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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

Edison James Island * A Neighborhood Fave

When Spring temperatures rise, and the sun is up later into the evening we get the urge to get out of the house. That means dining out with friends and family much more frequently.  A couple of weeks back and within five days, we went to Edison James Island twice. So clearly we have fallen for this place. But Before I Get To That I wanted to apologize for not posting at all last week. My job that brings home the bacon was in great demand and it took all my time to focus on my clients. But I am…

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Croatian Wine Tasting * Part 1

My friend’s John and Irene have an online wine store (Topochines.com) that sells Croatian wine as well as wines from a few other countries. The wines are always unique and from off the beaten path wineries. I had sampled some of the Croatian wine and knew that I needed to introduce these wines to others in Charleston. I decided to put together a wine tasting and invited some of my wine pals to partake. Happily, I ended up being 15 folks who heeded the call. It turned out that we sampled a total of 12 wines: six Croatian wines, four…

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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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Chateau Musar * Lebanon’s Premier Winery

Wine Dinner at Edmunds Oast When Edmund’s Oast puts on a wine dinner, they usually sell out within 24 hours of the announcement. This dinner, showcasing Chateau Musar wines sold out in 12 hours. Now, the unaware may wonder what the big deal is. After all, Lebanon is not top of mind for most when one considers the world’s wine hotspots. But until you have tasted the wines of Chateau Musar, you may wish to hold off judgment. This post is not an in-depth parsing of these five wines. If I have something to say, I will, but for the…

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Charleston Wine and Food Festival

Surviving Sunday in the Culinary Village At this year’s Charleston Wine and Food Festival, I attended the Culinary Village in Marion Square. This is my second year. And like last year, I chose to go on Sunday because they offer a “local resident” ticket at just $95.00 versus the regular price of $135.00. I may decide to pay the extra $40.00 and go on Friday or Saturday next year to see if I am missing anything. Start with a Hearty Breakfast One of the things I learned last year is that the food lines are obscenely long. And when you…

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Brownies with a Hack

I love brownies with crisp edges and gooey centers. I also think that there is enough chocolate in brownies that you do not need to add chocolate chips to the batter. But that does not mean you should not do all you can to enhance the chocolate flavor in this delectable dessert morsel. For some reason lately, the newsfeed on my phone has been sending me brownie recipes. So I have been craving them. As I mentioned in my last brunch post, brownies were the dessert du jour. They were great the day I made them but lost its goo…

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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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Aridus Wine Company

When I close my eyes and think of Arizona, I think of many things. Wine and winemaking do not come to mind. Enter Aridus Wine Company and that all changes. Arizona Wine Industry, briefly The first commercially planted vineyards in Arizona began cropping up in the 1970s.  There are three wine growing regions in AZ: Verde Valley, Willcox AVA and Sonoita AVA. Of these three regions over 70% of all wine grapes grown in Arizona are sourced from the Willcox AVA. The industry is considered youthful and exuberant with wine quality being “all over the map” from amateurish to award-winning.…

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Donuts – Not Today Satan

Let me be very clear, donuts are the food of the devil. Dunkin Donuts gives me severe and uncontrollable heartburn. Krispy Kreme Donuts taste amazing, but I lack the will power to stop eating them (as long as they are fresh and warm). Six or nine donuts later, my hands are shaking, and I begin to talk so fast, even I have not idea what I am saying. All of this results in a sugar headache the size of Montana. The DEVIL, I say! Do not get me started on the small “craft,” independent doughnut shops because they run out…

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Brunch with Friends – What a Weekend

This was a crazy busy weekend. We had a birthday dinner to attend with some great friends on Saturday evening and then Gary & I hosted a brunch with two other couples that turned into an all-day affair on Sunday. I am not sure how I was able to accomplish that given that the Saturday birthday was still going strong when we left at 1:30 am (home at 2:00 am). At which point I had to clean the kitchen from doing brunch prep work until 20 minutes before the earlier departure time and make the custard for the breakfast casserole so it…

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