Amarone and Salad! Why Not?!

Found this lovely Amarone at Trader Joe’s, what? a 2009 for 24.99 I just had to as Amarone is my favorite. This bottle typically goes for nearly 50.00, awarded Gold from the Mundus Vini, and the 2008 vintage was awarded Gold from the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

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Verona, North East Italy, famous for its architecture, Romeo and Juliet and of course Amarone della Valpolicella, the foundation of a group known as the “Amarone Families”. Consisting of twelve family wineries that have been long-time producers of Amarone della Valpolicella, this group’s passion is to combine the families’ wealth of traditions and winemaking excellence ensuring that Amarone della Valpolicella remains a wine of prestige and high quality.

Now whilst the formation of such an organization is not a surprise (many winemakers in Verona have been bemoaning the production of Amarone on an almost industrial scale by some winemakers for several years), one of the surprises is that Vini Fabiano, the maker of this “Nicola Fabiano” Amarone della Valpolicella, was not included within the organization. Founded as a family business of wine traders based in Venice in the early 1900s, Vini Fabiano has been making wine on the mainland near Verona for over 50 years now with a rigorous attention to quality that has won many plaudits. The 2006 vintage, was recently awarded 92pts.

In the glass, this is a deep and rich black pudding hue. Opaque and intense at the center of the wine, this Amarone fades only slightly to the rim despite its age and shows just a hint of rustic browning derived from its time oak.

On the nose, soft and sensuous, rather than being too heavy or oppressive in the style of some more powerful Amarone wines. Balanced and ripe black cherry and plums lead, with a good whiff of vanilla a softening and sweetening influence.

In the mouth, a typically full and velvety smooth Amarone experience awaits. Long and rich dark cherries, plums and prune form the main flavors with cinnamon and a little pie spice is also present. Full-bodied, but not as full as some Amarone, this s significantly more easy drinking than much Amarone originating from Furmane. Tannins are soft and well integrated and the wine doesn’t quite have the structure of some.

On the whole, this is an excellent wine. Outstanding at this price, an Amarone which offers a balanced and approachable nature as well as more flavor than is often available at this price point.

Rainy Day Hearty Stew! With Bordeaux!

I woke up yesterday with the rain just coming down, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! One of my most favorite sounds, it brings out my domestic side. As I popped out of bed all I could think about was stew. Big hearty stew, chunkier than soupie!

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So I ran to #TraderJoes got all of my ingredients (organic) well everything accept the bottle of Bordeaux that went into it! Raymond Huet M. Rolland Bordeaux smooth on the pallet, its pretty light for a Bordeaux, drinkable now, going to get a few bottles and see what happens when it gets a little age on it! Perfect in my stew.

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Mmm, the combination of the natural juices, the #Bordeaux, fresh oregano,  garlic, parsley and rosemary! Oh and I used black truffle salt! I can still smell it in the kitchen this morning!

The pot was so big that I had to send everyone to work with a bowl for their co-workers!

Ask, I’ll give you the recipe!

Live – Love – Laugh Often – Always Stay Inspired – xo ❤


Kumquat Overload!

So what do you do when your kumquat tree is so overloaded and it is nearly on the ground?

Make Marmalade of Course!


My Ex-Father-In-Law was obsessed with this tree and while he was with us it produced very little fruit and all of a sudden, sadly after his passing, the tree nearly lays on the ground with fruit each year. We came up with this great idea one year, to make marmalade, I’ve been told that Kumquat is the best to make marmalade over orange, and let me tell you, it is, because its doesn’t get bitter.

Anyway, the first time we did it, the ex was making it, we are still quite friendly, so all is good, the X and I that is! So, he made the first batch, and it never thickened, HA! I said, “eh, just call it ice-cream topping”. Bahahahahaha, mom (his mom) still gives him a hard time about it.

So the following year, being the oddly competitive one, especially if I know its going to be amazing, like my pumpkin soup, decided that I am going to give it a try, haha before it even sucked down the lids on the canning jars with that sweet little, “ting” it was already thick.

