Category: Uncategorized

Kitchen Disaster — a Confessional

Tonight the Mr is “Mr. Kitchen Disaster” … “Taco the Terrible” … “Slaughterer of Poor Tortilla Chips” …

It wasn’t supposed to end like this. I was supposed to make second portions of a lovely, healthy dinner that The Mrs had made already, two nights in a row. She had helpfully left the recipe out on the counter, for a baked beef taquitos — one of those where everything that one usually would eat is substituted with something more healthy.

And so I thought, as I was assigned to go get more (lean) ground beef during the day, that I could surprise her when she came home from her after-work exercise class with: a hot meal, a cold beer, and the realization that she was done. A helpful surprise, if you will.

So, I started a half-hour early, pored over the recipe, and decided that — yes, I can do this! Continue reading

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Olde Mecklenberg Brewery

So the Beer Guy’s not doing so well with the posts …. Those of you who are my friends on FB are probably already used to that.

In lieu of a proper mea culpa, I’ll just tell you a story instead. Perhaps one about beer. Maybe with a few pictures thrown in …

Continue reading

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It’s The Little Things

The Beer Guy’s birthday was this weekend. It was a milestone birthday. I always try to make a big deal out of his birthday, but since it was a milestone I had wanted to make this one EXTRA special. We talked about a road trip through the Outer Banks to see all the lighthouses, but with a recent beach trip, having friends in town, and a busy work schedule we never got around to actually planning the trip before his birthday.  So that was out for the official birthday weekend, but WILL be happening soon.

Not only did we not go on a birthday trip, but I also did not have a big gift idea lined up. The BG is not one for frequently listing things that he wants…unlike myself. 🙂 What he DID want was for me to rent a bike (since he has one and I don’t) and spend all day Saturday biking around Charlotte with him, stopping occasionally to sample a few new brews. So, we did that and it was a heck of a lot of fun…but we were EXHAUSTED at the end of the day.

But his ACTUAL birthday was Friday. Not wanting his true birthday to be a dud, I tried to think about something special I could feed him. I thought long and hard about what meal he would enjoy the most…

Filet mignon? Nope.
Foie gras? Huh-uh.
Duck a l’Orange? Negative.
Baked Alaska? Nothin’ doin’.

Try Sloppy Joes with frozen Tater Tots and a store-bought Key Lime Pie.

All childhood favorites of his and he was GIDDY! Hey, it ain’t fancy, but it meant something to him and that’s what counts.

So here’s to the little things!

Wine Girl

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Beach Bound!

Beach packing list:

Bikinis, beach towel, big hat, books, sunscreen and sunglasses…

all I’m missing is a margarita and my packing is done!

The Beer Guy and I are off to Hilton Head Island, SC today. Sadly, after 5 years of living in North Carolina, this will be my first trip to the Carolina Coast. Better late than never, right?

And, by the way, this puppy wants to go too…

Can you see that she all but put herself in my beach bag?  Sorry, Little One.  The resort says “no pups allowed.”  Clearly they would change their minds if they saw this pitiful picture.  Maybe next time…

Stay tuned! We’ll keep you posted on all the food and fun!

Wine Girl

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Lazy Friday Night

I had a long and busy day at work today. Don’t feel like cookin’. Looks like wine and a CPK frozen pizza are on the menu.

And for our entertainment, it’s a Jon Cusack talking to the camera kind of night.

What did we ever do before Netflix?  Happy Friday, everyone!

Wine Girl

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So I mentioned my obsession with Mario Batali’s 2008 series for PBS, Spain on the Road Again, right?  After watching the original airing of the series and all the reruns I could find, I decided to ask Santa Claus for both the accompanying cookbook/travel guide (I WILL take that trip one day) and the DVD series.  That was the Christmas before last (as in 2008) and I have barely made anything out of it.  That is all going to change VERY SOON!  Of all the scrumptious recipes in the book, the one I have most wanted to make is the paella.  I have yet to make it because I did not have a proper paella pan, which is apparently essential to making paella…something about the distribution of the heat for the rice.

Well, since the Beer Guy and I are trying new things and breaking out of our rut, I decided to seek out a paella pan.  On a hunch, I decided to just pop into Sur La Table after work since it is located in the mall right next to my office, just to see if they happened to carry paella pans.   And guess what… THEY DO!  What’s more, they were 40% off!!  So, I got this beautiful 16″ paella pan and 2 lb bag of Bomba Rice (which is also apparently essential to a good paella) for the same price as the pan would normally have been by itself!

I’m not usually one who gets overly excited about bargains, but this made me giddy.  It’s like it was meant to be!  I can’t wait to take it for a test drive!

Wine Girl

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Project 365

Today is my birthday. Therefore, I think it is a fitting day to start a year long project. You may remember that the Beer Guy and I recently purchased a Nikon D90 in an effort to develop (pun intended) a new photography hobby together. We’ll we’ve had it for about a month now and have taken tons of pictures, but I still don’t feel like I really know how the thing works. If I intended to continue to just “point and shoot,” then I should have saved my money and just kept using my Sony Cybershot. But that is not why we threw down the cash for the fancy-schmancy new camera. My true intension is to become a stinking awesome photographer. To that end, I am embarking on a year long journey, beginning today, entitled Project 365. You photography aficionados are probably familiar with the concept: I take my fantastic new camera and take at least one picture every day for a year. Ideally, I will experiment with the various settings, actually read the manual that came with the camera, maybe take a class, and throughout the course of the year becomes fluent in all things D90.

I will, of course, be posting the pics here possibly along with my photography “lessons learned”. We’ll also get a gallery started so that you can all see the Project evolve, even if you miss some posts. (I’ve got to enlist the help of the Beer Guy for that).

