May 04, 2011

The Monterey Wine Festival Celebrates 35

Now in its 35th year The Monterey Wine Festival continues to evolve into a platform for the regional wine industry and the community of wine lovers.  After 35 years the festival will take a historical turn and bring guests along for the sips and scenery.  On Friday, June 10th,  the festival will kick at The Monterey Hyatt Regency where bites and sips from the wineries will be enjoyed.  During this evening guest's can take a quick hop on the Champagne Shuttle sponsored by Sam Linder Auto Group and continue the party at The Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada.  This museum is known for its historic architecture and the former celebrities that resided there.  Guests can enjoy the views from the hilltop and the art inside the gallery, but perhaps the most ardent competition for attention will be found in the sips of champagne and bites of chocolate dipped strawberries.  What fun to hob-knob in the same location as old Hollywood!  Glass

On Saturday, June 11th,  the celebration continues at another historic destination The Custom House Plaza and The Maritime Museum, which boasts a snazzy newly appointed foyer.  These historical edifices are on designations that many consider hallowed ground.  Guests will continue this day of celebration with a completely mouth watering experience from both the wineries and purveyors of food.  Along with these two ingredients live music is the final sensation that further ensures a winning combination. Wine, Food, Music! Aaa hhh!

It's a Chowdah Throw Down!

A sweet addition to the festival this year is the 2nd Annual West Coast Chowder Competition.  Professional chefs from the Western Coast will come to compete and chowder lovers will pay homage to their special creations.  This year chefs from Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, and other chowder known destinations will be landing in Monterey to compete against the local titans of chowder.  All competitors will be trying to slay the judge's tongues with their creations, take home the prize money and boast of their achievement in what is expected to be one of the most impressive competitions around.  Clam, Seafood and Creative Chowders are the categories that make up the contest and the big copper pot award goes to the people's choice along with a cash prize.  Guests can sample or buy a cup of chowder of their entries and pick their own personal favorites and compare their palettes to the judges.  Wines that pair with chowders will also be available to sample. 

Tickets online at

Posted by Jo Wilson on May 4, 2011 at 04:28 PM in Activities & Events, Art, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2011

Prince William’s Chocolate Crunch Cake

Tea & Sympathy's Easy Recipe

chocolate crunch cake! 
Serves eight


For the cake
1 box graham crackers
¼ c. raisins
¼ c. nuts, chopped
5 oz. dark chocolate
5 oz. milk chocolate
1 stick butter, room temp.
1 14-oz. can condensed milk

For the topping
5 oz. dark chocolate
1 tsp. milk

1. In a large metal bowl, crumble graham crackers into bite-size pieces. Add raisins and nuts.

2. In a saucepan, melt chocolates, butter, and milk. Stir frequently so chocolate doesn’t burn.

3. Add melted mixture to crackers and stir until dispersed.

4. Line an 11-by-7-inch pan with waxed paper. Pour mixture into pan; spread evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

5. For the topping, combine ingredients in a saucepan; stir until melted.

6. Remove cake from fridge and cover with topping. Cut into squares and serve.

To see how it’s done, watch our demo. For more information on Tea & Sympathy, go to Originally posted online @ April 27, 2011

Posted by Jo Wilson on May 2, 2011 at 08:59 PM in Activities & Events, Current Affairs, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Auberge de Seattle Inn & Specialty French Cooking School

Mes Chers Amis...Bonjour!

I am sitting on a train on my way to Montpellier, France (30 minutes form the Mediterranean) watching the beautiful lush French countryside.  It is warm in France and the scent of flowers in bloom everywhere is really surprising to me.  As the saying goes..."spring is in the air" with wisteria, lilac and jasmine...then of course there is also the smell of coffee and pastries that you also can't help but notice.  My sense of smell is on high alert for all of the smells that I don't normally experience in Seattle.  Yesterday, it was 77 degrees in Paris, while in Seattle it was only 52.  One always hears about traveling to Europe in the summer, but April (flights are cheaper) is under estimated and should not be over looked next time you are thinking about planning your trip to Europe.

Even though I am in France...I am still thinking about my work.  The month of May is just around the corner with lots of cooking classes coming up that I think you will find both interesting and appealing.  On our cooking website: we have three Regional Cooking Classes posted for May; each one being taught by a different chef: Chef Philippe Naud, Chef George Stevenson and Chef Sally McArthur.  Chef Philippe's menu is from the Atlantic region of France (mainly fish), Chef George is doing a totally Crab menu and "five courses", and Chef Sally is doing a menu from the south of France, Provence.

By the time you read this, I will be back in Seattle, refreshed and inspired with new ideas and looking forward to the busy summer season ahead...see you soon, a bientot!


J'espere de vous voir bientot chez nous,
Nancy Gates-Douglas; Proprietress
Auberge Edge of Seattle Cooking

Posted by Jo Wilson on May 2, 2011 at 08:51 PM in Art, Dining, Food and Drink, Lodging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2011

First Time To New York City—Where Do I Eat? A First-timer’s Query to New York’s Dining Experience

When visiting New York City, dining is as important as where you visit. However, New York City’s restaurant scene is ever changing. There are tens of thousands of places to eat in the city, and every week a new group opens while another shuts down. Unlike the rest of the United States, most restaurants tend to be small and locally owned. You’ll find a few chains here and there (especially when it comes to fast food), but for the most part NYC restaurants tend to be small and unique.

So for the visitor this means negotiating a minefield of unknown quantities. Of course there are many “famous” restaurants throughout the city, but they tend to be grouped in the high price ranges. This is a great city for a dining splurge, but it’s also a great place to try something unusual alongside locals in the lower price ranges.

The great thing about New York restaurants is that the competition is so fierce for your food dollar, that places that offer substandard food or that charge too much don’t remain in business long. If a restaurant has been open for more than a year, they are most likely doing something right. The old and universal advice that you should go to crowded places and avoid empty ones is especially true in New York City.

