Prim and Primal

26 Aug

  
looky here. she says without using caps like a proper woman who writes. 

Ok caps. Zinfandels have been a favorite of mine for a while. I like them. They have everything. Spice and fruit and leather and A Lot. They are the indecisive wine lover’s wine.

So naturally the fact that an ancestor of theirs is primitivo meant I needed primitivo.

This primitivo:

  
 The 2014 Tempo Vero Primitivo IGT

I got it on club w.

By the way if you want a free bottle of wine-any wine!-here’s my link. Clicky here:

http://www.clubw.com/eclifford

Very very smooth. Little tannins. Less spice. More berries. I picture strawberries and raspberries and a few blueberries and just maybe two blackberries.

The acidity is lilting and elegant, it’s the jaunty bridge to this wine’s ballad to berries.
I’d like to choreograph to this wine.

Book. Wine. Octopus.

19 Aug

   
This week you get it ALL. Wine, reading material and aquatic life.I present to you…The Tentacle.

  And! The Soul of an Octopus.  

And! Octopus:
  
Because that is how my book club rolls. I have a book club of 4. That is about the right number. So here is the story: one of the members picked The Soul of an Octopus for our next book. Before we met to discuss it he and I spotted the fine work of Eight Arms Cellars at Covell aka my second home.
The bottle could not be argued with, we needed to taste it. Being generous as they are at Covell we were poured a sample. Then we bought a bottle. Investigating the website I saw some other intriguing potions. I will write about The Argonaut on a later post but for now…The Tentacle.
At 48% Syrah, 42% Zinfandel and the rest percent (ten, I can do math) Petite Sirah, this is like my biggest wine loves with a touch of surprise. The surprise being Petite Sirah, which I normally am meh on, and have downright disliked but I think of it like this wine’s adorable tooth gap. Or cute mole. Wait, let’s not compare wine to moles.

So, tasting notes: this is berry-rich but not really sweet. In other words it is one hell of a glass of juice. Soft, soft tannins. Pleasant acid. I don’t know what else I can say besides two cheers for that malolactic fermentation? At least for this wine.

The book is likewise charming Octopuses are fascinating creatures. Did you know they taste with their skin? And they are very clever. And reading about them forced us to seek out a nearby aquarium so we could see one, the little purple guy you saw above. Now I want to meet one, seeing as this one was not particularly interactive. Time to learn to scuba. That is all.

Weekly Wine?

12 Aug


Okay, here’s the deal. I don’t post a lot these days. I have another weekly column that I have to tend to and then there is the thing about me being here in LA to be an actor. I’m doing a bunch of that lately so the blog gets the short shrift.

However! I’ve had a lot of wine tasting opportunity of late. So I’m gonna try to point you to a wine I’m particularly digging once a week. Okay?

I know, based on my posts of late all being booze, it probably looks like I’m on a liquid diet. What can I say? I am actress. Girl has gotta watch her figure. I jest.

Let’s talk wine. The first weekly wine is…from Martian Ranch and Vineyard! I was working as a mixologist at a farm to table dinner. My cocktail was the opener. But the wines for pairing with dinner turned my appetizer-mixed-drink eyes. I was drinking the wine (To pair with Loghan’s genius) that was paired with the amazing vegan eats of I met Nan Helgeland, whose creations I was sipping, and she is the best. It follows that her biodynamic creations follow suit.


This is the 2012 Syrah Red Shift. 95 percent syrah, 5 percent Viognier. Saucy. This wine is robust yet in a lean and enjoyable way. It is rife with dark purple fruit. Think plums, and perhaps…currant? I don’t know because I have never eaten a currant straight up. But sipping with eyes closed I am seeing currants so there ya go.

It makes me think of leather. It is muscular but not overly brawny. Manly but not macho. Drinking this wine is like sipping a man who hikes a lot but wears an expensive leather watch and who will sleep with you on deep purple velvet sheets which sounds maybe a bit hot and uncomfortable but let’s remember this is wine not real life and in my imagination it is kinda hot.

Beyond the enjoyment of wine, there is the science nerd in me that gets satisfied. As the site will tell you red shift was phenomenon that let us figure out our universe is expanding. There are little science factoids scattered throughout their web site as is apropos of a winery with an extraterrestrial nom.
Name.

I tasted a lot of Nan’s wines and I am now a fan. Or a Martian. What can we call fans of this winery? Martianados? I’m gonna stick with Martian.

Lady MacDeath

30 Jul


Out, out damned wine spot!
This drink is blood orange and Campari and port and jealousy, ambition and hidden violence in the night. And psychotic breakdown

Lady MacDeath
1 1/2 oz ruby port
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz blood orange
Cava to taste
Stir the port, Campari and blood orange. Add the Cava. Plot domination.

My Bry Mai Tai

30 Jun


You’ll get the most convincing argument for tiki ever here. Go get it.
Then there is whacking so watch to the end. Whack with joy.

The My Bry
1 oz. white rum
1/2 oz. coffee maple rum
1 oz. rye
1 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. orgeat
1/4. lime juice
1/4 oz. pineapple juice
Shake with ice then strain over crushed ice.

