Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Festivus (for the rest of us) from the writers, chefs, management & staff of Reet Says Eat to you, our loyal and passionate readers.  

Have a prosperous and well-fed New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sally Walker's holiday beef tenderloin...

  • 6-8 lb whole tenderloin
  • 2 lb mushrooms
  • butter
  • burgundy wine
  • sprinkle with rosemary; rub garlic on top of roast
  • tuck narrow end under (the roast's, not yours); remove connective tissue (fat)
  • place tenderloin on wire rack in large roasting pan and stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part.
  • roast at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes or to 140 degrees on the thermometer
  • take out of oven and pour 1 cup (or more) burgundy wine over beef to make drippings
  • slice into 1/2 inch thick portions
  • saute' 2 lbs or more mushrooms in 1/2 cup butter; arrange around meat on festive platter and serve the starving masses. ENJOY!
important note: check meat sooner if you like it rare (we like it medium-rare) and don't forget that the roast will continue to cook for 10 minutes after you take it out; also, sometimes I have turned the oven down a bit towards the end.

Suggested music: Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding - (oh, she may be weary, young girls they do get weary, wearing that same old funky dress): 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Debbie D's Corn Bread Thing...


a can of corn (I got it! I GOT IT!!!); do not drain
a can of cream corn; no, I said don't drain (you'll just have to hold it for now, I guess)
8 oz sour cream
1 stick of butter
1 pkg of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (holy shit, there's a lot of corn in this thing!)

Do it:

mix together in a 9"X7" pan
bake @ 350 degrees for one hour
seriously, that's it?

Comes out like cornbread, only mushier.  You kinda scoop it out.  It's good.

Start singing!

Jan DuBose's scandalously good chocolate chip cake

  • Duncan Hines Deluxe Yellow Cake Mix (Jan says that if you must make the cake mix from scratch, knock yourself out, but the cake won't be better than hers) 
  • 1 package of instant vanilla pudding 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil (I'm assuming cooking oil here, but let me know)
  • 10 cups water NO, WAIT! Surely you cannot be serious. Yes, I AM serious, and DON'T call me Shirley!  Oh, Jan says make that ONE cup!  Sorry, my bad.
  • blend above ingredients and beat for 2 minutes (nice 'phones, Dre sez hey)
  • add 1 package of MINI chocolate chips (Jan does not mention just how large this package should be; she has more faith in your decision-making than I do)
  • add 4 oz of jimmies (pick your fav Jimmies:  Hendrix, Fallon, Durante, Rice for BoSox fans, etc.)
  • pour into tube pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hour (we MUST caution once again that you DO NOT bake at 360 degrees, for you will be back where you started!)
  • Slice and serve (not to be confused with a sliced serve, of which Jan has a beauty). 

Jan suggests a tasteful Victoria's Secret teddy just in case you've got some batter remaining and you're in a playful mood. Otherwise, stick it in the fridge.

Suggested music:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Broccoli Casserole Side Dish (from the Evelyn McGowan Collection)

Ingredients (yeah, you gotz ta go get this stuff first):
3 bags of chopped broccoli  (while chuckling, thinking of Dana Carver's "Choppin' Broccoli" skit)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
4 oz cheddar cheese
1 cup Helman's mayonaisse (like a Bat Out of Helman's)

Prepare (pre-game is over, it's crunch time!  YOU CAN DO THIS! ( always look on the bright side of life!):
butter up the baking dish (tell it it's the best looking baking dish ever!)
mix/melt the mushroom soup; then, mix in all other ingredients
top with toasted bread crumbs
bake (the casserole) in oven @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Done! Seriously, how easy was that!  Grab a Dos Equis, you were fantastic!

Serve as side dish (double/triple recipe if nothing else served).

Suggested music: Black Broccoli by Godzik Pink

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Great Sauce...

2 packages of onion soup mix
8 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups ketchup
1 cup of vinegar
1 cup of oil
4 teaspoons of dry mustard
2 cups of water
salt/pepper to taste

Bring to a boil, then cool before putting in meat.

Marinate overnight.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Mardi Gras Dinner at Anthony Jack's...

Anthony Jacks Wood Fire Grill
Mardi Gras Beer Dinner
Thursday, March 8th 2012 6:30 pm
Featuring Abita Beer straight from New Orleans


First Course
Shrimp & Craw fish Remoulade
over roma tomato cups
paired with purple haze

Second Course
Creole Fried Eggplant
topped with a crab & andouille sausage cream sauce
paired with jockamo ipa

Third Course
Blackened Red Fish
over cajun jambalaya topped with a creamy hollandaise sauce
paired with mardi gras bock

Fourth Course
Wood Grilled Pork Tenderloin
over sweet potato mashed & a pecan-molasses glaze
paired with turbo dog

Fifth Course
Bananas Foster Ala Mode
paired with save our shore pilsner

(860) 426-1487, Reservations are required

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What's for Christmas Dinner this year?

At Thanksgiving dinner, the question of Christmas dinner arose.  Stay with the traditional beef tenderloin or try something new?  We are, therefore, polling the attendees as to their preferences.  Respond in the comments section below.  The Reet says she will evaluate, but promises nothing!
  1. Beef Tenderloin- It's what we do.  Don't change anything.
  2. Crown pork roast- Time for a change; the BT is getting a bit boring and we need to shake things up a little.
  3. Lasagna- Reet's delicious lasagna has been our Christmas Eve staple; time to bring it to center stage.  We can order out Thai the night before.
  4. Prime Rib-
  5. Ham- Yes, I know we do ham at Easter.  Get over it.
  6. Seafood- not sure if we would get a consensus on this, but we're throwing it out there.
  7. Hey, I'm a Vegan; what about me!

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    City Winery opens the Barrel Room...