So where do we eat? The Times Square area obviously has tons of places and foot traffic from tourists, so if an eatery has a great location, it can offer poor servings since they don’t rely on repeat business. There are many goofy chain restaurants right on Broadway, such as Bubba Gump Shrimp, if you just want to grab a bite to eat and want dependability. Places with a never-ending supply of tourists have little incentive to offer great food at good prices, so they usually don’t. Bar Americain would be my recommendation. Bar Americain combines good food and drink with a relaxed atmosphere. Bobby’s Flay’s Tex-Mex brasserie, American style is a truly American urban experience. Bobby melds his Tex-Mex roots with his broad knowledge. Chef Flay combines the brashness of an Iron Chef; which he is, of course, to his range of his American style dishes inspired by regional foods.

Restaurant Row on 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues is filled with places specialize in pre and post theater dinners. Many of these restaurants offer excellent dishes, but they tend to be pricey. Virgil’s on 44th Street has the best brisket I have ever eaten. Scarottos on 47th has the best handmade meatballs, all within the theatre district.

The neighborhoods are where most locals go to eat and are where ethnic food is really happening. You might be surprised by how inexpensive dining can be in many of the popular places outside the Times Square area. The competition here will not allow restaurants to overcharge and stay around for long. So be certain and pick your favorite ethnic specialty and chow down like the locals.

The Upper West Side is residential area jammed with all kinds of restaurants in all price ranges to suit even the most budget-minded diner. Broadway is the central artery, but Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues have the most interesting restaurants. Just south of the Times Square is another residential district with restaurants serving up almost everything you could want. My favorite for favorite ethnic food is the Arepa Lady for Venezuelan fare.

A trip to the Meat Packing District of the West Village is home to super trendy restaurants, many with al fresco seating during summer. The West Village area has Hudson Street and Carmine Street, both lined with small places and on nearly every corner as well.

The East Village area has become a hot dining spot for locals. Lower rents allow chefs to experiment with unusual and exotic things get away with it. St Marks Street (8th Street) from 2nd Avenue to Avenue A is lined with interesting places that are very reasonably priced. 6th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues is Indian Restaurant Row, with literally one place after another down the whole block. An old joke says they all share the same kitchen, but we know that isn’t so.

Dining in The City wouldn’t be complete without a slice of pizza, which you can get within a three minute stroll from anywhere in Manhattan. Many neighborhoods have a pizza place on every corner.

Hot dogs are another must eat when in New York. The carts of Midtown sell hot dogs for around two bucks and they are well worth the price, especially for the convenience and depending on how hungry you may be.

There are Chinese restaurants in every neighborhood in Manhattan. The quality is excellent and the prices are moderate. Obviously Chinatown is loaded with restaurants – many of which depend mostly on local Chinese diners. Quality is spotty and sanitation can be lacking. Dining in Chinatown is an adventure, but not necessarily the best place to go for a great Chinese meal. . It can be an adventure, but it’s not necessarily the best place in town to go for a great Chinese meal.

Little Italy has shrunk to three blocks of Mulberry Street that are lined with nearly identical Italian restaurants. Quality tends to be good and prices can be reasonable since competition among the places is so fierce.

For the most romantic place, Balthazar is highly recommended, reservations required in advance. Balthazar reminds one of Paris. This French style restaurant is one of the most popular in The City because of the ambiance, its interiors are some of the best in the city and the food is, as well.

Posted by Jo Wilson on March 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM in Dining, Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 10, 2011

The Dining Pleasures of Orlando—Why Visit Disney When You Can Dine Like Royalty

Most people go to Orlando to vacation and take in the tourist theme parks.  I go to eat.  I find that Orlando has some of the best reasons to dine out in America.  Give me any excuse to go to Orlando and I am there!  I know it may sound strange that I do not share an attraction tourist parks.  I would rather spend my time dining, and dining, and dining. 

Orlando has a smorgasbord of restaurants to choose from ranging from all you can eat for $10.00 to selections from menus and décor that is fit for a king.  Because of the theme parks, Orlando has many restaurants to choose from including a bevy of chain restaurants that are moderately priced and serve good fare.  I enjoy eating at those on any given day, but I prefer to try something that I cannot get at home.  Let me take you on a tour of three restaurants that are a “must experience” for someone who wants to sample the best Orlando has to offer.

My first stop would definitely be HUE; but then I am just a bistro kind of girl, for the most part. HUE is downtown Orlando’s critically acclaimed, award-winning urban bistro.  HUE has taken the prestigious Golden Spoon Award by Florida Trend Magazine for five consecutive years as well as a slew of other awards.  HUE was also name as one of the Best New Restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Travel Magazine, the only restaurant in Orlando to achieve this acclaim.   HUE’s menu is American cuisine with a big city flair.  One of the things I like best is that the menu changes daily, featuring an array of unique flavors and combinations that never fail to make me want to try more.  HUE’s interiors have a warm feel with clean uptown architecture and walls lined with interesting as well as decorative original art.  Dining there makes me feel “in touch” with what is happening on the food frontier.

My next stop would be Emeril’s Tchop Chop.  While most people know Emeril for his Southern style cooking and his Louisiana dishes, Tchop is a step in a new direction—East, far East.  Thanks to Chef Greg Richie’s twist on Pan-Asian cuisine, Tchop excels at producing dishes that exceed your expectations and tantalize your taste for the exotic. or as Emeril is known to say, “Take it up a notch”.  Chef Richie does just that.  Whether it is brunch or exotic cocktails, this stop will satisfy your taste buds for something different without emptying your pocket.  The menu has the expected selection of delicious hand-rolled sushi as well as the unexpected--Asian salads and noodle bowls for your selection.  If somehow you can’t find just what your heart desires, you can build your own bowl or bento box.  Personally, I like to try something different each time I go, and I am never disappointed; but I keep returning to my old favorite standbys such as the miso soup and Asian noodles.  Sometimes simplicity is best.  Kids aren’t shortchanged at Tchops either.  There are kid’s combos for even the most hard-to-please of your little ones.  Located in the Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort at Universal, the setting is richly exotic.   The food is fun and oh so satisfying.

