Yummy Gummies….


So the fashion and food blogs are full of stories about how cool it is to have wine flavored gummy bears, more specifically rose flavored dummies. How hard can this be I thought as I trolled Amazon for a mold to try them at home. Success!


All you need is wine ( 1/4 cup for 50 bears), sugar, plain gelatin and gel food coloring. I used  sparkling Moscato because it was open, but I will definitely be doing this again with Rose. Mix sugar and 3 packets of gelatin together in a heatproof measuring cup. Heat the wine to between 90° and 100°, any higher temp and you will lose the wine flavor. Pour wine onto powdered ingredients and mix until all the gelatin is dissolved and the add some food coloring and stir well to make sure it’s distributed.

Pour into molds that are on rimmed cooking sheets and then use an offset spatula or the edge of a flat blade to scrape liquid excess away. Put the whole cookie sheet into the fridge and let chill for a few hours. The dummies will pop right out!



I used a recipe from Pinterest ( where else?) but you can adapt this by changing wine to water and adding a drop of candy flavoring! In preparation for an India Hicks event next week, I of course, experimented with Flamingo for a color, because, well….you can never have too much Flamingo!

Etienne & Mireille

Meet Etienne & Mireille Blanc, who own and farm on 18 acres in the Beaujolais region of France. Famous for the Beaujolais Nouveau that commercially arrives just in time for Thanksgiving in the US, Beaujolais also produces other vintages like Macon, Brouilly etc.


After we left Oingt on Friday, we had a visit with Etienne in his vineyard where he explained his process and his year as a winemaker. The vineyard was passed from grandfather to grandson, both named Etienne. His family have been winemakers since the late 1700’s in the same location and produce about 45,000 bottles of wine each year. 


 The Blancs take in guests, produce wine, honey, jam, and manage the rest of their farm. They have a lovely cave where they showcase their wine to tours and visitors. Who knew that there was a Beaujolais Blanc as well as Beaujolais Rose?


Etienne was warm and welcoming. He and Mireille took their time to answer questions and share their story! Au votre sainte! 

Tis  the season…

Drinking pink this summer…


A true Cotes de Provence rosé. The staple wine of France for summer months, this one is a light pink and tastes a little like apples. Not as crisp as a Rhone, but refreshing nonetheless…available, where else? Trader Joes!

Pudding, Part 2


We’ve walked by this restaurant in Portsmouth NH at least 6 times in the last few years when we have stopped in Portsmouth on our way in or out of Maine. The Hubs and I have always been drawn to how lovely the outside patio looks in summer, but alas, we were never able to get a seat, it’s just too popular! So when we planned our Pudding last weekend, I put the Hubs on the case of making a reservation and he outdid himself! We had an 8:30 reservation for “bar seating” but this was the view from the bar….

Of course we ordered the chef’s tasting menu that’s on the right of this picture and we ordered it with the wine pairing to accompany it. Easily one of the top dozen meals we have ever had. It was so fun to watch the two chefs at the stove and ovens orchestrate the meals for this cozy and unpretentious venue. We started off with a roasted beet and chevre starter that was topped with pistachio and pomegranate seeds. The best part of this was the fact that the chevre had been either whipped or foamed to become silky and soft, not crumbly. The beets were small and tender and perfect.


A butternut squash soup followed. The bottom of the bowl was painted with chocolate and cocoa nibs were added along with a homemade marshmallow. Chocolate, really? YES, REALLY! Wow! I’ve made Butternut Squash bisque, and had it in other places and never have I gotten this silky consistency that was what we had on Saturday nite.


Both of these courses were accompanied by a lovely white from Russian River in California.

Next up was a “salad” of pan roasted brussel sprouts and chestnuts with pomegranate served with a delicious nebbiola (rose) by La Kiuva in Italy

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There was a cider cured duck listed on the menu, but they were out, and so substituted Chickpea Fries ( not what you think….) This will be another recipe I experiment with over the holidays. It would be excellent for meatless Monday. But I digress…

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cava11Outside of the beef that followed this dish, this item was my favorite from the whole memorable meal! I know I keep using the word silky, but really that’s the consistency we kept tasting. All the food was seasoned to perfection. The Chickpea Fries coincindentally are a recipe featured in this issue of Panna the online cooking magazine that I subscribe to. Maybe that’s where they got the idea, but it worked!

They topped it with fresh tabouleh, feta, and a cucumber yogurt dressing.

This course and the upcoming beef tenderloin was accompanied by a BIG red from Saved Winery in California. It was HUGE and will be under serious consideration for a case purchase!

Next up was a sirloin of beef, accompanied by a crispy brussel sprout leaf and a roasted carrot on top and a sauce of black garlic ( there’s that silky stuff again) that was out of this world, but the most surprising note of all came from the star anise that the sirloin was rubbed in before searing and roasting…”the best friend of beef” is what Michael, our chef said. I have got to try that, just need to find some star anise….cava5 cava4

And this is when my iPhone died and I could not capture anything else, sadly. Following dinner we had an intermezzo of fresh pineapple, grilled with molasses and lime zest and then a pumpkin cake with marscapone foam. The best part of dessert was the sherry pairing! It was like drinking a liquid raisin, so rich and so layered with flavor.

More than enough food, even though a tasting menu and totally reasonable in price, it’s a place I can’t wait to go back to for another Pudding!


What to do with?

Wine corks…
Really when you think about it, I only consume 3 beverages. Oh I’ve been known to have a CC and ginger and once a year or so will have a Manhattan if I don’t have to drive. But my cocktail of choice, anytime of year is wine.
Which leaves you with corks. Lots of corks. ( For the record, the other two beverages are water and tea)
So I was sitting in Vino Volo at the airport the nite we left for Ireland in August. Near the “please wait to be seated” sign was a cute little display of summer wines with a garland of wine corks setting off the summer seashore theme.


“Hmmmmm, I can make that…” I said to myself and filed it away for future use.


So I did! Super simple! Might need to put on my Christmas tree!

P.S if you are ever in the “new” terminal at Dulles airport in Virginia, Vino Volo is the only place worth your hard earned moolah for refreshment.