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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wino Review: Black Trail - Chardonnay

Type: White
Name: Black Trail Vineyards - Chardonnay
Location: Aconcagua, Chile
Review: I'll be honest, I am not a fan of dry whites, but this was a pretty good one. My mother-in-law prefers super dry white wines so I brought it over to share with her and she really liked this Chardonnay too. It has a nice lingering citrus flavor and little to no sweetness, but somehow I found it much more than tolerable. The acidity was enough to satisfy but not so strong that it left a salty aftertaste and I thoroughly enjoyed just sipping this without food. I would probably pair it with a fish or light cream sauce linguine. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wino Review: Rosenblum - Zinfandel

Type: Red
Name: Rosenblum Cellars - Vintners CuvĂ©e XXXIII Zinfandel
Location: California
Review: Ever so slightly acidic but perfectly sweet, this red would be a crowd pleaser for any gathering. I really enjoyed this with my homemade lasagna and while I think it would be great paired with a steak also, I feel like this best compliments something cheesy. Its got fruity notes and a very soft vanilla undertone. Smooth but intense, I feel like this is really a good balance with a nice depth of flavor. Definitely a good red for any day, even in the hot summer! 

I got this at my local Alexandria Carryout, feel free to check it out!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wino Review: Skinny Girl White Peach Margarita

Type: Cocktail
Name: Skinny Girl - White Peach Margarita
Location: n/a
Review: Better than the Cosmo but still nothing compared to a real margarita. This alcohol content is probably a little closer to a real margarita also (as opposed to the surprisingly low proof of the Cosmo) so it may be a decent substitute if you're really trying to count calories. Also, the ease of just pouring this into a cup as opposed to whipping out the blender and getting the measurements and ice content just right to make a real margarita adds points to the "pros" side of this review. Flavor wise this is slightly disappointing in that I expected to taste more peach flavor but it ended up just tasting like watered down alcohol. Actually, I'm finding that a trend with these Skinny Girl cocktails so far; they just taste flat and one-noted.

Got this one at my local Alexandria Carryout

Review: Fifty Shades Darker - E. L. James

Rating: 3/5
Summary: As we continue to follow the story of Anna and Christian, we see a slightly softer side of our leading man and a more dominant side of the heroine. He also reveals some darker secrets of why he is the way he is and the "kinkery" he continues to crave.
Review: While this sequel has a slightly better plot than the first, the writing is still pretty terrible and the sex scenes stay about the same on the interesting scale. I found it hard to believe that someone with a 10+ year history of the BDSM lifestyle was this easily distracted from it and gave in to such constant, relatively "vanilla" sex. I appreciate that he's trying to change for Anna, but I was also disappointed that the sexcapades weren't truer to the hype we were built up to in the first book. Anyway, the ending of this book left me hanging just like the first, so I am slightly ashamed to admit than I was forced to read the third book. This book is not a page turner, but at least worth reading for the fact that I now feel like I have a dirty little secret I share with at least half of the adult female population.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wino Review: Skinny Girl Cosmo

Type: Cocktail
Name: Skinny Girl - White Cranberry Cosmo
Location: n/a
Review: Eh. I guess for a low calorie cocktail its pretty good, but I prefer a real Cosmo. Not only does this only have a lower alcohol content than a regular Cosmo, its not as fresh and delicious. You can almost taste a "refining process" or something. Weird, I know. But you're not really saving calories if you're drinking more glasses of this lower proof Cosmo vs. 1-2 glasses of a regular Cosmo to get the same buzz. Cute packaging though, and if you're someone who just likes to sip the occasional adult beverage without the buzz (or are a serious lightweight) then this might be the drink for you.

Got this at my local Alexandria Carryout

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cooking attempt: Corn Salad!

OMG. I rock. I had some leftovers from yesterday's grill-out so I put them to use making this awesome chilled corn salad. Here's the super simple recipe.

Summer Corn Salad
3 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup celery diced small
1 sweet onion, sliced very thin
1 tablespoon butter
4 strips of bacon
3/4 cup of mayo
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 tsp dill
1/4 tsp cilantro

Caramelize onions until slightly crispy in butter and drain on a paper towel. Chop when cool. Crisp bacon and crumble once cool; set aside. Toss corn, caramelized onions, and celery together. Mix mayo, lime juice, honey, dill and cilantro in a small bowl and slowly add to corn mixture, until desired dressing amount is achieved. Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top before serving, refrigerate if needed. YUM!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cooking Attempt: Mexican Casserole

So here's a recipe I just threw together with what I had in my fridge, and it worked well! Thought I'd share.

Leftover Mexican Casserole

2 leftover grilled chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 beefsteak tomato, diced
1 cup of black beans, rinsed
1 cup mozzarella and cheddar cheese mixed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup crushed hard taco shells (or tortilla chips)

Mix it all together but leave out the taco shells and enough cheese to sprinkle on top. Spread in a casserole dish, sprinkle cheese then crushed chips on top. Cook in oven at 375 degrees until melty and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Wino Review: Apothic White

Type: White
Name: Apothic White - Chardonnay/Riesling/Moscato blend
Location: California
Review: DELICIOUS. While quite sweet, it pairs perfectly with fruit. The Chardonnay balances out the Moscato nicely. We sipped on this while munching on some grapes and apples and it was fantastic because it is a smooth blend of sweet fruit notes with a sublimely clean finish. Light enough to be a summer wine with a meal (though not a heavy meal) but rich enough to stand alone after dinner or with dessert, this is a great idea for a gift. Its also in the right price point and a pretty enough bottle to bring to a friend or neighbors and make you look like you know more about wine than you actually do.

Got this one at my local Alexandria Carryout!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey - E. L. James

Rating: 2/5
Summary: Anastasia Steel is a new college graduate who meets Mr. Christian Grey, a young and highly successful entrepreneur and, quite literally, falls into a relationship with him. His tastes, however, are in the BDSM realms of sexuality and this throws our virginal Miss Steel for a loop.
Review: First things first, or last... I HATE the ending. I wasn't planning on reading the rest of the series due to this books complete lack of originality and plot, but the last few chapters sucked me in and the ending made it impossible for me to not pick up the sequel. Seriously though, the book consisted of nothing but some terribly cliche flirting, some rough sex, and unfortunate drama. If you're looking for something to "get the juices flowing" in a minivan mom kind of way, this might do it for you, as this series has been dubbed "Mommy Porn." However, if you're more interested in a good book with some sexuality expertly written and intertwined into a decent plot there are much better places to find it. Start with Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Thats got a fantastic little scene that blows these tacky and crude words out of the water. But yes, I am ashamed to say I am reading the sequel....

Also, if you couldn't tell by the striking similarity in characters (thus showing this authors unoriginality) this story was originally written as a fan fiction based on Twilight. Steel = Swan, Grey = Cullen, Ray = Charlie. The characters' personalities are virtually the same.

Wino Review: Valbella - Chardonnay

Type: White
Name: Valbella - Chardonnay
Location: Veneto, Italy
Review: I expected this to be a much tastier wine that it turned out to be. The description says its smooth and fruity, and to be honest, its close to the opposite. Initially, I taste almost a salty, tannic quality to the Chardonnay which immediately turns me off. There is a hint of citrus but it is so minute and the lack of other depths makes this an uninteresting wine for me. I wouldn't purchase this again unless I was buying it for someone who really enjoyed dry wines. Not a fan.