After much delay, I am finally getting around to posting the third (and final) part of my blog series: Do-Ahead Party for a Crowd – Easy Appetizer Menu. I had been waiting for an occasion to make the final recipe, and I could not have found a happier one – our youngest son’s wedding.
There are certain flavor combinations that I find magical.
Sometimes these are flavors that take each other up a notch when combined in sequence – like Roquefort with a good Cabernet Sauvignon. Both the cheese and the wine are excellent alone; yet, when you pair them in the right proportions by eating them sequentially, each one enhances the other. Continue reading →
Billboard Outside the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden)
Jamie Oliver may be English born and raised, but he knows Italian. Jamie’s Italian Covent Garden, one of his three London restaurants and one of his many Italian establishments, is a hop-skip away from London’s Royal Opera House (AKA Covent Garden). Continue reading →
Tuscany, as most everyone knows, is a magical and unspoiled place. Although many areas can be crowded with tourists, with just a bit of effort, one can still find beautiful slices of traditional Tuscan life. When asked by friends to join them in a stay at one such unspoiled gem, we agreed without hesitation. They had found a villa to rent at a family-run winery in the Chianti Classico region of the Black Rooster (Gallo Nero) between Sienna and Florence. The villa’s resident caretaker, Marianne, would provide home-cooked traditional Italian meals for us on selected evenings. How could we possibly resist? Continue reading →
When I host a sit-down dinner, most of my friends expect: 1) to be recruited to the kitchen to help with last-minute preparations or 2) to watch me tossing things to and fro in the kitchen while they eat and drink. I think it is part of the joy of cooking — to make it a relaxing group experience. Continue reading →
Humble Potatoes - Waiting to become дранікі (Draniki)
Not long after the turn of the 20th century, my Grandfather left Belarus as a young man to come to the United States. He didn’t like what the Bolsheviks were doing in Belarus and saw escape across the Atlantic. Unfortunately for him, it meant an arduous journey, a struggle to survive as a new immigrant and not seeing his Belarus family again until he was in his 70s – more than 50 years later. Fortunately for me, it meant growing up with my kind-hearted grandfather and living under the influence of my Belarusian ancestry, including the glorious дранікі (dra-ni-ki) — the Belarus version of the potato pancake. Continue reading →
I was a precocious 13-year old, and looked the part. So, I was able to lie about my age, and get a job. The work wasn’t exciting, but It allowed me to save a lot of money (at least it seemed like a lot at the time). These savings became my ticket to see the world when I turned 18. Continue reading →
Last year, I was missing my English golfing friends so much that I invited seven of them to visit and golf in Michigan. Surely, I thought, they wouldn’t all say “yes”. They had families, jobs, etc. I would be lucky if one or two agreed to make the transatlantic trip. Right? Continue reading →