November Notes

It’s November and as much as I would love to slow down, and burrow into the sofa for a cozy evening I am very much aware that the holidays will be upon us in no time! The cooler weather, festive decorating and shopping have me excitedly anticipating the holidays. I thoroughly enjoy savoring the fall season, and keep the Christmas decorations put away until after Thanksgiving; remember when retailers used to honor this philosophy. Listed are a few items on my list to get into the spirit of the season, along with the opening of a new gallery in Abu Dhabi and an exhibit in Washington DC.

  1. Pears for preserves which will be gifts for those who stop by Heath during the holidays.
  2. Exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts
    Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today, on view until January 21, 2018
    1250 New York Ave NW
    Washington, D.C. 20005
    Magnetic Fields places abstract works by multiple generations of black women artists in context with one another—and within the larger history of abstract art—for the first time, revealing the artists’ role as unrecognized leaders in abstraction.
  3. Louvre Abu Dhabi, a new modern museum in Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.
    The Louvre Abu Dhabi is opening this week in the cultural district in Saadiyat Island. Artwork from around the world will be showcased here to assist in bridging the gap between eastern and western art.

Get into the season,




Fall Minestrone

IMG_3693IMG_3683 A few months ago a friend from work shared a recipe for fall minestrone soup from an article in her Cooking Light {October 2003} magazine. So, I photocopied the recipe, placed it on my desk and completely forgot about it until this weekend. After hitting the farmers market for a few items, the butternut squash and kale I decided to try this comforting and delicious soup.

The hardest part of the process was the prep of cutting vegetables into cubed pieces, but other than that the meal is done. When I got up yesterday morning, I made my own broth from a roasted chicken we had for dinner a while back, as I preferred chicken to vegetable broth. I also sautéed the potatoes with the onion and garlic for a bit of added flavor then tore Thai basil with grated Parmesan cheese for the final garnish.

Place the soup into a big cup instead of a bowl and curl up for an evening of sitting on the front porch or watching your favorite television shows!!

Bon appetite,


Thanksgiving Prep


When I was in fourth grade our class re-enacted the first dinner the Pilgrims had with the Indians, and each student was set a task of creating hats worn by the Pilgrims or the bands with feathers that the Indians wore. We also created food; table settings, pine-cone turkeys and my job was to make woven place mats from the earth-toned construction paper. It was so cool when the teacher instructed us on how to make these mats by cutting strips of paper about an inch in diameter. Then the sheet that was to be the mat was folded in half and we marked the paper in inch slots and used scissors to cut our paper down to an inch (on the margin) at the top and bottom. Next we wove the paper strips into the mat and voila, we had a decorative mat. I was so excited about this project that my mother let me make mats for each member of the family that year for dinner.

But, this year I am looking for less labor-intensive ways of prepping our Thanksgiving meal. My mom was the true traditionalist while in the kitchen during the holidays, she would be up at 5 AM to get a 22 or 24 pound turkey with dressing along with a ham and beef roast ready for dinner with all the sides. And while she has handed the ladle over to me along with the majority of the cooking, the kitchen and responsibility are now mine.

So, I decided to tweak a bit off the traditions by changing the meal from sit-down to buffet. I will be prepping a great deal the weekend before the big day with chopping and grating, and then placing items into zip-lock bags before assembling later in the week to make various casseroles and/or side dishes.

I am drafting a menu along with a meal planner so, that I will have a step-by-step guide when cooking. I did a bit of shopping today and will go to several additional stores next week so, that I can settle down to baking and cooking a fabulous meal starting next week, and if I have a bit of time next week I will post the menu planner.

Cook stylishly,