This recipe is ridiculously simple!

Two C of Fruit and two C of Sugar Juice of a lemon!

That is it!

Microwave for 6 minutes on high – stir down

Then 2 minute increments for an additional 10 minutes stirring at each interval…pour it in your 1/2 pint jars.

Just finished 6 jars and I have enough fruit for another dozen plus, hmmmm late, or early Christmas presents.

Well, it is time to get crackin on my stew, stay tuned! OH, I think I will serve it with some chunky sourdough bread slathered in butter and marmalade! oh yeah!!!

Live – Love – Laugh Often – Always Stay Inspired – XO ❤


Everything is Great this time of the Year!

Things I love about this time of year, well…Everything from Thanksgiving until New years..I love every bit of it. Starting with family and friends, and no sooner is the turkeys carcass cleaned and in the pot for garbage soup, it is time to start buying gifts, putting up Christmas decorations and decorating the tree. I was so excited when Zona invited me over to help decorate the tree, hmmmm, no that’s wrong, she invited me over to decorate the tree, that’s right there was no help, I decorated the tree! At least she watched, and poured me good cheer!

Then its party time, dancing, eating, porsches, drinks and dogs!
I Love: The hustle and bustle that leads up to each event of the seasons, driving around town looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights, all the fabulous food and wine and watching everyone open their gifts and looking surprised; everyone hugging and making New Year resolutions that most of us will probably never keep, watching Christmas movies on TV and all the baking, oh I think its cookies tonight at Z’s house; The look on a child’s face as they sit on Santa’s lap, by the way, Santa on Main Street HB was hitting on me today. Dancing in the rain, YES, we get to do that this year, and yes I usually do dance in the rain, it makes me happy, haha, I used to take Shaun, that’s my son, to Murdy Park in Huntington, on rainy days and we would swing as high as we could and jump off into the puddles, ahhhh, what a great mom!
This is what I love about this time of the year, sharing memories and making them! God Bless, Love and Positivity!
Leave a comment about what it is that you love this time of the year!
Live – Love – Laugh Often -Always Stay Inspired ❤


Some of my fondest memories I have as a child was spending the holidays in the kitchen with my mom cooking holiday pies. We would spend hours experimenting with different recipes in the quest for the perfect pie. Those times were precious to me because it brought us closer together because we did it together…….I miss you mom.

This Thanksgiving brought back a flood of memories as I was able to spend it with one of my closest friends and her family in Utah. The boys and their dad went out skiing while my friend and I spent the day gathered around the kitchen table cooking the traditional holiday meal and solving the world’s problems as we know it…….Now some you may think that is very old fashion…..”The woman in the kitchen, while the men go out and play” but I don’t look at it that way……I think of it as passing down a tradition of creating a gathering spot in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the party and the soul of the family. It’s where great meals are created, family problems are solved and warm memories are made. On this day, after spending the morning in the snow, the kids spent the rest of the day watching ski races on TV and wandering in and out of the kitchen tasting the pumpkin filling from the bowl and helping to frost gingerbread cookies, while dad showed up to check on the turkey every so often.

The best part is when we sat down to eat. The group started chattering about the much anticipated great ski season ahead, and reminiscing about what they did last summer. They talked about forest fires fought, they anticipated the upcoming ski race season, the surf trip they had last summer in California, the possible surf trip to Costa Rica, and asked questions like, “are we going to ski at Alta or Snowbird tomorrow and when are we going to get more snow?”…..well you get the idea.

After dinner we settled into the family room to watch a movie and let our stuffed bellies settle. Then one by one they wandered back to the kitchen where we gathered again and they moved in on the homemade pumpkin pie. As we nibbled on our pie, one of the boys looked up smiled and said, “This is one of the best Thanksgivings ever”.

I have to agree……..this is one of the best Thanksgivings ever.

Hope all of you the Best this Holiday Season!

Love, Laugh, Live