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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sip on this

Yoshinogawa (Jyunmai)

Yoshinogawa Echigo Junmai Sake on the pallet is silky, barely sweet. Offering from the oldest sake brewery in Niigata Prefecture, The brewery was found in 1548 and retains many of its age old practices, also incorporating changes in the world today.
I found the Yoshinogawa Enchigo Junmai Sake to have a very subtle citrus flavor which blends wonderfully with the lightly sweet notes from the rice. Smooth and Silky, this sake pairs wonderfully with spiced up beef fajitas.
Cash: $ 19.79
Reg: $20.83
Key savings: $2.00
Final cash price: $17.79



  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup James's Harbor dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts


Into a large bowl, sift together 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar, the cocoa powder and allspice. Stir in the rum and corn syrup. Stir in the vanilla wafers and walnuts, and mix well. Place in the refrigerator to firm up slightly, about 30 minutes. (The mixture may appear crumbly and dry; this is O.K.)

Place the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl or dish.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out portions of the chocolate mixture and press into 1-inch balls. Using your hands, roll the balls in the confectioners' sugar, coating evenly.

Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, placing waxed paper between the layers to prevent sticking.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Super Tuesday Tasting ~ September 4, 2012

     Our Super Tuesday Tastings are back! 
 Join us on September 4, 2012 from 6-8 pm and taste out some great products!
      Up first are four great spirits that Curtis will be tasting out:

Solorzano Reposado 750ml
$53.99 cash
save $15.00 with key card
Solorzano Reposado Tequila

This 100% Blue Agave tequila is aged for 7 months in American oak.  It has a smooth spicy flavor with a hint of caramel that melts on your tongue. 

Greenall's Gin 750ml
$16.99 cash
save $5.00 with a key card

Gin and Tonic Bottle Shot
Greenall's Original London Dry Gin has been produced for 250 years.  It consists of eight pure botanicals that include wild Tuscan juniper, subtle Moraccan coriander, sweet Chinese liquorice and zesty Spanish lemons.  Greenall's is a soft and not overwhelmingly dry. It makes a to-die-for gin & tonic or martini.

Old Bardstown Estate 101 750ml
$26.99 cash
save $2.00 with a key card

This 10 year old bourbon has a rambunctious nose with notes of sweet corn, yeast and vanilla.  On the palate there are notes of dry oak, corn and pepper.  Let it sit in the glass to develope its smoothness.
Graduate Vodka 1.75 liter
$22.99 cash
save $4.00 with a key card
Graduate Vodka
This 85 point rating Polish vodka is 4 times distilled from rye.  Clean, frosting, peppers and a crisp mineral finish on the palate.  This exceptionally clean vodka owes its finish to the unmistakeably natural water that flows through Poland.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


tequila over lime sorbet - instant margaritas.



World Cork Cage



Kiwi-Strawberry Bellini
Makes: 8 servings
Zesperi Kiwi
16 Strawberries
1 (750ml) bottle Prosecco

Remove skin from kiwifruits, cut into quarters.  In a food processor or blender, puree until smooth.
Remove  stems from strawberries, cut in halves.  In a food processor or blender, puree until smooth.

Spoon kiwi puree and strawberry puree onto the bottom of champagne glasses, about 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons each.  Pour Prosecco over fruit puree and enjoy. 

*Note: As mention in the post, you can substitute Prosecoo with sparkling white grape juice for a non-alcohol version.  

You can also substitute kiwi and strawberry with your favorite kind of fruit for this cocktail as well.

KIngs Square Whiskey Meat Balls

  • 1 pound Bag Frozen Meatballs
  • ½ cups Ketchup (Heaping)
  • ½ cups Brown Sugar, Packed
  • ¼ cups Kings Square Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

NOTE: 1 bag of (1 pound) frozen meatballs is only about 18 to 20 larger size meatballs. That is perfect for a small get-together. But if you’re going to a larger party, you might want to get TWO bags of meatballs, and in that case you would then DOUBLE the above recipe.
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except your meatballs. Mix up really well.
Place your frozen meatballs into your crock pot, and pour the whiskey sauce in on top. Mix it up all around so each meatball is coated with the whiskey sauce.
Now turn up the heat to high. Leave it on high for about an hour, stirring a couple times.
Once it appears that the meatballs have somewhat thawed, go ahead and turn your crockpot down to low.
You don’t want to burn all that wonderful whiskey sauce! That’s the best part!

Friday, August 17, 2012




It doesn’t get much better than the robust combination of bacon and blue cheese, especially when combined in a whipped mustard.

Suggested Uses: Spread on a grilled burger or panini with smoked turkey, and caramelized onions. Spread on flat bread & top with sliced brie, pears & drizzle with honey. Use as a dip for chilled vegetables, pretzels, chips, hot wings or fries.
Elki 200E Bacon Blue Cheese Whipped Mustard


