Valerie Albarda

After almost 21 years of living in the humid south (Atlanta, GA), I relocated to the frozen tundra (Stamford, CT) in October '09. I've always had a love of food--looking at it, talking about it, writing about it and, above all, devouring it! The fact that I don't weigh 300 pounds from all this eating is a clear indication that The Food Gods must be smiling down on me. It has always been a dream of mine to travel, eat and write about it, so that's now what I do. After over 20 years in the legal industry, and another 5 as a business analyst, I gave up the ghost and turned to my first love of writing. My husband is, by far, my biggest cheerleader and provides inspiration and encouragement. I'm sure my dog would offer encouragement, too, if he knew how.

I have written many articles for Woman Around Town and Stamford Patch. I also write the blog "Bon Vivant: One Woman's Exploration of the Culinary Landscape". You can find out a bit more about me at my WEBSITE.

Today's Foodism: Mornings Are For The Birds ... And Breakfast

Only dull people are brilliant at breakast.~Oscar WildeMornings. For some, it is their favorite time of day. Rise and shine, bright and early, up and at 'em and all that nonsense. For me, mornings are the bane of my existence. I once owned a sleep shirt with the image of a frazzled and worn out looking Garfield the Cat on the front with a line that read "I don't do mornings." ...more

Today's Foodism: Where the Child and the Adult Converge

For those who love it, cooking is at once child’s play and adult love. And cooking done with care is an act of love.~Craig Claiborne...more

On the subject of my new book: Yes, there's a bit of food thrown in for good measure

Followers of my blog know that my little place in cyberspace is principally about food. You see, I have an undying affection, dare I say a love affair, with cuisine. And why shouldn't I? Like air and water, food is a life sustaining force. Without it, we would perish. So for the things in life that are necessities, I reasoned that I may as well go all out and love 'em with a fervent gusto. Hence, this passionate affliction of sorts that I am all too happy to call my burden....more

Don't You Just Hate It When . . .

graham crackers don’t break on the perforated line? you order your steak, burger, salmon, etc. “well done”and when it arrives at the table, it’s burnt beyond recognition? Well-done does not need to equate to desiccated. (Read my take on well-done food HERE)...more

America, it's time to celebrate OUR cuisine!

Although America’s origins sort of began under the auspices of European colonization (notwithstanding the indigenous peoples in the form of Native Americans who were here long before the migration of Europeans to the Americas), the United States of America is American personified. And while there are many varied and wonderful races, colors, creeds and nationalities that make up these United States, this rich diversification has lent itself to a greater wide-ranging culinary landscape across this great land of ours....more

My Brief But All-Consuming Fling With Pork Bacon

Bacon.To some, simply uttering that one word elicits goofy grins, licking of lips and rubbing of bellies. I’ve come to learn that people love bacon. Now, while I’m a turkey bacon aficionado, some may consider this particular strip of poultry to be an affront as it dares bare the same moniker as bacon. I, however, don’t indulge in pork so the substitution of the gobbling imposter was a natural choice for me....more

Well Done: It's a veritable food conundrum

It’s finally time for me to get this off of my ample yet well-proportioned chest. I have a bone to pick with cooks, chefs, sous chefs, culinary artists, hash slingers and anyone else who steps foot in a kitchen, wields a spatula like a Samurai sword and fawns over their own gastronomic creations. This has been weighing heavy on my mind for some time now. The catalyst for the timing of this particular tirade was a simple omelette. Unfortunately, this omelette was just plain ugly. In fact, it was so ugly it was fugly....more

My Quest For Food Porn Greatness . . .

I. Love. Food. It’s a simple enough statement yet it holds such profound meaning. At least for me anyway. I love everything about food. The nutritional value that it provides. The alluring aromas it possesses. The varied sounds of food: crackling, bubbling, sizzling, fizzy, sputtering. The way it feels in your hands, in your mouth, in your stomach. And of course, the aesthetically pleasing sight of food. It’s enough to make your mouth water just by looking atit....more

Meatless Monday is Local and Global...

Are you a fan of the Meatless Monday movement that is sweeping the country, growing in popularity with each successive plate of food? It’s not too late to jump on the meat-free bandwagon....more

When All Else Fails, There's Pizza . . . Sometimes

Today, my husband and I made a valiant attempt to have lunch at a small European-styled café not far from our house. This café—whose proprietor is currently featured in local news spots because, as a survivor of the World Trade Center attack, she has a story to tell—has seen its fair share of goofy mishaps as of late when in early August a 92-year old man drove his car through the café, and the following week the café was robbed of $400.Nothing says good eatin’ like overcoming adversity....more