Julie Anne Rhodes
I’ve already written about my quest to find the computer, which still continues as the plot thickens. I’m not at liberty to discuss that part at this time, but I would most definitely make a great detective if all else fails. My inner detective is having a field day, and my imagination is running wild. I may have the beginning of a novel (or perhaps I’ve read a few too many John Grisham and Dan Brown books). I’m always looking for that silver lining!
This post is about the boring part. In case, God forbid, you lose your computer too – you will know what to do. I’ve spent days changing every password, canceling credit cards, closing online accounts, registering the serial number with Apple as stolen, making police reports, filing insurance claims, registering fraud alerts with the credit bureaus and with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Call me paranoid, but identity theft would be a much larger problem.
Who knew losing a computer would be a full-time job on top of rewriting recipes for the cookbook, writing and promoting the blog, preparing for another guest chef television appearance, and my day job of cooking for clients? I am failing miserably at trying to squeeze in some semblance of a social life for balance, although a very generous friend did kidnap me for a few much needed hours at the spa last week. Y.M.C., you are a saint!
Frustration by Tatjana Rhodes

You have no idea how much of your life is on a computer until it is gone. I thought I was past the grieving stage until I learned my external hard drive is faulty. The grief soon morphed into sheer frustration. The last back-up did not complete, so I lost more photos and work than expected, and what is on the drive, is a mess. It has taken literally days to retrieve about 85- 90% of my data, plus it will take at least another week or two to individually sort the 868,000 files into folders again. I had to “back away from the computer” several times this week to keep from sending it crashing through the window. Proof positive that I am not always that cheerful, positive gal you have me pegged to be. I am human, with flaws glaring boldly at the moment. I’m experiencing a major lesson in patience and letting go.
Moral of the story: Always back up your data regularly, and on to two hard drives in case one fails. Do I even need to mention “don’t leave you computer on the back seat of a taxi” too?
Jewels lesson in patience

A deep breath, back to work, and “this too will pass.” I want to say thank you to all of the people that have offered advice, kind words of support, and to those that sent precious pictures to help compensate for the lost ones. As aggravating as this has been, you’ve helped keep me buoyed throughout.
The mini-miracle of the week is that the camera shop managed to rescue about 50% of my lost New York photos from the camera’s memory card, even though I had wiped it clean to make room for new photos. The WIE Symposium photos are sadly gone, as were my favorite pictures from the MoMA’s Modern kitchen exhibition, but all the rest are safely restored.
Cooking up some comfort

Feeling rather shell-shocked by the enormity of everything involved with losing my computer, I decided I needed a bowl of my favorite healthy comfort food.

Escarole & Orzo Soup with Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

Servings: 4



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped; or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ pound escarole, cut into ¾” inch ribbons
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup orzo
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

  • ¼ pound ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons panko
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant; 1-2 minutes. Add escarole, stir well, and cook covered for 1 minute. Add chicken stock, orzo, and carrots and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine meatball ingredients (turkey through granulated garlic) in a large bowl. Form mixture into meatballs approximately 1 inch in diameter.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes (meatballs will not be cooked through yet). Transfer to soup and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Serving suggestions:Serve with fresh crusty bread or with a mozzarella and tomato relish sandwich with pesto on ciabatta.

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