For your viewing pleasure, here are a couple pics for Day 1.

Please don’t be too critical. They will get better as the year progresses.

Wine Girl

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The Original Idea (He Said)

Who Are We? People who like to eat, drink, and be married. And for your reading pleasure, we’ll share our thoughts on food, drink, and travel, as well as photos from along the way. We’ve moved a bit over our first decade together, and now Charlotte is home.

As for the “Kitchen Doesn’t Travel” bit — WG (WineGirl) loves her some Spain Show. She’s written up the origin of the phrase, replete with paella, in her introduction.

With a nom de plume of BeerGuy, you’ll be expecting me to be something of a beer connoisseur. While I may not be an expert, it’s not for a lack of trying. I was drinking beer before my first coffee. My first sip of the barley beverage was as a youngster, as my brother and I fought over who would deliver a cold one to the old man. He who retrieves also opens, and in my case, sneaks a tipple. I recall the taste of Pabst Blue Ribbon to be both foreign and a little bitter, not unlike a child’s view of becoming a man.

As middle school gave way to high school, I’d sneak more than a sip, and when the nest was emptying (I was the baby), I somehow got in the habit of drinking my own beer with Dad. He didn’t complain, so neither did I, and it certainly goes better with Greek pizza than Coke. At that time, we were quaffing Olympia, or “Oly” as my elder uncle called it. Uncle is an accomplished beerman in his own right, though tending towards the lower-priced lagers.

College came and went, lubricated by Miller Lite and paced with futile attempts at chasing girls. At that age, differences in beer were between Bud and Miller, though I had the decency to avoid Natural Light (where were you when I needed you, Beer Advocate?).

After college, a drinking tour of Europe with big brother (does that make him Br’er Beer?), and my tastes widened with the horizon. More travel and tasting, and now I look for micro-brews on draft. I’ll always try something new or local. Happily, WineGirl no longer impugns the malted medicine by comparing it to “horse piss”, and she’ll try anything as long as it’s not too hoppy.

I don’t know when it first happened, that I started pairing beer and food in the fashion that many do with wine. I tapped into this deeper knowledge of draft, when I recognized the traits of a good breakfast beer.

So What’s This All About? WineGirl and I like to try new foods and drink, and she’s helping re-focus my interest in travel and landscape photography to a subject that’s tasty. Besides, why should you drink a skunky beer if you can be forewarned here first?

Join us as we sample from near and far …


Beer Guy

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The Original Idea (She Said)

Who Are We? We are what my brother-in-law refers to as D.I.N.K.s – Double-Income-No-Kid yuppies. We are a couple of 30-somethings with healthy appetites who’ve been married for a while. We’ve lived in Charlotte for the last 5 yrs after doing a brief stint in San Diego. Although we are not polar opposites, we are different enough to keep life interesting. I’m a Mac, he’s a PC. I’m a planner, he’s more adventurous. I like structure, organization, predictability, and indoor fun. He’s truly a Boy Scout at heart who legitimately enjoys all things “outdoorsy”…as well as helping little old ladies across the street. He loves hiking, camping, biking, and all that jazz. Despite being raised in small-town Alabama, I am a city girl at heart and do not – I repeat DO NOT- share his outdoorsy inclinations. My idea of camping is staying in a hotel that does not offer room service. It didn’t take my hubby long to realize that if he wanted to share THOSE interests with his spouse, he had clearly married the wrong woman! One of the things we do have in common, however, is that we both love to eat and we appreciate good drink. We’ve joked for years that our only shared hobby is going out to dinner.

We’ve always said that one of the benefits of being D.I.N.K.s (and intending to stay that way) is that we can fly off to New York or Paris on a moment’s notice. The reality is that, since I finished graduate school and joined my hubster in the working world, we’ve gotten caught up in the minutia of the daily grind and have barely explored the world outside Charlotte, much less jetted off to Paris. By day, I am a Speech-Pathologist. By night, I’m a budding foodie and wannabe sommelier who’s always harbored a secret desire to be a writer. So, on this blog at least, I’ll be known as the Wine Girl. My hubby, on the other hand, has had a deep seated appreciation of beer since…well, since before it was legal for him to have it. But I’ll let him explain introduce himself to you next.  One thing I will tell you about him, though, is through careful and varied tastings over the years, he has succeeded in making a beer drinker out of me as well. To that end, he will be known as the Beer Guy in this little corner of the world.

What Does “Kitchen Doesn’t Travel” Mean? Last year I became obsessed with a series Chef Mario Batali did for PBS called Spain…On the Road Again.  Basically, he, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman (NY Times Food Writer) and Claudia Bassols (Spanish Actress) took a culinary and cultural road trip across Spain. In the 12th episode (Pure Paella), Gwyneth & Mario traveled to Valencia, where paella was born, to learn to make the quintessential Spanish paella. While eating the paella with the family Mario asked them So what do you think of paellas from other regions of Spain? The translated response was this: “They are not paellas. Kitchen does not travel. You must eat it where it is born.”

To us, that was a call to action. The wheels started turning and the idea for this little blog was born.

So What’s This All About? We are tired of just going through the “work-go home-eat-sleep-work” rut we’ve let ourselves get into. We want to take “the joy of life” a little more seriously. We’re going to take our mutual interest in good food and drink, along with a relatively new mutual interest in photography (new for me at least), and have some new adventures – big and small, near and far. Armed with my MacBook Pro, his Think Pad, and our new Nikon D90 we will document and share our adventures in cooking, tasting, eating, drinking, and traveling…all the while trying to learn how to use this darn thing:

Please to enjoy…

Wine Girl

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