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Wine Wednesday|Cline Zinfandel

Hello again Wine Wednesday!

I’ve been missing the blog and as I explained in the last post, there isn’t a whole lot of baking going on around here.*  So naturally, it’s time for the return of Wine Wednesday!

This week we tried a Zinfandel from Cline.  Overall, a definite winner.  It had the usual fruitiness of Zinfandel with some raspberry and blueberry notes.  This isn’t a heavy or syrupy wine, but it’s still got some heft to it – I believe the pros would call that “balance.”**  It was also very smooth – not a lot of heat to it and not overly tannin-y, but far from flat or boring.

What’s going on around here?


Oh it’s been a long time since there have been any posts.  I don’t like that.  But I have a dilemma…

It’s a multi-faceted dilemma.  Many parts.  Here’s me, breaking it down:

1. I got a job – there was a time, not too long ago, when I did not have a 40 hour gig.  Now I have a 50 hour gig, which I love, but which takes up a huge amount of time.  There’s no getting around it.  Cutting your “free” time down by over 50 hours a week leaves considerably less time for other things (although it also provides much more funding to do even other things, and for that I am grateful).

(Almost) Twelve Months of Cookbooks|August – “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer (and others)

I’m going to be totally honest…

First, I’ve been horribly remiss in posting once a month about a favorite “can’t live without it” cookbook.  This isn’t me just ignoring the blog (although I seem to be doing a fairly good job there too) but it’s because…well, I just don’t have 12 cookbooks I can’t live without.  I have 12 cookbooks that like well enough for various reasons, but not 12 that I’d haul to a desert island with me (not quite sure what I’d do with them there anyway).

Daring Bakers July 2012|Crackers!


Hello Daring Bakers!

Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.

Oh my crackers are a deceptively simple thing!  Very quick to make and easy to put together with ingredients you almost surely have on hand in the kitchen, crackers are something that can be thrown together on almost a moment’s notice.

Twelve Months of Cookbooks: June|”Cook’s Illustrated” (multiple authors)

This month’s cookbook is a magazine.

Which is kind of cheating, I guess, but I got my cooking start from a magazine – trying to replicate a rhubarb and strawberry tart on the cover of a Food & Wine my boyfriend brought home – and I’ve had so many subscriptions to food magazines (Gourmet, Sauveur, Food & Wine, Sunset, Bon Appetit…) that I’ve come to feel cooking magazines are as indispensable as cookbooks for learning.

Twelve Months of Cookbooks: April|”Quick & Easy Indian Cooking” by Madhur Jaffrey

Is that May over the horizon?

This month, we’re taking a look at Madhur Jaffrey’s excellent “Quick & Easy Indian Cooking.”  This is not a book I would ordinarily be inclined toward – if you ask anyone who has ever had to clean up for me after I cook, my style is neither “quick” nor is it “easy.”*  I like to think my painstaking method of food prep lends itself to “authentic,” but that’s probably my own fanciful idea rather than an accurate reflection of reality.  Digressions and self-depreciations aside, my husband is the one who bought this book.  As with so many things in our home, it’s a welcome addition and another reason I’m very glad I live with him.

Wine Wednesday (the last)|Trader Joe’s Reserve GSM

Happy Wednesday!

Today we have a lovely little bottle from the Trader Joe’s Reserve line.  There have been a couple of bottles from their “reserves” that have made it into a Wine Wednesday post – mostly because they are really pretty good!  Good value goes far around here.

This particular wine – called “GSM” which stands in for “Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre” –  is from Paso Robles (our region of choice for California wine) and is a nice blend.  Full bodied without being syrupy or “heavy” it had some nice ripe fruitiness to it (the label refers to dates and plum – I’d agree).  All in all, a perfectly respectable wine for it’s $9.99 price tag.  Give it to a red wine drinker as a gift and I think they’ll be pleased with both the thought, and the present!

Wine Wednesday|2011 Robert Hall Rosé de Robles

This is a fun one!

I’ve never been a rosé drinker. I was going up to Santa Barbara to visit an old friend and wanted to bring a treat for the afternoon, so I chose this wine. Partially because of its price, partially because it is from Paso Robles (a favorite wine producing region), but also because it’s pink and I’m a girl and I was going to see another girl and I just wanted something fun.

Twelve Months of Cookbooks: March|”Les Halles Cookbook” by Anthony Bourdain

Each monthly post seems to get closer and closer to the end of the month…

But I digress.  This month, another fantastic cookbook.  Well that’s not surprising.  This is supposed to be a list of fantastic cookbooks.  This one, though, has a quality I find to be somewhat rare in cookbooks.  This one is sheer fun.

I came to this book at a time when I needed some lightening up.  Seriously.  We had moved to Los Angeles about a year earlier and I was in the throes of a full-on life change; new city, new love, new job, and new perspective.

Wine Wednesday|Green Fin California Red

Happy Wednesday!

This week found me wandering up and down the wine section (on my break!), thinking on what to choose this week.  I was looking for another bottle from Paso Robles, but not finding much we hadn’t tried when I noticed a customer looking around.  She asked if we still carried the Green Fin.  Why yes, we did, in both the red and white.  She said she hadn’t tried the white but couldn’t say enough about the red – lots of fruit, she said, and a great deal…