A Delicious Late Summer Surprise


Where did summer go? I don’t know about you, but didn’t this one seem especially fast? The highlight for me was my birthday weekend when Jeff surprised me with a wonderful birthday dinner celebration in a spectacular wine cellar. I knew he was up to something, but would never let on and spoil his surprise, of course.  We spent the night before at the wonderfully chic Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia enjoying the day in the city and the rooftop terrace at the hotel.

Then, when I arrived at the venue for dinner, I was be greeted by 20 of our closest friends…surprise right! But that wasn’t even close to being the real surprise. As I was seated at the table and read the beautifully crafted menu for the evening, I noticed something super special, the menu was comprised entirely of dishes from my new book! In honor of the launch this month, Jeff had arranged with the chef to prepare the evening’s event with an appetizer, a choice of 3 entrée’s and dessert all from Fun & Simple Gourmet. Needless to say, I was more than surprised, speechless in fact (which is not easy for me…ha!) and so touched that Jeff arranged such a special evening with our dearest friends.  Chef Nick at the South Carolina Yacht Club was so gracious and prepared the dishes perfectly, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the delicious food, incredible wines and beautiful evening in this magical setting.

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I thought it would be fun to share the menu Jeff and Chef Nick selected as well as the recipes, all from Fun & Simple Gourmet. Now available here on the website, Amazon and select independent book stores and kitchen shops. (Click on the photos for these recipes!)    

It’s hard to believe we are already into our normal back to school routines, shorter days and fall flavors. I love cooking in the fall and now ready for the temperatures to become a little cooler, it sure still feels like summer! Enjoy your last days of summer weather and in the meantime…

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With Chef Nick in the Wine Cellar at the beautiful South Carolina Yacht Club. Chef and his staff were amazing with every detail for our very special evening. I was so honored to have Chef Nick prepare my dishes from Fun & Simple Gourmet. Everything was superb! Many thanks Chef!


It's Wine Wednesday! What's your favorite Pairing?

Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

May I recommend the 2015 Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, one of my favorite wines! @duckhornwine

May I recommend the 2015 Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, one of my favorite wines! @duckhornwine

Send me your favorite pairing or just your favorite wine and I will have a perfect recipe pairing for you!  Last week we focused on Cabernet Sauvignon and its perfect pairings.  We turn our attention to the white variety this week and Sauvignon Blanc, a green skinned grape originating from the Bordeaux region of France.  This grape produces an elegant yet delicate, light and crisp wine with hints of citrus and a palette freshening acidic edge.  It pairs particularly well with goat cheese, chèvre in particular.  I like to roll a log of chèvre in fresh lemon zest and thyme leaves, then drizzle with a really good extra virgin olive oil and serve with toasted baguette slices or water crackers and a lovely chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc which enhances the lemony citrus accent of the thyme leaves and zest...a perfect combination of flavors.  For perfect meal pairings, I recommend fish and shellfish, chicken or pork in light sauces (not butter or cream sauces) with fresh herbs and citrus flavors such as my Scallops Marnier appetizer or Whitefish with Fennel-Orange Relish.  As a dessert pairing, anything tropical, mango in particular, works very well with this beautiful wine.  

This wine also pairs beautifully with my Fennel & Orange scented Whitefish!

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