All things Navy!! Annapolis…so many sites, so little time!

In May we met up  with family members from Chile for a long weekend in Annapolis, Maryland.  This was their first trip to the Chesapeake Bay area.  At first I was disappointed that our weekend coincided with “Commissioning Week” at the United States Naval Academy as all I could think about was how crowded it was going to be blah blah blah.  I once again learned the lesson of keeping your mind and heart open to the universe because it turned out to be the PERFECT time to be there.  Yes there were more people, however everyone was there for a time of joyful celebration so the mood was one of energy, accomplishment and the pride that comes with it.  The cadets, all wearing their starchy white and I must say, fabulously tailored uniforms,  were so happy  with the anticipation of the upcoming festivities.  So our week was filled with glorious food, history and nature and joy.  We were happy to be a part of the celebration. First stop, Middleton Tavern,  a fixture on the waterfront since the days of the American Revolution.  Oysters and crab cakes were pretty good too! The Blue Angels, part of the Naval Academy’s graduation celebration did not disappoint. We had a waterside view for a performance that lasted about 45 minutes and it was breathtaking!  For me it is always interesting to see the USA through the eyes of foreign visitors and to mark their observations.  Our family was in awe of the natural beauty of the area, the professionalism of the young cadets, the organization of the weeklong events and the skills, courage and daring of those amazing pilots.

IMG_0974

Boats in Annapolis Harbor

IMG_0981

Blue Angels over the US Naval Academy

IMG_0944

Annapolis

IMG_0961

Installation of birds by various artists sprinkled throughout Annapolis!

IMG_1085

Baskets filled with Maryland crabs!

IMG_0956

We loved the birds!

IMG_1083

I originally balked at going to the Antietam National Battlefield, not for lack of curiosity, but seeing how I am usually landlocked in North Texas I just wanted to stay near the coast enjoying the Chesapeake in all its glory!  I was, however, so glad I went as this place is a must see for so many reasons. Antietam is the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War where 23,000 Americans were killed in one day on a beautiful stretch of Maryland farmland. It was so  hard to imagine all of that blood being shed in such a pastoral, peaceful and beautiful space. The  National  Park is 3200 acres of sad history and immense natural beauty. We were fortunate to arrive in time for a 20 minute lecture on the history of the battle and then spent hours walking thru the park, especially at the Burnside Bridge and around the cornfields, the sites of the most horrific battles.  It was nice to learn that the government leases the land to farmers so it remains as it was  at the time of the Civil War. 

Antietam National Park

Antietam National Park

IMG_1006

Antietam Burnside Bridge

The Civil War Medical Museum brought us through the lovely and lively town of Frederick, Maryland.  Considering our group consisted of 2 doctors, a nurse and a medical device professional this was a great place for us…we were in awe of the collection of antique medical instruments, civil war memorabilia and history of conditions for medical care during the Civil War. IMG_1041 IMG_1024 The streets in Frederick were chock full of quaint antique shops housed in old buildings… I was in heaven! But fair warning, get there before 5 as everything was closing which is what usual happens when you jam packed your day with fun adventures.  We topped off our day trip with dinner at Firestone’s Restaurant which was randomly chosen by the menu choices and the number of people inside, but we lucked out as the food, and the ambience, which was high energy and  modern, still had the feel of a cozy neighborhood tavern!  http://firestonesrestaurant.com/2012/

Steak Salad at Firestone's

Steak Salad at Firestone’s

IMG_1033 Head on over to St. Michaels for a taste of another coastal town.  It’s about an hours drive from Annapolis, but worth it for the bridges on the journey and the charm of St. Michaels.

Main street in St. Michaels

Main street in St. Michaels

Crab cakes with a view!

Crab cakes with a view!

Hard to go wrong with crab cakes and oysters anywhere in the Chesapeake, at least that was our experience.  Heading home via Ronald Reagan Airport we passed Arlington National Cemetery, very fitting as it was Memorial Day Weekend. Thank you Maryland… we had a blast!

