Dry Mahoney

I remember years ago hearing my parents’ friends talk of a Mr. Mahoney with the funny first name. I really couldn’t figure out who he was – Duh! Welcome to old age. Anyway, a Dry Mahoney is a very simple yet tasty drink where you combine 2 1/2 oz of Bourbon and 1/2 oz of Dry Vermouth and then do the James Bond thing and serve into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Pair this with my version of Bourbon Steak – well what else would you have with a Dry Mahoney?

I don’t have exact measurements but if you used about 2-3 tablespoons each of the following you’d probably be okay – oil, chili sauce, soy sauce, honey, red pepper, black pepper. Add to about 5 oz of Bourbon plus 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine (you gotta figure I’m going to introduce wine somewhere). Put your favorite rub on the steak and after combining the above ingredients pour this marinade over the steak and marinate at least 3 hours, better yet overnight. Then grill them bad boys on a hot grill and serve with a baked potato and snap peas.

 

For the un-Un-Whined crowd add the following ingredients to a tall glass: 2 tbsp chocolate syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, and 1/4 cup milk. Stir until mixed then add club soda to fill. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and if the mood hits you – add a maraschino cherry.

White Blizzard Chocolate Martini

You can find the ingredients on-line for a White Blizzard Chocolate Martini but here’s my version:

  • 1 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz White Creme De Cacao
  • 1 oz White Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1 oz Half & Half

Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a chocolate Hershey Kiss.

We paired this with Kabobs on the grill with the following ingredients:

  • Tenderloin Beef Steaks – cubed
  • Tenderloin Pork – cubed
  • Red Pepper – cut into 1 1/2 inch squares
  • Whole Mushrooms
  • Roma Grape Tomatoes
  • Sea Scallops
  • Jumbo Shrimp

Place all items on several skewers, we actually made nine of them. Cook on the grill till the shrimp, sea scallops and pork are cooked through but I cubed the beef thicker as we like it medium rare. Oh, one note here – make sure you have two white blizzard choc0late martinis;)-

For the un-Un-Whined crowd try the Cappuccino Cooler. Combine 2 cups of cooled coffee, 2 cups of chocolate or coffee ice cream and a 1/4 cup of chocolate syrup. Blend until smooth and pour into a martini glass and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

 

Taxman

Let me tell you
How it will be.
There’s one for you,
Nineteen for me,
‘Cause I’m the taxman.
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

I’m sure you can remember the opening lyrics from the Beatles Taxman but don’t shout, don’t twist, don’t twist and shout, don’t fret, don’t pull your hair out, don’t scream, don’t stress out, and whatever you do – don’t forget to file your taxes tomorrow! We all sit and fret when it comes down to the deadline to file your taxes. Well sit back and relax and let Turbo-Tax, Tax Act and other such programs do it for you (uh, you will have to fill in some numbers and names though).

There are so many things to remember for tax time like did I remember to get all my W-2 forms and 1099’s that I’m supposed to have. Did I take the correct number of deductions, did I compare filing itemized deductions versus the standard deduction. Or do I have everything documented that I said I did. Nothing like filing your taxes and then notice you still have a 1099 on your dresser that did not make it with the taxes you just filed and got green lights on all your deductions and everything was accepted by the federal and state income tax sites and you felt really good about getting a bunch (remember my definition of bunch?) of money back from both the federal government and the state.  And you look at the 1099 on your dresser that is slapping you in the face and all that money you thought you were getting back from the federal and state returns sort of fades away in the distance. And then the panic sets in…

Well, here are some wines that will ease the pain of filing an amended return.

Kenwood 2005 Jack London Vineyard Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is made from 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot but don’t let that stop you from trying this wine. A deep garnet color yielded black cherry, cassis and cocoa aromas. The palate found blackberry and plum flavors with a hint of mint and tobacco. A very smooth lingering finish rounded out this wine. $22.99, 92 rating. This is an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. I had this as a stand-alone wine and I’m sorry I only had two bottles, seems that I need to buy more. I would venture a guess that this wine would go well with a great steak or leg of lamb. Enjoy the wine.

