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90+ Cellars Merlot, Mendocino, CA (Lot 92)

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Wine Reviews, Wine Wednesday | 0 comments

Once a month we do a themed wine tasting in our office.  This is quite possibliy one of the most successful interest groups we do and it is always an education and a lot of fun.  I have run a few of them myself with one of my favorites ones being a blind tasting of expensive vs. inexpensive wines.  This past week we did a tasting of 5 Merlots.  Ask someone what they think of Merlot and I can almost guarantee you will here the famous quote from the movie Sideways when Miles Raymond said “No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving.  I am NOT drinking any F***ing Merlot!”. ...

Duck Braised in Soy-Ginger Tamarind Juice at the Elephant Walk

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Fab Dish Friday, Restaurant Talk | 1 comment

The first time I had tried this dish was back in May when I went to the Elephant Walk in the South End for my birthday. Since then, every time I have visited both the South End and the Porter Square restaurant, I have ordered it. This dish is simply FABulous. I had talked about wanting it for about 30 minutes with my friend, who I was dining with last night. He kept trying to get them to change it up slightly, who knows why. He kept talking about gluten when apparently there is no gluten in the dish. I was having absolutely none of it even though they...

French Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes with Butter and Herb

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in In The Kitchen, Recipes | 0 comments

I believe that a side dish can make or break your dinner menu.  Think about overcooked broccoli, undercooked hard potatoes or slimy asparagus.  None of that sounds good right?  This why I make a lot of salads as side dishes as cooking with vegetables can sometimes be a precarious feat, at least it is for me.    I honestly think I am scarred from my mother’s cooking of vegetables.  My wonderful, incredibly funny and fiercely proud Irish mother had no idea how to cook.  I didn’t know what food was supposed to really taste like because apart from school dinners of mushy peas and spotted dick we never dined out.  So,...

Your chance to win free tickets to the 25th Boston Wine Expo 2016 – February 13-14, 2016

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Blog, Wine Reviews, Wine Wednesday, Wine Wednesday Fun | 19 comments

Each year after I have failed to do my New Year’s Resolutions within the first week of making them, I start to look forward to what’s on offer for the upcoming year.  In the cold winter months if you are not a skier, which I am not, that leaves me with the Wine Expos.  In particular, the Boston Wine Expo at Boston World Trade Center & Seaport Hotel. The Wine Expo these days for me is so much more than wine.  It’s the unbelievable seminars, the famed Chef demonstrations, the cheese and chacuterie tastings and the endless gadgets, gifts and fun books on offer.  Not forgetting The Grand Tasting, which...

B & G Oysters, South End, Boston

Posted by on Jan 9, 2016 in Restaurant Talk | 0 comments

For me this holiday break was a much needed complete unwind from work.  I indulged in seeing my friends, having great dinners, enjoying wonderful wine and going to get bed early every night.  I even threw in a workout here and there.  Not too many though as I didn’t want to overdo it  I was having dinner with Erika and we were trying to come up with somewhere we hadn’t been in a while and B&G Oysters popped into my head.  While almost always impossible to get a reservation, I did manage to get one that evening for a 7.30pm dinner.  Perfect! Prior to dinner, we stopped by the always friendly and...

Mad for Madeleine’s

Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 in In The Kitchen, Recipes | 0 comments

I have had a madeleine baking tray for years.  I honestly can’t even remember buying it.  It is actually a strong possibility I may have acquired by accidental theft from my old roommate, Lauren, circa 2003.  Nevertheless, it was time it was used and what better occasion than cooking dinner for the girls with a French menu in mind.  I have already shared my recipe for our awesome signature cocktail of the evening, a French 75.  I will share the recipes for the Baked Goat Cheese and Coq au Vin over the next few weeks.  In the meantime, why don’t I start with sharing this recipe for delightful Madeleine’s. ...

My favorite restaurants of 2015

Posted by on Jan 2, 2016 in Restaurant Talk | 0 comments

Firstly, I would like to wish all of my regular readers and website visitors a Happy New Year!  I am hoping 2016 brings this world much deserved peace and happiness for everyone.  My blog is about life, food and wine where I focus on the more simple pleasures of life rather than a rant of what’s wrong with it.  While there are many things in life, which bring me happiness and joy, there is a particular pleasure which can be a transportive experience and that is food.  I absolutely love dining out.  I enjoy someone else cooking for me and presenting a dish I can remember long after I...

