Posts Tagged ‘At Home’

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!

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


At Home: July 4, 2019

July 5, 2019

Just the two of us.  Temps in the 80’s (“Rozy weather”!).  Lunch on the patio.

At Home:  July 4, 2019

Watermelon Gazpacho

At Home:  July 4, 2019

Hebrew National Franks

At Home:  July 4, 2019

At Home:  July 4, 2019

Batampte Sour Kraut, Pickle & Pickled Tomato

At Home:  July 4, 2019

Homemade Cole Slaw

At Home:  July 4, 2019

Busch’s Vegetarian Baked Beans

Michael had one frank in a brioche roll (he started eating it before I snapped this photo) and a second frank without a roll. Both with mustard and sour kraut, of course.

At Home:  July 4, 2019

I had one frank without a roll.  Mustard and sour kraut, of course.

At Home:  July 4, 2019

At Home:  July 4, 2019

I didn’t have dessert, but Michael had ice cream.

At Home:  July 4, 2019

Breyer’s Vanilla

Note that in honor of the occasion, Michael switched his watch band to one with appropriate colors.

At Home: First Daffodil of 2019

April 9, 2019

At Home 2019: Daffodil

At Home 2018: Thanksgiving Dinner

December 1, 2018

It’s been more than 10 years since I last cooked Thanksgiving dinner. However, this year, Michael and I did not go to EMP on Thanksgiving as we’ve been doing. Instead, circumstance dictated that we remain at home in NJ. Jen and Louis normally go to his parents. But Jen decided to come out to NJ for a few days and be with us on Thanksgiving while Louis went to his parents as usual. Jen and I don’t often get to cook together, so that would be fun! (Coming out here also gave her a chance to meet up with several of her Marlboro friends. They’d be in NJ celebrating Thanksgiving with their parents who still reside here.)

When I did do Thanksgiving, I always used a kosher turkey. At first, it was because we kept kosher. But even when we stopped, I still continued to buy a kosher turkey because the koshering process, which is essentially brining, made for a flavorful and juicy bird.

This time, I decided to order a cooked turkey from Whole Foods. I purposely ordered a big turkey (10 lbs.) so we’d have plenty of leftovers. Jen could take some home, and Michael could overdose because he loves turkey. We picked it up two days prior to Thanksgiving, and I kept it in the frig until then. Turns out, it wasn’t fully cooked, so it came with finishing instructions along with a disposable roasting pan. I also ordered two large containers of gravy because for me, turkey is absolutely nothing without gravy – and lots of it!

Jen arrived Wednesday morning. After lunch, we baked a pumpkin pie. We also cooked meatballs for an appetizer.

Turkey Day

According to the instructions, the turkey required between 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours finishing time in the oven, plus some standing time before carving. We planned to eat around 2 p.m., so we prepared the side dishes before finishing the turkey.


The instruction said to brush the skin with oil or smear it with butter before putting it into the over pre-heated to 325 degrees. I’d always brushed the kosher turnkey with peanut oil, so I used that here. By the way, the turkey was not stuffed.


Finished and waiting to be carved.


Dinner Is Served!

Brioche Rolls

Brioche Dinner Rolls

Appetizer: Meatballs

“Swedish” Meatballs

I got this recipe nearly 50 years ago from a neighbor (long ago moved away). The beef is flavored with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. The sauce for the meatballs consists of two ingredients: ketchup and beer. Definitely not Swedish (hence, the quotation marks). But that’s what she called them, so we always call them that. We hadn’t had them in ages. Label them delicious!


Carved Turkey

The turkey was very flavorful. So, a good decision getting this Whole Foods bird.





Dressing – My Own Recipe

Honesty compels me to say that even though I have the recipe written down, having not made it for so many years, I didn’t get it right and it somehow turned out too soupy. It had always been delicious, so a real disappointment. I did manage to correct it somewhat when we had our leftovers meals, but still not anywhere near as good as it should have been.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Seriously delicious! There was actually a lot more but Jen started to serve them before I was able to take the picture.

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli

Michael and Jen are big broccoli fans (me, not so much), so this was essentially for them.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

As you no doubt can tell, this is the stuff that comes out of the can. Sue me! We love it! I used to make fresh cranberry sauce, but we still preferred this kind.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

As I did in the past, we used the recipe that’s been on the Libby’s pumpkin label since forever. And, no, we didn’t make the crust. We used a crust from Oronoque Orchards which comes two to a package in your supermarket freezer. An excellent pie!

Pumpkin Pie and Breyer's Vanilla

Pumpkin Pie and Breyer’s Vanilla

Overall, with the exception of the dressing disaster, this was a thoroughly enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner. I hope all of you felt the same about yours.

At Home 2018: A Carpet of Fallen Leaves

November 21, 2018

At Home 2018: A Carpet of Fallen Leaves

At Home 2018: Fall Colors

November 2, 2018

Late this year….

At Home 2018: Fall Colors

At Home 2018: Fall Colors

At Home 2018: Fall Colors

At Home 2018: Fall Colors

At Home: Peachy!

August 4, 2018

At Home:  NJ Peaches

Here they are! Jersey peaches! My favorite fruit! As in the past, they’re from Fralinger Orchards, in Bridgeton. This year, not only has Wegmans been carrying them, but so has Whole Foods.

For the first time, I made peach ice cream. Why I haven’t done it before is a mystery. The recipe I use for strawberry ice cream worked very well. I did make one addition: peach liqueur.

At Home:  Homemade Peach Ice Cream

Super Yum!

At Home: July 4th BBQ Lunch al Fresco

July 6, 2018

During the summer months, the trees and shade inn our backyard usually make temperatures many degrees cooler than the official numbers and with a definitely difference from the front of the house which gets full sun most of the day. But for several days this week, the combo of near 100 degrees along with beastly humidity made it impossible to eat on the patio. However, on Wednesday, July 4th, there was a change. Temps in the high 80’s, less humidity, not much sun, and a gentle breeze allowed us to have our holiday lunch al fresco. Jen and Louis decided to pass on coming out, so it was just the two of us.

I grilled three Hebrew National Franks — two for Michael, one for me.

Hebrew National Franks

I made Chilled Zucchini Soup to start.

Chilled Zucchini Soup

Batampte Deli Mustard and Sour Kraut are musts. But lately, rather than pickles, I’ve been buying Batampte Pickled Green Tomatoes. A delicious change of pace.

Batampte Sour Kraut, Pickled Tomtoes, and Deli Mustard

Franks and beans are the classic go-together. So, as usual, there were Busch’s Vegetarian Baked Beans.

Busch's Vegetarian Baked Beans

I usually make cole slaw, but since I didn’t have any cabbage, I put together some Macaroni Salad. The mix includes onions; green, red, and yellow peppers; and black and pimento-stuffed green olives.


Michael had the Yankee ballgame on (on the radio) while we ate.

At Home: July 4th BBQ Lunch (2018)

My Plate

My Plate

Drinks: Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda for me. Diet Coke Zero for Michael. He also had Perrier


For dessert, Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream. I made a quart last month. Since I didn’t do pick-your-own at Battleview Orchards this year, we bought boxes of the berries their crew picks each day at their market.

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

By the way, Michael pointed out to me that, in line with the occasion, he changed his watch band to the appropriate colors.

M.'s Watch Band for July 4th

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th!

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