I am not sure how I managed to survive without a pressure cooker for most of my life. It is definitely one of the most amazing kitchen gadgets I own and it continues to amaze me with its ability to cook what should be a slow cooked meal in MINUTES. I wanted to make a cassoulet (a french bean and meat stew that some people make over the course of three days) and make it for dinner on a weeknight. Oh, and the real recipe calls for more fat than I need to eat in a month so I trimmed it down a bit.
Many of the “new” holidays you hear about these days are silly. I am not looking for more reasons to have to buy cards and presents for people. There are some new holidays, however, that are simply fabulous because they encourage people to have fun and enjoy life. International Grenache Day is one of those holidays. This past Friday 9/21 was the my first celebration of this fine excuse to drink a nice wine and I recommend this holiday to everyone!
I was back in San Francisco this past week and on my last evening there I headed to the Marina district to meet my aunts for dinner. I had some time to kill before meeting them so I checked out a nearby wine bar that was suggested to me by my cab driver. It was a great recommendation and I hope to visit Bin 38 again next time I am out that way.
One of the benefits of being in a wine club are the exclusive events you can attend. We are “citizens” of Frogtown Cellars, a winery north of Atlanta, and this past weekend I attended an all day event centered around the harvest. This was not just a party, we worked for our dinner. In the morning, we picked grapes for hours. While it was a great experience, it was hard work. And the weather could not have been more perfect.
After much searching, I have finally found a Riesling that is right up my alley. Sorry Germany, I thought it was going to come from your soil, however, your neighbors in Alsace appear to make a wine that are more suited to my personal taste. A fresh, fruity and floral nose. Bone dry with zesty acidity and hints of melon and peaches. A truly lovely wine that opened up nicely in the glass.
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Since the start of our camping and backpacking craze this summer, I have spent a LOT of time making beef jerky. And I have eaten more beef jerky in the past two months than in my entire life. Why the sudden interest? Well, I had never eaten homemade jerky before and find there to be a remarkable difference compared to the store bought stuff. Doesn’t eating the same thing on every camping trip get boring? Well, no, because there are many recipes for jerky and you can use it as an ingredient in other dishes! Here is what I have learned about beef jerky so far this summer….
I was in NYC recently on business and had dinner with a dear friend at The Red Cat in Chelsea. I had been eager to dine there for ages because my cousin works at the restaurant and told me on several occasions that the food is great. After much delay, I got my opportunity and it was well worth the wait.
I am a big fan of savory pies. Chicken pot pie has been a favorite of mine since I was a young child and I have spent years perfecting my own version. A second type of meat pie came into my life when I was 12 years old and lived in England for a year. The Shepherd’s Pie.