    (September 6, 2011) City Winery, which opened in the fall of 2008, has quickly established itself as an innovative brand by uniquely combining the first winery in Manhattan with world-class music programming.  With 6 harvests completed (3 from Northern Hemisphere vineyards and 3 spring harvests from south of the equator) more consumers will have an opportunity to taste the high quality of the wine through a unique tap system directly from the cellar below. (more) - Reservations are now available:

    The Classic!

    Saturday, January 01, 2011

    Reet's "Wake-Up-You-Lazy-Bastard" Breakfast Casserole

    This casserole is sure to get that lazy, no-good bastard in your life out of bed and bounding down the stairs to start the brand-new day. Maybe he will do something with his life once he's got a full tummy (probably not). 
    These are the ingredients you will need, so make that lazy bastard go out and get them: 
    • 8 frozen hash-brown patties (possibilities include Pattie LaBelle, sans BluBelles; Pattie Hearst, sans Symbionese Liberation Army; Pattie Duke; Peppermint Pattie).  You get the picture.
    • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 lb bacon- cooked, drained, crumbled (in other words, completely demoralized!)
    • 7 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon mr. mustard powder (find him in the bedroom with the candlestick)
    Got 'em?  Okay, let's do this:
    • Place patties (all 8 of them, kicking and screaming) in a single layer in a greased 13 by 9 baking pan; sprinkle with cheese and bacon.
    • In a separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt and mustard powder mercilessly (let all that pent-up anger out!); pour over casserole. 
    • Cover, then bake in oven at 350 degrees for one hour (careful, if you bake at 360 degrees, you are right back where you started).
    • Uncover (no, not you, you idiot, the casserole!), then bake 15 minutes longer until edges are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (it's, like, magic!!!)
      Suggested music: "Morning Has Broken" by the sweet-voiced terrorist Yusuf Islam from his album Teaser and the Firecat. Be careful, though, George W. may send you on a vacation to Cuba for listening.

      Saturday, December 25, 2010

      Nancy's simple punch (some would say it's a cheap shot)

      1 can Hawaiian Punch
      1 small can frozen orange juice undiluted
      1 large can frozen lemonade undiluted
      1 - 2 liter bottle ginger ale
      several scoops sherbert

      You are kidding, aren't you?

      Ok, I suppose you should look away while SOMEONE puts some muscle into this roundhouse.

      Tuesday, July 06, 2010

      Sharie's tasty 4th of July rack (of ribs)...

      Cole slaw--just a bag from the store and Cole Farms Old Fashioned Cole Slaw Dressing--at Stop & Shop in the lettuce area.


      2 tbl brown sugar
      1 tbl paprika
      1 tsp dry mustard
      1 tsp dried oregano
      Kosher salt and black pepper
      4 lbs baby-back ribs (2-3 racks)
      1/2 C Dijon mustard
      1/2 C balsamic vinegar
      1/4 cup honey

      1. Combine the brown sugar, paprika, dry mustard, oregano, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper to make the rub.
      2. Place the ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub the ribs with the spice mixture and tightly cover the baking sheet with foil. Bake until tender and the meat easily pulls away from the bone. 2-2 1/2 hrs at 275 degrees.
      3. Combine the Dijon mustard, vinegar, and honey to make a sauce. Transfer 1/2 cup of the sauce into a small bowl for serving.
      4. Grill the ribs on med-high, basting with the remaining sauce and turning occasionally, until just beginning to char, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with the reserved sauce.



      Saturday, July 03, 2010

      Linda Clock's Killer Chili

      3-4 lb ground beef
      1 or 2 onions
      1 pepper
      2 cans large plum tomatoes
      4 tablespoons chili powder
      large can red kidney beans (include sauce)
      1 can chick peas (puree if you like)

      Brown ground beef and drain
      Saute onions and pepper
      Add tomatoes
      Add chili powder
      Add salt & pepper

      Cover, simmer for at least 2 hours
      Add kidney beans and chick peas
      Add a dash of hot sauce if you dare (yes, dare)

      Serve with shredded cheddar cheese melted on top
      Have a glass of water and an ice cold Dixie close by

      Suggested music: Put on the Iguanas real loud:

      Monday, March 01, 2010

      You asked for it, Nancy K......

      Reet's Broccoli Soup

      It's Winter in America (gratuitous Gil Scott-Heron reference), you need something warm and tasty in your tummy while watching your favorite hoops team fail to meet expectations. Whatcha got? Rustle up some Reet's Broccoli Soup and cuddle up with your honey (or your hubby/wife- it's your call).

      • 6 cups of water (tap is fine, unless you have to impress someone, then get Evian) 
      • 2 10-oz chopped broccoli (for those who have seen Dana Carvey's standup routine, take time out to smirk knowingly; others just move on) 
      •  3/4 cup of chopped onion 
      •  2 teaspoons of salt
      • 2 teaspoons of white pepa (you feelin' it now? gettin' funky? push it good, push it real good.)
      • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
      • 8 oz of American cheese
      • 1 cup of milk
      • 1 cup of light cream (I guess that's the Cream without Eric Clapton, but I could be mistaken)
      • 1/4 cup of butter
      • 1/3 cup of flour
      • 1/2 cup of cold water (wtf? I already have 6 cups of water, you say? Just do it!)

      Let's do this!
      Boil the water with the chopped broccoli and onion for ten minutes. You can continue to push it real good while waiting (ooh, baby baby). Then add all seasonings/cheese and stir until the cheese melts (a Northeastern expression akin to 'til the cows come home'). Add milk, light Cream (remember, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce only) and butter.

      Now you find out why we needed that extra water. Mix the water with the flour, then very slowly add to the soup mix for texture. When your arm feels like it is falling off, you're done! Pour into large cup and ease onto the couch. Enjoy!