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Advertisements
Posted in Civil War, Food, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

I am sooooo not a camper, but when my husband tried to lure me to spend a night in the cabins at Palo Duro Canyon State Park it was the promise of a starlit sky that lured me into agreeing with him.  I still had beautiful memories of the two other places where I was overwhelmed by the stars, Yosemite National Park and on a sailboat anchored in the middle of the ocean near the British West Indies.  At the time this did seem like the perfect place to stop for the night to break up the 10 hour drive from Fort Worth, Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Unfortunately for us, we read the email sent to us by the park months ago just prior to arriving at the park…just a bit too late… as we didn’t bring the pillows, blankets, sheets, and towels needed for the cabin.  Luckily the park rangers had some clean supplies.

Since we arrived at the Cow Camp cabin after dark we were unable to see the landscape as we descended to the base of the canyon. It was very dark and very cold.  I knew I was in trouble when Benjamin, after the first trip from the car to the cabin, looked me in the eye an said the cabin was, “very basic”.  Made me laugh so hard…I know he thought I was going to scream out loud when I saw it.  But I had seen photos of the 1930′ stone cabins and they seemed clean enough and after all, I knew we were in  a beautiful place even though I hadn’t seen it yet. photo 1

 

 

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, according to the park rangers, is the most popular state park in Texas and the canyon itself, though much smaller,  is second in size to the Grand Canyon…so how bad could it be???  Basic was an understatement, but what it lacked in comfort it made up for in laughs, and memory making, and the absolute awesome beauty of the canyon that we were finally able to see at sunrise! It was worth roughing it!

I continually reminded Benjamin that he absolutely knew I was NOT a camper when he met me and he appreciated the sense of humor that masked my fear, at least for a little while, until the sounds from the metal garbage can being bounced around scared me near to death. Did I mention that the park rangers said there were bobcats in the park?

I didn’t sleep much, didn’t drink any water so I didn’t have to go out to the bathrooms until daylight for fear of running into whatever wonderful wildlife was out there and I didn’t see any stars due to cloud cover but I would still do it again, albeit differently…like staying in the local hotel and visiting the canyon during the day! However, if you are a camper and want to visit the park you must reserve early (we reserved at least 4 months in advance and only the camp cabins were available) so you can get one of the cabins up on the rim that are still basic, but have great views. You can bring your horses or rent them during the summer months to see the canyon from an entirely different and I assume very awesome perspective. You will love the park rangers, they are so nice and warm and helpful, and the canyon is truly a site to see.  Be sure to eat breakfast at the Ranch House Cafe 810 23rd Street, Canyon, Texas, very local and everything is made from scratch including the green chile sauce.  Happy Camping!

http://www.palodurocanyon.com

photo 2

Cows on farm outside of the canyon

Outside Ranch House Cafe, Canyon, Texas

photo 5

Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River

photo 3 photo 3
photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

 

Posted in Food, Santa Fe, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

When inspiration strikes…

I’ve been lamenting the fact that I haven’t blogged in quite some time, that I miss writing, and questioning why I allow so many things get in the way of the things I love to do.  I’ve had plenty of things to write about and traveled to some fun locations this year…A great visit to Toronto, my first time ever in Canada visiting good friends and loved it!  Another trip  NYC to attend an “oh so interesting” day session with Dr. Brian Weiss (and 2000 other curious types), a splendid wedding in Atlanta, a very special trip as we know the groom since he was a child, and a Seane Corn Yoga Detox in Hudson, Ohio the home of another great friend and yogi.  So what has kept me from writing?  I’ll have to explore that.  In the meantime…

Today I drew my inspiration from a local source. We had lunch at Cane Rosso a branch of the Dallas based  restaurant in the ever-growing, and wonderfully diverse Magnolia Avenue neighborhood of Fort Worth.

 

Tiled Pizza Oven

Tiled Pizza Oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A meal of fresh pizza and salad is one of my favorite combos but the choices in Fort Worth, in my opinion,  have been lacking till now!!!