Victoria and Albert’s is a dining experience like no other.  Before you arrive for your meal, you will receive a call from the staff, usually the day before your reservations, to discuss any food allergies you may have or preferences.  Your menu will be personalized with your name on it and if it is a special occasion, the special event you are celebrating.  How much more royally can you be treated?

The menu at Victoria and Albert’s changes every day with choices from each category to choose.  Everyone starts with the amuse bouche and then proceeds to six courses.  You might think that you could never finish six courses, but you will and you will relish each and every one of them. Victoria & Albert’s is one of Florida’s most celebrated restaurants for a very good reason. It holds the highest honor from the Mobile Guide and it is the only restaurant in Orlando to earn five diamonds from AAA ten years in a row -- that’s enough diamonds for a new tiara for the queen.

Aside from being named for royalty, this restaurant knows how to please the discerning diner.  When you make your reservations, you will need to decide which of the three rooms you would like to be seated.  My favorite is the Queen Victoria Room, a small, intimate space where many choose to celebrate their special evening because of the ambiance and the romance. The Queen Victoria Room experience features fabulous service including several tableside preparations, many of them performed by maitre d’hotel Israel Perez, who also is the restaurant’s lead sommelier.

 The first choice of seating is the main dining room for the majority of diners. This is where most people dine for their first visit.  You will dine in the grandest fashion possible under the dome.

Food groupies usually opt for the popular and highly booked chef’s table. This seating is table is in an alcove off the main kitchen and provides a front row vantage point into the executive chef, Scott Hunnel’s kitchen. The kitchen staff reflects the quiet calm that comes with a seasoned crew of professional chefs as they go about the preparation and presentation of each dish.  Die hard food cultists enjoy the experience of observing a master chef at work and having each course explained by Hunnel, no less.

Men are required to wear jackets, and women must wear cocktail dresses or pantsuits. The crystal-and-linen dining room typically seats no more than 100 patrons. The hushed atmosphere features live harp music. The menu, which changes daily, offers programmed, seven-course dinners that can last as long as three hours. Prices start at $125 a person.  Children younger than ten years of age are not welcome—which is really quite fine when you consider the ambiance and the experience.  Be certain to dress appropriately.    Being elegantly attired is part of the total experience.  Would you go to your prom in jeans?

Posted by Jo Wilson on March 10, 2011 at 12:31 PM in Dining, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 05, 2009

Wickwood Inn Holiday Notebook - Saugatuck, MI






A L L  T H E  L O C A L  N E W S,  G O S S I P,  R E C I P E S  &  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T     

   H O L I D A Y   2 0 0 9


Saugatuck Sparkles
    Ed Goelich, Photographer
“Later on we'll conspire, as we dream by the fire."
  --- played by Chris Botti

Our villages are transformed into a quintessential old fashioned Christmas card from mid-November through New Year's. Twinkling lights, horse drawn buggy rides, shops aglow, Dickens, ballet, jazz, A Santa Parade, Wickwood's Festival of Trees and music everywhere. The spirit is contagious --- come and catch some!    Wickwood ---



November 7 New Orleans Singer, Tab Benoit, SCA
November 7 Edye Evans Hyde,
The What Not Inn
November 8 Tim Johnson Trio, The What Not
November 10 Boy's Town, The Red Barn
November 11 Veterans Day
November 12 Shop Fabulously, Post Holiday Shopping Event at Good Goods with Holiday Refreshments
November 12-14 Grand Rapids Wine & Food Festival
November 14 Lakeshore All Star Blues Band
, What Not Inn
November 14- December 12 Blaze of Color
, Water Street Gallery
November 14 A Tribute to John Denver with Gregg Sanborn, The Red Barn Playhouse
November 15 Mary Rademacher
, The What Not
November 17 Grapes of Wrath,
The Red Barn
November 18 - January 3 Christmas Holiday Traditions Around the World, Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids

    More Calendar ---







We're baking memories for the Holidays --- Pecan Sticky Buns, Cranberry Cake, Apple Blueberry Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce, Bismarck's, Bacon & Caramelized Onion Strata, Baked Country Ham, Pecan Tassies, Julia's Chocolate Bites, Christmas Cookies, soups and sips. Come share the enchantment.   
    Recipes ---


Holiday Open Houses Every Weekend

All around our villages the wineries, art galleries, and shops all host receptions to make the Holidays more festive six full weeks. The weekend of November 20-21 is the kick-off in Saugatuck and Douglas with extended shopping hours, music, refreshments, holiday specials, good cheer, warm treats, special wrapping services, all in an effort to give you the Holiday Spirit and help make your Holiday gift giving a joy.


Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Tab Benoit
Tab Benoit
Saturday, November 7

As Is by Laurel Farrin
thru Decmber 28

The Wreck of the Rockaway
Thurday, November 19

Twisted Tinsel
by Mason Street Warehouse
Friday, November 27

Improv Olympic
Saturday, November 28

Wintergreen Market
Saturday, December 5

Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans-Hyde
Saturday, December 12


Bacon Fever
“Cooking is three-quarters shopping.” --- Jean Troisgros Roanne, France 1979

Bacon Fever!

