food

Joseph Phelps Insignia. Still my favorite!

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Joseph Phelps Insignia, 2006.

I had a wonderful bottle of wine last evening and thought you might like to enjoy the tasting notes. I have included  video with comments from Robert Parker that offers some Joseph Phelps history and the history of their flagship wine: Insignia. Insignia is enjoying it’s 40th vintage!

If I tried to use one word about this wine, I would say FINESSE. The tannins are there but very soft allowing the fruit to elegantly flow forward. A floral note of LILAC rises from the glass without swirl – I always want to get the nose of the wine BEFORE a swirl. A nice swirl yields a spicy cherry aroma, one you might get when grandma is cooking a cherry pie.This is followed by light oak, licorice and heavy black fruit on the palate. This wine just simply flows evenly on the palate. Buy for about $200 and drink now. Pair it with pork or beef with middle range taste profiles (meaning nothing super bold or super light).

GREAT VIDEO: 39 VINTAGE TASTING WITH ROBERT PARKER.

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World Traveling Joe!

World Traveling Joe!

http://www.worldtravelingjoe.com
Passionate about food, wine, travel!

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What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers?

Thanksgiving Leftover Macaroni & Cheese

Prep Time: 20min

Cooking Time: 40min

Total Time: 1hr 10min

Servings: 8

This is definitely the cheesiest way to enjoy all of your Thanksgiving holiday leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Cooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound Shredded turkey meat
  • 1 cup Leftover stuffing (optional)
  • 3 Medium size sweet potatoes, cut into small dices, cooked in salted water till tender
  • 1 cup Cooked peas
  • ½ Onion, chopped
  • 5 Sage leafs, minced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup Leftover cranberry relish (optional)
  • 1½ quarts Milk
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • 4 cups Grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup Grated Fontina cheese

Preparation

Step 1

In a large pot add butter, onion, sage and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add flour, whisk and cook for another 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add milk and continue to whisk till mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

Step 4

After milk has thickened, whisk in the mascarpone, fontina and one cup of the cheddar cheese.

Step 5

Once cheese melts and sauce becomes smooth, fold in the turkey meat, sweet potatoes, peas and pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 6

Place pasta mixture in a 3-inch baking dish, cover with remaining cheddar cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes till golden brown.

Step 7

Serve with a tablespoon of cranberry relish.

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Walk Butt Naked on the Beach! And no one notice!

3 Seriously Sexy Travel Spots
What is a sexy destination? In my book, these are qualities that always rock my travel libido:
 Undiscovered: There ain’t nothing sexier than being able to walk down the beach butt naked without having a million pairs of eyes checking out what mother nature gave ya. Or, to saunter through a town square without having to fight your way through a throng of postcard shops and tourists.
Sensual cuisine: Think juicy fruit, young coconuts and fresh caught fish. I love being able to walk out my door and pick a succulent papaya, drink down some delicious thai coconut water or watch the sunset with some fresh grilled fish.
Steeped in Tradition: There is something incredibly sexy about cultures that are focused on preserving the “old ways.” Making things by hand, using all their senses, weaving offerings out of flowers, making feta by hand, picking your own herbs for brewing, bakeries that actually bake their own bread… sexy, sexy, sexy.
Topography: Undulating hills, blazing hot sun over a vista of sand and stone, dense jungles teeming with exotic flora and fauna, breathtaking deserted beaches, fields of fragrant herbs and wildflowers.
Well, now that I’ve laid out my criteria for a sexy destination, I’d like to share with you a few of my absolute faves that really get me going:
1. Ko Lanta, Thailand: A big part of what keeps this destination so damn sexy is that it is a bitch to get to. Ko Lanta is an island, so no matter how you slice it, you have to take a combination of planes, trains, buses and ferries to get there. But, what’s a little effort when heaven on earth awaits on the other side?
Chinese pole houses dot the breathtaking shoreline, and you can easily hire a boat for day excursions to remote islands and hidden caves. Ko Lanta is a stone’s throw by boat from the luxe tourist haven of Phi Phi… so it’s really the best of both worlds. Mango House has awesome traditional pole houses on the water, and Sun Island Tours has the best boat tours around. The village itself is traditional with some of the hottest – literally – food around. Lemongrass, basil, cilantro and chilies abound. Also, seriously, this place has the sexiest coconuts on earth.
2. San Salvador, Costa Rica: Costa Rica is synonymous with sexy: beaches for days, jungles with monkeys, sloths and exotic birds and fresh, delicious food at every turn. Costa Rica’s natural sensuality has been both a blessing and a curse. Now, people are catching on, and many areas of Costa Rica run the danger of becoming extremely unsexy.
But, there are still a few hidden, tucked-away gems that really get my mojo going. There are a few awesome well known retreat centers in Dominical on the coast. But, when I’m in Costa Rica I like to go a little further. I land in San Jose and head for the hills. About one hour north of Dominical is a little mountain village called San Salvador. In an open forest clearing is Finka De Vida. This place is beyond sexy. Just about everything you eat is grown on their local farm. You have the choice of picking and preparing your own meals, juices and smoothies or having there chef do it for you. The menu is as raw as you want, or fully cooked. It’s up to you. Activities include yoga overlooking the jungle, bathing in the local waterfall and beach excursions. I promise you will feel so sexy you’ll never want to leave.
3. Lesvos, Greece: Lesvos is not called the island of women for nothing. If Santorini, with its active volcano and harsh landscape, is the masculine side of the Greek isles, then Lesvos is definitely one foxy lady.
Lesvos is where a lot of Greece’s olive oil comes from, so it is covered in olive groves as well as an abundance of cherry, apple, pistachio and pine trees. Because it is so far north, most people don’t know about Lesvos. In fact, it’s so far north you can take a ferry to Turkey in 30 minutes.
The island is filled with cobblestone mountain villages, forts, castles, Turkish hammams and nary a white and turquoise domed structure in site. The houses are built of wood and stone and have more of an Ottoman feel. Expect quiet beaches that you can explore “in the all together,” sleepy villages where homemade feta and bread are served, freshly grilled octopus for supper by the sea and horses and donkeys that you can ride through the mountain groves and pick your own herbs for supper or tea. I lived on Lesvos for four years, and I swear by its undeniable sexiness. There are many many wonderful places to stay on Lesvos. My absolute fave for authenticity and sexiness is Elainonas Nikou on the Gulf of Gera. Rojo Caliente!
Travel is a sexy sport. Don’t be a wall flower. Vow to never hit a homely destination again… between you and me, they don’t call it wanderlust for nothin’.

