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Woefully behind in posting, I thought I’d do a write up on the various winter carnivals taking place throughout the NE. Disappointingly, however, my list was becoming more and more lame with each search. I’ve previously written about maple sugaring festivals; perhaps I should have updated that post for tonight.

My Not So Simple Salad

It’s been difficult getting back into the swing of things after the holidays, but I’m reveling in simple pleasures, one being my lunchtime salad. Definitely not a simple salad as that walnut commercial boasts about, but rather one that includes everything and the kitchen sink. Definitely refreshing, and needed, after the over-indulging of the holidays.


We celebrated little Christmas this past Sunday. Usually we host a brunch, but this year opted to go out to eat. The place we went, The Twisted Elm in Elmwood Park, NJ has a cozy atmosphere that includes a fire place — a definite bonus — and a menu that’s a combination of quasi-fancy fare and comfort food (literally, there’s a section on the menu entitled ‘Comfort Food’). Well, the Twisted Elm has a fantastic cheese board and its accompaniments — from fig preserves to relished cranberry to mapled walnuts — are simply scrumptious.

I’m restarting my Sunday epicurean sojourns this weekend. These are culinary pursuits I embark upon for our afternoon dinner (sometimes it’s evening, depending on the meal’s intricacy level). There’s little method behind my madness with these meals; sometimes I pick a country and do a traditional feast from the locale while other times I embark upon the season and create a meal based off the holiday du jour. Ultimately, there’s no formula that I follow.

This Sunday, I’m making a Shakshuka. I first had the dish in Montreal and assumed it was Canadian, it was so warming considering the chill in the air that weekend. Little did I know the dish hails from North Africa and the Mid-East. I’m excited, it’s made me dig out my Mediterranean Hot cookbook and has given a reason for me to create a spicy repast for the weekend. Details to follow; I’m assuming I’ll make it out of the kitchen unscathed and we’ll wind down the weekend with bellies’ full of this wonderful…err, soup, sauce, dish?

Thanks for stopping by. I wish you all safe travels, smooth sailings and, of course, bon appetite.