Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A visitor from Grand Rapids

On Saturday December 15, it so happened that someone from Michigan who knew Susie's mother well, dropped by her shop to say hello. Kim, accompanied by her twin sister, brought greetings from west Michigan along with a pair of the largest smiles I've seen in a long time. (We would see Kim again, this time in Grand Rapids a little over a week later when we drove out for Christmas.)
Kim's twin sister Susie (center) and Kim (right)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Magali and her daughter Melodie

Thanksgiving dinner at Dick and Dorothy's house; with Barbara in the wings. . .

Gift boxes of shortbread for Christmas

Thursday, December 06, 2012

WmJ's brithday

William J with his mom:

William J with his family in Connecticut:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Naomi and Jonathan Get Married -- a look back

It seems as if was just yesterday. . .

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday night at New Rivers

Susie (aka the French Tarte) and I paid a long-overdue return visit to one of our favorite eateries in a city that loves its food: New Rivers. Located in the shadow of the very first Baptist Church in the United States, in a building that has seen it's share of ups and downs in the past couple of centuries, you couldn't find better food or a warmer place to hang your hat for a couple of hours or so.

We both settled into a pair of Pilgrim '21 cocktails (Prosecco, gin, cranberry juice and Canton).

For starters Susie chose a simple (and simply delicious) Romaine salad and I tucked into Narragansett Bay scallops with Beau Vestal's own smokey bacon -- needless to say the evening was off to a great start.

I couldn't resist the steak with a root vegetable barley and incredibly scrumptious fresh mushrooms, while Susie settled on the Rhode Island fluke with fingerling potatoes and pickled peppers, which she thought tassty in the extreme (and Susie hates anything pickled).
yep, those are homemade onion rings

We closed out the evening relaxing over a 20-year Tawny for me and Marie Brizzard over ice for the French Tarte.

Before we scooted out we stuck our heads in the kitchen to say hi and thanks to Beau and asked about their plans for New Year's -- last year we spent a delightful evening at New Rivers, savoring a multi-course special menu along with Dick and Dorothy and we wondering what they had in store for this year. The word we got from Elizabeth and Beau is that it will be even more of a special evening this year.

We can't wait. . .

The French Tarte on November 24

click for a larger view
This past Saturday kicked off, as they all have ever since the Winter Farmers Market opened in Hope Artiste Village in early November, with Susie arriving at the shop around 6am. I returned about 8 and Susie's helper Lee arrived shortly afterwards.

This morning was a bit special since Susie's sister-in-law Dorothy and niece Mallory (Mary's daughter) came to help out.

One of the biggest hits this fall has been the "Shortbread Bar," where, for 4 bucks a dozen people can grab a bag, and mix n' match from a dozen different flavors.

Mallory was a great help in the kitchen (it runs in the family) and between her and Dorothy they kept the shortbread bar well stacked and organized and the dirty dishes out of the way (thanks, Dor!).

and, as always, the French Tarte kept moving. . 
blueberry brioche
Susie's latest creation, "sugar buns," made from croissant dough!
and a great layout, as usual!
pumpkin ginger tart -- for Thanksgiving, of course!
you can never have enough photos of those sugar buns!

orange pistachio crumble financier (almond cake) 
Dorothy and Mallory catch their breath and take a break 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving at Dick and Dorothy's house 2012

As we have done for so many years since moving to New England, Susie and I joined Uncle Frank and Aunt Cathy at Dick and Dorothy's house in Douglas, Masschusetts for a Thanksgiving meal of wonderfully delicious food and warm friendship.

This year was a even more special since we were joined by friends Andrea and her mother Barbara (a whiz with a knife, believe me) and Magali and her daughter Melodie.
a beautiful day for lively conversation and sparkling wine
Frank and Cathy listen in
Andrea and Melodie swap tales 
Sister and brother
My favorite French Tarte
Magali, making two points. . .  
Andrea's smile tells the tale. . .

Dorothy had everything under control

a perfectly cooked bird who is about to meet its match

With two physicians in the house you knew one was going to grab the knife

mother and daughter
While there were, as always, plenty of food options available, I have always gone for the basics: turkey, mashed-potatoes-and-gravy, roasted carrot and green beans:

Cathy spruced her plate with a bit of color
And for dessert, the tarte's tart: a layer of caramel nut crunchies quietly hiding beneath a scrumptious chocolate ganache filling, all piled ever so gently into a chocolate tart crust shell.

Thanks, Susie!