Foundry on Elm, Davis Square

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in Restaurant Talk | 0 comments

I am acutely aware that there are wonderful restaurants over in Cambridge and Somerville, which I never get to.  In all honesty, I feel that sometimes it’s like having to find your passport for a trip that you just can’t be bothered to make, which is utterly silly as its only 20(ish) minutes away.  That said, every time I venture over the Charles River I am rarely, if ever disappointed.  A few weeks ago my friend, Erika asked me to come to Somerville to check out her newly and fully renovated condo.  I have to say I am a little jealous as it’s stunning, especially the kitchen.  It makes me think...

French 75

Posted by on Dec 27, 2015 in Recipes | 0 comments

While this year I didn’t have my traditional Boxing Day (December 26) dinner party due to friends being out of town, I did put together a small dinner party just for the girls on December 23.  I decided to go with a French menu of Baked Goat Cheese Salad, Coq au Vin and Madeleine’s for dessert.  I will be sharing all of these fabulously fun and quite easy recipes this week but for now I wanted to share our cocktail of the evening, which was a French 75.  The first time I ever tasted a French 75 was in New Orleans at Arnaud’s on Bourbon Street in their aptly...

Movie Night at The Outlook Kitchen & Bar

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Fab Dish Friday, Restaurant Talk | 0 comments

I absolutely love movie nights. I like how they can take you on a fun adventure, a heartbreaking journey or just utterly entertain you with great action.  In fact, I take myself to the movies a lot, especially over at the fabulous Chestnut Hill SuperLux Theater.  Well, I want to talk about Movie Night, however this movie night is just a little bit different…  it’s a dessert. As a surprise for a team dinner we were having this past week, the Dessert Chef at The Outlook Kitchen & Bar in the Envoy Hotel sent over an ingenious dessert called Movie Night.  This dessert perfectly brings a story together with a buttered...

‘Tis the Season… Let’s Talk Bubbly

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Blog, Wine Wednesday | 1 comment

“Come quickly!  I am tasting stars!” Dom Perignon’s comment after his first sip of Champagne As we head into the season of parties and celebration I thought now would be an apt time to discuss one of my favorite wines…  Champagne.  I am sure there will be plenty flowing at many celebration events we will all be attending. Champagne invokes a vivacious, fun, social and elegant taste to any celebration.  I love this little sparkling number that instills happiness in me with every sip.   Champagne represents a celebration of life whether that be a birthday, a wedding, a holiday party or a Thursday.  If I think of ordering a glass of champagne I can feel the smile...

Tuna Sliders at The Modern, NYC

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Fab Dish Friday | 0 comments

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” ― Orson Welles Ever since returning to The Modern located at the MoMA in NYC last week, I have been obsessed with thinking about their tuna sliders.  The combination of delicate sushi grade tuna, charred lime, shiso and crunch of finely chopped vegetables made these bites outrageously good.  However, what made them superb is the bun.  I am not sure what this bread is but its lightness worked in harmony with the tuna and not against it as can happen with sliders.   A must order for your lunch treat if you are ever in NYC....

Let’s Talk Diets and WeightWatchers Balsamic Chicken

Posted by on Nov 15, 2015 in Blog, In The Kitchen, Recipes | 0 comments

Too much indulgence over the last few weeks, months… okay years have crept up on me in a negative way.  I am getting older and it’s getting harder to keep the weight down.   I have ignored my scales and neglected exercise…  and now, well now, my jeans are tight and I have a muffin top, and I feel I really can’t ignore it any more.  Or I could ignore it and just buy new clothes??  While I have been a little better lately at going to the gym but not as consistently as I should, I need to get a lot better and structured with my eating habits and not eat...

Seasons 52, Chestnut Hill

Posted by on Nov 14, 2015 in Restaurant Talk | 2 comments

I recently received an invite from Seasons 52 to try out their new menu.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the date, however, if I am going to be truly honest with you my brain did rebel a little against going to a chain restaurant, which I am aware is totally stuck up and silly.  I recently tried Bonefish in Waltham, which I thought was great, so I am not sure where this anti-chain restaurant brain comes from.  Perhaps I really am a stuck up snob  That all said, I found myself over in Chestnut Hill last week with my friend, Kathleen so we decided to give it a try.  Seasons...