      Saturday, February 20, 2010

      Sharie's Spicy Shrimp Cocktail

      This recipe will warm you up on a cold winter night.  
      Keith likes the spicier version that has Sharie playing a game of 'Find the Shrimp'

      Mix together (mingle/network):
      1/4 C catsup
      1/4 C lime juice
      1-2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

      1 pound jumbo shrimp; peeled, cleaned and de-veined (you're so de-veined, you probably think this recipe is about you)
      1/2 C chopped plum tomato
      1/4 C chopped red onion
      1/4 C fresh snipped cilantro

      Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
      Add 2 peeled, chopped avocados.
      Garnish with a wedge of lime.
      Serve chilled.

      Suggested music: Try some low country blues from Shrimp City Slim and his band, possibly from their CD "Ancestor Worship: The Boston Sessions 1980-83"

      Tuesday, January 05, 2010

      That was no hero, that was a Cuban sandwich...

      It's got two kinds of pig meat, ham and roast pork, and a slice of white cheese in the shape of New York, so throw on a pickle and pick up your fork, say "el Cubano," that's a Cuban sandwich.

      You know you want one!
      Cuban or French sub roll

      Chef Maurices special dressing (1 ounce Dijon mustard, 1 ounce mayonnaise, 1 ounce grainy mustard, mixed well)

      2 slices Swiss cheese
      2 ounces sliced ham
      2 ounces sliced pork loin
      2 ounces sliced salami
      2 pickles, sliced flat, lengthwise

      Split the roll two-thirds of the way through lengthwise and unfold. Spread Chef Maurices special dressing evenly on both sides of the bread.

      One one side of the bread, layer Swiss cheese, ham, pork, salami and pickles. Fold the top of the bread to make a sandwich.

      Place the sandwich in a skillet (coated with butter) on medium high heat for about two minutes per side with a weighted sandwich press. You may use a panini press or George Foreman grill. Or completely cover a large can of soup or vegetables with aluminum foil and use that to press the sandwich.

      Thursday, December 31, 2009

      Irene Flynn's American Goulash...

      Special request of Andy McGowan


      2 lbs. ground beef
      peppers/onions in quantities of your taste
      2 large cans of tomato soup
      1 large can of whole tomatos
      1 lb. of elbow macaroni

      • brown beef in skillet; set aside
      •  saute onions/peppers in butter; set aside
      • cook macaroni
      • add 1/2 can water per can of tomato soup; warm mixture
      • drain elbows and put into large pan
      • mix in beef, peppers onions; slice whole tomatos into mix
      • pour soup over top
      • bake in oven @ 350 degrees for 1/2 hour

      Pour a cold beer or a cheap chianti and dive in! 

      Suggested music: American Woman by Guess Who (unless you prefer the updated Lenny Kravitz version)

    • Saturday, January 10, 2009

      Gail Lessard's minestrone with sweet sausage and tortellini...

      There's a winter storm acomin'. People are swarming the supermarkets like ants. You decide to rustle up some soup. Good move, make this:

      First step, gather the goods:
      1/3 cup best-quality olive oil
      1 lg. yellow onion, cut into thin rings
      4 lg. carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
      1 fennel bulb, chopped
      2 lg. potatoes, peeled and diced
      1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch squares
      3 medium-size zucchini, diced
      1.5 cups of diagonally-sliced green beans
      1 medium-size green cabbage, shredded
      5 cups beef stock
      5 cups water
      1 one (35 oz.) can Italian plum tomatoes
      2 tbsp. dried oregano
      1 tbsp. dried basil
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
      Outer rind of 2-inch chunk of Parmesan or Romano cheese
      1.5 cup canned cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
      1 lb. cheese-stuffed tortellini
      1.5 lbs. sweet Italian sausage (pan fried, drained, sliced)
      Freshly grated Fontina cheese

      Take a brief rest, being thankful you had all this shit in the house.
      Deep breath, GO!
      1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, saute until transparent (or transgendered, whichever happens first).
      2. Stir in carrots and saute 2-3 minutes, tossin' and turnin' occasionally
      3. Add the fennel, potatoes, green pepper, zucchini and green beans, sauteing each veggie 2-3 minutes before adding the next (don't cheat, we're watching you). When assignment is completed, passed in and graded, stir in cabbage cook 5 minutes more (extra credit).
      4. Add the stock, bonds, mutual funds, water, tomatoes with their juice, spices.
      5. Bury the Parmesan rind in the middle of the soup (R.I.P.- no calling hours)
      6. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat, simmer covered low 2.5 to 3 hours. Stir occasionally. The soup will be very thick (something akin to your understanding of this whole process).
      7. Fifteen minutes before serving stir in cannellini beans and tortellini. Raise heat to cook tortellini, continue to stir occasionally. JUST before serving, stir in sausage.
      8. Ladle the minestrone into shallow pasta bowls and garnish lavishly with Fontina (no, not THAT Fontina, the stripper you met while hangin' with Plaxico Burriss).

      There, you've done it! Pop a cold one and sit in front on that big-screen you bought yourself for Christmas (and hope you didn't really give Fontina your home phone number).

      Whew, George the Lobster, that was a close one!...

      NYC eatery grants freedom to lobster centenarian (AP)
      NEW YORK – A 140-year-old lobster once destined for a dinner plate received the gift of life Friday from a Park Avenue seafood restaurant. George, the 20-pound supercentenarian crustacean, was freed by City Crab and Seafood in New York City. "We applaud the folks at City Crab and Seafood for their compassionate decision to allow this noble old-timer to live out his days in freedom and peace," said Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

      PETA spokesman Michael McGraw said the group asked City Crab to return George to the Atlantic Ocean after a diner saw him at the restaurant, where steamed Maine lobster sells for $27 per pound. George had been caught off Newfoundland, Canada and lived in the tank for about 10 days before his release. Some scientists estimate lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. PETA and the restaurant guessed George's age at about 140, using a rule of thumb based on the creature's weight. He was to be released Saturday near Kennebunkport, Maine, in an area where lobster trapping is forbidden.

      Tribute to George:

      Thursday, January 01, 2009

      Thanks for letting us into your kitchen (it's a little messy, don't you think?)

