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Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few months ago, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies from a Neiman Marcus recipe that has been passed along on the internet for years.  The story of the recipe isn’t important as any person reading about its origination (a woman having lunch at Neiman Marcus ordering a chocolate chip cookie and getting a bill for $250 for the recipe) would question why the woman even had a credit card. And, who has ever seen a recipe for sale on a lunch menu? But, that’s not the point.  The issue is:  are the cookies good? I thought so because they contain ground oatmeal and I love oatmeal but that’s not what my family and friends think. Read more »

Let’s Dig Deeper to Understand School Rankings

Ranking schools – high schools, colleges, business and law schools – is big business these days. US News & World Report, Newsweek, Business Week and countless other national and regional magazines and newspapers rank our schools annually.  Schools seem to be obsessed with their respective rankings proudly displaying them on their websites and in press releases. But, if the public dug deeper and understood how the rankings are computed, these publications would not be considered gospel. Read more »


Road Trips Made Bearable

Road trips can be monotonous, boring, and long – and if there are kids or teenagers in the car, a road trip is about as much fun as organizing a high school reunion.  So, the challenge is how to make a road trip bearable and the answer is to stop along the way to tour a factory and learn how something is made. Read more »


Cranberry Chutney

Every Fall when the fresh cranberries are harvested, picked, bagged, and eventually distributed to the grocery stores, I start thinking about making cranberry chutney.Not quite Thanksgiving but with a chill in the air, it’s hard to beat a baked chicken served with roasted potatoes and carrots, sautéed green beans with toasted almonds, and cranberry chutney on an Autumn night. Read more »


Exploring the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are located approximately 600 miles off the western coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean on the equator.Consisting of 18 islands of various sizes and more than 100 large rock formations and islets, the Galapagos Islands are collectively a national park and marine reserve managed by the Galapagos National Park Service who strictly control the population of and access to the islands. Read more »


An Open Letter to the President of Bloomingdale’s

Dear Mr. Lundgren:

News Flash:  Your company call centers in India are awful and are in desperate need of an overhaul. The employees need to be trained to speak and understand English better in order to effectively communicate with customers. If your company doesn’t want to provide training, then close your call centers in India and bring the jobs back to the United States and train the employees here. Really, your customers will be happier and you will be commended for creating  jobs in the country in which your company is based. Read more »

Visting the Basque Country, Hondarribia, Spain

Hondarribia is a small town located 12 miles (20 kilometers) directly east of San Sebastian, on the northwest corner of Spain and France. Located on the coast in Pais Vasco – or the Basque Country – Hondarribia (Basque) is also known as Fuenterrabia (Spanish). The old part of the town (where the parador is located) is small and easy to maneuver by foot on the narrow streets with ancient walls and a small castle (that was for sale when we visited) attached to the ancient walls. But, the most breathtaking part of the old town is the water and beach views across the bay looking over to France. Read more »


Watching From The Sidelines

Yesterday, Hartford hosted the ING Marathon/Half Marathon and I watched from the sidelines – on my couch, eyes glued to the televised race.  Three weeks ago, I had to pull out of the race because I was still building my mileage and couldn’t increase the miles too quickly without possibly re-injuring the foot I fractured in late May. Reminding myself to be thankful for being able to run, I focused on watching the race and set my sights on the Palm Beach Half Marathon in December. Read more »


Gstaad, Zermatt, or St. Moritz?

Switzerland is a mountainous country that has numerous mountain resorts but the big three are:  Gstaad, Zermatt, and St. Moritz. The dilemma of whether to go to Gstaad, Zermatt, or St. Moritz comes down to personal preference. Each town is different and has special characteristics, so best to look at the following five (5) areas and decide for yourself.

  • Location
  • Sports
  • Environment
  • Town
  • Ambiance Read more »

Getting to Know Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn (pictured at right) is about 40 miles from Sion in the southern region of Switzerland (see map below) and is the only place in Switzerland that I’ve always left wishing I had more time to stay because there is so much to see and do. Although there is an airport in Sion, most international flights arrive in and depart out of Geneva or Zurich because weather conditions can change so rapidly in this mountainous region. Read more »