IMG_8923

Sherry – Jerez – Xérès

Many modern wine drinkers will look at this section and wonder why on earth I think it worthwhile devoting so much space to such a dinosaur of a wine as sherry. The answer is plain to anyone who has tried a good quality version. The trouble is that most people have not.  —Jancis Robinson

IMG_8923 Continue reading

neighborhood 2

The Rhythm of the Night

By Chef Dad

Greetings from Spain!  Kristy has been known to throw in the occasional YouTube link to an old pop song, and while I’ve got the keys to the blog, it seems only fair to keep up the tradition.  (Side note: I let the VEVO channel keep running in the background, spinning ’80s pop tunes and within about four songs I got Rick-rolled.)  But today’s song is, I think, a pretty good one to have stuck in your head. Continue reading

IMG_8995

Galoucester

By Chef Dad (Mike)

Miss A turned eight at school last week.  At her school, the kids recognize summertime birthdays before they let out for the year, so each kid can have a little celebration.  Her birthday actually falls in July, but as regular readers of the blog know, we’re headed off on sabbatical in just a few short weeks, which means we’ve reached the end of second grade for our little girl, and sixth grade for our increasingly less little boy. Continue reading

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

As Kristy promised the next few posts will highlight our latest road trip across North America. If you haven’t guessed by now, we like our road trips!Toronto
This time a business trip called me to Toronto right as school was ending for Mr. N and Miss A, and that was all the excuse we needed to jump in the car and head to the Great White North. The fact that some of our favorite bloggers are in the area made it an even easier call. After an all day drive on Friday, the first thing on the agenda was a Saturday morning trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hockey HOF
I highly recommend a visit. The trophy room is impressive to say the least – we actually got to touch the Stanley Cup before it was brought back home, and there are lots of interactive things for the kids to do. While Mr. N was clobbering me at NHL trivia (seriously), Miss A was trying her hand at the real thing. 2
Mr. N and I played the goalie interactive game, but it’s probably best there isn’t any photographic evidence of our performance. That evening, I took the kids to a movie, and Kristy got to have a girl’s night out with blogging friends Eva, Barb and Kelly. From all accounts, a great time was had by all. I’m told the conversation flowed (as did the drinks and food) and it was more a gathering of long-time friends than new friends. And don’t feel bad for me, after taking the kids to the movie (and getting them to sleep I might add) I got to kick back and watch the Hawks in a little playoff action. 3Like our weather at home,  Toronto was hit or miss, but the sun seemed to shine on the days we most needed it – like our second visit to Centre Island’s Centreville Amusement Park. (A few of you may recall we spent Miss A’s 3rd birthday at the park a few years ago.) Centreville
carousel
if the boat's a rockin
log ride
The next day, well, the weather was cold and rainy, but that didn’t deter Kristy and the kids. They spent the entire day at the Ontario Science Centre while I was at my conference. Now that the kids are older they can actually spend more than a few hours at a museum without needing a nap (us adults on the other hand…), so it was a FULL day of hair-raising fun. static electricity</a
mom and kids
Toronto was a non-stop whirlwind of fun with much of the thanks going to Eva, who provided a virtual tour book of activities for us including the other places we visited, the Distillery District, Eaton Centre, Marché, and Yorkville. We didn’t make it to everything else on the list, but the cool thing was that what we did see (except for Centreville) was new to us despite having been through Toronto twice before. Thank you again Eva. We’ll be back again to finish off the rest of the list for sure!

Now before we head back to the states (in our next post), and leave our Neighbor to the North we just had to make another stop at Niagara Falls. Niagara

Even though it’s our third visit, it amazes every single time. The amount and force of the water is just staggering. Every time. Again with the kids being older now, we figured a new adventure was in order (and no, not one that involved a barrel, much to the kids’ dismay). This year we braved the rapids on the Maid of the Mist. maid of the mist

And what can I say other than, it completely lives up to the hype. If you’re in the area, it’s an absolute must do. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves (photos were taken on Kristy’s iPhone since the ride is a bit wet): maid of the mist 2Maid of the mist voyage 1
MOTM3
MOTM4
MOTM5
MOTM6
MOTM7
It was another good one for the books (or our memories anyway), there’s always a new adventure around every corner. Toronto and the Niagara region can provide weeks of sightseeing, and they’ll surely keep us coming back for more. (Not to mention – we’ve got some great friends to come back and visit again too!)

Later this week, Kristy will be back with the rest of our adventure. Until then, here’s something else that was new to us this year – lights on the Falls. Lights
Lights 2

Like kissing your…brother?

An oft-repeated quote in sports goes like this: “A tie is like kissing your sister.” A google search attributes the origin of the quote to former Texas football coach Darryl Royal, Alabama coach Bear Bryant, Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty, or Navy coach Eddie Erdelatz, but regardless of who said it first, it sure fits. A weird combination of completely unsatisfying, and could have been worse. We had a tie in last year’s Banana Bread challenge, and needless to say, we weren’t eager to repeat that again in our French Toast Challenge this year.

The final showdown pitted the top two seeds against each other, with #1 Bermuda French Toast taking on #2 Blueberry Stuffed. Bermuda struggled in the first round, but ultimately just had too much and managed to avoid the upset. Blueberry Stuffed prevailed in a tough battle in its previous match-up to earn its spot in the finals. Both recipes were at their best on challenge day, and it was clear when we got them both on the plate that we were in for an entertaining and enjoyable challenge. Continue reading

Spring in Our Step

Today we’ve got a special team post from both Mike and I. I’ll let him start with the March Madness update:

Like millions of office workers around the nation, we’ve taken a break from our regular schedule to fill out our brackets this month. We’ve also done some other stuff too, but more on that in a minute. First we’ve got another French Toast matchup to tell you about. This week’s clash paired second-seeded Blueberry Stuffed French Toast against the three seed, Grand Greenlandic French Toast, for the right to meet Bermuda French Toast in next week’s finals.

First out of the gate was the Blueberry Stuffed French Toast, and it brought its “A” game this weekend. Kristy sliced up the bread and made the blueberry syrup and pecans, while Mike whipped up the stuffing and tucked it into the bread pockets. We stuffed them a little fuller than we did the first time we made them, and that proved to be an excellent strategy. Continue reading