Cooking Hacks Everyone Should Know : Feast Your Eyes Infographic

A ‘hack’ is what used to be called a good idea. It’s a way to increase your productivity by making things a little easier—while making yourself seem really smart in the process.

Take a look at this handy infographic, then amaze your friends when you peel an entire head of garlic in seconds!

Cooking Hacks: Everyone Should Know

Drink: 2015 Maryland Governor’s Cup


This year’s competition consisted of 157 wines. There were four tables with 5 judges each. Each table judged about 40 wines. The wines came out in flights. We judged the wines individually on a medal system that ranged from “No Medal—not commercially acceptable” to “Gold Medal.” After we judged a flight individually we would then come to a consensus at the table for each wine. If we could not reach a consensus, we could send the wine to another table for judging.

Flight 1: Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio

 Flight 1- Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio

Flight 2: Aromatic White Varietals—Dry

Flight 2- Aromatic Whites - dry

Flight 3: Aromatic White Varietals—Off Dry to Semi-Sweet

 Flight 3- Aromatic White Varietal - Off Dry to Semi-Sweet.

Flight 4: Dry Rosé (from another table)

 Flight 4- Dry Rose (from another table)

Flight 5: Meade

Flight 5 - Meade

Flight 6: Rosé—Off Dry to Semi-Sweet (from another table)

 Flight 6 - Rose - Off Dry to Semi-Sweet (from another table).

Flight 7: Red Vinifera Varietal 

Flight 7 - Red Vinifera Varietal

Flight 8: Meritage Blend (from another table)

Flight 8 - Meritage Blend (from another table)

Flight 9: Chambourcin Blends

Flight 9: Chambourcin Blends

Flight 10: Petit Verdot

Flight 10: Petit Verdot

Every wine that was awarded a gold medal by the individual tables went on to the Governor’s Round. This year we had 44 wines go to the Governor’s Round. Each judge tasted all 44 wines and picked out their top 5. The top 5 must be ranked in order.

In years past the Governor’s Round was presented all at once:

Governor's Round 2010

This is the Governor’s Round from 2010

This year, the Governor’s Round came out in several fights. We held aside glasses from each flight that we thought would make it to the top five. We would narrow down from there.

This is the last flight from the Governor’s Round.

 Last Flight in the Governor's Round

As always, it was a rewarding day and I learned a lot. And I’ll be staying away from wines for a few days while my tongue recovers.


Cook: Squash Casserole


This is one of my favorite recipes. I figured I should post this again for anyone wondering what to do with all the squash in their garden.

Originally posted on CookDrinkFeast:

Squash Casserole

To call this a squash casserole doesn’t really convey the awesomeness of this dish. Think of an ooey-gooey mac and cheese with squash instead of pasta.

I’ve been volunteering in a community garden this spring and summer. If you’ve ever planted squash in a vegetable garden, you know where I’m going with this. The garden has produced a literal bumper crop of summer squash.

Here is the summer squash in its natural habitat:

Squash in its natural habitat

So I had a produce bin full of squash that came from the sweat of my brow (Insert back-of-hand-to-forehead gesture here). I was not about to let the fruit (or vegetables) of my labor go to waste.

I remembered that one my aunts used to bring a delicious, cheesy squash casserole to family gatherings. I vaguely remembered cheddar cheese and Stove Top stuffing mix. So I went a-Googling and found the recipe I was looking for. But—Horrors!…

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Wine Color Chart : Friday Infogrphic

I was stuck for words when describing the color of the Rhuberry cider in this week’s wine review. Fortunately Wine Folly put together this informative color chart. Not only does it name the colors of wine, it tells you what the colors mean for flavor—For example, wines with junk in the trunk (full-bodied) are opaque. Think of the color as a pre-view (pre-taste?) of wine.

Millstone Rhuberry : Wine Wednesday Review

Millstone Rhuberry


Millstone Rhuberry
Strawberry, Winter Banana Apples, Rhubarb
Monkton, Maryland
Price: $16.00

Millstone Cellars  teased me all through strawberry season with their Facebook profile picture. The picture of flats of strawberries was to herald the imminent arrival of their Rhuberry Cider. Alas, I had to wait until late June for the opportunity to snag a bottle.

Rhuberry is made from ‘winter banana’ apples, strawberries, and rhubarb. The cider was aged in oak. The result is a dry, sparkling cider. The color is a pale gold with a slight tinge of pink (The pink may or may not be in my head. But I’m going with it). The nose is floral with a faint hint of strawberries. This cider is crisp with a hint of strawberries in the finish. It was a perfect foil for pan-fried swai and squash casserole.

Rhuberry Cider is a limited release from Millstone. I recommend picking up a bottle while you still can.

So what’s in your glass?

Mediteranean Lamb Burgers : Cook

Lamb Burger


I love lamb. However lamb does not love my wallet. Ground lamb is a less pricey alternative. Mediterranean flavors enhance the flavor of the lamb.

Mediterranean Lamb Burgers
serves 4


1 medium onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1½ pounds lamb
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher or course sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

to serve:

4 pita pockets,
tzatziki sauce (I bought some from Trader Joe’s. But you can also make it with this recipe)
feta cheese


Heat vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, sauté the minced onion until translucent—about 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the heat and allow them to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine lamb, cooled onions, cilantro, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are combined. Form meat into 4 equal-sized patties. Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, carefully add patties and cook them to desired doneness. 3 minutes per side for medium.

Remove burgers from the skillet, Serve in pita pockets topped with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, feta, and arugula. Enjoy!

Around The World In 80 Drinks : Friday Infographic


Take your taste buds on vacation without leaving home. This infographic from shows the signature beverages from 80 countries. With a little research and a trip to the liquor store, you can sip your way around the world. Cheers!
Around the World in 80 Drinks