The nap inducer.

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving nap! The super fun chaos of hosting Thanksgiving for 30 delayed the start of my nap (as well as the posting of this image/animation), but I did manage to finish the entire plate, making it inevitable. And it was good.

A toast to leftovers starts now! Cheers!

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I’m thankful for cheese. Good cheese.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! I’m thankful for love, family, friends, all the wonderful things around me, getting to say y’all every now and then, and life in general. I hope y’all feel the same way, everything is great in your world, and you are spending time with your loved ones. The Thanksgiving turkey post will come (no pictures yet, insert segue), so I’m going to shift gears and say I’m thankful for cheese. Especially when all you have to do is say, “Yes, please. I’d love a sample!”

I was walking through the Wegmans cheese department (this happens frequently, as I photograph cheese often), and the Giorgio Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano was being sampled, paired with pear infused balsamic vinegar. It took me just to the end of the first bite to grab a chunk and a bottle…and go in search of more balsamic flavors.

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As you can see, I decided on fig, along with the fresh fruit to pair with it. Bread and wine (which I’m also thankful for) weren’t far behind on my shopping list.

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The ciabatta baguette was a nice way to soak up a little extra vinegar, and to keep it from dripping as you’re dipping. The pear variety is a little sweeter, blending well with the tart balsamic vinegar base. The fig version is lighter (just like the color), and considerably more tart. Both were excellent (slight edge to the pear), and went well with the cheese. The cheese was a little softer and more moist than most aged parm, with more brilliant flavors of caramel, fruit, and nuts. Giorgio Cravero created an excellent (as the label states) “small batch, Artisinal, Parmigiano Reggiano”.

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Two varieties of Apothic wines seemed appropriate, as we had the 2 varieties of vinegar. They were probably too deep a red for the pairing, but were very good! Both are California blends with dark fruit and layers of flavor. The Red (Heather’s favorite) is definitely lighter and adds a few notes of vanilla and jam. The Dark (my favorite) is true to name, darker, with hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

Enjoy your day! Cheers!

Happy Black Friday! Happy Thanksgiving! And thank you!

Yes, this was supposed to be my Happy Thanksgiving post. But we all know that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. So…….due to this large plate of food and the glass of red wine (Hahn pinot noir, that I will definitely feature in another post) and a small sample of Custom Brewcrafters coffee porter (thanks to my brother-in-law), consumed at my wonderful mother- and father-in-law’s, inducing a nap on the couch with Heather and then an early bedtime (and then this run on sentence), my post never even got started. I was going to try and tackle preparing this year’s Thanksgiving with Friends. That will be coming sometime in the near future….because you can be thankful for good friends anytime!

Heather also pointed out how fitting our son’s school project from 6 years ago is to us and this blog, so I wanted to share it with you. I’m thankful for all of my readers and friends out there….thanks for listening to us, and hope you’ve enjoyed! Cheers!

Thanksgiving with friends….10 courses of perfection!

We are so very lucky! Our wonderful friends Mark and Tammy hosted a pre-Thanksgiving gathering, and Heather and I were fortunate enough to be included. From start to finish, this amazing meal was both visually stunning and incredibly delicious. My only faux pas was that I was too busy enjoying Mahine’s shrimp (one of the fabulous appetizers) to remember to photograph it before it was devoured! If you count the cheese course served with the cocktails, it was a 10 course meal!! I will give details about the cocktails in an upcoming post, but for now, enjoy looking through the pictures below. If you have questions on the food prep, let me know and I will direct them to Chef Mark.

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving (and time with family and friends) as much as we did. And… I have to say that I am very thankful for all of my friends, followers, and readers. I appreciate all of your positive comments, and enjoy sharing our culinary adventures with you! Cheers, salud, kanpai, prost, noroc, mabuhay, a la sature, pura vida, salute, À votre santé or however you say it (one for each course)….to your health!

The menu, pre-dinner cocktails, and laarb moo.

Kevin and Tammy watching Mark cookin' the food, Vouvray white wine from the Loire valley, and miso marinated salmon with du Puy lentils and miso cream.

Start-to-finish Nantucket Bay scallops with wild mushroom confit and Leone D'Almerita Sicilian white.

Pastilla (Moroccan braised chicken pie as discovered by Mark and Tammy on their trip to Morocco) and Abad Dom Bueno Godello Spanish white.

Duck garganelli with swiss chard, walnuts and prunes complete with a flip from Mark! Hahn Pinot Noir from Monterey.

72 hour beef short ribs with parsnip purée and roast baby carrots. 2004 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa.

Mark torching the white and dark creme brulee, which was then paired with chocolate caramel cashew ice cream and Quinta do Noval Porto. For second dessert, we were treated to warm madelaines and Mexican chocolate cookies. You can tell by our smiles that the meal was phenomenal!