Blame it on Netflix

So yeah….it’s been a while.  In my defense, I haven’t posted because I have found Jesus and have been devoting a lot of time to serving him. Okay, maybe not Jesus exactly. Netfix. I found Netflix. Which is sort of like finding Jesus, no? It is if you consider their stock price. Har. Har.

Besides me binging on OITNB, House of Cards and Scandal here’s what you’ve missed.

I got hitched.

Outside Sign

Vegas Style.

Vegas

Elvis and all.

Which of these three is incapable of making the Elvis hand signals. Regadless of how many times she was shown.

Which of these three is incapable of making the Elvis hand signals. Regadless of how many times she was shown.

Surrounded by some of the most amazing women I know.

The Ladies

With a kick-ass party at Surrender.

It's a good thing that Jules and I won't be having children as securing the best table at this place

It’s a good thing that Jules and I won’t be having any children as I spent their college tuition on table service.

 

Preceded by a small and tasteful bachelorette party.

 

See. Class all the way.

Class all the way.

I have not idea where the hat or tie came from. Nor why it looks like I have a small penis for a finger.

Heeeyyyyy drunkie. (I have not idea where the hat and tie came from. Nor why it looks like I have a small penis for a finger.)

 

We honeymooned in Italy in May.

Sorrento

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I can sum it up by saying that if carbs were 40s Europe , we’d be Germany.

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But the best part of what’s been going on since last year is this sweet girl.

Sontina "Sonny"

Sontina “Sonny”

She’s the love of our lives.

( I’ll post more about the the rescue organization we got her from a bit later this week. They do incredible work and we so lucky to have found them.)

 

Good to be back peeps!!

 

 

The Ruthven Name

Summer of George:

Doesn’t this just make you want to get your own castle! You’d stay at the Summer of George Castle…right?

Originally posted on andegaviablog:

The name Ruthven anoints two of our wine varietals: 2011 Ruthven Napa Valley Red Blend and 2012 Ruthven Napa Valley Chardonnay. The boldness of these great wines cried for a name appropriate enough to grace its labels. Again, we looked to our family history, which led us to Scotland, home of Clan Ruthven.

To learn more about artist, contact service@andegavia.com

To learn more about the artist, contact service@andegavia.com

Clan Ruthven built a beautiful castle in Scotland around the 15th century and it was titled ‘House of Ruthven’ (now known as Huntingtower Castle). Aside from a couple failed attempts to kidnap King James VI as a means to gain power, the Ruthvens enjoyed the power of good wine. They were buyers of Bordeaux wines, which are generally made from a blend of permitted grapes; including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. We use these same three grapes in our 2011 Ruthven Red Blend, figuring the Clan…

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Calling All Internet Wine Fans — We Need Your Help!

Summer of George:

Hey — this came as a surprise to me. Take a look. Would love your help in rectifying this rediculousness.

Originally posted on andegaviablog:

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Hello to all of our Internet Wine fans!

We know you love wine as much as we do and we know (most of you) have the choice to buy fine wine online. But did you know there are still TEN states (see above) that ban direct-to-consumer wine shipments from out-of-state wineries and wine retailers?

One of those states is Massachusetts. And for all our friends in Mass, that means if you wanted to order a cask or two from Andegavia, once they’re available (because, let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to do so than going to the wine store), you couldn’t. You can read more about it here.

We think this needs to change. Don’t you? 

The good news is that you can help do something about it (even if you don’t live in MA, you should ACT because other states will follow).  There happens to be current…

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What is Cask Wine? Well, it’s wine-on-tap… at home!

Summer of George:

I know I’ve been MIA. I’ve been working on a very very cool new project. Check it out!

Oh yeah…and I also got married. WHAAAAAATTTTTTT????

Originally posted on andegaviablog:

ACW_HdrCasks

We are so excited to share this next milestone with you, we can hardly stand it. We’ve just finished the design of our signature Andegavia cask. We think it’s gorgeous, and hope you will too. But before we get to the grand reveal, we thought we’d give you a little background on what this whole cask wine thing is all about.

