2011 Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Chardonnay

2011 Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Chardonnay

2011 Gary Farrell Chardonnay

This wine from Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir pioneer, Gary Farrell Vineyards, has further opened my mind to California Chardonnay. While I enjoy unoaked Cali Chardonnays, this outstanding wine’s great level of acidity balances the oak it sees from seven months in 40% new French oak making it enjoyable for folks who aren’t […]

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Chocolate Chip and Butterscotch Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip and Butterscotch Banana Bread

Baked Bread

I’m not sure why, but seeing overripe bananas and having to toss them hurts me. I’m also not sure why, but spending $10 on ingredients required to make banana bread to save $0.50 worth of bananas doesn’t bother me at all. This banana bread is gilded with chocolate and butterscotch chips that give the plain […]

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2007 Heron Hill Ingle Vineyard Riesling Icewine

2007 Heron Hill Ingle Vineyard Riesling Icewine

2007 Heron Hill Riesling Icewine

This dessert wine is made from a small section of Ingle Vineyard’s younger vines (15 years old) and the grapes are harvested when frozen then hand-sorted. In the glass, it’s strikingly golden with juicy tropical fruit, honey and jammy fig aromas. This is a rich and intense wine that’s not overly sweet and offers ripe […]

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Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My tasting panel (ten warehouse workers at my office) really liked these chewy yet crispy cookies and the extra chocolate from the addition of chunks with the chips. This recipe yields 32 cookies which can be a lot of you’re only craving a quick dozen. The cookie dough can easily be divided and wrapped tightly […]

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Best Ways to Handle and Store Tomatoes

Best Ways to Handle and Store Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

This is prime tomato season. Some of us either buy quantities of or have an abundance of the fruit to harvest and a few key tips on how to properly handle and store our bounty is valuable. Handling: Tomatoes, especially the coveted heirlooms, are fragile – treat them with care from the time you pick […]

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Old York Cellars – Virtual Tasting

Old York Cellars – Virtual Tasting

Old York Wines

Old York Cellars is one of New Jersey’s oldest vineyards and last week, old vines met new technology in a virtual wine tasting. I’ve detailed the concept of virtual wine tasting in previous posts but for those of you who are new to virtual wine tastings, this is what the concept entails: Buy a bottle […]

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Alba Vineyard – New Jersey Wines Anyone?

Alba Vineyard – New Jersey Wines Anyone?

Alba Sign

Award-winning Alba Vineyard is located in the rolling hills of Warren County in Milford, New Jersey. The winery and tasting room reside in an 1805-converted stone barn with an striking wood tasting bar, rustic stonewalls and old oak beams. During our visit, Caroline, our Alba Vineyard Ambassador, let us sample several Alba wines. She was […]

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2009 Chateau Perenne Bernard Magrez Cru Bourgeois

2009 Chateau Perenne Bernard Magrez Cru Bourgeois

2009 Chateau Perenne Bernard Magrez Cru Bourgeois

Bought this inexpensive Bordeaux in Quebec in anticipation of a couple dinner parties I was attending and thought it was a nice wine for the price point. This inky-hued wine offers beautiful fruit and nutmeg undertones. Round from the Merlot with solid body and tannins from the Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the same producer who […]

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Annual Quebec Smoked Meat Pilgrimage

Annual Quebec Smoked Meat Pilgrimage

Smoked Meat Sandwich

I just got back from making my summer trip up to Quebec and to my delight, my dad hosted us for his famous smoked meat sandwich party. Steamed smoked meat sandwiches are a special Quebec treat.  Dad used his restaurant-grade food steamer to cook a 10-pound piece of corned beef for about 4 hours. The […]

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Easy Fried Raviolis

I don’t typically take shortcuts in the kitchen when I host a dinner party, but when it comes to fried raviolis, I see no issue with using store-bought, fresh raviolis. Seriously, even if I made fresh pasta with the best filling, would there really be a huge difference once I deep fried them? No. This […]

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