Happy Halloween!

Food on Halloween usually brings to mind one thing: candy. I decided to go in a slightly different direction and highlight how cool my brain looks. My Jello brain, that is! I’m happy to say I am the proud owner of a Jello brain mold that Heather and the boys picked up for my birthday gift while they were at the Jello museum. Enjoy the sugar rush that is Halloween, and remember there is always room left to eat a little Jello!

Heather holding the Jello brain en route to the table.

3 big pumpkins for the boys. Small pumpkin for the small dog!

Bourbon Tasting at the Lake

Admittedly, as fall is approaching, I’m a bit behind in getting this post out. Our good friend Stuart came to visit and we decided to do a small bourbon tasting at the Keuka Lake cottage. There is nothing quite like sitting on the front porch of the cottage, looking at the scenic vista of a Keuka Lake sunset. Add four bourbons to the mix and it all gets better!

Our four bourbons, waiting to be tasted. Which one to try first?

We started with the Black Maple Hill Kentucky Straight Bourbon. It had a sharp start with a surprising touch of vanilla and a nose of sherry. This led into hints of pepper and spice. The finish had a taste of tobacco, but was very smooth.

Next was the Willett Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The scent was of oranges and caramelized honey. The taste was very sweet to start, with a touch of vanilla, pepper, and tobacco. The vanilla carried over to the finish with strong notes of molasses and dark honey.

We then tried the Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey. There was a strong scent of vanilla mixed with apricot, cherry, and almonds. Overall, this bourbon was more refined and sweeter most of the way through with the taste of sweet tea, vanilla, butterscotch, and apricot. It had a smoky oak and tobacco finish.

Last up was Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky. The nose is sharp and smoky. It is fairly sweet with a taste of molasses and a hint of vanilla. The details are slightly blurred on this one, but by all accounts, this is considered a good “starter” bourbon. It could easily be a staple on most bars as a great mixer.

Stuart taking in the sunset with his favorite, the baby bourbon.

Four vastly different bottles, each with its own unique taste and character.

The Hudson Baby Bourbon is hand-numbered.

Not having tried many bourbons before all at the same time, I was impressed with the subtle differences that set each one apart. Both Stuart and I gave the Hudson Baby Bourbon a slight edge as the most complex and refined, but I wouldn’t hesitate to indulge in any of these bourbons again.

Cheers to a Keuka Lake sunset!

The peaceful view from the porch.

Longing for the French Countryside

We haven’t been to France, but this combination of wine and cheese definitely brought the French countryside into our home. We actually looked at plane ticket prices. OK….we didn’t look them up, but it did make us discuss a possible visit…someday. Pié d’Angloys is a marvelous example of a cheese that you can’t stop eating. Some friends stopped by while I was shooting this, and (once the shots were done) we finished it in under 5 minutes! Sinful. This cow’s milk cheese is creamy, buttery, mild and delicious with a touch of earth. Although the cheese is from the Burgundy region of France, and I would normally pair it with a red or white Burgundy….. I thought our trip should include the Bordeaux region as well. Thus our wine choice of Monsieur Touton. The wine was crisp, light, had a nice amount of acidity and was an excellent pairing. Bon appetit!

Pié d'Angloys, crusty bread and a French white Bordeaux.

Not only is it sinful, it comes in a cool box!

Monsieur Touton white Bordeaux wine.