A Visit to Santiago

A Visit to Santiago

Travel & Leisure listed Santiago, Chile as one of their best places to travel in 2018.  I was very excited to be able to see South America and cross that off of my map, especially since it’s such a short plane ride. Who wouldn’t be excited to visit the land where many of the best Malbecs and red wines are produced!

Bubbly Horse Travels to Santiago
I’m ready to fly all night to South America! Sweet dreams!

Santiago is the capital of Chile and also its largest city.  It is estimated that the population of Santiago is around 7 million, which is slightly less than the population of New York City.  Chile’s coastal region is about an hour’s drive from Santiago; Valparaiso is a lovely coastal city. However, the backdrop unique to Santiago is the lovely Andes mountains.  Chile was just finishing winter at the time of our trip, and the high reaching snow-capped mountains were quite beautiful!

Santiago Chile on the Square
Santiago on the Square

As we were taking our city tour, I was struck by how physically fit the people of South America are.  There are beautiful parks and outdoor sports available everywhere you look.  People riding bikes, running, walking and hiking are everywhere.  Interestingly, I saw a large group of people doing Zumba on the side of the road.  It was just so different to see such active people scattered everywhere.  Much different than in the US, where activities such as Zumba are usually confined to indoor facilities.

Winters in Santiago can be chilly, but at the time we arrived it was almost spring, so a light jacket made for comfortable sightseeing.  People everywhere were enjoying the weather as our bus made its way up to the highest point in the city.

The views of Santiago were spectacular.  A bustling city and beautiful mountains.  What’s not to like!

As we ventured out into the city later in the day we came upon a festival….. much like a festival that you would see here in the US.  There were food trucks, families with small children, games, music, etc.  Before I left the U.S., I made a list of a few things that I really wanted to do while I was in Chile.  And guess what?  I found exactly one of the things I had on my list!

Festival in Santiago
Santiago Festival, with Esperanza the LLama

I’ve always loved Llamas.  In Chile, they pronounce it as Yamma, instead of the pronunciation that we use.  This particular cutie was named Esperanza.  She was all dressed up for photos and was the sweetest thing.  She loved to cuddle and nestle her head on your shoulder.  If I could have brought her home, I sure would have!  Just look at those eyelashes and the sweet face.

Llama in Chile
Meet Esperanza! Who wouldn’t love this face!
Bubbly Horse and Esperanza
I finally got to take my photo with a Llama.  Isn’t her outfit cute!
Bubbly Horse with a Llama
I wish I could have brought Esperanza home with me.  Best friends!

I’m a foodie, so before I travel somewhere I like to research what type of food that places are known for and the dished that I should be sure to try!  Chile is known for its seafood.  Due to its coastal proximity, there is a wide variety of seafood that is available.  So, when it was time for lunch we ventured over to the Mercado Central de Santiago, otherwise known as the Fish Market.  The Mercado is a popular tourist destination that our guide recommended.  It’s a little like the fish market in Seattle, although much smaller and a lot more touristy.  It has all of the touristy things you would expect like t-shirts, refrigerator magnets, etc., but hey, I’m a tourist!  I needed to buy some souvenirs to take home.

Mercado Central de Santiago
Mercado Central de Santiago
Mercado Central del Santiago
Mercado Central de Santiago, otherwise known as the Fish Market
Santiago Market
Many selections at the market besides fish

After a quick round of shopping, it was time for lunch.  I couldn’t wait to have some fresh seafood and local wine!  I call that a perfect lunch.  We settled in at a restaurant called El Galeon, which was recommended by our guide.  It is located within the fish market, so we knew everything was pretty much right off the boat and super fresh.

IMG_1516
Nothing like fresh fish!

Crab is one of my favorite things to eat. I think it’s better than lobster. The texture is less chewy and the meat is a little sweeter.  I was thrilled to see such a wide variety of seafood options for our meal.

There is a definite language barrier in South America.  There are a few people who spoke English, but not very many.  Our Google Translate app came in handy along with my little pocket Spanish book, even though the language in Chile is more towards Portuguese.  As we were deciding what to order it was recommended that we get the medium crab, instead of the small.  I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the medium crab that was brought out for us.  Diana ordered one as well.  That’s a lot of crab!

