Memory: 1986!

April 17, 2019

Memory: 1986!

Jen and Me in front of Notre Dame de Paris

I’ve been to Paris four times: in 1963, on my own after leaving a bus tour through several European countries; in 1986 and ’87, with Michael and Jen; and in 1999, just Michael and me. There were no cell phone photos during those visits, so I used my iPhone to snap a photo of this photo which was taken by Michael using a regular camera.  This and one other taken at the same time are the only photos we took of this famous cathedral.

Sad to see Notre Dame burning. The speculation that the fire was caused by a spark during renovations to what is a wooden structure immediately reminded Michael and me of the fire at the Auberge Hatley, in Quebec. From the mid-1980’s until 2005, we went there each August and several times in the fall (including celebrating my 60th birthday). They were building a brand new wing which we were scheduled to stay in during the summer of 2006. However, in March, a spark during renovations in the original wooden building (ironically at a spot outside our regular Room 22) started a fire that raged out of control, and the entire Auberge burned to the ground. It was never rebuilt.

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At Home: First Daffodil of 2019

April 9, 2019

At Home 2019: Daffodil

The Foie Gras Queen in 2018

March 26, 2019

2018 was not exactly my best year with regard to medical issues. This forced us to substantially reduce dining out. Obviously, as a consequence, the opportunity for me to indulge in my passion for foie gras was more limited than in past years.

JANUARY

Foie Gras au Sauternes

Majorelle – Foie Gras Sauté with Sauternes

Foie Gras

Eleven Madison Park – Foie Gras Marinated with Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

Foie Gras

The Clocktower – Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait

                   London Stout, Lentils, Smoked Duck

MARCH

Foie Gras

Eleven Madison Park – Foie Gras Marinated with Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds

                        With House Made Pumpkin-inflected Roll

                 (So sensational, we had to have it again!)

APRIL

Foie Gras Torchon

Bistro Leo – Foie Gras Torchon with Hazelnuts, Fruit Compote, and Brioche

Foie Gras

Foie Gras

Eleven Madison Park – Foie Gras Marinated with Strawberry and Black Pepper

MAY

Pâté de Foie Gras

Frenchette – Pâté de Foie Gras: Liver Pâté, Port Gelée, Rhubarb

Foie Gras Tart

The Modern Dining Room – Foie Gras Tart, Honey Glazed with Rhubarb and Basil

JUNE

Ganache de Foie Gras

Chez Catherine – Ganache de Foie Gras, Rhubarb, Pink Peppercorn Honey, Vanilla Salt, Brioche

AUGUST

Terrine de Foie Gras

Rotisserie Georgette – Terrine de Foie Gras with Rhubarb Chutney

Honey Glazed Foie Gras Tart

The Modern Dining Room – Honey Glazed Foie Gras Tart with Roasted Peaches and Lemon Thyme

Foie Gras

Le Rendez-Vous Bistro – Seared Foie Gras with Fresh Figs

Foie Gras

Cognac East Brasserie – Foie Gras Torchon with Brioche, Cornichons, Grapes and Apple Chutney

SEPTEMBER

Foie Gras Poêlé au Sauternes

Foie Gras Poêlé au Sauternes

(Again!  It’s a long way from January to September….)

Foie Gras

Eleven Madison Park – Foie Gras Marinated with Eggplant and Mint

Foie Gras

The Modern Dining Room – Roasted Foie Gras

Seared Foie Gras

Gotham Bar & Grill – Seared Foie Gras

NOVEMBER

Sweetbread, Rabbit, and Foie Gras Terrine

Benno – Sweetbread, Rabbit, and Foie Gras Terrine

Apple Marmalade, Black Pepper Brioche, Frisée, Apple Balsamic Vinegar

DECEMBER

Terrine of La Belle Farm Foie Gras

Benno – Terrine of La Belle Farm Foie Gras

Mission Fig, Marcona Almonds, Watercress, Black Pepper Brioche

At Home: Purim 2019

March 22, 2019

Not only was yesterday the first full day of spring, but it was also Purim.  And today is Shushan Purim, which is when the holiday is celebrated in Israel.

Last year, I didn’t bake hamantaschen, opting instead to buy them at Breads Bakery in NYC.  This year, I went back to baking them.

At Home: Hamantaschen

Prune and Apricot Hamantaschen

 

We had our Purim dinner yesterday.  Just the two of us.

At Home: Chopped Salad

Chopped Salad with Russian Dressing

At Home: Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage

Welcome, Sweet Springtime!

