Wednesday, September 30, 2009

shameless plug!

dear everyone,

please allow me to captivatingly convince you that halloween night, you simply must attend the monster's ball hosted by the newport gangster tour. festivities begin at eight o'clock at the syndicate.

tickets are $20, with all proceeds benefiting global service learning, a local non-profit dedicated to providing meaningful learning experiences to high school students.

tickets can be reserved by emailing or they can be purchased at the door (from me!) halloween night.

even better, you can pick up your tickets by visiting the gangsters on one of their tours, saturdays during the month of october.

oh yeah, and costumes are strongly encouraged, as there will be prizes awarded to the best of the best.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

there's a girl in my soup

it's 1970. peter sellers and goldie hawn make there's a girl in my soup, which despite the title and the fact the main character is a tv gourmet, has very little to do with food and everything to do with sex. the tangling of food and sex is always intriguing. a few key scenes: peter sellers' lothario character is having an intimate moment with a woman and comments, "you taste delicious"...a few scenes later an intimate moment with a different woman occurs while he is watching his own tv show about wine and food, and the descriptions sort of match up, if you know what i mean.

ok, i have to admit i only watched about half of the film. i was tired, and even goldie hawn's terrifically witty dialogue couldn't keep me engaged.

on a related but totally random side note, at work this week we had several morbidly obese patients, so it sparked conversation about what leads to that kind of weight gain, etc. one of the docs i work with told me the story of this woman he treated(? i think) who at the time was about 400 pounds. her husband kept wanting her to gain more and more weight. during sex he would feed her and rub her belly and talk to it.

insert your own commentary.

charleston, SC

a few months ago we ventured to charleston, SC. here are some pictures and links to places we visited.....

Jestines Kitchen

they don't have an actual website. we had stayed at a bed and breakfast and the owner had recommended this restuarant to get some good southern cooking. we arrived and were seated immediately.

they started everyone off with a bowl of pickles.

we ordered some cornbread.

i had ordered the meatload, mashed potatoes, and macaroni. my meat had come out a little overcooked. our server noticed it and immediately brought another serving of meatloaf. now maybe my standards are skewed but i didn't think the first serving as all that over cooked. the portions were HUGE. far more than two people could (or should) consume in one seating.

eric had gotten the fried chicken, black eyes peas and red beans and rice.

dinner was followed up with dessert to go -- when you can't decide go with both -- chocolate cake and key lime pie.

although i didn't take any picutres one of the best meals we had was at Slightly North of Broad ( ). it was extrememly busy that weekend since the university of charleston had graduation and it was mother's day. for that matter the entire the entire city was pretty busy.

we stopped in beufort, SC when going between savannah, ga and charleson, sc. the had the "best burger in the world". i would have to disagree, but it wasn't that bad in a general. just not the "best".

Friday, September 18, 2009


in the shadow of mt. rumpke spread the lands of the vinoklet winery. yearly they host a wine and art festival. beth and i hadn't been in awhile, and frankly don't remember much about our previous visit. so we decided to give it another go. well i can tell you its been about 5 years or more. maybe more. we stopped at steak and shake on the way home that time.

the picturesque entryway. you can't see it in the photo, but the man in shorts is actually a one-eyed pirate. i know i shouldn't mock, but he wouldn't move for the photo. he piped up when we walked pass, "you know you can eat the grapes", and popped a big juicy one into his mouth. his parrot was no where to be found. we just kept walking. no need to encourage more conversation.

me, with my tasting tray. the dress proved to be a bad clothing choice. not only is it completely unflattering in this photo, i also got a wicked sunburn.

beth. and that's ellen in the background.

the wines.

here are the opinions of three winos on the offerings of vinoklet, from left to right, top to bottom.

cincinnatus: "robust and hearty red" gets a big "boo!" from all three of us. the closest to heart that this gets is communion wine (get it? the blood of christ? haha. never mind. i'm so alone.)

sunset blush: three out of three of us loved it. nice summer wine, not too sweet, not too dry.

la dolce vita: i think they just served us grape juice. gets a non-committal "ehh". beth said she would get tired of drinking it. also that it's for someone who doesn't want to think they're drinking alcohol. also someone who has no taste buds.
tears of joy: this brought no joy. dry as the desert. this was not an "ehh" but a "bleckt" for ellen and i. beth actually really liked it, giving it a "strong approval" rating of 33%. hey, that's better than obama's doing. i'll refrain from comment and state that this blog does not endorse any political parties.....

dreamer: "sweet delicate blend". a perfect description. three out of three found it drinkable and enjoyable.

vino veritas: super sweet. the exact note that i wrote down for this wine (a consensus opinion) was "not a hot dog wine. an oatmeal cookie wine. maybe a fudge round".

after deliberation and a trip to the port-o-lets, we settled on sharing a bottle of the sunset blush. all of the wines are extremely sweet. i'm not a wine expert but i believe that is pretty typical of midwest wines. if you are looking for a nice dry red, this is not the place to go. if you prefer the sweeter variety then there are definitely a few options for you. we paired it with everyone's favorite wine complement - cheese, crackers and processed meat. mmm, mmm. love that cheese on a hot summer day.

the aftermath.

all in all a great afternoon of wine, friends, and live music. i found a fantastic print of a pug for my kitchen that looks just like crosley, only, you know, lime green. i wish we would have gotten a picture of the budweiser truck. hell, the winery's in colerain - what do you expect?

vinoklet offers dinner, special events, receptions, and a bed and breakfast. we plan on returning sometime soon to give the menu a try.

Vinoklet Winery & Vineyard on Urbanspoon

we expanded

ok not really. ive been MIA for a while because my husband and i had a daughter on 8/11. in this case its really not going to increase posts.......

As someone pointed out earlier i didn't mention her name; claudia joy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


the 50th season of the playhouse in the park has begun, and of course we have season tickets again. the first show, sleuth, i cannot comment on because i am still digesting my thoughts about it. but i would like to comment on the couple we refer to as "the crabby people". for the last two seasons, this couple has sat stone-faced in the front row. they don't laugh, they rarely clap, and they never stand for the ovation except to leave. this would be fine, i suppose, if they weren't in two of the most conspicuous seats in the house. it must be a real downer for the actors to not be able to see much of the audience except these completely unresponsive visages. i just wonder why they come if they aren't engaged or enjoying the performance (assuming, of course, their crabbiness is indicative of displeasure).

anyway, dinner before the show. we tried to go to the rookwood, but we were curtly informed by the hostess they weren't taking walk-ins because they had a party of 100, blah, blah. so we went to teak. i've eaten at teak many times, and it's always ok, but for some reason it was exceptional saturday night. we were seated on the very charming patio.

i started off with the chicken coconut soup. the coconut broth was delectable and the chicken pieces were nice, big, and identifiable as breast. presentation was a plus because i loved the blue and white dishes, and my soup came with its own little lid.

next came the level 4 panang curry with beef and kaffir lime leaves. if this was level 4, i'm pretty sure level 10 would kill me - my nose was running and i drank at least 2 glasses of water. the dish itself was pretty delicious, although i ended up leaving most of the broccoli because the segments were too large to be bite size. in no way is this a complaint, but i had expected more of a lime flavor. i wish i had something more creative to say, but my curry experience is fairly limited so i can offer no additonal intelligent commentary other than i liked it. a lot.

my cocktail was the pom pom pear, a mix of pear sake and pomegranate. it looked pretty but was just ok, nothing special.
really the highlight of the meal was our waitress - a petit, militant, sassy, hilarious asian woman who told us she was a lawyer by day but we suspect she is actually a ninja.

Teak Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 6, 2009

saturday breakfast club

this week the girls came over to run westside style. this does not mean our morning run consisted of fleeing the police and/or an assailant. it means lots of hills, including the slow, painful negotiation of harrison avenue. we were bolstered by the cool weather and the promise of breakfast, including fresh fruit, bacon from eckerlin, and bacon and tomato biscuits (can never have too much bacon!).

bacon and tomato biscuits
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
8 strips of bacon
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 cup mayo
dried basil
3 oz swiss cheese
instant buttermilk biscuits- the regular size, not big fat grands

these are a really easy breakfast treat. preheat oven to 375. slice the bacon and fry it up to desired level of crispness. (i usually find pre-slicing is easier than crumbling later, but obviously it can be done either way) mix all ingredients save biscuits in a bowl. spray a mini-muffin tin and fill each well with half an instant biscuit. scoop some bacon 'n' tomato mixture on top of each. bake for 10-12 minutes and be prepared to eat 5 of them yourself.

totally brill

ladies and gentlemen, i would like to offer a salute to the target corporation for bringing us what every wine enthusiast needs: the adult juice box.
i've only sampled the above white sangria and it definitely wasn't too shabby. if only they came with a straw...