IMG_3754

Menu cover…the sea salt in the dough is delicious.

The menu reads, “Cane Rosso serves internationally certified Neapolitan pizza by our Italian trained pizzaioli.  We use fresh, house-made fior di latte mozzarella and our sauce is created by hand crushing San Marzano tomatoes.  Our dough is prepared over two days using imported “double zero” Italian flour and fired in our 900 degree wood burning oven for just 1 minute”.  That description was enough to get us there and we were not disappointed.

IMG_3749

Tray of rising dough.

IMG_3746

Glass reads, “Made in Texas by Texans”

 

Great pizza dough, fluffy, soft, slightly crispy, a touch of sea salt…yummy.  The flavor of the fresh ingredients on our choice, the “Cassie” was just perfect… basil, mushrooms, sopressata.    Oh and I loved the beer glasses used to serve the Fort Worth based  Martin House Brewing Company beer.  Inscribed was “Made in Texas, by Texans” ….which of course is soooooo Texan! xoxo

 

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York City…Veggie Inspiration from the concrete jungle

Image

Union Square Farmers Market

NYC is always inspiring!  I get hyper just thinking about all of the options… the fashion, the shops, the green spaces, art galleries, the farmers markets, restaurants, the food trucks, the museums.  There are so many things to do and see, you can suffer from sensory overload for sure.  On my most recent visit last week the places  that inspired me most for my own lifestyle and lifestyle aspirations were the Union Square Farmers Market and the Westville restaurant in Chelsea (one of 4 NYC locations: http://www.westvillenyc.com).

Image

My friend and I were roaming the neighborhood and just happened upon the inviting location, filled to capacity long after the traditional lunch hour had passed.  It was one of those intimate neighborhood places, a small and inviting space filled with the chatter of friends, that always draws me in to a place. It’s not a vegetarian restaurant as all sorts of good things grace their menu but it sure seemed to be a specialty if one was to judge from the platters of veggies and large salads on everyone’s table.

I could easily be a vegetarian.  I already eat way more veggies than most, but I don’t think I am as inventive as I know I could be with my recipes.  I’m the person who loves when veggies and salads are prepared for me…I know, it doesn’t make sense.

Four years ago while attending my yoga teacher training at Lalita, a retreat in Acebo, Spain  (western Spain close to Portugal), I lived on a vegetarian diet for 3 weeks. I loved it!  Till this day I love to eat tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and some crusty bread for breakfast as that was our daily breakfast meal.   I vowed and tried to continue the diet when I returned  home, but my repertoire of recipes and well… laziness I guess… kept me from exploring what I know to be are amazing vegetarian meal options.

So as we sat down to lunch at Westville to eat our delicious Moroccan carrots, beets with goat cheese, quinoa salad and carrot/lentil salad with some great bread my interest was renewed. So I rushed off to the Cowtown Farmers Market in Fort Worth upon my return. (I still can’t believe I live in a place they nickname Cowtown…another story for another day), and bought some baby eggplant, baby zucchini, fresh bread from the Artisan Baking Co. (www.artisan-baking-company.com)  and started my now weeklong journey into the preparation of vegetarian dishes that closely mimic my Westville experience..zucchini tarts, roasted eggplant with pine nuts, my own version of the Moroccan carrots with lemon, cumin, honey and mint!  I so wish we had a Westville  here in “Cowtown” but until then I am hoping to keep up the momentum inspired by my trip.

Image

My version of Westville’s Moroccan carrots!

Image

Zucchini tarts in puff pastry

Image

Roasted eggplant with pine nuts, cumin and olive oil

Fun, delicious, healthy, easy!  I even ordered a new version of the “Moosewood Cookbook” one of my first sources of good vegetarian meals from the 1970’s on ebay.  Now where are my earth shoes?…Don’t make fun, you know you had a pair!

xo

Posted in Food, New York, New York Restaurants, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

About 1 hour north of Santa Fe\ via US 285N is the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa (http://ojospa.com) and it so well worth the drive.  Archeologists date the springs back  thousands of years and you can easily imagine Native Americans and then the Spaniards in the 1500’s enjoying the healing properties of the mineral springs.  The place is beautiful in the way of New Mexico…arid, rugged and above all spiritual and peaceful.

