Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

As some of you know, I live in wine country. El Dorado County is becoming quite famous for it’s area wines. Because I’m a big supporter of buying local, supporting small business (hey, it’s a good argument), and because eighty percent of the area wineries still pour without charging a fee, I do a lot of wine tasting. I’d like to think I’m becoming quite the aficionado, but I think it’s more correct to say, I’m becoming quite the wine-o.

Photo courtesy Google Images

White wine grapes.
Photo courtesy Google Images

Let’s face it, with so many wineries to visit, each one having a different line-up, it’s hard not to become familiar with the product and the associated lingo. Remember when wine drinkers had two choices – Chablis and Burgandy? That’s right, you had your red (Burgandy) or your white (Chablis). In my house, Ernest and Julio Gallo started the whole red/white choice thing. Unless of course, you count the Blue Nun Gewürztraminer or the Boone’s Farm Tickle Pink as red or white.

Then along comes a product known as Vin Rose. Remember this hip new trend? Everyone was wanting the rose. My parents were big on the new rose wine. But then, someone bottled a new-fangled white wine called Chardonnay. Not to be outdone, the red wine makers soon offered Merlot and Zinfandel. Wow, the choices!

Nowadays, it would take you a full month to try every wine available at the wineries in my area. The whites include Viognier, Pinot Grigio,  Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, Riesling, and Semillon, among others.

Red wine drinkers can still enjoy the Merlots and Zinfancels but are now also offered such wonders as Pinot Noir, Barbara, Primitivo, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Alicante Bouuschet, Nebbiolo, Gamay and Mourvedre.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Red wine grapes.
Photo courtesy Google Images

Let’s not forget the folks still stuck on the rose bandwagon. Today they can enjoy Grenache, White Zinfandel or some kind of red/white blend. Of course, if you’re my dad, you still order the Vin Rose. Yes, every waitress in town gives him the same quizzical look, and yes, I still clue them in that he wants a “pink,” wine.

In addition to the abundant varitals, there are dozens of blends, each winery famous for a specific one. In my neck of the woods, its blends like “Rocket Dog,” “Rattler Red,” “Foreplay,” “Pammy’s Couve,” and the like.  On top of that, in a lot of places you can taste multiple years of the same varitals and blends. And, in case that’s not enough, there’s also the sparkling wines, the dessert wines and the ports. You can taste from the bottle. You can taste from the barrel. I’m telling you, a person needs weeks to try them all. And, because I’m no quitter, I plan on sampling them. All of them. Like I said, I’m a big supporter of local businesses. And I’ll probably have to do it more than once because, by the time I get done with the first round, the new releases will be out and it’ll be time to do it all over again.

And let’s take a minute to talk about those cute little flavor descriptions they type up for each wine. You know the ones. They tell you what you’re supposed to experience before, during and after you sip. They usually say something like, “a crisp, full-bodied wine with notes of licorice and smoke. Finishes with hints of aged oak and vanilla.” You know what those descriptions NEVER say? They never say the wine will taste like grapes. My description for every single one of those bad boys would be, “it tastes like squashed purple grapes with faint notes of stem and vine.” I mean, I’m no expert, but let’s call a spade a spade here folks. You’re drinking grape juice, it should taste like grapes. Sheesh.

But it’s not just the wines themselves I’m becoming familiar with, it’s the jargon, too. Terms like “full-bodied,” and “oaky” (not to be confused with Okies, who have their own distinct flavor), are easily understood even by novice samplers. Some terms make perfect sense, like “up front,” or “notes of,” but others are just silly. Like, “it has a nice round taste.” Round? Can a person taste a shape? Could it be said that a sandwich has a nice square flavor? That’s like saying, “it smells pink,” or “it feels like yellow.”  I suppose I’ll have to keep tasting until I figure that one out. Like I said, I’m no quitter.

How about you? Are you a wine-0 aficionado? Do you like red or white? Or are you like my dad and still enjoy the once-trendy “pink” wines? If you’re not a wine drinker, do you support local small business? Inquiring minds want to know.

Word of the day:  Plimsoll

Fun face about me: I like to drink milk. (That’s right. I don’t always drink wine.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt. Photos courtesy Google Images.

Read Full Post »

Pop quiz – what are those lyrics from?

musical scroll

I used to think I knew the song. I heard it all the time and always hummed along. But, it wasn’t until about 3 weeks ago, that I actually listened to the words. Really listened. I almost cried when I finally comprehended their meaning. Somehow, all these years, I’ve never really listened to the lyrics enough to fully appreciate the message in the song. It was always just a catchy tune from a great movie.

If you’re still stumped, here’s a bit more:

From the moment we arrive on the planet, and blinking, step into the sun,
There’s more to seen than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done.

There’s far too much to take in here, more to find than can ever be found,
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky, keeps great and small on the endless round.

The Lion King

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Got it yet?

