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I haven't done a Kitchen Journal post in a long while, so I thought I share a few of things I've been eating, cooking, and drinking.
Wine: Although there are a number of wines we return to again and again, we like trying new ones, especially when they're on sale. One vineyard we have been sampling is Quail Ridge, from Napa Valley. We found both the Pinot Noir and Cab to be very drinkable. An old favorite is Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin, which is a bit heavier but remains a staple, especially with grilled meats. Finally, we tried Middle Sister Rebel Red for the first time last week. This is a red blend that's light, fruity, but not too sweet; a nice table wine for summer.
Fruit: I love peach season! We've been eating puff pastry turnovers, crisps, and clafoutis. The early apples are also showing up at the market now. Summer Rambo is one of my favorites: tart and crisp, kind of like Granny Smith apples (but better). I've been eating them with sharp Cheddar for an afternoon treat.
North Carolina / Safe Haven: As many of you know, I was invited to travel to North Carolina to visit the movie set for Safe Haven, meet and interview Nicholas Sparks, and have a chance to meet the stars (Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel). Although I'll be writing about my experiences in Southport another time, I thought I share some of the food and drink. For lunch I had a crab cake sandwich at a water-front restaurant, and dinner was a wonderful fresh tuna dish with fried green tomatoes. For afternoon wine, we were treated to a sampling of Yellow Tail.
Grilling: It's been hot, hot, hot in central Pennsylvania and that means we've been grilling. Mr. BFR does most of the grilling, although sometimes it's a joint effort. We tried grilled corn this year (didn't Mr. BFR do an awesome job tying the husks?). We liked the grilled corn, but we prefer it quickly boiled.
One the best things about this summer is that I've finally perfected my basic spice rub. We use this on many things grilled: chicken wings, chicken parts, salmon, and pork. Sometimes I add 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, but the following blend has become our go-to mix. I made this up after looking at a number of recipes in books and online and then taste testing and tweaking. If this is similar to, or even exactly like, someone else's recipe, it's purely coincidental.
BFR's Spice Rub
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder (not salt)
1 tablespoon dehydrated ground garlic
1 tablespoon cayenne
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Mix together and store in a tightly sealed jar.