      Happy New Year!

      Saturday, December 27, 2008

      I guess we're hosed on these gift certificates!....

      Sad news on the doorstep.....

      25 Center Street Restaurant closes

      Record-Journal article about lost gift certificates here

      Sunday, December 14, 2008

      Aaron's Toffee Crunch Grahams...

    • 12 whole graham crackers
    • 1.5 cups butter (no substitutes; if you do, we will know and we'll have to kill you)
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar (how come you dance so good, girl!)
    • 2 cups sliced almonds/walnuts/pecans (your choice, but choose wisely, because the wrong choice could screw up the entire batch!)

      Got 'em all? Okay, let's go!
      Line a 10x15 pan with foil. Place graham crackers on foil. In saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Bring to boil, stirring constantly (if YOU are also stirring constantly, check for fleas). Pour over crackers on pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 400F for 5 minutes. Transfer to rack (nice rack, btw!) to cool completely. Voilà!!!

      Per, regarding the Stones' Brown Sugar: Mick Jagger wrote the lyrics. They were inspired by Claudia Lennear, one of Ike Turner's backup singers (Ikettes) who he had an affair with. They met when The Stones toured with Turner in 1969.
    • Saturday, December 06, 2008

      Reet Says Cookies (for the family Christmas party)...

      Strict orders from Mary: MAKE TWO DOZEN COOKIES!

      So The Reet scratches around furiously to find two cookie recipes that are (1) fast/easy to make and (2) at least edible. She found the following that meet test number one, but we must wait for the latter results.

      Meringue Rounds...

    • 2 egg whites
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 12 oz chocolate baby bits

      Beat egg whites in bowl (pause).

      Just beat it, beat it
      No one wants to be defeated
      Showin' how funky and strong is your fight
      It doesn't matter who's wrong or right
      Just beat it, beat it
      (go ON wit yo funky self!)

      Once recomposed, gradually add the sugar, Sugar. Beat 'til stiff (oh, grow UP!). Add vanilla, salt and baby bits. Dab small spoonfuls (perhaps lovin' spoonfuls) of batter onto cookie sheet. Pre-heat oven to 370 degrees. Place sheets in oven and turn oven off! Let cookies stay in oven for 5 hours/overnight (or forever, for all I care!).

      Reet says remove from oven (oh, god, it's been so long I almost forgot these suckers were in there!), eat and enjoy. If you are adventurous (or you can't really spell all that great and think you're insanely clever), you can Salsa merengue dance while you eat the Meringue Rounds.
    • Lemon Squares (very pretty and the lemon flour is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat)...

      Gather crust ingredients (while humming along to Peter, Paul & Mary):
    • 1/2 cup butter/margarine
    • 1/4 cup confectionery sugar
    • 1 cup flour

      Let's do this!
      Mix butter/margarine, confectionery sugar and flour in a bowl (Reet suggests the Rose Bowl, the granddaddy of them all). Place mixture into 9-inch square pan. Do NOT grease pan! Oh, you already did? My bad, I should have told you earlier. Deal with it. Build up the pan (it's good for the pan's self-esteem). Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

      While the crust is baking...
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • rind of one lemon
    • juice of one lemon
    • first offspring of one lemon (okay, okay, just kidding)

      Hurry, we only have 15 minutes!
      Beat all of the above in another bowl (you've already used the Rose, so I'd go for the prestigious Meineke Car Care Bowl) and then pour over crust. Put back into oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. (VERY IMPORTANT! Be CAREFUL not to let oven get to 360 degrees, because you will be right back where you started!)

      You're done! Cut into squares, serve and volley.
    • Saturday, November 29, 2008

      Gimme six, loaded...

      Many trips in the early 70's to this great spot from our first house in the west end of Cheshire. We were young 'n buffed; we are currently not young. Reet, wanna go to Blackie's for lunch, today?

      Blackie's: A Hot Dog Stand To Relish by Robin Stansbury (Htfd Courant)

      I'm not usually a fan of hot dogs, consuming perhaps one a year at a Fourth of July barbecue or Rock Cats baseball game. At least, that was true until my husband introduced me to Blackie's Hot Dog Stand, a funky and fabulous restaurant in Cheshire. Everything works right with these dogs, from the soft buns, the split-top cooking of the Hummel Brothers hot dogs and, of course, that magical spicy relish doled out with a plastic spoon.

      The look: It's a hot dog stand (a slightly misleading label because the restaurant has two small octagon-shaped dining rooms), so it doesn't get fancy here. Clearly, Blackie's, which was founded in 1928, isn't a secret, as the crowded parking lot during our lunch visit revealed. Maybe that's why Blackie's went through an extensive renovation last year when — gasp — the eatery was closed for seven weeks to expand the kitchen and storage areas. But the remodeling didn't alter the look of the interior of the two wood-paneled dining rooms or the long counter and stools. Ketchup, mustard and relish is serve-yourself.

      The vibe: No fuss. Blackie's is a place where construction workers sit side-by-side with folks in suits, kids and grandparents. On a warm day, the two garage-style doors open to let in the breeze. The food is served on paper plates, or in a box to go.

      The eats: It's all basic food at Blackie's. Besides hot dogs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers are also on the menu, but we didn't hear any orders for burgers during our visit. The dogs are so popular that most who were ordering at the counter didn't even use the word "hot dog," instead just calling out the desired number.
      And — this was true during our visit — "Eighteen."
      There are no fancy toppings like chili or sauerkraut, only the divine spicy relish, which the owners say is a family secret. The relish is made of peppers, not pickles, but that is as much as the owners will reveal. You can add a drink and a bag of chips to your order, but why bother? Just order another hot dog, instead.

      The prices: Dirt cheap. The dogs are $1.75. Hamburgers cost $2, and a small soda is $1. Our party of five ate a giant lunch for just more than $20.

