Friday, January 30, 2009

Visit with Christie in New Britain

While in New Britain I was able to meet Christie for lunch and catch up a little on the past six years. If it wasn't for the impending arrival of a snow storm we would have had an opportunity to sample more of the cuisine of Connecticut. We'll have to do that on an upcoming family vacation.

Road Trip from Connecticut

Here are a few pictures of my recent (work related) three-day return trip from Connecticut. One of the pictures was taken from my hotel window in Wadsworth/Akron, Ohio, and it shows traffic on I-76. Most of the other traffic (probably 95%) on the road consisted of trucks, trucks, and more trucks. It was a most scenic trip, though, and in spite of the rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and lack of snow plows and planning in Ohio, we made it home quite smoothly. By the way, Pennsylvania really knows how to take care of their roads in the winter.

I Love New York!

During my recent two-hour stop in NYC on my way to New Britain, CT, the only thing I wanted to do, other than the work I was there for, was to go to Jacques Torres's store. While I was there I had the opportunity to not only meet Jacques, but we had a short conversation about his early days on Food Channel and he signed the 2.2 pound bar (1 kilo) of chocolate I had purchased! Needless to say, I was ecstatic! Not only had I been to his store, but I had met and conversed with Jacques! I was almost in tears recounting the story (several times) to Terri on the phone while we drove out of NYC. So, if you're ever in NYC and you like chocolate I highly recommend a visit to one of Jacques Torres's stores.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stomp Rockets

Thanks to our friends Cathy, Blaine, and Tucker, we now have some stomp rockets. What a blast!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Zach and His New Fire Engine

New Bean Bag Chair

Fun in the Tub

Kaz (aka Starfish Boy) and Max (aka Fish Boy)

Takin' Down the Tree

We have a unique way of taking down the tree. Very little mess and little to clean up. Zach enjoyed the festivities, too.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Typical Winter Day in the House

Christmas Cookies

We put together 12 boxes of cookies this year, far outdistancing what we did in previous years. The lineup of cookies and treats follows, with annotations where needed.

Herbed-spiced nuts (an all-around favorite)

Chocolate-covered oreos (some of the chocolate was spiked with a little cayenne)

Chocolate-covered apricots

Chocolate-raspberry truffles (rolled in chopped nuts or powdered sugar)

Almond-apricot biscotti

Chocolate-dipped coconut biscotti (wonderful, wonderful, wonderful)

Cherry-pistachio biscotti (one of my favorite biscottis)

Lemon-ginger biscotti (new this year and could be a keeper)

Vanilla crescents (new this year, but we won't make them again)

Ginger sandwich cookies (with lemon cream filling) (so freakin' yummy!)

Sugared cranberries (what a great treat, and so easy)

Coconut-pistachio meringues (nice, but there are better recipes)

Cherry-nut mudslides (a Jacque Torres recipe and utterly amazing--easy and full of chocolate goodness)

New Year's Eve

We had a good time on New Year's Eve. Kaz and Max created posters for the wall, and at Max's request, Mom helped make party hats for everyone. The boys made it to 10:00 p.m., but we celebrated the new year before they went to bed. They even got to watch Wall-E for the third time in as many days. (By the way, Wall-E really is a wonderful movie!)

Tuesday Night at the Zoo

We spent a few hours at the Zoo on Tuesday night walking through a bunch of holiday lights, eating pretzels, and riding the carousel. It was a little breezy and cold, but we had a good time. Kaz and Max wanted to have dinner there, but we really couldn't justify a $6 corn dog. Maybe next year our good friend Jenn will join us in St. Louis for Christmas.