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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

Last All Rosé Tasting this Season: Embrace the Pink

Spring has sprung and as we approach the end of April in coastal South Carolina summer is just around the corner.  That means you should have settled in your pink wine (rosé) for the season.  We have tasted five pink wines so far this year and with these last four there should be something for everyone.  It has been a vintage year of hits and a few misses.  Check out what we have tasted in the last week. Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel 2016 There is generally lots of buzz around the release of the Whispering Angel and the 2016 vintage is…

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Hola, Delicioso Beef Barbacoa!

When my youngest sister announced she was having a Mexican dinner party, I immediately volunteered to make barbacoa.  Gary does not eat beef so this is my opportunity so make a dish that I love!  I know you must think that we eat a lot of tacos based on my posts, but that is not the case.  It’s just that my sister was having this party.  What to do, what to do! FYI: I found the recipe on my neighbor Natalie’s highly successful women’s fashion blog designer bags and dirty diapers.  She found it on Gimme Some Oven. Slow Cooker…

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A Messy Relationship

Save the Shirt, You Cheapskate! Food and I have a messy relationship, especially sauces and oils.  I love them and they love to drip and splatter on my shirts.  When I am cooking or when I am eating it does not matter. Making salad dressing, boom! Olive Oil on pasta, boom, Melting Butter, boom! Gravy, boom!   Seems like if it is a fat, it will end up on my shirt and leave a messy stain.  So I was thrilled to read on Facebook that artificial sweeteners will lift oil stains from clothing.  The claim is that because the sweetener is a…

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Random Thoughts and Other Brain Activity

There are so many thoughts whirling around in my head this week that I should be dizzy.  Some benign and some reactions to the crazy shit happening around us.  So this Thoughtful Thursday is a purge.  I need to release some of these thoughts from my head and decide what, if anything I can act on.  Trust when I say this is random. Talking Heads Blackout After the presidential election in November, I vowed to stop watching cable and broadcast news that present opinion as news and that have pundits screaming over each other to get their point across.  I…

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Pinot Noir: Oh, Pinot How I Love Thee, Noir and Forever

A Pinot Noir Tasting Experience A couple weeks ago someone asked me about my favorite Northern California area wineries specifically in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Thinking a minute of my current faves I had to admit that I did not have a favorite from that region. I have never been to that region on a wine tour so my lack of familiarity is certainly key.  Additionally, I associate (rightly or wrongly) that region with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines and of all the red grape varietals these two are my least favorite.  Shame on me but I like what I…

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Screen Door: Local, Laid Back and Affordable

Charleston is a food town. There is no doubt about that.  Even Eater, the national restaurant blog has its own Charleston imprint.  All of their other  “Eater cities” have at least a half a million residents or more.  Charleston stands alone in their stable with under 150 thousand residents.  I think that says alot about Charleston and the food scene we get to enjoy. Every month there are more restaurants coming onto the scene hoping for a piece of the pie from the thousands of tourists that flock to our hamlet. When you dine downtown you expect to pay tourist…

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Cauliflower Cheesy Bread – but there is no bread. What?

Oh, what a Monday!.  I shot a morning wedding yesterday.   The couple was super nice, very laid back and a real joy to work for, but dang that threw off my Sunday.  Surprise… I am a night owl! Midnight is usually the earliest that I go to bed.  What does that mean to you morning people?  It means there is only one- “6” in each day and it is not 6:00 am.  But yesterday required a 6am alarm and be out of the house by 7:00 am.   It was tough as I did not have time to consume my…

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I Made Him a Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet

Happy Friday everyone!  Gary’s birthday was this week.  As a special treat, I made him a cake to celebrate.  It was a surprise because I do not bake.  But it turned out great and so here is the recipe.  Ok, fine the top is not very symmetrical but give me a break, please.  I BAKED! Pineapple-Coconut-Banana Upside-Down Cake  Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can of pineapple slices in juice, undrained One (1) cup flaked sweetened coconut 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon ground…

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Welcome to Charleston: Please Proceed with Caution

There is no doubt that I am a Yankee living in the Deep South.   It took some time to acclimate but after 13 years, I think I have it down. Occasionally though, after all this time, I am still surprised when some things happen.  But let me say, I love living in my adopted home of Charleston, SC.  It is a wonderful small town with polite and respectful people, a moderate political climate, an incredible food scene, history galore, great weather and the harbor and Atlantic Ocean as your eastern border. One of my sister’s started the migration of…

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A Rose by any other name: Rosé

There is no doubt that at least in the south, it is rosé season.  For Gary and I that season lasts all year, but for most, rosé is saved for the warmer months.  Please note, I had planned to have reviews of about 5-6 rosé wines, but my allergies totally messed that up.  Over the weekend I tried two 2016 vintages from wineries  I have loved in the past but I really couldn’t tell you if I was drinking water or wine and I can’t imagine that is the wine’s fault.  My nose is a mess and my palate is coated if you…

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Texas Barbecue Comes to Charleston

I need strong flavors that can transcend the barriers in my olfactory system these days.  After yesterday’s Asian inspired pulled pork, I thought I would share my recent experiences at one of the newer barbecue joints in town. Lewis Barbecue – The Meat is the Star Once the hubbub and novelty slowed just bit we decided to try Lewis Barbecue to see what the buzz and lines out the door were all about.  Now I know.  And I totally get it.  The brisket, my Gaud the brisket.  But let’s start at the beginning of what you can expect when you…

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Pulled Pork Tacos Goes Vietnamese. It’s Easy and Delicious

I get a email from the Cooking Section from the New York Times almost every day.  Someday’s it catches my eye and other days it just gets deleted.  They cover the gambit on food ethnicities, styles, courses, etc.. Some days I may print out three for four recipes and other days it is merely inspiration.  But the day, I read this pulled pork recipe I knew I had to try it.  If you like Asian flavors you will LOVE this recipe.  While a few of the the ingredients may not already be in your pantry they are easy to find…

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French Wine… Why can’t I find a “merlot”?

French versus American wine bottle labeling Today I thought I would share some information about wine labels.  Specifically the differences for French wine versus American wine (and most other regions).  I know many people who shy away from French wines because they are unfamiliar and when they search for something recognizable they strike out.  To fix that the first obstacle is understanding the labels on the bottle.  So let’s break this down first before we go any deeper. The American Label In the US the winery name is usually the most prominent on the label.  Then the grape varietal used…

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Pet Peeves and other Annoyances

Sorry, I lured you in with an adorable picture of Breezy… this is not about pets.  I have nothing thoughtful to say today. I am in agony.  My hayfever/allergies have really knocked the crap out of me.   The trees and plants are happy as all get out making us mortals absolutely miserable.  When I am miserable I want to whine, and can’t really drink wine because I can’t taste it.  So here I shall whine… with some of my pet peeves. WTF…. Pet Peeves Single ply toilet paper Really? I mean REALLY?  What kind of tight wad are you?  It’s rough…

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