      The verdict: Dog-gone good. -

      Saturday, April 19, 2008

      I'll have 27 bottles of the Romanee Conti...

      Put it on my tab:

    • 12 bottles of 1978
    • two bottles of the 1961, 1966, 1996 and 2003
    • single bottles of the 1981, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2002

      The tab, you ask? $500,000

      Record $500,000 paid for 27 bottles of red wine (Reuters)

      While the global credit crunch has forced many consumers to rein in spending, one Beijing-based billionaire has splashed out a record $500,000 on 27 bottles of red wine, London-based Antique Wine Company said on Saturday. The anonymous Chinese entrepreneur bought a mix of vintages of Romanee Conti, a Burgundy wine and considered to be among the world's most exclusive with only 450 cases produced each year. - complete article
    • Thursday, November 22, 2007

      Sunday, October 29, 2006

      The Reet says eat here....

      Johnny K decided to take me to a special restaurant for my birthday his choice, not mine). We dined at O'Porto Fine Portuguese Restaurant in Hartford, with good friends Keith/Sharon and Vin/Marsha. We started with good wine (I had a diet coke with lemon) followed by great appetizers (my favorite, Camarao Grelhado, grilled shrimp in lemon sauce, was so good that next time I will order that for dinner).

      Another good appetizer was their famous Portuguese fried potatoes. (also served as the dinner potatoes); very tasty. The big hit of the night was the Paehla or Paella. Various concoctions were filled with shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, chicken or whatever and served with SAFFRON rice. The SAFFRON rice was everyone's favorite (but not mine). John order Black Pork, pork chops that were cooked to perfection, unlike the dried out ones I cook. Me, well I had a steak with those famous Portuguese potatoes again because I'm a wimp. My recommedation is if you want a great steak go to Anthony's Jacks. Portguese steak doesn't cut it. Now to the deserts, they were awsome! I had cheesecake with caramel sauce, very good. Keith and Sharon enjoyed an Almond Tarte together, and John and Sharon had Creame Brule together. We all shared, except Vin and Marsha, Marsha enjoyed her Chocolate Mousse and only gave Vin a bite. All in all, it was a great birthday evening with fine dining and good friends. I just don't think I would order steak again. And, too much Saffron rice for me.

      Thursday, October 19, 2006


      A Paehla For Everyone At O'Porto This Month by KORKY VANN, The Hartford Courant
      O'Porto, 2074 Park St., Hartford, 860-233-3184

      It's "paehla month" at O'Porto Restaurant in Hartford (paehla is the Portuguese version of paella), and culinary festivities around the event include hot deals for takeout customers. Get your dishes to go, and you'll save cool cash on the eat-in cost. The restaurant offers a number of classic combinations of meat, seafood and vegetables, all built on fragrant saffron rice and all great options for anyone looking to impress dinner guests without going near a stove.

      We tried Paelha a Casa (the house version) and immediately make a note to add it to our holiday menu. (Discounted paelha to-go prices remain in effect through the end of the year. The takeout price is $30; the in-restaurant dinner regular price is $46 and $40 during paehla month.) The dish, packed with shrimp, clams, mussels, pieces of chicken and pork, chunks of spicy chouriço sausage and accented with red peppers and green peas, is an instant crowd pleaser.

      Other varieties include Paelha Marinheiro, which features scallops and shrimp, Paelha Portuguesa which adds lobster to the mix, and Paelha Vegetariana, (a vegetarian version) with seasonal vegetables. There's a two-person minimum order for any of the paelhas and for an additional per head cost. You can expand your order to feed as many as you like. (If you're looking to feed 15 or more, call a day ahead, otherwise several hours notice will suffice.)

      Another great deal is a fixed-price selection featuring appetizer, entree and dessert for $26. For starters, we opt for the Crepes Recheadoes, delicate pancakes stuffed with shrimp in a mild tomato broth, then move on to the Salmão à Sousa, a generous grilled salmon fillet, and finish with what instantly becomes our favorite dessert of the season - Tarta de Amendoa - a sweet pastry base topped with a toffee-like crust of caramelized almonds.

      To sweeten the pot for takeout customers O'Porto is offering a $5 gift card good toward your next meal with any takeout order now through Thanksgiving.

      The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from noon to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday hours are noon to 8 p.m. O'Porto is closed on Monday. Information:

      Thursday, August 24, 2006

      Finding The Real New England Lobster Roll

      Futile But Tasty Quest (AP) - MASHPEE, Mass. -- Leaning back in his bar stool, the retired postmaster shook his head and jabbed a fork toward the pound of lobster and mayonnaise stuck between bread. Deprived of lobster rolls in Arizona, James Maguire III had returned to his native Massachusetts and consumed seven in almost as many days. He found the biggest and best at The Raw Bar in Mashpee.

      "There's more lobster in this one than all the rest combined," he said, giddy with delight. New Englanders speak of lobster rolls with a reverence usually reserved for religion. Devoted sects squabble over the delicacy's origins, they quarrel over recipe orthodoxy and they flock to beloved seafood shacks like pilgrims to a shrine. A winding summertime journey from Connecticut to Maine spanned 250 miles, seven lobster rolls and several thousand calories. The search didn't reveal the one, undisputed lobster roll, but it uncovered some good ones.

      Here's the truth: A proper New England lobster roll includes meat and bread. Everything else is negotiable. Disputes over the lobster roll outnumber the ingredients in one. Are they properly served drenched in butter or smeared with mayonnaise? Hellman's or horseradish? Lettuce or celery? And why lobster, anyway? "There is that weird irony that lobster is such an expensive ingredient and it's being served in such a pedestrian way," said Rebecca Charles, a Manhattan chef who first encountered lobster rolls while vacationing in Maine as a child.

