Sweet Potato Scones with Hints of Cheddar

Sweet Potato Scones with Hints of Cheddar

If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a few days ago one of the reason from my quiet around here - not having a kitchen! These scones were one of the few things I actually thought about and baked in my kitchen. And, then, actually shot.  So, here we are, as the festive season comes running up to us..

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Festive Beginnings - Pairing Notes Sonoma-Cutrer Wines

Festive Beginnings - Pairing Notes Sonoma-Cutrer Wines

The Holiday season is here! And, it is my favorite part of the year! This year in particular I have much to celebrate and be thankful for - life, friends and family. I have been blessed, I have been tested and I have triumphed. And, oh! There have been so many new beginnings to toast and raise a glass. The wines and whiskeys have been flowing free and unchecked and I cannot be more thrilled. It is of course not to say that there haven't been trials but hey, a good glass of wine is well and nice for when its a good day and even better when it ain't so nice! :D

Read on for tasting and food pairing notes on a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards.

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And I Came Home...

And I Came Home...

Just over a year ago, I decided I needed a hiatus. A change. A chance. Something new. Utterly different. Something to slap me in the face and wake me up. A few months ago, an opportunity landed on my lap; it sounded too good to be true. And, it was! Too Good and Too True! :)

The long and short of it, is that I spent 9 months living outside US, for the most part based in Italy, traveling Europe, Asia and collecting information about cultures, peoples' values, real life experiences, what food means to people in different spaces in life and the world,.... and, yet how similar we all are.

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A Frontyard Picnic

A Frontyard Picnic

So, I had this all planned out. I was going to make this awesome picnic spread with the products the lovely folks at Trois Petit Cochon sent across. Their picnic basket makes for a fantastic board as is but I decided to dare it up further. Then, me and partner were going to carry it to Astoria park, sit amidst the trees with a view of the bridge. I was going to uncork a nice bottle of chilled Rosé, pour into proper flutes (we don't do paper cups in our thirties.. we buy hampers with checkered cloth liners and leather straps to hold things together... #noirony), lean back and enjoy the afternoon. It was the pre-Memorial day picnic just right to ease into the Summer groove.

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Mushroom Carbonara

Mushroom Carbonara

If there is one thing I have learnt living in Italy for nearly a year and being in close contact with the original Italian food culture is that they are very protective of it and very very attached to the past and the old, traditional way of doing things. Which means, limited to zero tolerance to changing their beloved dishes.

The question in my mind is where is the line between innovation and tradition? When is it unnecessary to tinker with something that isn't broken and when is the need or desire?

Meanwhile, I present to you an ultimately blasphemous dish to you... Mushroom Carbonara. Which, is one, vegetarian and two has rosemary in it! Shhh! Yet, the mushrooms offer a earthy groundedness similar to what the guanciale would. If you are an orthodox Italian, I beseech you to try it before you turn your nose up at it. :)

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