If you own a slow cooker, a four ingredient slow cooker pork roast is as easy as it gets: place food in the pot and turn it on. Eight hours later, you have an amazing outpouring of pork love. Doubling or halving the recipe is simple too… it shrinks and expands with the poundage of your Boston butt or pork shoulder. Both of these are the recommended pork cuts you should seek out for their fat content (yes, delicious saturated fat, these are books with proof that fat isn’t the enemy).
Imagine walking into your home with the aromas of bacon-tinged, slow cooked goodness greeting you with open arms (and nostrils?). It’s enough to make any crappy day, better. I serve my rich and savory slow cooker pork roast with quinoa or brown rice and a salad. Or just eat it straight from the slow cooker. It’s that good — you can’t help going back for seconds and thirds too. Forewarned, you are.
For wine, serve with a California Syrah, red Rhône blend or a heavier Pinot Noir. or, hell, whatever you want. This dish makes friends with plenty of wines. Read more »
I still remember when I set eyes on Oregon’s wine country, Willamette Valley. It smelled of perfumey Pinot Noir… wafting up through the vineyards, wineries and through my hotel window. It was harvest of 2007 and I fell in love. With Oregon Pinot Noir. The love continues to this day. Willamette (rhymes with “dammit”) Valley is the main grape-growing area and one of the first wine regions (AVA) established in Oregon. It’s about an hour south of Portland, straddling the mountainous coastline. A major reason for Willamette’s success is the vast temperature fluctuations during the spring and summer growing season, allowing the fruit to develop acids — a crucial element in creating complexity in wine, especially Pinot. Over the years, distinct winegrowing regions have emerged and now the state has 17 AVAs that wineries often indicate on the bottle to educate customers. But many keep Willamette Valley on the label because they’re likely blends of several AVAs.
Read more: Impressive Oregon Pinot Noir
I do eat my share of dark chocolate… not mounds of it at one sitting like a PMS’ed fiend, but a a few squares of rich, dark chocolate beautifully strokes my occasional sweet tooth. So I’m particular about what enters this mouth – it better be amazing. And, given that my fix is needed, ahem, almost everyday, it should be affordable dark chocolate. I spent easily hundreds of dollars – and about two years of effort – to find the best dark heaven deal and uncovered it, not at some gourmet, hoity-toity place (bless the people at Tcho, NOKA and Vosges) but at grocery stores.
Read more: Awesomely affordable dark chocolate: Endangered Species
Last January, I started my path to healing food allergies by strengthening my gut. Although how I lost weight was at first a mystery, it presented a fortuitous side effect to the food allergy cure. I’ve lost 11 pounds and counting, one jean size (going on two) and when I’ve strayed on vacation, once I get back to reality, my body settles right back into my normal lower weight equilibrium within a week. 11 pounds might not sound like a lot but I’m 5’2” and started at 124. A little goes a long way on my small frame. Now, I look in the mirror and say, “Hey, I’d do me.”
Read more: 6 insights into how I lost weight this year
For me, Cab Sauv isn’t a sipping wine. Not made for the patio or the party, but more for the dinner party. Its hefty tannins and deep, dark flavors are a challenge to my palate without the fattiness of food to protect it. But a well-made Cab begs to be recognized as such – celebrated for having achieved a balance of acid and tannins, fruit and oak, and an elegance worthy of any meal. Honig Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley makes this cut.
Read more: Cold weather wine: 2012 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
So the cupboard of your wine and food family and friends are already stuffed to the ceiling with glasses, random gadgets, and other sometimes-drawer-filling items. Maybe you seek something a little out of the ordinary yet perhaps a little useful for your friends and family? Check these unique wine and food lover gift ideas:
Read more: Unique wine and food lover gift ideas
Like everyone who lives far from where they grew up, I connect often with people where I used to live – Florida and the east coast. While my friends and family in Tampa struggle with floods and hurricanes, my husband and I endure the drought-ridden California land (not to mention earthquakes). Having moved from a state flush with water, it’s been an adjustment to restrict water usage. But adjust we have. We catch water in the shower while it heats up, planted drought-tolerant plants in our front and back yards, and adopted the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” in the toilet mantra. This last one has been, to say the least, not fun but if it gets us where we need to be, I’m cool with that.
Read more: California Lifestyle: New job, the drought and the miracle of Stitchfix
It’s turkey time again and let the wine buying begin. Wine enhances any meal, but especially this one. Sharing a bottle, sharing memories and sharing stories about the year that just passed are always better over a glass of vino. Since everyone’s table looks different across the country, I’ve always preached that people should just drink what they like during The Big Meal. But, should you want some guidance, here are a few Thanksgiving wine tips as well as recipes to get you started.
Read more: Thanksgiving wine tips and recipes
With my Florida roots, I love all things Cuban. The Cuban culture has firmly ensconced itself into the roots of Florida cooking and I’m there to welcome it with open arms. And mouth. The uniqueness comes from their slow-cooked dishes like Ropa Vieja, roasted pork rubbed with warm, aromatic spices and the pervasive use of their bountiful citrus in Mojo dishes. This Cuban style ahi tuna recipe reflects the best of what the cuisine offers — lime, garlic and cumin. Serve it with a crisp Pinot Gris, medium-bodied Pinot Noir, Italian Chianti or a hoppy IPA.
Read more: Seared Cuban style ahi tuna recipe
I get whiplash from all the health studies that are released… one week you can eat this and the next, oh, hell, no. It’s tough to figure out the stuff you should eat. Now, I take everything with a grain of salt, and learn for myself. Take the low fat diet. For years, I swallowed that line of BS but once I started getting educated, I learned that one obnoxious, egotistical dude in the 60’s was behind the entire low fat theory. Hammered hard for 40 years, now 50%+ Americans are obese. Go figure. Things are starting to slowly change, since the paleo diet has taken hold and people are… gasp… losing weight. Paleo isn’t for everyone — I espouse many of the tenets, but not all — but there are plenty of takeaways that are tried and true (and tested).
Read more: Stuff you should eat: Nuts, eggs, and the produce rainbow