Cold weather makes us crave smoky pork more than ever. We like our sausage, ham, and bacon pure and simple, from small farms raising - happy pigs, smoked by authentic artisans. The aroma when you're cooking smoked pork is simply hypnotic. Dedicated people are bring back traditional curing methods; double-curing in Michigan (with over a hundred years of experience), Smoky Mountain dry - cured, Wisconsin's intensely apple - smoked, Virginia's maple brown sugar cured --- with pepper or not, it's up to you. But you can't go wrong with any of these; they're the real deal:

Bacon Fever

Sweet Bacon Bites

A simple and delicious hors d'oeuvres that leaves everyone wanting more. Preheat oven to 375° F. Separate and halve thick cut bacon slices. Place dark brown sugar in a shallow plate.  Dip both sides of each bacon slice in brown sugar and coat thoroughly. Place the bacon on a rack over a pan to catch the drippings. Bake in upper third of oven for 20-30 minutes. Finish under broiler for a minute. Cool.    Recipes ---

Gourmet Magazine

Goodbye Gourmet!

Does the closing of this sixty-five year old food institution signal that the internet food blogs have won? We hope not. For to scroll the hundreds of recipes for any ingredient the internet brings, is to set every benchmark of good, better, best taste aside. Serious cooks want to learn from the experienced with standards that they can trust.


Christmas Gifts for Cooks & Foodies

An Olive Oil Collection
Mortar and Pestle Fresh
Oysters from Taylor's Fish Farm
Wheel of Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese from Jasper Hill Farm
Jacque Torres Chocolate
Wine selected by Kermit Lynch, Neil Rosenthal or Sergio Esposito
Salumi from Fra'Manni
Cheddars from Neal's Yard
A Bacon Tasting
Anything homemade by you
Tsar Nicoulai Caviar
Dinner at a Dream Restaurant
A Cooking Class
Italian Tuna, salt packed
Anchovies and capers
Two or three Unglazed Clay Pot Casseroles
Rose Champagne

“You might as well do your Christmas hinting early.”
---- Anon.

Wickwood Inn
Gift Certificate


We think that the greatest luxury we have today is Time. And so we marvel at the number of people who are giving the time to relax at Wickwood as gift certificates to their family and friends for all kinds of occasions. We think what they're really giving is loving memories. That pleases us enormously.

Gooble gooble
“Farmer's are zones of peace on this planet.” ---- Vanana Shiva, Indian Food Activist

Gobble Gobble!!

It's not too late to order a fresh Heritage Thanksgiving Turkey. These fowl are bred naturally; never fed hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products; walks around, matures at a natural rate; and, when the day comes, meets a clean end. Select a bird from 8 to 22 pounds and it won't be frozen, but arrive to you on ice via Fed Ex Tuesday, November 24 with cooking instructions. Please pass the compliments.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"
- Winston Churchill

The Giving Season

The talk is all about giving because it makes us feel good. During the Holidays we can all get carried away and forget some important aspects of giving:
Give of yourself. Your time, your love, your talent and your knowledge.
Give quality not quantity.
Give yourself time to celebrate.
Some we favor:

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that we all go through it together.”
--- Garrison Keillor


Armagnac & Marc

“People make Cognac for profit, but they make Armagnac for love, “Michel Guerard told us as he introduced us to these two many years ago at Eugenie. From Gascony and Landes, they pre-date Cognac by 200 years evoking the era of D'Artagnan and his fellow Musketeers. Both, are increasingly difficult to find as they are the result of long aging by small artisan distillers, reaching their prime twenty-five years later. We once tasted a seventy-five year old Marc (which is made from the very last pressing of the grape skins, pits and stems) at a vineyard in Burgundy. Could we buy it? We couldn't afford the taste, we were told. But a great swash-buckling memory. The best are bottled by Marc Darroze. A great gift, we find them at Helene Darroze's in Paris or Sherry-Lehman in nyc.

St. Marcellin Cheese

St. Marcellin Cheese
One of the best secrets of French cheeses is a small mild cheese made since 1251 on 15 farms and in 12 small-scale factories using raw milk from the hills, famous for walnuts, between Grenoble and Valence. The very best has a mild aroma and a slightly nutty distinct taste. It's a very special gift or addition to a Holiday Cheese Board. Shop where they know their affinage.


The Truth About Wine USA

Just as local artisans have become important to anyone who want to eat well, small artisanal wineries have become the integral link to wine actually made from grapes grown at the vineyard by a winemaker who is passionate about what he puts in the bottle that has his name on it. Of the thirty top selling wine brands in the US not a single one of them grows, produces or bottles their own wines. They buy tankers of bulk juice, and slap a label on the bottle. Most “wineries” have become marketing organizations. Even more reason to visit wineries, meet the winemaker and to trust the guy who is anxious to put HIS name on the bottle.


Union Square Market

Rick's Picks

When the tastes are out at NYC's Union Square Market, the lines are long for these crunchy pickles. Clever names on jars bring thrilling flavors. There's “Mean Beans,” “Slices of Life”, “Windy City Wasabeans” “The People's Pickle”, “Phat Beets,”or “Whup Asp”. They will sparkle salads, Hor's d'ouevres, or sandwiches.

Martin's Pretzels

Martin's Pretzels

Long an addiction, these perfectly toasted crisp pretzels are handmade by a Mennonite Family in Lancaster County Penna. Everyone who taste one raves about them! They can be ordered extra dark, whole-wheat, salted, lightly salted, or extra salted in boxes or shiny red tins. Simply a great Holiday Gift for every discriminating pal.

Donut Holes
“Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.”
--- Joan Mills

Food Memories ---

I'll never forget the taste of my Grandma's warm donut holes on Christmas morning, or of my Mom's Date Nut Pudding with Whiskey Sauce always there at Lunch, or our Christmas Eve dinner turkey at The Hassler Grill in Rome in 1983. Then there were those first tastes of the bright vegetables from Chino Farm in Rancho Sante Fe, the multi-colored carrots I schlepped back from the Union Square market, Chatsworth's lamb we cooked this Spring, the fraise de bois from Chez l'ami Louis, braised radishes Alain Passard's way at Arpege nor my own late season heirloom grape tomatoes this year. I'll remember them all, always. Food flavors that are distinct and memorable. This is the food that I want to eat . These are the traditions and tastes worth preserving. This is the food that is worth fighting to save. It is simply about wanting to eat food the way it is supposed to taste. Not how it has been transformed with the “standards of fast food, ”in factory farms, with GMO's, or chemicals. As we individually re-examine our food sources remember, if you can, the way food used to taste. Spending time sourcing local seasonal and responsibly grown ingredients is simply the best thing you can do for your family this next year!

Felt Mansion
“Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget.”
---- Hugh Downs

Felt Mansion Historical
Tours for the Holidays

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places a glimpse of former home of a wealthy inventor is a joy to tour, especially during the Holiday Season. It's a wonderful journey through time.
Winter Fest - December 12 Sesquicentennial Celebration Open House with Ice Skating, Hay Rides, Ice Sculpture Demonstration, music and refreshments.
Sundays, December 13 - January 3 During the Holidays: Tours, Ice Skating and Refreshments.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December 17-19 Evening Tours with Ice Skating and Refreshments.
Saturday, January 2 Historical Documentary, Tour, Ice Skating and Refreshments.

"The fate of nations hangs upon their choice of food."
--- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin,

Eating Animals

“Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer

Just out, the raves on this are over the top! Authors who have been writing about the agri-business and vegetarianism for years are calling this “the masterpiece.” Brutally honest with both factory farmers and animal activists speaking in their own words. Best of all, Foer shares his own personal journey. It makes you laugh, cry and best of all, come away with your own opinion of how you want to eat.

Kermit Lynch

Wine Legends You Can Trust for Holiday Gifts

Three venerable wine importers Kermit Lynch, Neil Rosenthal and Sergio Esposito are legends for championing producers who express “terroir” – wines that embody where they come from – excel with their Holiday Season lists. Today's prices can even be comfortable. When these names are on a wine label, you know that you'll be thrilled with the wine. Be sure to be on their newsletter lists:

Wickwood in Winter
Saugatuck Sparkles

“My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still.” ---- Charlton Heston

Red Books

Salt to Taste, by Marco Canora. For lovers of Insieme in nyc this is a dream come true.
Why Italians Love to Talk About Food, by Elena Kostioukovitch.. A study of Italian food as a means to discovering the Italian spirit.
Rose's Heavenly Cakes, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. She teaches us to make those perfect cakes again.
An Edible History of Humanity, by Tom Slandge. Simply fascinating.
I Know How To Cook, Ginette Mathiot. Every French woman's cookbook --- for three generations.
Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller. We can always learn from this chef. Now, for the home cook.
Chanterelle, by David Waltuck. Wonderful cooking for thirty years, now a memory as they've closed.
Italian Classics by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. Traveling through Italy with the River Café.
Eating, A Memoir by Jason Epstein. One of New York's finest foodies recalls memorable meals.
Far Flung and Well Fed by R.W. Apple, Jr. Journalists' best shares his great fun eating around the world.
Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking by Paula Wolfert Traditional and modern recipes from one of the best.
Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery. The “Hedgehog” author deals with social class, philosophy and glorious descriptions of food.
The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We can do about It by Robin O'Brien.
Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness by Lisa M. Hamilton.
Women, Work and The Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guilano. More of how the French do it.
The World According to Monsanto by Marie Monique Robin. This is an astounding work.
Food Inc.- Mendel to Monsanto The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest by Peter Pringle.
Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating by Jeffery M. Smith.
A Shadow Falls by Nick Brandt. A photographer memorializes the vanishing natural grandeur of East Africa with exquisite sepia photographs. Lovely.
Fresh - A perishable History by Suzanne Freidberg. An original interesting way of looking at food history.

 "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas."

  Christmas 2008

“There is no ideal Christmas; only the one you decide to make yourself.” ---- Bill McKibben

Join us for a glorious Holiday season filled with love, laughter and great tastes!! - Julee and Bill

Wickwood at night


Julee's Cookbooks


Julee and Bill


Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |  |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on November 5, 2009 at 09:09 AM in Activities & Events, Food and Drink, Lodging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 18, 2009

The Whale Ale - San Pedro CA

Whale & Ale Logo

1) For September (Lobster month) we are flying in Maine Lobsters, live and serving a half lobster special. Maine lobsters look like this:

Whale & Ale little lobster

Maine is famous for its new shell lobster -- tender, delicious lobster that you can break open with your bare hands. This delicacy is available only during harvest time.

Whale & Ale Beer lobster

Easy to Eat
Anyone who has had to resort to a hammer to get the meat from a hard shell lobster can easily understand one of the benefits of a new shell. You can usually break the shell open with your bare hands to access the tender meat inside. This means that you spend more time enjoying your delicious meal and less time wielding tools.


Tasty and Tender
Although lobster aficionados are divided in their preferences for tail meat versus claw meat, they tend to agree that new shell lobsters are a delicacy not to be missed. After the lobster has shed its thick old shell and is sporting a larger new shell, the meat is at its most flavorful and tender.

Available for a limited time only
Maine lobstermen harvest the majority of their lobsters during the time when lobster are shedding their old shells, yielding an annual crop of new shell lobsters primarily between July and October.

2) This Friday, September 18, Cliff Wagner & the Old No.7 from 8.00pm to 11.00pm

Whale & Ale Beer Clif Wagner

Cliff Wagner & The Old #7 are a band like nothing you have never heard. Mixing Bluegrass, Blues and Honky Tonk in a way that has audiences on their feet. Cliff and the other members of The Old #7 are taking American Roots Music to the next level, and the fans are following. Cover charge $8. You will need a reservation, - just to get in and see So. Cal.'s best Bluegrass Band.