Cheese and Cracker Combos

Whether served as a casual snack or delightfully simple party appetizer, Ile de France fromage with crackers and gourmet accompaniments makes a true délicieux delight.
To make an effortless platter, gather a few cheeses featuring different textures and milk types. Ile de France Brie, Roquefort Blue Cheese, Goat Cheese and a hard cheese like Etorki are a great combination. Then, line up a few kinds of crackers Рlike flat bread style, whole grain and oakcake. For something a little more refined, try making your own baguette crackers. Simply cut a frais loaf into very thin slices, then thoroughly toast them or bake until crisp. Our Brie and Camembert are d̩licieux with baguette and are ideal for serving with hearty pairings like sliced turkey, ham, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Gourmet Option: Ile de France Cracker Pizzas
Mini pizzas on crackers are delightfully crunchy. Crispy flat bread varieties make superb canvases for fromage and easily become bite sized pizzas. Just toss some chopped tomatoes and crumbled Goat Cheese on your cracker of choice and top with a bit of thyme, salt and pepper. Bake them at 375 until the cheese is melted - the flavor will deepen during the brief cooking time!
Gourmet Cracker Combos
Serve these delicious cheese pairings with crackers for a truly gourmet platter!
  • Ile de France Goat Cheese with Honey and Almonds
  • Ile de France Goat Cheese with sliced zucchini
  • Goat Cheese with Sliced Red Pepper and Tomatoes
  • Goat Cheese with Smoke Salmon
  • Ile de France Brie with Prosciutto and Persimmons
  • Brie with Sliced Turkey and Cherry Chutney
  • Ile de France Roquefort with Roast Beef
  • Saint Agur with Sliced Apples with and Honey

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Passion of the heart

Fun fact:
   The origins of Casta dates back to the 1920s. At the time of the Mexican revolution, when Lt. Colonel Jose Pascual Gutierez, who later become a Brigadier General, battled with the revolutionary army in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
   His gallant character and exquisite taste led him to recognize the superb quality of the tequila manufactured at the hacienda of Mr. Avelino Ruiz, son of a pioneer in the production of the now famous Casta tequila.
   On one of his many visits to the small town, a group of revolutionary soldiers tried to raid Mr. Ruiz's property. Heroically, General Guttierrez forcefully drove off the invading platoon.
   Grateful for saving his land, Mr. Ruiz rewarded him with the most precious treasure, the formula for making Casta tequila.

   The Casta Pasion Tequila has suprised me. Looking at the bottle alone you can't help but get judgemental. A square shaped bottle with the pink ribbon around the top? But as the old saying goes "don't judge a book by its cover"
   As you corck the bottle you get a pleasently sweet aroma of citrus fruits. I myself enjoy closing my eyes and enjoying the sent of this Tequila, it takes me to another place. Where the river flows and the bottle never goes empty..
   On the palet you get a lightly peppered, yet its sweet and tangy.
Again everyone doesn't want a good thing to end, as look at that last bit in your bottle remember this, the quality of this Tequila is that of a top shelf.. But here at SPECS its priced at a mid shelf Tequila.


Reg: $28.41
Cash: 26.99
Specs key member?
Save 5.00

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What is Charles drinking?

Ayinger Brau-Weisse$2.99 cash price  17oz

     Here in the South, our rich culinary culture has always smiled upon 'sweetening the summer'.  It remains a proven tactic in our endless battle to beat the heat.  Even before the advent of refrigeration, we've been boiling sasafras roots and sugaring our tea to a  triumphant state of refreshment.  At the expense of over-stating the obvious, wheat brews have always been a southern summertime delicacy for precisely the same reason.  And so, every summer I fall for another one and - true to form, I am once again smitten.

     Ayinger's Brau-Weisse is almost an over-statement in palatability; and it seems to float in the nose rather than the weigh in the belly.  The fruitious angle of its processual brewing method yields bright starbursts of banana, pear, and subtle sugared peach while gentle hints of orange, mango and fresh straw linger on the exhale.  I can't think of a better way to have a better brew than Ayinger Brau-Weisse in a tapered (or pint) glass.  Garnish with a generous wedge of orange (as is customary) or a personal favorite: grapefruit (NO lemon; NO lime).  Serve chilled with a generous, frothy head right smack-dabb in the pitch of August.  Add an evening porch and rocking chair and a smile will provide itself. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Michael's Irish Cream Pudding

Chocolate Pudding with Baileys Irish Cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/3 cups milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Michaels Irish Cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


1. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch whisking to thoroughly incorporate. Add milk and whisk until dry ingredients are dissolved. Next, whisk in the egg yolk and cream.
2. Place the pan over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil and thickens.
3. As soon as the mixture thickens, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the Michaels Irish Cream and vanilla.
4. Add chocolate and whisk until it is completed melted and smooth.
5. Pour pudding into individual serving dishes. Let the pudding cool slightly then cover the tops with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
6. If desired, garnish with fresh whipped cream and chocolate curls.


What will they come up with next?

Corkcicle - perfect to keep wine chilled!

The Corckcicle $21.84 cash

Cools your wine from the inside out! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie Martini

2 Oz Ivanabitch Whipped Cream Vodka
1 Oz Ready Rabbit Triple Sec
3 Oz Half-n-Half
1/2 Oz Ready Rabbit Sour Mix

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake!
Top with whip cream and lemon rind . . . YUM!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Who cut the cheese?

Each of our department heads has a passion for what they do.  Our Finer Foods sections is no different.  Come in and talk cheese (and olives and crackers and gourmet coffee: you get the point)  with Vanessa Golden. Her knowledge of all the gourmet foods we carry will make you hungry!

Click to zoom image $7.59 cash price

Finer foods has a new addition: The Perfect Bite Company.  It offers a variety of appetizers and hors d'oeuvers.  Among these delicious treats is the Apple Cranberry Baked Brie which will be a featured sample on Saturday, August 4.  Brie is a soft cow's milk cheese named after the French region from which it originated.  It is pale in color, with a light grayish tinge under an edible rind, which adds to it's flavor and character.  Brie has a mild and slightly sweet flavor, and when baked, has a melt in your mouth subtle and buttery texture.  The outrageous flavor combination of all the Natural Stonewall Kitchen Apple Cranberry Chutney, the rich and creamy brie all wrapped up in a buttery puffed pastry makes for a delightful treat.  Try this as an elegant appetizer for a romantic dinner or simply pamper yourself and pair with a great pinot noir!