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Month: July 2017

Coffee: Important – But My Other

It’s 9:00 am – Is it Happy Hour Yet? I have to say that today totally sucked. To understand why it sucked so bad let me give you some background. Since we have lived in this house, we have had to redo our kitchen ceiling three times within a three year period due to water damage from the bathroom above on the second floor. Every time it is a different reason, the commode leaked, a pipe under the sink leaked, the bathtub leaked. We would fix the issue and then wait several weeks before repairing the ceiling to make sure it…

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Sun-dried Tomato “Tartar”: Intense & Flavorful

Years ago when I lived in Chicago, there was a natural foods store that competed against Whole Foods and for what ever reason that is where I shopped for my organics and natural foods. They had this incredible spread made with sun-dried tomato and some cheese as well as other ingredients, and it was so incredibly good. A container of this spread was always in my fridge. The flavors were intense and rich and creamy and absolutely delicious. Then Whole Foods bought this chain of stores, closed them all and the spread disappeared, never to be seen again. I know it…

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Restaurant Run Down

Hits & Misses and Updates at Charleston Eateries I have been out to eat at many a restaurant over the past few weeks, but it has primarily been for lunch or a quick bite. So today will do a restaurant round up of some of the many places I have dined. Some good, some great and others not so good. This is just my experience. Take it for what it is. Restaurant Update: Hen and The Goat  – A Breakfast Update Last time I talked about Hen and The Goat was during a lunch visit. Well, folks, I know this…

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Two Amazing Wines: Out of the Park!

It was on Friday evening at “happy hour” when Gary, Eve and I drank the wines I am sharing with you today.  First, a bit about my friend Eve. We have worked together for years in the wedding business and became fast friends. Known for its high-stress situations and perhaps a Bridezilla as well, weddings have a way of bringing vendors together, as we bond over the craziness of that day. She and I have been on opposite schedules for months, so we needed some private time to do some serious catching up. So on this night, we talked and we…

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Refrigerator Casserole

“Hey, Grandpa… What’s fer Supper!” Oh, I know I am dating myself when I use a line from television of days gone by.  This quote, of course, is from the Grandpa Jones long running skit on Hee Haw.   If you look at the linked example of the skit, all I can say is… you had to be there… back when we only had three channels. When apparently things did not have to be funny to be funny.  I can just hear him saying refrigerator casserole. And then describe what is in it. Back on Topic At any rate, I seem to have…

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Whine: Not My Week for Wine

Whine: The Gamble I have become a huge fan of Chateauneuf-du-Pape white wine. It hurts the wallet real bad as an everyday wine, but it makes a perfect celebration wine. They are incredibly delicious and perfect for my palate and wine style. So when the opportunity arose to purchase and drink a vintage 1999 bottle, I had to jump on it. The price was only about 20% higher which made it an easy yes, but that also meant that this wine might have come from a collector or an estate sale leaving its care once initially sold in question. I was working…

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A Letter To My Dad A Year After His Passing

Sunday (two days ago) was the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing.  He has definitely been on my mind. Dear Dad: Over our lifetime together we had a roller coaster ride of a relationship. As I reflect back on it now, I see that our relationship had seismic shifts roughly every twenty years or so. The middle twenty were the best if you ask me. The first twenty were impossible for both of us as we are just so different. And the last twenty were for you, I missed you, but you needed to move on. The First Twenty You so wanted…

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Bell Peppers Stuffed with Cheese & Tomato

This is a recipe I made up ages ago.  It can be part of an antipasto platter, as a stand alone appetizer or as part of a salad course if you add some salad greens dressed with olive oil and salt. It is served at slightly warm to room temperature, so you need to prepare this ahead of when you wish to eat. I figure a half pepper per guest no matter the way you choose to serve it.  I buy bell peppers of different colors because it makes for a prettier presentation, but you can go with a single color if you wish,…

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Fun Day Friday: A Potpourri

It has been a great week for Strong Coffee to Red Wine.  There are two events/happening that I want to share with you. There is a post update on one of my favorite wines, and a funny little story about my Gary.  Never a dull moment in this house. This post is a quick read so you can get on with your weekend.  Fasten your seatbelt here we go… I am not sure about your weekend, but I won’t be spending time outside at my house around dusk for a while.  The cicadas have sprung forth and it is so loud…

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The Independent Wine Store

You may think this sounds a bit over the top, but when I buy wine, it is a personal experience. Gary and I do not share the same wine preferences, so I am always in search of wines that are in our middle ground.  They need not be too fruit-forward (aka fruity) and jammy for Gary and not too many tannins (aka mouth parching) or high alcohol content for me.  Finding wines that meet these criteria without guidance from wine experts would be a significant challenge if not purely a guessing game. And I have done that all before but choose…

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Hutson Alley Event: Rosé for Summer

Last Call One last push for my first survey.  I hope to get a few more responses so if you have not yet completed it, please do now. Click Here then scroll down until you see the box.     The Background Hutson Alley is a private walking thoroughfare that connects several of the Holy City Hospitality restaurants with Vincent Chicco’s on one end and 39 Rue de Jean on the other. Michael’s on The Alley, The Victor Social Club, and Coast Bar & Grill are in between, and Virginia’s on King is just around the corner. The alley faces a parking…

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Roasted Apples & Pears with Caramel Sauce

Our “holiday interrupted” was rescheduled for this weekend to eat up all the food we couldn’t make due to the kidney stone situation.  So we headed for the beach on Saturday afternoon and hung out with the sisters and get a quick dinner out after all the prep work for the Sunday barbecue was complete.  But dessert was back at the house, and I was making it.  We were also about to watch a movie; so I wanted simple and easy. And since I am an undisciplined Baker it could not require chemistry.  This was perfect. These roasted apples & pears took five…

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RIP: Meiomi Pinot Noir (That We Once Knew)

It Happened Before: Folie à Deux’s Menage à Trois I used to drink Menage à Trois in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  Back then it was a red blend only. Yes, it was a superstore wine, but it was from a small Northern California winery that put out a drinkable red to which folks at the time gravitated.  Because of popularity, it then started arriving in stores like World Market.  And now it is everywhere except at independent wine merchants. I am not proud, that is what my palate liked. It was simple and jammy with low tannins and acid…

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Holiday: Not What I Expected

If you have not yet completed the survey from Friday, please be sure and give it your attention. It should only take 2-3 minutes max. ⇒ Holiday Interrupted ⇐ This Independence Day holiday was to be spent at my sister’s beach house.  Since Gary had to work on Monday, we would head out after work that evening.  We were to have wine and grill bratwurst and just enjoy the company of two of my sister’s and each other.  The next day we would probably go for a beach walk, light up the Green Egg and grill pork ribs.  An early dinner would have also included…

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