Happy Anniversary, Jen & Louis!

May 10, 2020

Jen & Louis Anniversary

Passover 2020

April 9, 2020

Passover 2020

Spring 2020 Officially Arrives, Earliest in More Than a Century

March 20, 2020

The official start of spring occurs with the arrival of the spring equinox, aka the vernal equinox. That happened yesterday, Thursday, March 19th, around 11 p.m., EDT, making it the earliest in more than 100 years. Today, the first full day of spring, the weather was unseasonably warm with temps in the mid-70’s.

In honor of the occasion, here’s the 1st movement of one of my favorites, Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, known appropriately as “Spring.”

Happy 79th Birthday, Michael!

January 26, 2020


At Home: New Year’s Eve 2019

January 1, 2020

We changed things up this year. Instead of our usual beef fondue, we decided to have Beef Wellington. I’d never made it before but was game to give it a go. Via the Google, I found a number of recipes as well as a YouTube video of Chef Gordon Ramsay preparing it. And here’s the kicker. During the past year, I purchased a Digital Probe Thermometer and a Dot Probe Alarm from ThermoWorks, so I receive lots of email from them. Imagine my surprise when their email yesterday morning highlighted a recipe for – Beef Wellington! The inclusion of specific tips for roasting made it especially welcome.

Truth be told, I ran into some problems assembling the Wellington. No need to bore you with those details. In the end, it turned out pretty well.

Beef Wellington

One thing I will say is that the Dot Probe Alarm enabled me to roast the Wellington to the exact temperature so that the tenderloin was a perfect medium rare. Ergo, no guesswork!

Earlier in the day, I made a Potato Gratin.

Potato Gratin

We started with a Salad.


Mixed Lettuces, Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, Red Onion, Homemade Vinaigrette

Also, slices from a French Baguette I bought at Wegmans in the morning. (They were just taking them out of the oven.)

French Baguette

My Main Course plate:

Main Course

Beef Wellington, Potato Gratin, Green Beans

I didn’t take a photo of Michael’s plate, but his slice was much thicker. And he had a second slice. I was satisfied with just this one slice.

To drink, I had lemonade (no photo). Michael used his Coravin to pour one glass of this wine:

Côte du Rhône

A Van Leeuwen shop recently opened a few blocks from our apartment. Their French Vanilla Bean has become a favorite. So, when we were at the Whole Foods near our house buying the meat for the Wellington and happened to walk down the ice cream aisle, we were thrilled to discover that they carry Van Leeuwen.

Ice Cream

Perfect for Dessert!

Michael’s bowl:

Ice Cream

With Kahlua

My bowl:

Ice Cream

With Bananas, Fox’s U-bet Chocolate Syrup & Kahlua

We followed our tradition of listening to the WQXR Countdown. The top three spots were Beethoven symphonies: the Fifth was No. 3, the Seventh was No. 2, and as has been the case for as long as we can remember, the Ninth was No. 1.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who has stopped by this blog during the past year. Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy 2020!

Dining Out: September – December 2019

December 30, 2019


New York City
The Modern Dining Room Kitchen Table
Tocqueville (Rosh Hashanah)
Mishiguene at Intersect (Rosh Hashanah)


Eros Greek Restaurant
Indian Accent

New Jersey
Latin Bites
Pete & Elda’s

New York City
Simon & the Whale
Le Jardiniere
Eleven Madison Park (My Birthday)
Café Boulud

NoMad (My Birthday)
Crown Shy

New Jersey
Jersey Short BBQ East Brunswick
Bayroot Lebanese
The Greek Spot

New York City
Eleven Madison Park (Thanksgiving)

Eros Greek Restaurant
Sarge’s Deli

New Jersey
Chez Catherine

New York City
Oceans – 2
Pasta Eater
P.J. Clarke’s

Blue Smoke
Del Posto

Union Square Café (Last meal out in 2019)

New Jersey
Il Nido

Photo sets for all these meals can be viewed on my Flickr.

At Home: First Night of Chanukah 2019

December 23, 2019

At Home:  1st Night of Chanukah 2019

On the first night of Chanukah 2019, it was just Michael and me at home in NJ. Our official Chanukah dinner with Jen and Louis will take place in their apartment this coming Saturday. Since Jen will be making short ribs, for last night’s dinner, I decided to make Pot Roast.

Pot Roast

To start the meal, Chicken Soup with Matzoh Ball and Noodles (bought from Fred & Murry’s Kosher Deli).

Chicken Mazoh Ball Soup with Noodles

For the main course, Pot Roast, Potato Latkes with Homemade Applesauce, and Roasted Cauliflower.

Pot Roast, Potato Latkes & Roasted Cauliflower

Michael used his Coravin and had a glass of Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir

We didn’t have dessert.

Wishing everyone a Chanukah Sameach!

Addendum: As mentioned above, we had our Chanukah dinner with Jen and Louis in their apartment on Saturday, December 28th. The photo set of that meal can be seen on my Flickr here.

At Home 2019: Autumn Snow

December 3, 2019

At Home 2019:  Autumn Snow


It’s Thanksgiving and My Brother’s Birthday!

November 28, 2019


This is the cover of the card I sent to my brother. (With rare exceptions, I make all my own greeting cards.) When Mel called to thank me, I asked him if he had any idea how often his birthday falls on Thanksgiving. He said he didn’t. So, I Googled and discovered that there is a formula: 6,5,6,11. (Truly, everything you want answers to is on the internet!) Here’s how it works. The last time Mel’s birthday fell on Thanksgiving was in 2013*, 6 years ago. The next times will be 2024, 2030, 2041, 2047, etc., etc.

(*Via my blogpost for November 28, 2013, there was a trifecta: Mel’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and the first night of Chanukah. While his birthday falling on Thanksgiving will happen again in the foreseeable future, the convergence of Thanksgiving and the first Chanukah candle is a once-in-a-lifetime — actually many, many lifetimes — event.)

Happy Birth(Turkey)day, Mel!

Happy Birthday, Louis!

November 17, 2019

Louis 50th Birthday (Blog Post)