      Charles considers herself a fundamentalist. To her, a true lobster roll is cased in a toasted, Pepperidge Farm hotdog bun. It contains cold lobster chunks coated with Hellman's mayonnaise. She mixes in minced celery, salt and pepper, then adds squeezed lemon juice. Warm bread contrasts with cold meat. - complete article

      Monday, January 23, 2006

      2006 Wine Tasting Benefit at Mohegan Sun

      Brenda sharing cooking secrets with Chef Todd English (Olives of Boston and Tuscany at Mohegan Sun) and Chef Ted Allen (from televison show Queer Eye) Saturday at the
      2006 Wine Tasting Benefit at Mohegan Sun.

      Friday, January 06, 2006

      New eats on Center Street...

      New eating places are sprouting up and down Center Street these days. Reet Says Eat aims to try them all.

      Tonic out, Popular in
      ‘Popular’ spot will return to downtown by Harry Kyle, The Southington Citizen
      Southington’s Renaissance project was developed to bring a rebirth to the downtown business district, and its redesigned walkways, outdoor dining areas and variety of new restaurants and shops have gone a long way toward fulfilling that goal. But, in a somewhat ironic twist, the newest piece of the revival puzzle has an old connection to the central business district as it existed almost 50 years ago.

      The Popular Restaurant was once one of Southington’s favorite watering holes. Located at 71 Center Street, it was started as a nickel-a-beer tavern by Horace Secondo and his wife, Edna, in 1937, and quickly became the favorite gathering place in town. The next two generations of the Secondo family carried on the tradition until 1987, when the family sold the business. It continued in operation under the same name until it was destroyed by a fire in 1991. Now a new branch of the Secondo family has come back to town, and plans to combine the mystique and charm of the old night spot with some new amenities, in the hopes of making the Popular name popular once again. complete article

      The Fire Place
      We ordered a couple of pies at halftime of the Giants-Eagles game, made additionally difficult because they have no website and telephone number was not available from information. So we needed two trips - one to order, another to pickup. The verdict: crust, the most important element of the pie, was almost mushy; very disappointing. We will give them another shot, but the first impression was thumbs down. Too bad, the reataurant has been nicely renovated.

      Fire Place heats up Center Street By Robert C. Pollack, Record-Journal staff
      SOUTHINGTON — A new, upscale pizza restaurant called The Fire Place is coming to Center Street in May, if the Zoning Board of Appeals approves a pending application for a liquor license. Frank LaRosa and John Pucci, both of Southington, are spending $120,000 to renovate the storefront at 44 Center St. — former home of Apple Annie's — with an eye to opening the new restaurant in mid-May. LaRosa said the 2,400-square-foot restaurant, which will serve both lunch and dinner, will offer pizzas of every description, including shrimp and chicken. - complete article

      Friday, December 16, 2005

      When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...that's Renaldo's

      Reet Says Eat many times over the years at Renaldo's Apizza & Pasta, where a smiling Renaldo always greets our pickup orders with a Hello, Rita. The restaurant recently received a favorable review in the Hartford Courant, which said, in part:

      A dozen booths make up the simple restaurant that even on a Sunday night was hopping with patrons picking up to-go orders, and others settling in for a meal. "It doesn't look like much from the outside. It's not the Waldorf Astoria, but we have good food and decent prices," explains owner Christopher Quiroga, a former corrections officer who purchased the place from Renaldo Riccitelli about six years ago.

      "Renaldo still works here and he gave me the recipes along with the place when I bought it," explained Quiroga. "We don't give out the recipes, but nearly everything we do here is from scratch." I could tell. The sauce was sweet, obviously from good products, fresh herbs and hours of simmering. Breads, including the grinder rolls, were crisp on the outside and light on the inside, indicative of homemade.
      - complete review

      Located at 378 N. Main St., Southington, CT 860-621-6005

      Thursday, December 01, 2005

      Sharon Mirisola's Chicken 'N Rice 'N Broccoli

    • 2 boxes frozen chopped broccoli
    • 2 cups Success Rice (I guess Minute Rice doesn't make it!)
    • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
    • 1 stick butter or margarine
    • 1 16 oz jar Cheez Whiz
    • 1 can Durkee fried onions
    • 2 cups of of cooked chicken (cubed)

    • cook/strain broccoli
    • cook rice (not sure how long?)
    • mix cheez whiz, soup & softened butter (using a mixer)
    • add cooked chicken, broccoli and rice, mix with a spoon
    • bake mixture in oven @ 350 degrees
    • top with the fried onions and bake additional 15 minutes
    • Thursday, October 27, 2005

      Emilio's for Reet's birthday (yeah, it's open)

      Dimly lit, tables close together, Italian music coming from the speakers....and an owner who appears at your table to play the ACCORDIAN for you! I'm a sucker for atmosphere. WE dined out for Reet's birthday; yes, WE, the waitress included herself in our party when asking if WE were ready to order. Annoying, but well-meaning. And WE liked the reincarnation of Giovanni's very much. Jonathan claimed his lasagna was not the equal of Pagliacci's, but good. My Something-All-Emilio was a seafood mixture with spinach and a white wine sauce over linguini. Very nice. (Bonus! If you get just the right seat, you can peer across the street into Blockbuster to pick out your after-dinner flick.)

      Coming soon: Italian-style food in the old tradition By Jesse D. Smolin, Record-Journal staff

      SOUTHINGTON — Emilio Gutic can feel the warmth of candles flickering on the tables, he can hear soft Italian music playing from the speakers, he can taste his homemade food as he eats with his guests and he can see his father, Mario, burst in from the kitchen to play a sonata on his accordion at Emilio's Italian Ristorante. - complete article

      Sunday, October 09, 2005

      Judy & Her Sisters (and Reet) wow the Southington Apple Harvest Festival with their fancypants (the booth)!

      The Harvest Honeys display their wares (and some mighty tasty cookies as well) at the 37th annual Southington Apple Harvest Festival. However, the Honeys were admonished by Festival Arts & Crafts officials for calling those who chose not to buy fancypants cookies "cheap bastards and trailer trash sluts."