ASK JOE about an AWESOME travel deal to Lesvos, Greece. Think 7days 6 nights all inclusive for $599!

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Enhance Thanksgiving Dinner by Pairing the Perfect Wine

What’s the best wine for Thanksgiving Dinner?

The Top 5 Thanksgiving Wines (because just one would be ludicrous)

Top 5 Best Wine for Thanksgiving Dinner

Top 5 best Thanksgiving wines… er.. the last one isn’t wine?

Hopefully you’ll survive Black Out Wednesday and be ready for another day of drinking. While there are a few ideal turkey pairing wines, there’s more to selecting the best wine for Thanksgiving dinner than the bird. Consider the following:

    • Dinner also includes yams, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce.
    • Your house will smell redolent of turkey and pumpkin pie spice.
    • You may be on a tight budget after buying dinner fixings.
    • Ideally, you’ll be drinking all day.

wine for thanksgiving dinner

So what’s it going to be?

Thanksgiving Wine Legend

  • Crowd pleaser
  • Good gift wine
  • Will make you drunk
  • Good value

1. The Wine to Pair with Turkey

Zinfandel is America’s sweetheart. It’s the ideal turkey pairing wine because its lower tannin helps moisten even the driest turkey. Also, Zinfandel’s secondary flavors of cinnamon, clove and vanilla will put you in the mood for fall.

Green and Red Chile Valley Estate Zinfandel 2009

Zinfandel

These are our favorite turkey-wine Zinfandels that are ready to be guzzled now.

  • $25 D-Cubed Napa Valley Vineyards 2008 Zinfandel ( 14.4% ABV)
  • $22 Green & Red Vineyards Chiles Valley 2009 Zinfandel ( 15% ABV)
  • $14 7 Deadly Zins 2009 Lodi Zinfandel ( 14.7% ABV)

2. The Perfect Ice-Breaker Wine

The worst moments at a party are right when everyone arrives and they’re all standing around. Awkward. To alleviate superficial weather-talk and bullshit, just truncate it… with the sound of a pressurized cork being removed from a bottle of Champagne. Nothing says ‘let’s get this party started!’ better than the sound of bottles popping.

Treveri Cellars Brut Sparkling Wine Washington State

Champagne

Instead of classic Champagne for Thanksgiving, check out these amazing American sparkling wines that are fruity enough to stand up to yams.

  • $27 Taittinger “Domaine Carneros” Brut 2008 ( 12% ABV )
  • $14 Treveri Cellars “Blanc de Blanc” Brut ( 12% ABV )

3. The Wine to Match with Ham

While everyone is gawking at the turkey, you’re the one filling your plate up with baked ham. You might as well all admit that, for you, Thanksgiving is about pork products. You’re going to need some Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir, a light-bodied red wine, is a great choice for ham wine pairing because the high acidity cuts through the rich flavors. Red fruit flavors like cherry and cranberry work well with a juicy slice of ham.