Image

Entrance to Ojo Caliente Resort and Spa

Scenic drive to Ojo Caliente

ImageI had never been to mineral springs like this before, or had any idea for example that there were arsenic pools let alone that bathing in them is  good for arthritis, stomach ulcers or healing a variety of skin conditions.

Image

Scary that they need a sign telling people not to get into the mud pot! Just thinking of that makes me laugh!

Image

The drying mud near my mouth makes me look like a vampire.

Image

There is a “whisper” policy at the spa…and it is amazing how much better it is when it is enforced…you can hear the breeze and the birds.

Our favorite was the mud bath.  Before you “mud up” you need to shower, then slather yourself with mud from the mud pot and then bake in the hot sun until the mud hardens.  When  you feel as dry as the desert air it’s time to rinse off in another pool…but you’ll need to shower to get all of the mud off.  NOTE:  Wear a dark colored swimsuit if you can.  The whole process left our skin baby soft.  I’m sorry to say that the treatments at the spa were underwhelming.  I had a reflexology treatment and B had a massage and we both thought they were just OK.  There was a fabulous gift shop with all sorts of oils, and smudge sticks (herbs bundled together and burned, often used to purify or bless people and places), and a great selection of bathing suits and clothing including Eileen Fisher! All in all we’d go back again in a minute to enjoy the springs and the serenity of this very spiritual place. Next time we would be better prepared…remember sunscreen, check out the yoga schedule (I unfortunately did not… ) if you want to take the  a class in the yurt.  Bring a bag for your wet clothing etc. etc.  We pride ourselves on our spur of the moment jaunts but a little bit of planning goes a long way.  xoImage

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Shopping Experiences in Istanbul

Sights of Istanbul

Sights of Istanbul

You can’t go to Istanbul without visiting the Grand Bazaar or the Spice Bazaar.  Its a participation in history and  quite an experience if you can deal with the crowds and the hawkers.  I LOVE textiles but just didn’t feel comfortable purchasing one in Istanbul.  I went into a couple of shops just for the experience and it is an experience.  You enter a stall/shop and there are no price tags on the rugs, it is mandatory that you sit down, drink tea, and have a vendor show you carpet by carpet for the style of your choice.  I didn’t like it for two reasons, it is very time consuming process and I never felt as though  I could trust the value of the carpet beyond whether I liked it or not.  In one shop the carpet started out at $3000 and was less than $1500 as I was walking out the door.  Nothing about the experience instilled confidence.  P1030841

I loved the Spice Bazaar,  it is part of the architecture of the New Mosque built in the 1600’s.  It has grown to include more than spices over the years, but still a major center for spice trade and a prime destination for local shopping.  So much energy!

Typical booth in spice bazaar

P1030872

Locals and tourists in Istanbuls Spice Bazaar

Locals and tourists in Istanbuls Spice Bazaar

I must say that globalization has ruined part of the travel experience to some degree as so many things are now available in our own backyard.  Why carry home all of the spices I can now find at Whole Foods, or Central Market right here in Texas??

My favorite store (Denizler Kitabeva http://www.denizlerkitabevi.com, on Istiklal Caddessi 199a, Beyoglu, Istanbul) of the all that I saw on this visit  was a beautiful, old fashioned storefront selling old books, maps, engravings and samples of local art.

P1040107

Its the kind of place you could spend time in as there was so much to see.  The lovely woman who helped us had once moved from Istanbul to Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of my favorite places, but can’t image that was easy for her! Just down the road is a Nike Store and even a Krispy Creme, how awful is that?  So when I find local gems like this store it is fun to just linger! We purchased one of the pottery pieces of the Ottomon Kaftans similar to those worn by the Ottomon Sultans made by a local artist Seyda Aksu (http://seydaaksu.com/duvaraksesuar.html) as our anniversary gift for this year.    These were just beautifully made and painted.  We chose one that was covered in pomegranates (similar to the one fourth from left on the bottom shelf of the display below) as they are native to this part of the world.  Such delicious memories!  Thank you Istanbul!

