Yodeling

When you hear the word Yodeling, there are three things you can do.

1) Look up the definition to be sure you know what it really is, or see if it some new-aged term.  To save you the time, per Merriam-Webster, it is to sing by suddenly changing from a natural voice to a falsetto and back.

2) Search for videos that feature this action.  Again, saving you some time.  Found a great one!

3) Go to Whole Foods and buy Yodeling Goat Gouda!  A great cheese for lactose-intolerant folks, those who love cheese, anybody who wants to try something new or just easily Yodle, because they don’t want to sing.

goudaI saw this the other day when I was at Whole Foods and picked some up.  It’s great because it’s harder than the normal goat cheese and as the sign mentions, has a bit of a nutty flavor.  Also, I’ve not purchase that much cheese there and didn’t realize they cut you as big or small of piece(s) as you want to take home.  I got a nice small piece to take with me.

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Bootlegging

Was at the Navy Football game the other day, with of course some great tailgating, and was introduced to a distillery put together by some former Midshipmen.  Go Navy!  It’s Prohibition Distillery, based out of New York.  We had the chance to enjoy some of their Vodka and Gin (not mixed together), both named Bootlegger 21.  The vodka was used to make some amazing Bloody Marys, which were strategically blended and poured back into a Vodka bottle.

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For the Gin, I heard that it makes a very nice G&T but I enjoyed a sample of a lime, lemon, mint and some other (non-alcoholic) stuff.  Unique and quite good.  I would not want more than one of them, though.

bootlegI would recommend giving this stuff a try.  Hopefully you can find it in your area if you’re so inclined to do so.

Anejo & Vino

The other night I went out to celebrate a friends 40th birthday at The Lounge at Bourbon Steak in Georgetown, in DC.  Quite the place.  I had never been there and it’s always nice to check out something new.  And, it was amazingly nice for late October so we were able to sit outside, fully aware that they had those huge heaters for when it cooled down.  The lounge had quite the menu and instead of going straight for wine, several cocktails caught my eye and I opted for the Morning Dew to begin.  Not quite a margarita, but close.  It was a perfect blend of anejo (tequila), fresh grapefuit, lemon and ginger on ice.

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When that was done and more people arrived and wine was in full force, I went to California for some great vino.  I found a Zin I’d never heard of, Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel.  Fruity, leathery, very nice.  Looking it up, it can range from $20-$25.  I’m going to grab a couple bottles.

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No-Recipe Stew

Last Sunday I finally had the time to break in my new kitchen (just moved).  So wanted to make something fun.  And, the night before I opened a bottle of red wine that did not merit being finished.  I don’t really want to waste wine therefore determined I would just cook with it.  It had been a windy, sort of cold day around DC, so determined I wanted to make a stew-like meal.  I did some research online and didn’t find anything that truly struck my fancy so got creative and put together my own thing.

Ingredients (all quantities are some/non specific):

-chicken (sliced or cut into pieces)
-cannellini beans
-stewed/canned tomatoes
-mushrooms
-kale
-red wine
-onion (used a red one)
-garlic
-thyme (had some fresh stuff on hand)
-water
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I sauteed the garlic and onion for a few minutes then added the chicken and sauteed that until it was cooked.  After that I added the balance of the ingredients and cooked it over low heat for about an hour — I was in no hurry.

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It was a very tasty stew, lots of flavor.  I served it with a quality-of-a-name Zin, Zinzilla.  It was a nice wine!

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Explore in the kitchen!  Never hurts to have fun and try something new.

 

Step away from the…amazing seasonal Pita Crisps

I finally broke down and picked up one of Trader Joe’s seasonal items.  Their Pita Crisps with Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds.  Good/bad idea.  Addictive!  They are nice and crunchy and have something like cinnamon sugar on the outside.  I have tried to put them out of my direct line of sight so I don’t finish the whole bag immediately.  I recommend giving them a try before they are off the shelves.

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Avocado Salad with Peaches

Was looking for something fun, super fresh and relatively easy to make for dinner. I remembered this salad from Bon Appetit that I found a few years ago. Avocados, peaches and arugula…some of my favorites. It was the perfect thing to make and pretty simple.

Avocado Salad with Peaches
4-6 Servings

Ingredients

1/2 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (I got SUPER lazy and used liquid vanilla)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 almost-ripe avocados
8 cups arugula or sorrel
2 peaches, diced and peeled

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Preparation

-Roast bell pepper (I do it on my gas stove – so easy).

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-Peel and chop pepper; puree with red wine vinegar, vanilla and sugar in blender (I used the mini-prep) until smooth.

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-With machine running, gradually add olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.

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-Halve and pit avocados and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and place cut side down on and medium-hot grill until nicely charred, about 5 minutes (ok, so I don’t/can’t have a grill. So, I put foil over a burner on my gas stove and made it work. Creativity in the kitchen). Peel and thickly slice.

