Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: A Dinner to Remember part 1

Another hump day but boy do I have a treat for you if you are into quality food.  Of course, it might also drive you a little crazy to see these pictures and hear me talk about it but you'll have to bear with me because this is soooo worth it.  Because we were at the restaurant for about four hours, I've decided to split up our experience into two parts to do all the foods and wines justice.

For the foodies in my readership, you may have heard of the impending ban on foie gras in California (if duck liver sounds nasty, you've got to try it before you knock it).  With that in mind, Corby, myself, and some of our friends with rather gourmet tastes, planned our farewell to this delectable dish.  The chosen location of our last supper was Marche Moderne.  A phenomenal restaurant that you need to visit at least once in your life time.  And while it is definitely more expensive than your average eatery, this place is actually reasonable in their prices and portions for the quality and kinds of food that you are getting (I'll show you more in a bit).

But I do want to mention that I DO NOT EAT LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME!!!!  I would love to - don't get me wrong.  I would probably be working 24/7 to support a habit like that.  And I would probably stop appreciating it quite as much as I do now.  But anyway.  I just wanted to share that this was a VERY special occasion and I wanted to share it with my readers.  It is actually one of the ways that I learned a lot about wine pairings with food.  When someone truly knows how to match a good wine with excellent food, the experience will be like this one.

So on Saturday night, this is what I ate and drank.  I almost passed out...I definitely went to another dimension.  Almost.

 The evening started out with an amuse bouche of red pepper soup with brioche toast topped with tapenade and we started our wine tour with an AMAZING 2009 Francois Villard Condrieu.  SOOOOOO good!!!  (If anyone is looking for a high class white wine to wow people with - look no further!) This Condrieu was clean and crisp when you first smell and sip.  But as the evening progressed and it continued to breath, there was an even more elegant nose.  The taste made me think of driving through citrus groves where you can just make out lemon and orange in the air but it almost eludes you.  This wine was probably one of my all time favorite whites.  I am putting that down here in writing.  My favorite white wine to date.

 Our appetizer for the evening were these ridiculously good fried pig ears with crispy brussel sprouts tossed in a vinaigrette.  Whodathunk.  Pig ears, brussel sprouts, and vinegar.  The people at Marche Moderne.  That's who.  Go visit. Eat.  Ok, I'll stop plugging them.  I know the food will be enough. (If you are in the area and want to go visit, hit me up.  I'll come with.)  =)

These two dishes formed our next course.  The top picture is a truffle pizza.  Yes, you heard me.  Truffle pizza.  (Fyi, we are not talking chocolate truffles.  We are talking about the kind that pigs find in the ground.  And they are heavenly.  If you haven't tried any might want to consider not going there because they are addicting.)  In addition to the truffles (which would have been quite enough), there is prosciutto and burata cheese.  Un-be-liev-able. 

The second dish is a little more complex but just as amazing.  Morel mushrooms surround a red wine emulsion that has a poached egg on top of it.  Those flavors were crazy!  I could have stopped at this point in the evening but we were barely getting started.  

 With those two dishes we had this beautiful Bordeaux.  ' Nuf said.  Bordeaux is quickly becoming my favorite red wine.  Try one if you have not yet had a chance.  I have tried a couple of Bordeaux recently (2009 was a wonderful year for that region in France) and you can get some excellent wines for reasonable prices.  This one though...this one was a little leathery (in a good way) but well balanced with some dark berry tones to it as well.

And I think I will finish the first half of this tale here.  There are still three dishes and wines to do.  You will not want to miss it.  =)

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

kah-ray-zee week!!! (in pictures!)

I have come across different points in my life when I look at my calendar and things that I have to do and think to myself, "Man, you can not say no, can you?"  But then I give myself a minute and think, "But you were Super Woman in your dream last night.  Get your rear in gear!"  =P  So this is some of what I did this week.

I was getting crazy creative.  So here is a snapshot of what I made.  Some of these things may end up in the shop pretty quick so visit to see some of it pretty soon!

