Recipe of the Month - February, 2009

January 30th, 2009

Shrimp with Garlic Cream Sauce Over Linguine

* 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
* 12 large shrimp, peeled
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
* 8 ounces fresh linguine, cooked and drained
* Salt and pepper


In a saucepan bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Using a small paring knife, remove the vein along the back of each shrimp and rinse under running water. Add garlic to water and boil for two minutes. Add the shrimp to the water and cook with the garlic for 2-3 minutes. Drain the shrimp and garlic. Peel the garlic and finely chop. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until cream begins to thicken. Stir in parsley, Parmesan and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over linguine in a large bowl and toss to coat. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan.

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Wine of the Month - February, 2009

January 29th, 2009
2003 Avila Syrah
2003 Avila Syrah

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Beer of the Month - February, 2009

January 28th, 2009
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
(Thanks Ryan)

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1999 Peirano Estate Old Vine Zinfandel

January 27th, 2009

Believe it or not, the 1999 Zinfandel is actually the current release from Peirano Estates. This is another Lodi zinfandel that I have enjoyed and I am beginning to think I need to pack up my things and move to Lodi, CA. The region makes some great wines and I enjoy trying new ones. This particular wine, if you can find it, is less than $15. I feel like I might need to get my hands on a second bottle before I can fully decide, but this might seriously compete with the Bogle Old Vine Zin for my attention. Though I do not know how long this vintage will be on shelves.

Chevy - "I'm a big girl" commercial

January 26th, 2009

Have you seen the commercial where a red-headed girl and Howie Long discuss the size of rear, middle seats in a competitor's car vs. a Chevy car? He refers to her as a "little girl" and she counters that she is a "big girl" and the commercial quickly spirals toward annoying. He continues to call her a little girl and she continues to correct him. She comments on something about how obvious it is that Chevy rules and then he is glad that even a child gets it. He says is that she is a "smart little girl," she nods like the bobble-head doll on your dashboard as you drive down a jagged mountainside, and the commercial ends.

This commercial bothers me for the point she tries to hammer home but he just doesn't listen. He should really have conceded the "big girl" point for that last line. It really bugs me. Is it Chevy that was ignoring this little girl? or just Howie? I think it sends a better feel-good message for Chevy had he said that she was a smart, big girl as he smiled into the camera. Then her enthusiastic agreement makes more sense.

2005 Starry Night Tom Feeney Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel

January 23rd, 2009

The Starry Night Winery currently makes six Zins. One of them, the Old Vine is...old vine, so in Zinfandel terms it is a more premium product. I was hoping that I would find this wine to be too complex -- I was hoping that I wouldn't like it so I wouldn't be tempted to buy more. Instead, this was a tremendously smooth wine and I really liked it. I don't recommend this wine as an everyday wine, but if you feel like spending more than $20 for a bottle you can be proud of, this certainly meets the requirements. This is a pretty big wine that can stand up to a lot of foods.

For what it is worth, I only had one complaint and it is easily remedied. This wine is a little hot. The downfall of Zinfandel is the alcohol content can be quite high, like it is here. Don't be scared, just plan ahead. This wine needs to mellow. Either decant it or maybe throw it in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. Both options will relax the high alcohol content and make it more drinkable.

Movie of the Month - February, 2009

January 22nd, 2009

Burn After Reading

Burn After ReadingAn all-star cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and John Malkovich, come together in this outrageous spy comedy about murder, blackmail, sex addiction and physical fitness!

When a disc filled with some of the CIA's most irrelevant secrets gets in the hands of two determined, but dim-witted, gym employees, the duo are intent on exploiting their find. But since blackmail is a trade better left for the experts, events soon spiral out of everyone's and anyone's control, resulting in a non-stop series of hilarious encounters!

From Joel and Ethan Coen, the Academy Award-winning directors of No Country for Old Men and The Big Lebowski, comes this brilliantly clever and endlessly entertaining movie that critics are calling, "smart, funny, and original" (Ben Lyons, E!).

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January 21st, 2009
Thank You For SmokingNick Naylor: These days, when someone smokes in the movies, they're either a psychopath...or a European.

Book of the Month - February, 2009

January 20th, 2009

The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch

The Highest Tide by Jim LynchOn a moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles O'Malley slips out of his house, packs up his kayak and goes exploring in the tidal flats of Puget Sound. But what begins as a routine hunt for starfish, snails and clams turns into a televised spectacle after Miles finds a rare deep-sea creature stranded in the mud. When he continues to discover more exotic ocean life in the quiet backwater bays near his home, Miles becomes a local sensation. Soon he is shadowed on the flats by people curious as to whether he is just an observant boy or an unlikely prophet.

While the sea continues to offer up surprises from its mysterious depths, Miles nagivates the equally mysterious passage out of childhood. He clumsily courts his former babysitter, nurses his elderly psychic friend and searches for words that will keep his parents together. And as the days shorten and the water begins to rise, his summer-long attempt to understand the muddy flats becomes an examination of life itself, and this enchanting debut novel about obsession and natural wonder surges toward an unforgettable ending.

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January 19th, 2009
Susanna Clark - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - 371But from the first moment of his entering the house Strange found himself subject to that peculiarly uncomfortable Natural Law which states that whenever a person arrives at a place where he is not known, then wherever he stands he is sure to be in the way.