Category Archives: food and Wine

A Visit to a Hawaiian Meadery

The story starts off this way

A soft, ambient groove drifts through the tasting room of Nani Moon Meadery on Kauai, as three travelers take their first sips of “Laka’s Nectar,” the most honey-forward blend in meadmaker Stephanie Krieger’s collection.

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Tempted? Check out the link for a profile form Saveur.

You can visit the meadery for a taste of the pineapple Lime Sunset

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The Juicy Lucy Subverts Your Beliefs about Burgers

Surprisingly, this is a post about Minneapolis. It is a post about Minneapolis because that is where you find the Juicy Lucy – a special type of burger that drove Alex Delany certifiably bonkers.

So what is a Juicy Lucy?

A Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger, with cheese inside of the burger, instead of on top of it, two ground beef patties sealed around a small stack of cheese.

Simple, right? Not so fast. As you can read from the article, getting the Juicy Lucy just right takes a certain amount of respect for the process. Simplicity and quality are the key words.

And, I admit, I want one!

That Last Summer Cake

As early September morphs into mid September, we start to admit that the lush warmth we soak in from endless summer days is behind us. We are headed into cooler weather. In Tartu, btw, the cooler air is already here.

Sure the world is full of problems. Sure, we will soon be pulling out the parkas and snow boots. But we still have time to celebrate the passing of summer.

If any of the above meandering thoughts grab you, check out this great post by Carla Lalli . Here is a peek

… this year, I’m going to try to embrace the golden hour that’s upon us by making Andy Baraghani’s very simple, very beautiful cake that has always reminded me of a big, fat, gorgeous sunset. This cake gets its sunny flavor from citrus, cardamom, and bay leaf, richness from yogurt in the batter, and its orange hue from semolina, which is a coarse version of the same wheat flour used to make pasta. Its flavor is mild, but the texture it gives the cake is unmistakable and worth seeking out (check a Middle Eastern grocer or a well-stocked bulk bin aisle). Even when baked, the semolina keeps its crunch, and gives the outside of this cake a sturdy crust, reminding me of the brittle dry wind that will soon be whipping through my nostrils and causing my knuckles to crack open.

I may have to try this. Go for it!


Heading to Autumn Tuscan Wine Festivals?

For many, autumn means back to school or back to work. Things get more serious. Too bad for them! Because autumn is a great time to travel. The crowds are gone. The air is cooler. And there are wonderful things to enjoy.  How about this?

In autumn, Tuscan thoughts turn from beach to vineyard as the region prepares for one its favourite traditions, the vendemmia (wine harvest). After a year’s worth of careful tending, trimming and tasting, the grapes are ready to be transformed into what is music to every Tuscan’s ear, vino nuovo (new wine).

The linked article offers some options for you to experience this

Falling for Natural Wine

What is natural wine?

… a natural wine* is one with nothing added or taken away. This typically means no chemicals in the vineyard or cellar, no filtering or fancy machinery, and no added sulfites…

But it is more than that. The natural wine trend bucks tradition in order to give people a new experience – like making having a glass of wine a social event.

… at a wine bar like La Buvette in Paris, you’re never really alone. A natural wine bar—whether it’s Ordinaire in Oakland or Sub Rosato in Richmond, VA—is a modern version of Cheers, with hand-harvested pinots instead of pints. And even if no one knows your name (yet), you might recognize some labels on the wall—a sign that you’re among friends. These bars act as meeting places for like-minded people (is this what happened before the internet?), where sharing is encouraged, whether it’s a glass of an intriguing Savagnin or tips for what to see in town. You can easily go from ’Wow, the nose on this is crazy!’ to ’Don’t miss this new bakery,’ with a chance of landing at ’We’re having a party on the roof on Friday, won’t you come?’ (This last one to be taken with discretion.) I don’t have to drink alone anymore, mostly because I have shown up solo so many times that onetime strangers have become friends. So now, wherever I land, the natural wine bar is my first stop.” —Belle Cushing

And natural wines are appearing on lots of menus, like Frenchette in New York.

Here are 5 natural wine bars in London

There is some overlap with this list of “best” natural wine bars in London

Paris may have the best natural wine bars

Here are some new ones

Here are 22 places to enjoy natural wine in New York

Barcelona? Of course!

In Berlin, the place to go may be Industry Standard

in Philly you have “a kitchen” near Rittenhouse Square – and more!



Booza is for Dessert

ON my next trip to Brooklyn, I will be checking out the “Republic of Booza”.

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What is Booza? Dave Lebovitz tells all

(it is) an ice cream thickened, not with eggs or cornstarch, but with sahleb and mastic.

Why is it special?

Unlike traditional ice cream, which is churned to incorporate air (called “overrun”), booza is traditionally “churned” by pounding and stirring. Since there’s no air added, and no eggs, the flavors in the booza are more focused. And what flavors they are!

Go fo rit!


Shrimp Scampi? I am There!

There are a few dishes that are both incredibly simple and incredibly satisfying. Shrimp scampi is one of them. Anyone can do this. And should once per week. Doctor’s orders!

Here is the killer recipe.

And to get you in the mood

This scampi starts and ends with really working garlic and fat into your shrimp, and it’s a worthwhile effort. By the end, each bite of tender shrimp is completely suffused with layer after layer of flavor. Acid from the lemon. Heat from chile flakes. Creaminess from the butter. A little bit of fruitiness from the wine. And equal parts bite and sweetness from the garlic. It’s a roster of simple flavors that turn into a beautiful symphony.