September 30, 2017
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Throughout the month of October, we will be donating a percentage of all sales made through our store (https://patriaprintshop.com) and at our art shows to Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh; stop by and help us help an important cause today!
September 24, 2017
This week’s blog post is a little different from others that I’ve written; normally, the photographer in me likes to try and create a “Kodak moment,” so to speak, from the dish I’ve put together, while the home cook (and the Italian) in me likes to walk others through a recipe and give my reactions to the completed product, in lieu of being able to share the actual dish. Because Pow Wow culture and the traditions that surround it are such a vibrant, beautiful, and, frankly, little-known aspect of life in North America, I thought I’d direct some of the focus for this week to that history, rather than just writing about the food served at one of these unique and diverse events.
September 20, 2017
Yesterday marked the six-month anniversary (blog-iversary?) for this blog; a small amount of time, to be sure, but definitely one worth celebrating. In that time, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about, experience, and share the comfort food of cultures from 12 different countries (more than I’ve been to in my real life!) and draw some really cool comparisons.
September 7, 2017
At Patria Photography, we believe that food heals. Which is why we’re donating 25% of each sale to the Houston Food Bank to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey AND throwing in shipping for free on each order when you enter code HOUSTON at checkout.
September 6, 2017
About six months ago, I bought a tyffyn lunch box by Chennai, India-based company, Vaya Life(not an advertisement), in the hopes that I could use my sleek, vacuum-insulated new toy to pack a warm lunch at my day job or make life easier for myself when packing a picnic for that special someone. I haven’t had a chance to introduce my tyffyn to the great outdoors yet, but it kind of serves as the perfect backdrop for this week’s blog post.
August 13, 2017
It feels like forever since I last posted, but I’m glad to be back and bringing a little taste of Greece with me. Last week’s Artists’ Market was a great experience and the people at Williams-Sonoma could not have been nicer to work with. I love events like the Artists’ Market; they allow artists and small business owners to really have a chance to connect with others and, of course, show off their talents. They’re an excellent place to get inspiration for future projects as well… with so many exciting gadgets and designs just begging for a supportive role in a recipe (and a photograph), how can you not be inspired? Needless to say, I’ll definitely be looking forward to participating in the upcoming Artists’ Market scheduled for the beginning of October; if you haven’t visited an art market near you, you should.
Back to the cooking… I’ve been in the mood for something a little Mediterranean lately, and especially for something a little out of the ordinary. Which is why I decided to check out the simple yet delicious cuisine of the mountainous portion of northern Greece.
August 2, 2017
Looks great, right? Imagine how great they’d look on your wall! If you’re in the Pittsburgh area this Saturday (August 5) from 12-4PM and looking to add some colour to your home canvas, stop by the Williams-Sonoma Mt. Lebanon Galleria Artists’ Market and pick up a print (or two)!
July 16, 2017
Happy (belated) Bastille Day, everyone! I’ve been dying to make Boeuf Bourguignon lately, but, in the interest of keeping things manageable, I decided to put together a meal that eats like a member of the bourgeoisie, but can be done on a proletariat budget.
July 2, 2017
Happy 4th of July! Tuesday commemorates 241 years of the United States’ declaration of independence from Great Britain and 133 years since the French government gifted the Statue of Liberty to the United States in 1884. This year, the holiday trails Canada’s national celebration, Canada Day, and its efforts to highlight its own history of cultural, ethnic, and social diversity, which, for me at least, provides an interesting point of comparison for what is arguably the most uniquely recognizable display of “American-ness,” and the impact other people’s histories have on that sense of belonging.
June 18, 2017
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, stepdads, adoptive dads, and fur dads, and happy Sunday to everyone else! Today’s post is about taking a different look at global comfort food – specifically, comfort food with an international flair and an Orlando zip code.
June 4, 2017
June is a month dedicated to encouraging individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds to stand and be proud of their identities throughout the month and beyond. One of the ways these identities are celebrated is through Immigrant Heritage Month, which promotes a greater sense of acceptance and diversity by creating an opportunity for people in the United States to explore their own immigrant heritage, while learning more about the shared experiences of those who are new arrivals and the contributions they and others like them have made.
May 25, 2017
Like what you see on our site? Now you can get it shipped to your home!