Pinol Portal 2007 Tinto. I had first tried this at one of the Special Turkey Day Festivities I told you about in an earlier post last year that my brother-in-law (yeah, the one who makes great soups) and he had this wine. I didn’t take notes that day as I probably had too much wine (too bad as I would love to see if there is a difference from back then to now). Anyway, let’s get on with the review. An equal blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas were of raspberry, clove, and bacon (Cousin Carl would like this) with a black cherry flavor and a smooth peppery finish. $14.99, 87 rating. We paired this with a beef stew. Ingredients for the stew are as follows:

1 1/2 pounds of beef stew
1 small bag of baby potatoes
6 celery stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
6 carrots cut the same
2 medium onions, quartered
1 (29 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1 cup cabernet sauvignon
put ingredients in a slow cooker on the low setting and when you get home from work it’s ready for your consumption.

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…

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Bubba & Mollykins

No, this is not a love story but a very simple one about two different dogs from two different beginnings in life. Both pups are as cute as buttons although they aren’t quite pups anymore but I will always refer to them as pups. One is black in color and the other is black and white. One is Pompey (aka Bubba) and one is Molly (aka Mollykins). Bubba is a Pug (he’s the black one) while Mollykins (she’s the black & white one) is a Border Collie. Both are extremely playful and have great dispositions. Neither would hurt a fly however if you tread on their territory you may be able to hear their playful growls. Although Molly got quite protective of the bay window in the living room for anything that dared come into the front yard. This was her territory! And Bubba had to sit higher on the couch than anyone else. This was his territory!

Here is Molly’s story (as told by her):

Hi! My name is Molly and I am 3 1/2 years young. My hometown is Vancouver, BC where I was discovered with my brothers and sisters at the age of 5 weeks in a dumpster. Luckily, people in the neighborhood heard us crying and rescued us. We were sent to the Vancouver City Pound where I met my mom. She was a volunteer there waiting to find the perfect dog for her and it turned out to be me! At first, my mom only fostered me because she wasn’t sure she could handle a dog but after 4 months of fostering, she couldn’t get enough of me and I was adopted! The first year of my life was pretty rough and have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis so I can’t run and play on pavement or else my joints will hurt. Occasionally I need to take it easy or else my muscles will get inflamed and I won’t be able to walk so my mom keeps a close eye on me.

I love to play tug of war with my family and growl because it makes me feel tough. My favorite thing to do is hike with my friends and family although I hate it when I get ticks on me because it’s very uncomfortable for me when they have to be removed.  Sometimes I get so excited that I can’t help but wiggle until my tail hits my face.

I’m a traveling dog and will probably continue to because wherever my mom and dad go, I go too (or sometimes they stick me with my grandparents which is super fun and they allow me up on the chair to snuggle). Either way, I know I’m always with loving family.

Here is Bubba’s story (as told by him):

I’ve been in custody from the time I was six weeks old and I’m currently 4 1/2 years old (in human years that is). Anyway my owners think I’m perfect and they’re right. I mean, who am I to argue with them? Just to set the record straight my name is Pompey who was the behind the scenes caretaker of a brothel in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and in the play, Pompey is used to show the audience what is going on in the story. Boy, could I tell you stories! But that’s for another time.

I was a resident of Colorado for the majority of the time I’ve been on this wonderful earth and even though my owners think I’m perfect I couldn’t have asked for better owners. They really are sweet (and I get away with just about anything – shhh, but don’t tell them that, I’ve got a good thing going here). I’m a mountain dog by heart and I will chase snow until it melts and in Colorado that could be for several months. Of course if we get a foot of snow you won’t be able to find me when I jump in a snow bank.

Just to puff my chest a bit – I’m AKC registered and if it weren’t for my tail I probably would have been a show dog except my tail doesn’t have the correct corkscrew (well, what do you expect, after all this is a wine review). Seems that the “show people” want a tail that corkscrews 2 1/2 turns, I only have 1 1/2 turns. But I’m a cuddler and I always need to be around someone. And I think Molly’s pretty cool too. I love when we get together.

What about you? Any pet stories?

