Granny Smiths

Yes, it’s winter. Seriously cold winter.

What better time to bake apples?

I used my sister’s method and added a few tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar in the bottom which I later spooned onto the apples’ core opening. Nothing else. No cinnamon or raisins or butter or sugar. Granny Smiths snd Balsamic vinegar.

I used an apple shaped Glasbake Vintage baking dish (a gift from Molly) and baked them at 350F for an hour.

The kitchen was warm from the oven and the whole house smelled delicious. Looks like an electric element but it’s gas.

Teppanyaki KYOTO Dinner and 3 Japanese Desserts

Mark came to the city on business and stopped by the house to pick up his mended sweater. He brought me the one I’d left at their house at Christmas.

Steve and Mark and I drove in his rental car, down to Bryant Street, for a late supper.

He saw the sign for Teppanyaki KYOTO and although we had no reservation, there was room for us at the counter.

Our server Steven made us most welcome and offered me a taste of sake since I’d never had it.

We got to watch the Chef and owner Kevin Chen prepare our food so skillfully. Right in front of us! I’m not talking theatrics, just perfect preparation and care taken with the freshest ingredients and served immediately.

Everything was delicious. Just look at these roasted vegetables. Perfectly prepared and served fresh from the griddle.

Mark and Steve had Yaki-Soba. The second photo is Yakitori which we shared. Mark said it was authentic Japanese food and remembered his time in Okinawa and was so glad he was introduced to the restaurant.

He plans to return and bring the family and sit at one of the tables with straw mats in the upper level.I didn’t photograph every dish we ordered but tonight I’m pleased with the results from the iPhone camera. There was green tea cheesecake with a dollop of whipped cream, and four green mochi with bean paste for dessert, and another one wrapped in a special leaf which I asked if it was edible. No, just a wrapper for the sweet rounded mochi. Not the ice cream version but filled with bean paste.  Mmmmmm.  We shared a taste of each.

I remembered blogging about Teppanyaki KYOTO when they opened in January 2012.

It was an unexpected pleasure to dine with my son and he was happy we ate here. 


Chex Mix Making

A few alterations to the original recipe but Wednesday night Laura guided Charlie and Maura in the holiday tradition of making Chex Mix. One site says “it’s been a party staple for 50 years”. I can tell you the original recipe was not on the boxes we had this year. Boo.

Baked at 250 F for an hour stirring every 15 minutes. What could be bad about it with all that melted butter and savory salt? Hmmmm

After the Mix making the two cousins played in Charlie’s new train tent. Crawling between the red and blue and back again. Then the added collapsible tunnel component.

A fun night.

Charlie said ” I love this game”

Zero Nutritional Value

It might even be in the negative column for nutrition. Those maraschino cherries alone, with the preservatives and dye, could do you in but I remember this colorful combination from childhood. Bright green lime, white pears, red cherries. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon to cut the intense sweetness!

My mother always made this Christmas Jello. She’d buy a large green labeled can of Bartlett pear halves. She’d put a cherry in each indentation and hope they didn’t float away.

I don’t even know anyone who makes Jello anymore. Well, maybe a strawberry pretzel salad at a shower or potluck or picnic buffet?

For Easter she’d put together the yellow lemon Jello with grated carrots and a can of crushed pineapple to which she added a pinch of salt.

Because the green, white and red one reminded me of my growing up, I had my granddaughter Anna help put it together and it graced our Christmas dinner table at my son and daughter-in-law’s home.

Sweet Work

Look at the unexpected fun I had at COSTCO when I sampled a Lindt truffle. I met Tammy, the Lindt Representative, and Kimberly and Christine who were offering the samples and talking with customers. Spoiler Alert :You know I bought some, too. It was an iPhone day as I didn’t have my good camera with me.

Tammy at work.

Christine on left and Kimberly on right

He Didn’t Eat a Single Candy While Decorating

Guess they didn’t look like food to him? When he placed a gummi pineapple shape on the gingerbread house he said “I put on the vegetable.”

Laura whipped up some royal icing and put this kit together. Charlie (almost 2 1/2) helped.

Last night I helped Maura put together a gingerbread Starbucks Cafe. It collapsed and then we fortified it and propped it with glassware and coffee mugs. The second load of frosting worked like glue. Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph it.

Over the years, my friend Joanne has baked and decorated elaborate gingerbread houses from scratch. I baked a Church one year (1987) with melted lifesavers for stained glass windows and never again. I used to watch eager third graders make little graham cracker houses on empty milk cartons at school. Helped fish out milk cartons and rinse them, drain on a rack.

Little gingerbread houses appeal to me but I need to practice. Charlie loved the result!

Potsdamer Platz Market- Men at Work

Thursday I was photographing some food items for a Things to Eat in Berlin Gallery.

When I saw the wurst stand I went up and asked if it was okay to take a picture.

My plan was to snap the big pile of wurst on the grill. But suddenly I had some generous posing chefs.

Here is photo one

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And oops, I realized the man on the left in the photo below  wasn’t in my frame and he was standing with a wurst, too.  Do over!

I took another shot to include him and suddenly a photo bomb appears behind the three men.

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Thank you,  gentlemen. You made my day!