Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Star's Wine of the Week

Marques del la concordia crianza rioja 2007

This well aged and ready to drink wine is garnet in color with a clean nose with aromas of blackberry, cassis, plums, smoke and a hint of wood. This dry red from Spain is well balanced with medium tannins, minerality and acidity. The palate is consistent with the nose with sweet red and black fruit followed by drying tannins and a hint of vanilla and wood. I found that the Marques went very well with leg of lamb,Couscous  and broccoli.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Arctic Blue Cocktail Recipe  Ice cubes  4-5 ounces of Smirnoff Ice (substitute with clear lemon-lime soda for a non-alcoholic version)  Dash of Blue Curacao  Peppermint stick
                              ARCTIC BLUE

  • 4-5OZ OF 7UP
  • 1oz of Troubadore
  • Dash of Blue Curacao
  • Peppermint stick
  • Add a couple of ice cubes to a martini or highball cocktail glass
  • Pour 7up and Troubadore in shaker
  • Stir in a splash of Blue Curacao
  • Garnish with peppermint stick

Romance Caribeno Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. PALMS WHITE rum
1 oz. GRAND IMPERIAL orange liquer
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 oz. chilled lemon-lime soda
Dash of  Ready Rabbit grenadine, for color
Lemon wheel
Add all
Ingredients and enjoy

1 part V-5 vodka
2 parts coconut water
2 splashes Ready Rabbit Blue Curaçao
½ fresh lime, squeezed

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Star's wine of the week.

Generations 3 from Whitehall Lane Winery
 This big, rich, complex and full-bodied wine has lots of blackberry, black cherry and plum flavors.  It has nice depth with a touch of mocha, spice & vanilla on a long finish and is drinking wonderfully now! 52% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Syrah. Holds up well with steak to round out a great bar-b-q.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Carolyn's Cafe Notes...

Iced Coffee for the Summer!

Have a french coffee press hanging around the house without an idea what to do with it?  Try cold brewing coffee for a refreshing take on a morning favorite.  First choose a nice latin coffee with spritely, citrus notes...suggestion?  Costa Rican is a fine latin coffee grown in volcanic rich soil producing some of the world's smoothest latin coffees with mild acidity and rich flavor.   Double your recipe...nothing is worse than drinking weak coffee. Ground coarse for your coffee press add good water and brew for 8 to 12 hours.  What you get is a coffee essence that is out of this world with little or no acidity.  If you want to step it up a bit add fresh cut oranges and orange syrup or liquor.  Add your favorite creamer (non-flavored) and pour over ice for a refreshing summertime drink. 

Carolyn's French Wine Recommendations....

Le Canon du Marechal Muscat-Viognier 2010 (Domaine Cazes)---This French white wine, from the Languedoc Roussillon, Vin De Pays D'oc sub-region, is a delightful blend of 80% Muscat and 20% Viognier.  It is an ideal white wine for summer.  The region's soil is a mixture of limestone and clay pebbles giving the wine a delicate minerality at the end with a lightly sweet, peachy notes in the front.  This  is a reasonably priced French vin de pays. Serve chilled, pairs wonderfully with a light brie and granny smith apples.  Perfect for a summertime snack.

Les Tours De Beaumont Haut-Medoc 2009---From the fine vineyard of Chateau Beaumont nestled amid the sand dunes and pine forests of the Medoc region, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, it is a "perfect ambassador for its appellation".  Fresh sun-ripened blueberries, currants and blackberry notes with a hint of tobacco and mocha on the finish give this wine its distinctive flavor.  Serve room temperature, pairs nicely with bordelaise-mushroom smothered sirloin steak.

Bordelaise Sauce with Mushrooms Recipe

Bodelais-Mushroom Sauce

Original recipe makes 4 servings



  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and shallot, and cook until the shallot has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, then stir in the mushrooms once the butter has melted. Cook and stir the mushrooms until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour in the beef broth, wine, and Worcestershire sauce; season with the bay leaf and thyme, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once simmering, season to taste with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, uncovered until the sauce reduces slightly, about 30 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water, and stir into the simmering sauce until thickened. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Monday, July 1, 2013


4th of July Cocktails + Bikini Friendly Beers!

All you need is Pomegranate or Cranberry juice and seltzer, for your vodka use V-5
Dampen glass rim with lemon juice,then dip into blue POP ROCKS and have a Blast.

4th of July Cocktail rimmed with blue Pop Rocks
4th of july cocktail with pop rock rim....yum So Jackie Urlacher we might not be together on the 4th but we need to try this for a Sunday Funday!

