Tag Archives: goat cheese

Wine and Cheese Make Everything Better

Its been raining in Florida for days. Tropical storm Debby has made it rather dark and crummy around here. I don’t know if its the weather or if I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed but I’ve not felt myself today. Sometimes when I’m having a bad day there is only one thing that can help. No not xanax… a good indoor picnic with great wine and cheeses. Paired with a little Midnight and Paris and I was right as rain. Try it, I promise you’ll feel better :).

I had some fresh goat cheese, parmesan and sliced pear.


You definitely need some good french bread for crostinis…


And some gourmet jams and jellys. I’m totally into fig jam right now.


Atlanta Food & Wine Festival!

This past weekend my mother and I attended the second annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Last year my brother, Chef Nathan Lippy, was a headliner and we had so much fun that we just had to double back. It was a weekend full of southern goodness, great cooking tips and charming company. My next several posts will be about different aspects of the weekend including some reviews of local Atlanta restaurants we visited while in town…

For now I will give you a visual snack of some of our highlights.

We started off the weekend with a toast of Champagne and Bourbon. It was dee-licious!

The view of midtown Atlanta from our room at the Loew’s was amazing!

The weekend centered around southern dishes, organic and sustainable produce and amazing flavors! These greens were picked on the morning we ate them. The fresh flavor was incredible.

The feel of the festival and midtown Atlanta was rustic and lively. I loved the upscale flavors and down home look of the whole weekend.

We enjoyed a Pig Out BBQ at JCTs downtown. It was right on this old country railroad track which totally reminds me of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.

Chris Lilly and Chef Ford Fry rocked the BBQ at JCTs. 

The decor was rustic and lovely.

One of the highlights of the weekend were the tasting tents.

Here are three of my favourite dishes of the weekend.

BBQ Taco and grilled corn from Jim&Nick’s with a Pineapple/Habenero Patron Margarita.

La Bonne Vie Cheeses had an amazing treat of Goat cheese, cinnamon, pecans and dried cranberries. Mmmm soo sweet and tasty.

The best class by far was with the Van Aken Family.

Chefs Norman, Justin and Janet showed us an amazing Mojo grilled Red Snapper recipe. It was the most delicious thing I tasted all weekend.

As far as drinks go the two highlights for me were…

The Madeira wine tasting. OMG if you’ve never tasted Madeira, you simple MUST! It is one of the most fantastic flavours I’ve ever experienced.

The best cocktail by far was at the Cocktail Showdown. I had Cucumber Gin with Elderflower and Cucumber infused Simple Syrup and an Elderberry garnish. Mmm. So fresh and light.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend. Can’t wait for next year!

Cheeses, Mary, and Joseph!

I once told you that I would share the bizarre and glorious love affair I have with cheese. The suspense ends here. I have a serious attachment to that which was formerly milk. It just makes me feel good. Sometimes, I confess, if I’m feeling blue I eat a cube of cheese and my woes just melt away. I won’t even get started on the intoxicating ecstasy that occurs when you add wine to the mix, we wouldn’t want things to get R-rated now would we?

So recently when was looking for a good cheese counter in the Tampa Bay area, I couldn’t settle for anything less than excellent. Whole Foods is pretty good, as is Fresh Market, and Publix Greenwise.

But, when I stumbled upon Nature’s Food Patch on Cleveland and was very pleasantly surprised. They had a great selection and a wonderful Fromager who was a total Cheese-head and was even more obsessed yours truly!

She turned me on to a couple really yummy treats, a cheese magazine called Culture (ha!) and this amazing Fig Jam. It was divine paired with the Guinness Cheddar I picked up.

Now I’ll get to the true purpose of this post. Whenever I have a wine and cheese party, or sometimes a good tuesdaynight cheese plate, I like to make these adorable little markers.

 Here is what you’ll need:

 Hot Glue Gun

Some little wooden squares from your local craft store.

Wooden Skewers from the craft store, dollar store or supermarket.


Add a little glue to the skewer…

Then glue the wooden piece on and hold for about 5 seconds.

The results are simple and whimsical.

Ode to a French Bistro

My love for the french bistro is one that runs deep. It was a cognitive love at first, but it wasn’t until my second trip to paris that I truly fell in love. Deep, abiding love. The kind of love when you know you’ve found where you belong. I’m convinced that I was french in a former life. I simply must be.

I love the smells, the sounds, the feeling.

There is a certain crowd in the french bistro- artists, students, poets… there is a respect for the genius that could be happening at any table nearby. A song is being written, a heart is being broken, a story is in the making, a revelation has been made. All between sips of espresso, crunchy breaking of baguettes, and clinking of spoons.

You won’t find chicken nuggets here. No fried foods, cheeseburgers or milkshakes. Only the finest cheeses, freshest breads, sweetest baked treats. You won’t be coddled by the staff, but then again why do you care? You’re not here for them…

…you’re here for yourself.

Some of my most precious moments with yours truly have happened over a soy latte and roasted vegetable and goat cheese panini. I feel more myself in a cafe of strangers than probably most anywhere else in the world.

I think things like, “Is there a felicity in the world superior to this?” Then I giggle to myself at how pretentious I am. I drink my soy latte who never judges me. I taste the smoothness of fresh raw cheese at its finest. The cheese is not cheesy, no.

And neither am I.

I get to be the fullness of my inner french goddess here. I can write things I would never dare write from the comfort of my American apartment. I can think things I would never dare share with anyone other than Vonnegut or Hemmingway. I imagine Andy Warhol really would have wanted to be friends with me.

I dream of the day when I might be asked to write the specials on the chalk board because Gorgette is sick today and I’m the only person who knows how.

Oh, Bistro français, Je t’aime. Merci pour tous la mémoire.