Crab in Santiago
Nothing like fresh crab!

The restaurant had a fun presentation.  We got to put on our chef hat and hold the crab while everybody took photos.  It wasn’t my preferred dining choice; it was super touristy, but we had fun.  The way they served the crab was amazing.  I didn’t have to do any work at all! I was determined to eat every last bite.  It was served with a side order of mushrooms and olives.  I think a little was lost in the “translation”, but it was still really good.

Bubbly Horse at El Galion in Chile
Touristy but Fun!

Santiago has an area called Barrio Bellavista that we stumbled upon.  It’s a beautiful area of the city that has all kinds of unique shops, hotels, and restaurants.  We found many cool galleries and high-end shops where you could buy beautiful pieces of art made from local materials and clothing made from local Alpaca farms.

Bars and restaurants were packed with people.  There were certainly all kinds of restaurants and bars to suit everybody’s taste.

Bubbly Horse Visits Chile Bar
Cool restaurant in Santiago
Bubbly Horse visits Santiago Chile
More restaurants in Bellevista
Bubbly Horse visits Santiago Chile 2
Who knew The Simpsons had their own bar!

Chile is known for its copper mining and its semi-precious stones.  According to our guide, Chile is the world’s largest copper-producing country.  Semi-precious stones that are found in Chile include lapis lazuli (which is a bright blue stone), malachite, turquoise, jasper, quartz, and obsidian.  All around the Barrio Bellavista were shops offering work by artists who had used these materials in their creations.

Bronze Art from Chile
A piece of art that I bought in Santiago. The Lapis, Turquoise, and Onyx are all mined in Chile

Santiago is a very interesting city and one you should definitely visit on your trip to South America.  Next week I’ll talk about the graffiti street art seen throughout Santiago, as well as my trip to a local vineyard that specializes in organic wines.  Until next week!  xoxo

Is Georgian Cuisine from Heaven?

There is a Russian poet from the 19th century named Alexander Pushkin who stated, “Every Georgian dish is a poem”.  According to Georgian legend written about in the book The Georgian Feast, “God took a supper break while creating the world.  He became so involved with his meal that he inadvertently tripped over the high peaks of the Caucasus, spilling his food onto the land below.  The land blessed by Heaven’s table scraps was Georgia”……or, so it goes!

 

Alexander Pushkin
Alexander Pushkin wrote that every Georgian dish is a poem

I really didn’t know what to expect when I was asked to travel to Georgia.  But I am so glad that I did!  Georgia is a country that is home to not only wonderful people but also to some of the best food and wine in the world!

Georgians regularly meet to enjoy a supra, which means feast.  One of the most important features of the feast is, of course, the wine.  Georgia has a long history in winemaking and is home to over 500 varieties of grapes.  It’s one of the oldest wine regions in the world.

According to many of the historians, since the year 6000 BC, the inhabitants of Georgia were cultivating grapes.  Winemakers would bury them in clay vessels called kvevris. This vessel stored their wine until it was ready to serve.  According to UNESCO, ” The kvevris was topped with a wooden lid and covered and buried underground.  The porous nature of the vessel allows for natural temperature shifts and aeration….and, the oblong shape promotes kinetic movement by allowing constant natural stirring and more uniform oxygen contact.  This process is important for the production of amber wines in Georgia”.  As we drove through the countryside many homes still had grape arbors in the yard.

Qvevri store Georgian wine
Qvevri are vessels that store Georgian wine under the ground until ready to serve

Photo by Georgianrecipes.net

Today, according to wine experts, somewhere almost 500 varieties of grapes exist in Georgia.  Many of those grapes were nearly extinct!

The best way to describe Georgian wine is “orange wine”. It’s not made from citrus, but the grapes taste like a white wine but have the body, tannin, and structure of a red wine.  It’s a lot more complex than a traditional rose wine.  And, it’s a lot better than rose, in my opinion.  No preservatives are added to Georgian wine.  I’ve found that many times it’s the sulfates in the wine that gives you a headache the next day and sulfates aren’t added to Georgian wine.  The shelf life may not be as long, but at least you have an all-natural product!

