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Category: Joie de Vivre

Joie de vivre translated is “the joy of living.”  There is so much that brings joy into my life.

Drayton Hall – Tourist in My Own Town

This past weekend, Gary and I had a house guest. Katia, who was my classmate in D.C. when I was taking the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Certification. We hit it off and became study partners and subsequently friends. She reached out looking for hotel and restaurant recommendations for a weekend trip to Charleston. I recommended the “Hotel de Dean-Link,” which is the same location as our Church of the Screened in Porch. She loved that idea and chose to stay with us. She toured Charleston on her own Friday and Sunday but on Saturday we all…

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Barsa * Unrecipe * Summer Sips

This is a post that I should call This, That and The Other because it is different topics that are unrelated to each other but are all themes of my blog, eating out – this week at Barsa; creating food- a simple Unrecipe appetizer; and drinking and sharing wine – New Summer Sips. Hopefully, that means that there is something in this post for everyone. But before I go there, I have to tell you that last week was insane as I pulled off a hugely successful invitation-only tasting with Gratus Vineyards. Typically, I would not host a tasting when…

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WSET L2 and Cinco de Derby

I am not sure what occurred over the last six weeks, but time has flown by so quickly.  Today our dear friends head north for the summer, and that just makes me sad. My liver is quite happy and looks forward to some recuperation. So in honor of their departure, I am sharing our hats and fascinator images from the Cinco de Derby brunch they hosted three weeks ago. Additionally, in this post, I share my venture back to school. Well, kind of, I took a class. Ok, fine, it was a wine class, but it was for the WSET…

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Frequently Asked – Sulfites, Grocery Wine…

Before we get to the “Frequently Asked” I wanted to share that my favorite wine book Wine Folly Magnum Edition, just won a James Beard Award in the “Best Beverage Book” category. It would make a great Mother’s Day gift for your wine curious mom. You Ask, and I Answer   Frequently Asked Question: What are Sulfites in wine?  Answer: Sulfur dioxide (or Sulfites) is a natural compound and is actually a by-product of fermentation. Thus all wine has sulfites to some degree. That said, sulfites are added to many conventionally produced wines and acts as a preservative. Wine labeled…

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Avocado and A Reader Compliment

Spring is in full swing and life has gotten busy as ever. There is so much to blog about that my brain is swimming with stories, events, wine, and food. I have been I am working on a few posts that have soaked up several hours, and they are not close to ready. But it has been a while since you have heard from me, so I wanted to get something out today.  So today, I have an avocado hack, a nice compliment from a reader.  Oh, and I started doing private wine tasting parties. Details to follow on that…

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Stop Buying Salad Dressings

A Primer on Making Vinaigrettes I know, it’s about convenience. That’s why we buy pre-bottled salad dressing. Well that, and for some, creating something that tastes better than what you get in a bottle is a real challenge. I have both. I keep a champagne vinaigrette on hand for convenience. But I also make them all the time. At any given time I may have several jars of remnant vinaigrettes in the fridge. If you never make your salad dressing, I hope that I can change that for you with this post.  But before I get too far, I am…

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When Coffee Tastes Nasty

A couple of weeks ago, when I came downstairs for my morning coffee, there was a note that Gary left for me.  All it said was, “The coffee tastes nasty!” It was a good thing that I was standing right by the sink because it immediately came back out of my mouth.  So I ran to my computer and searched, “why does coffee taste bitter.” It was clear that everyone knew something to which I never really paid much attention, cleaning my drip coffee maker. Conventional wisdom said to use equal parts water and distilled vinegar, fill the reservoir and…

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Raclette * Fish & Chips * Italy

Wow, looking at the title of this post it definitely has a European vibe. Raclette from France/Switzerland, Fish & Chips from the UK, an Italian wine from a California winemaker, and finally dreams of living in Italy.  I am not going to dilly dally, let’s get right to it. What one minute, did I say Raclette? Well, I sure did, so let’s start there with an incredible dinner. Goat.Sheep.Cow.North hosts Special Raclette Dinners Before my decision to give much less attention to Facebook, I saw a post from my friends at goat.sheep.cow.north about a Sunday afternoon Raclette Dinner. Now if you are unfamiliar with…

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Life Lately with Favorite Things

January is always a mix of end of the year to-dos and new year ponderings. As such, my life lately has been a hotbed of busy. We have already done our taxes; thanks to the best tax guy in town, if not the world, Steven @ The Clem Collaborative. I have cleaned the studio and will do it again this weekend as it takes several passes to get it right. At some point in the next two weeks, I have got to tackle the piles of papers that I keep acquiring. No matter how hard I try to not make…

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Looking Back at 2018

Well, the family Christmas tree at my sister’s house came down yesterday which officially marks the end of the holidays for me. Holy cow, our celebrations were so much fun. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family and many fantastic friends that put a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Looking back over the past year has reminded me of the highlights of a great year. Looking Back: 2018 Highlights Somm School at Edmund’s Oast Exchange Last Spring I went to Somm School at Edmund’s Oast Exchange. This entry level class was the perfect way…

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