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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

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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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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