Georgian wine is amber colored
Georgian wine is orange in color

Not only is Georgian wine bottled without any preservatives, it’s also much lower in alcohol than traditional American wine.  Georgian wine contains around 9-11% alcohol compared with 11.5-13.5%  in American wine.  This is excellent news when you are attending a 4-5 hour formal dinner or supra, as they call it in Georgia.

We stayed in the old part of town in a hotel that was built on a hillside. It was a cool hotel.  At the bottom of the hill was the old section of Tbilisi.  Cobblestone streets were lined with shops, restaurants, and bars.  One of my favorite memories of my trip was going to a traditional Georgian restaurant complete with a band that played Georgian music.  Both the music and the food were great!

 

 

 

Formal banquets in Georgia can last from 4-6 hours, or longer.  Multiple rounds of food, wine and toasts are the hallmarks of a Georgian supra.  My post last week discussed Georgian toasting, it’s quite an experience.

Georgian toasting
There’s always toasting and a lot of food at a Georgian dinner party!

According to Georgiastartshere.com traditional Georgian feasts consist of dishes such as these:

  • Pkhali, which is a spinach and walnut salad
  • Khinkali, dumplings stuffed with spiced meat or vegetables
  • Badridzhani Nigvsit, fried eggplant with walnut sauce
  • Charkllis Chogi, beets in a tart cherry sauce
  • Khachapura, egg and cheese bread
  • Khashlama, veal and sour plum stew
  • Pakhlava, a walnut pastry
  • wine

Although Georgian cuisine is unique to the country, you can see influences from eastern Europe and the middle east.  The Georgian diet contains many different types of vegetables, which are often meal highlights.

On many occasions, we were served Khinkali.  These are dumplings that contain spiced meats, cheeses or vegetables.  Even though they look heavy, they were very light.

Khinkali are Georgian dumplings
Khinkali are little dumplings in Georgia cuisine

Photo by Wikipedia

Another dish that was served at each of our meals, and which can be found at various street vendors, was Khachapura.  Khachapura is a cheese bread, sometimes served topped with an egg.  It was a little like cheese pizza, only much better!  No Georgian bakery, restaurant or home would be without Khachapura!

Georgian Khachapura is cheese bread
Khachapura is a cheese bread in Georgia

Photo by Wikipedia

Georgian pizza topped with vegetables
Georgian pizza is sometimes topped with mayonnaise

Badrijani may be hard to pronounce, but I can tell you it’s absolutely delicious!  The region of the Caucasus Mountains where Georgia is located is home to many delicious fruits and nuts.  Walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are plentiful as well as figs, pomegranates, apricots, grapes, and mulberries.  Walnuts and pomegranates are important ingredients of Badrijani.  The dish is comprised of fried eggplant, spiced walnut and topped with pomegranate seeds.  The classic Mediterranean and Georgian dish!

Georgian Badrijani
Fried eggplant never tasted so good!

Photo by Wikipedia

Georgians don’t eat many sweets.  Because walnuts are a staple there, you do find Pakhlava served after many dinners.  Pakhlava is a variation on the traditional Greek dessert Baklava.  Pakhlava uses a different type of dough than Bakhlava and it’s not as flaky. Ingredients can contain a variety of different ingredients including poppy seeds, ginger, saffron, and almonds.

Georgians don’t really eat candy like you and I think of candy.  One “candy” that you can find on every street corner and at roadside stands is Churchkhela.  I was anxious to try this Georgian delicacy. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are threaded onto a string and then they are dipped in a sugary fruit juice, such as grape juice.  The sugar from the juice dries on the nuts and it looks like a sugarplum.  The finished candy is displayed on the string and looks like little sausages, but instead, they are candied nuts!  As you drive down city streets or rural parts of Georgia you will find these multi-colored strands of tastiness!

Georgian Churchkhela Candy
Who knew walnut candy could taste so good?