March 20, 2019

I hate winter! And even though we didn’t have any major snowstorms this winter, there was plenty of bitter cold weather.  So, spring can never arrive too soon for me. Happily, it’s officially here with the arrival of the spring equinox 2019 at 5:58 EDT this evening.

In our backyard, I noticed that our daffodils, the first spring flowers, are beginning to poke through the earth.

At Home: Signs of Spring

Dining Out: October – December 2018

March 18, 2019

(Note: Because I was dealing with health issues, we had to cut back substantially on dining out. And we spent far less time in NYC than we normally do.)

NoMad

October
New York City
Lunch:
Silver Star Diner
Vaucluse

New Jersey
Lunch:
Jersey Shore BBQ East Brunswick

November
New York City
Dinner:
Benno

Lunch:
NoMad
Cousins Maine Lobster

New Jersey
Lunch:
Chez Catherine
Bulbap Grill
Marlboro Pizza

December
New York City
Dinner:
Benno

Lunch:
TKK Fried Chicken

New Jersey
Lunch:
Marlboro Pizza

Long Island
Dinner:
Basil Leaf Café (Mel’s Birthday Celebration)

At Home: Michael’s 78th Birthday Dinner

January 31, 2019

Last Saturday, January 26th, we did not go out for Michael’s 78th birthday. Instead, we had a celebration dinner at home. Michael chose the menu which included steak for the main course. In the morning, we went to Whole Foods where he selected a bone-in ribeye.

I cooked it on our indoor grill.

At Home: M.'s 78th Birthday Dinner (1-26-19)

When it was done, I let it rest on the cutting board.

At Home: M.'s 78th Birthday Dinner (1-26-19)

The meal started with a soup from Wegmans that he likes a lot: Pasta, Beans, and Escarole.

At Home: M.'s 78th Birthday Dinner (1-26-19)

I’m always a bit worried that I won’t get the steak’s doneness right. Happily, it came out medium rare just the way Michael likes it. Accompaniments were Baked Potato with Butter and Sour Cream and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

At Home: M.'s 78th Birthday Dinner (1-26-19)

This Gigondas 2012 was the perfect pairing for the steak.

At Home: M.'s 78th Birthday Dinner (1-26-19)

He poured a glass using his Coravin.

At Home: M.'s 78th Birthday Dinner (1-26-19)

Michael’s favorite dessert is ice cream. At home, his favorite is Breyer’s Vanilla.

At Home: M.'s 78th Birthday Dinner (1-26-19)

Perhaps, not the fanciest birthday meal. But everything was delicious and, most important, the birthday boy enjoyed it!

The entire photo set for this dinner can be viewed on my Flickr here.

Happy Birthday, Michael!

January 26, 2019

MKR

Looking great at 78!

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018: Journey

January 16, 2019

As in the past, this year’s Holiday Gift arrived at our NJ home in time for us to open the first of the 24 boxes on December 1st.

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

The gifts reflected reflected the journey EMP’s Make It Nice company took in 2018.

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Untitled

Untitled

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Untitled

Untitled

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

Eleven Madison Park/Make It Nice Holiday Gift 2018

The always inventive EMP/Make It Nice folks have once again put together a wonderful gift. We are honored to have received it and to be considered a member of their family. Their 2018 journey was filled with so many truly exciting events. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the coming year. We wish them all a very happy and successful 2019!

The entire photo set can be seen on my Flickr here.

At Home: New Year’s Eve 2018

January 1, 2019

Last New Year’s Eve, we did it up fancy-schmancy at Eleven Madison Park. This year, we were back to what we normally do: staying at home in NJ, listening to the WQXR Classical Countdown, and having what has become a New Year’s Eve tradition, a beef fondue.

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

Michael drank this Bordeaux, a good pairing with the beef.

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

Using the Coravin which he purchased several years ago enables him to have a glass or two of finer quality wines, and then keep the resealed bottle indefinitely.  A huge plus since I don’t drink.

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

Filet Mignon

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

Sauces: Tarragon, Mustard, Garlic, Horseradish

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

Salad and Roll

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

My Plate

Michael’s plate was blue. The fondue forks have color indicators which we match to the color of each plate.

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

Traditional Side Dish: Rösti Potatoes

When it came to dessert, we kept it simple.

At Home: New Year's Eve 2018

Breyer’s Vanilla

The WQXR Classical Countdown top 5:
5. Mahler: Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” (Ugh!! Michael and I hate anything Mahler. And this one goes on, and on, and on….)
4. Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
3. Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
2. Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”
1. Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, “Choral”

Happy New Year!