How about now:

It’s the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

Ah, yes. The Circle of Life. An amazing song by Sir Elton John. I heard that song a lot over the past couple of weeks. As you might have guessed (or already knew), I recently spent about 14 days at Disney World and I’ve got to say, there is more to be done than can ever be done at such a wonderous place. Besides the theme parks, there are two water parks, miniature golf, regular golf, a Nascar driving experience, bowling, movie theaters, dozens of restaurants, water sports, live theater performances and the list just goes on and on.

The House of Blues Gospel Choir

House of Blues Gospel Choir. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

This trip, my husband and I experienced two new forms of cuisine – Cuban and Norwegian. Both were fantastic!  I had my first ever experience with chicken and waffles at the House of Blues Gospel Brunch. Chicken and waffles? OMG. Delicious!

The Grey Stuff

“Try the grey stuff. It’s delicious!” Be Our Guest restaurant – Disney World (Fantasyland) 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

We ate in the new Beast’s castle in the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom park and partook of “the grey stuff.” Yes, it really is a menu item and yes, it really is delicious. But, don’t ask the wait staff to reveal the recipe as they are under strict orders not to reveal the secret or risk angering his majesty – The Beast.

Try it. It’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.

I also enjoyed my first ever water slide. I know, I know. You’re all thinking, “how could crazy Jansen, who’s crashed a snow mobile and eaten alligator, never glided down a water slide?” Well, I’ll tell you. I didn’t learn to swim until I was a teen-ager and after that, I never really became very proficient at it. And, I’m not crazy about having my head under water. It’s kind of one of my phobias. I always avoided water sports and activities. But, not any more. I am the water slide queen!

Typhoon Lagoon

Me at Typhoon Lagoon. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by C. Rickrode

I even took the plunge down the Humunga Kowabunga, a near vertical 5-story drop in the dark. Now that’s living my friends! Check out this link for all the 4-1-1. And to heighten your reading experience, scroll to the bottom first and click on the audio link. It’ll get you in the mood.

http://disney-pal.com/WaterParks/humunga_kowabunga.htm

Here’s how it would look if you were take the plunge:

We also experienced an up close and personal pirate adverture, complete with cake and other delicious snacks. Who knew pirates liked cake?

WDW 2013 159

My new pirate friend. Disney World (Contemporary Resort) 2013.
Original photo by C. Rickrode

WDW 2013 162

Yummy cake. Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

So if’n you’re planning a trip to “The World” and are wondering if you can see it all in a week – the answer is NO! In order to fully enjoy yourself, you must stay at least 10 days. You really need to take the time to enjoy the details of your surroundings and the engineering wonders of the Disney imagineers. Trust me, you won’t regret staying the extra few days.

So, how was the end of your summer? Do anything fun? Try anything new? See anything that you’ve never seen before? I’d love to hear about it.

Word of the Day:  Jussive

Fun fact about me:  My three biggest toes are all the same length. (That might not be fun. That might be creepy.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt 2013. Original photos by Rickrode family. Stock photos courtesy Google Images. Video links courtesy YouTube.com.

Read Full Post »

It may be just plain lazy, but I’m calling it multi-tasking. This month, I’m playing along with three different people and their chain blogs.

On August 14th Myndi Shafer posted “The Letter B to the Tenth Degree” http://myndishafer.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/the-letter-b-to-the-tenth-degree/ and on August 21st, KB Owen posted “Grateful for the Letter R and Myndi Shafer” http://kbowenmysteries.com/posts/grateful-for-the-letter-r-and-myndi-shafer/.  I’m  playing the letter game with “Why I Love the Letter D.” See below for my reasons.

But I am also playing the Booker Award game with my friend and SVR chaptermate, Cyndi Faria. http://www.cyndifaria.wordpress.com The rules are simple.  Someone nominates me (see Cyndi’s blog for my nomination) and links my post. I blog about my 5 favorite books and nominate 3 other people to play on their blog.  Upon nomination, should you choose to accept the award and play along, you put the Booker Award photo in your blog (cut and paste from the my blog), list your 5 favorite books, link back to me and nominate 3 others who in turn link back to you.

My list of books and nominees are listed below my favorite “D” things.

So, without further ado, let the games begin!

Why I love the letter “D”, or, what things that start with the letter “D” do I love, is probably more appropriate but awkward to say.

Dark chocolate. I like all forms of chocolate really, but dark chocolate is my favorite. I can’t rightly say why. I just prefer it. And I’m told it’s actually good for you so I try to slip in a little bit evey week or so, as a precautionary measure you understand. It’s purely medicinal. And can I help it if he happens to pair nicely with port wine?

Dogs. Take a look at that sweet face and tell me that I need to expound on the reasons why I love dogs. There’s just no getting around it – I’m a sucker for that face. Every dog has one. And again, I’ve read that owning a dog will actually improve your life-span. So again, in a conscientious effort to maintain good health, I’m a proud dog owner. (P.S. This is not MY dog. My dog won’t sit still long enough to be photographed. The paparazzi have tried.)