Photo by Shutterstock

Kutaisi is the capital of Georgia. We spent several days there for business.  It was a lovely town, not as large as Tbilisi.  Kutaisi’s population is around 200,00 and the Parliament of Georgia is located there.

Our Georgian hosts wanted to be sure that we felt at home. Every morning they served us breakfast at our bed-and-breakfast hotel.  They wanted to be sure that we had everything that they considered an “American” breakfast.

Georgian American Breakfast
Our Georgian hosts served us their version of an American breakfast each morning.

Next time you are looking for a place to travel, you should consider Georgia.  The food and the wine are worth the trip!  Until next time xoxo.

Sources used in this post:  The Georgian Feast; Unesco;

 

 

 

Summertime Southern Cuisine

Summertime Southern Cuisine

I always look forward to the last days of summer and what it brings…..the best tomatoes of the season!  Travel to the local farmers’ markets and you will find baskets full of different types of tomatoes; from Heirloom to Beefstake to Roma and Cocktail tomatoes. They are sweet and delicious and key ingredients to many dishes in summertime southern cuisine.  Fine dining at it’s best!

Tomatoes at the Farmers Market

There are a variety of ways to use an abundance of tomatoes.  Canning them or making pasta sauce or fresh salsa are all terrific options and are certainly useful, but you can also make a traditional southern favorite – tomato pie!

I researched a little history of tomato pies and how they came into existence.  The tomato pie that I’m talking about isn’t what my Italian friends might think.  Pizza, the Italian favorite, is often referred to as the original tomato Pie.  Trust me, I love pizza!  They both have similar ingredients, but the end result is totally different.

The history of the southern tomato pie is a little indefinite, but most historians agree that the southern tradition, as we know it today, came about in the 19th century.  Shaker recipes for pies with ripe tomatoes most closely resemble what we see today in a tomato pie.  The Shakers knew how to make great southern food.  I’m going to travel to Shakertown in Harrodsburg for lunch soon.  I hoping tomato pie will appear on the  menu!

Did you know that tomatoes are considered an antioxidant?  They are rich in lycopene, which has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.  They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.  Ladies, you can even use tomatoes for a skin cleanser?  There are all sorts of benefits and uses to this little vegetable!

Tomatoes at the farmers market

There are just a few ingredients that make up the pie, but the summer-kissed tomatoes are the real stars.  Most of the recipes that I’ve seen call for using several different varieties of tomatoes.  Red and yellow varieties are found in most versions, as well as cherry tomatoes. But the tomato pies that I have made in the past contain one very important ingredient that make them uniquely southern.  You won’t find this on a traditional Italian pie! I recommend using Duke’s mayonnaise.  Duke’s is a little more tangy than regular Hellman’s and a lot creamier.  You’ll be able to tell the difference.  No Southern Belle would go without having Duke’s mayo in the house!

Duke’s mayonnaise was started in 1917 by Eugenia Duke.  She started the company by selling sandwiches to soldiers in-training at Camp Sevier in Greeneville, South Carolina.  Locals and visitors soon took notice of not only her sandwiches, but the tangy spread that she used in them.  Duke’s mayo was born and has been a southern staple for over 100 years.

Fresh herbs are another key ingredient to the pie.  Not only does basil and dill provide a great taste but they also provide a dash of color to the dish.   Here’s a photo of  the pie that I recently made.  It was almost too pretty to eat!

Tomatoe

 

I grow several varieties of herbs in my garden.  There’s no dish that is prepared in my house without the addition of fresh basil, thyme, rosemary or chives.  From scrambled eggs to salmon, herbs make a great addition to any meal.  Basil is my favorite.

 

So after I left the farmers market today I was thinking about what would make the tomato pie more contemporary.  How could it be updated to reflect today’s culinary tastes?

Why not make the tomato pie into a tart!  It instantly makes the dish more hip and cool!  Who doesn’t love a phyllo crust?

Tomatoe Tart

Photo by Greg Dupree

I got home and did a little research and found a recipe from Real Simple. I think you’ll like it!

