Buck Hill Falls — Welcome Back Good Friends!



Follow the Diva to our website and create your Spanish – themed celebration!



Our surprising inspiration!

Hmmm… a magazine and napkins … what’s up with Mimi and Sue?

Inspiration struck while I was reading the May 2014 edition of Wine Spectator magazine and then Sue spied these napkins in Wegmann’s seasonal section.  We would throw a Spanish themed celebration to reunite with some of our favorite friends in Buck Hill Falls!

Sue always says:  “We like decorating the table better than anything else.”  I kind of think she’s right.  We’re setting things up and I went dashing upstairs to root around my scarf drawer.  I remembered my $5 pashmina from the Brooklyn street vendor who had about 100 colors and the bright pink wrap my future daughter-in-law brought me from India.  Perfection!

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Tomato Jam and Jamon Iberico Ham

Anchovy Fennel Butter and Roasted Peppers Crostini

Manchego Cheese and Honey Butter

Marinated Olives

Red Wine Sangria

My theory is if you drink enough sangria and the food's not so good ... who cares?

My theory is if you drink enough sangria and the food’s not so good … who cares?

And my theory is that Mimi is a CRAZY.  Who has ever been to one of our celebrations and said:  ” the food … meh, not so great”?

So, I had to buy the Iberico ham in NYC because Mimi is up in Buck Hill for the summer. It’s only sold at Zabar’s which is near my apartment. I was at the meat counter and I asked how much the ham was a pound. The person helping me looked around and whispered $75.00. $75.00!!!! As luck would have it, Eli Zabar was standing right behind me so, I restrained my usual exuberance. I whispered back: “Did you say $75.00?” Yep. She did. I made an “executive decision” and bought 1/2 pound. One of our dinner guests exclaimed: “Iberico ham!!  That’s $100.00 a pound.”  I said to her:  “What, are these pigs made of gold?”  She explained that they are very special and fed only acorns.  We still don’t get it but, boy that ham was worth it and I got a bargain!

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Roasted Pork Puerto Rican Style

Vegetable Paella

2011 Bodega Catena Zapata Cabernet Franc Appellation San Carlos

Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes 2012

Boy did we eat!  There were only three hors d’oeuvres left and nearly everyone had second (and third) helpings at the table.  It made us feel good that the dinner was such a hit.  Someone exclaimed:  “oh my gosh I’m overeating”.  Mimi replied:  “I hope you left room for dessert because I made homemade ice cream and cookies.”


Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Decadence Cookies

Betty, one of our guests loves Mimi’s homemade ice cream.  Are there pictures of the dessert?  NO!  Why not?  Mimi plus sangria equals:  pictures, we don’t need no stinkin’ pictures.  HA!

Warm Weather Welcome (12-14 Guests)


Last winter was long and cold.  No one followed up on promises to get together in the city or in Buck Hill Falls.  Really, who wants to schlep around in slush and ice in NYC or spend the weekend in the country when no one is around and you feel like you’re in the movie The Shining?  OK, enough complaining!!!  Mimi and I can’t wait to see our Buck Hill friends and play golf together.  Our favorite sporting event is twilight golf:  nine holes, not competitive and a party at the end.  So we are having a twilight golf celebration!  Close friends, good food, diva-worthy prizes … who could ask for anything more?


Mionetta Prosecco Organic D.O.C.



Parmigiano Reggiano


Liz’s Roasted Red Peppers

Carrots and Celery

Adam’s Olives

Marinated Artichoke Hearts

Thin Bread Sticks

Focaccia Bread

Italian Bread


 Penne Rigate with Baby Sweet Pea Pesto


Balsamic Roasted Chicken


Caprese Salad




Vino Rosso:

Sella & Mosca Tanca Farma 2006

Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico 2010

Vino Bianco:

Monti Guidi Del Carmine Pecorino 2010


Birra Moretti

Peroni Red


The Arthur Avenue Adventure…

Every celebration should  start with an adventure.  Ours was getting lost in the Bronx looking for Arthur Avenue, an authentic Italian neighborhood to buy food for the celebration.

I was navigating, Sue was driving.  The whole time I’m thinking: “Where the heck are we?  Where are the Italian stores?”  Bodegas, yes, Italian food shops, nope.  I wanted to give up and head directly to Wegman’s.  Sue wanted to keep looking so, I quickly Googled Arthur Avenue.  We were only 7 blocks  away so we headed in the right direction, happy and laughing our heads off .


When Mimi and I finally found the neighborhood, I  got a parking spot right away and knew it was just meant to be.  There are many great places to shop.  We explored until we felt really welcome in a store called Teitel Brothers, a third generation Italian specialty store.  We were  tasting everything before buying it.  (Mimi was squeamish about plucking the olives from the bins with her fingers, I had no problem with it!)  I got into a long discussion with another customer about how to cure allergy attacks with fish oil.  We highly recommend visiting Teitel Brothers on your own Arthur Avenue adventure.


…Reminiscing Over Olives

Tasting the olives triggered a wonderful memory.   When my husband and I visited Rome,  there was a painting in a chapel that he really wanted to see.  It was around 4PM but the chapel was closed.  Across the street we found a lovely café with sidewalk seating and sat down for a glass of wine and to wait for the chapel to open.  On the tables were the biggest green olives I have ever seen.  They were the size of gigantic walnuts … only 4 would fit in the small dish.  I was convinced they would taste terrible because they were so big. The first bite proved me wrong.  Looking back, what was I thinking?  Bad olives in Italy?  Not a chance!


While searching for the perfect store and our celebration inspiration we took in the atmosphere and visited the Arthur Avenue Retail Market.  A man playing Italian songs on a baby grand piano greeted us in the entryway.  The produce and even the pasta shop was bursting with color.  I was especially surprised to see a woman hand rolling cigars.





Will you look at the selection of salamis in this store!  This is Calabria Pork Store and  it was pretty astonishing to walk in there.  Unfortunately, they were out of sweet finocchiona that we wanted.  On the counter, there was a sample of liver sausage that was rich and delicious.  Mimi vetoed it though because our guests might be less adventurous than we are when it comes to trying new food.  Instead we bought our parmigiano reggiano and the biggest ball of mozzarella I have ever seen.  Mimi says it was as big as her head … a slight exaggeration.

Follow the Diva to our website for lots more pictures and the whole scoop on how the celebration turned out!