Denizler Kitabevi on Istiklal Caddesi

Denizler Kitabevi on Istiklal Caddesi

Pottery replicas of Ottomon Era Clothing

Pottery replica of Ottoman Kaftans (similar to those worn by Ottoman Sultans) made by a local artist.

Posted in Istanbul, Santa Fe, Shopping, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Walking Tours of Istanbul

P1030849

View across the Bosphorus to the "New City"

View across the Bosphorus to the “New City”

Istanbul, 13million plus people, situated on two continents and  straddling the Bosphorus between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.  So much history, culture and diversity.  It was cold and wet and dark, but that still couldn’t dampen my enthusiasm for exploring this amazing city.

Menemen...Turkish Egg Breakfast

Menemen…Turkish Egg Breakfast

Italians have their pasta, the Turks love their soup...red lentil with chile garnish

Italians have their pasta, the Turks love their soup…red lentil with chile garnish

As always, whenever and wherever I travel I prefer to be immersed in the lives of the locals…using public transportation, finding local eateries and markets and sampling whatever my destination has to offer.   One of the best ways to accomplish that goal while  visiting Istanbul was taking culinary walking tours with a company called Istanbul Eats. (www.istanbuleats.com) Their walking tours take you through some of the out of the way backstreets of the city as you “graze” your way through the various neighborhoods eating one delicacy after another.

Dried eggplant ready to be soaked in water and stuffed!

Dried eggplant ready to be soaked in water and stuffed!

Actually the tours are about so much more than food as they offer you the opportunity to learn about the history of the neighborhoods you are touring while sampling local cuisine at places you might not ever consider stopping on your own…many times because you might not even know what it is that you would need to ask for.   While you can always find someone who speaks English, its important to know that most Turks don’t.

The Turkish language is difficult to read and even more difficult to pronounce so it can be intimidating to stop and order something that you might not even recognize.  However, that would be a lost opportunity because the food is spectacular.

Artichoke hearts with peas

Artichoke hearts with peas

Angelis, originally from Greece, was the guide for both of my tours.  He shared the historic/geographic influences on the foods we were eating and places we visited with knowledge, energy and enthusiasm .  I took two tours,  “Culinary Secrets of the Old City” and “Cosmopolitan Beyoglu”.  Tours start around 9am and lasted till 3pm so we had the opportunity to eat from breakfast through lunch…exactly my kind of day!

While Turkish coffee is famous, it is tea that is the drink of choice for breakfast and throughout the day.  One of my favorite sights was watching vendors carrying trays of tea in lovely glass cups to their clients.  Reminded me of the “cafe con leche” that I so loved in Buenos Aires where very dapper waiters would deliver my coffee in a porcelain cup and on a tray to my office!  The concept of drinking coffee or tea, on the go from a styrofoam cup is a very foreign concept in so many places outside the USA.

Turkish Tea Delivery

Turkish Tea Delivery

Turkish food is influenced by the Ottoman cuisine that seems to have fused flavors from the Mediterranean, Middle East, Central Asia and the Balkan countries.  The variety of food and flavors was amazing and never boring.

Breakfast includes local cheeses, olives,  and the most decadent clotted cream and honey that we put on bread or a simit (a bagel like bread you can buy from the street vendors). Check out this NY Times article published while I was in Turkey…Simit arrives in the Big Apple!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/dining/turkish-breads-seek-a-niche-in-the-bagel-capital.html

Street vendors sell the most amazing foods, and there were so many favorites it is hard to choose just one, but these top my list…Pide, a pizza like dough, cooked in a pizza oven  topped with different types of beef and a mixture of spices, tomato and pepper, lamb sweetbreads served on bread..yummy, and fresh anchovies, deboned and lightly fried, nothing like the tiny, salty fillets from a tin!