Pairs Well With Queso

14 May


We took a hiatus. “Girls” may be over for the season, but we wanted to keep drinking. And so we did. And put it on digital for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy this beverage, please. I did.

Ps thank you Captain Morgan for the barrage of rum. It was delightful. 

Pps Everyone PLEASE get some friggin’ queso.

Pairs Well With Queso (makes 2)

  • 2 1/2 oz grapefruit rum 
  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon (used my favorite standby Maker’s Mark)
  • 1 1/2 oz dry vermouth 
  • 1 1/4 oz Purely Syrup Habanero simple syrup
  • Tonic water
  • Mixture of cane sugar and sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 a grapefruit

Press a glass into the grapefruit, then dip in the sugar/paprika mixture.

Shake everything else but the tonic. Strain and top with tonic.

food separation from a heart sick person

20 Apr

  
For years this recipe stared me in the face. I’d open the Bon Appetit issue to it and put it in my little cookbook holder stand thinking if I saw it, some day I’d get inspired early enough to get all components made and chilled in due time.

The picture you see above is just one reconfiguration of this Deconstructed Black Forest Cake. Much as I adore various pairings of sandwich material, I also love the idea that each bite of this cake can be a different combo of the cake, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, red wine cherries, and…all kept properly hydrated by the shot of kirsch:

  
Making this became a fantasy. One of those “some day” things I didn’t think I’d ever actually get around to.
Then I was dating someone and I knew I was into him because I started fantasizing about what I’d cook him. This was a likely suspect for pleasing what I knew of his tastebuds.
And then that prospect didn’t work out. As in, I never even got the chance to ply him with my womanly cake wiles. 
In a spate of “fuck that I don’t need ANYONE to cook FOR” the fantasy of making this became reality one Friday night when I got home earlier than expected.
I am all I need.
Except for sex. I could use a male for that but he isn’t here (as in doesn’t exist) at the moment.
But fuck it. I have cake and wine and a career (my true lover) not to mention my family and friends and stuff so I shall survive. And I have cake.

I cut my cake with a star cookie cutter because I am a superstar. Hehehe. As in “don’t you remember you told me you love me baby”. Except I was not that fond of the fellow. It never came even remotely close to the L word. Cause that is REAL scary. Hell, I have a hard time giving someone a second date.
Problem is, it is rare I start to think anyone is worth a romantic thought so when I do start to be even remotely interested in someone I take things too hard when they don’t turn out as I’d wish.

UGH.
And UGH.
And UGH FUCK!
And someday my cake and wine loving prince will come.

I’m gonna get a cat.

Fuck this cake is worth it. 

Also no more writing recipes when high on no sleep/sugar/wine.

Enjoy.

Deconstructed Black Forest Cake adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe

For cake:
1/4 cup butter
6 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 beaten egg
1 1/2 Tbsp. natural cocoa powder
scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/16 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. sifted cake flour
2 Tbsp. and 2 tsp. yogurt (origial recipe calls for sour cream
3 Tbsp. hot coffee
For chocolate fudge pots:
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli’s)
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 (recipe calls for heavy whipping cream)
pinch salt
1 1/2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. sugar
For sauce:
1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sugarplus a pinch more
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. dry red wine (I had a pinot noir on hand)
To finish:
whipped cream (I used Reddi-whip_
A shot of kirsch
For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Create an approximately 35-square inch baking pan. I did this by taking foil and pressing it into half an 8X8 pan. Butter or use nonstick spray to grease. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until smooth. Toss in the sugar and egg and beat until light and fluffy. Hurl in the cocoa, baking soda, salt and vanilla and incorporate. Blend in the half the flour then half the yogurt and repeat. Gradually blend in coffee until smooth. Add to the pan and bake about 25 minutes, until you put a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. Let cool on rack and then chill until cold. Bon Appetit says 4 hours but I sped this up with my freezer.
For fudge pots:
Preheat oven to 325 F. Put the chocolate in a bowl. Bring half and half and salt just to a oil then pour over chocolate and whisk it until all is nice and smooth. In another bowl whisk the yolks and sugar. Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture. Put back into pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly until somewhat thickened, about 5 minutes. Don’t let it boil. Distribute into 5 ramekins (1/4 cup each) and put ramekins into a deep pan. Add water to into deep pan halfway up the sides of ramekins. Cover the whole shebang with foil and bake until set, between 35 and 40 minutes. Take ramekins out of pot. Cool 15 minutes then let chill in fridge, uncovered until cold (3 hours?).
For sauce:
Put cherries (unthawed) and sugar in a small pan and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add wine and stir and simmer until ever so slightly thickened. Strain over a bowl. Pour juices back into pot and put cherries in a bowl. Boil the juices until reduced to about 2 Tbsp. then pour over cherries and chill.
To serve, slice (or get fancy with cookie cutters) the cake. Each person gets some cake, a pudding, a spoonful of cherries n sauce, a bit of whipped cream and a shot of kirsch. Whee! Yah. Since I made this for me I ate a huge portion of cake and sauce, one pudding, a whole container of whipped cream and, well, a shot of kirsch was enough. But then I had also indulged on extra wine.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 90 other followers