The Glass With a Blast
 What you will need  Rasberries,Blueberries ,Sprite ,Troubadoure Vodka and Pop Rock(Red or Blue)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Come and See Us For Refreshing Summer Treats

Everything Green Cocktail  servings 1
¼ honeydew melon, chopped
½ celery stock, chopped
¼ green apple, chopped
¾ cup sparling water
1 ounce of V-5 vodka
Orange slice (for garnish)
Place V-5, melon, celery, apple, and sparkling water in a blender . Pour over  ice in a glass cup. Garnish with an orange slice.

Tropical Breeze cocktail servings 1
Juice of ½ grapefruit
4 basil leaves, plus 1 leave for garnish
8 strawberries, chopped
Sparkling water
1 ounce troubadour vodka
4 ice cubes
Place 1 ounce of Troubadour, grapefruit juice, basil, and strawberries into a glass cup. Muddle  basil and strawberries . Top with sparkling water and ice cubes. Garnish with remaining basil leaf.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lyons' Liquid Likables (Charles,Beer Department)

With so much beer being brewed south of the Mason-Dixon, it's easy to overlook some of the craftier creations from our yankee cousins.  There is a saison-style beer out of Illinois that is a uniquely philosophical approach in process.  In our fumbling attempts to better understand our given world we have learned to stay on our toes.  Through the disciplines of logic, metaphysics, and epistemology are our intial theories and premises called into question.  It is in the nature of the dilligent researcher to always reevaluate their own theories and assumptions.  The great minds at Goose Island Brewing in Chicago have had some real innovative success with their think (as well as their brew) tanks.  I was very recently invited to a patio social with a few brewer-buddies.  The idea was to convene a collection of heat-beating beers and relish the process of ranking them over a typical june afternoon.  By broad consensus, this fresh, new take on saison was by all means paramount.  20% of each batch is aged in wine barrels and laden with orange peel.  This has some microbiological ramifications but it's the refreshing character that leaps off the tip of the tongue.  It is a sunrise sweet, beginning with a musty, belgian yeast flavor and crescendoing in a dry, nasal fashion that reminds one of cantelope and crisp, green apple.  The ale simply becomes greater than the sum of it's parts.  The beer becomes lighter and brighter, so pour slowly.  The head is going to appear bready and thick, but is finely beaded and snow-white--sure to dissippate quickly.  Do NOT be afraid to just bury your nose in it.  The beer itself never checked in at my belly.  Not for an instant could i tell that I'd even had a beer (yet alone two, three...) save for the dry palate and the froth ringing my tasting glass.  This carefully calibrated elixir draws from its fruit-tone and into a dry, oaked finish that leaves you thirsty for just one more.  It also had a brilliant sparkle and drinks best from a flute.


Monday, June 17, 2013

YUM YUM ,Summer Prosecco

Villa Jolanda Prosecco and watermelon
1.chop watermelon to 1/8 in a shaker.
2.Add a few mint leaves , pour lemonade
till  even with watermelon then muddle
until watermelon is juice,strain in glass.
3. Top with Villa Jolanda Prosecco and injoy.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Wine and Cheese Party,Come and See Us ,We Have What You Need

Smythe & Renfield Sauvignon Blanc Bottle Image



Monday, June 3, 2013

Lets Have A Party With Cocktail Recipes

Hurricane 2
1/2 Oz GreenAlls Gin
1/2 Oz Tropic Isle Palms White Rum
1/2 Oz Tropic Isle Palms Dark Rum
1/2 Oz Gorzio Amaretto
Dash Of Ready Rabbit Grenadine
Equel Parts of Pineapple,Orange and Grapefruit Juice
Shake and Pour into Hurricane Glass
Garnish With Orange,Lemon,Lime, Strawberry  and Cherry

                                                   SUMMER COLADA (FROZEN)
1 1/2 Oz Campo Azul Tequila
1Oz Tropic Isle Palms White Rum
 3Oz Langers pineapple juice
1 Oz Ready Rabbit Lime Juice
1 tsp Ready Rabbit Simple Syrup
Garnish With Lime

3 1/2 V 5 Vodka
Dash of Black Raspberry Liquor Dash of Lime juice
Dash Of Langers Cranberry  juice
Shake Strain into glass
Garnish with Lime

