A Foodie’s Weekend


This weekend past was a whirlwind, but was definitely a great one for a “foodie” like I am – dinner with Mary, Sean and Suzanne at 2 Hopewell, an Irish breakfast in Yonkers with Mary, Barb, Kenny and Brandon and a “Tastefully Simple” tasting party at Liz’s.

Friday started off on a sad note as Mary and I paid homage to our dear friend, Pizza Doug.  His wife, Julie, arranged his services at a serene country church, Immaculate Conception, in New Hartford.  The simple curves in the church’s architecture, the jewel tones of the stained glass windows and the female cantor’s voice all contributed to a peaceful celebration of a really special guy’s life.  With amazing grace, poise and control, Julie mustered the courage to pay a final tribute to Doug by eulogizing him.  Her kind words and deep love for her husband filled the church and enveloped us all on that most unexpected funeral day.  My thoughts and prayers remain with Julie and her 3 small children as she begins to assemble the puzzle pieces of her changed life.

Late Friday afternoon, we made a quick stop at my sister’s home to visit her new daughter, Ainsley.  My mom, while playing the role of babysitter and the proudest grandma ever, sat beaming on the couch as she rocked the baby.  It is amazing how happy this sweet creature has made my mom.  Honestly, is there anything more soothing in this crazy world than the fresh smell, sweet breath, cooing and silky skin of a new baby? Ainsley’s perfectly tiny features and angelic countenance restored my belief in miracles.  As I held her tiny body close to my chest, her heartbeat soothed me and eased the sadness of the day.

At home and as Friday’s sun began to fade, I uncorked a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Cyrus Ryan’ from Barnett Vineyard, in preparation for our evening out with Sean and Suzanne.  Granted, I should have held the bottle for at least 3 years before doing so, but I could not wait to share the deep purple wine from a small 2-acre vineyard located on the Napa Valley floor, adjacent to the Silverado Trail and just north of St. Helena.  As we shared our thoughts of the day, Mary sipped her diet Coke while Sean, Suzanne and I all savored each drop of the young wine, in our enormous wine glasses (the Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon glasses by Waterford that Mary and I received for our wedding).

Later that same evening, we all dined at a casual, yet elegant bistro, 2Hopewell, in South Glastonbury.  Miniature oil lamps set out on each table top illuminated the local artisans’ paintings hung from the walls of the dining room.  And, speaking of our wedding, the happy-faced orange Gerbera daisies whose single stems were enrobed in glass bottles reminded me of our wedding floral arrangements.

2Hopewell’s eclectic dining room menu was filled with imaginative creations concocted from organic produce, natural meats and ocean fish.  In addition to the appetizers we shared (lamb lollipops and a spicy shrimp selection with a corn and apple salsa), I selected a scrumptious wedge salad with candied bacon and tomatoes that was dressed with both a dilled Maytag blue cheese and a balsamic dressing.  As an entrée, I chose the grilled sea bass with truffled local honey, butternut squash risotto, haricots verts and watercress.  Who the heck would know to pair a white fish with honey?

And to top it all off, I ended the evening with a hazelnut tuile “basket” filled with faux white chocolate mousse and fresh berries.  While a bite of the cookie basket prompted a fabulous buttery and nutty mouth explosion, I’m sorry to say the pseudo mousse needs work.  Regardless, the evening with Mary, Sean and Suzanne was divine as were the majority of the amazing food preparations we sampled.  Chef Chris Cote definitely cooked with love in his heart last Friday evening!

On Saturday morning, Barbara drove Mary, Kenny, Brandon and me to the eastern section of McLean Avenue in Yonkers.  This section of McLean Avenue is heavily influenced by the Irish.  With almost each sidewalk step that you take, you hear the soothing sounds of an Irish brogue or see an Irish pub or butcher shop.  We made the trip to McLean Avenue to expressly eat a substantial Irish breakfast – soda bread, rashers (Irish bacon), Irish sausage, puddings (white and black), chips, eggs and grilled tomatoes – at Eileen’s Country Kitchen and to purchase Irish provisions at a local butcher shop (The Butcher’s Fancy).  We left with our bellies completely stuffed and with a cooler loaded with rashers, Irish sausage, boiling bacon and Irish chocolates.

 

And for the last foodie adventure of the weekend, Mary and I attended a “Tastefully Simple” party at Liz’s home.  It was a huge taste testing party where, Maria, the independent consultant, offered a vast selection of convenient, easy-to-prepare foods for us to taste and buy.   While I’m not a huge advocate of prepared foods or short cuts (food snob, I know!), I have to admit that the majority of the products I tasted were pretty darn good.  As invitees, we ate or drank our way through beer bread, dips – garlic garlic, onion onion, back yard bbq, fiesta, artichoke and spinach – salsa, almond pound cake, sauces and freezer drinks.  Here’s the link, should you want to book a party or buy products directly from Maria:

www.tastefullysimple.com/web/mmangiarelli

I didn’t have an opportunity to cook or bake this weekend, but I am hoping to spend some time in the kitchen later this week testing vanilla cupcake and chocolate chip cookie recipes.  Stay tuned for the results and pictures!

Thanks to all who made a sad weekend a special one! I hope that your week is off to a great start. 

Happy Baking 🙂

 –K

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~ by Kris on May 25, 2010.

7 Responses to “A Foodie’s Weekend”

  1. Another fabulous entry!!!! I need to go to Yonkers!!! Oh, and by the way, if you see Liz, tell her THANKS FOR THE INVITE!!! NOT!

    • Hey, C!

      You do need to go to Yonkers!

      I’m thinking a late Irish breakfast followed by a day of pub crawling is in our near future. Of course, we would need to find a designated driver!

      Thanks for reading and for your kind comments!

      –K

  2. What is faux mousse?
    When I was little I would mix Cool-Whip and Hersey’s chocolate syrup and call is mousse, but I’m guessing that isn’t it.

    • Hey, Sweetie!

      First, I hope to heck that you are off the Cool-Whip! In culinary school and according to my friend Nora’s husband, I learned that Cool-Whip is actually a few chemical components away from being NYLON.

      Anyway, I use faux/pseudo/cheater mousse interchangeably. It is either cream cheese folded into whipped cream with added fruit or chocolate flavorings, instant pudding whipped with heavy cream, etc. It is not the egg white or whipped cream version stabilized with horse hooves (a.k.a., gelatin sheets) for which the French are famous.

      We need to catch up in person and I hope that you will add me as a “collection” owner to your blog site. I’m so glad that you are home!

      XOXOX

      –K

  3. Oh yeah, I had forgotten! I’ll add you. 🙂
    I’m not convinced I’m happy to be back in CT..haha…but I’m so happy to be reconnecting! Paul and I are in Houston visiting his parents but we’re wide open this summer, we should get together.

    I haven’t had cool-whip in years, I’ve heard the horror stories but I still have a nostalgic spot in my heart for it. I can’t imagine spending money on mousse made with instant pudding…fine for home.

  4. We had a great time at dinner last week and can’t wait to do it again!!

  5. Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend!! So fun to do a road trip and eat all your delicious food. I miss you! And so you know, Char and I are available for taste testing your cc cookies and vanilla cupcakes this weekend!! LOL

    xoxo
    Me

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