Monday, June 27, 2016

Summertime Smoothies


In the summer, smoothies always sound like a good idea. Cold, fruity, what's not to love? But more often than not, when you buy a smoothie what you get is an overly sweet frozen drink that is closer to a fruit-flavored shake. Extra sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, no thank you. And even if you go to a fancy pants juice bar and get the real deal, smoothies out and about are pretty darn expensive to boot.

Now, I have absolutely no problems with milkshakes, but to me, smoothies are a healthy sweet treat. I want to feel good about putting them in my body, and more often than not, I'll have a smoothie as a quick breakfast or between meal snack on the go. Making them yourself is easy, healthy, and much more affordable than paying someone else. All you need is a blender and you are ready to go.

Smoothies don't need a recipe, per se. You just need a few tips and you are on the road to smoothie heaven.



Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Best Grocery Store Green Teas


All I want is a nice cup of green tea. I enjoy it hot and cold, sometimes plain, sometimes with a little honey or lemon, and sometimes I mix up a fruity punch. For many years, I drank Bigelow, then more recently upgraded to Tazo, the flavor was a little cleaner and less bitter to me. I knew nothing about tea, and I was happy.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Red Beans and Rice II


I buy groceries with absolutely the best intentions. I had bought an andouille sausage over the weekend with plans to do a low country boil, but as is life, those plans changed. So this morning as I looked through my fridge, I found that well-intentioned andouille and realized I could freeze it to save for another day (potentially getting lost in the recesses of my freezer which desperately need to be cleaned) or use it. Problem was, I had zero desire to run to the grocery store and the shrimp I had purchased had already been usurped to make a pan of Paella. What was I to do? I searched my pantry, found dried beans, and realized it's been at least a year since I last made Red Beans and Rice. Inspiration! I was bummed to realize I was missing a ham hock, but the craving would not subside, so I set myself to the task.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Burgundy: 1978 Remoissenet Volnay and 2013 Arnoux Savigny-Lès-Beaune



In the past week I've had the pleasure to drink two Burgundies that were such opposites of each other, I had to write about them. Both are made from the Pinot Noir grape and both are from the Côte de Beaune in the Southern portion of the Côte d'Or in France, but the age difference alone allowed me the chance to reflect on the beauty of wines from Burgundy.

Friday, April 29, 2016

I Passed!



It's been too long since my last post, but at the very least, I have an excuse why. For the past few months I have been hunkering down and preparing for the Level 2 Certified Sommelier Examination with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels


The first time I made bagels at home, I felt like a magician. I've always loved a good bagel, heck, I even enjoy the basic plastic wrapped bagels at the grocery store. But with all the boiling and shaping and baking involved, homemade bagels seemed like a lot of work when a decent bagel is pretty easy to get and relatively cheap to boot.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Who Doesn't Love a Dinner Party...


I always have the best of intentions when it comes to blogging, but then life steps in, things get a little crazy, and the next thing I know, it's been weeks, even months, since my last post.

Last October, I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying dinner with Dinner Party Project, a roving supper club of sorts here in Orlando. You sign up to be added to the list and they draw names for seats by lottery. When your name is drawn, you get sent a couple of dates to choose from then you are in. Seven people are chosen at random for the dinner party and you sit down for a meal in a location around Orlando, prepared by a local chef (chefs rotate as well) and get to know your host and the other guests. When I attended in October, around the table were a therapist, a doctor, a computer programmer and more. It's a diverse crowd and makes for an insightful and entertaining evening as you get to know people from all over Orlando and eat some pretty delicious food.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pasta Puttanesca


I wish I could remember the first time I had pasta puttanesca. Sometime after I fell in love with anchovies, but before I fell in love with olives. For years it was a dish that I didn't think all that much of.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Xiao Bao Biscuit: A Weekend in Charleston


By my second day in Charleston, I was ready for a change of pace. We'd been eating Southern cuisine up to this point at both Husk and McCrady's and I figured I'd take the recommendation of many locals and do Asian comfort food for lunch at Xiao Bao Biscuit.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Homemade Kale Chips - A Healthy Treat


Wow, I've had a bit of a break! My summer has flown by. With trips to Charleston, New Orleans, New York and Ohio, I feel as if I haven't had more than two seconds to myself. Hardly enough time to catch up on laundry, never mind writing blog posts. But now that the school year is back in full swing, I have time again in the kitchen to cook, bake, drink, and get back to myself.

And the first recipe I wanted to try after a summer of over indulgence? Homemade kale chips.