So what’s a cask anyway?

The Andegavia cask is a lightweight, 3-liter container that’s made from recyclable materials and contains the equivalent of four 750 ml bottles of wine. For lack of a better word, a cask is a high-end box with a bladder inside that protects the wine from oxidization; keeping the wine fresh and delicious for far, far longer than any wine bottle.  And a built-in tap lets you pour as much wine as you want – yup, you decide if it’s a “big glass” night.  Finally…

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Make this before it's too late

Endless Summer Salad

I don’t care what anyone says, it’s still technically summer. To prove it, I had peach pie for breakfast this morning and it was delicious. So there.

This summer has been amazing. It’s the first time in a long, long, long, long time that I’ve felt like I had an actual summer. Not just snippets of a summer here and there, but a real summer. I’ve traveled and basked in the sun on distant shores. I’ve visited good friends and laughed in the sunshine on their decks while sipping chilly Rose. I’ve read book upon book in our backyard, soaking up the early morning and sleepy late afternoon rays. I have a tan. Not one from a spray nozzle or a bottle, but a real light golden tan and the freckles that go with it. And I have a real smile because of all of it.

Which is why I decided to make this gorgeous summer salad this weekend. The days of farmer’s market warm ripe peaches and heirloom tomatoes are almost gone, so I gathered up some of my favorite ingredients and created this little beauty.

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A mix of red and yellow heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and peaches dressed with salt, olive oil and fresh lime juice, and garnished with sheep’s milk feta and mint. Fresh and light — perfect for a last of summer brunch outdoors.

 

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Try to get different colored ones. Makes the salad oh so pretty.

 

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See?

 

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I bet you could use sweet plums instead of peaches. And I wonder if coarsely chopped pistachios might add a nice crunch???

 

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I prefer sheep’s milk to cow’s milk feta. But totally your call.

 

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Zest half the lime for an added jolt of freshness.

 

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I went light on the feta on this one as one of my guests wasn’t a fan….def use more if you love this stuff like I do. You could also tear up a small bit of fresh basil to give this salad a little more somethin somethin.

 

Endless Summer Salad

  • Two large heirloom tomatoes, diced into 1 inch chunks
  • Two cups watermelon chunks (1 inches in size)
  • Two ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of crumbled feta (use as much or as little as you like)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Zest of half a lime
  • Tbsp of fresh lime juice
  • Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of loosely packed mint, roughly chopped

 

  • Combine tomatoes and watermelon in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit and drain for 20 minutes.
  • In a bowl gently mix drained tomatoes/watermelon and peach slices.
  • Add lime zest, olive oil, lime juice, feta and mint — toss gently until well combined.
  • IMPORTANT: Adjust the dressing to suit your taste.  Does it need more olive oil? Use more! Do you want more acidity — squeeze more lime juice in! Did you overdo it with the salt? Add a tiny bit of sugar! Play with this — you’re not going to mess it up. I promise.

 

Enjoy, kittens. And if you add your own twist to it send me a pic and the recipe!

xo

Where Annie met Sam. (Bonus points if you can name the film.)

Oysters and Skyscrapers

We’ve been having some gorgeous weather these past few days, so I decided to take advantage and have a NYC bucket list kind of afternoon.  Since it opened in 2009, I have been wanting to go and see the High Line .  The High Line is a public park built on a 1.45 mile stretch of elevated railroad that runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th street on the far west side of Manhattan.

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The beginning of the High Line. This little bit of the Meatpacking District is pretty much all that’s left of the industrial neighborhood which had at one time been home to over 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants — the slaughterhouses having long been replaced by the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and the Apple Store.

The Meatpacking District used to be one of my favorite haunts back in my single days. The area is full of sexy restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It’s a perfect place for a girl’s night out or a third date (insert lascivious eyebrow wiggle here).

