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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

Fall Roundup – New Kids, New Grapes

Time flies way too fast. As I look back at the various new wines I have tried, I can see empty bottles with handwritten notes overtook my desk and found their way onto the bookshelf. That’s not good. But what that means is that means it is time for the Fall Wine Roundup. A roundup means the comments will be short and to the point and end with a LOVE, LIKE, NMS (not my style), or GLove (Gary loves it, but it’s NMS) I am breaking this roundup into a couple different posts.  This is Roundup #1 which includes two…

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Applesauce & Almond Bundt Cake

I am craving fall flavors like apple and pumpkin pie spice. Something sweet but not too sweet. I know that I do not bake much at all, but I knew I could put this cake together.  This cake is dense, moist, and flavorful. So a little goes a long way to satiate my cravings, and it lasted close to a week without drying out thanks to the applesauce and the buttermilk. Applesauce & Almond Bundt Cake Ingredients 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or 4 teaspoons)…

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Chili – Slow Roasted Chicken & Chorizo Chili

I was not planning to blog this recipe. Having been told that some of my recipes are overly complicated and overwhelming, I thought this one should be skipped. I get it.  I know that the kitchen is not everyone’s friend. Truth be told, I made it up as I went along. I did not measure anything. Just winged it and used the power of taste to make adjustments as I cooked. I cook like this all the time, and it makes my sister’s go nuts because they do not share this ability. That said, I am continually reading recipes, and…

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Joie de Vie and Worth a Binge

Strong Coffee to Red Wine has focused on wine and food now for two years. Recently, I added travel as a pillar of focus.  And today I announce the fourth pillar, Joie de Vie. That means “joy of life” in French, but it is also part of the English vernacular as well. This Joie de Vie is the culmination of everyone and thing in my life. It is my glass half full mindset. And the humor with which I cope with life. It is what I do to relax, inspire, and learn. It is also the poignant moments in my…

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Sweet Potato Soufflé (Casserole)

I can’t believe it is almost November. It seems like it was April just a few days ago. In the autumn I start to think about Thanksgiving and the foods we eat, like the sweet potato. A few weeks ago, Gary bought some sweet potatoes from a co-worker whose family grows on their farm. He ordered a small box. When she brought it to work is was a 1/2 a bushel. Think a case of copier paper. We have sweets for days and plenty for family and friends too. Since they came straight from the farm, I knew I had time to figure…

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Ceritas Wine Dinner at Edmund’s Oast

Wine Dinner – What is it? Just because you are drinking wine with your dinner does not make it a wine dinner. Sorry, I had to say that even though it may seem obvious. So what is a wine dinner? A Wine Dinner is a structured meal with a set number of courses (three to four) with wine paired to each course.  Which comes first, the food or the wine? That depends on which is the “feature” for the event. If the food is the showcase, it comes first, and wines are selected from the wine list that best compliment the…

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Pantry Raid – It’s What’s 4 Dinner

Before I get to my pantry raid, let’s talk pumpkin. As Halloween approaches and jack-o-lanterns appear on the porches all over the country, there is a question I have to ask. If you bought an extra pumpkin at the market, should you make it into a pumpkin pie? I am here to tell you, don’t do it.  You can, for sure, but it will not turn out as you would expect. Herein lies the problem. All pumpkins are squash, but all squash are not pumpkins. In some countries, all squash are called pumpkins. But in most countries, all squash and pumpkins…

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Ehlers Estate * The Reds * A Chat * A Bonus

Welcome to Part Two from my visit to Ehlers Estate in Napa Valley. If you missed the first post about this experience, you would find it here. Today, I am continuing the Tasting portion of the visit, followed by a chat with the new winemaker and after that, the bonus. But you are going to need to keep reading to find out what it is. Ehlers Estate * Tasting of the Reds Cabernet Franc, Say what? Cabernet Franc is a grape variety that the casual wine drinker may not be familiar. It is an old grape variety and is a…

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Gorilla Trekking in the Mist – Day Two

The gorilla trek on day two started the same as the day before.  Only this time with the promise kept for a challenging hike.  The journey in the van to get to our starting point was longer, and the hike from the start was beyond our wildest dreams. As I said in the day one post, that trek was about three and a half hours in total. One hour with the gorillas and the remaining two and a half driving and hiking round trip. Day two was a very different day. Exceptional in every way but definitely different. Now This…

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Pork Roast – Lemon & Herb Stuffed

Remember the dinner party that started with the Oysters Casino? Well, this is the post for the main event. Lemon-Herb Stuffed Pork Roast served with Twice Baked Potatoes with Bleu Cheese and Rosemary and Zucchini Ribbons in Butter and Fresh Parsley. I was so happy with how this dinner turned out. It is a definite do-over. Lemon & Herb Stuffed Pork Roast Ingredients 1  6 to 7-pound boneless pork roast, excess fat trimmed to 1/4-inch thickness; butterflied ¼ cup chopped fennel fronds 2 – ½ oz package fresh rosemary, de-stemmed and chopped 1 ½ oz package fresh sage leaves, chopped 6 garlic cloves,…

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Ehlers Estate Tour and Tasting Part 1

Ehlers Estate Wine with a Purpose When on a wine tasting trip in Napa Valley, it is easy to get lost in the blur of so much wine. There are vineyards at every turn and tasting rooms for wineries dotting the valley from top to bottom. It is so easy for several wine tasting experiences to blend into a single event. That was not the case for the tasting we had Ehlers Estate. They knocked it out of the park. Our experience at Ehlers Estate was the first one of the day at ten o’clock in the morning. I am…

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Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

I am expanding the blog to include a Travel section. Over the years I have traveled to some pretty cool places.  These trips were quite impactful, and I continue to be asked about them. So I thought that I might do a few posts about some of my previous trips.  At the moment I will be featuring past excursions that include my time in Rwanda, Myanmar, Kenya, and Manitoba.  They won’t all be this exotic for sure, but let’s get this going with our first day of gorilla treks. Walking with the Greatest of Apes Ever since I saw my first…

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Salad for Lunch – Tarragon Lentil Salad

When we make Indian food, there is always a “dal,” a super thick lentil soup or side dish. As a result, I keep lentils in my pantry pretty much all the time. Rummaging through the pantry, I found my lentils way in the back and decided that it was time to make a healthy lentil salad for lunch. Tarragon Lentil Salad There will be no portion quantities in this recipe because it depends greatly on how much you are making and for how many people. Like most salads, there is a base ingredient and then a little of this and…

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Breakfast All Day at Millers All Day

I have always thought that a restaurant that serves breakfast all day would be a goldmine. Yes, I know that IHOP, Denny’s and the like serve breakfast all day. But I am thinking a restaurant with a bar and a vibe that says I want to hang out here versus a diner. One that acknowledges that the three most important meals of the day are breakfast, lunch and happy hour. I know, I know that sound like brunch. It is, and that is just what I dreamed. A place where I can get brunch any day of the week. Even at…

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Russian River Valley and Hanna Wines

The Russian River Valley is a designated AVA* that resides within the larger Northern Sonoma AVA. AVAs located with a larger AVA share the characteristics of that AVA but also have a more unique set of attributes that further define that specific smaller portion of the region. It could be the soil type, the weather patterns or any number of things. The AVA that appears on the bottle is always the one that represents where the vineyards are precisely located. As such, the smaller AVA will always trump the larger if the vines all reside within the smaller (or sub)…

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