An Epic Time in Revolutionary City

The breathtaking view from Saude Creek Winery The breathtaking view from Saude Creek Winery

What a great long weekend! After attending a wedding and the reception that followed at Green Grove Gardens in Greencastle PA (a lovely venue), my husband and I took off for Williamsburg VA to enjoy one of my favorite bands of all time…Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. On the way there, my man was a good sport and agreed to stop at two wineries: New Kent Vineyards and Saude Creek Winery. It’s no wonder that Saude Creek was our hands down favorite given the view, the interesting history we received from Ben the wine pourer and the tasty wines. To make the visit perfect, we sat on the lovely deck, listened to music and shared the perfect winery snack in the form of a BBQ Sundae…shredded pork, topped with baked beans, topped with a scoop of coleslaw-Bliss! Go there if you want to do a wine tasting around Williamsburg that’s not over crowded.

My meal at Fat Canary My meal at Fat Canary

The second night at Williamsburg was planned as our quasi-Anniversary Dinner with reservations at the Fat Canary. Sometimes I amaze myself with my uncanny knack for picking great dining. Let me tell you, FC did not disappoint! We were in good hands with Darcy, our server, and server-in-training Brian. I started out with an appetizer of House-made Mozzarella, Edward’s Ham, Baby Artichokes, Grilled Escarole and Onions with Balsamic which was delicious. My entrée was simply scrumptious…Grilled King Salmon, Cauliflower, Romanesco, Bacon, Hazelnut and Mushroom Duxelle. I will definitely be back and urge all foodies to go there while visiting Colonial Williamsburg. Located on Merchant Square, the Fat Canary was an easy walk from our room at the Williamsburg Lodge.

Kilkenny..a very tasty Irish Beer Kilkenny..a very tasty Irish Beer

On the way home we stopped at a favorite Virginia town of ours, Fredericksburg. This time we had lunch at the Blarney Stone Public House. You’ll rarely read a comment about beer from me, but I must admit the recommendation by Graham the barkeep was spot on…Kilkenny is delicious! Our lunch was superb as well. I had a Hiberian Burger which basically consisted of a perfectly prepared burger topped with Dubliner Cheese and Caesar Salad. The Corned Beef on my Hubby’s Rueben was as good as what I make and that’s saying something. I have to give a shout out to Graham for being a perfect host at his fine establishment. Just another place in Fredericksburg to return to!

Again, I’ve tried to contain my comments to the subject matter of my blog. I can’t close however without saying BBVD rocks and Colonial Williamsburg has great gardens!

Who’s Tailgate was Boss?

A Ladies Tailgate from Baltimore

A Ladies Tailgate from Baltimore

The Tailgate I attended

The Tailgate I attended

I went to the Bruce Springsteen Concert the other night. The tailgate prior to the concert became fodder for my next Blog post not to mention a perfect way to meet folks! When you think about it, a concert tailgate inherently is different from a sporting event tailgate. First off, everyone is cheering for the same team…in this case Bruce and the E Street Band! A Springsteen concert makes it even more interesting in that the age span at his concerts is huge. I saw parents who brought their 9 year old kids and I saw sweet couples in their seventies. My advanced age of 50 something was the median range which was just fine with me.

Likewise, the tailgates I visited were as varied as the concert attendees. I’ll admit up front, I only wandered a little ways down the lane we were parked in. Folks were just that friendly and more than willing to share their tailgating expertise so I didn’t get too far before it was time to pack up and get into the concert venue. Let me comment on the adult beverages of choice first….Beer, Wine and Vodka….in that order (my guess that order will change at the Jimmy Buffet concert. Margaritas anyone?). The tailgate I was actually part of (hosted by Tritty…Thanks) like many, included a grill. The entrée of choice like many other grilling tailgaters was Burgers and Brats. My Brat was fabulous and only made better with my one and only glass of Chardonnay.

Now time to see the world through the eyes of tailgaters in parking location 37-27! I stopped first to speak to Erin and 3 other female companions from the Baltimore area. Their Tailgate had an air of sophistication about it(shown above). As far as I’m concerned Brie, Boursin and hummus screams “I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman! To add an exclamation point to that fact, the ladies chose to include “Loose Cannon” at their tailgate- The flagship beer from Heavy Seas Brewery in Halethrope MD.

Next I stopped by a Cigar smoking, beer drinking tailgate. To my relief, I found after talking to Pattie from Hazelton there was indeed more substance to their tailgate in the form of Pizza and Tito’s Vodka.

Hands down the most impressive tailgate menu goes to Frank and Mario from New Jersey. I’m told they’ve actually been featured for their tailgating acumen previously at a Bon Jovi concert. When I visited, the only entrée on the grill was burgers, however I quickly was shown what came next….Marinated Shrimp and Beef Filet! These guys sported a full bar as well, encouraging especially the females to take a nip (thanks for the orange vodka shot, guys).

The night wrapped up with a amazing performance by the totally electrifying Bruce Springsteen. This was my 3rd Boss concert and probably the best although there was something missing…..prayforjackie.

Location, Location, Location

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At times I feel sad for folks that live west of Texas! I can’t imagine not being able to get Gazebo Room Salad Dressing at my local grocery store. Lucky for all of us who live in the free world, you can order it on-line at the above web address.
I feel fortunate that as a young adult I was able to experience the Gazebo Room Restaurant in Harrisburg PA. It was there many years ago I learned the magical powers Gazebo Dressing has over food. Marinate any meat or poultry you plan on grilling or roasting in it. Use it as a the base for any salad you are serving. I honestly can’t tell you how many times through the years someone has asked for my Pasta Salad “recipe” and I’ve had to confess it’s the Gazebo that makes it stand out (to be honest, I kinda think it’s the snow peas and artichokes).
Another absolutely astounding feature of Gazebo Room Dressing you may not know is it actually says on the label “Refrigeration not necessary”. This comes in very handy at the office or on the road.
If you’re a Gazebo Room novice, start off with the original dressing. While I’ll use the lite version, you can’t get a real appreciation if you don’t go for the original real deal!


Recipes are for Changing

My Shrimp, Andouille and Corn SaladrFrom Cooking Light's 20 Minute Dinners

First, let me give a shout out to my favorite cooking magazine of all time, Cooking light. I’ve subscribed for years (not that you can tell by looking at me!) and it still never ceases to amaze me how delicious the dishes are.
That being said, I simply can’t stick 100% to any recipe. I just can’t do it! Last night I adapted the above by changing the sausage from Chorizo to Andouille (Chicken no less) and I probably doubled the chili sauce. My husbands word for it…Wow!
For me, the plate is my canvas. Day after day, I create culinary masterpieces even if I’m the only one who gets to enjoy the experience. Some days it takes five minutes while at other times I’m in the kitchen for hours. Cooking has lightened my mood after a tough day at the office, has made me feel like an artist and has conveyed my love for others time after time. Try it…You’ll like it!
My Foodie magazine subscription at this point in time (there’s been many others): Cooking Light, Food Network Magazine, Cuisine at Home (a technique treasure) and the world’s best overall magazine ever…Southern Living