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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

Potato Stackers * Easy & Delish

Birthday Brunch We had a birthday brunch for my sister this past weekend and it was super fun. While all of the items were homemade, I am highlighting the Potato Stackers because I was shocked at how simple it was to make and how this makes such a great side dish that can really elevate your plate. It was a small family affair with great food, conversation, and wine. After brunch, we headed to the movie theater to see The Post. It is based on the actual events and government deceit at the time of the Vietnam War and how the…

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Monarch Wine Merchants * Pinot Noir Tasting * 01/18/18

Whew! Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, New Years, and then Snow-mageddon. I need a drink! Good thing the January SC2RW wine tasting and social is set for January 18, 2018, at Monarch Wine Merchants.  Justin, owner and wine man extraordinaire has put together a great line up of five fabulous pinot noir wines to taste and share. This tasting is that is not to be missed. Did you see the article in the Post & Courier last week about the “‘new’ wine school train of thought” and how Charleston has jumped on board? Monarch Wine Merchants is central to this story, so there is no better…

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Pickled – New Years Eve – Part 2

I had lots of great responses to the pickled shrimp recipe that I posted last week. And just so you know I ate it for several days and while it evolved, it remained delicious to the bitter end. So now let’s talk about the beverages that we enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. Pickled Without Trying To be clear there is very little forethought that goes into what we drink on NYE.  Every one of us brings several wines that we want to share. We then line it up and decide the order that it should be consumed based on our…

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Pickled: An Appetizer and Me, Part 1

I have to admit; I got a little pickled at this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration. If you ask my non-drinking sister, this is the norm for all of us (except her, of course) on NYE, but I really tried to drink a lot of water this year.  I guess I failed by the magnitude of my headache the next morning. Maybe we should not have started so early. But more on that when I blog about what we drank which will be part 2 of Pickled: An Appetizer and Me. So the other pickling was an incredible appetizer. I had…

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Lemon Curd from Natalie’s Lemon Tree

My neighbor, Natalie of Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers, has two lemon trees in her yard that are prolific producers of huge, juicy fruit. We have two lemon trees that produce nothing but thorns. Thankfully, Nat is very generous with her bounty and tells us to take what we want. A friend of mine who is a food photographer and stylist had just made lemon curd, and it was fantastic. So I asked for the recipe. Fresh lemons right off the tree would make fantastic curd. Here we go! I have made it twice. It is really delicious. And yes, I…

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Unconditional Moof

Yesterday, my family had to say goodbye to our girl Mikili aka Moof, The cancer we learned about three months ago finally took its toll. The last few days we saw dramatic declines in her physical strength. She would not give up on us, so we had to let her go. My sister was her actual owner, but in my family, that title means that you are responsible for buying the food and paying the vet bills, but her care is shared by us all.  In Mikili’s life that was especially true for me. You see I picked her out of…

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Corrales Casserole from BDD Walk into a Bar…

Gary needed a “Mexican” dish for a potluck lunch at work today. I have been waiting for the right opportunity to make this rice dish – Corrales Casserole – that looked incredible when I read it on “Batali, Dior, and Dewey Walk into a Bar,” a mom-blog that I peruse.  Yes, I know, I am not a mom. And babies are only cute as long as I can give them back to the parents when I am done with them. But Lilly makes some really good looking food, so I follow her to see what she is eating. Then there…

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Wine Tasting * Sonoma with Suzanne *

Just One Day: Wine Tasting in The Sonoma Valley Last month at the conclusion of the Wine Blogger Conference, I added a quick two days so do some wine tasting and visit with an old friend that moved to the area. I was so lucky that Suzanne was available as I could not imagine wine tasting here without her. Suzanne is a friend from my Chicago days. It has been 14 years since we last saw each other when Gary and I moved to the southeast coast.  She too left Chicago and moved to the San Francisco Bay area a few…

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Live Blogging at WBC17

Drink, Drank, Dump One of the favorite events to happen at the Wine Blogger Conference is something called Live Blogging. I called it Wine Speed Dating. It is an hour long fast-paced event where ten winemakers present and pour one wine from their portfolio. They have 5 minutes to talk it, pour it and answer questions. While we taste, take a picture of the bottle, comment, ask questions and then blog about it. If it sounds crazy, it is. There were two of these sessions one day apart. The first was for white and rosé wines, and the latter was for red wines.…

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Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding

During my childhood, we ate pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I love love, love pumpkin pie and I can never get enough of it. I also love croissants and bread pudding too. So this year I had the hair-brained idea to make a bread pudding using croissants and pumpkin pie filling. To make the custard I slightly modified the recipe for the pumpkin pie custard by adding more liquid and eggs and adjusting the spices. This dessert has a milder flavor than pumpkin pie but still enough to satiate my cravings. My turkey may be the centerpiece of Thanksgiving, but to…

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Drink: Best White Ever and A Great Pinot Noir

November has been a wine extravaganza. I would like to say it is by variety not by volume, but I would imagine that would be stretching reality.  Between the wine conference, the holiday and general consumption, I have had the opportunity to enjoy, drink, taste and toss a gaggle or three of wine. This month I drank the most amazing white wine I have ever consumed. Because of the conference and subsequent touring, I also tasted the most expensive wines I have ever consumed, sampled so many great Sonoma Pinot Noir bottles that the shipments are still coming in and the coolers are overflowing. One…

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Turkey Revisted: Best Ever

This past Turkey Day was the best. For the first time in decades all of my siblings and I celebrated together. We always have the best time. We tease, tell stories and joke until we are crying laughing. They mean the world to me. I am so thankful for my sisters. I make the turkey for Thanksgiving every year. Should we have it any other time, I am sure I would be in charge then as well. Growing up turkey was dry and bland, and I was not a fan except as leftovers on a sandwich slathered in mayonnaise to moisten it up. So…

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Hanna Winery & Vineyards

I had been looking forward to this day for months. I got to mingle with other bloggers, taste great wines and learn, learn, learn. This is Wine Bloggers Conference 2017, day one. This day was jam-packed starting with a tour and gourmet luncheon with pairings at Hanna Winery & Vineyards followed by a Zinfandel tasting, a Pinot Noir tasting and then the opening reception with tasting tables called, “Wines of the World.” Whew! If it sounds like a lot, it was. I was overwhelmed. The highlight of this day was Hanna Winery and Vineyards, so let’s go! Hanna Winery & Vineyards We…

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Wine Country: Wildfires & Trip Overview

My Wine Country Experience Whew, I can not believe it has been eleven days since I last posted. But as you know I took a trip to Northern California wine country for the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference and then added a couple of days of touring with a dear friend.  To be sure, I had no real idea what I was in for so I had to adjust on the fly. I intended to post while away, but if there is anything that some may know about me, it’s that I am an “all in” kind of person. As such,…

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Lioco Wines: Rosé and Chardonnay

We “fell backward” this past weekend and so my “standard time blues” should be arriving anytime.  I hate when daylight savings time is over because I feel like it is always dark. I know morning folks deserve lightness too but that is not me and I am feeling selfish at the moment. Needing to pamper myself just a bit, it gave me an excuse to “sample” two wines on Sunday from Lioco Winery.   Ugh… I need a nap. Heading to Sonoma & Napa Wine Country on Wednesday On Wednesday, I head out west to the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference. It is held…

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