Wednesday, January 30, 2013


We are so fortunate in Minnesota to have a much treasured attraction - Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.  One of winter's absolute treats is to visit the Conservatory on a cold, blustery day.  I'm looking forward to seeing the new winter show!  Check it out!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


We're leaving shortly for a trip to India and making air arrangements has been tricky!  As you can imagine, the flight to Delhi is LONG; and long flights today range from "no fun" to "excruciating."    It wasn't always that way!   Take a look at the food that was served on United Air Lines flights!  Oh, for the good old days!

On the back of the card it says "Landmark of Chicago's famous Michigan Avenue is the floodlighted Wrigley Building.  United Air Lines offers more than 90 flights a day to and from Chicago."

On the back of this card it says "While 'old man winter' sleeps away the summer atop Oregon's Mt. Hood, near Portland, rhododendrons bloom in the gardens below.  United Mainliners offer direct service to fourteen Pacific Northwest cities, including Portland."

"Beautiful Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head in the background.  Hawaii is only hours away via United's luxurious first class Red Carpet or economical Air Coach service to the Islands."

Interesting menus!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Anyone who knows me knows that I've been collecting vintage postcards for years!  One of the categories that I collect are "menu" cards.  After indulging over the holidays, it is time for me to get going on a diet.  I pulled out this postcard to help me plan my diet meals.  Take a close look!

I think that if I follow this diet closely I should be able to lose the necessary pounds!  LOL!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


If you're looking for gift ideas that "come from the heart" because they are homemade, you may want to try out this recipe.  Aquavit is a great gift for your drinking friends.   Per Wikipedia:  "kvavit or aquavit  (ˈɑːkwəvt//ˈɑːkvəvt/; also akevitt in Norwegian) is a traditional flavored spirit that is principally produced in Scandinavia, where it has been produced since the 15th century.  Akvavit gets its distinctive flavor from spices and herbs, and the main spice should (according to the European Union) be caraway or dill."

Following is a slightly revised recipe for aquavit from "Kitchen of Light:  New Scandinavian Cooking with Andreas Viestad".  Here is what you will need to make enough for four (4) "gifts":

     Start with a very large jar.  Add to the jar:
6 teaspoons caraway seeds
3 teaspoons fennel seeds
6 teaspoons dill seeds
6 star anise (or less if you don't like the "licorice" taste)
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks (3-inches long)
13 cups of your favorite vodka
     Cover the jar tightly and place it in a cool, dark place for about three (3) weeks, shaking every 3 or 4 days.  After about 2 weeks, taste it to see if you want the flavors to continue to develop.  When it's as strong as you like, strain it through a sieve lined with cheesecloth, throw out the seeds, and transfer the aquavit into four (4) gift bottles.  I found perfect bottles for this purpose at Pier One Imports.  Bag up the aquavit and give bottles of it to your friends.
     Prior to serving aquavit, place it in the freezer.  In fact, find a place in the freezer and keep it there at all times so that it is ready, at the perfect temperature, for impromptu serving.  Typically, aquavit is served in a 1 ounce tall glass which can also be pre-chilled.  Although it is meant to be drunk quickly in a shot glass, since it is simply flavored vodka, I also use it to make sweet, flavored martinis.  I've read that it makes a good apertif (served before a meal to stimulate the appetite), and also a good digestif (served after a meal to aid digestion).
     No matter how you use this, I hope you will enjoy it!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I hope that you had a great 2012, and that your 2013 will be filled with love, peace, joy, friendship and good health.

We spent New Years Eve with great friends and I think that's the best way to bring in a new year.  It also helped that Bob is a great cook!  Wow, did we eat!!!!  And that chocolate martini was a great finish!

I brought an appetizer to the party - Caviar Stars.  The recipe was from Bon Appetit's The Christmas Season.  It is simple to make, and just right for a New Years Eve party.

CAVIAR STARS.  Makes 25.
*  1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
*  1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
*  1/2 cup chilled sour cream
*  1 jar of black or golden caviar (2-ounces)
*  2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
     Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Roll out puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square.  Trim edges neatly, forming 10-inch square.  Cut dough into twenty-five 2-inch squares.  At each corner of 1 square, make diagonal cut toward center (without cutting through center).  Fold every other point to center and press to seal.  Repeat with remaining squares.  Brush pastries lightly with egg glaze; arrange on baking sheets.  Bake pastries until golden and puffed, about 12 minutes.  Cool somewhat on sheets and transfer to rack to continue cooling.  (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead.  Let stand at room temperature.)
     Just before serving, spoon sour cream into center of each pastry.  Place 1/4 teaspoon caviar on top of the sour cream, and garnish with chives.