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Month: September 2017

Side Note: This and That for the Weekend

It has been a whirlwind week. I can not believe that it is the weekend already. We had family in town, so we have been out and about most nights which was super fun. So for this post, I am calling it Side Note as I am piecing together various moments from the week. The Indian dinner we had on Monday was flawless. The Chicken Tikka Masala was a huge hit. I also made an accompaniment called Raita which is to provide a “cooling” effect that tames the heat from some of the dishes. The recipe is below. I think…

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Gamay Beaujolais Tasting

If you happen to be having a wine “expert” over for drinks and you want to impress? Serve a Gamay Beaujolais. But make sure to serve it at fifty degrees. She will think you are the hippest winester in town.  If you choose a wine from Chénas or Fleurie, she will bow at your feet. Apparently, Gamay Beaujolais is the “hip” wine to be drinking right now. This tidbit and much more were some of the things I learned at yesterday’s Gamay Tasting at Monarch Wine Merchants. David McCarus from McCarus Beverage Co. presented four biodynamic wines made by cutting-edge winemakers in…

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Coffee 101: Origins and the Magic Bean

ATTENTION: If you downloaded the Chicken Tikka Masala from yesterday, please download again and do not use the original pdf. You can download here or on the Tikka Masala Page. Now back to our regularly scheduled program…. Assuming that the coffee you drink does not come from a can with a name like Maxwell House or Folgers or in a jar with a name like Sanka or Taster’s Choice then this primer may be of interest to you. Now I am not judging you for drinking those or similar coffees (ok, yes I am. I am judging you! You would be judging…

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Tikka Masala aka Butter Chicken: Updated

My sisters, Gary and I love, love, love Indian food. The sisters have traveled extensively in India for business and grew to love the cuisine. Gary and I used to frequently go to Little India on Devon Ave. while we lived in Chicago. Tikka Masala was always one of our dishes to order. In Charleston, we used to have a group of friends that got together a few times a year, and we would all scratch make an Indian dish. Unfortunately, the group disbanded after the matriarch of the group passed away, but we as a family continue to make…

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Recommendations From My Retailers

I shop at several different wine stores in town, and I belong to a wine club. This is just the way I shop. I do the same with my grocery shopping as I am very particular about what brands I buy, the quality of the fresh produce and meats, and the uniqueness of their more obscure offerings. Each store has its strengths and weaknesses in these regards. The same holds true with wine stores albeit with different criteria. Perhaps a wine store has a focus on Old World wines, strictly California wines or only obscure small producers of biodynamic wines.…

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goat.sheep.cow.north

goat.sheep.cow.north I have done many things at goat.sheep.cow.north. I have gone to a wine tasting, bought several bottles of wine and a few blocks of cheese, and I have sat at the bar and had a glass or two of wine. But what I have not done is sit down at a table to drink wine and eat. So that is what we did last Friday with Liz and her lifelong friends, Diane and Stephen from Atlanta. But first, know that goat.sheep.cow.north is three entities all wrapped into one location. It is a curated wine store. It is the best…

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Dutch Baby with Spiced Apples

Yesterday morning I woke up with a plan. I was making a Dutch Baby with Spiced Apples. Decades ago, there was a restaurant in Skokie, IL that served something like this and I have always wanted to make it. As always I had researched several different recipes (it is also called a German Apple Pancake or a Baked Apple Pancake, Dutch Baby and several other names) and then recreated it with my own twist. Full transparency -> A Kitchen Confession: Before I get to the recipe, I need to confess that the morning started with a bit of excitement. I…

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Obviously Different: A Child & A Wine

All About You: An Adopted Child’s Memoir Imagine looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing that you look nothing like anyone in your family. And when you ask, all you get is lies. Imagine seeing that your parents treat you differently than your sibling and when you call it to their attention they lie. You can see that you are obviously different, but your family and your entire community lies. Side note: Liz and I have been “photographer friends” for several years. When we would run into each other around town or at photographer gatherings, we would chat and visit…

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Buffalo Rotisserie Chicken Dip

It is football season. Well, at least that is what my sister’s tell me. I usually can tell when the superstitions start reappearing like wearing certain jewelry on game day and other such things. It is also when friends come together to watch a game and cheer their team on. And that calls for food. This Buffalo Rotisserie Chicken Dip is one of my favorite simple appetizers, and it is always a big hit. This recipe makes a pot full, so you better invite lots of folks over. Buffalo Rotisserie Chicken Dip This dip is usually heated in a crock pot because…

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Wine Roundup – Part 2 at Summer’s End

Before I get to the last six wines in the rosé portion of the wine roundup, I wanted to let you all know that Tuesday was a beautiful day in Charleston. The flood waters subsided for the most part, and while some folks have significant and costly clean up ahead, the city is back in business. There was so much water. It is hard to believe that it is already washed back out to sea. We feel so lucky that we did not lose any more trees. We lost four large oak trees last year which made us so sad.…

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Best Laid Plan * Irma * Binge *

Earlier last week when Irma had not chosen her course there was uncertainty abound and lots of folks making decisions before having all the information. While I am not a Lowcountry native, the last 13 years have taught me a great deal about tropical storms and hurricanes.  For us, since we do not have kids and we are not sickly or elderly, we have options based on storm severity. For others, they got out of dodge before the storm turned north making Charleston a ghost town for the weekend. One of the things that we learned last year with Hurricane Matthew is…

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Simple Roasted Tomato Appetizer

This is the last of the three recipes on my platter that I took to Natalie’s house last Monday. I have posted a roasted tomato recipe before, but that style was to serve more as a side dish. This method is to create a dipping appetizer served with a toasted sliced baguette or torn from the loaf of a fresh baguette (to soak up the juice and oil). It is super easy and incredibly delish. By far, it was the favorite of the three last Monday. I buy Campari tomatoes at Costco because they tend to be the ones that are consistently…

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Summer’s End – Wine Round Up: Pt 1

Over the past couple of months, Gary and I have tried a wide variety of wines. Wines we drank and liked but did not love. As it is said, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.  Well, for wine I would modify the saying to say, You have to kiss a lot of puppies to find your perfect dog. Dogs, like wine, are all wonderful beings but all breeds are not for all people, and the same goes for wine. To love a wine is to want to fill one of our coolers with it. Liking it is…

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Remember, Ramblings and Recipes

Dear Hurricane Irma: While I would prefer you just dissipate, please leave Charleston alone. Our bank account is still recovering from Matthew and the tropical storm the month before that!   Rambling… My parents always had a string of “I remember” statements like, “I remember having to walk to school for a mile in the snow.” So here are a few of mine… I remember when: Spam is/was a meat-byproduct loaf that we ate when we could not afford ham or bacon not junk email I remember when outlet malls were for overstocks and seconds. And it was all about “the hunt” for…

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