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Month: October 2017

Morris Island Lighthouse Sunset Tour

My aunt and cousin are in town for their annual visit. My aunt is one of the last surviving members of my parent’s generation. She has always been an important part of our lives, and we are so happy that we are still a part of hers. She means the world to us, and we love that she makes the journey to see us each year. My cousin asked that we again this year plan “something special” for her mom. One of my sisters threw out a couple of boating ideas that I quickly caboshed as “boring and/or pedestrian.” So…

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Loire Valley Awesomeness

Tuesday’s tasting at goat.sheep.cow north blew me out of the water. All five selected wines representing different regions in the Loire Valley could all find a place in my wine rack. Oh, and the cheese pairings were perfection. Jess, the monger, did an amazing job selecting these cheeses and pâté. But the 12-month Raypenaer Gouda, that pairing was absolute nirvana and right in my wheelhouse. OMG, mama needs a cool cloth! We had a fantastic turnout.  The crowd was a perfect size so getting your next taste was quick, but you could also ask questions and learn more if you so desired. It was great seeing so many familiar…

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Biscuit Bites: Pizza or Gruyere – Caramelized Onion

Last Sunday, we got together for Happy Hour with our fave neighbors Michelle and Natalie. Michelle hosted at her house which was perfect because both families of kids could all play together in another room and toys were aplenty to keep them occupied. I volunteered an appetizer to help out. I have been daydreaming about making a gruyere and caramelized onion tart, but I was too exhausted from Saturday’s wedding to deal with and make a crust so I decided that Bisquick biscuit bites would be the way to go. For some reason using Bisquick for a drop biscuit is acceptable in my brain…

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Results From First Survey

Remember that survey I did a couple months back asking about your wine purchasing habits? Here are the results. I am a numbers nerd and have always loved information. I am not sure if you find this kind of stuff interesting but at least you will know how you match up to other readers.   Top-line Survey Results: My “everyday” wine is primarily…? Red – 22% White – 20% Rosé – 4% Red when it’s cold out and white when its warm out – 24% Depends on my mood – 24% On average, my “everyday” wine sells for what price…

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Apple Crumble and Sunday’s Tasting at EOX

It is autumn, so my cravings for apple desserts has been building. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a crumble, a crisp, a cobbler, a buckle, a Brown Betty, a grunt or a slump. Confused? A crumble has an oat-based streusel topping. A crisp has a streusel topping sans oats. A cobbler is topped with individually-dropped biscuits. A buckle uses a cakey batter underneath the fruit and as the fruit sinks to the bottom the cake “buckles” over the edges of the fruit. A grunt and a slump is the same thing; it just depends on where you live. They are both cobblers that…

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A Tasting Weekend: Part One

This past weekend was a weekend of wine with friends, a wine tasting on Saturday and again on Sunday. Fun times, new wines, a gala celebration and a trip to a new wine store. All in all, it was a great weekend. Here we go… Wine with Friends I am sure we all go through this. You reach out to friends to get together, and you can not find a date that works for the group. Next thing you know it is 6 or 8 weeks out before a gathering materializes. This describes what it took to get this group together at…

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Almonds, Herbed and Roasted

A while back I was given a thank you gift that included a container of Herbed-Roasted Valencia almonds. They were incredible, and I badly needed more. When I searched online for the brand, I had sticker shock at the cost. So I decided to make my own. Costco sells Marcona almonds which is a Spanish variety and looks very similar, so I chose to give it a go. It turned out great. I found a remedy for mosquito and other bug bites that I have to share.  Also words from a reader that made me smile. Herbed & Roasted Marcona Almonds…

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Fall into Rosé & Sonoma Pinot Noir

The other day I got an email about rosé wine promotions in several restaurants for the month of October in New York and San Fransico. While we drink rosé until it sells out, it seems that for many folks rosé has a season, summer and then it goes away until the following spring.  Why the change? Who knows; but I can think of several reasons to continue drinking rosé.  Now that does not mean that you forgo drinking anything else. Certainly with cooler temperatures (if you are lucky) a red wine is a must. Perhaps not a big Cab but…

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What I’ve Been Drinking… Week 41

Wine opportunities were plentiful over the last couple of weeks.  While drinking some wines, I went deep. Others were just a passing glass. But if I drank it, you will hear about it and see a picture of the bottle. Crazy, but I also now understand why it took me so long to love white wine. It is a “duh” moment when I think about it… but hey, live and learn. But before we go any further… Sonoma and Napa and the rest of California are in our hearts as they battle some of the worst wildfires in decades. May the…

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Social Media, Grandma & Homemade Mexican Beans

I have apparently turned into my grandmother. Social media once again has reconnected me with my past. By request, I am posting my Mexican Black Beans recipe.  And our stainless steel straws are awesome! So let’s begin. I am my Grandma When I was a kid and visiting my grandparents home, I can vividly recall my grandma washing and re-using plastic bags and aluminum foil. I used to giggle because I thought that defeated the purpose of one-time-use products. In my grandma’s case, it was because she was a child of The Great Depression. It was a habit as they needed to do…

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Pairing Wine with Food: A Quagmire

When I say that pairing wine with food is a quagmire it is because the rules of yore have been tossed out the window. There is so much information… what to do, what to do? The red meat – big red wine rules only exist if you want. Now it is more of a “drink what you like” – just drink something.  Sure the guidelines still exist but most restaurants are not staffed with sommeliers and your server may or may not have the slightest clue about wine other than what they have been told by management.  Wine is more…

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Raindrops on Roses: Favorite Thing or Two

Whenever I think about a favorite thing post, I always start singing the song from the Sound of Music. I am sure I have seen that movie a hundred times, and it never gets old. After posting my wine box shelves, I had a request to show the rest of the wall. So here it is.  As I said, Gary and I collect. Eclectically, yes… but it is still a collection. We also love bright colors that “pop”! So these are the two walls of our kitchen. Favorite Thing or Two Favorite Thing: Dark Roast DeCaf Coffee Beans Good decaf coffee is…

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Grilled Pork Loin * Roasted Sweets * Napa & Radish

I promised that I would share with you one of the “grilled out” dinners from last week. This Brined, Grilled Pork Loin with Kale Pesto was the bomb, as were the sides so you will get all three today. But before I get there, I gotta tell you I am moving a bit slow today. I even needed another cup of coffee after I drained the pot.  This cup is even topped off with a shot of espresso! Cheers everybody. You see, we had our new neighbors over for happy hour. A great couple and their two young daughters moved here from Hawaii. We…

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