Nuts Over Olives, and Pets

Came across a new nut mix when I was shopping recently.  It’s Bobbysue’s Nuts‘ Nuts Over Olives.  There was a sample of them out and I totally had to pick a pack of them up. Nice flavor and a little kick, too!

image

What’s also great is that the company donates a portion of their net profits to needy animals, the SPCA of Westchester to be specific.  Bobbysue’s has a variety of other flavor of nuts and per their site you can find them at various locations across the country and can order online.

Don’t Mess With Texas…

…wines.  Was at event and in our goody bag we received a bottle of Texas wine.  Hmmm…I did not know that Texas was in the wine industry.  I just know I love me some Shiner and margaritas!

So, I’ve had this bottle of Texas Riesling (another problem unless it’s dang dry) for awhile and decided to finally give it a try.  It’s from Becker Vineyards to be specific.  I felt like I was about to take the biggest risk of my life.  I paced around the kitchen.  Looked at the bottle, then stared.  Held my breath a few times.  Then finally, put the corkscrew in it.  Ahh, the oxygen hit the adult-level grape juice.

Poured a glass.  The color…gold.  The picture does not do it justice.  Think the goldest of gold Chards you’ve seen.  The nose, sweet, that’s all I can say.  The taste.  Um, yeah, um.  Boone’s is tasting pretty good.  I waited a couple minutes, maybe a white can breathe?  No, this and Boone’s are definitely in the same place.  At least you get flavor options with Boone’s.

Now, checking out their website, this isn’t even around anymore.  They only have ‘dry riesling’, which is sold out?

I know it’s each one to their own, so you can always cast your vote if you happen to have tried this.  But I say Don’t mess with Texas wines, as in stay away.

 

image

Jose meet Stirrings

Was totally in the mood for a margarita and didn’t have any of the great pre-mixed/alcohol-holding stuff at home.  And, didn’t feel like driving to the liquor store to get some.  But of course I have the essential components to make one of the essential drinks in life (tied with wine, 2nd in line to water) — tequila and triple sec — but not the rest.

So when I went to the closest grocery store to get some food (with initials WF, meaning they can’t have super unnatural, chemical-saturated, 10-syllable ingredient products), I bumped into some margarita mix.  Darn!  Inspected, thought for about 5 seconds, purchased.

It was Stirrings.  They tell you to add 1.5 oz of tequila to 3 oz of mix.  I did 1 oz Jose Cuervo and 0.5 oz of triple sec (rough estimates).  Perfect on the rocks, no salt.  I was pretty impressed.  Good to know for future binding situations.

image

ACME Oyster House, New Orleans, LA

Visited NOLA awhile back and one of the people in our group said we were required to visit ACME Oyster House.


Despite being the middle of the afternoon, the wait was quite long. This place obviously lives up to its reputation.
Once at our table a couple of us just felt like having Bloody Mary’s.  Can never go wrong!


Then orders varied around the table.  Raw oysters had to be ordered by some.  Apparently their (traditional) roasted oysters are phenomenal — some great butter and parm on there.



I asked if I could get something different done to mine because of my whole lactose intolerance issue.  The waitress took some notes and said she couldn’t guarantee anything and I would still have to pay if anything came out wrong.  Gulp!  They were perfectly roasted and I just added some lemon juice.  I don’t love oysters but I just had to order them because of where I was.


Some crawfish also came to the table.  Was hilarious watching different people eat them.  Everybody had their own way of dealing with them.


By the time the meal was done we were just sort of rolling out of there.  The meal was definitely worth the wait.

Captain Cook Cruises, Sydney, AUS

Last night in Sydney, last night in Australia, last night of vacation.  Why not wrap it up with a dinner cruise around the city?  So, we boarded a boat for a Captain Cook Cruise. They call it a ‘Sunset Cruise.’  This has pros and cons.

IMG_5867

Pros:

Beautiful view of that yellow object fading in the sky
The colors of the sky against all the buildings
Just a nice setting for dinner

Cons:

Since Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s now fall, which means the sun is setting quite early.  Dinner was a 5pm.

Regardless, this was quite a nice way to close things out.  First thing offered when we sat down was bubbly!

Then then first course (entrée per them) was Smoked Ocean Trout, shaved fennel, dill, capers with black caviar dressing.

That fennel was so perfectly mandonlin-ed.  I’ve going to have to make some of this stuff!

IMG_5875

For the main course I opted for the Tasmanian Grilled Salmon Fillet, accompanied by Dutch carrots and asparagus served with capers and lemon oil.

Tell you what, Tasmania should be known more for just their Devils! (they have such great wine, too!)

IMG_5879

During the dinner they also served red or white wine.  I sampled some of both.  They were Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc, Tyrell’s Wines, Moore’s Creek.

IMG_5873

They didn’t have any dessert on the menu I could eat and were so kind as to bring a fresh fruit plate.

IMG_5882

Scenic, delicious way to end the trip.

 

 

Golden Century, Sydney, AUS

Decided to check out Chinatown while in Sydney, AUS.  Walked around the whole area and then of course had to have some dinner.  Finally decided on Golden Century.

IMG_5798

It was quite the large restaurant and we were in the minority.  That had to mean great food!  The menu could easily put your back out if you weren’t careful.  Huge and heavily bound.  We got there a bit early and not too many tables were full.  Within 15 minutes the place was packed.

Our waiter didn’t speak too much English and wasn’t too responsive, but eventually we were able to order some wine — decided to go with Hentley Farm Brass Monkey Vineyards Pinot Gris.  Some nice pear tastes on there; wise choice.

IMG_5802

After looking through the novel of a menu, we finally decided on steamed prawn dumplings, steamed chicken with ginger and shallots, and poached Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce.

 

IMG_5807

IMG_5806 IMG_5805

 

The dumplings took awhile to arrive but once they did, ummm, very good.  Then then other food arrived quickly.  The chicken was awesome!  Overall, very nice dinner.  Couple things — fairly pricey and why is this place open until 4am — what do you do until 4am????

Portobello Caffe, Sydney, AUS

Was walking around Sydney and needed a bite to eat before taking a tour of the Opera House.  Found a place called the Portobello Caffe, right on the water, where people’s food looked really good.  Had to take a seat.

IMG_5704

 

They do a lot with salmon at this place so at the table we ordered the Bruschetta Al Salmone — avocado, Tasmanian smoked salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, capers & Smoked Salmon Salad — tasmanian smoked salmon, mixed lettuce, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, grapefruit, lemon dressing.

IMG_5753

IMG_5751

 

Both were delicious and good sized portions.  One complaint — very expensive — $24 (for lunch), even though very good.  And, come to find out, there is a 6% surcharge for food on the weekends, pretty much because restaurants in that area know they can.  You learn by trying, right?

 

The Morrison, Sydney, AUS

First night in Sydney, wanted to have something easy and close to the hotel.  The concierge recommended The Morrison, which was about a block away.  That worked.

IMG_5723

 

They had a interesting spread on the menu.  We opted to actually try one of those funky guacamoles that was on the special — pea guac.  Not bad, though I like it ‘straight.’

IMG_5736

For the main course we went with a whole baked fish, believe it was flounder.  Absolutely delicious!  They just use chilli, olive oil and parsley.

IMG_5740

IMG_5885

We paired all this with a nice white, Under & Over Pinot Gris.  Nice and refreshing and a perfect match for the meal.  The service at the restaurant was not tremendous but the food made up for it.

IMG_5738