It’s been cold. (Apparently too cold to do a post since New Years Eve…sorry!) I’m sure everyone is aware that it’s been a cold winter. The polar vortex, or whatever the heck is causing this cold spell, has been all over the news. I feel like this tree.
I want to be warm, walking down the brilliantly sun-lit blue cobblestone streets of Old San Juan with my beautiful wife. We would start towards El Asador on Calle de San Francisco. Along the way we would see a picturesque purple balcony and a few cool cats hanging around. When we arrive, we would sit at a table with a view of the street. The awesome bartender, Daniel, would make us mojitos with Don Q Cristal. They would be super refreshing. Daniel would bring our order of ceviche. It would be excellent and flavorful. We would sit, laugh, and enjoy.
I wanted to bring y’all back down South to New Orleans for New Year’s Eve. It seems like a festive way to end the year!
Jackson Square is right in the heart of the French Quarter. A mounted Andrew Jackson rides in the center, surrounded by lush gardens, grand architecture, haunted restaurants, and lively, talented street musicians. As we walked towards the area, we could hear jazz music echoing off the buildings. A small group had gathered to perform for the passing crowds. They were very entertaining!
After listening (and photographing) a bit, we wandered through the square on our way to dinner. It was a very relaxing area with people scattered about reading on the grass.
Artwork hanging on the fence surrounding Jackson Square.
The Louisiana State Museum building.
Major General Andrew Jackson.
The center of the square. Jackson has been there since 1856.
The beautiful iron fence.
St. Louis Cathederal.
Formerly Plaza D’Armas, it was renamed in 1815
Muriel’s is right on a corner overlooking Jackson Square. It was featured on our ghost tour. They set a place for the resident spirit every night.
Blackened Mississippi Catfish. It was awesome!
The view down St. Ann.
Maple Leaf Duck Salad.
The view down Chartres Street.
Have a safe and happy evening and a fabulous new year! Cheers!
Our Christmas Eve dinner was slightly out of the ordinary for our family. We decided to mix it up and serve a sandwich. But what kind of sandwich? Let’s take a stab at the perfect sandwich, I thought….the Bánh Mi. It was a hit, even with the little ones (although they may have skipped a few of the ingredients).
From the bottom running clockwise, our sandwich consisted of: roast pork loin (marinated in white vinegar, Asian BBQ sauce, chopped ginger, soy sauce), Wegmans Asian BBQ sauce, bacon, sliced jalapeños, cucumbers (marinated in equal parts white vinegar and sugar), Wegmans ciabatta baguette, Sriracha sauce, pork liver pâté, fresh cilantro. Don’t forget a nice spicy Gewürztraminer to go with it. I still think our house white, from Chateau Ste. Michelle, is excellent.
This is a must try. In fact, it’s time for leftovers. Enjoy!
Just a quick post to wish you all a Merry Christmas! And/or a joyous happy holiday of your choosing. Here are a few photos of our recent trip to a Dicken’s Christmas in Skaneateles. I didn’t take many photos as I was too busy hugging Heather to keep warm, but it was a splendid display of cheer with caroling, horse and wagon rides, and even a sighting of Scrooge. Looking forward to next year’s event! Enjoy the time with family. Cheers!
A Christmas spirit heading off into the fog.
My lovely bride on the pier.
We’re hugging to keep warm. The only reference to food or drink in this post is my Finger Lakes Distilling hat!
Yes, he does. Specifically this Newcastle Brown Ale and Heather’s chocolate crinkle cookies. I would normally wait until closer to the holiday to do a Christmas post, but the next RAF 20 Minutes and Beer event is calling! And guess who is giving this presentation? Yours truly. I’d give you some details but I don’t have them all planned out yet. Hopefully you can swing by to cheer me on listen and have a beer! My presentation title is… Say No To Stock: Be Original & Let Your Idea Grow. I’ll share my take on stock images vs. creative original photography (which do you think I prefer?). Showing you examples of misused and overused stock images, I’ll try to demonstrate why it’s always better to be original and let your idea grow (so you don’t end up on Santa’s naughty list). Should be fun!
Here are the original photo and the poster. Do you think I would have been able to find a stock photo for my silly idea? Don’t forget to make Heather’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. The recipe is down below. Now for that Newcastle (Which is the perfect choice, as they have very original advertising. #nobullocks)….Cheers!
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (I use a little less)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Mix oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Chill several hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350. Roll about one teaspoonful of dough at a time into a ball and roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place 2″ apart on greased baking sheet (I use parchment paper). Bake 10 to 12 minutes.
First, let me say…..”Wow, that was good.” Now that I got that out of the way, let me tell you that it’s hard to find a 40 ounce beer in Victor. “What,” you ask? (Thinking I’ve lost it.)
The original purpose of me doing a post today was to wish my friend Joe a happy 40th birthday. He had this great idea:
I am not one for parties.I didn’t have a birthday party at 8, 16, 21 or 30 and I’d rather not have one for my 40th—which is quickly approaching. However I would like to celebrate it in my own way via social media, so here’s the deal, I want to experience my 40th through your eyes.
On November 29th, take a picture of what you see. Maybe it’s the sunrise, November rain on your window, or the snow laden trees, a selfie of you drinking a frosty beverage after scoring great Black Friday Deals or your neighbors’ cropped mailbox that just shows the 40 of their address. Whatever sparks your fancy. Then, after my birthday, I will collect these photos and create one poster that I will frame and hang in my home to commemorate this day.
These pictures will become a social media snapshot of my birthday shown through the perspective of my friends and family all around the country. It will also let me know that you, on my 40th birthday, thought of me, and—sorry Black Friday— that’s better than any store-bought present out there.
So, on my birthday, Friday, November 29th (Yes, the day after Thanksgiving), take a picture and upload it to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or send me an email.
Help me celebrate. Take a picture. Send me the picture.
And make my Black Friday 40th a very special day
So, instead of 40 ounces of beer, I made him one heck of an awesome sandwich. Admittedly, I ate it (I’m sorry, Joe, but you weren’t here). You should all make one in his honor with your Thanksgiving leftovers. On fresh ciabatta bread, spread a layer of mashed butternut squash. Next is a layer of green beans, which have been stewed in a blend of tomatoes and spices. On top of that, place some stuffing (my sister’s sausage, sage, and roasted-chestnut stuffing). Now comes the turkey (which I seasoned with thyme and citrus). To go for the full carb experience, spread mashed potatoes over the turkey. For a pop of color, top the potatoes with mache rosettes. Drizzle with gravy and whole cranberry relish for a sandwich that can’t be beat!
Yup, I ate it all. Everything on the plate, and then dessert. It was all delicious…. and for that I am thankful. I’m also thankful for everyone out there who is following along. I hope that you too had a pleasant day filled with family and friends. Cheers!
Let’s try another animation. You may have to click to view. Now where is that couch?