      An eye-pleasing fancypants display

      fancypants bakery
      153 washington street
      walpole, ma 02032
      Web site


      Monday, September 19, 2005

      Spicy Garden Pasta from Rozella Bogasian

      1 lb. penne or pasta
      4 ripe plum tomatos (approx 3/4 lb.) cut into half-inch dice (go for snake eyes)
      1/3 cup virgin olive oil (discuss definition of virgin)
      1/4 cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley
      2 teaspoons of chopped mint
      1/4 cup of basil, cut in chiffonade
      1 clove of minced garlic (1 teaspoon)
      1 teaspoon of capers
      1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
      1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
      1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
      salt to taste

      Boil water to cook pasta; when boiling, add salt to water and cook pasta according to package directions
      Dice tomatos and place in a large, heat-resistant bowl.
      Add oil, herbs, capers, peppers and garlic. Stir to combine.
      Drain pasta when cooked and add to bowl of ingredients. Stir to combine.
      Add the cheese and mix thoroughly.
      May be served warm or cold.

      Suggested music - For this refreshing dish, grab a nice vino and listen to The Manhattan Transfer's Vocalese, a wonderful tribute to Jon Hendricks.

      Friday, September 16, 2005

      Friday lunch at The Clam with Johnny Gumbo

      "You eat yet?"
      "Pick you up in fifteen."

      It's Friday noon. Perfect time to review the week and prospective weekend with Gumbo over a brewski and some lunch at Sam's. We choose the bar and each pull up a stool. Real men don't do sundecks. Not being real men, we sometimes do.

      Topics discussed over a couple Bass Ales, one Philly cheese and one chicken wrap:
    • Center Street rumors - Tonic has been sold and will become a sports bar; Brickhouse/Gorilla Joe's will reopen shortly as the "Groggy Frog" and will go after the young professional crowd (yeah, right);
    • What year will Emilio's open shortly in?
    • The new seafood place on Eden Avenue not a keeper
    • Apple Fest crunch time; things looking pretty good; some good music entertainment coming in

      Gulp, gulp......we're outta here!
    • Saturday, September 10, 2005

      German brews world's strongest beer

      BERLIN (Reuters) - A German brewer has concocted what he says is the world's strongest beer, a potent drink with an alcohol content of 25.4 percent that is served in a shot glass. "Everyone who has tried it is enthusiastic. It tastes like a quirky mixture of beer and sherry," said Bavarian brewer Harald Schneider.

      Schneider, who lives in southern Germany where beer is a tradition, said his beer fermented for 12 weeks for an alcohol content twice that of Germany's other strongest beers. "People will only be able to drink two or three glasses, otherwise they'll drop like flies," he said.

      Schneider expects the holders of the world's strongest beer, the Boston Beer Company, to put up a fight. "I'm pretty sure the Americans have something up their sleeve."

      Musings on Malt
      Bill Brand's Beer Blog

      Friday, August 05, 2005

      History's A Favorite At The Bristol Diner - Customers Eat Up Displays

      by Jonathan Shugarts, Courant Staff Writer

      BRISTOL -- Gary Wyrebek likes to tell a story about James Levins, who came into his diner one day. As Levins sat eating his lunch, he recognized the picture of Rochelle Oliver, Miss Bristol from 1963, that was on display above the seat in one of the booths. Wyrebek said Levins called him over to the table.

      "What made you want to put this up here?" Wyrebek remembers Levins asking. "Her hair reminds me of my mother," Wyrebek responded. Levins said, "That's my wife, and I haven't seen that photo in 40 years." - complete review

      Monday, July 04, 2005

      Happy 4th!!!!!!

      Send Reet some of your favorites!

      Hamburger America - a film documentary

      By ROGER CATLIN, Courant TV Critic
      Film website

      Hamburgers - and their odd regional permutations - will grill at countless U.S. barbecues this Independence Day weekend, and Sundance Channel will honor the occurrence with the July Fourth TV debut of the documentary "Hamburger America," in which this state figures prominently.

      Two of the eight burger joints profiled in George Motz's film are in Connecticut. Not only does it feature New Haven's famous Louis' Lunch, which has long boasted of being the birthplace of the hamburger in 1900, but the film also highlights the steamed cheeseburgers served at Ted's Restaurant in Meriden since 1959. - Complete article

      Ted's Restaurant, Meriden, CT

      Louis' Lunch, New Haven, CT

      The film also includes a visit to the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, made famous in the "Saturday Night Live" sketch for John Belushi's "cheezeborger, cheezeborger, cheezeborger!"

      Saturday, July 02, 2005

      Restaurant visit: Tonic

      I want to like this place hidden halfway down Center Street, but it is the successor to a number of breakfast spots (Coach's, Joe's, Uncle Tony's) and, unfortunately, some ghosts remain. Originally billed as a seafood restaurant in the planning stages, the spot is now all over the place in style and cuisine. The bar (pictured here) is nicely done; high tables at the front allow you to look out onto the Center Street activity. And the rebel eyesore appliance store, Gladchuk's, has closed!!!!!

      The problem is three-fold:
      1. The facade is DREADFUL, not even an attempt to upgrade the tired storefront look, 
      2. The main dinning area (as it is referred to on the website) is bland beyond belief; I'm all for understatement, but this is depressing, 
      3. The food is....forgettable. An inexperienced server asked our 60th birthday boy how his Mahi-Mahi special was, and upon hearing that it was fine (a lie, it was mediocre), proceeded to gush that it was a new thing for the chef (he had been working on it for a month) and that Gene was the first one to have it. Wonderfully reassuring!

      Suggestion: Go for drinks, appetizers and a ballgame and sit at the open front end. Hey, isn't that Johnny Gumbo walking down Center???? 

      Thursday, March 17, 2005

      St. Patrick's Day

      The first ever St Patrick's Day celebration in America happened in 1737 in Boston, and the city still boasts one of the USA's biggest St Patrick's Day parties.

