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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

Tastings, Wine Dinner, More Tastings: Pt. 1

Tuesday Wine Tastings Last week, we had my sister’s two dogs for eight days while they went skiing. If there were ever a time that we “needed” wine as much as we wanted wine, this would have been it. Don’t get me wrong; we loooovvvvve these puppies, but a 14-week-old can be a holy terror, and Aspen is no exception. Thankfully, Breezy is very patient with her, as are we.  The scheduling of the puppies and the wine events was a coincidence because we could not have planned this if we tried. But having several wine events, including two tastings…

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Vail Colorado in September

The majority of visitors heading to the great state of Colorado come in winter for ski season. Two of my sisters are heading there soon, which made me think about our family trip to Vail last September. It should be noted that Gary and I have gone on these family ski trips before, we just do not like the bitter cold and the layers upon layers of clothes it takes to make it warm enough to survive. When I was younger, I used to love skiing. But now I am over cold weather.  The Rocky Mountains, however, are stunning, as…

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Ecuadorian Seafood Ceviche

Before we get to the recipe for the Ecuadorian Seafood Ceviche, I wanted to share an image from several weeks ago when I had leftovers of the Hasselback Potatoes. After a quick reheat in the microwave, I fried an egg and some bacon, and this made an incredible brunch meal — definitely a do-over.   Ecuadorian Seafood Ceviche – The Recipe I had this Ecuadorian Seafood Ceviche at a party last summer and was immediately obsessed with how delicious it was. It is fresh, mildly acidic, and full of flavors. Each bite brings something new. I asked if I could…

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Varietals Are the Spice of Life

Let’s Talk Varietals I have told this story hundreds of times. Years ago, while at a winery in France the host poured white wine for all, but I stopped her and said: “I don’t like white wine.” She was gobsmacked and responded with “No, that is not true. You have just not found the white wines that match your palate.” I was taken aback. How could that be? I frequently tried the white wines other folks were drinking and I was not a fan. Then she handed me a glass of Family Quiot Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. It was a blend of…

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Living and Loving Lately

There has been a whole lot of living, loving, and wine-ing lately. Perhaps the featured image gives you a clue as to how I am spending my time. No, they aren’t all ours. Only one has joined our family. She is the big-headed pup on the far left that I am holding.  Her name is Aspen. And she is a handful and a half. But more on her in a bit. Let’s take a look at a couple of restaurant visits, a new line of throw pillows, and some wine we have samples recently. First up: Living A living room…

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Potato Gratin with Cheese ala Hasselbacken

So, what is with the lengthy title to a potato dish that seems like Potato au Gratin?  Well, that’s because this dish is a whole lot more than just “au gratin.” First, you must know that “gratin” merely is a culinary technique in which an ingredient is topped with either breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, cream, or butter to create a browned crust. In this case, I am using cream and cheese. So what is Hasselbacken?  It is actually a hotel and restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden, where Hasselback Potatoes were first created in the 1950s that they are world-renowned for creating. The…

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Favorite Wines of 2019

Our favorite wines of 2019 offered a few surprises. For me, the biggest surprise was that two of the top four are California Chardonnays. Let me be clear; Gary loves Chardonnay but prefers French. But for me, of all the white wine varietals that I have tasted, Chardonnay is (was) one of my least favorite. Now that does not mean I am an ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) drinker. It’s just that my history with Chardonnay has been fraught with too much oak and, or too much butter. Both Gary and I are thrilled that the trend is moving away from…

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Pork Puttanesca Ragù

Whenever I am at an Italian Restaurant, and I see a Wild Boar or Pork Ragù on the menu, I always order it. Always. There is something about the intense and hearty meaty and tomato flavors that send me to the moon. I had not had the pleasure of eating it or anything similar for several years, so when I came across a recipe in the NYTimes, I knew that an adaptation would be what I served for my next dinner party. It turned out better than I ever could have dreamed, even as leftovers several days later. Even if…

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