Food, Wine, and Fellowship

Photography:  Courtesy of Douglas Frassa   “Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” –Plautus   “I love everything that is old; old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.” –Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield   As a wine enthusiast and someone who’s recently completed the Level 3 Award in Wines with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), I’ve grown to enjoy different kinds and styles of wines as well as learning how and where they’re made.  Not only do I delight in a glass of wine from an exceptional vintage, but what is truly great is when wine is paired perfectly with food; both are better for the pairing.  In my opinion, it’s the same thing when people get together for a meal–the fellowship makes the food more pleasurable, and both are better because of the pairing.  When all of these elements align, a transcendence occurs; and, the act of eating becomes much more–especially, when a talented chef, gracious staff, and good friends are involved. A number of years ago, I experienced dining out as an artful experience in a nearby town.  The restaurant, located in Roanoke, Virginia, was called Horizon Bar and Grill.  Don’t let the location or the unassuming name of the restaurant fool you. The chef and our friend, Scott Lockhart, was the artistic talent and creative energy behind the weekly/ monthly wine dinners and beautiful seasonal menus at his family’s […]

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The Best-Ever Thanksgiving Dressing

This recipe for homemade dressing or stuffing has been passed down through the generations of my family:  Great-grandmother Rieley, Great Aunt Florence, Grandma Rieley, Mom, and me.  My family’s recipe for dressing has been modified minimally over the years and continues to be a favorite part of our Thanksgiving dinner.   It’s even better on the second day due to the flavors melding together.  The dressing re-heats easily, or just eat it cold–right out of the refrigerator (with the door still open).  That’s how I enjoy it best! The Best-Ever Thanksgiving Dressing *Use organic ingredients whenever possible Ingredients: 1 loaf white bread (I use gluten-free) 1 stick salted butter 2 cups finely diced celery 2 cups finely diced yellow onion 3/4 bag of best quality seasoned stuffing mix (Mom uses Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing; I use Rudi’s Gluten-Free Savory Herb Stuffing) 2 cups of broth (vegetable, turkey or chicken) Method: Tear bread into small pieces and leave out overnight on a baking sheet, loosely covered with foil.  Next, broil breadcrumbs for approximately 10-15 minutes, keeping a close check so as not to burn them.  Finely dice celery and onion.  Place stick of butter in skillet and sauté celery and onion at 300 degrees F. for five minutes; don’t overcook celery and onion, leaving a bit crunchy as they will continue to cook when baked.  Add broiled bread crumbs, two cups each of sautéed celery and onion, 3/4 bag […]

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The Best-Ever Thanksgiving Dressing

This recipe for homemade dressing or stuffing has been passed down through the generations of my family:  Great-grandmother Rieley, Great Aunt Florence, Grandma Rieley, Mom, and me.  My family’s recipe for dressing has been modified minimally over the years and continues to be a favorite part of our Thanksgiving dinner.   It’s even better on the second day due to the flavors melding together.  The dressing re-heats easily, or just eat it cold–right out of the refrigerator.  That’s how I enjoy it best! The Best-Ever Thanksgiving Dressing *Use organic ingredients whenever possible Ingredients: 1 loaf white bread (I use gluten-free) 1 stick salted butter 2 cups finely diced celery 2 cups finely diced yellow onion 3/4 bag of best quality seasoned stuffing mix (Mom uses Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing; I use Rudi’s Gluten-Free Savory Herb Stuffing) 2 cups of broth (vegetable, turkey or chicken) Method: Tear bread into small pieces and leave out overnight on a baking sheet, loosely covered with foil.  Next, broil breadcrumbs for approximately 10-15 minutes, keeping a close check so as not to burn them.  Finely dice celery and onion.  Place stick of butter in skillet and sauté celery and onion at 300 degrees F. for five minutes; don’t overcook celery and onion, leaving a bit crunchy as they will continue to cook when baked.  Add broiled bread crumbs, two cups each of sautéed celery and onion, 3/4 bag of seasoned herb stuffing mix […]

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Food, Wine and Fellowship

With Thanksgiving coming up next week for many of us, and the holidays just around the corner, I thought I would share one of my favorite posts about food, wine, and fellowship. This post was inspired by a dear friend, Scott Lockhart as well as his lovely family and staff. It’s truly amazing how a few people can have such […]

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The Best-Ever Thanksgiving Dressing

This recipe for homemade dressing or stuffing has been passed down through the generations of my family:  Great-grandmother Rieley, Great Aunt Florence, Grandma Rieley, Mom, and me.  My family’s recipe for dressing has been modified minimally over the years and continues to be a favorite part of our Thanksgiving dinner.   It’s even better on the second day due to […]

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