A few months ago, I spent some time doing volunteer work in Kenya through the volunteer agency International Volunteer HQ. I stayed with a Kenyan family and volunteered at an orphanage, Internally Displaced Persons camps, and with the Masai (warrior tribes in Kenya). It was an extremely moving experience. Read more.

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    Roasted Apple Tartlets

    Filed under :Apples, Desserts, Halloween, Holidays, Tartlets
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    With the New Year fast approaching, I figure it’s time to post the last two outstanding recipes from my Hallowe’en Murder Mystery Party- they’re good for any occasion, really, and I’ll be making them again.  The first posted here is for Roasted Apple Tartlets.  The second, which I’ll put up later this week, is for the delicious pumpkin pie from Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein’s Ultimate Cookbook.

    …continue reading Roasted Apple Tartlets

    Roasted Leg of Lamb

    Filed under :Halloween, Holidays, Lamb
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    The piece de resistance at my recent Hallowe’en Murder Mystery Dinner Party was the roasted leg of lamb.  I decided to reach out to a new butcher, and after explaining the situation (I had never made lamb before!), Tony’s on the Block really came through.  Not only did they give me valuable advice (lamb shoulder is best for stewing meat; if you want a roast, you want the leg), they de-boned it, stuffed it with garlic, rosemary, oregano and thyme, and rolled it back up.

    …continue reading Roasted Leg of Lamb

    Hallowe’en Murder Mystery Dinner Party

    Filed under :Halloween, Holidays, Murder Mystery
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    You are invited to Mystery Manor to hear the will reading of the late Rick Rochester.  Evidence has shown that Rochester died not by accident, but foul play.  Beware- you may leave with a fortune… or you may not leave at all.

    I’ve wanted to throw a murder mystery on Hallowe’en for years, so when a friend’s husband directed me to Night of Mystery, I grabbed one about an eccentric millionaire and started planning.  Invitations were sent out, characters assigned, decor considered and menu options pored over.


    Hallowe'en display. Yes those are rats and crows.

    My guests, who in real life range from bureaucrats to scientists to teachers to a chef, embodied their characters of spoiled heiresses, ex-wife, chauffeur, butler and maid, business partner and assorted family members.  The memorable pool boy, Fabio Fabulous, mid-way through the party dropped trou to reveal stripper-esque undies which he flaunted to all the female characters in the room.  Oh, and he decided to speak only in third person.  That wasn’t dictated by the script.

    …continue reading Hallowe’en Murder Mystery Dinner Party