Thank you Angelis and Istanbul Eats.  I had a fabulous culinary adventure in Istanbul.  I could write on forever and ever about the tours and the food but as they say, a picture paints a thousand words…Enjoy! (Click on the small photos to see as a slideshow)

Fresh, fried anchovies (hamsi)

Fresh, fried anchovies (hamsi)

Posted in Food Tours, Istanbul, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Here kitty kitty…Cats in Istanbul,Turkey

One of the first things I noticed on the streets in the Sultanahmet, Istanbuls Old City and home to some of the main attractions like the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia were the number of happy, well fed, friendly cats that populate the area and seem to be owned by the community. I was in one store today when a cat with a loud meow appeared at the door. The propietor was unfazed and told me that he shares his lunch with her every day and she is never late!. People in the city care for the stray cats and feed them, love them and try to find them homes. As a cat lover this was music to my ears.

Everyone loves the cats!

Everyone loves the cats!

 

P1040022So I took lots of photos of some of the friendly felines and did an internet search on the history of their presence here and the findings made me smile. It seems when President Obama visited Turkey in 2009 one of the lucky kitties had a “photo op” with him at one of the historic sites! The cats are free to wander and there is an active catch, neuter and release program in the city. A strong association with Islam offers them some benefits as well…seems there is a popular saying, “If you’ve killed a cat you need to build a mosque to be forgiven by God”. That seems to be a pretty strong motivator of kindness.

Istanbul is such a fascinating city, full of culture and diversity and I know there are those of you who will wonder what ever moved me to start with cats, but those who truly know me will understand. Meow!

20130128-191511.jpg

20130128-191538.jpg

20130128-191558.jpg

20130128-191618.jpg

20130128-191627.jpg

Posted in Food, Istanbul, Museums, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Autumn & Thanksgiving 2012 …In a New York State of Mind

Autumn is and always has been my favorite season. Image

No matter where I am in the world, when the temperature drops and the leaves start to change color I think of New York, my original “home”.  There is something special about the cooler weather, the scent of wood burning and walking through fallen leaves that energizes me and brings back some of my favorite memories of the season…apple cider and apples and fresh donuts made at the local farms, gatherings with family and friends, the new fall movie line-up and of course good hair days! I just love it!

In the past few weeks and days my thoughts have been drawn back to NY primarily because of Hurricane Sandy whose devastation of NY and NJ has affected so many people that I care about and millions that I don’t even know, yet care about still.  Today NY came to mind again when a close friend asked if I would share a recipe for the stuffing that I prepared for our Thanksgiving celebration last year.

NYC  is where the recipe originated.  I wish I could take credit for its creation, or say that it has been passed down to me through generations of family cooks, but I can’t.  The recipe is from The Silver Palate Cookbook, one of my all time favorite cookbooks that has been around for more than 25 years.  The Silver Palate was a gourmet food shop on Columbus Avenue and 73rd street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  I lived on 78th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam in the early 1980’s and the shop was a frequent stop of mine for take out.  The Cornbread Sausage Stuffing with Apples is one of the best stuffings  I have EVER tasted and I have been making it for years.  It always receives rave reviews from anyone who tastes it for the first time.

I will be making it again this year for a small family gathering here in Texas, but my thoughts will be with NY and all of those trying to pull their lives back together after the storm.  New Yorkers are a resilient bunch and the videos and photos on every TV channel of neighbor helping neighbor during this tough time are a testament to their big hearts.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  Feeling grateful.  Enjoy the recipe!!

