Or jell-o as we call it across the pond. Is apparently popular in the England, especially for a wedding reception. Too bad the only jell-o molds in the U.S. are probably found in our parents’ basements. Unmade jell-o, it’s not going to get my spirits down!

A Toast to Earth Day

Almost as long as Earth Day has been celebrated, the masses have known that eating local is healthy and environmentally friendly. But what about drinking locally? Welcome to the Niagara Wine Trail USA. Nestled between Niagara Falls and Buffalo, award-winning wineries sit amongst sleepy farms and pastures, all within a brief drive.

The Winery at Marjim Manor, at 7171 East Lake Road (Route 18) Appleton, NY 14008, produces fruit wines and folklore. A former convent, the property the mansion sits on was originally purchased from the Holland Land Company. Although the majestic home has been turned into a reception hall and winery, it’s been reported that some of the old souls still linger. Just don’t tell William Shakespeare, one of the resident cats.

At a recent tasting, some traditional upstate New York wines were tried, but they are always a little too sweet for me. However, blueberries, plums and pears soon danced on my tongue. If you go, True Blueberry ($20.95) is great for vegetarians because of it’s compliment traits to vegetables, especially eggplant. Followed by an oaky cab, and then Pear Made in Heaven ($7.95). The first wine made at Marjim, it is not only a bargain but a light, crisp wine, perfect for humid WNY summer nights on the porch.

Marjim Manor

There are almost 15 wineries on the Niagara Wine Trail and guided tours are available. Coming this summer, Gust of Sun Winery and Long Cliff Winery will be open for business. Don’t forget Niagara Reusable Wine Bags and recycle your bottles when you’re done.

If you decide to stay the night, don’t miss the latest must visit overnight destination. Brookins Inn & Suites is modernized old world charm, at 2697 Maple Ave., Newfane, NY. Decorated in a crisp French country style, this inn is brimming with history. Built in 1893, the inn was built by by Delisle Brookins, who was also responsible for the Olcott Beach Hotel. In it’s heyday, the hotel served as the stage for such big bands as Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong. Today at the Inn on Maple Ave., the proprietors, Beverly and Dan Mandaville, make sure eco-friendly soaps are placed in every room. Environmentally and wallet friendly, with quaint surroundings, all tucked away on the Niagara Wine Trail.

Western New York is known to already be home to one wonder of the world, but after a vacation to Niagara Wine Country, you’ll see this spectacular attraction is something to be discovered.

Carnival of Fat Tuesday

<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Times; panose-1:2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} There’s no place like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but when you can’t make it to Bourbon Street for Fat Tuesday, it is possible to recreate Cajun delights wherever you hail from.

Start out with a refreshing shrimp and greens salad, with a dressing twist.

From the Food Network New Orleans-Style Italian Salad

A bead-worthy dish is also from the Food Network, and it’s a slow cooked jambalaya.

Po boy sandwiches are a Bayou-area staple and if oysters or shrimp aren’t available, try catfish or roast beef.


Vegetable oil, for frying

½ cup (1 stick) salted butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 long fresh French bread baguettes

1 catfish fillet

Sea salt and black pepper

1 cup whole milk

1 large range free egg

1 cup whole wheat flour

Pinch cayenne pepper

Sliced pickles

Tabasco sauce

½ lemon

1 lb. cooked roast beef

Zatarain’s Creole mustard

Shredded lettuce

1 vine-ripped tomato


Cover the bottom of a frying pan with oil

Preheat the over to 250 degrees F

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and infuse.

Cut the bread in half and brush the inside and top with the butter. Stick in the over for 5 minutes.

Season both sides of the catfish with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, mix the egg, flour, cayenne, salt and pepper, and dip the fish using a fork and coat both sides.

Dip the fish in the hot oil. Brown on both sides and let cool on a plate with paper towel to soak the grease.

Slice the bread into finger-food sizes. Place a pickle across the bottom half of the bread and lay the fried catfish on top. Spoon some mustard, sprinkle lettuce and a tomato slice, followed by sprinkles of hot sauce. Close with a toothpick.

Roast beef po boys can be constructed using the same assembly. To prepare, warm the roast beef in a frying pan and add water to make more auju sauce. If not thick enough, add flour.