Catalan Chef Jaume Brichs to visit Casa Somerset in May 2014.

On our trip to Spain last October we met Catalan Chef, Jaume Brichs.  He took us on a tour of the Boqueria Markedt, a farmers market in Barcelona,  It was an incredible experience.  We learned about salted cod and how in ancient times, the crusaders ate it.  He explained the vegetables and taught us about  eggs and how  they are stamped in Spain with the date they are laid and with a number to trace the egg right to the chicken!  After our tour, we took our purchases to a commercial kitchen where he gave us a two hour, hands on cooking class under his instruction. I learned so much, that I talked him into coming to Kansas City to teach the taste and true foods of Spain.  He has already shipped three Paella pans from Spain to our home and the special rice to make the paella.   We definitely will have paella making classes and dinners while he is here.  He will be here May 8th through the May 18th. Please, if you don’t get … Continue reading

Pates,Terrines and Galantines

You may not know it, but I have been attending school for the past few semesters.  These are some of the things I learned to prepare this semester at the Johnson County Community College culinary program. One of the best in the nation. Pates and Terrines have a long illustrious history. They were mentioned in documents dating back to 75 b.c.   I have learned to debone a chicken and not tear or break the skin so as to make a galantine. This is done by putting meat back in the skin and rolling and poaching it in chicken broth. This is a forcemeat production. I look so forward to every class. I will bring this knowledge and skill to the Casa Somerset B&B for our overnight guests. … Continue reading

Casa Somerset "Living the Dream"

It is alive now, after 13 years of dreaming and designing.   Friends and Family visit often.   We still have much to do, but since we moved in July of 2009, we have accomplished a lot.  It is a work in progress, and will be the rest of my life. I purchased the land and  a house that was on it those 13 years ago.  I started envisioning the possible results.  In 2007, Christine and I pushed over and burned down the existing house, which is on 6 acres with a six acre lake.   In it’s place we built a 7,000 sq. ft. house with a 1,600 sq ft veranda that wraps around the whole second floor.  Never did I dream that I would have a home with a name.  It really came from my friends and adopted family in Italy, Casa Caponetti. Please come for a visit. We tour daily. We love to sit inside or outside around tables with good food and friends and family. We want to grow the Somerset area to be the Sonoma of … Continue reading

“World’s Largest Garlic Festival”

Gilroy, California July 24th I have been wanting to go to this festival since I did a report at my culinary class on garlic at JCCC. Christine convinced me this was the year.  We decided to go to California for Christine’s birthday.  Our trip started in Sacramento, where we stayed with friends Thursday night.  On Friday we drove to Gilroy, which was not easy.  The traffic near the San Francisco Bay area was awful!  Fortunately, Christine drove.  We met a couple of Christine’s friends on Saturday.  She went to school with Marguerite, and her friend Steve came too.  They were not as crazy or adventurous  as we were about eating. We started with Garlic ice cream, Christine didn’t care for it, but I went for seconds.   The escargot were great, but no one else had any.   You could smell the garlic as you arrived, actually, you could smell the garlic even when you were miles away from the festival!!!   The thing that was really great was that 10% of the people from Gilroy volunteered to work this … Continue reading

Bella "the beautiful"

Well, we have added to our little family.  First there was Mike and Christine.  Then, last year we added  Rafael and Figaro, our sweet, but admittedly spoiled cats!  The boys have a BIG surprise coming. Last weekend Mike and I traveled out to DeSoto and found our newest member.  Meet Bella, a St. Bernard puppy.  Bella will be ready to leave her mama in about 10 days.  She is 5 weeks old in these pictures. Mike used to raise St. Bernard’s more than 30 years ago.  Since I have known him, he has always spoken lovingly about his dogs.  Now that he is retired and the weather has finally turned warm, it is time to add a dog to the mix. This will definitely be Mike’s dog.  It was so much fun watching him when we drove up to see the puppies.  The family has a lovely home and a big yard.  We got out of the car and there were little fuzzball dogs toddling around everywhere!  Mike was unusually quiet (yes, I said quiet) … Continue reading