Photo Recap of Thanksgiving

Here it is…





Cajun Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille Sausage:


Raspberry Jello Surprise:


Green Beans Provencale with Carmelized Pearl Onions and Toasted Almonds:


Honey-Dill Roasted Carrots:


Thanksgiving Kitchen Sink Salad with Candied Pecans and Cranberries:


Broccoli Salad:


Cynthia’s Homemade Cranberry Sauce:


Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Pecan Crumble:






The Night Before Thanksgiving

For our 11 1/2 readers and one subscriber (thanks Ryan) we just knew you couldn’t wait until tomorrow to learn our Thanksgiving plans…well, we are hosting and cooking for 12 people (oddly enough half of whom are our loyal readers).

We started cooking tonight and we will be up early again tomorrow morning to get going. Here is the menu, check in tomorrow to learn about any disasters…and if you were here to experience the disasters, well then screw you for rubbing it in!

1. Assorted Cheeses (thanks to Vennisimo Cheeses and the Coughlan parents)
2. El Indio Chips and Siesels Feta Dip
3. Spinach Salad with Cranberries + Candied pecans (Ben)
4. Homemade Pumpkin Curry Soup (Ben and Kathleen)
5. Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble (Ben)
6. 15lb Turducken (Ben)
7. 10lb Turkey (Jenny, Mark and Robert)
8. Honeybaked Ham (Babe + the Honeybaked company)
9. Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Ben)
10. Cajun Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille Sausage (Ben)
11. Old Fashioned Stove Top Stuffing (the Stove Top company – some things are just good as is)
12. Roasted Honey Dill Carrots (Kathleen)
13. Chilled Broccoli Salad (Joe and Cynthia)
14. Homemade Cranberry Sauce (Joe and Cynthia)
15. Green Beans Provencale with Pearl Onions and Toasted Almonds (Ben)
16. Homemade Raspberry Rhubarb Pie (Kathleen)
17. Homemade Pumpkin Pie (Kathleen)
18. Apple Crumble Pie (Babe)
19. Raspberry Jello Surprise with Cream Cheese and Marshmallows (Leslie)

A bit ambitious? Maybe. Lots of leftovers? Definitely. If anyone leaves here hungry they are not human.


Portillos in California!

Hello all! We apologize for the brief hiatus in posting…I had a mock trial tournament in Los Angeles this past weekend and then Kathleen and I both caught something resembling the plague.

On the way back from LA we stopped at Portillos! For all you Chicagoans, you understand…for everyone else, you should learn. Portillos is simply the best Chicago-Style Carryout in the world. We used to go to Portillos every weekend when I lived in Chicago. My mom grew up on Portillos, back when it was one small hotdog stand in Elmhurst. Now in addition to twenty-something locations in the Chicagoland, they have opened a location in Buena Park, CA. I introduced Kathleen to the exquisitely greasy beef and sausages on Sunday.

Kathleen had what everyone should have on her first visit to Portillos – an italian beef sandwich (wet). She also had a chocolate malt which was delicious. I had the italian beef-sausage combo and a maxwell street polish. We shared fries. Kathleen loved it! It is simply the best of the best…no wonder they have been around so long. (If anyone posts that they like Al’s Beef better they are banned forever from our site and I will no longer respect you as a human being)





Kathleen’s Early Birthday Dinner with the McKinleys

Tonight we had a delicious meal at the Fish Market on San Diego Bay with Casey and Erin (Weesner) McKinley. The Fish Market is always a favorite of ours. We started with Crab and Artichoke Dip. Kathleen had pan fried Almond Breaded Idaho Trout with a Black Bean Salsa. Erin had Fettucini in a white whine garlic sauce with jumbo shrimp. Casey had Clam Chowder. I had a blackened Wild Sea Bass with Au Gratin Potatoes and Roasted Vegetables. Great friends. Great meal.

Sorry the photos are a bit dark…





Dinner with the Glasseys

Last night Kathleen and I had a wonderful meal courtesy of David and Edith Glassey. Josh, Susan and Chandler Glassey joined as well. David and Josh were my high school baseball coaches. We have remained close for the past ten years. It was a wonderful evening with friends.

Coach prepared a Pork Wellington. The pork tenderloin was wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with cranberries and apricot before being tucked into the puff pastry. It was served with a lovely spinach salad, roasted potatoes and green beans. Yum.

Dessert was a fun twist. A raw chocolate/coconut peace pie served with non-dairy mint, and cherry-amaretto ice creams. A fun change!

Well done Coach!




Muscovy Duck Breast in Raspberry Sauce with Saffron-Truffle Risotto

Tonight I made a cinnamon and sea salt dusted Muscovy duck breast in a raspberry reduction. I also made a saffron and truffle risotto and roasted asparagus. It was not the simplest meal I have ever made, but it paid off in the end.

I pan roasted the duck in its own fat then dusted it with a cinnamon sea salt mixture. I reduced some burgundy with raspberry preserves in the duck pan, then finished the duck in the oven after topping it with the raspberry sauce. The risotto came out terrific as well, and it only took about an hour…I finished it with some fresh grated Parmesan.

Kathleen thought it was one of the better dishes I have cooked in a while, so it may be added to the rotation.

We also had an incredible wine tonight…a 2005 Les Croix Noires from Domaine de Courcel. Soft a nd decilicious.



Grilled Fish Tacos with Spanish Rice and Refried Beans

Tonight I made grilled fish tacos with a jalapeƱo-cilantro cream sauce. With the tacos we had Spanish rice and Refried beans.

With the meal we had a tasty Brown Ale from Lost Coast Brewery. We also tried a very interesting banana beer after dinner. It was not too sweet. Pretty good actually.

It was a very San Diego Monday night meal.