Well, on with the wine reviews.

Santa Margherita 2009 Pinot Grigio. Yellow in color with floral aromas (much like a fresh bouquet of flowers) and golden delicious apple flavor and a smooth silky finish. $20.99, 90 rating. Pair this with bacon-wrapped sea scallops, white rice sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, broccoli drizzled with a balsamic glaze, and an onion roll on the side. This was scrumptious!

Altos Las Hormigas 2009 Mendoza Malbec. Upon opening this wine a deep purple color greeted licorice, fennel, and plum pleasingly on the nose, followed by red & black raspberries, maybe a bit of boysenberry jam and pepper flavors on the palate. This wine ended with a smooth European chocolate finish with a hint of blueberries. $8.99, 88 rating. Pair this with grilled Italian sausage with peppers and onions on a grinder roll. This wine got better as the night rolled on.

Jacuzzi Vineyards 2009 Bianco di Sei Sorelle Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. Bartlett pear and peach notes on the nose with a hint of mixed nuts complement the peach and pear flavors with a smooth oaky finish. This is a very nice white wine even a red wine lover would enjoy! Boy, am I getting soft in my old age 🙂 $18.00, 88 rating. Pair this with fresh scrod with a Dijon mustard marinade, brown rice, and broccoli & cauliflower vegetables drizzled with your favorite cheese (you can also get this in a handy vegetable steamer bag – cheese included). Ingredients for the scrod marinade are as follows:

2 tablespoons white wine (the above mentioned wine is a good choice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon (add more if using fresh tarragon)
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
Dash of garlic powder

Whisk ingredients and brush over scrod and pour remaining marinade over scrod (any white fish will do though) and bake at 425 degrees for 12-18 minutes depending on thickness of the scrod fillets.

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…

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Wine With Chili or Chili With Wine?

We opened a bottle of white wine not so much for drinking but for cooking. Well, this was the beginning of a really good meal complemented with a white wine. My wife decided to make a chili (and later in the day an apple pie – I love when she makes these decisions). Anyway she tells me to go down in the wine cellar to fetch a bottle of white wine for the chili. I ask what kind. You know where I’m going with this don’t you? Her response is innocent enough with a “whatever”. Now, me being the “wine expert” I get philosophical on what wine to choose for the chili. The chili was created with stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, onions, celery, red & green bell peppers, steak sauce, bacon, chili seasoning, cumin, kidney beans, parsley, cilantro, and of course white wine…is your mouth watering yet?

Which brings me to another story when my wife asked me to go down to the wine cellar and get a bottle of wine for a perfect meal she had just prepared. Well, I get down in the cellar and turn on the computer to peruse my wine database to choose the perfect wine as I was going to impress my wife with the most delectable wine choice for a perfect meal. Quite some time later, she’s done with the meal and the dishes and I’m still looking for a bottle of wine. Perfectly prepared meals do not go very well with wine when the meal has turned cold so….

So, as I’m going down the basement stairs to fetch a bottle of white wine I’m trying to think of a good wine to bring back up. I get to my computer and start it up so I can view my wine database and remember the above story. I quietly get up from my chair in case anyone is watching and grab the closest bottle of white wine I could put my hands on. Turned out to be a pretty good choice.

Jacuzzi 2008 Gilia’s Vernaccia. This wine is comprised of 90% Vernaccia and 10% Chardonnay grapes which had peach aromas with hints of pear and apple. Melon and nectarine reached the palate as soon as it entered your mouth and had a smooth mineral finish. $22.00 with an 89 rating. I really like this white wine and plan on keeping a bottle just for when we get the urge to make another chili.

Oh, you can find the chili recipe at “Allrecipes.com” and look for ‘Award Winning Chili’ recommended by my sister-in-law. The recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of white wine. I think my wife used a good cup and a half that I know of but think she may have added more. That was a good decision too as you would be tempted to enter this into a chili cook-off contest.

I had this chili a day later and found the Layer Cake 2008 Malbec (from an earlier email) red wine went quite well.

Does anyone have a great chili recipe they’re willing to share?

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends….