Posts Tagged ‘Food and Drink’

Feasting Pretty: Remy Martin XO Cognac

I have a confession to make. I really didn’t drink spirits until I met my husband. Yes, I had a whiskey, cognac, and scotch here and there. But, really savoring and enjoy a spirit, well wasn’t my thing. I am a wine girl. I love wine and believe one glass a day is actually good for my health. It has something to do with resveratrol. It started years ago when we went to Jerez, Spain to Tio Pepe and sampled Sherry. Whoa! What is this delicious goodness in a bottle. We were all over the Cavas and Riojas that Spain is known for, but I really enjoyed that Sherry. This caused me to branch out even more.

On a girls’ trip back from Cancun in 2008 I decided to get the Remy Martin XO Premier Cru Cognac. I felt I was in the big leagues now. I arrived home all brown and bronzed from my trip and ready to show The Don that I could hold my own. After one sip I realized I had been missing out. Why hadn’t I drank spirits before? Were they all like this? Well, every time I’m passing through duty free you know what I pick up? You got it. Remy Martin XO Cognac.

I can hear your thoughts now. Julia, really? Aren’t you a yogi! Yes and yes.  It is 2012. Let us break out of the mold of the “I only drink wine that is sweet.” Although those are great live a little. Step out of your comfort zone. I wait for your emails confirming your enjoyment.

I’m in Paris and will definitely have cognac as a night cap with my girls.

Reading Pretty: Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

Chef crush alert. I have a huge “chef crush” on Marcus Samuelsson. It started years ago when I first ate at Aquavit in New York. Then it morphed into a slight food obsession. The next thing I knew I’m looking at his Ethiopian cookbook and thinking I could create these amazing dishes. His falafel recipe is the easy and quick to make. I am reading Yes, Chef; Marcus’ memoir of his early childhood in Sweden, his grueling work in the kitchens of France, Top Chef Masters Winner, and finally New York food darling. I can really get into a food memoir and this is one of the best.

Feasting Pretty: Why I’m Addicted to My Breville Juice Fountain Plus

I am sure you know by now that this juice craze isn’t going away. I am not the person who drinks juices for days and don’t eat. I know many people do juice fasting/cleansing, but it is not my thing. I juice as an addition to healthy and clean eating. I remember when I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and was intrigued by the director being on an extended juice fast. I had started to read the benefits on juicing and knew deep down my body needed it. Juicing is different than making smoothies. Juicing extracts juice. But, I waited many months to actually purchase a juicer.

Over the pass few years le husband and I decided to eat whole foods and few processed foods. The freshest and best we can afford. Is it a little more costly? Yes. But, I can’t give it up. My skin has never looked better. I feel great and since we are on the other side of thirty we are preserving the sexy. I didn’t realize that juicing would change me. Whoa! I am seriously addicted. As much as I love coffee, I have a caffeine sensitivity. Even half a cup at 3pm had me counting sheep at midnight. I went to decaf because I love the flavor of coffee, but I still wanted to see if I could get the juice high that I read about.

So I ordered me a juicer from Breville (seriously the machine is so simple, easy to clean, and worth every cent). Breville’s are a true luxury juicer. When I grow up I am going to get the mack-daddy juicer by Breville. For now I have the Juice Fountain Plus and couldn’t be happier. As much as I am on the go, I try to stick to fresh foods, but it is hard when traveling so much. Eating well is easier when I’m the one doing the shopping and cooking. The minute I return home it is all about the juice. For me I don’t like straight green juice. I need some sweetness. But, I have found the combination that works, gives me a jolt, and is delicious.

I think the key for juicing is having clean vegetables and fruits for juicing. I have friends who laugh at me, but after I “make” groceries (Southern terminology for going to the market) I wash and store everything. If you have to wash kale before you juice it more than likely it is not going to happen. Preparation is key. With so much fruit available this time of year, it is a great time to start.I haven’t completely given up meat (that will NOT happen), but I am eating less meat and only sustainable meat products.

If beauty starts within, I think juicing may be my fountain of youth. Happy juicing.

Julia’s Green Juice

{All products are organic. I drink mine over ice – room temperature green juice is not good.}

7 stalks of curly kale (I tried with Tuscan and didn’t like it)
2 handle of spinach (stuff the spinach between two pieces of kale so they don’t go floating around the juicer
4 carrots
1 apple (2 makes it even sweeter)
1 lemon
*1 beet will turn the juice red and give it a little more sweetness. You can always substitute oranges or pineapple for sweetness.

Feasting Pretty: La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook

The beauty of traveling to places like France is returning home with a sense that I need more nesting in my life. I seriously need time to play. Play with my beauty products and food. I loved the retreat because it allowed someone else to handle the plans. I loved relaxing at the villa in Provence, the fresh food, the laughter, and the time to share food with friends who I now consider family. It has been a busy few months and I have decided that July will be a time of nesting for me. I need to get back to the farmer’s market, cooking, feasting, more cooking, napping, and enjoying summer because I have a busy fall.

I have been following La Tartine Gourmande’s blog for awhile. I love her approach to cooking. She uses fresh ingredients, food presentation that is gorgeous to look at, and loves to share her food with her family and friends. I had her cookbook on my wishlist for a few months and I decided to take the plunge and purchase it last night. La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook will make its way to my kitchen just in time for all the beautiful produce at my farmer’s market and the countless food magazines on summer cooking. I’m looking forward to creating her recipes, dining on my patio with my honey, and enjoying summer.

I brought home a few of these food goodies from France and I can’t wait to test them out. Shout out in advance to the husband for being my taste tester.

Garlic & red pepper mustard from Maille
 Herbes de Provence sea salt
fresh white wine mustard from Maille
French olive oil

{Watch this video. If it doesn’t make you want to nest I don’t know what will.}

Happy Wednesday.

Feasting Pretty: PX Speakeasy ~ Alexandria, Virginia

I visited PX Speakeasy for a few hours with my friend Marcia Frost. Marcia was in town doing a story for a magazine and she asked moi to tag along for some of the feasting and sipping. How could I resist. Yoga and food are two of my favorite things outside of beauty and travel. On a chilly Thursday night we made our way to Todd Thrasher’s PX Speakeasy where their motto is “Listen to the ice.”

What is a speakeasy you ask? A speakeasy was a place that sold alcoholic beverages during Prohibition. Well, PX is legal, open to the public, and some of the best homemade cocktails I have had in a long time. After tasting THE best Manhattan of my life, I knew PX was different. It definitely made me want to work on my mixology skills at home. I’m thankful that Todd has Society Fair where I can purchase his house-made cherry bittars and other food accoutrements to make this happen.

I was never a Manhattan girl. It took a beach trip to Ocean City with my husband’s family to change my tune. Grandma Peggy loves a classic Manhattan and wanted me to try one. After that first sip I was hooked. I can’t wait to take Grandma to PX so she experience this version and fall in love with it too.

{ice cubes chill the glass in preparation for the perfect cocktail}

{Norfolk Dumpling ~ made with homemade duck sauce soda, tequila, house-made cherry bittars,
and a few other special items}

{“My Wife’s Manhattan” ~ Maker’s Mark, house-made cherry bittars , and house-made sweet vermouth}

Feasting Pretty: Pulino’s ~ New York City

I learn so many things from bloggers. Especially about food. Last year Joy featured Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria and raved about their breakfast pizza on one of her posts about New York. I added the restaurant to my trusty Moleskin New York City Guide and made sure to enjoy this breakfast beauty on my next visit. Last month while visiting New York with le beau we went to Pulino’s for a breakfast pizza situation. I had the spinach breakfast pizza with egg and it was crazy stupid love at first bite. I read in FT that Mickey Drexler ate their during his interview. This place is just that good. I am hooked.

282 Bowery Street
New York, NY

{P.S. The photo above was taken with my iPhone which does not do this delicacy justice. I know my husband is reading this cracking up. I have a love, love relationship with eggs. I simply love them. Carry on.}

Feasting Pretty: Root Liqueur by Art in the Age

I normally test and try different libations. I’ve ventured out much more than I used to. I have to thank my husband. I used to only be a wine girl, but I find myself loving spirits more and more. I stumbled upon one of my new favorite liquers recently at a birthday party. It was a gift to the birthday boy, but once I tasted it I had to control myself from not confiscating his bottle. Root Liqueur has been created in the old-school fashion as a true alcohol distillery. It is made in small batches and trust me is worth finding if you can get your hands on a bottle. I tried it with cream soda for an adult root beer. But if you are really adventurous try my grown up root beer float.

Grown Up Root Beer Float

1 shot glass of Root Liqueur
1/2 cup of Stewart’s Root Beer
1 and 1/2 scoops of vanilla ice cream (I prefer Blue Bell, but I can’t get it in DC)

Combine the Root Liqueur and Stewart’s Root Beer. Pour over ice cream and enjoy. Trust me on this. It won’t be your last Grown Up Root Beer Float.

Entwine Wines: Food Network + Wente Vineyards

Any given Saturday I’m home the Food Network is on in my house. The consistent cook in me loves Giada, Ina, Claire, and all things Iron Chef. My husband knows if it’s Saturday, do not turn from the glory of Food Network in HD. I admit to owning a few of Food Network cooking items from Kohl’s too. But, discovering the Food Network’s Partnership with Wente Vineyards is by far my favorite item from Food Network to date. Entwine Wines are an affordable and delicious wine.

I admit I am normally not a fan of Merlot. It has nothing to do with Sideways. I was shocked how much I love the cherry notes in this wine. I paired it with a thin crust traditional vegetable pizza. I normally think Merlots don’t have depth. This Merlot packs depth and punch. I’m looking forward to trying the Cabernet Sauvignon this fall with soups and my favorite vegetarian chili.

Entwine Wines is something you should definitely have in your vino lifestyle.

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