Saturday, May 30, 2015

Yummy Drinks to Try...."Caribbean Pineapple"

 I love anything that reminds me of the islands.  Coconut and pineapple are a sure bet to bring back  my memories of white sand beaches and the warm turquoise waters of the caribbean.  This is one of the easiest drinks you will ever make.  You can make it as strong or as mild as you like.  I decided to follow the recipe, at least initially:-)
I studied the recipe...

A delicious recipe for Caribbean Pineapple, with Malibu ® coconut rum and pineapple juice.  
1 part Malibu ® coconut rum
3 parts pineapple juice

Pour ingredients over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve.
This drink is most often served in a Old-Fashioned Glass

Doesn't get any easier then this.  Easy, tasty, and refreshing.

So if you want to escape to the islands I suggest you give this Yummy Drink a try. 
 Just sit in the sun, close your eyes and take a sip.
Happy sipping

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Exploring the Triangle....Dame's Chicken and Waffles Durham NC

Durham has changed over the years since I moved to the area in 1991.  There are many new and interesting restaurants, and other venues, that I have heard about but not explored, at least not yet.  I have decided to make an attempt to explore the many interesting places in Durham and the surrounding area.  My friend Cindy and I decided to start with Dame's Chicken and Waffles.  Unique flavor combination.  I had heard rave reviews.  Everyone that has mentioned this restaurant said you need a reservation because the line is out the door for those who show up without one.  So, we made reservations and off we went.....

We got there a bit early and yes the line was out the door.  The reservation got us in quickly and we decided to sit at the bar.
Here is a quote from their website...
"Dame’s is where crispy, Southern fried perfection meets deliciously sweet European decadence. Dame’s pairings are world-class, comfort food combinations meant to fulfill your appetite’s and heart’s desires. From “first-timers” to “barnyard veterans”, Dame’s Almost World Famous Chicken & Waffle inspirations are truly palette pleasing pairings that offer something special for all comers. We hope you enjoy every morsel. But be careful, these dishes are truly, smack yo’ Mama good!"

We decided to start the evening with a drink.  Cindy and I both ordered what I call a tropical drink.  I don't remember the name of it but it was fruity and delicious.
Bar area.  I like the chicken at the top of the photo:-)
What to order?  I had studied the menu before we arrived and decided to go with the...

Orange Speckled Chabo

"A “Rare Breed” A chicken cutlet, a Sweet Potato waffle, drizzled w/ Honey Dijon, Orange-Honeycomb shmear"
What is a shmear you ask....Here is their description...
"Dame’s soon to be, Almost World Famous “Shmears” are made of sweet crème butters that have been delicately whipped with the freshest natural ingredients available.
Well there it is.  Chicken and Waffles, a combination I never would have thought of.  It works.  Really yummy.  The waffle was a sweet potato waffle that was just melt in your mouth good.  The chicken was moist and yummy.  You can see the drizzle in the top left corner.  The shmear I did not get in the photo.  It is a smooth flavored butter that I really enjoyed.  

A friend of mine has been to Dame's several times.  She said her favorite thing is the Shrimp and Grits.  With that in mind I ordered a side of grits.  The grits were smooth and delicious.  
As you can see I enjoyed my meal.  Took my leftovers home to enjoy at another sitting.
We had a great time at Dame's Chicken and Waffles.  If you find yourself in Durham I suggest you give them a try.  Nice people and great food.  Don't forget to make a reservation.
Happy eating and exploring.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Wine Tasting at Southern Season in Chapel Hill NC. "Roman Empire"

Last night I had the opportunity to go to a wine tasting in Chapel Hill.  It was held at at of my favorite places Southern Season.  It was lovely.    The wine was nicely displayed and they provided crackers,  cheese and a few finger foods to enjoy.  The folks hosting the tasting were well informed and friendly.
The focus of the evening was "The Roman Empire".  We sampled nine wines.  I chose two to take home, a red and a white.  One perk of going to their tastings is that you get 20% off of any bottles you buy.  Here is my review of the wines at the event. I will put some of their descriptions in parentheses.  I will rate them on a verbal scale of "not for me", "ok", "good", and "my favorite of the evening".

1-Skouras Zoe White 1013- Greece  "ok"
     (aromas of fresh flowers with hints of fruit and avocado.  Flavors of orange and lemon blossom)

2-La Piana Palmizio Vermentino 2013- Italy "Not for me"
     (Melon and pear accented by herbs and minerals.)

3- Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2013- France "ok"
     (notes of white peach and tangerine, aromas of honeysuckle, pear, kiwi and minerals.)

***4-Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Josephshofer Riesling Kabinett 2007- Germany "My Favorite!!!"
You know I would choose the one I can't pronounce.  But as I look over the list I realize I can't pronounce any of them.  When I first tasted this one I thought it was a bit to sweet for me.  But there was something I really liked about it.  The folks in my group seemed to really like it too, even the red wine drinkers.

(Grown in Mosel Germany.  Intriguing aromas of violet and peony lead to a strong mineral note, lime and apple tinged note.)

5- Las Lilas Vinho Verde Rose 1014- Portugal "not for me"
     (It is a blended wine.  Flavors of strawberry, rhubarb, bing cherry and pomegranate.)

6-Domaine Douloufakis Danois Liatiko 2011- Greece  "Not for me"
      (Aromas of wild cherry, peppercorn and lavender.  Ripe tannins.  Bitter Chocolate nuance.)

7-Chateau Grand Portail La Croix Blanche Bordeaux Rouge 2013- France "good"
I am not a red wine drinker but this one I did kinda like.  I could see myself sipping on it very slowly.
     (Nose of juicy red fruits underlined by touches of crushed berries and vanilla notes.)
8-Ampeleia Kepos 2012- Italy.  "Not for me"
     (Dark red cherry, pomegranate, plum spices, leather notes)

9-Vegal Syrah 2013- Spain "Not for me"
     (intense aromas, ripe fruit, balsamic notes)
I had a great time at the wine tasting.  It was fun and informative.  I think they have one every week in the summer.  I will look forward to going back.
Get out and try a new wine.  
I suggest you go to a tasting.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Recipe Review, Shrimp Scampi Linguine by Rasa Malaysa as found on Pinterest.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

I love shrimp.  I guess you could say I am on a shrimp kick.  Went out with Erica for lunch last week and had a salad with shrimp.  Had dinner with Cindy last night and had shrimp kabobs...yummy.  I love the texture and the taste.  Since I had shrimp on my mind I decided to make a new recipe with shrimp. 

I studied the recipe that I found on Pinterest by Rasa Malaysia

Serves 4 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Minutes
4 servings linguine, for 4 people
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 oz unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
5 tablespoons white wine
6 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
Salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Squirts of lemon juice
1/2 heaping teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat up a pot of water, cook the linguine according to the 
instructions on the package.
Sprinkle the cayenne pepper to the shrimp. Set aside.
Heat up a saute pan and add the butter. When the butter melts, 
add the olive oil. Stir in the garlic, lightly saute until aromatic before 
adding the shrimp into the pan. 
Saute the shrimp until half cooked and then add the white wine,
 salt, and sugar. Add the cherry tomatoes and 
linguine into the pot, stir to combine well.
When the shrimp is completely cooked, add a few squirts of the lemon 
juice, black pepper, and chopped parsley to the linguine, 
toss to mix well, dish out and serve immediately with 
some shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
I gathered my ingredients and started cooking.....

I would give this an
8/10 on my scale.
For me the cheese
not necessary. But
other then that it was
delicious and easy.
Happy cooking!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Restaurant Review Sunset Terrace at The Omni Grove Park Inn

I spent some time in Asheville last weekend with a group of new friends.  Although we did not stay at the Omni Grove Park Inn we did visit.  Beautiful!!   They have several dinning options, I chose the Sunset Terrace. Below is a quote from their site....
"The Sunset Terrace features the finest hand cut steaks, premiere chops and fresh seafood. Partnering with local farmers, our chefs and staff are committed to providing you with a truly memorable Asheville dining experience with an incomparable view of the Blue Ridge Mountains."
The restaurant is to the left just behind the umbrellas. 
View from the table.  You can see the city of Asheville.
I studied the lunch menu.  I wanted to try everything but decided on lobster cobb salad.

Lobster Cobb Salad
lobster / applewood smoked bacon / eggs tomatoes / blue cheese / cucumbers basil-buttermilk ranch dressing $23 
I have to give this salad a 10/10.  I expected small pieces of lobster.  I am glad I was wrong.
I would go back just for this salad.
If you are in the Asheville area I suggest you give the Sunset Terrace at the Omni Grove Park Inn a try.  The service was great, the view beautiful, the ambience was rustic elegance, and the food amazing.
Get out and try a new restaurant.  I suggest the Sunset Terrace in Asheville NC