Cheesy Heirloom Tomato Tart from Real Simple:

  • 12 oz. of mixed heirloom tomatoes (about 3 medium), sliced 1/4 in. thick
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup of Duke’s mayonnaise
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill or basil
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 frozen phyllo pastry sheets (from a 16-oz. package), thawed

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a rack in the lowest position.  Arrange tomatoes on a large baking sheet lined with paper towels.  Season the tomatoes with 1 teaspoon salt and let stand 10 minutes.  Pat dry with paper towels.  This is a very important part of the recipe, you don’t want a watery tart!

Mix together the cheese, mayonnaise, scallions, chopped dill, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.  Place the oil in a small bowl.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, brush with the oil, and place 1 phyllo sheet on top; brush with oil.  Repeat the process with the remaining 9 phyllo sheets and oil.  Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the top, leaving a 1/2- inch border.  Top the tart with the tomatoes and season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Bake the tart until the crust is golden brown, which should be 18-20 minutes depending on your oven.  Let the tart cool for 5 minutes and then dinner is served!

No Bones About It!

No Bones About It!

This post is in collaboration with Bone’s Restaurant.  All of these opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting businesses that are partners with Bubbly Horse!

When you arrive at Bone’s, the building is very unassuming. With a simple awning and a small front drive, you might just pass it by. Trust me, you will be sorry if you do! But, as most fine dining restaurants, be sure you make a reservation.

There is a reason why Bone’s Steakhouse in Atlanta is always listed as one of the best restaurants in Atlanta, or for that matter the US.  The place oozes an old school vibe.  You almost expect to see the Rat Pack sitting in the corner drinking martinis!

 

I was in Atlanta for business recently, so my parents went along with me.  A small family vacation, and it happened to be my mother’s birthday!  There’s not a better birthday dinner than celebrating at Bone’s.  They really make you feel special and important.  Check out how they decorate the table below.  So cute!  I haven’t seen any other restaurant do this.  Very cool.

Bones Filet in

I have been a customer at Bone’s for a long time, so I even have a profile on file. The General Manager just happens to have a connection with Kentucky so I contacted him before we arrived in Atlanta.  He was so nice.  He greeted us warmly at the door and showed us to the table.  Our table was in the Dog Room, that’s where I like to sit.  Portraits of regal dogs adorn the dark paneled walls.  Glass wine cases and low lighting complete the ambiance. Everybody looks better in low light!

 

 

It was time to order dinner.  For my appetizer I ordered the lump crab cocktail.  The cocktail was served with both a cocktail sauce and a remoulade sauce.  You can’t believe how firm and delicious it was.  Fresh off the boat!

Bubbly Horse visits Bones restaurant in Atlanta

Soon after the starters were taken away and the crumbs were swept away,  our main course arrived.  Bone’s is a steakhouse, so I ordered steak.  I can grill a good steak, but I can’t get the crust to turn out like professional grills do.  The filet arrived, cooked perfectly and already portioned out for me (dad and I always split a steak).  It was so tender I really didn’t even need a knife.  The outside of the steak was perfectly crusted.

Bones Filet in Atlanta

A birthday dinner wouldn’t be complete without a birthday cake!  And at Bone’s they give you about half of a cake.  Great for sharing, and it’s ice cream!  Delicious!

Birthday cake at Bones Stekhouse in Atlanta

The last part of the birthday celebration is my favorite.  I’m sure you have gotten the connection between the name Bone’s and dogs by now.  When you are leaving the restaurant you are presented with a cute little box to take home.  Guess what it is? A box of cookies, shaped like bones!

Thanks to Bone’s we had a great birthday celebration for Mom.  I would tell you how old she is, but I would have to kill you. Ha!  xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia on My Mind

Georgia on My Mind

Recently my parents and I went to Atlanta for some business.  We love Atlanta.  It’s only a 6-hour drive and it’s a major city.  The people are nice and the dining and shopping are great!  I’ll tell you about some more Atlanta adventures next week.  Stay tuned!

One of my favorite things to do on way back is to stop at a little road side stand and get some peaches.  Nothing is better than Georgia peaches!  I prefer them to South Carolina peaches.  Georgia peaches are sweet and delicious.

I was looking for some creative ways to use my peaches.  I found a great recipe!  You’re going to love this one.  Be sure to pick up some ice cream, angel food cake or pound cake.  Top these items off with these peaches and you have a world class dessert that is easy and delicious!

Fireball Peaches:

  • Fresh Peaches (I used three) sliced
  • Fireball (use to your taste)
  • Sugar and Cinnamon mix (I used 1/2 cup sugar and at least a tablespoon of cinnamon)

 

Fireball Peaches

Put the peaches in the bowl and pour the Fireball into the fruit.  Do it to taste, but I think I used about 1/2 cup.  Place mix in a ziplock bag and put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Please be aware that because the alcohol isn’t cooked out the Fireball will still contain alcohol.  This dessert isn’t appropriate for kids.

Georgia Peaches

Take the peaches out and pour the sugar/cinnamon mixture in the bag.  Shake to coat.  Spoon mixture out and ENJOY! xoxo

Delicious Little Nuggets

Delicious Little Nuggets

I have been patiently waiting for cotton candy grapes to arrive.  I LOVE cotton candy (it is super good in my champagne) so I knew I would like these grapes.  They are only available at certain times of the year, and they do sell out quickly.

Run, don’t walk, to either a Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Kroger, Sam’s Club or a Trader Joe’s to get some of these babies!  These grapes are so good.  They are so sweet, they taste better then a lot of candy I’ve tried.  That’s big, because candy is my JAM!

Cotton candy grapes are distributed by a company called Grapery.  They are actually produced in the USA.

In an article recently in Real Simple magazine they stated,  “distributed by the Grapery since 2011, a California-based company that cultivates table grapes, cotton candy grapes are juicy green spheres that naturally taste like the pink dessert. David Cain, a horticulturalist, developed the grape in an effort to give consumers more varieties of the bite-sized fruit, similar to the way that there are multiple kinds of apples, he told NPR in 2013. Without genetic modification or including artificial flavors, Cain made the grapes taste like cotton candy by hybridizing two different species of the vine-ripened fruit that highlights its naturally sweet taste.”

cotton-candy-wide (2) photo by Grapery

So, I have a great idea for you.  Why not freeze the grapes and use them in your drinks like little ice cubes.  Especially wine and champagne!  Just wash and freeze and you’ve got a delicious, sweet ice cube!  Mine are freezing now.

Cotton Candy Grapes in Champagne

Cheers xoxo.

 

Dining Delight

Dining Delight

This post is in collaboration with The Charleston Grill and The Belmond Charleston Place. All of these opinions are entirely my own.  Thank you for supporting businesses that are partners with Bubbly Horse!

Charleston is definitely a foodie destination.  Southern cuisine at it’s best!

Trip Advisor ranked The Charleston Grill in the Top 2 places to eat in Charleston.  I had read all the reviews and decided to make reservations for us (my parents and I) during our recent trip to Charleston.  My aunt and uncle had visited The Charleston Grill over the New Years’ holiday and have raved about it.   I didn’t realize that the restaurant was located in our hotel, The Belmond at Charleston Place.  How convenient!

When you arrive at The Charleston Grill you are greeted by a professional staff and ushered into a lovely dining room.  There’s dark paneling and luxurious fabric as well as soft lighting.  Candlelight and muted lighting makes us all look and feel better!  The lounge had a jazz combo playing softly.  It’s truly a beautiful space.

Charleston Grill Bar

Photos courtesy of The Charleston Grill

The menu had several options that caught my eye.  At home, I don’t get the chance to have super fresh seafood, so I opted for the scallops.  The scallops were sautéed perfectly with a golden crust and had a piece of morcilla (which is a blood sausage from Ecuador) which was accompanied by pea puree.  The dish had a chili-chorizo vinaigrette to top it off.  All I can say was WOW!  I’m not even a huge sausage fan and I could have licked the plate!

Bubbly Horse visits the Charleston Grill

As a side dish we ordered the roasted baby carrots.  They were so tender and delicious.  Sweet carrots accompanied by feta cheese, fresh mint and pickled Fresno chili peppers.  The feta cheese gave them just enough saltiness.  They were almost too pretty to eat.

Bubbly Horse visits The Charleston Grill

throughout the evening, from the hostess to the sommelier to the server, the staff was knowledgeable and the service was top-notch.  To be honest, these days it’s hard to find a restaurant with high quality service standards, but The Charleston Grill trains and educates their employees, and it shows.  The wine list was extensive and had a wide variety of wines and price points.

No meal would be complete without dessert!  That evening the dining room had a special dessert.  It was a chocolate tart with a graham cracker crust and a poached pear.  The chocolate was warm and sweet and it was drizzled with a raspberry sauce.  Hello treadmill!  It was delicious and I ate every bite!

The Charleston Grill at The Belmond in Charleston

The evening was so lovely.  I would advise that you visit The Charleston Grill on your next trip to Charleston.  You won’t be disappointed!  Cheers xoxo.

Stephanie and her parents at The Belmond

 

Daily Scoop

Daily Scoop

Summertime is a great time to break out that ice cream maker that you have.  You know the one that is sitting in your garage that you never use?!

Maybe you don’t use it because you don’t really know how or that you think it’s going to be difficult.  I think the hardest thing about the electric ice cream maker that I have is that I have to find room in the freezer to freeze the cannister!

On several occasions I have made champagne sorbet and it’s really easy and so fancy.  It’s so good, and you know exactly what the ingredients are in the sorbet.  I found this recipe in Food and Wine that you might want to try.  It only has two ingredients!  A perfect treat for summer!

4 pounds fresh strawberries (about 16 cups), hulled and quartered 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

How to Make It

Step 1
Using a potato masher, mash strawberries in a large bowl until mostly pureed (there will still be small chunks of pulverized berries) to yield about 6 cups strawberry puree. Stir sugar into berry puree. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.

Step 2
Pour half of the chilled strawberry mixture into the freezer bowl of a 1 1/2-quart electric ice cream maker, and proceed according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3
Transfer sorbet to a freezer-safe container; press a sheet of parchment paper directly on surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Place in freezer. Repeat procedure with remaining chilled strawberry mixture. Freeze sorbet at least 8 hours or overnight.

Photo and recipe from Food and Wine

Summer Fun

Summer Fun

It was a rainy day so my friend Maggie and I decided to go to a movie.  Being retired and doing consulting,  my schedule is flexible.  Why not!  It sounded super fun!

We met and bought our tickets for Book Club.  I read the trilogy of Fifty Shades, so I was familiar with the subject.  The cast is so impressive.  Jane Fonda, Candice Bergan, Diane Keaton and Mary Steenburgen all star in the film about a monthly book club that has met for 40 years for wine, fellowship and book reviews.

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The weather forecast for the long weekend is rain.  If you have time you should definitely go see this movie.  Book Club is like a Senior Sex in the City for 2018.  It’s absolutely hilarious and will make you laugh out loud!  Xoxoxo

 

Pizza Please!

Pizza Please!

pizza 4

Summer is the most popular time to travel.  I’m sure everybody is getting their plans together and getting ready for a fabulous summer trip!

I ran across this article from Food and Wine that lists the best pizza places in the country.  I’m sad to say that there’s not any listed that are in close proximity to me, but they are in places that I like to visit.  I keep a list of recommended restaurants in places that I travel to often.  I’m sure that you do too.

I have several Italian friends and they have always told me that the water up east is better for making pizza dough and bread than water in the south.  One friend even told me once that a restaurant he knows in Florida has water shipped in from NYC to make bagels.  That seems a little far fetched, but I guess it could happen.  The bagels, pizza and bread seem to have a different consistency and taste in New York or Philly than in Kentucky.  Nothing beats a slice of pizza in NYC!

See below for the article.  You might want to make a stop to one on your trips and try them out. xoxo

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/best-pizza-places-us

pizza 1