Peter vs. Stewie. Chocolate vs. Vanilla. The Oreo war!

Many years ago, I remember having the dilemma of which Oreo to choose. Today, the debate still lingers. There are moments I crave them both. However, they usually seem to accompany a tall glass of milk. Now…It’s up to you! Please comment to cast your vote for your favorite.

Stewie is backing the vanilla Oreo. You will bow to him!

Peter is backing the classic chocolate Oreo. HEHEHEH!

A morning treat, all the way from Scotland!

I love my job! For many reasons….but one of the little side perks is photo shoot leftovers! I recently had to photograph a side of Scottish salmon, and had a little left to sample. I brought it home and Heather and I had a nice breakfast treat the following day. It was absolutely marvelous! We will most definitely be picking more of this up soon. It’s good for your heart, your brain , and your taste buds!

Scottish smoked salmon, with cream cheese and red onion ....on a bagel. YUM!

The double triple!

Mellage….from the French verb meaning “to mix”. Three become one.  Cave Aged Mellage is made with a blend of sheep’s, goat’s and cow’s milk by Carr Valley Cheese. This cheese won 1st Place in its category at the 2005, 2006 and 2011 American Cheese Society competitions.  Cured in specially designed aging caves, it develops the flavor complexity of sheep’s milk cheese with the mellowness of cow’s milk, and has a slight goat finish. Its creamy texture and mild flavor went very well with the almonds and thinly-sliced pears with which we paired it.

Since the cheese is made from a blend of three milks, we decided to have it with a wine made from a blend of three varietals. The 2007 Acquagiusta Rosso is 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 30% Syrah. This full-bodied Tuscan wine has a fruity aroma (particularly of dark berries), velvety texture, flavors of black cherry and spice, and a dry finish. It was given a 92 point rating by Wine Spectator, and we could see why! This blended wine went extremely well with our blended cheese, making for a delicious snack.

Cave Aged Mellage, made from a mix of cow, sheep, and goat milk.

Mellage served with pears and almonds.

2007 Acquagiusta Rosso.

Who says rhubarb is only for pie!?

I’ve been meaning to do this post for some time. Ever since I saw the Rye and Rhubarb recipe in the Finger Lakes Distilling newsletter, I’ve been looking forward to making this drink!  Waiting for the rhubarb to grow in the garden and tracking down the Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters were the main reasons for the delay. It was worth the wait! The McKenzie rye whiskey is great on its own. It’s aged in new charred quarter casks and finished in sherry barrels from local Finger Lakes wineries. What a great base for this cocktail, which has a very unique blend of sweet and sour. Even Heather, who is not a big fan of whiskey based drinks, thought it was excellent!

McKenzie Rye and Rhubarb

  • 2 oz McKenzie Rye Whiskey
  • 2 oz Rhubarb Simple Syrup **
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Fee Brother’s Rhubarb Bitters
  • Dash of salt

Shake ingredients and pour over large ice cubes in a glass.  Garnish with a twist of lemon and use a small stalk of rhubarb as a stir stick.
** For the rhubarb simple syrup…Bring one cup each of sugar, water and chopped rhubarb to a very light boil while stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let rest for an hour, strain and chill.

Fee Brothers is a fourth generation manufacturer of cocktail mixers and bitters located in downtown Rochester, NY. You can find the slogan “Don’t squeeze use Fee’s” on their website. Bartenders all over the world follow their advice. Did I mention they are in Rochester, NY? I know I did, but I thought it was worth highlighting since I don’t think many people are aware that such a distinguished operation is located right here. I thought it was cool that we saw a couple bottles of Fee Brothers bitters on the bar at the Green Goddess in New Orleans. I think that says a lot. While I was getting the rhubarb bitters I picked up a few other flavors, and even got an offer to go on a tour from Ellen Fee! I’m looking forward to seeing the whole operation…as well as trying out some new recipes.

McKenzie Rye and Rhubarb, for your sipping pleasure.

McKenzie Rye, from Finger Lakes Distilling.

Fee Brothers bitters. Just a sampling of all they have to offer.

Rhubarb simple syrup brewing in the pan.

Happy Birthday, Big Poppa!

You may not know it, but that’s Rich’s nickname around here. And you also may not know that yesterday was his birthday! It was a wonderful, wacky day, despite the constant rain clouds and occasional complaints from the boys about it being the last day of summer vacation. Regardless, we made the most of it! Between showers, we even found time to fire up the grill. For his birthday dinner, Rich wanted tuna steaks, which we had with basmati rice, diced jalapeños and shitake mushrooms. As for a salad, we went totally unconventional and had watermelon topped with spring greens, queso fresco, cucumber julienne, chopped green onion, grilled tomatillo (as a sauce), sea salt & crushed pepper, and red chili olive oil. Oh, and the boys had macaroni and cheese (though two of them consented to try the tuna, and actually liked it!) We paired our tuna with a 2009 Burgans Albariño. We kind of love Spanish wine, and this was a very good one. It’s quite fruity (in a peachy/apricot way) without being overly sweet. It has a nice, crisp finish, and went beautifully with the meal. For dessert, a chocolate dome. I once made the mistake of referring to this particular dessert as a “chocolate boob” in front of the boys, and thus it shall always be known in our household. In between photo shoots, Rich found time to play Black Ops with the boys, and later, to cuddle on the couch with me. Yeah, it was a good day!

Watermelon queso fresco salad.

2009 Burgans Albariño.

Seared tuna steak...ready for its close up.

Tuna by candle light.

The chocolate, um, dome.