Vacation means….

Vacation means having no agenda or script. It is an essential break from the routine traffic patterns of our lives. It gives us a chance to see things from new perspectives, to discover new aspects of our relationships with family and friends.

As children, my siblings and I spent hours upon hours in the back seat of our Volvo station wagon, driving back and forth across the country (New York to California and back). We entertained ourselves, bickered, tickled each other, and negotiated the allocation of space repeatedly (driving our parents mad at times!). Wonderful memories!.

Here’s to summer and making space on the calendar for those unscripted, no-agenda times!!

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A Tradition of Tea

Another tradition my friend Tanya and I have is taking afternoon tea. We’ve enjoyed tea at the Drake Hotel Palm Court (Chicago), the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Bangkok, Thailand), and the Pink Bicycle (Virginia).

We’ve just added the Arizona Biltmore to the list!

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Looking forward to more tea adventures!

Friends and Bookends

I am going to let you in on a little secret.

My friend Tanya and I have been friends for more than 20 years and we plan on being friends for a very long time! When we were in grad school, I suggested that we might be good travel buddies. And, we are! We traveled to Paris in 1999. She took a job in Thailand, and I went to visit her in 2002. In 2005, when she was working in Germany, we met up in France to visit and see Annecy and Lyon.

Okay – back to the secret. When we arrived in Paris, my cousin and his wife took us out for Thai food. On my last night in Thailand, it seemed fitting to go to a French restaurant (or rather a French/Moroccan/Thai fusion restaurant). So, when she visited last week, Tanya and I kept tradition and had Thai food on the first night and French food on the last.

Making memories and traditions as we go….. Enjoying delicious Thai

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Enjoying a fabulous alfresco French meal

Cuisine and Wine Bistro

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I love it when Antiques Roadshow reveals that the value of an item doubles because of its known history. Somehow, the Civil War flag is more valuable because the individual knows who carried it and in which battles he fought. I have this flourless chocolcate cake recipe that I made for the first time this weekend for a dessert & wine party. I offer it here with its own endearing story, which I am sure makes it all the more special!

its own endearing story…

Flourless Chocolate Cake

My friend’s husband (not one for baking or cooking) offered to make her a birthday dessert and asked her what she’d like. She said she wanted a flourless chocolate cake. So, he located the recipe, went to the store, bought the ingredients, and produced the requested dessert for her birthday. She was so pleased and, of course, she felt loved because he had gone to such trouble to make it for her.

she felt loved…

This became her favorite, go-to standard for decadent chocolate dessert. My friends and I have enjoyed it at her house many times. Sometimes, cake is like that. A recipe for love.

sometimes, cake is like that…

(This cake is really easy to make, too!)