Come join the fun at The Whale & Ale - San Pedro, CA!



Posted by Marsha Rhodes on September 18, 2009 at 02:56 PM in Dining, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 28, 2009

San Pedro Brewing Company Take Gold

The San Diego Fair International Beer Competition results are in !!Whale & Ale Beer Competition logo

Whale & Ale Brewing Company I am proud, as a San Pedran, to announce that San Pedro Brewing Company has won the GOLD medal for its Pedro Pilsner!
It beat out a German Brewery: Kulmbacher Pils, and New Belgium Brewing Co. (That's the brewery that makes Fat Tire).
This event pits a number of excellent breweries against each other, (some BIG and some tiny, - like San Pedro Brewing). I think it appropriate that James won gold in the Pilsner category, - a style originally from The Czech Republic, where James Brown (SPBC's owner) used to work and where his brewing equipment was built.

Jason Welke, the SPBC brewer, also brought home an honorable mention for their venerable Shanghai Red Ale. Excellent work, Jason!!
More info at: Sanpedrobrewing (no www)
Come down and try San Pedro Brewing Company's award winning beers!!  A link to all winners is below.
Andrew Silber

Results of 2009 San Diego International Beer Competition

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on May 28, 2009 at 10:50 AM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 26, 2009

Edge of Seattle Cooking, Father's Day Special

Edge of Seattle Cooking
In This Issue
Featured Chef
Menu from Provence
Featured Chef
 Eddy Rico
Chef Eddy Rico
Chef Eddy is a true Frenchman from Provence, 
where it is blessed by the sun..sumptuous and delicious flavors await you from the south of France.  Provence is know for a terroir that produces aromatic and savory native products.  The combination of these flavors and the fresh local ingredients...are not only delicious but economical too.

Join him in "la cuisine" and with his guidance 
prepare a meal of traditional regional dishes of Provence in the Spring.
3:00-9:00= 6 hrs.
$99.00 Pay Now


May 30
Provence crostini
Mini eggplant and mint salad
Grilled mediterranean beef and green risotto
"Pink" pears poached in red chili pepper sauce


L'Auberge Edge of Seattle

a French Country Inn in Woodinville Wine Country
Seattle Metro Area Culinary Edible Vacation Destination
There is no place like Seattle's Woodinville Wine Country to spend your time cooking hands-on French Regional dishes, drinking wine and learning about the great winemakers that help make Washington an amazing culinary vacation destination.
Try our exclusive Two Night Three Day fun filled package, or call us to change/delete as you see fit.  Check out the details

Our Price: $ 1267.00Buy Now
Edge of Seattle Cooking Newsletter
(425) 844-4102 
French Pastry Class 
Bonjour, Hello Everyone:
The weeds are out along with the much to do and not enough time in the day to do it all.  Besides our garden growing like crazy...we've also had a lot happening at our French Country Inn this month of May.  Our last French Regional Cooking Class for May with Chef Eddy coming up soon on May 30th.  This month it's been all about Provence!  This is also the time of year where we get lots of guests spending the night with us that are from other parts of the world...yes, we are busy; but give us a call, we may just have room for you!  Call me to check on the openings at our Inn and our hands-on cooking class. (425) 844-4102 Our Auberge French Country Inn
Father's Day Special $149.00
Buy 4
get on FREE
This class was so popular in March...that we decided to do another this month of June celebrating Dad's Day and the beginning of summer!  book 4 get one free, book 3 get 50% off the third.
Regional Louisiana/Cajun Cuisine

Hors D'oeuvre
Osters Bienville
Kathy Cuvee Viognier
Spiced Pan Fried Trout a la Meuniere
Pasco Robles Zinfandel
Grillades Beef Stew with Herbed Creamy Grits
Monte Rosso Zinfandel
Bananas Foster
Desiree Chocolate
Offer Expires:  June 21, 2009Check out the details
Come for a visit and experience the French Joie de Vivre..whether it is to spend the night with us or to partake in one of our culinary are sure to feel like you are in an unusual place where you'll soon realize we are into the details and the personal touch.
A Bientot,
Nancy Gates-Douglas; Proprietress
Edge of Seattle Cooking (425) 844-4102

Posted by AlexanderSBrown on May 26, 2009 at 11:27 AM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2009

The Whale & Ale San Pedro CA - Events for May 2009

The Whale & Ale Email Club

1) Mother's Day is May 10th, I have put this first because Moms are rather important!

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day, 2009, Sunday May 10th from Noon to 8 p.m.
a large menu, with all sorts of delicious dishes;
and we are giving every Mom a glass of French pink champagne, on us!
So… it doesn't get much better than that!
Come and celebrate Mother’s Day with us

Mother's Day Menu at:

Rathcoursey Emerald Soup: wild lettuces, arugula, butter lettuce, watercress puréed in chicken stock (18th century Irish recipe) 5.95
The Whale & Ale house salad of fresh mixed lettuces with blue cheese, mushrooms, walnuts & peppery homemade creamy dressing 4.85
Whale & Ale Crab Cakes; served with mixed greens and citrus dressing 11.15
Ploughman's plate: one grilled English banger sausage, small house salad wedge of English Cheddar cheese, Branston pickle 10.55

