How to Make French Onion Soup | The Tucker ~ Tyler Adventure

Do you like French onion soup? If so, read on …

How to Make French Onion Soup | The Tucker ~ Tyler Adventure.

French onion soup

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How to Survive All the Snow

If you’re like me, and you like the snow, but after awhile, you long for a change of scenery, you’ve got a few options.

Snow and Icicles

You can:

1) Embrace the cold and sled, snow shoe, or ski. (See my post “How to Survive a New England Winter.“)

2) Look for warmth.

In between snow storms this past week, I stopped in at the greenhouse at Water Fresh Farm in Hopkington, Mass.

Water Fresh Farm

I dined in front of a fire at Red Barn Coffee Roasters in Southborough, Mass.

IMG_3263And I visited the Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market inside a greenhouse at Russell’s Garden Center in Wayland, Mass., where people ordered pizza from a mobile wood fired pizza truck, tasted wine and cheese, bought root vegetables, jams, fish, meat, and even mushrooms.

Wood Fired Pizza Wayland Farmers' Market Inside

Where will I go next week? The forecast is for more cold. Maybe this time, I’ll go for option number 3 and get on a plane!

fire in pellet stove

How to Make a Christmas Baby Feel Special

Do you know anyone who was born on Christmas Day?

I do, and my mother, Marialyce (aka Rusty), is one of them. Maybe that’s why she made such an effort to make birthdays such a celebration for her children. Because December 25th was never just her birthday. As a child, her parents put a candle on a mincemeat pie for her birthday cake, and many of her gifts were combined Christmas and birthday presents.

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I started making birthday cakes for Mom with an Easy Bake Oven some time around age 6 or 7. After a molasses cake was a flat fiasco, I turned to Mom’s Julia Child cookbooks. For years, I made an orange chocolate cake with mocha frosting (Le Glorieux with Chocolate-Butter Icing, which just happens to be gluten free). A few years later, we began separating the occasions; opening up Christmas presents in the morning and birthday presents with cake in the evening.

Although she planned parties for many, birthday parties for Mom were few over her lifetime (she could count them on one hand). So when she turned 75, we decided to surprise her.

That Christmas, Mom and her husband planned a visit to my sister’s home in Alabama for the holidays. On Christmas Eve, my husband, our two kids and I flew into town, rented a car, and drove to my sister’s house. Posing as carolers, we rang the door bell about 9:30 pm. As we sang “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” my sister called Mom to come see the Christmas carolers. As she came into view, we switched to “Happy Birthday” and watched her smile changed from delight to incredulity.

I’ll never forget that Christmas and what fun it was to surprise her. We’ve all heard that sometimes it’s better to give then receive, and that year, it definitely was.

Merry Christmas! Or should I say, “Happy Birthday!”?

Trip taken December 2004.

Finding Gluten Free at the Denver International Airport

While searching for a safe gluten-free meal at the Denver International Airport, we were surprised and excited to find an Udi’s Cafe on Concourse B near Gate 22.

Udi's Cafe DIA

That was in 2013. In April 2014, the company changed the name of its restaurants to Etai’s. I guess after 20 years in business and the success of their bread, they decided it was time.

Although I haven’t been to the cafe named Etai’s, it appears that there is no change from the cafe named Udi’s, at least according to the company’s website and Yelp. Most everything is gluten free or can be. There is no online menu for the airport location, but you can get an idea of the dining options by checking out one of the menus for the other restaurant locations on Etai’s website.

If you want some ideas for eating in other airports, check out this blog.

Trip taken July 2013.

Where to Eat Brunch on the Upper West Side

Although Yelp and Trip Advisor do a good job of helping the tourist discover those out-of-the-way and less touristy places, sometimes it’s nice trusting a native.

I looked in the window at Cafe Lalo where Meg Ryan waits for Tom Hanks in “You’ve Got Mail.” but decided to eat at Good Enough to Eat, just a short walk away. Both serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and include a plethora of yummy looking baked goods.

Good Enough to Eat

What to Eat? There were apple pancakes, waffles, omelettes, and French toast. After much debate, I chose the Gramercy Park omelette – slices of Granny Smith apple and Vermont sharp white cheddar cheese served with buttermilk biscuits. Mmmmmmm.

Trips taken July 2008 and July 2012.

How to Style Your American Girl Doll’s Hair

When your daughter, niece, or granddaughter’s favorite doll is injured, it’s time for a visit to one of the American Girl Places.

Kaya’s hair was a wreck. So matted and snarled that we thought she would need to go to the American Girl Doll Hospital (to get a new head!). Instead, I was assured that an appointment with the American Girl Doll Hair Salon on 5th Avenue in New York City ($25) just might do the trick.

Kaya (the doll!) sat on a stool while her hairdresser worked patiently and carefully on her hair. My daughter and I watched as her hair was unsnarled, unmatted, and braided. Although she wanted to get her ears pierced, we decided that she was too young. Instead, for an additional $5, we gave her the pampering plus manicure and facial.

To celebrate Kaya’s recovery, we ate lunch at the American Girl Place restaurant. Kaya was seated in her own attached high chair. She was served in tiny tea cups while my daughter and I ate a gluten-free lunch and gluten-free birthday cake.

We skipped the show, electing instead to see Mary Poppins on Broadway.

Trip taken 2008.

Single in New York in 1954

When you want to be an actress, living in New York City is a dream, especially for a girl from the midwest. For Marialyce Tyler, moving from South Dakota to the Big City in 1954 was exciting. With a couple of college friends, she lived in two different apartments on the Upper West Side of New York, right near Central Park, on West 74th Street and West 68th Street.

West 74th Street

Rusty described the apartment on West 74th Street as the old Borden Mansion. According to Rusty, they lived in what was the old library.

We were on the first floor, a 14-foot ceilinged room with a huge marble fireplace, tall windows draped in dark red velvet and then beyond a huge room that had three twin-sized beds, a very large and long dark mahogany dining table, chairs, etc., a small one-person-at-a-time kitchen, and beyond that a bathroom that had been made out of a closet.

From The Tucker – Tyler Adventure, written by Katherine Tucker and Marialyce Tyler and edited by Nancy Cowan and Tara Taft.