green beans and coe Luxe

The food and drink debauchery which was my “Birthdaypalooza” has finally ended. I never thought that I would say such a thing; however, I don’t think that I could’ve gone on much longer and survived.

tuna with white bean Luxe

Thanks to my bff M I had a birthday to remember with all of the trimmings.
The big day was Saturday the 24th, however, we started at Lilly Chocolates on Thursday, then we head over to Athen’s Pastries then to M’s for wine.

016 shrimp

Friday night he entertained me and some friends in grand style at his beautiful home, fireside with fancy cocktails from his wickedly creative mind! J suprised me with a beautiful bracelet and made me feel like a princess. We all went to Luxe for a fantastic dinner. I had the tuna and far too many champagne cocktails!

pumpkin cake at >Tartine</a>” title=”pumpkin cake at Tartine” width=”477″ height=”358″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-450″ /></p><p>Gifts, chocolates, Champagne! What did I do to deserve so much Love!</p><p><img decoding=

Saturday was an afternoon of lunch and shopping with mom, (More on her in another post!) an early supper with D at Tartine then off for cocktails with C, G and D at the Market Avenue Wine Bar. Again, far too much wine.

011 lobster

Sunday, my daughters thought that it would be nice to have a family dinner; lobsters, shrimp, scallops, mashed potatoes, two bottles of wine and one bottle of champagne later I officially surrendered.


Happy Birthday My Sweet Sixteen

turning a corner PD

This is the time of year when I feel that we are turning a corner. Summer gives way to Autumn, daylight savings time starts, the school year is in full swing, my eldest daughter celebrates another birthday , as do I, and the holidays are bearing down on us like a locomotive at full speed. All good stuff!

We are preparing for the winter ahead and nesting; battening the hatches and our menus are becoming hardier. Rich thick smells are coming out of the kitchen now. We are baking more bread and using cinnamon in the squash. I’m stuffing fish and roasting root vegetables with wine, garlic and butter.

I’ve talked to famous chefs and asked them what they like to cook for family and friends and the overwhelming response that I get is comfort food with lots of ingredients.

It seems to me that our cooking instinct is to fill our meals with the ingredients that evoke the best of our childhood memories. And food smells always seem to have that effect.

I will never forget my daughter’s 16th birthday this past week. We had dinner at Pier W, a lovely seafood restaurant complete with a piano bar and vast water and city views.

She has definitely turned the corner from little girl to young lady. She, of course, ordered the lobster and had white chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Her younger sister had a swanky version of macaroni and cheese.

As I sit at the table I am drinking in every nuance, every smell and every feeling. I am taking mental notes; notes on ingredients and techniques for meals that I want to cook and on flavors long forgotten and rediscovered. And remembering meals past, like this one; celebrations with family and friends.

Listening to Jazzy standards on the piano and being with my family, sharing a glass of wine and beautiful food; I felt the weight of this moment, the grand significance of a threshold being crossed. You could almost see it; I could definitely feel it and holding back the tears became my challenge

So, for now, back to the food, because the tastes and smells will forever create these stirrings of love and family and the memory of the innocence of a journey just begun.

scollops sweet sixteen PD

The Scallops Piccata was perfect and served with braised spinach and crispy fried carrot strings. We had a bottle of, surprise, Colume Malbec. What can I say? It is my current favorite grape and complimented our meals quite nicely.

We finished with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot; it’s a family favorite and the kids love it. (Just special occasions, of course!)

I will never think of scallops the same, again. And I am sure that I will never be able to eat white chocolate cheesecake without tearing up just a bit.


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