  • $20 Alma Rosa Santa Rta Hills 2008 Pinot Noir ( 14.1% ABV )
  • $32 Raptor Ridge Willamette Valley Reserve 2009 Pinot Noir ( 14.2% ABV )

Raptor Ridge Oregon Pinot Noir 2009

Pacific Rim 2011 Dry Riesling

4. The Best White Wine for Thanksgiving Dinner

When it comes to the best wine for Thanksgiving dinner, nothing beats a glass of dry Riesling. Bright acidity tingles through all the fat in the gravy, stuffing, potatos, yams and the richness of spice in cranberry sauce. Every sip feels like hitting the reset button on your palate so you can stand to take another bite of dark meat. Disagree? They’re so cheap, I dare you to buy one and try it just to prove me wrong.

Dry Riesling

  • $9 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2011 ( 12.9% ABV )

5. The Best Wine with Pumpkin Pie

The best wine to pair with pumpkin pie is beer. A Belgian style beer with the essence of coriander and lots of tiny bubbles. The lightness of the beer will help scrape all that gooey pumpkin pie from the insides of your mouth. It will also offer a pleasing compliment of bitter and sweet. Trust me, after all that wine, turkey and stuffing there’s not a better way to end the dinner.

Belgian-Style Beer

  • $12 (750ml) Ommegang Brewery “Hennepin” Farmhouse Saison with citris & coriander ( 7.7% ABV )
  • $9 (22oz) Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project “Fluffy White Rabbits” Tripel Ale ( 8.5% ABV )
Pretty Things Fluffy White Rabbits American Triple Ale
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Can anyone say…..Dinner Party?

Can anyone say.....Dinner Party?

Does it really get any better than dining in a 16th century castle?

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TOP NYC PIZZA JOINTS

The 10 Best Pizzas in NYC

lombardis_Eric__I_E.jpg
flickr/Eric__I_E
Pizza from Lombardi’s, which, despite being acknowledged as America’s first pizzeria, didn’t make the cut.

We’ve been fuming since TripAdvisor’s bogus pizza rankings placed New York fourth in the country this summer. The list–a product of crowdsourcing gone awry–proved to be ultimately useless, but in our reactionary anger, it gave us reason to mull over the finest examples NYC has to offer. From light, chewy Neapolitan rounds to Sicilian squares, archetypal “New York” slices and novelty pies, these are booming times for the city that helped introduce pizza to the United States. Certainly, no city in this great land boasts as rich a history with the foodstuff. Our take? You can bet your bottom dollar slice joint, New York is the best pizza city in America. Here’s our top ten.

johnspizzaAPASCIUTO.jpg
flickr/apasciuto

10. John’s of Bleecker Street, 278 Bleecker Street

Beyond the salty, greasy cheese and heavily charcoal-kissed crust, it’s the piquancy of John’s sauce that remains the most remarkable thing about the offerings at this standard-bearer in the NYC pizza pantheon. Opened in 1929, John’s famously eschews the trappings of traditional pizza parlors opting for table service over a slice counter. Selling pizza exclusively by the pie coupled with the restaurant’s storied history accounts for the lines, but once you’re inside, it’s well worth the price of admission for the pizza as much as for the atmosphere. With its faded murals and deeply worn wooden booths, the place is a museum.

montanarastarita.jpg
Don Antonio by Starita

9. Don Antonio by Starita, 309 West 50th Street

Keste’s Roberto Caporuscio tapped mentor and pizza demigod Antonio Starita to help create the menu at this love letter to all things doughy. Forcella may have devoted an entire failed concept restaurant to the montanara pizza, but Don Antonio’s version of the deep fried pie receives a topping of smoked buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes before being finished in the wood burning oven; the effect of smoky, milky cheese, fried dough and sweetly acidic tomatoes is transcendent, the crust superbly crisp. Together, both master and student have surpassed the majority of pizza places in New York.

motorinoVioletFaversham.jpg
flickr/Violet Faversham

8. Motorino, 139 Broadway, Brooklyn Part of the Neapolitan pizza resurgence of the early ’00s, Mathieu Palombino’s international pizzeria (there’s an outpost in Hong Kong) puts out pizzas that are respected for their ample chew and exterior char. The flavor developed on the crust allows for the chef to play around with aggressive toppings, like Brussels sprouts with pancetta and broccolini with spicy sausage and shreds of eggy stracciatella. After a structural failure at the flagship’s location, Palombino’s return to Williamsburg this past spring has proven triumphant; the pizza is as bubbled and fragrant as ever.

From: By Zachary Feldman Tue., Oct. 15 2013

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