Evan Williams Black Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, $13

As a Scotch drinker I was wary of trying bourbon simply for pretentious reasons, but Evan Williams Black Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a happy find.  At less than half the price of the Glenlivet 12 year old single malt, Evan Williams Black is every bit as good.  Although not ultra complex, the nose shows…

Cuban Sandwiches

We decided to make good use of the leftover pork loin from our tacos last night and make Cuban sandwiches! The flavoring of the pork was perfect for this use. If you’ve never tried a Cuban, you really must – while the ingredients sometimes don’t sound as if they’d go well together (pork, ham, dill pickles,…

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Tomatillo Salsas

We’re having one of our “Iron Chef” competitions, and the ingredient we drew from the magic martini glass is tomatillos. We’ve never cooked with tomatillos, so this was a little out of our comfort zone. Of course tomatillos are commonly used in salsa verde, but also other ways too. Grant’s up first, and he came up with…

Laphroaig 10 yo., $35

If you’re use to drinking the seductively sweet and spicy Highland malts, like I am, then a dram from Islay is anything but what you’re expecting.  This whisky is the quintessential Islay single malt Scotch. It’s big. It’s brash. It takes no prisoners.  I once read that this is a whisky you’d give to your…

So You Think You Hate Brussels Sprouts?

Brussels sprouts seem to be one of those love ’em or hate ’em vegetables. If you find yourself in the latter camp, I encourage you to try this recipe; and if you’re in the former, I encourage you to try it too! Of all of the brussels sprouts recipes I’ve ever tried, this is my…

Glenmorangie “Quinta Ruban,” 12 yo., $50

This whisky maker has been at the top of my favorites list since I tried the 10 year old malt, so I was expecting great things when my wife gave me a bottle of the 12 year old Quinta Ruban for Father’s Day.  I was not disappointed.  This dram is nothing short of phenomenal.  It…

Dimple Pinch 15 yo., $25

Spoken of fondly everywhere but America as “The Pinch,” this blend is a crowd pleaser. For the price it is certainly difficult to do better.  The nose immediately betrays a layered sweetness, composed of cocoa, butterscotch, sherry, dried peaches, and vanilla.  You can really taste the oak barrels in which the various whiskies aged, along…

Dried and Fresh

Herbs and spices, that is. The inspiration for this post is my husband Grant, who just walked into the dining room to let me take a sniff of the fresh basil leaves he plucked off of our windowsill basil plant – incredible. He’s cooking some pasta for dinner. We’re kind of strange that way –…

Review – Glenlivet French Oak Reserve, 15 yo., $38

  This brand is one of the famed Scotch whisky varieties, but lately has not been living up to its reputation.  My experience with the 12 year old malt left me with a positive impression if a little bit wanting of complexity and the 15 year old malt is just more of the same.  On…

Review – Glenmorangie 10 year old. $40

On the bottle it reads “perfected by the sixteen men of tain,” and this dram is often refered to as “the perfect 10.” At an affordable price a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 year old offers nearly everything you could want in a Scotch. It is nearly perfect. The nose is complex, with hints of peat…

Review – Macallan 10 year old “Fine Oak” $35

Owing to the renown of the Macallan name, I was expecting a fantastic whisky. Unfortunately for this malt lover, I merely got a good whisky. The nose is somewhat floral, with notes of honey and caramel. The taste is more of the same, though a pleasant and quite subtle note of vanilla is also present….

Do You Fondue?

I’ve had a lot of fun going retro with a fondue set in the last few months (though to be fair, it’s a nice, modern electric fondue pot, which allows for much better temperature control). I’ve done the traditional cheese fondue and meat fondue; over the weekend we did a dessert fondue with the kids (and…