Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dream Vacation...Talloires France....The French Alps

It is a beautiful day here in NC.  The sun is shinning, the humidity low and I am sitting on my back porch working on my book and dreaming of travel.  If I could hop on a plane right now where would I go?   I think I would go to the French Alps.  Why?  I would love to see the Alps,  I have never been to Europe, and since money is no object on my dream vacations I decided to pretend to go:-) (All photos are found online on tourism sites or pinterest)
So I am headed Talloires France.  Here is what I learned on a travel site called Talloires tourism & sightseeing....
"Talloires is a beautiful village on the shores of Lake Annecy.  Lake Annecy is a stunning lake surrounded by mountains and its edges are dotted with attractive villages the best of which is Talloires."

I am going to pretend to leave in July and stay for 7 nights.  Lets check out the flights.  Flights start at around $1500 - $2000.  Just the flight!!!  Oh thats right money is no object:-)

For my hotel I have selected Auberge Du Pere Bise.  Here is a note from their site...
"Welcome to our hundred-year-old inn very well-located between the Annecy Lake and French Alps"

(Not sure what this is but it looks interesting:-) 
(Not sure what this is either but I somehow know I would like it:-)
Activities I found listed on the travel site
 "..water based sports including: stand up paddling (this has come from Hawaii and is becoming quite popular in France), waterskiing and wakeboarding, diving (Lake Annecy is one of the cleanest lakes in Europe and so visibility is excellent) and  Talloires has a beach with a life-guard if you fancy a swim.You can also go canyoning or paragliding in the area around Talloires." Something else that may be fun....canyoning or paragliding.
While I am in the area I will visit The Castle of Menthon Saint Bernard.  I have always been intrigued by castles. 

I better go get packed.
Happy Travels Everyone, be they real or pretend.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Wine Tasting at Southern Season in Chapel Hill NC. "Roman Empire"

Last night I had the opportunity to go to a wine tasting in Chapel Hill.  It was held at at of my favorite places Southern Season.  It was lovely.    The wine was nicely displayed and they provided crackers,  cheese and a few finger foods to enjoy.  The folks hosting the tasting were well informed and friendly.
The focus of the evening was "The Roman Empire".  We sampled nine wines.  I chose two to take home, a red and a white.  One perk of going to their tastings is that you get 20% off of any bottles you buy.  Here is my review of the wines at the event. I will put some of their descriptions in parentheses.  I will rate them on a verbal scale of "not for me", "ok", "good", and "my favorite of the evening".

1-Skouras Zoe White 1013- Greece  "ok"
     (aromas of fresh flowers with hints of fruit and avocado.  Flavors of orange and lemon blossom)

2-La Piana Palmizio Vermentino 2013- Italy "Not for me"
     (Melon and pear accented by herbs and minerals.)

3- Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2013- France "ok"
     (notes of white peach and tangerine, aromas of honeysuckle, pear, kiwi and minerals.)

***4-Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Josephshofer Riesling Kabinett 2007- Germany "My Favorite!!!"
You know I would choose the one I can't pronounce.  But as I look over the list I realize I can't pronounce any of them.  When I first tasted this one I thought it was a bit to sweet for me.  But there was something I really liked about it.  The folks in my group seemed to really like it too, even the red wine drinkers.

(Grown in Mosel Germany.  Intriguing aromas of violet and peony lead to a strong mineral note, lime and apple tinged note.)

5- Las Lilas Vinho Verde Rose 1014- Portugal "not for me"
     (It is a blended wine.  Flavors of strawberry, rhubarb, bing cherry and pomegranate.)

6-Domaine Douloufakis Danois Liatiko 2011- Greece  "Not for me"
      (Aromas of wild cherry, peppercorn and lavender.  Ripe tannins.  Bitter Chocolate nuance.)

7-Chateau Grand Portail La Croix Blanche Bordeaux Rouge 2013- France "good"
I am not a red wine drinker but this one I did kinda like.  I could see myself sipping on it very slowly.
     (Nose of juicy red fruits underlined by touches of crushed berries and vanilla notes.)
8-Ampeleia Kepos 2012- Italy.  "Not for me"
     (Dark red cherry, pomegranate, plum spices, leather notes)

9-Vegal Syrah 2013- Spain "Not for me"
     (intense aromas, ripe fruit, balsamic notes)
I had a great time at the wine tasting.  It was fun and informative.  I think they have one every week in the summer.  I will look forward to going back.
Get out and try a new wine.  
I suggest you go to a tasting.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Food Photography.....Restaurant Etiquette

I love to take photos of food.  Do I know how?  Not really, I just use my iPhone:-)  So before we get started with the difficult aspects such as ISO and aperture lets just look at restaurant Etiquette.  I searched google and found many different suggestions.....

***Don't stand on the furniture***  I must admit that never entered my mind.  I know sometimes you have to get in strange positions to get that perfect shot but not a good idea in a restaurant.  You don't want to be a distraction to other patrons.
**Don't use a flash**  I agree this too is a distraction to the people seated around you.  I know there are ways to get around this such as shutter speed and ISO.  We will leave that for another time.
**Leave other folks out of your photo**  Not always easy to do, but I will make a better attempt:-)
**Other distractions to avoid** Tripods. Don't move furniture to get a good shot.  Take your photos and put your camera away so you can enjoy your meal. I am sure there are many more tips on etiquette but overall we should do our best not to be a distraction to our fellow diners. 

Get out and try a new restaurant and take some photos using proper photography etiquette.
Happy Day!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Morning Motivation..."Waiting"

The key to everything is patience.  
You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.
Arnold H. Glasow

I have learned, through difficult times, that I have no choice but to wait.  I can't rush things even though I may want to.  Many days I want the end result now, I want to "smash the egg".  I make my requests to God speaking to Him as though I expected Him to get it done today.  Then I think better of it, take a deep breath and add the line...."in Your timing Lord".
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31
Lord thank you for this day you have given us.  As I come before you in prayer today help me to know that you see the big picture and that I don't.  Help me to trust in your timing God.  Help me to wait on you Lord and please renew my strength.  Help me to not grow weary but to keep walking down my path knowing you are beside me. Amen
Happy Monday Everyone.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Recipe Review, Shrimp Scampi Linguine by Rasa Malaysa as found on Pinterest.

I love shrimp.  I guess you could say I am on a shrimp kick.  Went out with Erica for lunch last week and had a salad with shrimp.  Had dinner with Cindy last night and had shrimp kabobs...yummy.  I love the texture and the taste.  Since I had shrimp on my mind I decided to make a new recipe with shrimp.

I studied the recipe that I found on Pinterest by Rasa Malaysia

Serves 4 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Minutes
4 servings linguine, for 4 people
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 oz unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
5 tablespoons white wine
6 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
Salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Squirts of lemon juice
1/2 heaping teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat up a pot of water, cook the linguine according to the 
instructions on the package.
Sprinkle the cayenne pepper to the shrimp. Set aside.
Heat up a saute pan and add the butter. When the butter melts, 
add the olive oil. Stir in the garlic, lightly saute until aromatic before 
adding the shrimp into the pan. 
Saute the shrimp until half cooked and then add the white wine,
 salt, and sugar. Add the cherry tomatoes and 
linguine into the pot, stir to combine well.
When the shrimp is completely cooked, add a few squirts of the lemon 
juice, black pepper, and chopped parsley to the linguine, 
toss to mix well, dish out and serve immediately with 
some shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
I gathered my ingredients and started cooking.....

I really enjoyed 
this recipe.  
I would give it
 a 9/10 on 
my cooking scale.  
I think the cheese 
is optional. 
 For me it did 
not go well 
with the shrimp.
Other then that 
it was delicious.
Happy Cooking Everyone

I really enjoyed this recipe.  I would give it a 9/10 on my cooking scale.  
I think the cheese is optional.  For me it did not go well with the shrimp.
Other then that it was delicious.
Happy Cooking Everyone

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Morning Motivation..."Be Still and Know"

Well today is my birthday.  I am happy and sad all at the same time.  Sad because of the place my husband has taken my family but happy in the knowledge that God is in control.  I remember when my parents were dying I held unto the verse that God gave us..."Be Still and Know that I am God".  I held onto it again when my husband walked out. To me it means that we can cast all of our fears, joys, sorrows, confusions, all of our life situations His way knowing that He is our strength in all things.  
Lord we thank you today that you are our strength, our hope and our joy.  Help us to never forget that you walk with us in all things. Amen
Happy Monday Everyone