And then I was rearranging furniture to get my little reading nook.  So excited to look for some art work for that empty wall! (In case you hadn't heard, my father-in-law, brother-in-law and hubby spent last weekend putting laminate floors in my living room.  It was amazing.)
before and right before
the finished result - totally LOVE!
And then Sunday was Father's Day so we got some pool time with the hubby and the baby.

And my new favorite flowers...peonies make me smile.  =D  See?  I smile - even in blog posts.  =P

Linking up with:
life rearranged 
Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: Villa Fulvia 2005 Ripasso

Welcome back everyone!  At least I hope you've come back to hear about another fabulous wine!

Alright, so I kind of started drinking and eating rather quickly again...I will get pictures of my meals and share them with you very soon though!

Today's wine is a beautiful red wine that will wow your taste buds and play nice with your wallet.  Now, I am a mother and wife, my family lives off of mostly one income (I do part time work here and there but nothing steady at the moment) so cost-effective wines are a must.  That being said, at $16.99 a bottle from my favorite Orange County wine shop, Wine Exchange, is pretty darn good considering the great qualities of this wine.

Villa Fulvia 2005 Ripasso
At my first taste, I thought it is so easy...that doesn't explain much but let me see if I can expand that.  It is not overly fruity or acidic so you don't feel like you are getting hit in the face with a big crazy flavor.  There were fruity undertones but it was so well balanced!  I had this wine with pizza and it was fantastic!  I have heard that it goes really well with pork but like I said, I was pretty happy with my pizza and wine.  =)  The longer it sat in my glass, the flavor developed into a rich, full, dark, flavor...think dark chocolate with cherries...really dark chocolate with really ripe cherries eaten outdoors with the smell of the outdoors as you eat...or in this case, drink!

Check it out, folks.  You won't regret it!

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Jane Austen post :: Pride and Prejudice

Alright folks.  It was bound to happen.  I am going to start talking very openly about my Jane Austen addiction.  And I think I would have to call it an addiction.  I religiously watch one of my movies pretty much once a month...sometimes more often...And one or another of her novels pretty much live on my night stand or is first up on my Kindle (yes, I do both books and e-readers, another conversation for another time).

ANYWAY!  The point is - I heart Jane Austen.  Anything Jane Austen.  And I am in the throes of another one of my monthly...periods (and no, it does not coincide with my other period although my husband might argue that it is just the same).  :)

So today?  I was scouring Etsy looking for Pride and Prejudice-y things to decorate my little office area with.  (I'm rearranging my work space.  Pictures will be forth coming.)  And I found some things that I am dying to have.

P.S.  This "A Jane Austen post" is likely to become a series.  Check back for more of my obsessions with this amazing author and my interactions with her still relevant and excellent books.

The best print ever!  via: FlourishCafe
Simple but perfect print as only Jane Austen could say it!
And for a little bit of whimsy - heart garlands!
There were so many other pretty things that I would love to get but somehow I think my husband might draw the line at having a house entirely decorated and filled with all things Jane Austen. =)

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Welcome to Wine Wednesdays!

So I have been doing a lot of thinking about things that I love that I want to share with my readers.  And I came up with a good one.  Good because it involves alcohol and because it is (hopefully) educational.  I firmly believe that a good bottle of wine with a good dinner with good people is one of the best pleasures that life has to offer.  There is little else in this world that can compare to the perfect bottle of burgundy with a good piece of prime rib or a beautiful riesling with a roast chicken.  Food and wine go together.  It is the drink of ancient civilizations and the taste of great and wonderful places.

In this new series, I'm going to sharing some of what I have learned about wine from my chef, restaurant, and wine industry friends.  I have noticed a trend that a lot of my friends work with food...and wine...and are really good at eating and cooking...good thing I like to eat and cook too!  =)

For today, I thought I would start with a fantastic summer wine that will be great with all kinds of barbeque and picnic meals.  I had this wine with a roast pork tenderloin over spring greens and fresh apples.  Let me tell you...uh-maz-ing.  And no, I do not have any pictures of either my glass or my food because I got busy with that pretty quick.  =P  Muga Rioja Rosado 2011 was the wine of my weekend.  It is a blend of three Spanish varietals and could not be better.

