619 & Counting

When I went to write this blog this morning, my page told me I’ve written 618 blogs to date. Which makes this one Number 619. That’s a lot of blogs on a Saturday morning. I know I’ve written about my writers block before, as a matter of fact, looking back, it was one year ago today that I wrote about it the last time. I don’t know what it is about the second last weekend of August, but it seems to happen about this time each year. I’ve incorporated my love of cooking, and my love of food in my blogs. Because let’s face it, wine and food are a match made in heaven.

I haven’t done a wine tasting in a while, and I’m finding myself in a bit of a wine rut. I was at the wine store last evening, and although I looked around the different sections, I found myself heading right back to the California section. I’ve been on a bit of a California kick lately. However, this week I enjoyed a bottle of wine given to me at my birthday. This week I tried a new wine from Australia.

The Kings of Prohibition Cabernet Sauvignon is a really nice Australian Cabernet. It’s not overly oaky, it was aged in French oak. which adds subtle oak notes. The wine is named after the famous bootleggers during Prohibition in the 1920’s, Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel to name a few. It’s an easy-to-drink Cabernet Sauvignon that’s well priced under $22.

Margarita Monday

Sometimes in the Summer, you just have to have a Margarita Monday. My friend Maggie who lives above me, had Margarita Monday this past Monday. That lady can make an awesome Margarita. We had a great spread of Mexican-themed food and of course some great Margaritas. Hey, a girl can enjoy more than a glass of wine! Thank you Maggie

It’s also corn season here in Nova Scotia. Fresh peaches and cream corn from the Annapolis Valley made its way to my plate several times this week. I really enjoyed it with a steak and herbed potatoes. Feel free to share your favorite corn recipes in the comment section! Would love to hear them.

Stay cool everyone. It’s supposed to be a hot weekend. It’s also a shorter blog today, I’m heading to Antigonish for the night.

Till next week, Cheers


Red, White & Rose – Summer Favorites

We are into the doggy days of Summer, almost mid-August. I know a lot of people switch to Rose and White wines during the Summer. There are also those of us who like the lighter reds we can chill with. There is no such thing as a wrong choice, when it comes to your favorite wine.

Benjamin Bridge Rose

My favorite Rose wines are made from red grapes that would produce full-bodied red wines. Like the Cabernet Franc grape, used in making this Benjamin Bridge Rose, made here in Nova Scotia, but available to my Newfoundland friends as well. Obviously to make it a Rose wine, there is very limited contact with the skin of the grape. But the grape itself makes an interesting and complex rose wine. This is not your grandmother’s rose wine.

When I decided to call this week’s wine blog Red, White & Rose, I had in mind to feature a red wine, a white and a rose. There are so many great white wines out there, it’s really hard to choose. And I also like to feature wines you can get in most places across the Country. I had a friend from Newfoundland send me a note a few months back, saying they liked my wine blog but couldn’t get many of the wines I talked about. So I like to feature wines that you can get in both provinces.

Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc

If you’re looking for a bright crisp white wine to enjoy on this hot and muggy day, try the Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll love the passionfruit flavors and it’s one of the most food friendly wines.

Speaking of food….

I have to share this quick and easy recipe for Cashew Chicken. Yesterday evening was one of those evenings I had no idea what I wanted for supper. I considered going up to the grocery store and getting a steak, but honestly was too lazy to go to the store. LOL

10 Minutes from start to finish

Cashew Chicken

I cut up a chicken breast in bite size pieces, coated them in corn starch, and put them in a frying pan. I cut up red pepper in chunks and added unsalted cashews to the pan. The sauce is so easy, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey and hoisin sauce. If you’re not familiar with hoisin sauce, it’s a little sweet and a little salty. A thick sauce known for being used in Cantonese cuisine, your sauce will thicken a bit with the corn starch from the chicken.

I let that simmer while I warmed up some leftovers from the night before

Some leftover rice and wings, and a spring roll, and I had supper made in 10 minutes. If you’re feeling lazy any night of the week, try my Cashew Chicken dish.

And yes, I had a glass of wine with it. It was, after all, a Friday night. It’s not a new wine, but it is a favorite.

La Mascota Cabernet Franc

La Mascota Cabernet Franc hails from Argentina and makes a regular appearance in my wine rack. Priced under $20, it’s an elegant, well-balanced wine. Deep rich flavors with notes of black pepper, it’s a great wine at a great price.

That’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers


Warmth, Wind & Wine – My Trip to Newfoundland

Approaching Newfoundland

I’m back from 8 days in Newfoundland. I left on Saturday the 23rd, and took the night crossing. This was my view as the ferry was ready to dock Sunday morning in Port aux Basques, on the province’s West Coast. It was a Come Home Year in Newfoundland and I was one of many thousand who went home for a time this Summer.

I left the day after I turned the big 60! Here’s to another great decade. My friend Cassandra took me out to lunch on my birthday. The restaurant was kind enough to serve me a special dessert, which I thoroughly enjoyed. She also introduced me to a new drink.

Cold Stream Rum Cream

OMG, you have to try the Cold Stream Rum Cream. She gave me Starbucks Iced Coffee and a bottle of the rum cream and it is sooooo good!! I know it’s not wine, but I do enjoy other cocktails, and this one tops the list. Coldstream is a local company founded by a young man and his family and friends. It opened in 2015 and makes top quality products. Check out their story here.

Coldstream Rum Cream

Another highlight of the trip was my friend Angie flew down and joined us for 4 days.

Angie flew into Deer Lake

She flew down on the Wednesday and then we drove back together on Sunday. We took in many sites including Gros Morne National Park with my Mom, who turns 88 on her next birthday.

My Mom & Angie
Gorgeous panoramic views

We stayed at my sister and brother in law’s cabin in George’s Lake, which also had some pretty impressive views. Do you know what I found out? I’m really good at building fires. Built one every night I was there. However, a big thanks to my brother-in-law for cutting all the wood and kindling for us beforehand.

My fire building
Mom & Angie enjoying a sip

Angie and I both drink red wines for the most part, and being in Newfoundland, we tried a couple of wines that we hadn’t had before. For example….

Confessions Cabernet

This should be a wine of the week, because it was a great Cabernet Sauvignon blend at a fantastic price. It comes from California, and is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot & Petite Sirah to make a deliciously interesting wine. And while we were there, it was on sale for $13.99 a bottle. You can get this wine across Canada, but not here in Nova Scotia, and it’s too bad, because it was an amazing value.

Did I mention that although we stayed in a cabin, we didn’t really rough it!

Sipping in the hot tub
We had a good time

Craig & Jackie have a hot tub on their deck, yeah it was really rough. So one evening we poured a sip and enjoyed the hot tub which overlooks George’s Lake. One of Angie’s son’s had a great line, ‘George has a really nice lake’. It was a great trip home and I really loved having Angie join us. My mom really enjoyed it as well. The drive home was a little long, 16 hours. Whew.

My wine of the week has to be the wine my brother-in-law bought for us to enjoy. As you all know, I was in Bordeaux France this past April, and my brother-in-law Craig had a special bottle of French wine for us to enjoy.

We enjoyed the 2015 and so it had time to age nicely. It’s a Merlot dominant wine with Cabernet Sauvignon blended in, and it was the best Bordeaux wine I’ve tasted in the $23 price range. This is one of the best values under $25 I’ve tasted from Bordeaux.

It was a great trip home and I want to thank my family for being awesome hosts.

Also, got to spend some time with my girl Maggie.

Love the Yellow bow

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Enjoy the Summer, and stay safe.

Till next week, Cheers