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-Toss with arugula or sorrel and peaches. Drizzle dressing over top (I just toss all of it together — dressing and everything).

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I served this with shrimp. Delicious!!!

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad (Coles de Bruselas)

I was flipping through a recent copy of Shape magazine that my friend brought over because she saw a bunch of recipes that she figured I’d like. They did have several and this is the first one I’ve tried. A lot of oil and butter for Shape magazine and since I’m lactose intolerant I nixed the butter and I feel like a lot of the oil isn’t needed. I also left out the feta. The dish was very nice and provided great leftovers! I enjoyed it both hot and cold. You just can’t go wrong with Brussels sprouts.

 

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad (Coles de Bruselas)

(note, I can’t find it on the site, but It was in the September or October version of the magazine (I’m thinking September))

Serves 6

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 15-25 minutes

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter (didn’t use it — I’m lactose intolerant)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (didn’t use nearly that much — no need for it!)
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved though stem
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp sherry vinegar (or whatever you have handy — I used tarragon vinegar — I wasn’t buying a new bottle for that small amount)
1 cup chopped shallots (about 4-6 shallots)
1 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
1/4 bunch fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem and chopped
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup canned chick peas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 orange, zested and flesh cut into segments
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 oz Feta, crumbled (optional)

 

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Directions

1-First, I didn’t feel like chopping like chopping the shallots the night I made this, so I broke out the mini-prep! Have some fun with kitchen toys!!!

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2-In large saute pan over low heat, melt butter into oil (I used a bit of oil and also sprayed the pan). Place Brussels sprouts in the pan, cut side down (that didn’t last too long). Turn the heat to medium-high. Cook until sprouts are brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer sprouts to a large bowl and season with 1/2 tsp of the salt.

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3-In a medium bowl, mix remaining salt, vinegar, shallots, mustard, thyme, honey, and olive oil. Pour into the saute pan and bring to a simmer. Add beans and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

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4-Add orange zest and segments, red onion and pepper to the sprouts. Pour the hot vinaigrette-bean mixture on top of the sprouts and mix well to combine. Top with feta, if desired.

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This was very good and I would definitely recommend making it!

 

 

Oh My Clydesdale!

As I’m traveling across the country, there was a stop in St. Louis. That meant a visit to the Anheuser-Busch brewery was due.

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But, the only thing I truly wanted to see was the horses. I have done much work for A-B and I told them I never needed money (I say that as though I was the one truly getting the pay, I know my employer wouldn’t be thrilled with this thought), all I wanted was to do was come see the Clydesdales and play with the Dalmatians and Labs. What more could one ask???

So, we arrived at the brewery and did indeed enjoy a cold brew first. I’m not a huge fan of macrobrews (and will say I’m disappointed in how InBev/A-B, and some other names are trying to take over the beer industry), so I did not have a Budweiser. I opted for Shock Top, the good ol’ original one. They had the seasonal (pumpkin) one on tap (which I’ve had in the past and it’s pretty good), as well as the apple brew. They also had the good non-Bud brews available, including Bass, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Kirin, Stella, Beck’s, Goose Island, which they now own.

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We were able to get a horse-tour only pass to go check out the great Bud icons.

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Off we went to get a history of the horses and what they do. There was one outside and the rest were in there rough digs inside. They have quite the life.

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We were also told about the farm where many more of the horses live, Warm Springs Ranch, and stopped by it the next day. Acres and acres of land where several hundreds of these majestic guys live. It was closed when were arrived (and tough to get a tour, anyway) but I was able to snap a couple pics.

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So, I got most of what I wanted to see. Now I just want to see the dogs, both the Dalmatians and Labs, and my A-B goal will be complete!

Beer Class — Autumn Equinox: Fall’s Beer Harvest

I get the great emails from Total Wine and when reading one recently they another drink in it — BEER!  They were offering some great beer classes and one caught my attention — Autumn Equinox: Fall’s Beer Harvest.  How can you go wrong?  I think of this time of year with all the great pumpkin brews (apparently they started coming out super early because somebody with the first name Sam located in New England decided to hit the shelves much earlier than normal).

We had many great sips that night.  We started with Marzen from Germany (on the right) — October(fest) beer, then worked our way to pumpkin brews.  My favorite German beer was the 2nd one (from the right).  I can’t remember the name but the picture gives the label.

My next favorite was the Lost Rhino Brewing Company’s RhinO’fest Marzen.  It’s an Amber Lager.  Great flavors.

When we moved on to the one with the frog on it and the Shipyard, they truly tasted like liquid pumpkin pie.  Overly sweet.  Crazy!

It was a very fun night a fun, trying sips of so many different beers.

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