26 School House

A series of interesting articles about techniques and concepts used in our recipes.

Cheese Board Artestry

How to make an incredible cheese Board

Eat Better Spend Less - Our Strategy

Arrive on Saturday. If possible hit the Farmers Market in Stonington, Macondo Coffee in Stonington, BigY grocery, and Grand wine and spirits in Mystic. If in a rush, just BigY and the liquor store. This can be done for any size group, but I am calculating for a party of 6. Download a Shopping List
1. At Big Y ((860) 536-5813 79 Stonington Rd, Mystic, CT 06355) get selection of olives, Cheese (Aged Cheddar, a few soft cheeses, a Blue, and maybe a goat cheese like Humbolt Fog), Shaved Parmesan Reggiano, Mixed greens, fresh basil, rotisserie chicken, some lemons, olive oil, crackers, and a selection of Ice creams. If you don't want olive oil lemon on greens get something else. Pick up non alcoholic beverages. Think about Sunday breakfast eggs, toast, cereal, milk juice. Don't make it a big deal, get in and get out.

2. Macondo Coffee ((860) 980-3421 530 Stonington Rd, Stonington, CT 06378) is on Rt 1 a few miles down the rd. Their coffee is very fresh and they really know what they are doing. Get a few bags of coffee do not have them grind it. My review in Yelp is here

3. Grand Wine and Liquor ((860) 572-8446 25 Broadway Ave, Mystic, CT). Get Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc, Mark West pinot noir, and some cold beer

4. Cut the each cheese into a few pieces. Put a selection of cheeses and olives, crackers on a platter. If you got cured meats or smoked fish put them on there too. Head to the Sun Room and relax watch sunset and enjoy drinks, and great food. The setting is beautiful and it is noisy so you can actually talk. Cover the cheese board, put in fridge and replenish it for next meals.

5. Dinner. Throw greens on plate with a little fresh basil, add a little oil, a few drops of lemon, salt and pepper. Top with some chicken and shaved parmesan. More drinks. Hardly any dishes. No carbs.

6. Ice cream for dessert.

For six people at a local restaurant this would cost you around $300 and you would never get a cheese platter this good and you don't have to worry about drinking and driving. You just saved $200 and hopefully experienced a great sunset.

1. Follow the detailed instructions in the kitchen to make some incredible coffee.

2. Scrambled eggs in nonstick skillet with fresh basil and some cheddar, toast, maybe some fruit or cereal. Cha Ching! You just saved at least $70 without waiting to be served and having to drink lousy coffee.

A Great Comparison of Restaurant vs Home Cooking Costs

scallops You are in an unbelievable setting that was used by native Indian tribes hundreds of years ago, with a view that no restaurant in the area can match. Incredibly fresh local ingredients and a professional kitchen are all you need to create amazing, memorable meals

Restaurants are expensive, noisy, and sometimes not that great. I frequently am left thinking, "I could have done that better for a fraction of the cost." As a result, when we are at Mystic, we eat most of our meals at home. The ingredients available locally are fantastic, the view is better than any restaurant and the kitchen is a great cooking/gathering place. And we can drink great wine at a reasonable cost. Check out the following price comparison for 6 people.

At a popular local restaurant in Mystic: Total Cost = $465 includes a 20% tip
6 appetizers (Clam chowder, salad, mussels, squash soup, tuna, bruschetta) = $76
6 main courses at avg price of $30/ea = $180
3 desserts at $8/ea = $24
9 glasses of wine @ $12ea = $108

Full blown over the top Meal At 26 School House: Total Cost = $275
Appetizers - Artisan Cheese platter, charcuterie selection, Jumbo shrimp) $75 + 2 bottles Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Wine $30
Main course - Prime Angus steaks with local shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, roasted red potatoes $85 + 2 bottles Pinot Noir $40
Dessert - Purchased from bakery $20, and Taylor Floodgate 10 yr Tawny Port $25

A really good Meal: Total Cost = $145
Appetizers - Artisan Cheese platter, charcuterie selection, olives. $50 + Sauvignon blanc and regional IPA $20
Main course - Smoked/Baked Black Pearl Salmon on wilted baby spinach $30 + Sauvignon blanc and regional IPA $20
Dessert - Ice cream with flourless chocolate cake from bakery $25

Finally, Lets pay somebody to clean up the dishes! We still have paid way less than a restaurant.

So the elephant in the kitchen is "How are you going to cook all that?" Easy! The appetizer is mostly purchased ready to go.. The steaks are oven roasted until the internal temp is 130 degrees, then finished on the grill, the potatoes and asparagus roasted in the oven on aluminum foil. The shiitake mushroom sauce takes a few minutes, but is easy. With a few instructions, the right utensils, and a thermometer, anybody can pull this off.

Our websites and have instructions already, and we are constantly adding information for cooking a wide variety of spectacular dishes.

Need more information? or help with a specific cooking issue or challenge? Guests can contact us at anytime for help!

Making the Best Pizza You Have Ever Tasted

With local ingredients, some simple instructions and a Blackstone Pizza Oven you can make absolutely stunning pizza. Pizza shops need to create pies quickly at the cheapest cost to make money. By spending a few more minutes and purchasing great ingredients, you can make absolutely epic pies.

Read more

Coffee Coffee Coffee

Everything is here to make incredible coffee. Everything is top quality (except the cheap digital scale). You can make coffee by the cup, or by the pot. Get the best beans locally at Macondo in Stonington Coffee Making Overview - Some great information on making great coffee

5 Mugs of Great Coffee - How to make coffee using the Bonavita drip coffee Brewer

Using Clever Cup - Make a single Mug of great coffee

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