Distilled spirits. Need I say more? It’s all about good health this month. I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. A little liquor loosens the muscles and joints and helps me move better and relax. A nice cosmo or snifter of brandy helps me sleep. A glass of wine improves the quality of my cooking. I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food. Of course too much of a good thing can have an adverse effect and I strongly recommend moderation. And never, and I do mean NEVER drink and drive! Natalie Hartford will tell you why in her blog. http://nataliehartford.com/2012/08/31/impaired-driver-kills-parents-of-5-and-serves-only-7-months-in-jail/

Diana, Princess of Wales. She is, in my book, hands down the most beautiful woman who ever walked the planet. If there was one person I could meet in the whole entire world, it would be Princess Diana. I love her spirit and determination. She bucked the rules at the palace when it came to raising her kids. I admire her stength to end a loveless marriage despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the whole world watching. I think her world views were ones to be emulated. She was caring and empathetic. I know if she were still with us, she’d be proud of the children she raised. (Except maybe that wild child, Harry, but you have to love him, too. Strip billards? He’s welcome at my party any time!) It was fifteen years ago that the world lost this beautiful soul. May she rest in peace.

Dancing. Any form, but in particular, Irish dancing. Who doesn’t love Riverdance? If you haven’t seen it, visit You Tube and watch. I could have posted a link, but I’m lazy so you’ll have to look it up yourself.

Disney. All things Disney!  This one is a no brainer. Unless you’re been trapped on a desserted island somewhere and have never visited my blog, FB page or know me personally, you’re probably wondering why this one wasn’t at the top of my list. Answer: It should have been and it would have been, but my efforts to cut and paste were fruitless and I ended up screwing all of the formatting up on the other stuff so I just left it here. (Damn WordPress!)

Diamonds, and not the baseball kind. This one should probably be a little higher on the list as well, but for the same reason stated above, it’s staying here.

Desserts. I’m not a huge of all desserts, but certain ones will tempt me every time. Like pie. Fruit pie. I love fruit pie. And birthday cake. I can never resist a piece of birthday cake. And I’d really love a piece of this yummy looking thing. Anyone know what it is and how to make it?

Deserts. Deserts have a mystical aura about them that I love. There is something hauntingly beautiful in every desert I’ve visited. The silence and the way the shadows slide across the distant mountains is awe-inspiring. When they bloom, deserts are some of the most beautiful places in the world. And most people avoid the desert so usually it’s a nice vacation spot if you’re seeking some solitude. Unless you’re visiting the Burning Man Festival, in which case you will most definitely NOT alone. If you’re not familiar with this, Google it. It’s crazy, weird and fascinating. But don’t get hurt if you go because you are days away from help. The festival truly takes place in the middle of nowhere. I know because I’ve been there. Not to the festival, but the location in Nevada. It is about as desolate as your can get.

And, my most favorite “D:”

“To have and to hold, from this day forward. In sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer . . . “

. . . my Darling. This wonderful man asked for my hand in marriage almost 12 years ago and he has stood faithfully by my side ever since. He’s my hero, my rock star, and my cowboy.

Now for the Booker Award portion of this month’s blog. Because I don’t have favorite books, so much, I’m going to list favorite authors, in no particular order:

1 – Phyllis Whitney. My mother used to read Phyllis Whitney’s books when I was a youngster and when she felt I was old enough to handle the adult content, she passed them along to me. Not that they are in any way erotic, because they are FAR from that, but a certain level of maturity is required to truly appreciate them.  After reading my very first novel, I was hooked. My keeper shelf has every book she ever wrote on it and I will not part with even one of them.

2 – Linda Chakin. She only wrote a few books, that I’m aware of, and then she disappeared. I never tried to find out why, but I miss her stories. She wrote mostly historical, faith-based books that came to life in my hands. Again, I believe I have every book she ever wrote on my keeper shelf.

3 – Linda Castillo. This is a new author to me and I can’t get enough of her books. I fell in love with her Kate Burkholder series set in Amish country and I always wait, impatiently, for the next book in the series to come out. The first book in the series is being made into a movie and I can’t wait to see it!

4 – Christine Feehan. In particular, her Drake Sisters series and her new Sea Haven series.

5 – Victoria Holt. Again, this is author from yesteryear, so to speak, but her romantic suspense novels are awesome and she was the second author I fell in love with as a young person with a passion for reading. While I don’t have every book she ever wrote on my keeper shelf, I probably have most of them.

Now for my nominees, may I have the envelope please (drum roll):  Jeannette Marie Powell, Pat O’Dea, and Louise Beheil, come on down. You are the next contentants on the Booker Award blog game.  Anyone else who wants to play along, please feel free to do so. Just let me know so I can pay you a visit and check out your books. And don’t forget to link back to this blog so others can see how to play.

So there you have it. Two games in one. I hope you’e enjoyed this month’s blog and that you’ll take a few minutes to visit the links above and check out the authors I’ve shared with you. I’d love to know some of your favorite “D” words, or favorite books and/or authors, so why not tell me about them in the comments section below.

Word of the day:  Juvenescent

Bonus fun fact about me (besides the ones listed above): When I was in high school, I could run a mile in less than six minutes. (Ginger Calem would be proud! http://www.gingercalem.wordpress.com)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts