Scot Medbury, President of the BBG

President of BBG

I felt blessed to find myself at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens today to participate in their 33rd Annual Making Brooklyn Bloom project.

(A huge shout out to my my Sister, April, who  invited me!)

Before I left home, I grabbed my camera, praying I will be inspired.

Inspired, I was! The very essence of inspiration was in the air. To start things off, the weather was simply beautiful.

And to tie into  the spring feeling, there were so many people happy and eager to talk to you about their careers and how much gardening meant to them.  I met gardeners, innovators,  teachers, students,  architects, historians, cooks,  two happy babies, musicians, photographers, and to top things off I  ran into Gustimo’s co-founder, Martina Kenworthy, who  embarked on a new career with Slow Foods.

The love for healthy food brought us all together.

In the middle of the day I found myself in the garden’s auditorium listening to the president of the garden, Scot Medbury. He said, being around plants and beauty really brings you to your best self  and I sat there hoping I would soon join this community of people who didn’t mind soil and seeds.

Gustiamo’s Tasting

This pass Saturday I visited Gustiamo, an Italian food company, to attend their a tasting. I haven’t blogged about Gustiamo in a while, so to tell some of my new followers about Gustiamo, I’ll just say that their food is indeed high quality food. Knowing about Gustiamo did change my way of looking at food and even my way of eating. Some of their products are expensive but I would encourage anyone to buy at least their olive oil  and taste real Italian food.

The following photos were taken at the Tasting.

In this photo, a customer is checking out Gustiamo’s “Terra Amore & Fantasia” – Peeled Tomatoes by Sabatino Abagnale

Gustiamo’s Tasting


I know this picture is a little blurry but look at  little Joaquin’s face. He was so excited to be tasting Gustiamo’s food. He wanted to try all the jams on the table and I think if his dad was not there to guide him, he would have.

No matter how many jams he tried, he kept going back to the Bergamot Marmalade by Caffè Sicilia.

Before Joaquin’s father manged to pull him away from the table, Joaquin pointed to the Bergamot Marmalade and declared that it was the yummy one. This was before Martina cut the Traditional Pandoro by Pasticceria Biasetto,a sweet type of holiday cake. After he got a piece of the cake, he walked away from the table with his eyes towards the heavens repeatedly saying SUPER YUMMY.

Gustiamo supports The Mary Mitchell Center

So, most of you already know that the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center is celebrating 15 years of community work this year.

One of the companies that supports the center is Gustiamo, a small intimate  Italian business in the Bronx. When I met Martina from Gustiamo, she was at Mary Mitchell working with the children and that is what sparked my interest in Gustiamo.

In this picture, Tiffany is reading the 2012 Mary Mitchell booklet. This booklet comes out every 5 years and lists some of the neighborhood business that support the center. When the community supports Mary Mitchell, it means a lot.   Gustiamo not only supports though donations but may stop by to interact with the children.

Thank You Gustiamo!

The People John Knows

So, last month I was raising money for the Mary Mitchell Center and it tuns out I went into a contractor’s office and on the wall were a lot of famous people he had met in his life time. I knew most of them by face and not really by name. Some by name like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. There are also some actors who acted with Bill Cosby but I can’t recall their names. For some reason it was surprising and I was hyped (not even going to lie).

You know what’s funny, now it doesn’t even matter. Like, it’s not like I met them. Then why was I so hyped?!

Balsamic Vinegar

I was amazed that a bottle of Balsamic Vinegar could actually go for four hundred or more dollars! I visited and saw a bottle of La Vecchia Dispansa vinegar that went for 429.99.

My first question was what’s so special about vinegar that it’s so expensive? It’s almost like buying a bottle of wine!

As if answering my thoughts, I received a newsletter from Gustiamo the same day in which Martina mentions vinegar and tells me why it can be so expensive:

To make a balsamic “traditional” it takes at least 12 years, that’s an unthinkable six million three hundred seven thousand two hundred minutes.

So, like wine, the older the better.

Not only did Martina tell me why it could be so expensive but she shared with me a more affordable vinegar with the same good qualities as La Vecchia Dispansa vinegar.

Like La Vecchia Dispansa vinegar, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar comes from Modena, Italy. However, both are by different producers  and one is Traditional.

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar goes from 83.00 to 227.00 at


Pandoro by Pasticceria Biasetto

The dialogue between my family enjoying Pandoro on a Tuesday afternoon:

Me: (to April and Sammy) What are you eating?

April: The cake Yunice brought from Gustiamo.

Me: Can you cut me a piece please?

Dad: There’s something about that cake, it’s not like a regular pound cake.

Sammy: I know….it’s like…spongy.

Dad: Yeah, Sammy, you got that right. It’s spongy.

Me: Thanks! Why, what a big slice!

Yunice: Aww, just eat it. The slice looks big but it’s not that big. It’s like cotton candy. You think you have enough but soon you would want some more.

Me: *Sigh* I want some more already!

Pandoro is made by award winning pastry chef Luigi Biasetto in Veneto, a region in Italy. It is made with organic ingredients (you can see a list of the ingredients at Gustiamo’s website) and comes wrapped so beautiful that you want to keep the package after you’ve eaten the cake. That white stuff is powered sugar. It comes in an individual package. If you forget to put the sugar on the cake (which you may not want to do), you can add the sugar to butter-pecan ice-cream…I tried it and it’s good!