It’s a red blend kind-of night…


Carne Humana – Red Blend

~$25 price-range

Copper Cane Winery – If you’re familiar with Joe Wagner (Wagner Family of Wine – Caymus Special Select, Caymus, et al.) and (Meiomi), then you’ll appreciate what he’s doing at Copper Cane.  This is a very nice red-blend @ a great price.  Pair this with a charcoal grilled rib-eye and you’ll be looking for a 2nd or 3rd bottle…

This is an easy drinking wine – with or without food.  It has both red fruit and dark fruit on the nose, a little leather and licorice as well.  It’s medium- tannin, med acidity and alcohol with a nice lingering finish.  Regardless of my opinion, give it a try – you’ll like it @ $25…

Copper Cane Winery

unWine’d with a pour…

Mother’s Day Weekend


’13 Rodney Strong, Symmetry Meritage (red blend):  Cabernet-Merlot-Petit Verdot-Malbec-Cab Franc:  ruby color, mild tannins, med-alcohol, dark/black fruit, jammy, hint of licorice – – very nice with the steak…

NYStrip – 2″ thick cut, kosher salt & a lil dry-rub, then pan-sear for 4 minutes – one side only.  Afterward, remove from cast iron skillet, slice into 1″ pieces across the grain.  Stack the pieces back in the skillet – crust side down.

With your broiler on high, place the skillet back in the oven for 3 – 5 minutes based upon how done you prefer the steak.  This was about 4 mins for Med-Rare +, as you can see.  At the 3 minutes mark, I put about 3 Tbsp of softened butter on top of the steak and closed the oven door for another minute or so until the butter melts completely.  Additionally, preparing this way allows you to see how done the pieces are getting – get the doneness you like.

Now, remove steak from the skillet onto your cutting board.  Drizzle a little EVOO over the hot steak and sprinkle on a little kosher salt – add cracked pepper if you like.

The dry rub:  use just enough to get a nice coverage on all of the steak, sides as well…

  • Kosher Salt – I don’t measure but I use an ample amount all over the steak.  I’d guess 1 1/2 Tbsp to get nice coverage all over the steak.  I let this sit a room temp for about 30 mins before adding the dry rub.
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili pepper
  • couple pinches of cayenne pepper
  • …mix all the spices together and use what you need, may have some left over – give the dry rub 30 – 45 mins on the steak before searing





…a quaffable red blend

“Drink wine.  This is life eternal.  This is all that youth will give you.  It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends.  Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.”                                                                              Omar Khayyám, رباعيات خيام

Oberon Cabernet

 inexpensive, good by itself – dark fruit, mild tannins, vanilla notes – nice finish……….      cheers!

Crawfish Tail Risotto

Happy New Year & Cheers to 2017!

The Crawfish Risotto with Tabasco and Parmesan Cheese is one of my favorite winter dinner (or lunch or anytime basically…) meals.  I had this in a restaurant, in downtown Nashville, a couple years ago and now it’s a go-to.



For the most part, you can follow the cooking instructions on the Arborio Rice container.  I only change it slightly and I only use Arborio.

Using a large skillet – over low heat, on my cook-top the heat is on “1” for the entire process

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter (I use salted sweet cream) along with 2 Tbsp of EVOO

Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped, fresh, sweet onion

Sauté the onion in the butter & oil mixture for about 3 – 4 minutes, just until the onion is clear.

Now, add 1 cup of the Arborio Rice & 1/4 cup of white wine and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes         (I use an inexpensive Vouvray, mainly because I like it and it pairs very well with this recipe.)

Next, pour in 1 cup of warm chicken broth (I use regular broth, not the reduced fat nor sodium, regardless, use what you prefer.  Additionally, I heat the broth in the microwave so I’m not adding cool broth to a hot risotto mixture.  Don’t skip the warming…)

The remainder of the cooking process requires patience.  After adding the first cup of broth, let the risotto simmer over that low heat until you see that the broth has been absorbed by the rice.  You’ll feel it become thicker as you stir, infrequently.  After the first cup is mostly absorbed, add the second and repeat the process.  Now add the 3rd cup and repeat.  Finally, I add the last little bit of the remaining stock, repeating the process.  It’s a total of 32 ounces of the broth.

Now it’s time to taste test the risotto.  I prefer my rice/pasta past just past “al dente” so my cook time is slightly longer, therefore my low heat throughout the cooking process.  If the pasta is cooked to preference, now add 1/2 package of the Cooked Crawfish Tail Meat (I get this @ Publix in the freezer section near the fish counter.)  I do squeeze out/drain the juice from the tail meat before adding to the risotto.  Since the crawfish is already cooked, it only needs to warm up in the risotto mixture.  I fold it in for about 4 minutes max, don’t go too long or the meat will become too chewy – so to speak.

The picture above was taken just after I added the tail meat.  So, as you can see, the mixture needed the additional 4 minutes of simmer time to thicken a bit.

Serving – I use a large soup bowl and just before I add the risotto to the bowl, I go around the edge with narrow line drizzle of Tabasco.  After spooning in the risotto, add fresh grated parmesan cheese.  You can add/reduce the Tabasco to your taste.  I prefer just enough to get the heat on the finish of each bite…


Oatmeal-Walnut-Cranberry Cookies

The holiday spirit is in full swing in the house this afternoon – Bing Crosby & Dean Martin “Traditional Christmas” on Pandora and a small pour of Weller bourbon, neat.  It’ll put ya where you wanna be…

College football conference championships on the TV and a chill in the outside air – seems like a good time to heat up the oven.  Val and I transformed an Oatmeal Raisin recipe into Walnut-Cranberry – daYum fine if I do say so myself.  You’re guaranteed to sit down with a few of these and well,,, return to the jar several times.




In your heavy-duty mixer, mix the following ingredients…

1  3/4 sticks softened butter (salted sweet cream)

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

(Mix on med speed until well mixed)


1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

(Mix on med speed until well mixed)


3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned)

1 1/4 cups dried cranberries

1 1/4 cups, rough-chunk walnuts

Mix well…


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

Use tablespoon size, rough, drops of the dough mix, drop onto un-greased parchment paper on baking/cookie sheet

Recipe makes 48 cookies, 12 cookies per on each bake

I baked for 9 minutes