ImageSilver Palate Sausage Cornbread Stuffing with Apples

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 1/2  cups  finely chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tart apples (Jonathan and Winesap are good, I’ve even used Granny Smith), cored and chunked, do not peel
  • 1 lb. lightly seasoned bulk sausage (Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage with sage is good)
  • 3 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread (preferably homemade)
  • 3 cups coarsely crumbled wheat bread
  • 3 cups coarsely crumbled white bread (French or homemade preferred)
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cups chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled pecan halves

DIRECTIONS

  • Melt half of the butter in skillet. Add chopped onions and cook over medium heat partially covered until tender and lightly colored, about 25 min. Transfer onions and butter to a large bowl.
  • Melt remaining butter in the same skillet. Add apple chunks and cook over high heat until lightly colored but not mushy. Transfer mixture to the bowl.
  • Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook over medium heat stirring until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to mixing bowl. Reserve rendered fat.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the ingredients in the bowl and combine gently. Cool completely before stuffing the bird. Refrigerate if not used immediately.
  • If you do not wish to stuff the bird (goose or duck, for example, can make the stuffing greasy), spoon it into a casserole. Cover the casserole and set into a large pan. Pour hot water around the casserole to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 325 degrees, basting occasionally with cooking juices from the bird or with the reserved rendered fat of the sausages.

Source: Silver Palate Cookbook

Posted in Food, New York, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Inside The Colorado Cider Company, Denver, Colorado July 2012

We arrived in Denver to celebrate the marriage of one of the son’s of my oldest and dearest childhood friends.  However, to  kick start the celebration,  we visited with Kathe and Brad Page, friends we met while living in Buenos Aires, Argentina where they opened a brew pub.  Their latest venture is The Colorado Cider Company, in Denver.  It is here that they brew and distribute hard apple cider.  Wait a minute… do you brew cider? Obviously my cider terminology is limited, but I did learn that the process of making cider is more like that of wine than beer.

Colorado Cider Company owners Kathe and Brad Page

At any rate…we were fortunate to have a private cider tasting and  learned so much about apples and  cider.  YES hard cider it is fermented and alcoholic, NO hard cider is not sweet like hard lemonade!  While I’m not a big drinker, (though I have been known to overindulge on Champagne and/or  Bloody Mary’s…especially at brunch…a whole other story) I really enjoyed the sophisticated taste of these ciders!

Fun facts:

Patio/deck Colorado Cider Company

  • The first apple is believed to be originally from what is present day Kazakhstan.
  • Cider, called “Sidra” in Spain, “Sagardoa” in the Basque region, Cider in Britain and France or “Hard Cider” in the U.S.A., is a fermented apple juice and is popular the world over.

According to the friendly, knowledgeable owners, “The Colorado Cider Company is dedicated to reviving cider apples in Colorado and developing its cider to take advantage of all the wonderful flavors out there in the apple universe.”

The cider is made on site and then purchased by stores and restaurants through a distributor.  I promise you will fall in love with the ciders they have crafted.  I was especially drawn to their exotic names, artfully crafted labels, and their very poetic descriptors…

Glider Cider “crisp and tart”, Dry Glider Cider “has a whisper of juice added back, like a mist of vermouth over a fine martini”  Grasshop-Ah, “an ode to the botanical neighbors and flavors of our favorite grasses and flowers”, Ol’ Stumpy, “earthy flavor and the tannic mouth-feel that makes you think you’re sitting in an old orchard sipping history” and the newest Pom Mel, “300 pounds of Colorado Wildflower honey is in each batch and it’s infused with hints of lavender and rosemary to compliment the botanical origins.”

Cider on tap at Colorado Cider Company tasting room

All of the ciders are delicious and refreshing…of course I have a personal favorite but you will need to taste them all to decide on your very own.  It’s well worth checking out their tasting room, or you can find them at various wine and brewfests around the state.  Upcoming events are listed on their website.  You won’t be disappointed!

Colorado Cider Company
http://www.coloradocider.com
2650 West 2nd Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80219
Tastings:  Fri. 3:00 – 6:00  –  Sat. 2:30 – 6:30 – Sun. 1:00 – 5:00
 
 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 
 
 
Posted in Beer, Cider, Colorado, Denver, Travel, Uncategorized, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment