Mirbeau in the snow

It snowed today. In April. Not that that is unusual for us here in Rochester, it’s just a little frustrating given the long winter. But…it was also very pretty, and had the nice effect of reminding us of a recent trip to Mirbeau Inn and Spa. One of our fondest memories from Mirbeau is sitting together in the spa with large fluffy snowflakes falling through the open timbers overhead. I hope you get the chance to visit Mirbeau in the snow, but not until next winter.

16 reasons for Irish eyes to smile

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My friend Kerry said Bushmills 16 Year Old Single Malt was one of his favorite Irish Whiskeys. Given that he grew up very close to the distillery, I reckon he must know what he was talking about. And he does.

2eat2drink-bushmills glass

Irish eyes smile when they see Irish legs.

The whiskey is aged separately for 16 years; some in oloroso sherry casks, and some in bourbon casks. Then it is blended together and aged in port wine casks for 7 months. This last step gives it the distinctive reddish hue.  The sweet smell of honey is the first thing you’ll notice, blending with what might be roasted nuts. The fruit of the port is apparent in the initial taste, followed by the honey and a nice spice. It’s smooth and elegant with a drier spicy finish. Highly recommened by Kerry and myself.

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Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

Sláinte!

I want a mojito in Old San Juan!

It’s been cold. (Apparently too cold to do a post since New Years Eve…sorry!) I’m sure everyone is aware that it’s been a cold winter. The polar vortex, or whatever the heck is causing this cold spell, has been all over the news. I feel like this tree.

2B_windy sunrise

I want to be warm, walking down the brilliantly sun-lit blue cobblestone streets of Old San Juan with my beautiful wife. We would start towards El Asador on Calle de San Francisco. Along the way we would see a picturesque purple balcony and a few cool cats hanging around. When we arrive, we would sit at a table with a view of the street. The awesome bartender, Daniel, would make us mojitos with Don Q Cristal. They would be super refreshing. Daniel would bring our order of ceviche. It would be excellent and flavorful. We would sit, laugh, and enjoy.

What is your warm thought of the day? Cheers!

Have a jazzy new year!

I wanted to bring y’all back down South to New Orleans for New Year’s Eve. It seems like a festive way to end the year!

Jackson Square is right in the heart of the French Quarter. A mounted Andrew Jackson rides in the center, surrounded by lush gardens, grand architecture, haunted restaurants, and lively, talented street musicians. As we walked towards the area, we could hear jazz music echoing off the buildings. A small group had gathered to perform for the passing crowds. They were very entertaining!

2eat2drink- DCS_5166jazz guys 2eat2drink- DCS_5243jazz guys

After listening (and photographing) a bit, we wandered through the square on our way to dinner. It was a very relaxing area with people scattered about reading on the grass.

Muriel’s is right on a corner overlooking Jackson Square. It was featured on our ghost tour. They set a place for the resident spirit every night.

Have a safe and happy evening and a fabulous new year! Cheers!

Bánh Mi. The perfect sandwich, part 2.

Our Christmas Eve dinner was slightly out of the ordinary for our family. We decided to mix it up and serve a sandwich. But what kind of sandwich? Let’s take a stab at the perfect sandwich, I thought….the Bánh Mi. It was a hit, even with the little ones (although they may have skipped a few of the ingredients).

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From the bottom running clockwise, our sandwich consisted of: roast pork loin (marinated in white vinegar, Asian BBQ sauce, chopped ginger, soy sauce), Wegmans Asian BBQ  sauce, bacon, sliced jalapeños, cucumbers (marinated in equal parts white vinegar and sugar), Wegmans ciabatta baguette, Sriracha sauce, pork liver pâté, fresh cilantro. Don’t forget a nice spicy Gewürztraminer to go with it. I still think our house white, from Chateau Ste. Michelle, is excellent.

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This is a must try. In fact, it’s time for leftovers. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post to wish you all a Merry Christmas! And/or a joyous happy holiday of your choosing. Here are a few photos of our recent trip to a Dicken’s Christmas in Skaneateles. I didn’t take many photos as I was too busy hugging Heather to keep warm, but it was a splendid display of cheer with caroling, horse and wagon rides, and even a sighting of Scrooge. Looking forward to next year’s event! Enjoy the time with family. Cheers!

Santa wants beer and cookies

Yes, he does. Specifically this Newcastle Brown Ale and Heather’s chocolate crinkle cookies. I would normally wait until closer to the holiday to do a Christmas post, but the next RAF 20 Minutes and Beer event is calling! And guess who is giving this presentation? Yours truly. I’d give you some details but I don’t have them all planned out yet. Hopefully you can swing by to cheer me on listen and have a beer! My presentation title is… Say No To Stock: Be Original & Let Your Idea Grow. I’ll share my take on stock images vs. creative original photography (which do you think I prefer?). Showing you examples of misused and overused stock images, I’ll try to demonstrate why it’s always better to be original and let your idea grow (so you don’t end up on Santa’s naughty list). Should be fun!

Here are the original photo and the poster. Do you think I would have been able to find a stock photo for my silly idea? Don’t forget to make Heather’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. The recipe is down below. Now for that Newcastle (Which is the perfect choice, as they have very original advertising. #nobullocks)….Cheers!

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Chocolate Crinkles:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (I use a little less)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Mix oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Chill several hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350. Roll about one teaspoonful of dough at a time into a ball and roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place 2″ apart on greased baking sheet (I use parchment paper). Bake 10 to 12 minutes.