Fish & Chips Atlantic Cod deep fried in beer batter & English chips 15.95
Filet of Fresh Halibut with puréed English peas 22.55
Baked fresh Scottish salmon filet, fresh vegetables, mashed russet potatoes 19.55
Lobster Raviolis, tossed in Parmesan cream sauce with peas & prosciutto 16.75
Carved Fresh Roast Turkey: fresh vegetables, mashed russet potatoes, country gravy, housemade stuffing & cranberry sauce 15.25
Twice-roasted Duckling & Cumberland sauce (redcurrants simmered in port wine with citrus juices); fresh vegetables, mashed russet potatoes 20.50
Bangers & Mash: two large English pork sausages grilled & served with fresh vegetables, mashed russet potatoes, gravy & Coleman's mustard 16.75
Roast Loin of Pork: rubbed with garlic, mashed fresh potato & vegetables 19.00
Roast Rack of New Zealand Lamb: rubbed with garlic, mild mustard & rosemary; rolled in fresh breadcrumbs, mashed fresh potato & steamed vegetables 27.00
Shepherds Pie: our famous pie with ground roast leg of lamb, ground filet, peas & carrots topped with mashed potato; browned in the oven 16.55
The Whale & Ale Roast Prime Rib au jus: ten-ounce cut with fresh vegetables & mashed russet potatoes 21.50
Grilled Filet mignon melted blue cheese, fresh vegetables, mashed potatoes 24.65

Tiramisu with espresso cream 8.00
Cumberland Sticky Toffee Pudding* & vanilla ice cream 6
English Sherry Trifle with whipped cream 7.50
Queens Apple* in pastry with cinnamon & brown sugar; vanilla custard cream 7.25
Old Fashioned Raisined Bread Pudding* & homemade caramel sauce 6.50
* = served warm

2) On May 2, 2009 The Whale & Ale will offer a small order of Fish & Chips from 10am to 4pm, for $6.00, including a fountain soda and including tax (that's 9.25%!)
This represents a whopping 44% discount for one day only, to support our many volunteers performing the Mayor's Day of Service.
This offer is not subject to any other discounts, and you do not need to be a volunteer to receive this special deal.

The Mayor’s Day of Service is May 2, 2009... so it's SUPER SERVICE SATURDAY in Downtown San Pedro, a free community event to promote and celebrate volunteerism in the San Pedro Historic Waterfront District.
The City of Los Angeles has authorized FREE parking for the day and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa might drop by to lend a hand.
Volunteer service events are scheduled from 10AM to 4PM. There will be storefront and planter beautification projects on 6th and 7t streets, live music, ecology workshops and demonstrations, store discounts, and multiple showings of the family film, Superman Returns at the Warner Grand Theatre.
Many, many thanks to the San Pedro Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District

Click HERE to view the flyer.

3) First Thursday of May: On Thursday, May 7th
we celebrate First Thursday. We will again offer a large menu with many choices of dishes and prices. & live music form Izon Eden all evening, 6.00 to 9.30 p.m., without a cover charge. HERE is a link to our dinner menu.

*PDF file will take a few moments to load. Adobe Acrobat Reader required. Click on the icon below to download it.*
Get Adobe Reader

4) Monday, May 4, from 6:30pm- 8:30pm

“California Classics”!
 Ceja Vino de Casa White, Napa
Ceja Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Sonoma Coast
Ceja Bella Rosa 2007 (Syrah 80%, Pinot Noir 20%), Sonoma
  Zany Zin 2005 Old vine, Lodi Gold Medalist.
Stama Napa Valley Merlot 2005 (less than 700 cases made), Napa
  Silkwood Duet (Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Syrah 50%),
Modesto, CA 98 points
  Silkwood Petit Syrah, 2007, Modesto CA, Gold Medalist

Cheese and Crackers will be provided along with glasses, wine maps,
and tasting notes
$30 Per Person (Payable to the Whale and Ale)
25 person maximum

RSVP Directly to Jeremy Wilkinson:
: 310-487-1284 Direct: 310-375-4313

Anyone attending will receive 10% off Dinner afterwards (Food Element)
Save the date: June 1st : Spanish Reds from Toro, Riojo,
Ribera del Duero & Somontano

All wines tasted at this class will be available through
 “Off the Vine” in San Pedro for purchase. 
10% discount offered with the purchase of 4 bottles or more.

Importers and Distributors of Distinguished Family Owned Vineyards

5) Do not forget our promotion for the summer:
May is 'Fish & Chips Month': all through May, Monday to Wednesday from 5 to 9.00 English Fish & Chips will be offered at $12.50! So come in & try them, three nights a week.

6) Saturday, May 23 at 7 p.m. Many of you have been asking "When's the Next Wine Dinner?" Well, Here It Is

In concert with Dane Throop, winemaker of
J. Lohr Winery...
Our Spring Wine Dinner;
by Chef David Juarez & his talented staff.

Soup of puréed fresh peas with truffle oil & Parmesan cap
J. Lohr Pinot Blanc 1997

Filet of Pacific Halibut in mustard sauce with braised red cabbage
J. Lohr Chardonnay, 'Arroyo Vista,' 1996

Baked double rib-chops of lamb; cassoulet of beans:
(white, soy, green & yellow beans)
J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié 2008
Chocolate crepes & mocha cream sauce
Coffee or decaffeinated coffee

$60 per person: More on this exceptional winery at:

7) Dinner/Show package!

Reservations: 310.512.6030 or

a) Hay Fever by Noel Coward

Apr 17 – May 23;  RUNS FRI & SAT @ 8PM; SUN 5/17 @ 7PM; THU 5/21 @ 8PM
Tickets $25 ($22 students/seniors) HERE

A comedic masterpiece. Unbeknownst to each other, the four members of the eccentric Bliss family each invite a guest to stay at their country house for the weekend. As the guests arrive, it becomes apparent that a weekend in the country with this unhinged family is anything but "bliss." Coward pulls out all the stops and delivers a dizzy mixture of manners, misunderstandings, and absolute madness.

b) Betrayal

Apr 22 - May 14  -   RUNS WED & THU @ 8PM, SUN 5/3 @ 7PM. Tickets: $20 HERE

The romantic triangle is turned inside out in this visceral portrayal of the human condition. Suspenseful, lyrical, human, and complex, Betrayal illustrates the labyrinth of unfaithfulness that extends beyond the infidelity.