I had to share this wine with you because it is not a strong taste for those who are not the biggest wine drinkers and it is a very well-balanced wine for those of you who know a little bit more about them.  It was refreshing for a hot day (we had it on Sunday night with a wine industry friend who was over for dinner).  The wine was not harsh - for a rosé, it was incredibly well blended, not harsh for having three different types of wines in it.  Don't expect a strong fruity flavor.  There was a freshness and crispness that was great with the fresh salad and complimented the pork so well. 

Muga 2011 Rioja Rosé  -
I have included the link to my local wine shop (Wine Exchange in Orange, CA) because they ship around the country if you can't find it in any stores by you.  Plus, it is only $9.99 at Wine Exchange.  (Also, they are not paying me for sharing this information.  I truly love my local shops and it is a small, privately owned shop staffed by people who make sure you have what you were looking for.  I just love Wine Exchange.  If you have visited the place, you probably know why I say I love them. =P)  Another resource I will constantly be pointing you to in my weekly posts is  You will be able to search pretty nearly any kind of wine, any vintage, and be able to find something about it or where to purchase it.

So begins my series on wine!  I hope you find it helpful or educational...or at least not utterly boring.  =)  In the future, I will try and restrain myself from scarfing down my food before I get a pic to put with these posts.    =)

Hope you have a beautiful day!

Friday, June 8, 2012

home is where the heart is

It seems that everyone has a place they like to call home.  A place that is comforting, safe, peaceful.  Sometimes this "place" isn't physical and sometimes it is.  But I will be honest here.  I have missed home.

My home...or what I have kept telling myself is Honolulu, Hawaii.  If you have spent any amount of time on my blog you know how much I look forward to trips back and the food and the people and my family. But I have been realizing that with a child (and theoretically more in the future), trips back to my "home" are going to become fewer and farther between.

That reality is hard for me.  And I'm not always sure why.  Or maybe I'm not sure why I still look at things this way.

Personally, I have often (and probably always) struggled with finding my identity in my Savior.  And if I am honest with myself about that reality - that I wholly and only belong to Jesus Christ - then things like physical locations seem a little silly.

But if I looked at things a little more deeply and even more honestly...maybe I would see that I miss the moments of quiet I remember having with my Lord on a beach in the morning.  Or when you are on a surfboard surrounded by an amazing ocean.  And I have struggled to find that peace and still since I have left Hawaii... and that probably has more to do with college and marriage and child and my struggle to find quiet time than anything physical...But still...

Homesickness constantly nags and I wonder if I am missing something in my current place.  A place filled with family and friends and beautiful places too.

Then I realize again.  Christ is universally my identity.  I may continue struggling with homesickness but still I am His child.  And even if it takes me some work to hear His voice again, He still speaks to me and hears me - no matter where I am.

I lift my eyes up to the hills, from whence comes my help, my help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. ~Psalm 121.1-2
Hoping you all have a beautiful Hawaiian day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

waiting for a little more summer

So the weather has been undeniably beautiful in SoCal recently.  BUT it has not quite been beautiful enough for me to go diving into a pool or hit the ocean yet.  That could be in large part because I'm a wuss when it comes to really a wuss.  =P

Let me tell you though - in Arizona, in 100+ degree weather, water is your friend.  And we were in Arizona two weekends ago for a cousin's graduation and spent a bunch of time with family.  Especially since not many family members had seen Hito before this trip.  I had to share some of these pics because Hito got to see another great-grandma.  =)  Bad news is that Great-Grandma has been in and out of the hospital twice since we were there two weeks ago.  =(  Prayers would be appreciated!

 He is still getting the looking at the camera thing down.  =P  Since it was so stinking hot, we chilled in the pool with everyone for a while and got a few cute shots of dad and kiddo in the water.

yup, that's my stylin' baby.  =)  Grandma N. found the floaty and I got the glasses at Target.  Shortly after this picture, they came off.  =P

 Have you started any summer festivities yet?  I am starting to get my calendar out so that I can get bbqs planned!  I am planning on sharing some of my summer recipes - be looking for it soon!

Have a beautiful day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...