May 21, 2017
Growing up in an Italian household, so much of my life revolved around food – making it, eating it… even setting aside special times of the year for it (I’m talking about you, Seven Fish dinner). While other kids I knew took vacations or did activities together as a family, we took trips to check out places where you could get an old-fashioned chocolate-cherry Coke or that perfect bowl of clam chowder; when we went to the beach, the first place we always went was the diner that looked like someone had yanked it and its delicious burgers out of the 1950s. And the same restaurant and custard stand my parents had been going to for excellent gnocchi and banana splits that floated on air were the same ones that I’ve been going to since I could eat solid food. Call it nostalgia, call it a unique childhood, call it Pittsburgh tradition… I call it a lot of fun.
May 8, 2017
This week’s post got me thinking a lot about the concept of the “melting pot” as a (flawed) measure of the diversity of a country, most often as it applies to the United States. It also got me thinking about the idea that diversity and the variety it brings with it function a lot like cooking – adding spice to food always makes it taste richer, especially when those spices work together to create a new flavour you might not know existed before. In many ways, this approach is not unlike the process of blending together different concepts to produce something unique and flavourful, while also highlighting each of the individual ingredients that go into the final product, that is often reflected in Morocco’s (extremely) old-school answer to preparing food, the tagine (taj-een).
April 28, 2017
We’re LIVE! As a thank you for your support and because we want to continue to explore global comfort food with as many people as possible, we’re giving away three 5×7″ prints from our Mexico Lindo series (pictured above) to 30 lucky winners!
April 25, 2017
I’m back! I’ll be honest – I was really excited about this week’s post; not just because of the food (though that was a big draw as well), but because empanadas are kind of the best of all the really great things about comfort food. First off, they’re portable. Who doesn’t love things that are small and delicious? Filling without being overwhelming, empanadas taste like your mom or grandmother made them, but are simple enough for anyone to make themselves. Plus, they’re the perfect size for stacking on a plate and eating with a warm cup of coffee, tea, or, the way I like to eat them, with a nice, cold soda.
April 11, 2017
I’ve been reading a lot lately about the concept of hygge (hoo-gah), the Danish philosophy that places a big emphasis on creating happiness by prioritizing the things that bring a sense of comfort. While the term doesn’t have an exact translation in English – the closest being that it essentially refers to a general feeling of “hominess” or well-being – it’s definitely a concept that people in most cultures can appreciate and recognize: finding that environment or item that helps you to settle down, de-stress, and become more in touch with yourself and those around you.
April 2, 2017
This week’s post was a bit challenging for me because, apart from a handful of athletes and some cooking and travel programs that have appeared on TV in the last couple of years, I haven’t come in contact with many Cubans. I’m not completely ignorant of the many qualities that make Cuban culture beautiful and unique, from the influence of the country’s African roots and music that you can’t help but move your feet to (even if you don’t know the steps), to its fried plantains, mojitos, and flavourful chicken dishes; however, when I sat down to really learn more about Cuban cooking, one dish came up over and over again as a favourite reminder of meals prepared by mothers and grandmothers – ropa vieja.
March 26, 2017
Those who know me know that I have a soft spot for Canada and its emphasis on acceptance of diversity in all its forms. Which is why, when I think of Canadian “comfort food,” the first thing that usually comes to mind is poutine – basically a hug in food form. Rich, easy to make, and coated in a delicious, warm gravy, poutine is an ideal food for days when it’s cold outside and you’re looking for something to “hit the spot,” but not weigh you down or take up your entire day. Even better, it has two of nature’s (and Canada’s) most perfect foods included in it, should you choose to add them – maple syrup and crispy, smoky bacon.
Poutine itself has somewhat of an immigrant past. According to legend, the dish was created by accident in Quebec in the 1950s and eventually made its way throughout Canada and down to the northern portion of the United States, ultimately establishing itself as being synonymous with Canadian comfort food. Today, like many Canadians, poutine can be found in countries around the world, adapted slightly to reflect local flavours, but still no less Canadian.
March 19, 2017
One of my favourite things to do is cook; it allows me to decompress and refocus myself, it allows me to try new ideas, flavours, and recipes, and, best of all, it allows me to experience different cultures in a way that would normally only be possible through constant travel (as tempting as that would be). As I have come to know people from a wide variety of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and am reminded of my own great-grandmother’s stories of immigration to the United States, the one concept that I find myself returning to is the concept of “home” and what it means for each person.