"... an exquisite play, brilliantly simple in form and courageous in its search for a poetry that turns banality into a melancholy beauty." -- NEWSWEEK

c) Cheerios In My Underwear,
(and other true tales of motherhood)

a one woman show written and performed by Amy Simon; directed by Richard Kuhlman

Sunday, April 26 - 3pm Tickets $15 HERE
Amy Simon's "Cheerios..." is LA's longest running solo show, and it's coming to Little Fish for a single performance. Follow Amy's hilarious and poignant journey as a modern S.A.H.M. (stay-at-home-mom).  "A delightfully funny and insightful look at the sometimes wacky, always stressful life of a mother." -- Los Angeles Family Magazine   The LA Weekly recommended "Cheerios," calling writer and performer Simon "funny and sensitive" and saying her "observations are shrewd and her delivery terrific."

8) Warner Grand Theatre
Too many events to list them all here. Go to to see it all, especially the

a) 6th LA Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF)
Thursday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m. - free program "Read the Book, See the Movie" no tickets required
Kidnapped (1960; 96 min)
Friday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Searching For A Storm (2008/9; 88 min)
Saturday, April 25 at noon & 7 p.m.
West Side Story (1961; 151 min)
Sunday, April 26 - Documentary Day
noon Lady in Waiting (2008; 57 min)
2 p.m. Chasing Ghosts (2006; 88 min)
4 p.m. Port of Los Angeles (POLA) - four-part documentary

4:00 p.m. From Mudflats to Modern Port: 1542-1920 (30 min)
4:50 p.m. The Birth of An International Port: 1921-41 (30 min)
5:25 p.m. War, Peace & Prosperity: 1941-1960 (30 min)
6:00 p.m. Q&A with filmmakers & representative of POLA, moderated by Dr. Betsy A. McLane, Ph.D.
6:20 pm The Past Is Prologue: 1960-2008 (60 min)

For complete listing of sponsors & details, please visit Questions? Please call Stephanie Mardesich, Festival Director at 310 519-0756

Then, continuing on:
Sat May 2 The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (Brazil 2006) Foreign Films Featuring Fearlessness  7:30 p.m. - $10 Tickets

Sun May 3 Who Framed Roger Rabbit ('88) 2 p.m. SUNdays are FUN days
It's the story of a man, a woman & a rabbit in a triangle of trouble." Remarks/slides about history of transportation by John Fisher at 1:30 p.m.

Sun May 10 Mariachi for Mother's Day 3 p.m. $40/$30/$20
Mariachi Los Toros are joined by Folklore Mexicano Del Sur De California, 14-year old musica ranchera sensation Maureen & Juan Carlos: La Imagen De Juan Gabriel

Sat May 16 Video Game Soundtracks 8 p.m. 8 p.m. $25/$15  GSPO

May 22-24 & 29-31 - Upton Sinclair's "The Singing Jailbirds" Ticket info posted soon

Sat May 30 A Gathering for the Grand 6:30 p.m. $100
Benefit for ceiling repair - Honoring Supervisor Don Knabe, at a private home near Portuguese Bend. Please call 310 833-4813

9) Also at The Warner Grand Theatre:

5/16/2009 8:00:00 pm videogame Soundtracks Buy Tickets!

5/31/2009 3:00:00 pm GSPO presents : Chamber Music for Families : A Musical Potpourri Buy Tickets!

10) My great friends, for many years, John & Donna Papadakis Invite You to Sail With Them on their 2nd Annual Crystal Cruise!

What a great opportunity this is to explore the Mediterranean with
John & Donna Papadakis!  Visit Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Dubrovnik & Venice on this 12 day voyage
beginning July 16, 2009.

Crystal Wine & Food Festival
Enjoy cooking demonstrations by our celebrity guest chefs, specially prepared
four-course dinners featuring the chef's unique dishes, & complimentary wine tastings led by our master sommeliers & guest wine experts.

Special Bonus for Whale & Ale email club members!
(Book By 5/30/09)
>  Receive $1,000 Shipboard Credit Per Person to use As You Wish!
>  Save $100 Per Person On Your Cruise Fare!
>  Receive Pre-paid Gratuities!
>  Bon Voyage Cocktail Party with John & Donna!
>  2 Exclusive Onboard Cocktail Parties with John & Donna!

In cruising today, “all-inclusive” shouldn’t mean limited options. With Crystal Cruises' new As You Wish promotion you’ll receive $1,000 per person in shipboard credits to spend any way you wish. Indulge in spa treatments, fine wines, a Vintage Room experience with your friends, gratuities for your favorite waiter, something special from the boutiques, or even a unique Crystal Adventures® shore excursion. The choices – all of them – are yours.

Contact Leah Bergner at Coastline Travel Advisors to book! ~ 800.448.2374 or 714.621.1040

July 16, 2009 – July 28, 2009
Starting At: $6,055.00
Ship: Crystal Serenity

Livorno is the gateway to Italy's Tuscany region & to many spectacular sights; including the extraordinary Leaning Tower of Pisa, the charming medieval village of Lucca, the lovely hill town of San Gimignano & the timeless city of Florence. World renowned as a playground for artists & international jet-setters, Portofino boasts spectacular vistas of natural treasures such as the Gulf of Rapallo & its coastline. Theme Cruise: Crystal Wine & Food Festival

Visit our website at for even more information.

Who do you know that will enjoy the benefits of membership in our Email Club?
Refer your friends today!

Thank you again for your continued patronage.

Your Friends At The Whale & Ale

327 West 7th St., San Pedro, CA 90731 - 310.832.0363

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Posted by Marsha Rhodes on April 28, 2009 at 03:38 PM in Activities & Events, Attractions, Dining, Film, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack