Savoring Springtime Suppers

The first few days of Spring have been all about savoring.

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We had my father in law in town from New Zealand and soaked up every minute of family time we could.

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No agenda. No rush. No plan. No worries.

That’s the one of the many things I really enjoy about these Crazy Cotters. There will never be a plan. There will never be  a “rush” of the day. We spent hours around the table eating good food, sharing stories, and catching up.

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The weather was perfect to show him around the trails, the evenings last longer so we could sit outside and chat over a glass (or 2) of wine, and I couldn’t help but realize how much I (we) needed to just step back from life’s “agenda” and enjoy/savor the time we had now.

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Maybe that’s the whole point of the “spring forward” time change anyway. To savor the last bit of day together…………. supper.

sup•per (ˈsʌp ər)
n.

1. the evening meal, often the principal meal of the day. supper – a social gathering where a light evening meal is served;

Just the word in itself makes me feel at home.

So maybe your supper is just two people, maybe it’s 10! Maybe it’s crazy loud and chatty. Maybe it’s calm and collected. Either way, it’s about the time and the people you share it with, am I right?

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The last day my father in law was here, we grilled out. He made his famous curry ribs (which I’ve begged him for recipe on multiple occasions), and I prepared a ginger and garlic haddock fillets. The meal, of course, was delicious, but the supper itself was savored for hours!

garlic ginger haddock and beef sliders

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Garlic and Ginger Spiced Haddock Recipe- quick version

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Haddock or other white fish fillet
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chipped garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp ginger spice
  • balsamic vinegar
  • crushed black pepper
  • avocado

Directions:

Mix together 1/4 cup oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and your spices. Whisk and then pour over fillets (about 2 fillets). You can also marinate them in the mixture for 20 minutes if preferred. Bake or Grill at 425F to 450F for about 10 minutes or less. Depends on how thick your fish it. 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Once removed, place on steamed spinach and add fresh avocado. Add more crushed pepper is desired.

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Here are a few of my favorite suppers to savor this spring! Each unique and full of flavor!

*This is a sponsored opportunity with Foodie.com

Have a Marvelous Monday!

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Favorite Spring time supper?

Cheers,

LC

P.S.

Here’s a great devotional about Balance. It really put things in perspective for me this week.

“I think God has already outlined in scripture His secret for finding balance and what our priorities are to be. If we don’t start our big dreams, goals and plans for life or the day by resting in Him and seeking His priorities first we quickly wear out and stop bearing fruit.”

ChobaniATX dinner: Just Add Good

So…. I’m still in a wee bit of a food coma. You see, last night I feasted on a 5 course dinner. It was a South by Southwest dinner hosted by the amazing crew at Chobani. The chefs at Parkside Austin put together an incredible menu full of chobani flavors (hence the JUST ADD GOOD hashtags).

Yes, it was crazy good and we were spoiled. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

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First of all, I just have to say how great Chobani (and company) is. As soon as I walked into the room I was greeted with a big hug and “Hey Cotter Crew.” I brought my mom so she was part of that crew, hehe. Anyway, Emily, Hilary, and Emily S. (just a few of the amazing gals representing the Chobani communications team) were the best hostesses and we had a blast eating, laughing, drinking, and enjoying good conversation.

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The funny thing about the whole night was that I really didn’t know any other bloggers, well maybe one. All the other 15 plus bloggers there were REAL FOOD bloggers. I mean, the FOODGAWKER kind, and all of them were lovely and oh so talented! I don’t consider myself a food blogger, just a blogger who shares good food, nothing fancy. I guess you could say I was the food squawker out of the whole crew. Yep, Crazy Cotter, Kiwi Cotter, Sherpa Wife, Gluten free, Strange but Good creations, yada yada yada. Ha ha.

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So here we go. Like I said, I am no pro, just a food squawker. Winking smile And I apologize in advance for the bad lighting and pics.

Four hours and Five courses of deliciousness. The Chef (who I adore and wanted to kiss after this meal) based each dish on seasonal food, 2% chobani flavors, and fresh ingredients.

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Appetizer was an avocado soup, blood orange, smoked trout caviar, and chili. I wanted to lick the bowl at the end but I restrained myself. It was hard.

