Do-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner (Part 1 of 3) — Turkey Brown Stock

Chicago’s Magnificent Mile – Perfect for Early Christmas Shopping

It is almost Thanksgiving and the start of holiday season here in the U.S.  This is when I wish the moratorium on human cloning had expired, and I could be in multiple places at once. Continue reading

Do-Ahead Party for a Crowd – Easy Appetizer Menu (Part 3 of 3)

Asian Rolls

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.

A WEDDING AND A WOMBAT  

Do-Ahead Party for a Crowd – Easy Appetizer Menu (Part 2 of 3)

Lime-Cumin Chicken Salad in Square Won Tons

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

Do-Ahead Party for a Crowd – Easy Appetizer Menu (Part 1 of 3)

“Cabbage Bowl” and Vegetables Ready for Dressing and Service

When our son Alex, who lives in New York City, asked for help with his upcoming “house-warming” party, I was delighted.

ME:  Would you like me to fly out and help?  The party sounds like fun!

ALEX:  Well, I hate to trouble you.  If you could just send me some ideas, that would be nice.  I was especially interested in the recipe for those Asian rolls.  

ME:  Oh, I’m shocked.  You don’t want your parents to attend your first big party?? 🙂

Needless to say, the end result was not a trip to New York – Continue reading

Do-Ahead Dinner for Eight — and a Tart Celebrating the Glorious Parsnip

Dinner for Eight

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

Wine, Crab Muffins and a Sunset


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

Bisteeya – Possibly the best savory pie ever invented

It is New Years Eve, so it is time to bring our annual progressive dinner menu to life. As this year’s theme is Northern African food (my favorite), what better way to start than with a sweet, savory, crispy, steamy Bisteeya — or “pigeon pie” to the Berbers of Morocco.

Continue reading