Food & Drink

Veggie Tales

Food & Drink, Home September 23rd, 2014 — by:

Seems like vegetables are all the rage these days… with everything from Farm Shares to “Meatless Mondays” we couldn’t help but hop on board with these festive veggie finds.

Is there anything more adorable then these napkins embroidered with different vegetables? Available as a set of 12 assorted veggies, these are sure to be a treasured family heirloom in no time.

This acorn squash bowl is perfect for serving yummy fall soups. It was molded from an actual acorn squash, making it all the more realistic!

This leaf platter with an asparagus handle is the perfect accessory for serving appetizers. We love the fresh green color and charming design.

Skip the meatballs in your next batch of spaghetti and opt for this delicious Butternut Squash Sauce instead. You won’t even miss the meat!

This Salsa Trio Set is the perfect way to serve your favorite salsas, so you don’t have to pick just one. Ole!


As summer is winding down we find ourselves wondering… what are we going to do with all of this squash? Thankfully our friend Carrie over at Callie’s Biscuits has a solution with this tasty Southern classic, which conveniently uses our very favorite ingredient, Fiery Pimento Cheese.

Fried Squash with Fiery Pimento Cheese


  1. 1 cup canola oil (or any other frying oil you have on hand.)
  2. 2 yellow squash, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  3. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling after frying
  5. 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  6. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  7. 1 cup Callie’s Fiery Pimento Cheese (or Regular if you don’t like it spicy!)
  8. 1/4 cup chopped chives, for garnish

Flour and Milk Batter:

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling after frying
  3. 1 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  4. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  5. Mix the salt, pepper and flour together in a medium-large bowl.
  6. Whisk the milk in gradually until you have a runny batter.
  7. Dip each squash round in the batter, and lay on a clean baking sheet.


  1. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet, or other heavy duty pot over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the pimento cheese into a quart-sized zip lock bag and cut a small corner off the bag to make a piping bag. Set out, and let come to room temperature.
  3. Mix the flour, salt and pepper together in a shallow dish. Place the eggs in another shallow dish.
  4. Dip each squash round into the egg mixture first, and then place each round in the flour mixture and coat thoroughly. Move to a wire baking rack before frying.
  5. Place 4 squash rounds at a time into the oil, being careful not to splash hot oil. It is important that you do not overcrowd your pan, as it will lower the temperature of the oil and the squash will not get as crispy as you want. Fry squash on each side until they turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
  6. With a metal spider or a set of tongs, carefully remove the squash and place on a clean wire baking rack, or a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt immediately.
  7. Once the fried squash rounds have cooled (just a little bit), pipe a teaspoon of pimento cheese on each round. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.


View the full recipe and it’s history or shop Callie’s Biscuits for more tasty treats.

Winemaker Weekend

Food & Drink, Travel July 25th, 2014 — by:

wine weekendIf you’ve ever dreamed of being a winemaker, then this is your chance… The 2nd Annual Winemaker Weekend at the lovely VGS Chateau Potelle is just around the corner and there are still a few spaces left. Longtime friend of Taigan, Jean-Noel Fourmeaux will help you blend the best wine for your taste and then they will record  your “assemblage” and bottle 3 cases of your personal 2013 red wine, etched with your name, in three different bottle formats. Once glance at the itinerary has us ready to sign on the dotted line!

Program Details: 

Friday, September 19
6:00 – 9:00 PM: Welcome Reception in our Tasting House & Garden. We’ll start with our signature tasting – our wines paired with food bites by Michelin starred La Toque Restaurant – and then relax together over heavy hors d’oeuvres served with Library wines.

Saturday, September 20
9:30 AM – 1 PM: Blending Experience. First, I will instruct you about the characteristics and flavor profiles of each varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Through a blending demonstration, you will see how each varietal affects the other ones, how they each can be part of a blend and in what manner they can contribute to the blend you want to create. Through the artistry of blending, I will show you where the science stops and the art begins! Then I will humbly become your assistant winemaker. With pipettes, graduated tubes, bottles and glasses in hand, you will discover what best suits your own palate and craft your own wine! How fun is that?

1:30 – 2:30 PM: Lunch at C Casa. Just a short walk over to the Oxbow Market to enjoy tacos like you’ve never had. Open faced tacos that are purely exceptional!

3 – 5:30 PM: Cooking Class. La Toque has long been renowned for its wine and food creations. Chef Ken Frank works with his sommelier team to carefully pair each dish with a particular wine. He will demonstrate some of his favorite recipes and highlight what it takes to make food “wine friendly.”

7:00 PM: Apéritif and Champagne on the private patio of La Toque followed by the dinner Chef Ken Frank designed to accompany the VGS wines.

Sunday, September 21
9:30 AM – Noon: Brunch in the Vineyard. Your winemaking weekend will conclude with a leisurely brunch on Cloud Nine. Enjoy the serenity and beauty of our Mt. Veeder Mountain Vineyard.

$5,500/couple for this fantastic experience and 3 cases of your personal 2013 red wine, etched with your name, in three different bottle formats (750 ml X 24 bottles, 1.5L X 4 bottles, and 3L X 1 bottle). Wine will be bottled in June 2015. Accommodations and transportation not included. Payment is transferable but not refundable.

To purchase the Winemaker Weekend or to sample some of VGS Chateau Potelle’s products visit

The Perfect Cheese Board

Food & Drink July 22nd, 2014 — by:


Making the perfect cheese board is an art. Here are a few tips on how to create a beautiful and tasty spread!

1. Start with a beautiful “canvas”. We recommend the Brooklyn Slate products (pictured above) for a rustic look, or this marble version from And George for a more refined take.

Marble Cutting Board

2. Add cheese. Select a variety of cheeses. Try different textures, regions, etc. Some of our favorite go-to cheeses are listed below.

Thomasville Tomme

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

Southern Belle Goat Cheese

Asher Blue

Lil Moo

Cave Aged Gruyere

 3. Accessorize Accordingly.

Seven Pepper Jelly

Roasted and Salted Pecans

Charcuterie Trio

Artisan Honey


4. Dig in! 

Gibralter Cheese Set

Tortoise Cheese Knives



A Summer Smash

Food & Drink June 30th, 2014 — by:

It’s summertime and the weather is high, which of course means it’s time to whip up a batch of  refreshing cocktails. We recommend a Ginger-Blackberry Smash from Maureen Christian-Petrosky’s new book The Cocktail Club. Serve them up to order, or in a chic beverage dispenser alongside Tara Guerard’s lovely hemstitch napkins. Either way, people are sure to appreciate a little heat relief!

Ginger-Blackberry Smash

Maureen Christian-Petrosky

1 cup sugar
1 four-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 lime wedge
1/4 cup silver tequila
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3 fresh blackberries
1 thin slice crystallized ginger

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and fresh ginger with 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let the ginger steep over low heat for about 20 minutes, or longer if you want your cocktail spicier. Strain the syrup into a container and let cool completely.

On a shallow plate, combine the salt and ground ginger. Use the lime wedge to moisten the rim of a glass and dip it lightly into the mixture. In a shaker filled with ice, add the tequila, 1 ounce of the ginger-flavored simple syrup, and the lime juice; shake until chilled. Lightly muddle the blackberries in the bottom of a glass, then add ice. Strain the shaker into the glass and garnish with a sliver of crystallized ginger.