      The annual parade begins from Broadway at the MBTA Station and goes to Andrew Square, boasting floats, fancy dress and all the usual hullabaloo we've come to associate with this quintessential Irish celebration. Expect marching bands and pipe bands from all over North America.

      St Patrick's Day is one of the only national holidays celebrated outside its native land - a clear indication of the Irish influence thoughout the world and especially in the USA
      Image hosted by

      Half a mile from the county fair
      And the rain keep pourin' down
      Me and Billy standin' there
      With a silver half a crown
      Hands are full of a fishin' rod
      And the tackle on our backs
      We just stood there gettin' wet
      With our backs against the fence
      "It Stoned Me", Van Morrison

      Irish Soda Bread from Food

      Recipe courtesy Brother Rick Curry, The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, HaperPerennial, 1995

      (brilliant idea: before starting, pour/consume a pint of Guinness)

      5 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
      3/4 cup sugar
      2 teaspoons baking powder
      1 1/2 teaspoons salt
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
      2 1/2 cups mixed light and dark raisins, soaked in water for 15 to 20 minutes and drained
      3 tablespoons caraway seeds
      2 1/2 cups buttermilk
      1 large egg, slightly beaten

      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter 2 (9 by 5-inch) bread pans.
      Stir together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the butter and mix very thoroughly with your hands until it gets grainy. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.

      Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture. Stir until well moistened. Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in the pans.

      Bake for 1 hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Cool in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

      Suggested music: Tough one here, for you can go in a number of directions. Start with the Irish Tenors' "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen"; then Jonathan suggests you pick up the pace with some loud, rowdy punk from south Boston's Dropkick Murphys; next, taste the exquisite offerings of the Chieftains; then finish off with THE Man, Van Morrison, who, in my not-so-humble opinion, is fantastic (ok, a little impersonal) in concert, despite what Keith and Vin may say. OMG!!!! I almost forgot the talented, Pope-bashing Sinead O'Connor!

      Oh, and reward yourself for such culinary and musical taste with another pint of Guinness. Brilliant!!!!

      Tuesday, March 01, 2005

      Alligator Sauce Piquante by Michael Gowland

      Preparation Time 1-1/2 hours
      Serves 8

      2 lbs farm-raised alligator tail meat, cleaned
      (ed. note: I may be talking out of school here, but once you've wrestled (rassled) and killed the alligator, isn't the rest kinda anti-climactic? Or maybe it's just me. Proceed......)
      3-5 t blackened seasoning blend
      4 oz butter
      2 cups onion, chopped
      1 cup celery, chopped
      2 t garlic, chopped
      2 T Worcestershire Sauce
      1/2 t dried basil
      1/2 dried oregano
      1/2 dried thyme
      1 T crushed red pepper
      5 t Blackened seasoning blend
      1 bay leaf
      1 t brown sugar
      6 oz beer
      1 can tomato sauce
      6 oz mushrooms, sliced
      1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
      1 T corn starch dissolved in a little cold water (optional)

      Place a dry cast iron skillet on high heat. Season the cleaned alligator with blackened seasoning and sear on both sides in the very hot iron skillet. You may also prepare the meat on a barbecue grill. When the meat is cool, cut into cubes.

      In a 6-qt Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic over medium high heat. Add the dry seasonings, Worchester sauce, brown sugar and stir. Add the beer and bring to a boil. Add the tomato sauce and turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cubed alligator meat and cook for an additional 40 minutes. Taste to correct the seasonings, add the corn starch slurry (add slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps) if needed to thicken the sauce and finish by adding the green onions.

      Serve with white rice. Enjoy.

      Suggested music: Dr. John from his Gris Gris album would compliment this nicely.

      Final comment: It is rumored that deep in the Everglades there exists a comparable recipe for "Unsuspecting Sunbather Sauce Piquante" by Wallace Gator

      Sunday, February 27, 2005

      Chili today.....

    • Texas Chili - The main differences between Texas chili recipes and those other chili recipes is that "real" Texas chili has no beans and the main ingredient, after the meat, is chili peppers - whether chopped, diced, powdered, or liquified. Oh, and Texas chili just tastes better. More...

    • $20,000 prize-winning chili - here; more chili recipes from

      quote of the day: "Chili should be hot as hell and make you have to fart like a racehorse."

      Where's the beef?
      SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A diner at a Wendy's fast food restaurant in San Jose, CA found a human finger in a bowl of chili prepared by the chain, local officials said on Wednesday. - story...

      Have a good one....
    • Tuesday, February 08, 2005

      Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme....

    • Fat Tuesday At AJ's -Save the date, February 8th. The Southington Rotary Club will host a Mardi Gras evening of hot jazz with interesting food and wine as a fundraiser for the Rotary Foundation. More...

    • God, it's cold outside; how about a nice chili recipe to warm us up!

    • It's a Bundt and it's a beauty! - H. David Dalquist, creator of the aluminum Bundt pan, the top-selling cake pan in the world, has died at 86. More...
    • Sunday, January 23, 2005

      Brunch Sausage Bread

      1 roll Spicy Jimmy Dean Sausage
      8 oz. package cream cheese
      2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • In medium size skillet, brown sausage. Drain fat and add in cream
      cheese. Stir until completely blended.
    • On a greased cookie sheet, spread out 1 can of crescent rolls,
      pinching together to make "crust".
    • Spoon sausage mixture over crescent rolls just to 3/4 of an inch away from the edge.
    • Unroll the other package of crescent rolls. Make a crust for the top and
      pinch the bottom and top halves together to form a pouch.
    • Cook 10-12 minutes or according to the directions on the crescent rolls.
    • Serve warm.

      Note: if you are a wuss and don't like spicy things, you can use regular sausage instead.

      Suggested music: Well, "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean is what Reet has been known to hum about the house. She won't give the reason.