Auckland and Waiheke Island – New Zealand Journal Pt. 2

Auckland Airport

Welcome to New Zealand…I mean Middle Earth! Yup, that’s a big Lord of the Rings Dwarf and a random guy who was camped out in front of it.

Ok, if the last post wasn’t enough to make you jealous, then this one could: the first appearance of wine! Oh and a little bit about Auckland. For the record these posts are in no particular order. The mountain phase in the last one was about 3/4 of the way through the trip. This post is all about our arrival, initial impressions, and day trip to “Wine Island”. (more…)


Roast Chicken – An essential dish for anyone

Roast ChickenI make roast chicken fairly often so I was a little shocked to see I hadn’t published a roast chicken post.  Roast chicken is something everyone has eaten in their lives and most everyone is familiar with the basics of cooking one.  (more…)

Night at the Field Museum! Wine Enthusiast Toast of the Town on June 8

Taking a break at last year’s Toast of the Town in the Field Museum

Recently, I received a postcard from Wine Enthusiast alerting me to their upcoming event at the Field Museum: Toast of the Town.  They sponsor the event in three cities: New York, Chicago and Washington, DC.  Chicago’s the second stop on the tour and while we don’t get as many wineries/distributors as New York we have way more restaurants attending.  DC brings up the rear in both categories.  Since Cheryl and I went to last year’s event at the Field Museum the arrival of Wine Enthusiast’s piece of direct mail caused a bit of excitement.  We like tasting events (see my earlier post on Binny’s Whisky Tasting) so I am happy to say we’re going back to this event! (more…)

Braised Chicken Legs with Kalamata Olives

Way back in time when I became more serious about cooking for myself I used to read a lot of Food and Wine magazines.  This is a variation of one of the first “step-up dinners” I made where I graduated from using one of those jar sauces to cook chicken in.  Those, of course, were a step-up from Shake N Bake chicken.  I don’t remember all of the original ingredients in the F&W recipe and over the years I’ve tweaked this plenty.  Make it a few times and you’ll find it’s a very easy one to customize for yourself. (more…)

We Went Medieval on the Fondue

Saturday was rainy and overcast which meant it was good day to hop on a train.  I continue to be impressed with the transit system there.  Lots of trains and trams, and of course, they run on time.  Anyway, it was rainy so we decided to go to Stein am Rhein, a picturesque little river village about an hour from Zurich famous for its preserved medieval city center.  (more…)

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Braised Leg of Lamb with White Beans

With all the turkey, stews, soups, and pork we’ve been eating lately I decided to change it up a bit and make a leg of lamb.  I saw there was a boneless one on sale at the market so I grabbed it.  A boneless leg of lamb is nice because you can stuff it with all sorts or herbs and mixtures.  I hadn’t cooked one in a long while so this was going to be fun.  Since I needed to reacquaint myself with preparing one I went to my stack of cookbooks and pulled out one I knew would have a good recipe: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  (more…)

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Pecan Crusted Pork with Orange Sauce, Lentils, and Beets

Please please please! No more turkey this weekend!

Whew!  So happy Thanksgiving weekend is coming to a close.  I didn’t overindulge too much, but just enough to make going to the gym tomorrow a must.  Sorry, no leftover turkey recipes for this Sunday Dinner.  All turkeyed out after eating it non-stop for the past few days.  We still have almost half a turkey left so don’t worry, there will be a recipe using it sometime this week.  Just not today!  (more…)