I reconnected with some dear, old friends of mine a couple weeks ago. These people own an electronics repair shop and I’ve made many referrals to them over the past 15 years, primarily through my Joe’s Radio Page website.

Apparently, they appreciated my referrals because when I called them to ask a question I mentioned who I was and the manager of the shop immediately brightened and told me to get in there because they had something set aside for me since the last time I visited, about 10 years ago.

The gift was a bottle of Calvados, an apple brandy from France. My only previous experience with Calvados was as a component of a French dessert, where it was poured over something good.

Our first experiment with this stuff was a cocktail made with ginger ale. The drink was both sweet and powerful, so it’s not something we’ll want to jump into every day. We’ll try some more recipes, and I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to fit this into this fall’s Apple Butter festivities.


Spring arrived early in Chicago– as in a couple weeks ago– and last week brought us weather more suitable for July than March.

We had the week off, so we did a lot of stuff around the house and celebrated our Anniversary with dinner at Retro Bistro. We also dove into our first anniversary wine, a 2007 Ribera del Duero which was wonderful.

Lots of things in the weeks ahead… updates to follow!

Valentine’s Day Goodness

This was the dessert I prepared on Sunday: Chocolate-Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Arctic White Icing, fresh whipped cream with vanilla sugar, and fresh red raspberries. All of this followed my semi-legendary Chicken Parmesan. You can see why I only go crazy making this particular dinner once a year.

Tonight, I came home to see that Lisa made these heart-shaped pizzas, which she served along with a bottle of Cristalino Brut (the wine we served at our wedding).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Christmas in Chicago

We spent a couple days in downtown Chicago, going “off the grid” and spending some quality holiday time together.

Here are some shots of State Street, Marina City, and the Wrigley Building that were taken late on Monday night.  I especially like the Christmas lights on the balconies at Marina City.

Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season!

Thanksgiving Wishes


As I’ve mentioned here before, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

This is the time to be grateful for the good things in our lives– and while it’s easy to lose focus on the positive, it’s critical that we keep reminding ourselves of what’s– and who’s — really important to us.

Happy Thanksgiving!