Bonjour Beaujolais!

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Today is Beaujolais Nouveau Day all over the world. The only date on the entire wine calendar that is consistent year to year is the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. By French Law, at exactly 12:01am local time, on the third Thursday of November, the French government allows the sale of this year’s young harvest.  Beaujolais is a red wine produced from Gamay grapes from the Beaujolais region of eastern France, neighboring Burgundy and north of Rhone, great wine neighbors.   It is fermented for just a few weeks before it is bottled.image

Beaujolais is a purple-pink wine reflecting its youth, bottled 6-8 weeks after harvest, hence the “nouveau” in its name. Continue reading

Border Crossing: Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce

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When a taste of a dish elicits moans of pleasure and that same reaction goes around the whole table at which one is seated, well, a girl just has to get herself some of what they’re having!  This was a recent experience at a Canadian Thanksgiving feast.  The dish in question that overshadowed every other delicious offering at my friend Panorea’s table?  The cranberry sauce! image Continue reading

Paperwhite Time

When winter’s chill forces the gardener indoors, I get visions of fragrant clusters of paperwhites dancing in my head!  Paperwhites are the original “just add water ” plant and they are surprisingly easy to grow. As much as I like to slow time down and savor one holiday before thinking of the next, if you like fresh paperwhites blooming for Christmas, now’s the time to start forcing these beauties.  image Continue reading

Bittersweet Romance

There ought to be a bumper sticker that reads: ” I brake for bittersweet”.  This time of year finds me driving around with my pruners on the lookout for bittersweet growing on the roadside.  Sure you can buy it at farmers’markets and florists’ but a small bunch goes for about $12 and is too tame for my taste.  I like mine wild! image

Bittersweet spells fall as much as mums and gourds and it’s a lot of fun to forage for it. Continue reading

Thinking Outside the Bowl

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Fall is the season where I really want to get in the kitchen.  I like to cook but what I really love is coming up with new presentation ideas of recipes. That’s where creative juices really get flowing.  Fall recipes lend themselves especially well to thinking outside conventional serving methods.  Take the popular butternut squash soup.  It’s delicious in a plain bowl.  But think of the wows you’ll get if you kick up the visual pleasure like this:

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These acorn squash mini “tureens” will get conversation going at your table!   Continue reading

French-Themed Fall Luncheon in the Garden

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On a recent glorious fall day I hosted a group of Francophile friends for lunch in my garden. To set the mood, I jazzed up an existing window box with some French flair!  The Eiffel tower replica is a garden ornament which fit perfectly in my window box.

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I had purchased the bottle brush animals in Paris some years ago and thought they fit the theme perfectly, nestled among the greenery, the sedum flowers and dried lotus pods.   Continue reading