My restaurant of choice when in this area has always been Pastis, a french-style bistro with a killer steak frites and a beautiful interior space full of vintage tiles, bronze and crystal lighting fixtures and worn wood cafe tables. Huge french doors lead to a narrow umbrellad outside seating area — perfect for people watching over oysters and rose.

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A little salty, briny bit of heaven on earth.

 

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Frisbee-sized Croque Monsieur. Oh how I loves me some béchamel.

 

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Frites are a must when dining here. With mayonnaise for dipping, of course.

 

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Perfectly ripe berries with the lightest whipped cream I’ve ever had.

 

Sated, and just a little bit tipsy, it was time to hike the stairs to the High Line and see what the fuss was all about.

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The original High Line was built in the 1930s as a way to get dangerous freight trains off busy city streets. For almost fifty years these rails, suspended 30 feet above Manhattan, carried rail cars full of meat, milk, produce and other goods to factories and distribution centers.

 

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The park supports more than 210 plant species. Most are native to New York. For a list of what is due to bloom this fall see here.

 

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“Vintage Wine” cornflowers.

 

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Sally Holmes Roses.

 

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I dunno what this is. Do you?

 

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Stop and take in the cooling breeze off the water.

 

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My favorite building on the West Side.

 

Where Annie met Sam. (Bonus points if you can name the film.)

Where Annie met Sam. (Bonus points if you can name the film.)

 

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You can grab a coffee or enjoy a leisurely lunch from a list of artisanal food shops such as Blue Bottle Coffee and Terroir at The Porch.

 

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Art installations are tucked in among the greenery, displayed on surrounding billboards and on sides of bordering buildings.

 

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Stop often and take a moment to marvel at this amazing city.

 

I’m so glad I finally did this. It’s such a neat way to see this western most part of the island. Who in a millions years would have thought to do this? New Yorkers, that’s who.

Visit this weekend. The weather will be perfect.

xo

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Light and Healthy Tuna and Chickpea Salad (courtesy of Gwynnie)

I just can’t quit Gwyneth Paltrow, you guys. I see an old movie of hers and her pouty/frowny face annoys me. I read about something cool she’s doing for fat kids somewhere and I love her again. I hear that she makes her bodyguards block the entrance to restaurant restrooms so that she can use it without anyone else being in there and it sets my teeth on edge. I see her in an episode of Glee and I’m back into her. I read about her perfect eating habits and perfect workout routine….and….you get the drift.

And then a while ago I got her cookbook, It’s All Good, and then this weekend I made one of her super tasty recipes. And now I’m totally back into her. Dang it.

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This book got great reviews. I’ve leafed my way through it and everything looks delicious and really, really good for you.

 

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The recipe calls for the zest of half a lemon. Don’t skimp on this. It gives a nice kick of flavor.

 

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Simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon and red wine vinegar.

 

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Canned organic chickpeas make putting this together a cinch.

 

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The double dose of scallions and minced red onion make this salad pop.

 

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A handful or arugula adds a bit of peppery bite.

 

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 I’m sure you could use tuna in water but why would you when there is this fabulous italian tuna in olive oil available. This is my favorite brand. Not cheap, but worth it.

 

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Tell me this doesn’t look delicious?

 

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A not so pretty “plated” shot. I really need to work on my food staging skills.

 

Italian Tuna & Chickpea Salad (From It’s All Good.)

Serves 4

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar (play with this though — you may want a bit more acidity depending on how much oil stays from the tuna)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 8ish oz italian tuna packed in olive oil (drained well)
  • 14 oz can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp finely diced red onion
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 oz of arugula, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Add all of the remaining ingredients, mix, and then add as much salt and pepper as you need to suit your taste. (Just watch the salt as you know too much is never a good thing.)

That’s it! Super easy right?

Make this whenever you want a clean, protein-packed lunch. Just warm up some whole wheat pita halves and stuff with this salad. It’s actually better the next day, so make a double batch and you’re golden Pony Boy.

Let me know how it turns out!

xo