Saturday, December 27, 2014

TripREvisor - Vegas Baby!

The perfect city for a "Friends Reunion" and a Rod Stewart Concert!  We flew in from Boston, others from New Jersey, Houston, and London for a jam packed, fun filled weekend in the city that never sleeps!
First I must mention that the only direct flight from Boston to Vegas is a Jet Blue flight and I had visions of "Easy Jet" ( enough said!) but surprisingly, we were very impressed with the airline.....
entertainment and whole cans of Diet Coke and snack size bags of chips/crisps!

After checking into the majestic Caesar's Palace we gathered for our first night activity......
                                                    Let the Good times BOWL!
(This picture was actually taken by someone famous  -  but you know what they say .... what happens in Vegas , stays in Vegas)

While the guys enjoyed a competitive Golf Day, 
the gals met for breakfast at the highly recommended 
restaurant across the street,
Hash House a GoGo

You should have seen the Waffle and Fried Chicken plate!  

The rest of our day was spent shopping and exploring the strip.....

We couldn't resist Cosmos at The Cosmopolitan! 

On Saturday we decided to take a road trip to 
Hoover Dam

The driver and co-pilot kept us on track,
the tour was fascinating, and the views spectacular....
(professional photo - not so great!)
We were a little parched from the dry desert air so 
a quick stop at 
an old American favorite.........

and back to Caesar's Palace 
to get "dolled up" for our special evening....
an authentic Italian dinner at Il Mulino
"Tonight's the Night"
a true musical icon,
Rod Stewart!  

Only in Vegas Baby!  


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

We wish you.....

                                   ....... a Merry Christmas!  JOY   PEACE   HOPE   LOVE


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Do you like Egg Nog? and Frozen?

I am not talking about the time consuming homemade Egg Nog
.....  the kind my sister-in-law spends hours perfecting for us on Thanksgiving Eve
.....  the kind with a precious dozen, hard to separate, pasteurized eggs, and a quart of heavy cream,
       and a mixer that has to whip the egg whites just right
...... Is there another kind you ask?

I am talking about the kind you buy from our local dairy Hornstra's Farm!
and oh so easy!!!

I can't wait to add a little "something extra" to mine!  

Along with my Egg Nog I will serve some very special
 Gingerbread  cookies
from our local bakery
Ginger Betty's 

Ginger Betty also won the local 
Gingerbread House decorating contest....

You can see why,
this is her rendition of 

I wish you all the joy that comes with sharing special treats
with friends and family this holiday season! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

TripREvisor - City of York

I started blogging for 2 reasons,
keep in touch with friends and family,
and keep a personal journal of our travel.
I consider it a successful part of our years
in London and rewarding!

There were a few months when I took a hiatus from blogging, it was a busy time in our life,
throw in a move from London back to Boston
and Retirement.
We still managed to do some traveling
last spring to some
great places.....
So I will occasionally post a
(And before I forget all the details)
The city of York was one of those
fun weekend trips!

York is less than a 2 hour train ride from London....perfect for a weekend trip!
We stayed at the Dean Court Hotel (a Best Western) - the perfect location within walking distance of the train station and centrally located within this ancient walled city.

The Hotel sits in the shadow of the prominent York Minster ..... the "largest Gothic cathedral in North Europe".  We were lucky enough to be on the last tour of the Cathedral when Evensong was announced. We stayed and I have to tell you I still get chills when I think of the choir of children and the sound of their voices enveloping the cathedral.  I borrowed these pictures from the brochure!

One of the things we still talk about were the meals we had in York.  I have never been to a city with more Gluten Free options .... never!
The breakfast at our hotel was outstanding 
and my GF Ploughman's platter at "the oldest pub in England" 
(they all say that)
~The Black Swan~
was a feast!!!

Just 30 minutes out of town (we rented a car) is 
Castle Howard,
a magnificent 18th Century House -
still a family home and National treasure. 

Notice the van?
They were setting up for a wedding the day we were there,
can you imagine? 

The town itself is picturesque and historical,
definitely easy to walk around
and take in the sites. 
But don't go to York without planning a few hours
at the National Railway Museum. 
It surprised us all !!! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2 Annual Events....

Every fall, at full moon high tide,
the "dock men" come up-river to 
"float the docks" onto the marsh
for a long winter's rest.
(It sounds like I should be playing the Theme for "Deliverance"
doesn't it?) 

Believe it or not, the river actually freezes.
It is one of those annual events that 
 says,  "WINTER is coming" !

Family Christmas Photo time

Setting up the camera, checking the shadows......

Getting Sammy to cooperate.....

She prefers the fireplace.......

Is there a perfect shot?

You'll have to wait for your Christmas card !     

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fresh Cranberries......

What to do with a bag of fresh cranberries.......
First wash them?  No, everything I read said, "Do not wash them !"

Instead, I went through the bag, a handful at a time, picking out mushy ones, green ones, rocks, and stems. I divided them into smaller bags and stuck them in the freezer as is......
to be washed eventually when I thaw them.

One of the easiest ways to use them is as frozen little floating ice cubes in a fancy cranberry Cosmo.

This recipe for Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
 had "Fall" written all over it.
As we say in New England -
"It's a keepah"

Stuff the acorn squash with.......
1 T butter, 1T brown sugar, 1/4 C cranberries,1/2 C cubed apples or pears, 1/4 C old fashioned oats, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 C sliced almonds
Bake at 400 degrees for 55 minutes
 then cover with foil for another 15 - 20 minutes. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


BOG - Board of Governors, Boy or Girl, Best of Group (Dog Shows), Be Our Guest, Boots on the Ground, Airport Code for Bogota, Columbia???

I am referring to Cranberry Bogs to be specific!

It is harvest time here in Massachusetts.
In Autumn, the beds are flooded and the cranberries are harvested.
Here they are
 floating in the water where they will be corralled into a corner 
and collected for market. 
The colors are just incredible! 

I could not resist, 
$5 a bag!!!
Now...... what to do with 
a large bag of fresh cranberries??? 
Stay tuned......

Friday, October 24, 2014

Guests come to the Rivah Cottage

Fall is the perfect time to visit New England and the weather 'Gods' were certainly looking after us.
The colors were highlighted with warm sunshine, tide was high, and the air was crisp ...... the perfect evening for a little blue boat ride down river.

The Eddy's came from London to experience a little "New England" through our eyes. First a Green Egg Bar-B-Q with Mr. Rick's famous pulled pork and ribs.

Sandra and I took long walks along the river in the reservation.....

and a ferry ride into Boston to explore the North End while the guys were at the office.

We had beautiful sunsets, lots of wine, and a few good meals!

Who would have thought that we could cruise the coastline with the top down?  Plymouth Rock was not as impressive as the cranberry bogs ready for harvest!

It was a fun week and we have plans to meet again...
Italy next time (because we are retired you know)!
In the meantime, the Bundy Bell continues to ring at 6:00 every evening! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Classic French Macaron

I've perfected the Macaroon
but not the French Classic

A Macaron baking class with Caroline Hope….
she is an expert on English Tea
and all the goodies 
served with it! 

Five of us crammed into her adorable, efficient, London flat
for an intensive lesson 
on baking.

No electric

If it falls on your head,
it's not ready!

Cocoa with a chocolate ganache, pistachio with pistachio butter cream,
and my favorite,
ginger with lime butter cream! 

They turned out perfect and delicious,
but honestly…..
So many things can go wrong….
I'll probably buy them!