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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

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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Roasted Grapes: Who Woulda Thought?

I was shooting a wedding a couple weeks ago and along with the accompaniments for the salad station was a bowl of what looked like red seedless grapes that lost its luster.  So I popped one in my mouth and was overcome by pure delight.  Roasted grapes – who knew!  I knew it was a grape but the flavor is more intense. It tastes nothing like a fresh grape but it is so so good.  My mind started racing about what one could do with these delectable morsels of goodness.  All I can say is, I never would have thought…

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Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens…. Favorite Things

  Today seems like a great day for some Favorite Things.  Anyone that knows me is aware that I am not a shopper.  When I find something I like I am very loyal and will stay true until it is no longer available.  I have basically 5 ways that I learn about new gadgets, clothes, foods, and other favorite things: Amazon, Costco, Blair, referred by a friend, or an internet ad. Favorite Money Saver I love my Sonicare toothbrush and have been faithful to the brand for years and years.  I do have to admit that I hate paying $8-12 for…

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Respect And The Relationship

This June Gary and I will celebrate 29 years together.  It does not seem possible that anyone would want to spend that much time together but I can not imagine my life without Gary and I know he feels the same about me. (He better!)  I look forward to the next 29 or as long as we have on this earth.  I knew it the moment I met him.  It took him another 6 months but he got there. No expectations One of the realities for us as a gay couple is that there are no expectations. There was no…

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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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