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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

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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Salted Caramel Butter Bars

I have been craving something sweet, but Gary asked that I not buy anything at the bakery.  So I didn’t, I made something.  This recipe first appeared on my Facebook feed.  I love salted caramel so, I went to the website and decided I had to give it a try.  Thanks Cookies & Cups for sharing this recipe with the world. Salted Caramel Butter Bars INGREDIENTS For the Crust: 1 lb. salted butter room temp 1 cup sugar 1½ cups powdered sugar 2 Tbs vanilla 4 cups AP flour For the Filling: (I did not use this portion of the…

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Buy Wine: Caution and Preach!

Inflated Prices: Where to Buy Wine I was shopping in my local grocery store the other day.  Even though I rarely buy wine there, I always walk through the department to see what is going on.  This week I stumbled upon two wines that I have talked about in the past: Cote des Roses and Whispering Angel.  Damn, you will pay a hefty premium to buy these wines at the grocery.  Whispering Angel is $31.99 here.  At my local wine store it is $20.59 and at Costco, it is $18.99.  That is $13.00 more than at Costco and $11.40 more…

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So Much to Do, So Little Time

This has been a tough week for me as a blogger.  I had a lot of work to do with my other jobs (wedding and portrait photography and dog sitter) so there was little time left to research and write. Additionally, the editorial calendar I created to help me made it impossible to fill the day’s posts as intended.  Yep, I did not taste any new wines in the past week which means that Wine Wednesday was a bust and while I have 10 posts started for Thoughtful Thursday none of the posts are completely flushed out so they are not…

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Stella’s Charleston: Upscale Greek Finally!

I love Greek food. But the offerings in Charleston are very limited.  There is a good gyro joint in Mount Pleasant but I’m not driving to the opposite side of town for a gyro.  There are a couple Greek restaurants around town that are more tavern-like but the food is “just ok”.  If you go to any of them once every two or three years that is plenty.  Then again, perhaps I should have said, “were” limited.  Because now there is Stella’s. Stella’s: Not a Character in a Tennessee Williams Play but Definitely Desired Stella’s Charleston came onto the Charleston food scene…

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Me and You and a Little Peru…-ivan Style Chicken

Gary is out of town this weekend at a conference.  I have no dogs to watch over, so it is just me on a Friday night and it’s time for dinner.  Actually, I came to this realization early Friday morning and I thought…”This will be a great day for that delicious Peruvian-style Chicken with Tangy Green Sauce and Salad.”  I say that because this is a recipe that uses a whole roasting chicken with skin and bones.   Gary likes his chicken without bones or skin so this was the perfect dish since he is not here. So I called a…

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Mother’s Day When Your Mom Has Passed

Mother’s Day is just two and a half weeks away.  For most, it is a time of showering your mom with love and perhaps a gift of some sort.  It can be a big deal celebration or not, but on this day most thank their mother for creating the family that helped turn a gaggle of people into the family that we are today.  That is until your mother is no longer among the living. Mother’s Day Again My mother is no longer with us, and that is why I am writing this post today versus in two and a…

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Two Rhone and a Languedoc-Roussillon: Red Wines from Southern France

While most vinophiles will gravitate to Bordeaux and Burgundy regions of France for the high priced and highly recognized wines from those regions.  I seem to be more focused on the three regions on or near the Mediterranean coast: Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and Côte due Rhone.  These wines are much more approachable as well as affordable yet full of complexity. Getting into French wine can be difficult for some as it is not as straightforward as our American wines. As I have mentioned before most French wines are blended with at least two varietals of grapes from the same region or…

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France in Charleston: Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Pâtissier

The other day I got an email from Ancestry.com about a new hint in my family tree.  Next thing I know hours have passed and I have no idea where the the day has gone. What caught my eye was a hint from the des Marets family line on my mother’s side.  I have traced that line back to the mid 1500s in northern France and when I get a hint from that part of my family, I get so excited I can’t contain myself.  But talking about my ancestry experience is for another day.  Today it is about this amazing French Pastry…

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