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Posted 09/17/2012

What Bourbon Means to Beer

September is National Bourbon Heritage Month in the United States, recognizing its contribution to the heritage of this country. And I love me a good bourbon, that’s for sure! But what happens to all those bourbon barrels once they are used? They can’t be used again to make more bourbon as that would break the strict rules that define bourbon. Continue Reading…

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Posted 09/12/2012

Zucchini Trifolati: Sauteed Zucchini

It is really customary in Italy to prepare fresh, seasonal produce by simply sautéing it in a pan with a touch of olive oil, some shallots and a pinch of salt. This way of cooking embraces the natural flavors and textures of the vegetables which you never want to compromise by overcooking. This is also a really great way to prepare a wonderful, healthy meal quickly during the hot Summer when you don’t feel like turning on the oven or leaving the stovetop cooking away for hours.

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Posted 09/04/2012

A Winemaker To Watch

Justin Kahler can appreciate the Extra Virgin lifestyle. He knows that taking an agricultural product like grapes, and turning it into a finished product like wine, requires infinite decisions and collaborations with Mother Nature. Justin’s journey began in the enology program at Cal State Fresno and continued through Spain, Bordeaux, New Zealand, and Monterrey. Now JK Wine Company, his Paso Robles-based winery, works with the area’s unique topography to grow varietals native to Spain and the Rhône valley.

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Posted 08/23/2012

Beer Tasting BBQ

This past Saturday night, my wife and I had some people over for a Beer Tasting BBQ. We invited friends that we thought normally don’t drink beer and might appreciate trying some new styles, seeing exactly what the craft beer world has to offer. Oh, and we had some awesome empanadas,  grilled churrasco and chorizos and a great salad as well. Continue Reading…

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Posted 08/19/2012

Madeleins

I remember making Madeleins for the first time when I was a kid and my parents would drop me off at my grandparents for the weekend while my dad was traveling for work. Madeleins were one of the first things we baked together. My grandmother was one of the classiest women I know and had a thing for elegance.

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Posted 08/14/2012

You Wanna The Tea? Go Make.

Italian cookies are the crown jewel of the kitchen.  Recipes pass from generation to generation.  Some are closely guarded secrets, while others are shared with the world.  Whatever the case may be, your own mother’s are always the best.  There is a special kind of comfort found in having a cookie and a cup of tea, whether alone curled up on a couch, or at the table with a loved one.  The cookies can only be made more delicious with the perfect cup of tea.  Like pairing the perfect wine to a meal, a special cup of tea can bring out the flavors in a cookie.

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Posted 08/09/2012

Chopped Hearts of Romaine with Salsa Verde

To be honest, Italians don’t care about salad. It is usually seved as a side and never, ever ordered instead of pasta or steak like they do here in the states. This salad is an easy way to make something typically boring more appetizing. My mom used to badger me to eat my salad when I was younger. I needed my vegetables, you know the drill. When I grew up, her nagging stayed with me and I came up with a tasty salad that I actually enjoy eating. This is fresh and has a wonderful taste.

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Posted 08/04/2012

Orecchiette al Ragu di Braciole: Pasta with Beef Ragu and Braciole

This is the very first recipe that was birthed out of my recipe hunter project. Because I haven’t developed the show yet, I thought I would design an episode for Season 2 of Extra Virgin. The idea is to reconnect people to their family history through their families’ traditional dishes.

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Posted 08/01/2012

Dalliance: Everyone Wants a Taste of this Wine

Eating dinner with my family at Harwig’s in Steamboat Springs, CO, a restaurant famed for its wine list and multiple Wine Spectator awards, I asked the sommelier to suggest a bottle. “What do you like?” he replied. “We like Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel,” I answered, “but we love to try new things.”

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Posted 07/30/2012

Duck Ragu

This is something I always ate in the small trattorias around Tuscany while growing up. When my dad, brother and I went for motorcycle rides on the weekends, we would always end the day with a pitstop in one of these tiny eateries and indulge in a hearty bowl of duck ragu. I personally never made it until I moved to the US. I can credit learning how to make it from Gino Angellini here in Los Angeles. He showed me the proper way and I tailored it to my tastes.

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