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Month: May 2017

Alsace to South Africa

Different Wines, Distant Lands, Different Palates Alsace to South Africa It’s HOT! Hardly a cloud in the sky and 91 but feels like 96.  Crap, I think summer is here to stay until October.  As much as I want to drink red, I am going to at least have to wait until the sun goes down.  Or I could just set the thermostat on 65, put on a sweater and be good to go!  But I did not do that.  Instead, I picked up this Alsace Blanc for Gary and me, hoping Gary would like it as much as I suspected…

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Whew – Holiday Weekend & Cucumber Salad

For those who had a day off from work yesterday, I hope you had a wonderful three day weekend and celebrated accordingly.  I wore my other business hat on Saturday shooting a big outdoor wedding. It was a twelve-hour “shooting” day so all in all a 14 hour work day which is rare for me. On top of that, it was 90 degrees or hotter most of the day which made it a real challenge for us to stay hydrated and not overheat.  We muscled through it, and it was an incredible event. Amazingly, we shot just shy of 6,000 images.  That is a…

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Feesh! Our Saltwater Children

Four years ago this week we started our adventure with a saltwater reef tank.  A friend of mine had passed away. At a fundraiser/silent auction to help her family pay off some of the remaining medical bills, we bought a 29-gallon saltwater tank.  We had no idea where this would lead or the fun we would have. Or the money we would spend. In for a penny in for a pound That 29-gallon tank only lasted about a year before the fish we had started to get aggressive when they outgrew the tank.  It is a myth that fish only grow as large…

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Curiosity? How I Satiate Need for Knowledge

I never understood why they say curiosity killed the cat.  It seems that curiosity may have killed one cat but taught many others what not to do.  I hope this is true for humans. I am an incredibly curious person.  Along with that, for some reason, I seem to retain the oddest bits of information.  When cable tv first landed in people’s homes back in the 1970s and Discovery Channel was more of a nature channel, I was enthralled.  I watched it non-stop.  The programs were more educational back then, versus today’s more sensationalized entertainment.  I could not get enough. And it paid off…

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White Bordeaux & Rosé Languedoc

The temperatures are heating up here in Charleston which makes it harder and harder to drink red wines.  Beaujolais and lighter Pinot Noir with a slight chill are drinkable, but nothing strikes me so instead we pulled from our white and rosé coolers to please our palates. Château Pilet White Bordeaux 2015 Gary moved this wine to the fridge yesterday.  He knew then that today we would be tasting at least one white wine and it would be this one.  I was not 100% onboard because Bordeaux to me means, heavy red wines.  I could not imagine that any white from the region would…

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This Bread Snob Is Over The Moon

You are aware from previous posts that I am very much a bread snob.  I wish I could settle for eating spongy, flaccid, tasteless bread, but I can’t.  To me, bread is the heart and soul of all meals. Unfortunately when are US grocery markets became supermarkets so much of the food we eat became corporatized and commercialized. That brought us Wonder Bread, but thankfully we now see a significant reversal of that as purveyors source local meats, produce and other food items including fresh artisan bread.  It seems in Charleston, and all over there is someone new sourcing or creating local quality foods…

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Sartù di Riso or {Sartu of Rice}

What is a Sartù?  Sartù is a rice meal cooked in a dome-shaped bowl with a medley of ingredients as a filling. *Worth Every Minute* When my friend Karen suggested I make this dish, I thought sure, no problem, I got this.  She said it was like Arancini (Italian Rice Balls) on steroids. Then I read the recipe, and on the outside, I was cool, calm and collected. On the inside, I was sweating bullets. It took me a couple of weeks to commit and finally head to the market to get the remaining ingredients that are not always in my pantry. And…

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little BIG Things and a Bonus Recipe

It’s Thoughtful Thursday, and I am “thought-less.”  Now don’t be mean and go “there”…  So, I decided if not thoughtful then I should at least be helpful and share a few little BIG things.  These items are little gadgets, whatnots, and ideas that changed my life in a BIG way.  In the past, one of the little BIG things included the OXO Good Grips Soap Dispensing Dish Scrubber.  This is a new link as this newest version includes a great caddie that catches water run-off from the sponge (be sure to order sponge refills).  I love it!  Have a Snoring Spouse? Mighty Plugs are…

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Pink Bubbles from Mas de Daumas Gassac

In the summer of 2015, Gary and I met up with our with friends Bryan & Craig to spend ten days in France.  We spent a week in the Provence area using Villeneuve-lès-Avignon (a bedroom community next to Avignon) as our home base while exploring the south of France and then back up north for three days in Paris before heading home.  On this trip, we pre-arranged two winery tours whose wines we drink on a regular basis.  This post involves one wine from one of the wineries we visited that summer. Mas de Daumas Gassac At Mas de Daumas Gassac located…

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Cheese Desert No More

If there is anything that I learned from living in Sweden as a high schooler and later traveling extensively throughout Europe, it is the following: You should not be able to see the bottom of your coffee cup when it’s full of just coffee. The darker and blacker the better. Wine is not just a beverage.  It can be for celebration or just dinner.  It can compliment, or it can stand alone. It is a great gift to give or receive even when you give and receive it to yourself. Bread should not be purchased in a plastic bag at a grocery store…

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Chicken Marbella on Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  I hope all mothers had a fantastic day and were pampered accordingly. For dinner, the family met at my sister’s house on the beach, and we had a wonderful dinner of Chicken Marbella with crazy ingredients that are magic in your mouth;  Zucchini Spaghetti sautéed with sliced Vidalia onion, garlic and cherry tomatoes and a delightful Arugula and Pear Salad. But my day started with a trip to the market to pick up some flowers to give to “stranger” moms.  See my April 27th post to catch the gist. I have to tell you that this year it…

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The Buying Wine Dilemma – Updated

I began this blog because over the past few years I have become passionate about the wine I drink, the food I make and the fun I have in my life.  That passion for wine has evolved into exploration, adventure, and new opportunities and I am loving every second of it.  With the goal of sharing accessible, affordable wines with my readers who span the country and the world, there have been some snags inherent to the wine industry that have made that goal more of a wine dilemma and a bit tricky to achieve.  I promise you this…The goal will not change, but…

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Searching For Summer White Wines – Updated

It is safe to assume based on the name of my blog that my wine choices are usually red (and rosé).  It would be a safe assumption since I did not drink any white wine at all until the summer of 2015.  Before that point, I always said that I did not “like” white wine.  What I was so astutely informed was, I just had not found any white wines that I liked yet.  The distinction, of course, is the “yet.”  Since that time I have found a white wine profile that I do like, and now I am in search for those…

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The Lowcountry and Charleston in Pictures

In the thirteen years that I have lived here in the Lowcountry I have been blessed to work with a camera in my hand. They call it the lowcountry because we are at or below sea level. Thousands of years ago we would have been underwater and yet we still live here. The lowcountry is a magical place that can cast it’s spell on you.  One whiff of pluff mud and you are either repelled or in love. Charleston, Oh Charleston! By far, Charleston is one of the most beautiful American cities you will ever visit.  It one of the very…

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