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photo source: Kitchen-Concoctions

First course was a beet salad with yogurt jerky. Think dried yet creamy yogurt with delicious beets on top. Coriander and celery root were the perfect seasoning!

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2nd course was seafood. Grilled prawns and caramelized yogurt. The yogurt made the dish. Caramelized yogurt? Impressive. Again, wanted to lick the dish.

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3rd course was short ribs with a cherry sauce, green garlic, and yogurt farina. I couldn’t eat the farina since it’s gluten, but the ribs…. heavens yes. In fact, I don’t even like ribs that much but this dish made me change my mind. The meat was so tender and paired perfectly with the cherry sauce and my red wine. It was my favorite part of the whole meal! Well, besides dessert. Winking smile

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And last but not least………DESSERT. No matter how full you were at this point, you couldn’t pass it up. And you didn’t want to. The salty almond soil tasted like a graham cracker crust, but without grain of course. The basil ice cream was fresh as could be! Yogurt custard and compressed mango balanced out the herbs and left your whole mouth and body full of happy memories. Goodness gracious, roll me over, put me to bed, and let me dream of this again tonight!

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Photo above courtesy of Chobani

Thank you Parkside, thank you Chobani, thank you SXSW. It was wonderful and FULLfilling experience. Nothing But Good!

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Have you been spoiled by a great company before?

Have you experimented with Chobani at every meal?

I highly recommend it!

cheers,

Food Squawker Cotter

When things just Click

There are several things that just seem to “click” from time to time. I am sure you could agree.

Like putting on new run or workout gear and feeling motivated. It just clicks in!

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Like putting dark chocolate almond butter in Strawberry Raspberry Hot Oats from LoveGrown Foods. It’s a clicking combo!

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Like making a strange but good recipe with the bare essentials left in your pantry. Goat Cheese, Carrot, and Olive Tuna Cakes. Yes, somehow this just clicked and I will be posting the recipe.

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Like opening up your devotional and having God’s word just “click” with your heart and soul.

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Like having neighbors who you just Click with and feed you well ALL the TIME. Yes, we’re spoiled!

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Like clicking with your waitress right away because she has good taste in wine and appetizers.  Plus she doesn’t rush you through dinner when it’s a special occasion.

Phone pictures of our gluten free salmon and caper bruschetta appetizer and a delicious Malbec. Winking smile

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But Marriage… well… that took 5 years to click. Five years worth working on too!

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It took 5 years of seeing each other at our lowest of lows and highest of highs, yet never leaving each others side.

It took 5 years of trying to change each other only to realize we can’t, we won’t, and we really don’t want to.

It took 5 years of trying to figure out how to make “our” plans mesh when really we needed to let go and LET GOD’s PLAN lead us.

It took 5 years for me to figure out that I can’t always fix a problem and sometimes the best way to help my husband is just to pray for him (us).

It took 5 years for me realize that needing to control everything only leads us nowhere! In fact, it backfires.

It took 5 years for us to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect husband, a perfect wife, or a perfect marriage. But we are PERFECT for each other.

It took 5 years to realize that Love and Respect are KEY ingredients in marriage. And when you wake up wanting to make that person’s day a little better, then you’ve found your purpose.

It took 5 years to realize that marriage isn’t about the happily ever after, it’s about STAYING TOGETHER…….ALWAYS!

picture on the left is us 6 years ago, newly engaged. Picture on the right is us last night, celebrating 5 GROWTH years of marriage. Yes, we tried to reenact it. ha!

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We have many many more years of “growth” to experience, but there is no one else I’d rather grow with than my husband.

Cheers to 50 more years!

LC

Thursday Things: Workout and New Vocabulary

The day has come and gone. Yes, that day, Christmas. We had a wonderful day. Pretty simple, but still filling.

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A little running with the hubs, a little cooking, a lot of eating, a little present opening, a lot of wine and bubbly, and a lot of laughing.

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Side note: American Apparel PVbody blue tights, Livewell360 CORE bag, and Love Grown Foods NEW PRODUCT all arrived a few days before Christmas. I guess I was extra good this year! Winking smile

Anyway, to sum it up, I’d say we did a LOT of ENJOYING! So much that I overslept yesterday morning and barely had anytime to make a workout for my strength and conditioning class. Though I have to admit, 9hrs of sleep felt amazing!

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But back to my class…. I did a little improv. It worked!

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I was expecting it to be fairly quiet at the gym. I call it the calm before the NEW YEARS RESOLUTION storm. I was right, a little less busy than the day after thanksgiving, LOL! And only 5 in my class, but that wasn’t the thing that bothered me. No, it was “our” mindset. You know, the one that says…

“I need to burn off what I ate

oh I was so bad, oh I need to detox

oh I shouldn’t have had the chocolate pie or champagne.”

Yep, those were the words echoing throughout my class today, by those 5 class attendants.  At first I laughed and agreed. But then it dawned on me. Why are punishing ourselves for ENJOYING?

So I asked them, “did you enjoy your day?” They all said Yes!

I think that is the key. To see it as ENJOYING instead of INDULGING. Indulging can be harmful if we OVER do it DAILY. But I think Holidays are a time focus on the positive, not the negative. Replacing Indulging with ENJOYING! To me that makes me savor the time and flavor instead of feeling like a we “shouldn’t” be eating this or relaxing more. I also don’t feel like I have to work it off the next day.

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Enjoy the day then  just hop back on your regular schedule the next day. Eat, move, work, play, rest, repeat.

I realize this is a lot easier said than done, but it all begins with a simple good thought to push out a negative thought…. and so on and so on.

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So.. did you ENJOY your holiday? 

no guilt trips needed.

Cheers,

LC

 

Let the Holidays Come…to YOU

My friend Jess wrote this awesome post about how to let the run come to you (us). It struck a cord with me. Yes, I apply this to my running (no numbers runner, remember?) but I also think it can apply to the way we live life or more so, the Holidays. Let the Holidays come to you (us).

When I looked up the synonym for LET in the thesaurus, it actually had the definition “sit still for” in there. Interesting, yes? Notice I didn’t say “make the Holidays come to us.” Huge difference right? Let versus make.

It’s Holiday season, yes, and we tend to get way too ahead of ourselves. I mean Christmas planning before Thanksgiving and New Years resolutions before we even hit half way through December.

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Why not let the Holidays come to us. Why not let the moments come to us? Can’t we just focus on the day instead of pre pre pre planning our holiday menu?

I know, easier said than done. Most of us feed off that control. To take charge. To get everything “just right.”

But you know what? Some of my best Holiday memories are the ones that just came, without any control! Someone forgot the pie, we burnt the turkey, got stuck at the airport, decided to go out to eat instead. We made the holiday what is was with what we had and who we were with.

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I’m not saying don’t plan anything. I’m saying don’t set high standards. I’m saying be adaptable. I’m saying focus on the purpose rather than the planning. I’m saying be unconvential if it’s more affordable. I’m saying let’s let the Holidays roll out one day at time, one pie at time, one hug at time. Ya know?

Here are a few stress free ideas/tips  that might help when it comes to Holidays planning or unplanning. haha. Winking smile

  • Don’t be afraid to nix a side dish and put out a salad. Easy to throw together and you can always add in seasonal vegetables like squash, brussel sprouts, etc.

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  • Offer tea, coffee, biscotti/cookies and/or a dessert wine. Then have someone else bring a pie. More choices. Offers a little down time after the meal. It’s cozy.

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  • Use your fruit. It’s cheap. Peel and slice pears, apples, plums, and peaches. Coat with a little butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Toss it all in a pyrex pan and bake at 450F for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a little cream and honey on top.

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  • No time to cook a turkey. That’s fine! Grab two roasted chickens and slice up. Or roast a turkey loin and slice it on a platter. I’m sure the pilgrims won’t mind.
  • Make the day about the people and the purpose first, then the food. Anything tastes good when you’re with good company!
  • Play! Get outside and enjoy the day. Enjoy the festivities. Don’t feel the need to be in the kitchen 24/7 watching the pot boil. Last year (in New Zealand) we played tennis all day before realizing we needed to get Christmas dinner started. Haha.

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  • Be accommodating. Have someone with a food allergy or a specific diet coming? Easy, make a stew or buy some vegetarian tamales. Trust me, tamales and spicy cranberry chutney are a good combo! haha.

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I have to admit. It’s easy to sucked into the Holiday go go go. I mean SUPER EASY! But the moment you feel your “moments” slipping away is when you need to stop. Stop and let the day unfold as is. Like Jess said, let the run (or in this case, the HOLIDAYS) come to you. And once it finds you, take it all in, one breath of FRESH AIR at a time.

So what do you think? Are you in? Slow and Stress free Holidays please!

Cheers,
LC

Sunday Snapshots and Small Survey

I’ve never done a Snapshot Sunday or a Sunday scenes, but I thought I might start today. Why? Because sometimes Snapshots speak more than words. Yes?

Work, Play, Eat, Rest, Enjoy, Repeat. There are snapshots of each below, from working for Attunes at Whole Foods to Enjoying new wine and goodies from great Blends (thanks Jess and Jo).

So scroll down and ENJOY this 3 second post. Then if you don’t mind, help me answer a few survey questions at the end. Smile

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What’s the survey? Oh just a little bit of my own thinking. I need advice. Advice on Healthy Bites.

Do we take a chance and invest in more? Do I stop? Do I wait it out in hopes that we will find someone who will invest in us?

If you’ve sampled or ordered Healthy Bites before, are you interested in them being available in stores? Or would you rather just use the recipes?

Do you think Healthy Bites are unique or are there similar bars/bites out there?

Any other feedback is appreciated.

I realize this is not really a survey but just a list of questions. But survey sounded better. Winking smile

Cheers and happy Slow Sunday!

LC

Sunday Stew

Sundays are suppose to be a day of rest, but in this day in age, most people are out running errands, doing house work, running long, racing, and practically doing anything but resting. I’m okay with that, as long as part of the day is simple and somewhat restful.

Since we go to the evening service at our church, our dinners are pretty simple. I adore it! We usually hit up the downtown Wholefoods after service or we come back and I throw something together in 20 minutes. Just the way God intended it, yes? Winking smile

So here’s my not from scratch Sunday stew, which I originally called a soup, but then googled the difference because I am dork like that. Click on the imagine to get the full article. Come on you know you want to.

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soup fix

4.5 from 2 reviews
Sunday Stew
 
Recipe type: quick recipe
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped roasted chicken or chicken sausage (pre cooked)
  • 2 or so cups of the cabbage/slaw salad mix (i like to get the ones with cilantro and seeds added)
  • 1 sweet potato or squash
  • 1 chopped jalapeno
  • spit pea soup (the gluten free kind)
  • chili mix or mexican spice mix (1tsp)
  • gluten free chicken broth
  • lentil chips, corn chips, or other for topping/scooping
  • optional: feta or other cheese
  • Note: to make vegan just use tofu, tempeh, or meatless chicken cutlets instead of chicken. Also use vegetable broth.
Instructions
  1. First heat your sweet potato in the microwave for 3 minutes. Peel back skin and chop into pieces. Then add the broth, a little extra water (maybe ⅔ cup), canned or boxed split pea soup, cabbage salad mix (about 2 cups worth), chicken, and the potato. Mix well. Stir in some chili mix or other fun flavors, cover, and place on medium to medium low for about 10-15 minutes or until everything is heated and the cabbage salad mix in cooked through. Serve up in bowl, add a little cheese and jalapeno on top. Serve with a side of lentil chips or other gluten free chips of choice!
  2. Note: to make lower in sodium, add more water or use the low sodium broth.

 

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Sundays for us are pretty relaxed these days. We may do a little work here or there, walk the dog, and start some laundry, but that’s about it. Boring to others, but beautiful to us. Well, for the time being. There will be a time or a season when our Sundays will be filled again. Most likely with travel, with training, with racing (God willing). But I’ve learned that when God gives you boring, make it beautiful. When there’s not much on the agenda, don’t fill it. Just go with it. When your to do list is a DONE list, don’t add to it. And when you feel the urge to skip a rest day or power through another weekend, just get outside and walk, enjoy. Be boring, I promise that in the end…….. it feels BEAUTIFUL!

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My favorite quote from my devotional this week sums things up quite nicely.

“Rein in your impulses to plunge into the days activities…….. Relax with Me (God) while I ready you for action.”

What’s boring but beautiful to you these days? Did you know the difference between a stew and soup? I’m sure you did. Winking smile

Cheers,

LC

Good luck to all those racing the Marine Corps Marathon! And be safe all those who taking on hurricane Sandy. Saying a prayer now!

What I’m Enjoying Wednesday: VLOG

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I am switching things up today. Instead of a WIAW, I’m gonna focus on a WIEW (What I’m Enjoying Wednesday). That’s cool, right? And instead of a wordy post, I’m gonna post more pictures and a vlog. Cool? Cool.

No really, it’s a busy month week. Lots of things to enjoy and lots of thing to share. But you know me, I forget things easily. So before I do, I’m posting it here.

What I’m Enjoying Wednesday…. here goes.

I’m ENJOYING…………

Texas Sunrises and a Savory Breakfast

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Poached egg and vegemite and Grain Free Coconut Fig muffins. I promise to post a recipe of these soon!

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I’m ENJOYING…………

Seeing this guy (aka the hubs) in my Monday Spin class and then seeing him back out on the road the next day. Happy Sherpa wife here! Winking smile

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I’m ENJOYING…………

Meals at the table. Yes, the September challenge is still going strong. Only one meal we’ve had away due to different schedules. It’s nice to sit and catch up, no distractions.

Sausage ,Squash, and Slaw. I call this the Triple “S.”

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I’m ENJOYING…………

All my gluten free goodies from the Expo. Oh my am I in heaven. The New Erewhon Buckwheat and Hemp cereal is my new go to snack.

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And the paleo bread from unrefined bakery is a celiac’s heaven! I’ve had pb and banana for lunch or a late night snack almost everyday. It’s just so fluffy! Reminds me of my childhood.

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These items are so good I actually vlogged about it. I know, clever eh? But I hope you enjoy my little schpeel.

Happy Wednesday friends!
What are you ENJOYING this Wednesday?
Cheers,
LC

More days

Happy Friday. Be back next week with regular posting. Sabbatical week continues through the weekend. But in the meantime, I’ll just post some random thoughts and pictures, k?

Enjoy More. It’s that simple.

Enjoy……

More days of early sunrises, more days of days of late sunsets.

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More days of things that make you laugh and people who make you smile.

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More days of home cooked meals and wine al fresco. (Want the recipe?) Winking smile

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More days or learning and more days of living… LIFE!

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More days of working hard and more days of just playin’ around.

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More days of eating goodie packages from your family abroad…

and more days of cuddling with your family right next to you.

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More days working hard towards your dreams/passions…

and more days being PROUD of them!

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Lets live more.

Cheers!

LC

The Splurge…

I try not to think too hard on the weekends. Let’s face it, I need all my brain cells to get me through the week. So when the hubs asked me if I wanted to stay in and pick up a NICE bottle of wine,  I didn’t even think twice. Scratch that, I didn’t even think. Winking smile

We ventured out to Central Market and asked their Wine Connoisseur for their best red. It took about three different people and 3 different choices to finally narrow it down. Quite the process. After the we picked “the chosen one,” we shopped for our dinner. Cause, you know, wine first then pair the food. That was my thinking or not thinking? Either way we know we wanted spicy and comfort. Thai Coconut Beef Stew. I’d say this paired perfectly, or maybe that was the wine talking? Hmm, either way, it went down smooth and warmed our souls.

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You must be dying to know our “HOW TO” Steps of enjoying a good wine (enter sarcasm), but instead of chit chatting through the rest of this post, I’m going to attempt to be clever and put it recipe form.

Mmmm, k?

5.0 from 2 reviews
Fine Wine Delight
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Any and All
Serves: However many you'd like
Ingredients
  • A good bottle of wine
  • a big wine glass
  • Good company
  • 1 decanter
  • a cheese/fruit platter
Instructions
  1. Open your wonderful bottle of wine. Our half or all into a decanter. Let it breathe for at least 30-45 minutes. While it is breathing, sit back with feet up and enjoy some good conversation. When 45 minutes is up, grab your favorite people. Pour wine into each glass, sniff and swirl the wine just for the heck of it. Cheers with your wine glass in the air and sip slowly. Let's not forget to eat some cheese, olives, grapes, etc.

I like my weekends to be like a fine wine….good to the last drop.

What was the last thing your splurged on? Was it worth it?

Cheers,

LC