soul”. This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement.

Oh, Deer

“I always thought of deer as solitary

animals that weren’t very interesting.

But my goodness, that was very wrong.

The big eye-opener for me was that

they’re social. They have family groups.”

~ Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Steamers in Naples, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Steamers in Naples, Florida! For New England-style seafood in an unpretentious setting, it always helps to get a tip about where the locals go for incredible clam chowder with a side of fried clam strips and hush puppies. The menu offers way more than steamed scallops, sautéed shrimp, fried clams, blackened fish, and lobster tails. Unfortunately, I can’t get past the taste of my favorite combination enough to find out how delicious everything else is. What I can confirm, is that people stand in line or meander around the busy strip mall to wait for a table inside or out. It feels like family the way the staff interacts with customers. When you get the craving, remember Steamers for outstanding seafood at a pretty decent price.

Mr. Tequila Authentic Mexican Restaurant in Naples, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Mr. Tequila Authentic Mexican Restaurant in Naples, Florida! When one restaurant owner boasts about an additional place to try, my ears usually perk up. Mexican food is one of my favorites, especially authentic family-owned restaurants with a story to tell. Rafael Romo, born in Guanajuato, migrated to the United States as a teenager. With a good work ethic, he understood the commitment required for a successful business. His journey progressed into a food truck where he sold Mexican food infused with family traditions. Over time he gained more knowledge and experience. Then Mr. Tequila was born. Now popular as a farm-to-kitchen cantina, people flock here for grilled specialties that are bound to become favorites. Some of the drool-worthy dishes include crispy flour shells, grilled seafood and veggies, gooey melted cheese, creamy guacamole, marinated meats, and always fresh pico de gallo. Happy Hour margaritas definitely make late afternoon quite satisfying. For a dining experience rich in culture where people are greeted by name, this place fits the bill.

Zaza Mexican Kitchen on Marco Island, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Zaza Mexican Kitchen on Marco Island, Florida! Tucked away next to a local bike shop, a blend of kitchen aromas fill the parking lot with hypnotic haziness. The breeze reveals the familiarity of slow-cooked meats like woodsmoke curlicues. Something inside you says this is going to taste pretty good. Using fresh ingredients is a must when combining Latin secrets with Mexican family recipes. There is no other way to cook. The taqueria ambiance slightly resembles Old Mexico living as well. Go ahead, begin with hand-cut chips and salsa. Wash them down with an original agave wine margarita. Ahhh. Then dig in to a platter of sizzling fajitas, spiced carnitas, soft tacos, loaded enchiladas, or cheesy quesadillas. On second thought, better plan on a return visit. Your stomach will thank you.

The Next Step

Say goodbye to ho-hum eating. If you didn’t know it’s okay to think outside the box, I’m here to say, “Permission granted.” The key to chowing down at home is compromising tradition with newfound tastings. After all, we have a versatile palate that likes to explore rustic, organic, and enhanced foods with today’s kitchen technology. Begin by taking a look in the fridge, freezer, or pantry. Then let your tummy be the judge. Turn cheese into crunchies, spread pickles onto veggies, fold seafood into bread dough. And that’s just the beginning. Sound interesting? Time flies on this journey of the palate. Thanks very much to all of my followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. Follow me on Facebook at Gail Dorna, on Instagram @gail_dorna and Twitter @ Snapshotsincursive. What’s cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as A-B-C. One of my passions is being at home in my own country kitchen. No matter how much we travel, I relish the thought of returning there to create something delicious. I adore time-honored traditions using tried-and-true recipes. Yet, I often never think twice about tweaking old favorites or modifying others to suit the inner craving of the moment. Most of the recipes serve 2-4 people, but can be altered in any direction. The leftovers are golden morsels to be eaten again later or shared with others. And I love to share. To me, seeing a smile in gratitude is thanks enough. The recipes you will find here in the next several weeks can be prepared very easily. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: THE NEXT STEP!”

Cheerful Choices

Escape the pandemic for a taste of cheerful choices that can be prepared with basic kitchen cookware and family-friendly ingredients. After all, you have enough rules to follow once you leave the house. Find your spotlight in the power of food. As your body calls out for comfort in the foods that trigger feel-good chemicals, let go of the guilty feelings society labels “taboo”. No one knows you or your family better than you do. It’s what makes you their favorite.

And speaking of favorite…Some of my posts have been noticed by the “Food Network” and Le Cordon Bleu on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures as you eat with your eyes. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Cheerful Choices!” This remarkable journey of the palate is serendipitous because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. You’re the best.

Experience the Holidays!

Experience the Holidays! This year things will be a little different. Unsettling times of chaos and confusion can still accompany satisfying food. Some people will gather virtually, others behind plastic shields, window panes, and face masks. Christmas cards, letters, texts, and phone calls are especially important right now. It is critical to stay connected. Every family has its favorites from the past. Some indulge in time-worn traditions while others enjoy modern classics. As you embrace the holidays with limited companionship, sentimental yearnings, enjoyable food, or jubilant festivities, celebrate the spirit of the season. In the next few weeks, join me as I share festive foods as well as healthy options. Experience the holidays with gifts that never go out of style: Faith, Hope, Joy, and Love. These are the things worth sharing.