Holiday Spirit

Wine Wednesdays: Holiday Spirit

It’s that day of the week again! That’s right, Wine Wednesday. You will recognize the winery because I featured another one of their products in the last Wine Wednesday. When I was at the Wine & Spirits store, I already knew I was going to pick up a bottle of the Spiced Apple. I saw the bottle of Holiday Spirit on the shelf next to it as I was contemplating the next wine I would feature, and I just couldn’t resist. Especially with the snowmen winter scene on the bottle label.

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Going Postal

Favorite Books of October

I’ve been a member of Goodreads for the past two and a half years. Last year, I set the goal of reading 50 books, but missed that mark by nine books. For this year, I set the same goal and right on track with only seven more books.

During October, I managed to read seven books. Out of those, I gave three of them a five-star rating. For me, the five-star rating means I couldn’t put the book down and probably stayed up very late to read as much as possible, I felt as if I was in the world of the book, I felt like I learned some new things, and that I would definitely read them (over and over) again. Those are the ones I feel are worthy of an actual review, and not just a star rating.

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
Published September 1, 2004 by Mariner Books

The Namesake
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Sometimes Painting Needs a Twist

Over the summer, I experienced the fun that is Painting with a Twist with my mom, cousins, aunt, and grandma. I highly recommend it, because the combination of wine and alcohol is just about perfect. The cost is $35 for a 2 hour session, and $45 for a 3 hour class. All art supplies are provided, you just have to bring the wine and food.

You don’t need any painting experience to participate. In one session, everyone paints the same image and the host of the evening goes through each part of the painting step-by-step. Whether you’re worried about not producing something perfect, or if you think your skill level is too high for this, the wine is there to banish those thoughts. The whole point of this evening is to have fun with your friends, drink some, and paint.  Continue reading “Sometimes Painting Needs a Twist”

Losing faith in our food system

This post has been sitting in my drafts section for the passed four months or so. I have been meaning to share it for awhile, but was (and slightly still am) very concerned with making it ‘perfect.’ This month, I have decided to take part in NaBloPoMo (or National Blog Posting Month), which involves publishing a post every day of the month, so I decided it was finally time to share this with the world. 

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I love food. I always have and always will.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite places to enjoy food was at Mickey D’s. I loved the Happy Meal box the food came in – I think I preferred nuggets over the hamburger – and of course the best thing was the prize. Somewhere in storage, I still have a box full of the toys I collected. The only ‘toy’ that truly lives is the evergreen tree that we planted next to my grandparents’ two-story house and is now (about 20-ish years later) significantly taller than the house.

McDonalds tree
The one in the middle is my McDonald’s Tree.

Back then, I didn’t give much thought to food, I just enjoyed it. I trusted that what this place served to me wouldn’t harm me in any way. And so did my mom. Other staples from my childhood are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Kid Cuisine meals. I always loved the penguin on the box and the way each serving was separated into its own compartment.

But now, my experience with food is slightly different. I still love it, but sometimes I feel as if my enjoyment of it is tainted. This is mostly because I do not trust the majority of our food suppliers. My awareness of food now includes the knowledge of added chemicals, hormones, pink slime, and ‘ingredients’ that are carcinogenic. It’s almost enough to make anyone want to stop eating altogether. Continue reading “Losing faith in our food system”

Hot Spiced Apple Wine

Wine Wednesdays: Chaddsford Spiced Apple

This week, the weather in Philly has returned to temperatures that you expect for October (not the 80-degree weather we had last week), and a chill is in the air. It’s the weather that makes you want to snuggle under comfy blankets when you come home from work, and to start getting ready for Thanksgiving. Nothing goes better with this type of weather than fall flavors – apple, pumpkin, and butternut squash (those are the three that immediately come to mind).

So this week, I’m sharing one of my favorite wines with you, Spiced Apple wine from Chaddsford Winery. I believe I first tasted it a couple years ago at an event at Liberty Place (a shopping mall on Chestnut St.), and I loved that it was locally produced. I still do, and plan on taking a trip to the winery at some point, since it’s only about a 50 minute drive from Philly.

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Covey Run Gewürztraminer

Wine Wednesdays: Covey Run Gewürztraminer

I’ve decided to start a new series dedicated entirely to wine. And what better day to feature wine than on Wednesdays (you might also know it as hump day). My goal is to feature a new wine every week or two. This is the first time I’m really talking about wine here, so please don’t expect anything too refined or formal.

The first wine I’m sharing with you is a Gewürztraminer from Covey Run. I picked it up for three reasons: I was looking for something new to try, it was strategically placed in the middle of the aisle, and it was on sale for $6.99. So, I thought why not give it a try.

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raw ravioli

Eat the sauce, hold the pasta – misadventures in pasta making

Do you have one dish or type of food that just doesn’t seem to work when you make it? For me it’s dough, more specifically pasta and empanada dough.

While I have made empanadas before, I can’t say they were mouthwatering good. And just this past weekend, I planned a three-course dinner that included lamb/fennel/mint ravioli in a roasted red pepper sauce. The sauce was delicious, and the filling was on point. However, the vehicle of delivering said filling was a complete disaster. I followed a recipe I found on a blog that used the ratio: 3 oz. flour, one egg, splash of olive oil, and kosher salt per person. So, I just multiplied that by four to make sure I had enough dough. I don’t have a pasta maker or pasta attachment for a Kitchenaid (one day I’ll have both), so I rolled out the dough with a rolling pin (which I finally purchased especially for this project). I cooked the ravioli in boiling water for four minutes.

raw ravioli
The yet uncooked ravioli.

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Assateague Channel

Roaming the Home of the Ponies

When I was around 10 years old, one of my absolute favorite book series was Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (first published in 1947). I must have read each book at least 10 times, that is how much I love(d) them.

So this past weekend was like a dream world made reality, when I traveled to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands with my mom and aunt for a four-day getaway. I met up with them in Washington, D.C. and from there we drove down. It was only a three hour drive, which is perfect for a little getaway. I have to say I was very excited for the possibility to see the wild horses and to spend some time at the beach.

We stayed at the Channel Bass Inn run by Barbara and David Wiedenheft. They have been running the Bed & Breakfast and Tea Room for 22 years. It was an absolutely wonderful experience to stay there. Barabara and David make you feel right at home. Every day at 9 a.m. a full breakfast is served, and each day something different is on the menu. Some of the dishes we enjoyed were crab quiche, warm compote with granola, bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, and Mexican eggs (a recipe I plan on trying very soon). The tables are set up so that you share them with other guests staying at the Inn, which is a great way to get to know fellow travelers and find out what kind of adventures they’ve been going on. We met an Armenian family from Canada, and a few couples from PA and Delaware.

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All Lobster Roll

Let Me See That Lobster Roll

Have you ever eaten something for the first time and immediately wondered how you could have gone through life without ever having eaten it before? That is exactly how I feel about lobster rolls.

I had one for the first time during the week of the U.S. Open, when the cafeteria at my job decided to serve it for lunch. It was delicious. The roll was toasted and the filling looks like it was made with chopped up lobster, mayonnaise, chives, and other seasonings. I was quite disappointed that this was only on the menu for this one day.

Lobster roll
Lobster roll, seasoned chips, and potato salad.

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