Thursday, May 30, 2013


caramelized onion goat cheese dip

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Dip

For a smoother dip, process in a food processor instead of mixing by hand.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Add oil to a skillet and preheat over medium-low heat until oil starts to shimmer. Add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion caramelizes and turns a deep golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile stir together sour cream and goat cheese, mashing the goat cheese with a fork to break it up. Stir in the caramelized onions and garlic along with the chives. Taste and season again with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
Makes approximately: 2 cups
Tortellini SaladThis is an original recipe by me, Melissa, The Alchemist
2 - 9 or 10 oz packages of fresh Antica cheese tortellini - Cooked according to package directions, rinsed and cooled slightly.
A bunch of fresh spinach - about a bag of it. I used some from Paradise Organics fresh picked from the farm, so I didn't measure it.
2/3 cup fresh grated Il Villagio Parmesan cheese - or a little more to taste -sorry I didn't weigh this! About a handful.
A dry pint (2 cups) (170 g.) of cherry tomatoes - washed and halved
4 oz. Specs sliced black olives, drained
8 oz. (227 g.) Columbus salami or pepperoni, diced in bite sized chunks
Fresh basil - washed and cut into slivers - to taste, about a small handful of leaves
Italian Salad Dressing to taste
Mezzetta Marinated artichoke hearts

Wash and dry the spinach and cut it into about 1 or 2 inch slices. Add the cooked tortellini to a large bowl and all the rest of the ingredients except the salad dressing. Start with a smaller amount of spinach if you think you may have a lot. Toss it all together. Add salad dressing to coat lightly. Taste it and add salt and pepper to taste. Add more spinach if you think it needs it. If you are going to put it in the fridge for later, I'd do it now with a light coat of dressing so the flavors can marry. If you are going to eat it now, go ahead and more dressing if you think it needs it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Whats in Zachs pitcher this Memorial Day ?

    Happy Memorial Day Video

1 Bottle of  VENDI  PINOT GRIGIO wine,  half of 750m Drilllaud peach schnapps, 1/3 cup Luxardo  Il maraschino originale ,sprite or 7-up

Slice the pineapple into rounds, each about 1 inch thick.
Slice the strawberries into quarters, lengthwise
Slice the lemons into rounds.
Cut the pineapple using the star cookie cutters in whatever size you'd like.
If you're having trouble getting the cookie cutter through the pineapple,use a knife to get the shape of

Mix the liquids together in pitcher,Put the fruit in the pitcher: first blueberries, which sink to the bottom, then stars, which float and finally strawberries, which will rise to the top.

 The fruit must sit in the liquid for at least an hour or two to soak up all the flavors.

                                                        Pinned Image

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whats Josh Drinking?

                                   Pinned Image
                                                                 MOMO PUNCH
  • 3 oz MOMO  sauvignon blanc wine
  • .5 oz Aperol
  • .5 oz Fresh Langers grapefruit juice
  • .5 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • .25 oz Ready Rabbit Simple syrup
  •  White Rock Club soda
  • Glass: Highball

    Whats Curtis Drinking?

                    Pinned Image
                            VANILLA ELDERFLOWER RUM DRINK.
                                1. 2 oz Elderflower liquer
                                2. 2 oz El Dorado 3 year Rum
                                3. 4 oz Ready Rabbit sweenened lime juice
                                4. 1 oz vanilla syrup

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    Memorial Day Recipes, Come In For Your Next Gathering

                                                   Pinned Image

    Tequila  Splash
                                         SUMMER SPLASH
    3OZ of Toro de Lidia (tequila) , 6OZ Langers Pineapple juice, 1OZReady Rabbit Limejuice
    Garnish with pineapple slice .
    Pour into a glass over ice.
                                                      Pinned Image
                                                 Tequila Fruit Punch
    8 cups diced fresh fruits,  melon, pineapple, apples, pears, and halved grapes
    4 cups chilled  El Amo silver tequila
    3 cups chilled dry Champagne
    3 cups chilled lychee
    1/2 cup Ready Rabbit simple syrup
    Juice of one lime
                               Cocktail rim sugar - just in time for Memorial Day - in our red, white & blue blend. By Dell Cove Spice Co. on Etsy. (Photo by Selena Vallejo Photography.) Pinned Image

  • 2 parts Ready Rabbit  grenadine
  • 2 parts blueberry martini mixer
  • 2 parts Northern Peak  vodka
    1. Pour Ready Rabbit grenadine first.
    2. Next, add the cold Northern Peak vodka by pouring very slowly off the back of a spoon.
    3. Finally, ,add the blueberry mixer on top of vodka by pouring it off the back of a spoon very slowly.  Decorate the drink with a flag toothpick.

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    Come And Let Us Plan Your Next Cocktail Party With Lots Of Great Recipes

    Rhubarb Mojito


    2 cup(s) white  Tropics Isle Palms  Rum

     3/4 cup Ready Rabbit Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 cup    (8 limes) for lime juice, strained
  • 1 bunch  (large) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup   (per drink) fruit, peeled and diced      
  • Crushed ice, as desired
  • Seltzer water, as desired
  • Fruit that can be used are raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, kiwis, oranges, blood oranges, mangos, pears, watermelon, red grapes, apples, clementines, peaches, cherries (pitted), or cantaloupe.

    In a pitcher, stir together 3/4 cup Ready Rabbit Simple Syrup  ,Lime juice. Chill at least 30 minutes.
     In a glass, have guests mix together about 1/2 cup drink mix, 8 to 10 mint leaves, and about 1/3 cup fruit. With a muddler or wooden spoon, muddle the ingredients together. Add crushed ice and stir; top with a splash of seltzer water.

    Monday, May 6, 2013


    Flavor.  It's the Reason for the Season. It is Where It's At.  It's the first thing we look for and the last thing we let go of when we go out.  Why sell yourself short on beer?  Recommendations are a slippery slope to we beer lovers, for we love them and find little fault in most of them.  But craft beer lovers can be pallet-wreckers--not unlike 18-year olds in a voting booth:  we swing way to the left, never compromising flavor for fill, endorsing deep, russian imperial stouts, or to the radical right, casting our dollar-votes for hop-howling IPAs that take the roof right off your mouth.  And, as time give season, distance lends perspective, experience tempers us and we learn to appreciate the middle ground we have left untrodden.  Karbach Brewing is the latest and greatest thing out of the craft world.  The brewmaster is a graduate of the beer school at Weihenstephan--the world's oldest brewery and, therefore, the place to expect such craftmanship as we see from Karbach.  When we think of middle-ground, we think of lagers, wheat brews, and pale ales.  Might I suggest, as a simple, no-brainer substitute for your usual staple lager, Sympathy for the Lager.  For those of us who can't leave a good porch in the summer, try the refreshing, lighter Weisse-Versa.  And you pale ale lovers--you know who you are, how about a saison?  Not a big buy on one huge bottle shipped from over 2,000 miles away, but a good-ole' sixer brewed right in our own back yard?  It's simple. It's sweet. It's soft and subtle and sure for a smile.  I currently have enough karbach on hand to , so have at it.  Get it, get home, and crack one open.  You'll likely be drinking one with me. 

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    Cinco De Mayo Recipes !!!




    Strawberry Champaign

    Blanco Sparkler
    3/4 oz Campo Azul Blanco

    2 1/2 oz Champagne or sparkling wine

    Sliced strawberries
    Ready Rabbit Simple syrup
    Pour ingredients into champagne flute and garnish with strawberries

    Tequila Sunrise - See more photos:

    Tequila Sunrise
    A sweet and picture perfect cocktail, the tequila sunrise may not be overly fancy, but there is no denying; it sure is delicious!
    2 oz Campo Azul Blanco  Tequila
    4 ozLangers  Orange juice
    2 dashes of Ready Rabbit Grenadine syrup
    -Pour tequila and juice into highball glass
    - Tilting the glass sideways, slowly pour in the Grenadine to the side of the glass, letting the syrup flow slowly down to the bottom
    Pomegranate Margarita  1 1/2 ounces Tequila Don Julio Blanco  2 1/2 ounces pomegranate juice  2 teaspoons fine sugar  1/2 ounce lime juice  Sugar (to rim glass)  1 lime wedge  Combine Don Julio Blanco, pomegranate juice, fine sugar and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Rim margarita glass with sugar. Strain ingredients into margarita glass. Garnish with lime.
    Pomegranate Margarita 1 1/2 ounces Campo Azul Blanco Tequila 2 1/2 ounces Langers pomegranate juice 2 teaspoons fine sugar 1/2 ounce lime juice Sugar (to rim glass) 1 lime wedge Combine Campo Azul Blanco, pomegranate juice, fine sugar and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Rim margarita glass with sugar. Strain ingredients into margarita glass. Garnish with lime.

    We Have Lots Of Cinco De Mayo Recipes For Your Next Party

    Pinned Image
    Ginger-Plum Sangria

     1 Bottle of  Domaine De Cabasse Le Rose de Marie -Antoninette ( rosé wine)
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger ale
  • 1 plum, puréed in blender
  • bunch of fresh mint
  • 3 plums, sliced (any color works!)
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • crystallized ginger, for garnish

    1. In a large pitcher, combine rosé, puréed plum and a few sprigs of mint. Muddle the mint, then add 2 of the sliced plums, apple and 4 slices lime. Top off with ginger ale.
    2. Distribute remaining plum and lime slices among 4 glasses. Add ice, if desired. Fill glasses with sangria, then skewer a piece of crystallized ginger onto a wooden pick for garnish. Salud!